Community demands action on neglected repairs to Hangberg Civic Center
3 mins read

Community demands action on neglected repairs to Hangberg Civic Center

Community demands action on neglected repairs to Hangberg Civic Center

The Hangberg community wants to see the local Civic Center return to its former glory. PHOTOS: Supplied

  • Following the eviction of illegal squatters from the Hangberg Civic Centre in Hout Bay, residents have expressed their frustration at the ongoing deterioration of the facility.
  • Community activist Roscoe Jacobs criticized the city for the delays, while Mayco council member Patricia van der Ross explained that the process of searching for an engineer and appointing a project manager has only just begun.
  • As the residents themselves, especially women and children, say, the lack of an efficiently functioning civic center negatively affects the development of local youth and the everyday lives of residents.

After residents illegally staying at the Hangberg Civic Centre in Hout Bay earlier this year, the dilapidated state of the facility was brought to the fore during June, a month dedicated to young people who rely so heavily on such recreational facilities.

Community activist Roscoe Jacobs drew attention to the state of community facilities, People’s Postaccusing the city of “hesitating to make a decision on the matter.”

“Hangberg Civic remains closed to community use. Tenants have been evicted and Mayco member for social services and health in Cape Town, Patricia van der Ross, indicated that funding has been secured, but to date there are no clear plans to refurbish the Civic and replace the old asbestos roof.”

Van der Ross responded to the urgent matter by explaining that the process of finding an engineer to repair the facility had only just begun.

She added that a building condition assessment was carried out due to current issues with “dilapidation of the entire building and roof which require repairs”.

“A project manager should be appointed to develop a project plan for the repair of the facility. Once completed, an appropriate tender will be identified to provide a bid for the repair, which will then be used to apply for funding for the upgrade.”

No exact dates

Van der Ross said that as a contractor has not yet been appointed, exact dates for the repairs could not be confirmed.

The process has already begun, she said, adding that her department is in the process of appointing a service provider to begin repairs.

Meanwhile, Jacobs notes, the community is struggling with a lack of center in everyday life, especially women and youth.

Other repairs at Hangberg Civic Centre will include structural and plumbing work, including to the kitchen and toilets.

“This affects the development of the youth as well as the human dignity of our women who are forced to urinate in the open/public places when school sports competitions are taking place.”

Asked for the city’s opinion on the matter, given the recent Youth Month celebrations, Van der Ross simply said:

“The Civic Centre has always been intended for recreational use by the community. However, for the past four years the property was illegally occupied until mid-February of this year when the illegal occupants were officially removed from the property.”

In addition to replacing the asbestos roof, other repairs will also be carried out including:

  • General building and plumbing repairs, including kitchens and toilets
  • Electrical repairs of the entire facility
  • Changing room renovation

In conclusion, Van der Ross said the Hangberg Civic Centre building will need to undergo a compliance assessment before it can reopen.