Hundreds of Pretoria residents gathered near the Union Buildings to witness the implosion of the Munitoria, the City of Tshwane's old headquarters.
PRETORIA - Pretoria residents thronged to the Union Buildings to witness the implosion of the City of Tshwane&39;s old headquarters, the Munitoria.
A massive dust cloud hung in the air over the implosion site as the crowd began to thin out.
The 44-year-old building in the city centre tumbled down at midday in a thunderous blast, followed by large billows of smoke and dust.
The building, which had been wrapped in a blast curtain, was demolished to pave the way for a new municipal headquarters, named Tshwane House.
The structure had been damaged by fire on different occasions.
Most streets in the city had been cordoned off and many police officers were patrolling the area near the Munitoria.
Requisite precautionary and safety measures were implemented to reduce the implosion&39;s impact on nearby residents, businesses and animals at the Pretoria Zoo, said Teddy Habib of Draco Demolition, the company contracted for the demolition.
“This (the safety measures) was part of our commitment to protect the environment and reduce the potential effects of demolition to acceptable limits,” he said.
City manager Jason Ngobeni said the Munitoria demolition made way for the construction of a new state-of-the-art municipal headquarters.
He said service delivery in the capital city would be boosted by the erection of the new headquarters, named Tshwane House.
“The soon to be constructed Tshwane House will enable greater ease of access to services for Tshwane citizens and will further inculcate a culture of increased organisational efficiency”, said Ngobeni.
“The new headquarters will accommodate 1500 municipal employees considered to be the nerve centre of the municipality, and will thus reduce costs and provide for efficient decision-making.”
The construction of Tshwane House is part of the Tshwane 2055 vision and a regeneration programme aimed at reviving the deteriorated inner city.
Tshwane House will be built in partnership with a business consortium.
The consortium includes Standard Bank, Nedbank, Group 5 and an assortment of smaller partners.
The Munitoria was built as the municipal headquarters of the then City Council of Pretoria during the 1960s and its official inauguration took place on 28 February 1969.