Looking out from Orient house

Gwyneth Collins, Wynberg

I believe you have been given a very one-sided picture of the Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association. I was at their inaugural meeting and got the distinct impression that a couple of them were simply wanting a rubber stamp to stop the building of the Orient Road townhouses, because the additional traffic from two extra homes on that erf might endanger their children (“Orient units up for sale”, Constantiaberg Bulletin, August 4).

Now I see some people have raised their concern. I am reliably informed that these same “concerned citizens” were behind the protection of those in South Road, living in houses specifically bought to be demolished in order to build a road for MyCiTi buses for the benefit of hundreds of residents of the townships working in the southern suburbs.

I don’t know how much the delay in building the Orient Road Houses cost the developer, but I do know that their action in the case of South Road has cost Cape Town ratepayers millions. Funds budgeted for the financial year could not be spent, giving the ANC lots of ammunition to find fault with unspent capital budget. Perhaps Ms (Kristina) Davidson could advise just whose interests her association is promoting?

* Kristina Davidson, chairperson of the Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, responds:

When 27 Orient Road was sold to Mr Dragoun, the property comprised a house that was in excellent condition, a garage and ample off-street parking. It sold in August 2012 for R1 500 000. The property remained empty and was allowed to fall into disrepair. Neighbours opened cases with SAPS for vandalism in May (CAS 244/5/2013) and June (CAS317/6/2013) 2013, months after the purchase by Mr Dragoun. After a fire broke out in the building, a petition was sent (with 90 signatures) to the Mayor’s office and the City’s Director for Security and Safety. At the same time, human faeces were found in the building, which led to it being declared a health hazard. The building was subsequently declared a problem building.