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Council stops food outlet construction

buildingBoitumelo Koloi

MASERU — The Maseru City Council (MCC) has stopped the construction of a food trading franchise outlet of Italian origin Maligans Pub and Grill along the Kingsway in Maseru.

According to MCC’s Public Relations Officer Lintle Moerane, the establishment has not complied with the relevant legal provisions for building and construction in its jurisdiction.

The LNDC (Lesotho National Development Corporation), the country’s main owners of immovable property, are owners of the premises where Maligans Pub and Grill intend to set up shop.

“The LNDC did not apply for a building permit hence we could not let them continue with their construction operations,” Moerane said.

She said as a legal requisite, a building permit should be granted by the council for any new building, construction or extension work done to property within the MCC jurisdiction.

She said in the absence of such a document, the structure in question would have to be aborted until such a time those relevant legal provisions have been complied with.

The proposed establishment, to be run by the Lambience Pub and Grill owned by one Tšita Mohale who is a local businessperson, is expected to begin operations in the country in the next two weeks.

Maligans, which is already trading in the neighbouring South Africa in Bloemfontein and Pretoria, will be the first pub and grill entity in the country.

As part of preparations for the commencement of trade set for December 16, LNDC is attaching a deck to the plot that has been earmarked for the proposed business.

According to Chaka Nkofo, Acting Head of Property Management at LNDC, the deck which is attached to the proposed shopping area is not an extension of the existing building.

“The structure that we are erecting is not an extension to the building because it does not even bear much structural changes”, Nkofo said.

He said the attachment would serve as a deck characterised by a brick wall no more than 1.2 metres in height. He said the deck would also be covered against unfavourable weather to the revellers.

Nkofo maintains that a structure like that, which is not an extension to the existing building, does not necessarily warrant an application for a building permit.

He confirmed however that, operations on site had been stopped by a directive from the MCC who required a permit for the works.

“MCC instructed us to halt operations pending the building permit, but we understand that this structure does not warrant such because it is not an extension but a deck,” he said adding that they were yet to deliberate on the matter with MCC tomorrow.

Nkofo said the halting of construction was just a misunderstanding which would be addressed accordingly.

Meanwhile, Moerane said that the MCC had not been made aware of the structure in question.

“We do not even know what it is,” she said.

She added that another critical factor for consideration by MCC in granting building permits for structures constructed along a busy road was the issue of ample pedestrian walking space.

“Buildings do not have to interfere with the freedom and wellbeing of the public for instance pedestrian traffic flow.

“That’s why we even got rid of small scale traders who operated from the pavements and that is also the reason why we clamp vehicles that are packed on the same,” Moerane said.

Nkofo does however maintain that the deck “does not hamper the free flow of pedestrian traffic”.

“Pedestrians still have ample space to walk between the deck and the road, they are still able to walk without having to line-up in order to make it past the structure,” Nkofo said.


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