Wild fig at root of building renovation delay

Vuyolwethu Hole

WILD fig roots have caused a delay to the renovations of the old Tramways building in Port Elizabeth’s CBD, next to the Baakens River.

Yesterday workers were cutting up giant roots which had grown into and around the building’s walls.

The former Tramways and Jadene ice-rink building will be transformed into offices for the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), a restaurant and a rooftop garden.

“The roots had to be removed as they were compromising the stability of the building,” association planning and development manager Dorelle Sapere said.

“They grew in moist and damp gutters, starting from a drainpipe and made their way onto the building walls.” A small part of the building had been damaged due to the work.

The development is divided into two phases, with the renovation due to be completed by January.

Phase two will include a pedestrian bridge and cycle paths linking the building to Bridge Street and the northern bank of the Baakens River.

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