Council adopts motion to reclaim hijacked buildings

Yesterday, ActionSA Ekurhuleni Caucus tabled a motion to allow the City to begin the process of reclaiming hijacked, abandoned and dilapidated buildings. The motion was supported by all parties represented in Council, with the exception of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The motion stems from ActionSA’s 2021 Local Government Election Manifesto, which commits us to the rejuvenation of the inner city of Ekurhuleni. This includes ensuring that the Multi-Party Coalition Government is able to develop quality low-cost housing, student accommodation, and affordable rental space for small businesses.

With the passing of this motion, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD), led by Cllr Moseki as MMC for Community Safety, will commence with plans to reclaim hijacked, abandoned and dilapidated buildings throughout the City. The redevelopment of such properties will greatly assist the City in enhancing access to affordable accommodation for our residents close to economic opportunities.

To ensure that this challenge is addressed holistically, it is imperative that cases of property hijacking are dealt with both criminally and civilly. The process includes the criminal prosecution of the hijackers, as well as civil litigation to address the issues of by-law compliance. The motion will see cases investigated by the City to identify the appropriate intervention to reclaim the buildings, including declaratory orders, attachment of debts, abandonment agreements, and expropriation.

It is common knowledge that the City of Ekurhuleni is facing a housing crisis, highlighted by the following statistics:

  • Estimated 200 000 housing unit backlog;
  • 123 000 individuals on the housing waiting list;
  • Estimated 98 informal settlements; and
  • Estimated thousands of individuals migrating to the City per month.

It is therefore key for us to find new, innovative ways to address this crisis.

After decades of neglect and a lack of political will to deal with criminality in our inner cities, this administration utilising the EMPD under the leadership of MMC Moseki is determined to transform all inner cities into safe and habitable places for our residents to live, work and play. ActionSA is fixing Ekurhuleni one ward at a time.