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The City of Johannesburg Council Programming Committee today rejected two of the ActionSA sponsored motions, including:
- A motion to expropriate hijacked buildings and hand them to investors to convert them into affordable rental units,
- A motion recommending the City of Johannesburg Council convert the Sectional Tittle Buildings into Social housing.
We consider the rejection of these two critical motions as an insult to the families of those 77 people who have recently lost their loved ones owing to the inferno in Usindiso Building, Marshalltown.
We, equally place the blame squarely on the Premier of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, who decided to initiate a frivolous commission of inquiry. This commission is investigating the pervasiveness of hijacked buildings in Johannesburg. The commission of inquiry has been given six months to complete its work.
In essence, the City is saying during the period of this six months; let other buildings burn, let those brazen criminals continue hijacking the City Buildings. This affirms our long-standing position that the City effectively has no Mayor.
We are gravely concerned about the manner in which our City is conducting its business. Instead of being active, they have adopted this defensive and reactionary posture. How many lives must be lost while waiting for this inquiry to “complete its work”?
Whilst the Province conducts its frivolous inquiry, we appeal to the Johannesburg Mayor, Kabelo Gwamanda, to share his plans with the public in dealing with the hijacked buildings.
Furthermore, the Mayor should highlight the plans to counter any lawsuit that might come as results of reclaiming these hijacked buildings.
We have always maintained that there is no need for an inquiry; the former Johannesburg Mayor, who is the President of the ActionSA, Herman Mashaba, has laid a solid foundation for dealing with the hijacked buildings within the City.
Whilst we acknowledge that the City and the Province has no decisive plan to handle the hijacked buildings issue in Gauteng, as the party rooted in ethical leadership, we cannot sit back. ActionSA will exhaust all available avenues to ensure that those hijacked buildings are dealt with.
ActionSA will bring back this motion again in the near future; we have a role to bring back the rule of law in our city. Today’s move will not deter us.
Issued by ActionSA Joburg Chief Whip, Zark Lebatlang