ANC-led Government in City of Joburg Must Account for Continued Deaths and Fires in Hijacked Buildings

ActionSA Joburg Caucus is of the view that the fatalities owing to fire within the Johannesburg CBD should be squarely blamed on the delinquent ANC-led government. The Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda has used every trick in the book to deter ActionSA motions, which were aimed at addressing the issues emanating from hijacked buildings. 

We will, however, use every legislative piece to compel the City of Johannesburg to reclaim hijacked buildings before another soul is lost and call upon Gwamanda to usher the City of Johannesburg into an era where hijacked buildings will be a thing of the past.

Last September, the Council Programming Committee rejected two of the ActionSA-sponsored motions, citing the frivolous inquiry initiated by the Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, which, to date, has borne no fruit.

Our motions had intended to:

– Recommend the City of Johannesburg Council expropriate hijacked buildings and hand them to investors to convert them into affordable rental units.

– And to recommend that the Council convert the sectional title buildings into social housing.

We have always maintained that there is no need for an inquiry; the former Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, has laid a solid foundation in terms of dealing with the hijacked buildings within the City.

The recent fire on the corner of Commissioner and Nugget streets, which claimed two lives, is another grim reminder of an administration that has lost touch with reality and believes in quick fixes as opposed to permanent solutions.

This could have all been avoided had the City heeded our calls and reclaimed hundreds of these hijacked buildings which are not suitable for human occupation.

ActionSA Joburg Caucus will ensure that the executive accounts for the more than 6 million residents in the next City’s council.

We need a South Africa where respect for the rule of law is universal and entrenched in our society and where our laws are enforced to protect the rights of all people without fear, favour, or prejudice.