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Counterfeit sweatshop uncovered in City
​A counterfeit clothing manufacturing outlet was found
operating in the City centre during a joint night operation
targeted at problem buildings.
CITY officials uncovered a sweatshop operating in the City centre during a problem buildings joint operation on 26 September. The illegal clothing factory was producing counterfeit Jockey underwear.

The Problem Building By-law aims to identify, control and rehabilitate derelict buildings. Fines range from R1 500 to R500 000 and the City has about 90 buildings on its list.

Head of the City’s Inner Thekwini Regeneration and Urban Management Programme Hoosen Moolla said during the police raid at the Habibiah Building in Bertha Mkhize Street, police discovered a room with 22 sewing machines and workers using ink and stencilled plates with the Jockey logo engraved on it. Moolla said the matter has been handled over to the South African Police Service for further investigations.

He added that Home Affairs is also investigating the manufacturing outlet for undocumented foreign nationals. The night raid targeted derelict and problem buildings in the City centre and the Mahatma Gandhi precinct in South Beach.

Moolla said another building on Dr Pixley KaSeme Street was overcrowded and had no fire equipment and proper ventilation. Tenants were found cooking on the corridors of the three-storey building. In Anton Lembede Street, two problem buildings were inspected. Moolla said one of the buildings was used as an illegal student accommodation, where students were living in deplorable conditions. The second building was an abandoned property that once operated as a tavern and was now being used as a drug den.

Some building owners were also fined during the raid for by-law non-compliance. A building owner in Woodford Groove on uMngeni Road was fined for non-compliance. The two storey building had 41 crammed rooms and the monthly rental ranged from R1800 to R2500.

jessie.singh@durban.gov.za 
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