Two dozen illegal occupants kicked out of City of Johannesburg building
The City of Johannesburg has evicted 23 people who were illegally occupying its property in New Doornfontein, in the city centre.
“The eviction was a result of the city observing an increase in the number of incidents of lawlessness in certain areas of the city, where criminal syndicates are using the national lockdown to take over unoccupied buildings and to invade open spaces and land,” the city said in a statement.
It said it had directed the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and Group Forensics and Investigative Services to act “swiftly” to protect the assets of the city and private citizens for the greater interests of all citizens including the poor and homeless.
Increased security personnel will be deployed to guard city properties and to prevent any further incidents of illegality.
“The city, working together with the provincial department of social development, has made provision for the homeless by accommodating them in various recreational centres across the city. Therefore, we will not tolerate unlawful invasions under the false pretence or narrative that people are homeless. An investigation to track down these criminal syndicates is currently under way,” said the city.
“We are concerned that people are using this lockdown period to take advantage of the law by illegally occupying city buildings. The city is committed to ensuring that those affected by the evictions be accommodated during this period at identified centres that the city has identified to accommodate the homeless, as per the national lockdown regulations on eviction,” said mayor Geoff Makhubo.
“I urge everyone to work together with the city and adhere to the laws governing this country and not act in an unlawful manner that may result in evictions and arrests” Makhubo added.