Lockdown: City of Joburg kicks out illegal occupants, vows to clamp down on invasions

Empty streets in Johannesburg at the start of a 21-day lockdown (Pieter du Toit, News24)
Empty streets in Johannesburg at the start of a 21-day lockdown (Pieter du Toit, News24)

The City of Johannesburg has vowed to clamp down on the illegal invasion of land and hijacking of buildings, after 23 illegal occupants were evicted from a city-owned property.

The eviction at the property in Van Beeck Street, New Doornfontein followed an "increase in the number of incidents of lawlessness" in some suburbs of the city, the City said in a statement. It alleged that criminal syndicates are using the national lockdown to take over unoccupied buildings and to invade open spaces and land. 

"Citizens are urged to heed the warning and refrain from unlawful activities within the City. The City has directed the Johannesburg Metro Police Department 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," Mayor Geoff Makhubo said in the statement.

Increased security personnel will be deployed to guard city-owned properties and to prevent any further incidents, according to the statement.

"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 Makhubo.

The City, with the assistance of the provincial social development department has accommodated the homeless in various recreation centres across the metro.

"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 underway," said Makhubo.

Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Have you downloaded the Covid-19 tracing app?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes I have
14% - 1603 votes
No, and I will not be downloading it
76% - 8659 votes
Not yet, but I plan to
9% - 1066 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.95
(+0.27)
ZAR/GBP
21.78
(+0.56)
ZAR/EUR
19.90
(-0.12)
ZAR/AUD
12.09
(-0.08)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.66)
Gold
1897.46
(+0.78)
Silver
24.19
(+1.84)
Platinum
885.00
(+0.57)
Brent Crude
42.88
(+1.08)
Palladium
2305.01
(+2.82)
All Share
54506.88
(-0.39)
Top 40
50319.94
(-0.51)
Financial 15
10003.88
(+0.72)
Industrial 25
73358.17
(-0.86)
Resource 10
54053.58
(-0.58)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo