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Abandoned Construction Sites in Gauteng – Why?

Abandoned Building / Construction Sites In Gauteng, Why?

A building is considered abandoned after just thirty days of being left empty. There are many abandoned building projects throughout South Africa, these buildings are not being utilized due to various reasons. An abandoned building is one that is considered to be empty and/or  in disrepair.

There are many setbacks and issues that may occur when building and developing a project that should be taken into consideration before the project even starts, most of the time projects and construction sites are abandoned because of the following reasons :

1.) Financial Problems.
2.) Due To Inexperienced Developers.
3.) Mismanagement And Mistakes.

Abandonment of buildings and construction sites could be a potential problem for South Africa due to the financial constraints within the construction and building industry. Tenders are being awarded to construction companies that are battling and have no funds to continue with the projects and this is yet another reason why construction is not being completed.

Here are a few buildings in Gauteng that have been abandoned and the reasons are as follows:

1.)  Khutsong Clinic – As per the contractor’s Client liaison officer, the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development has not paid the contractor and the contractor is experiencing financial difficulties. This project cost has been estimated at R65 Million.

2.) Carlton Hotel – The Carlton Hotel was considered to be one of the most prominent hotels in South Africa, hosting big names such as Nelson Mandela, Whitney Housten and Hillary Clinton. The hotel has been untouched and standing for over 20 years due to a lack of maintenance. The Carlton Hotel has over 600 rooms over 31 floors, and it closed its doors in 1997. Thereafter Transnet bought the once luxury hotel and even though there as been various plans floating around, the hotel still remains empty.

3.) Kempton Park Hospital –  It has been said that Kempton Park Hospital had been closed due to a shortage of patients, however in 2006 there was talk about re-opening the building and to renovate it, thus taking pressure off of Tembisa and Edenvale Hospitals. Construction was supposed to start in March 2013 and was meant to be completed in July 2014,  however contractors never started the work which was estimated have cost R 244 Million.  In 2017 it was reported that R127 million Rand had been set aside to demolish the Hospital.  However to date, Kempton Park Hospital still stands empty.

A large number of buildings are left empty and these buildings are not just little three-story buildings that are implicated, they are skyscrapers and huge 210-roomed hospitals where space has just been wasted. Tenders are being awarded to new development when these older and abandoned buildings and structures should be given preference and utilized before we build more. building    The buildings that stand empty are targets for criminal activities to take place and by standing empty and unused, they drop the value of the surrounding buildings and the area in general. If there is no-one monitoring the buildings or if there is no security in place, then this allows for squatters to move in and take over the building and also allows for pests to run around freely.

Incomplete construction has cost Gauteng over R620 million and it has been reported that the Gauteng Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on infrastructure development will be clamping down on “poor contractors’ workmanship” as there are tenders that have been awarded in 2017 that have not even started for renovating or building projects and this leaves 40 companies implicated. The projects pertain to new clinics, seven new schools and other important renovations that need attention in order to help the citizens of South Africa. Since this money has been paid over to the contractors, it is believed that fraud and corruption have been suspected.

Gauteng has identified a new “low-cost housing” opportunity and is allowing the private sector to turn them into affordable housing, The city is hoping to upgrade 2000 to 4000 informal settlement homes. This is a great way for the government to give back and I am sure this is exciting for the residents that stay in these buildings. Let’s hope this project materializes.

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