“There is no building going on there at our site, we are doing crucial emergency repairs to some of our units at that site.” These were the assuring words of the site manager for a new development in the Aquapark area opposite Oasis mall. The site manager did not want us to mention his name and referred our query to the quantity surveyor overseeing the project. The site manager assured Bulletin that despite the complaints from residents in the area, nothing untoward was happening at the site. According to him, he had opened a case of theft with the Tzaneen police station last week, after thieves apparently entered the site and stole copper wiring out of the walls of some of their newly plastered units.
We managed to speak to Mohammed Seedat, the quantity surveyor at the site. “You know, when the area was on Level 5 lockdown, we had no problems. No theft whatsoever. But the moment we moved to Level 4, it was business as usual for the criminal elements,” he said frustratedly.
According to him their troubles started with a burst water pipe which caused significant damage to the newly installed cupboards in seven of their units. “What you see when you drive past the site is a team of six guys busy chasing the pipes in the walls. It may appear as though they are plastering, but in reality, they are patching up the damage. We reported this to the police when they were summoned to the site after receiving complaints from the public that our guys were building during the lockdown.”
Seedat said that as per the procedures for emergency repairs, they had to appoint a safety officer on site while the contractors conducted their repairs. “Last Sunday we had thieves enter the site sometime during the evening and steal copper electrical wiring out of the walls of another block of units closest to the fence. The damage in stock alone, according to our electrical contractor is in the region of R28 000. We opened a case of theft at the police station andthey are investigating the matter. In the meantime, the contractor has had to make the necessary emergency repairs to these units as well.”
In total, the damage suffered at the site amounts to roughly R80 000 excluding the labour costs. “We will only continue construction at this site when the province moves down to Level 2, which will hopefully be soon.”
The new security complex will be named Aqua Nova and will comprise of a total of 28 units which will be divided into blocks of units. There will be 14 three bedroom and 14 two bedroom units once completed.