04 June 2021 - NW333
Graham, Ms SJ to ask the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure
(1) Whether, with reference to Excelsior Court in Durban, the building has been returned to her department from the SA Police Service (SAPS); if not, on what date is the building set to revert to her department; if so, on what date was the building returned to her department; (2) whether there are any SAPS officials who are still legally and/or illegally residing in the building; if so, what, (a) number of persons are currently residing in the building in each case and (b) measures are being taken to remove these residents; (3) whether her department has commenced with an assessment of the state of the building; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) measures are being taken to protect persons from the dangers associated with the poor state of the building, including falling bricks and broken doors, (b) are the time frames for addressing the issues around the specified building, (c) are all the relevant details for each issue to be resolved and (d) plans does her department have for the (i) alienation of the property and/or (ii) refurbishment of the property?
The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure:
1. I have been informed by the Department that Excelsior Court has not been handed back to DPWI from the South African Police Services. The SAPS has reported that a court process is underway to evict the illegal occupants. The Department is still waiting for SAPS to finalise their eviction process.
2. (a) The Department does not have records of occupants of the building and is unable to provide accurate number thereof.
(b) SAPS Legal Services is in the process of evicting the illegal occupants through the Court Process.
3. The Department has not commenced with the assessment of the building due to illegal occupation.
(a) Several attempts were made to conduct routine maintenance on the property, but unfortunately property/items are repeatedly being vandalised and damaged by the occupants. DPWI is unable to take full responsibility in safe-guarding the property and it has no control over management due to continuous intimidation by the occupants. The SAPS was requested to prohibit persons from walking in the danger zone.
(b) The Department is unable to accurately respond on the time frame due to the court process on eviction of illegal occupants pursued by the SAPS.
(c) Upon finalisation of eviction process, the Department shall embark on an exercise to determine the highest and best use of the facility.
(d) (i) The Department does not have plans to alienate the property.
(ii) The Department shall conduct a full condition assessment of the facility once the eviction process is concluded by SAPS.