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Kunene calls for urgent evacuation of hijacked Joburg buildings

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The City of Johannesburg’s Transport MMC Kenny Kunene says dilapidated buildings in the city are a crime scene and people must be urgently evacuated.

The Gauteng government has launched a Commission of Inquiry into the deadly Marshalltown fire.

It will probe the prevalence of hijacked buildings in the city and recommend who must be held responsible for the deadly blaze that ripped through a hijacked building last Thursday.

Kunene has raised the importance of closing down hijacked and hazardous buildings in the city.

“There’s only one way to save the lives of our people, we went to inspect a building on Denver and Albert opposite the building that burnt and what we found in that building was appalling. There’s no ablution facility, no electricity, no water, the roof has been turned into a toilet on the stairs it’s urine, it’s smelling everywhere. Some rooms don’t have doors, it’s curtains. We were breaking through some of the doors that were locked, we found drugs, illegal cigarette, illegal alcohol, needles, nyaope and we also found a 18-year-old girl locked by a Tanzanian man and we got to understand that he gives her food and claims to be a boyfriend.”

Meanwhile, MMC for Public Safety in the City Mgcini Tshwaku says the city will be closing Vannin Court in Hillbrow, as it has been deemed unsafe.

This follows an inspection of the hijacked building, earlier on Tuesday.

The inspection was aimed at assessing the conditions of the building and to make a decision on when they are going to remove the illegal occupants. This follows the tragic incident last week, where a hijacked building caught fire in Marshalltown, resulting in 77 deaths.

Tshwaku says the residents are going to be given eviction notices on Tuesday.

“This building here in Vannin Court will be closed, we will be giving them a notice and we are going to talk to the city manager now to ensure that we put them into a shelter. And then we will get to the process of expropriating a building without compensation. It used to be owned by an individual, by a trust, and that individual has since passed on and the security company which was guarding it moved on because they were owed about R4 million.”

Source: SABC LIve

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