Mzansi News

Mbalula calls for Joburg fire building to be demolished

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula wants a Johannesburg building demolished after seven people died in a fire on the premises.

Last month, Mbalula visited the building during a tour of a number of problem properties in the city.

One of the victims fell to his death as he tried to escape the blaze at the Cape York building in the CBD.

Officials are still investigating the cause, but residents say they use candles and generators because the property has no electricity.

Many residents of Cape York spent the night on the pavements. They said they did not have anywhere else to go.

Officials say it’s one of 85 hijacked structures in line for rehabilitation or condemnation.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said that the city of was facing a housing backlog of about 300,000 units. The city had an average delivery of only 3,500 housing units per year.

Mashaba said slumlords were making matters worse by using poor and vulnerable residents’ desperation to their advantage by extorting huge sums of money from those who turn to them for shelter, even under the most horrible of living conditions.

“The building has been declared a crime scene for the duration of this investigation; we have agreed with the building’s owner that it will be sealed once the investigation is complete‚” Mashaba said.

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