Buffalo City Metro issues demolition order to the owners of Enyobeni tavern

Inside the Enyobeni Tavern where 21 young people died. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Inside the Enyobeni Tavern where 21 young people died. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jul 20, 2023


The Buffalo City Metro (BCM) has ordered the owners of Enyobeni tavern to demolish the top floor of their double-story building in Scenery Park.

Vuyokazi and Siyakhangela Ndevu, who are the owners of Enyobeni tavern, where 21 patrons died last year, were served at the East London Magistrate's Court after their ongoing trial for violation of the liquor act.

Following last year's tragic incident, the BCM undertook an investigation into the operations of this business.

It was found that there was no building plan approved, and therefore the building was constructed illegally in contravention of section 4(1) of the national building regulations and building standards act 103 of 1977.

“It was further found that the Erf is zoned in terms of the BCMM land use scheme as residential zone 3A (single residential),” BCM spokesperson, Samkelo Ngwenya said.

Ngwenya said that the BCM directorate of spatial planning and development did not receive any application or correspondence seeking permission for the zoning of this property to operate as a business.

“BCM did not receive any land use application and it is confirmed that no departure was granted for the operation of a Tavern on this site and therefore to operate a tavern is illegal in terms of the zoning scheme.

“Based on these, the municipality’s legal division is undertaking actions which include serving the transgressor with a notice to comply with BCM building standards and regulations, and rectifying the encroachment that occurred in the property,” Ngwenya said.

Ngwenya maintained that this is a due legal process which expects the transgressors to comply and seize to operate and demolish the structure.

“Failing which, the municipality will seek further court permissions to act accordingly as permitted by its bylaws,” Ngwenya added.