Ravensmead police and Law Enforcement were called to the plot in 42nd Avenue yesterday morning after a group of more than 80 residents gathered with hammers and wheelie bins and tore down roofs and walls of the vacant buildings.
They also stripped the metal fittings and pipes and were seen running away from the site with building materials in wheelie bins.
Angry residents say the depot has been overrun with skollies and on Wednesday a young couple skarreling for scrap metal were shot in the back and hospitalised.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana says the shooting occurred at 12.40pm and a 28-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were wounded.
No arrests have been made.
When the Daily Voice arrived at the site, police and Law Enforcement officers moved people off the property. As they left, a large crowd stormed the site and started stripping the buildings again.
A 67-year-old ouma, who asked not to be named, says two security guards were employed at the site but thugs overpowered them.
“The skollies just take over and this place makes it unsafe for us. We live opposite and see all the things going on there,” she said.
“Why did the council just leave it open like that when people could have lived there?
“It’s right, they must take that place down. Look at what happened to those children (shooting victims).”
Community worker Pastor Adam Alexander says the site has been vacant for about four months now and is causing a headache for residents.
“Some of the residents are genuinely upset, but the looting has also started because some people are just being opportunistic. That property poses a risk to the community like it is standing there,” said Pastor Alexander.
Mayco Member for Assets and Facilities Management, Stuart Diamond, says staff were moved from the facility following threats.
“The building in question was used as a maintenance depot for more than 35 years and services most of the City’s rental units from Elsies River to Atlantis. During the past six months, periodic incidents of vandalism have occurred at the premises. Staff have been threatened by gangsters and unwanted visitors at the depot on a few occasions.
“The premises were guarded by a private security company on a 24-hour basis, but intruders still managed to scale high security fences to vandalise the building. Unfortunately, gangsters in the area have continuously threatened the security guards resulting in two security guards having to flee for their lives after being threatened.”
He said the cost of damage is still to be determined and urged the public to piemp perpetrators.