HIERS JOU BAKSTENE NOU: GF Jooste building's bricks are being sold by community members and skelms for R1 each. CREDIT: Bertram Malgas
While GF Jooste Hospital is being demolished, skelms and residents are selling the building at R1 per brick.

The Daily Voice team witnessed over 20 mense rummaging through the ruins at the hospital in Duinefontein Road while a bulldozer destroyed existing walls yesterday.

Along Duinefontein Road and on the opposite side of the main road, heaps of neatly stacked bricks were being sold while others chiselled cement off some bricks.

One woman was seen carting a trolley load of bricks to Manenberg.

Our team managed to speak to one of the “sellers” who was armed with a brick and hammer in his hands.

When asked how much the bricks were being sold for, he answered “R1”.

Security guards were present at the site but made no effort to stop the sale and collection of bricks.

Community leader Desiree Paris says the site has become a crime hot spot and said of the brick sellers: “They sell it for R1 each and they are even selling it on the pavement.

“The hospital should have been demolished a long time ago because crime happens; there was even a murder here and now these people are just taking the bricks and selling them.”

Last month the body of a 34-year-old man was found at the site with a gunshot wound to the head.

Police said the man and his 27-year-old friend had been collecting scrap metal from the condemned building when they heard voices and then gunshots.

The frightened man fled the hospital, leaving his friend behind and returned the next morning to find his body.

In 2015, the City of Cape Town said the abandoned building would be converted into a Safety and Security police training college.

The hospital was decommissioned in July 2014 and became a site for vandalism and theft.

Renovation of the building was expected to start last year at a cost of R785 million, while previous talks between the departments of Health and Public Works were underway. The public works department has subsequently taken over the project.

Yesterday, Byron la Hoe, communications officer for the Department of Transport and Public Works, said they have not been notified about the recent spate of thefts.

He added a contractor had been elected to move to the site by next week to install lights and a fence around the piece of land and confirmed the property was earmarked for skills and community development.

“The Department of Transport and Public Works [DTPW] has received all the necessary approvals to demolish the balance of the unsafe structures on the former GF Jooste site,” he said.

“A contractor is on stand-by and will move onto the site during the course of next week. Once the demolition is complete, the DTPW will erect fencing and install lights around the perimeter of the site to secure the vacant land parcel.

“As per the Community Action Plan, a request for proposals is being prepared by the DTPW for a skills/community development use of the old Jooste site, in whole or part.”

Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk says they are unable to comment on the theft, saying it was a matter for the DTPW.