XtraSpace Self Storage, which operates more than 20 storage facilities in South Africa, has agreed to help clean up a decommissioned electrical sub-station in Durban, South Africa, that has become a haven for heroin addicts. The company is working with local nonprofit Umbilo Business Forum (UBF) to salvage the property, which is owned by the eThekwini municipality, according to the source.
XtraSpace operates three facilities in Durban, including two on Khuzimpi Shezi Road where the sub-station is located. “We have been here for three years and have invested money in developing our properties,” CEO Colleen Mansour told the source. “A new fence is going up [at the sub-station site]. We will clean up the premises. The safety of our staff and customers is very important. We can’t have a derelict property bringing down the area.”
The local heroin problem has prevented other businesses from developing in the area, according to UBF spokesperson Ian Campbell-Gillies. The former sub-station is “littered with dirt and human feces,” the source reported.
“We fear that if there is a mass exodus of businesses here, the area could deteriorate rapidly,” Campbell-Gillies said. “We want to include a satellite police station and a base where these addicts can be helped. We will offer them jobs and address their sanitation problem.”
Though UBF and XtraSpace have permission from the municipality to perform the cleanup, local officials are keen to hold on to the property for its own potential use. “They were granted a permit to adopt the area and utilize it conditionally,” Tozi Mthethwa, a spokesperson for eThekwini, told the source. “A lease agreement was not signed, and if the city needs the property, notice will be given to the Umbilo Business Forum and XtraSpace. The city is not aware of plans to utilize the area as a training facility for drug addicts.”
XtraSpace operates 21 self-storage facilities in the South African provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. In addition to traditional self-storage space, the company’s locations offer business centers with flexible offices for small and mid-sized companies. The company also offers domestic and international courier services. It launched its SpaceBox valet-storage service in 2015.
Daily News, Drive to Help Addicts at Sub-Station