Non-compliant building owner busted

The City's Fire Life Safety Inspectorate visiting a building in the CBD. Picture: City of Cape Town
Fire and Rescue Services is seeking legal advise following the continued non-compliance from a building owner in the Central Business District.

The owner was issued with a summary abatement notice to vacate the building on Friday September 7 for ongoing contraventions of the Community Fire Safety By-law.

The City’s Fire Life Safety Inspectorate went on a follow-up inspection yesterday. They found that the building is still occupied which is in direct contravention of the notice.

Mayco member for safety and security and social services, JP Smith, who had accompanied the inspectorate team, said the owner may face legal action. 

“A follow up inspection today found that there are still tenants occupying the building. I was very very disappointed in the utter disregard for the people’s safety.”

Mr Smith encouraged tenants to report buildings that are non-compliant.

“The City’s Fire Life Safety Inspectorate conducts as many inspections relating to buildings and hazardous installations as our resources allow. We simply don’t have the resources to inspect each and every building proactively annually. So we encourage building owners but also tenants whether residential or business to familiarize themselves with the Community Fire Safety By-law so that they can conduct checks for fire safety equipment and whether their department is compliant and alert the fire department if they suspect non-compliance.”

The conditions of city buildings have come under the spotlight following the deaths of three firefighters at a building belonging to the Gauteng government in the Johannesburg CBD recently.

Two firefighters are believed to have succumbed to their injuries after they became trapped in the building. The third fell to his death while battling the blaze.