‘Hellhole’: Fury as 200 people forced to quarantine in KZN red light district

An ‘urgent intervention’ has been requested after 200 cruise ship workers, currently quarantining in Durban, were allegedly given accommodation in the region’s infamous ‘red light district’.

The ship Carnival Fascination docked in the Durban harbour yesterday and all of the staff left on board were taken to their mandatory 14-day self-isolation sites. However, only 100 of them were taken to a favourable location, whereas the majority ended up at Point Road – an area notorious for prostitution.

‘Red light district’ location for quarantine group

But according to DA MP Tim Brauteseth – who conducted an oversight visit to the facility on Thursday night – the problems don’t just end with the seedy location. The actual condition of the rooms forced the politician to describe the Coastlands Apartments as a ‘hellhole’, citing the presence of dead pigeons and cockroaches in his report:

“Over 300 South African employees from the Carnival Cruise Line disembarked to begin their sojourn in local quarantine facilities. A portion of the group went to hotels in North Beach and Umhlanga. The remaining group of 200 were taken to the Coastlands Self Catering Apartments in the notorious Point red light district.”

“When the group was dropped at the hotel they were greeted by staff who were not prepared for their arrival. They were placed in rooms that were filthy replete with dead pigeons and cockroaches galore. The facilities in most of the rooms are broken and rusted and there are no cleaning materials.”

Tim Brauteseth

Plethora of problems reported in ‘hellhole’ facility

Many of the guests have rallied against their ‘inhumane treatment’, and the problems continue to pile-up. following issues were raised by irate guests on Thursday evening:

  • The hotel ‘has an overwhelming smell of mould’ which is affecting many of the group’s health.
  • Many of the group are opting to sleep in the lobby rather than the rooms.
  • The hotel’s air conditioning does not work, with some rooms compared to feeling like ‘saunas’
  • Complaints have been raised about a lack of Wi-Fi for guests to make contact with the outside world.
  • No medical screenings are provided, and the rules on guests entering and leaving the building are extremely lax.
  • Food is not being provided on-site, forcing many to break quarantine and purchase their own items.

Brauteseth is now demanding that Patricia de Lille and the Department of Public Works act swiftly to get the quarantined cohort out these squalid locations, and into a more desirable facility.

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