Once a place of pride for residents, the Langa recreational centre has turned into an eyesore and embarrassment in recent years.
The once loved recreational centre is now dilapidated and used as a hideout by criminals who target passers-by.
Concerned residents claimed to have called for authorities to demolish the remaining building and clean up the area.
Local councillor Samkelo Sam admitted that residents have been calling for help.
He said the City of Cape Town has tried to buy the privately owned property but failed.
He said the building has been left to crumble and rot. He said since 2016 there have been promises that the owners were going to revive it.
“It is true that people are mugged and robbed in those structures. Unfortunately, the place is privately owned. I know that the City has tried to buy the place so that it can develop it but failed. The information I have is that the owners are adamant that they will revive it. It is a sad state of affairs because it harbours criminals,” he told Vukani.
The once majestic place is filthy, a health hazard to those who are close to it and infested with rats.
One resident who lives nearby said it poses a security threat to them. “We live right here and you can imagine the trouble we are in. As you can see it has become a dumping site too. It is very unhygienic. We only live here because we have nowhere else to go, otherwise we would have been long gone,” she said.
Another resident, who is also a local committee member, said the neglected centre has been a headache for many years.
Fundukwazi Sityoshwana said if residents had been responsible for the building, they would have long destroyed it or revived it. He said it was sad to see it crumbling because as a kid he used to play there.
He appealed to the owners, to do something about it. He said residents have been complaining about the bad things happening there.
“My worry is people, girl children who pass here and seniors who are robbed here. It would really be nice if something could be done here. There have been many cries about it. People are not making up stories about it. Bad things do happen here. As you can see, it is also a dumping site now. We are all concerned about people’s lives and their health,” he said.
He also has fond memories of the place. “It used to house all sorts of games and people. There were dance classes and sport facilities inside here. As children we used to come here after school and play different sports. How I wish I could bring back those days.”
The building has broken windows, smoke stains on the walls, and evidence that people sleep there.