Sun. May 19th, 2024

The eThekwini Municipality initiated the demolition of the fire-ravaged China Emporium building on Friday, marking the seventh such demolition in the city within the last five years. This move underscores the city’s proactive approach to addressing dilapidated structures.

According to Gugu Sisilana, spokesperson for the Municipality, the demolition is part of ongoing efforts to remove problematic buildings and enhance the urban landscape of Durban. Councillor Thembo Ntuli, chairperson of the Economic Development Committee, emphasized the Municipality’s commitment to improving the city for residents, visitors, and investors.

Located on the western fringe of Durban’s Central Business District, the China Emporium building suffered extensive damage in a fire that occurred in January 2022. Following a structural engineer’s assessment recommending complete demolition, the Municipality faced legal challenges from the property owners, Zoloscore Investments (Pty) Ltd.

Subsequently, the Municipality assumed responsibility for the demolition due to safety concerns posed by the compromised structure. Issues such as illegal dumping, unauthorized usage, structural instability, traffic congestion, and reputational risks necessitated the intervention.

Councillor Ntuli highlighted the significance of this action in bolstering urban security and facilitating economic growth. The demolition contributes to the achievements of the Problem Buildings Division, established in 2019, which has overseen 30 successful interventions, including seven demolitions.

The eThekwini Municipality’s decisive action reflects its dedication to creating a safer, more prosperous urban environment for all stakeholders.

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