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181 hijacked buildings in Joburg CBD endanger more lives

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181 hijacked buildings in Joburg CBD endanger more lives

23rd January 2024

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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by Polity.org.za, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by Polity.org.za.

There are now 181 hijacked buildings in Johannesburg's central business district. Many of these buildings resemble informal settlements and pose a significant risk to individuals unlawfully occupying them.

It is disturbing to learn that less than six months after the tragic Joburg building fire that claimed the lives of 77 people and injured many, yet another fire has befallen the city. Two lives have been lost and four people have been hospitalised after a building at the intersection of Commissioner and Nugget Streets in the Johannesburg CBD caught fire in the early hours of Sunday.

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It is concerning that the City of Johannesburg has failed to provide information on what they have done to address hijacked buildings and prevent further fires and loss of lives.

The DA urges that the government should engage building owners and stakeholders to address the issue of highjacked buildings. Furthermore, efforts should be directed towards relocating occupants, fighting building hijackers, and repurposing condemned structures.

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We call upon the Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, and the Mayor of Johannesburg, Kabelo Gwamanda, to advise what steps will be taken by them to prevent further fires and loss of life, especially as it has become clear that nothing has or is being done to safeguard the residents from these hazardous structures and conditions.

The DA will further table questions to the MECs for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and Human Settlements to ascertain what measures are being put in place to prevent such disasters from reoccurring.

 

Issued by Mervyn Cirota MPL - DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements

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