The deadly Tongaat roof collapse has riveted one’s attention on the total contempt many builders and developers have for the municipal and national building codes and authorities.
In Yeoville & Belleview in Gauteng we see this contempt being exercised daily and we see the inability or unwillingness of municipal authorities to enforce codes and even when obliged by community pressure to issue stop orders, we see the unwillingness of municipalities to enforce these stop orders.
A case in point is a building in Yeoville, being erected without plans being submitted and therefor without approval. According to the plans we have seen, the building is intended to house perhaps 300 children in approximately 20 M x 4 M on two floors, or perhaps 450 children on three floors (about 150 children per floor, or about 0.6M² per child), at least that is what the plans indicate.
The Direct Democracy Forum are are horrified at the potential for disaster effecting perhaps as many as 450 children in a building built without local authority oversight, in spite of the municipality having been warned of the illegal building activity and indeed even acknowledging the problem and issuing stop orders. As with the Tongaat Mall case, the builder / developer simply ignores the stop orders and presses ahead with the building. In the Yeoville case the developer also ignored the protests and objections of the surrounding neighbours.
As with Tongaat, the local municipality failed to enforce the stop orders and presumably believe they have done their duty and a long and slow legal process begins, perhaps extending over years, which they see as their only ongoing obligation.
The DDF believe that these acts are little better than piracy by developers and it might even be argued that the municipalities’ inaction is in effect their colluding in these acts.
Why do we have building codes which are ignored, bylaws which are ignored and stop orders which are ignored? Why indeed do we have municipalities who cannot or simply will not do their jobs? Just as with the Johannesburg street vendor fiasco, the municipalities are simply not managing the environs which is their duty to manage, Once again they are not delivering the services which they are mandated to deliver. Indeed, are they even mandated to deliver services except by virtue of empty promises uttered at the beginning of each election cycle?
The Tongaat disaster is a tragic consequence of one example of that sort of neglect.
The DDF have a solution for this dilemma. Visit DDF local government policies and see how municipalities can be forced to deliver services and do their duties or be forced out of office and possibly even face criminal charges for neglect and dereliction of duty.
The buck stops at the ballot box