GEORGE NEWS - There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for business owners and residents of Cathedral Street regarding the infamous "drug house" that has become a thorn in the flesh for many.
Numerous complaints regarding the inhabitants and their alleged criminal activities have reached George Herald since the start of the year after our extensively reporting on the house last year.
The complaints range from alleged drug dealing, prostitution, theft out of motor vehicles, and vandalism of nearby properties and buildings, to child abuse, domestic abuse, human trafficking and people urinating and defecating in front of the house and on neighbouring properties.
But it would seem that they can expect a turn for the better soon.
According to Acting Municipal Manager, Dr Michele Gratz, the property owner has been located and necessary steps to rectify the illegal activities on the property will be instituted against him shortly.
"We are hopeful that the steps taken by the municipality will resolve the matter as quickly as possible, but in the meantime we continue to appeal to the police and the authority responsible for public health to visit the property on a regular basis to ensure compliance with legislation and health and safety standards," she said.
Southern Cape police spokesperson, Capt Malcolm Pojie, said that various arrests have been made in the recent past and "undesired goods and elements" have been confiscated from the property.
"We are aware of the situation in Cathedral Street and have already launched various operations to address the issues highlighted by members of the community. We have also engaged with all relevant role players and departments in an effort to collectively deal with the issues at hand," he said.
Pojie did not want to divulge much, but said that progress has been made regarding the issues pertaining to the infamous drug house.
However, business owners and residents are adamant that something must be done very soon before someone gets hurt.
"It has been a thorn in everybody's side for many years," one business owner said. "We are glad that something is finally being done. Our building has a long history of burglaries that are no doubt linked to our neighbours.
"We have had fixtures stolen from our property and a contractor threatened with a knife. Our security guard was attacked so we had to have two security guards until we could put up electric fencing.
"Our businesses and our lives are under threat. That building is on a prime business premises that is simply deteriorating when it could be generating extra salaries in a time where jobs are scarce. Hopefully it can be sorted out quickly."