In the Press: Rejuvenating inner-city one building at a time

JOBURG – The issues within Joburg’s inner-city are no secret.
January 31, 2017
By Chantelle Fourie

The Executive Major of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba said Johannesburg’s rejuvenation is crucial to reaching a 5 per cent annual economic growth.

On 26 January, the City’s Health and Social Development Department, the Urban Management Department, more than 100 members of the South African Police Service, Metro police, Johannesburg Roads Agency, Joburg Water and Pikitup worked together during a three-hour operation to assist and relocate residents from an old dilapidated building situated on the corner of Commissioner and Goud streets in Johannesburg.

The City’s Public Safety MMC, Michael Sun, said this follows numerous complaints received by the City regarding the health and safety of the building and the high rate of incidences of crime plaguing the area.

“On inspection of the building, it was found that a significant portion of it had collapsed and residents were found to have no access to safe running water or electricity. The City has since provided accommodation to 13 people at a City shelter,” Sun said.
A number of illegal items such as firearms, knives and foreign currency, were also confiscated during the operation.

Sun said that the owners of the structure have been instructed to have the building demolished by next week.

Hijacked buildings have become a plague within the inner-city. High-rises have not only become dangerous to live in but impact on social safety as a whole.

The 130-year-old city’s sidewalks have become home to 3 500 people, according to a census by the Department of Social Development three years ago. This number excludes people who live in hijacked buildings.

Mashaba believes that through the removal of criminal elements and making investment in the inner-city more attractive, the area will be transformed, bringing a decrease to criminal activities.