Demolish 'uninhabitable' Cape York building – Mbalula

2017-07-05 21:59
The Cape York building in Johannesburg. (Iavan Pijoos)

The Cape York building in Johannesburg. (Iavan Pijoos)

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2017-07-05 18:12

With around 85 buildings hijacked by illegal occupants in Johannesburg, a disaster was inevitable, city Mayor Herman Mashaba said on Wednesday after a fire at the City York building in Johannesburg's CBD claimed seven lives. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg – The fire at the Cape York building in Johannesburg was a clear indication that it should be demolished, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Wednesday.

Seven people were killed in the fire, which residents believe was caused by a generator. 

"There are many buildings in the Johannesburg CBD that are not safe for people to live in. The Cape York building, also called ‘Mnyamandawo’, must be demolished. It is a hazard to not only those who live in it but also Johannesburg residents," Mbalula said in a statement.

Mbalula recently visited the building, which he had said it was “not habitable”.

"The building has no electricity or water and doesn't have any form of sanitation. Criminals convert these old unsafe buildings into crime havens to sell drugs, rape and kill." 

According to Mbalula, when he visited the building, he was met by residents from different parts of the country and also from neighbouring countries.

"Legal and illegal immigrants who come to Johannesburg looking for opportunities make these buildings their homes out of desperation. This is why we need to work with the city and other relevant departments in addressing this issue."

He expressed his condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the fire.

"We owe it to them and those who call Johannesburg home and a place of work to get rid of crime in the streets of the city."

The minister said police had to work with other law enforcement agencies to clean Johannesburg.

Mbalula said he also planned to work with the city to clean up the CBD.

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  johannesburg  |  fires

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