UPDATE: Businesses near Centurion sinkhole take metro to court

Business owners around the Centurion sinkhole have resolved to take the Tshwane metro to court.

They gathered on Thursday when they decided enough was enough.

Businesses in Jean Avenue and Gerhard Street have suffered as a result of the sinkhole.

Philip Lourens, owner of the Zenex filling station situated next to the sinkhole, said business activities had shrunk by more than 50% since May.

“We have asked for help in many different ways and still no response or answers,” said Louwrens, adding he had opened a temporary road through his filling station.

“About 7 000 vehicles make use of this detour but motorists won’t stop to fill up because they don’t want to be caught in the traffic jam,” he said.

Garry Canaris staring into the sinkhole that has harmed his business.

ALSO READ: VIDEO: UPDATE: Centurion businesses closing doors over sinkhole

Garry Canaris, owner of the News Cafe, said his business was closing down at the end of the month due to the lack of business.

“I have to find R120 000 a month just to sustain my business… pay salaries,” said Canaris.

Canaris said he could not afford to keep the doors open through the festive season and would rather use the money to pay his employees.

He said his employees were very loyal and it worried him to have to let them go.

“I don’t want to contribute to the already high unemployment rate and I’m worried about my people but it has now reached a critical point.”

Canaris said he had done a snap survey asking his former customers why they were not visiting anymore, and the answers had not surprised him.

“People refuse to support the centre because the sinkhole has caused a security risk.”

ALSO READ: New sinkhole emerges in Centurion

He said people were worried about accidents, dust on cars and the rising number of muggings around the sinkhole.

Local ward councillor David Farquharson, who was present at the meeting, said it was unfortunate that businesses had to close their doors.

“I got word that the sinkhole would be repaired by July next year.”

Farquharson said he could not comment on the threatened lawsuit.

Rekord earlier reported that the repair of the sinkhole would start this month but to date, no construction has begun.


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Jason Milford

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