“MONSTER” BUILDING MAY NOT BE FALLING JUST YET
By: Bongani Gema
The Save Our Berea battle against the “monstrous” nine storey building on 317 Currie Road may not be over yet.
Advocate Tayob Aboobaker, who championed the 371 building’s cause, told residents at a public meeting held at the St Thomas Church Hall yesterday, that although the court had ordered that
the building be demolished, the city may file an appeal.
He said knowing how the city operates, the Durban High Court judgment of June 29 this year was likely to be appealed and that Save Our Berea, a civic organization, needed to be financially
“It would be criminal to give up the fight because we don’t have enough financial support.
That is what the city and the developer want”, he added.
According to Aboobaker, in 2009 residents were shown a plan for an existing GR1zone (general residential zone) development.
However the following year, the city rezoned it to GR5, increasing the zone from 1 800 square metres to almost 9 800 square metres.
Save Our Berea then cried foul.
Aboobaker said the matter was then brought before Judge Esther Steyn who ordered that the building be demolished as it had breached the “principles of legality” as stated in Section 13 of
the Building Standards Act.
“A watershed judgment which holds hope that a clean government will be restored to our city,”
Executive Director of legal advocacy group Section 27, Mark Heywood, applauded the Berea community for successfully resisting an injustice and speaking truth to power.
He also highlighted how the court case upheld the values enshrined in the constitution.
“Your struggle proves the value of going to court, advocacy of the rule of law and the value of the constitution,” said Heywood.
But he also warned that the battle may not be over yet and that it was important for the community to stay on guard and monitor what happens from now.