Scaffolding on a Blouberg building site fell onto the roof of a neighbouring property in wet and windy conditions last week.
On Sunday night, July 1, Imme Wolff was in her kitchen when she heard a loud bang. When she went outside, she saw the scaffolding from the four-storey building in Beach Boulevard leaning towards her property.
Ms Wolff and her husband, Heinz Wolff, first experienced problems with the building site when they complained that excavation had been done too close to their house, causing damage to the driveway.
In January last year, the contractors, Pew Construction, sank deep holes for the building, a block of flats, but by March erosion around the hole had swallowed the Wolff’s boundary wall.
Later in the year, the couple’s headaches continued with building debris and cement splatters defacing their property (“Building drives neighbours up the wall,” Tabletalk December 20, 2017).
“The loud bang was most probably one or more of the steel rods securing the scaffolding that came loose,” said Ms Wolff.
She called the owner, Inocencia Oberholzer, to tell her what had happened and Ms Oberholzer, in turn, called the project manager Willie van der Linden.
“I called the contractor who immediately rustled up a team to come to the site,” said Mr Van der Linden.
But by the time they reached the house it was too late as the scaffolding had already fallen.
Ms Wolff said she and her husband had been on their way to the airport to pick up family but with the looming disaster had decided to stay home. She said she had barely reached her door to get back into the house “when it all came down with a hell of a bang”.
“It was very dangerous. We did not know what else was going to fall. There were pieces of scaffolding planks and steal rods laying around. It blocked the driveway, and I was just glad we got the car out before it came down,” she said.
Ms Wolff said the mess had been removed from the driveway the same evening and the roof tiles fixed the following day.
The fallen scaffolding also broke the gutters on the side of the house and the holes in the roof tiles punctured the plastic sheet under the roof tiles.
“Water drips from the roof when it rains now.”
Ms Wolff said she had family visiting from overseas and would do a proper “internal assessment” once they had left.
Mr Van der Linden said he was fortunate to have such an “accommodating contractor” who had done everything possible to mend damage caused to Ms Wolff’s house.
He said the development was set to be complete towards the “end of September, early October”, adding that the only snag they were dealing with was the electricity supply.
Ms Wolff was promised a boundary wall would be put up last year but it didn’t materialise, although Mr Van der Linden said it would be a top priority in the new year.
Last week he said it would be built in the next month. And on Friday Ms Wolff told Tabletalk work on the boundary wall had started.