Mall tenants fed up with leaking roof

Willie Matebese, manager of Autozone at Westgate Mall, points at a leak which soaked their paperwork.

A doctor at Westgate Mall could not examine patients because his consulting room was leaking during last week’s heavy storm.

His was not the only space affected – the shopping mall was littered with buckets catching rain and businesses had to apologise to clients for the inconvenience between Wednesday June 10 and Friday June 12.

Dr Adam Harneker said this has been an ongoing problem at the shopping centre for the past four years. “I was unable to examine patients because of the leaking ceiling,” he said.

Dentist Dr Fazil Patel said nobody had heeded their calls to have the roof of the mall replaced. “The landlord doesn’t respond to our requests to have the leaks repaired,” he said.

Nishaad Ebrahim, who owns Autozone at the mall, said they have had to pay full rent irrespective of the national Covid-19 lockdown and that small businesses could ill afford expenses if they were not operating.

He said the patch-up work has not solved their problem.

Two years ago the Plainsman spoke to workers at Lady Bee’s deli diner, when it used to be closer to the middle entrance.

At the time a piece of plastic covered a printer to protect it from water dripping from the ceiling, the rain falling outside making its way into the mall (“Tenants miffed at mall”, Plainsman, August 22 2018). Spur has since occupied that spot.

Bronwyn Bartnick, portfolio manager for Excellerate Real Estate Services, trading as JHI, which manages Westgate Mall, on behalf of Arrowhead Properties, said the entire north side of the mall had just been waterproofed at a cost of more than R5 million and comes with a 10-year guarantee.

The south side of the mall is due for repairs in the next few months, which she said “is also a mammoth project and will cost millions”

“The landlord has done a lot and we’ll continue to do everything in our power to prevent further leaks.

“We are dealing with a massive roof and projects of this nature take time,” she said.

Ms Bartnick said the landlord would treat and repair any leaks that surface in order to ensure tenants can trade uninterrupted.

“The landlord is committed to eliminating all leaks from the mall and has verifiably taken a proactive approach in resolving this matter.”

She said the roof is 30 000 squares metres, which would take take time.

Ms Bartnick called on customers and tenants to bear with them while they implement the necessary measures.