Department of Labour declares a government building where young offenders and neglected children live in Noordgesig, outside Soweto, unsafe for human habitation.
The Department of Labour has declared a government building where young offenders and neglected children live in Noordgesig, outside Soweto, unsafe for human habitation.
The Walter Sisulu Centre, that was established in 1996, is said to be sinking because it was built on wetlands
The centre has been issued with a contravention notice and has been given 60 days to fix all the problems and appoint a structural engineer to do an analysis.
During a visit to the centre by Sowetan, water was seeping from the ground, under the carpets and tiles. There were also wet patches in the garden.
There were are also two holes, which were full of water, in its administration block. A source, who asked not to be named, said the water had to be drained every hour.
Gauteng department of social development spokesman Sello Mokoena said he was aware of situation at the centre.
“Consultant engineers have investigated and implemented remedial measures to divert water away from the affected buildings,” he said.
However, the remedial measures had been partially successful, and the department had decommissioned the administration block.
Mokoena said the department was planning to decommission the entire centre, but were still waiting for the engineer’s final report.
The source said the centre also had sewage problems and its geysers and most of its toilets were not working. “If caregivers do not boil water, the children bath in cold water.”
However, Mokoena denied that there were geyser problems. “The problem has been fixed. Staff members will, however, be moved from the administration block to another area pending the decommissioning,” he said.
The source said many people who worked at the centre suffered from cold-related diseases such pneumonia and the children were being fed mince and cabbage daily because the catering company was always late.