York Hostel in municipal sights
Alida de Beer
Aderelict building in the CBD may at last be put to good use. In search of suitable office space in the CBD to accommodate the George Municipality's growing staff complement, the George Council is considering the option of acquiring York Hostel on the corner of Market and Cradock streets.
The hostel, which belongs to the Department of Transport and Public Works, has been standing empty for more than 10 years. In his address at a council meeting on 26 September, Mayor Melvin Naik said the York Hostel is ideally situated for offices. The municipality has expressed its interest to acquire the premises on many occasions. Various letters have been sent to the department and further engagements have taken place. "The municipality is currently waiting for Public Works to confirm when further discussions will commence, whereafter the matter will be expedited."
In April this year, Stephen Heyns, acting communications head at Public Works, told the George Herald that the Western Cape Health Department and George Municipality had put forward "clear expressions of interest in using the property". At the time he was responding to a query regarding the Lions Club that had hoped to use the building as offices and a base from where it could deliver services to the community.
The municipality is also investigating two other options to expand - Doneraile House in Doneraile Street and the former Absa building (next to the SA Revenue Services) in York Street.