Staircase repairs coming to Ocean View council flats

The City has spent about R200 million on some 1300 staircase replacements and repairs across its 160 000 rental housing units since 2018, and much of that work had been needed because of vandalism, says mayoral committee member for human settlements Carl Pophaim.

The City says it will spend R30 million over the next seven months on repairs to council-flat staircases in Ocean View, Lavender Hill and Lotus River.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements Carl Pophaim announced the project on Thursday November 16, calling it a “game-changer” for public housing in Lavender Hill, Lotus River, and Ocean View.

The project will see repairs to 70 staircases at 30 blocks of flats. Work has already started in Lavender Hill and will begin at seven blocks in Ocean View in January. Work is set for completion by the end of June next year.

Tenants in the affected blocks would be included in the planning, but “we do not want to publicise the names of the blocks widely at the moment”, said Mr Pophaim.

The most urgent cases, especially those posing a hazard, would take priority, he said.

The City had spent about R200 million on some 1300 staircase replacements and repairs across its 160 000 rental housing units since 2018, and much of that work had been needed because of vandalism, he said.

“We are urging tenants to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity and vandalism to the City immediately.

“If we can prevent vandalism, it is one less thing that the limited resources need to be spent on, and it can go to other urgent maintenance matters.”

Michè Pheiffer, 22, who fell through a collapsed staircase at Uiltjie Court in Ocean View in June (“Woman injured as stairs collapse,” Echo July 6), has welcomed news of the repairs, but she said she was still in pain and wished the work had happened sooner.

“Why must something always happen before action is taken? I mean there are hundreds of kids also using these staircases on a daily basis, and for something to happen before they see to it is very unfair.“

Her mother, Berenice Pheiffer, added: “There were many complaints about the stairs, and if they had been fixed earlier, maybe my daughter’s accident might not have happened.“

City tenants can report problems with their units to the City’s human settlements directorate at 021 444 0333.