Prasa yet to demolish building in Woodstock as promised

An abandoned Prasa building in Tide Street, Woodstock, is expected to be demolished. File picture

An abandoned Prasa building in Tide Street, Woodstock, is expected to be demolished. File picture

Published Mar 13, 2024


Cape Town - A problem building in Woodstock owned by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) is still standing despite plans for its destruction.

Prasa previously said it would demolish the building on Tide Street before the start of March.

The unoccupied building, which has not been used for years, has become a haven for criminal activity, while locals have complained about it for years.

The building caught fire on Christmas last year, affecting a nearby recycling business and leaving more than 40 people unemployed.

Following the fire, locals were faced with another challenge as it attracted scrap metal collectors who stripped the building apart in broad daylight in front of security guards who were hired by Prasa.

One security guard said all they could do was watch because they were overwhelmed “by the number of people who have turned this place into an illegal scrapyard”.

In January, Prasa said it was aware of the illegal activities taking place on the premises.

“Prasa plans to demolish the dilapidated structure before March. Prasa had appointed a security company to guard the building as of December 13.”

However, Rob Marshall from U-Watch neighbourhood watch in Woodstock said the building still stood.

“Indeed, the building is still standing. We visited the building with JP Smith, metro law officers, SAPS, and our ward councillors last week and saw that the building has been emptied but has not yet been demolished. Please contact Prasa and ask them when they will demolish,” said Marshall.

Prasa did not respond to questions by deadline yesterday.

Meanwhile, Prasa met with stakeholders in Durbanville yesterday and said it has started rehabilitating 11 train stations along the central line.

“R643 million is invested in the economy through this capital project, with 922 job opportunities created to date.

“The permanent relocation of the 5 195 households encroaching on the rail reserve will be executed in two phases.

“Land-use application was lodged August 2023 for rezoning, a public participation commenced in October and closed November 27, 2023.

“Over 900 objections were received.”

Raymond Maseko, Prasa regional manager, said 101 stations in the Western Cape were recovered of the 121.

“Fourteen stations are scheduled to be recovered with the 11 stations from the central line.

“Work has started to recover the 11 stations.”

The Khayelitsha Development Forum’s Ndithini Thyido said the process of removing occupants along train lines has been slow.

“We set up structures and spoke to the communities. The matter of squatters would have been resolved earlier but the dampener to it all was the senseless killing of Loyiso Nkohla.

“Khayelitsha has five stations affected by this, this is not a small matter.

“We were very concerned that the meeting was held in Durbanville for things that are going to be done in Khayelitsha.

“We want succinct programmes and timelines.”

Cape Argus