At least 7 people lost their lives while others sustained injuries when a fire broke out on the second floor of the Cape York building on the corner of Jeppe and Nugget Streets, in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Luyanda Mfeka, the City of Joburg's media specialist says the city has, for some time now engaged in numerous efforts to reclaim hijacked buildings. Mfeka adds that ongoing raids have been conducted to identify slum lords and help those living in these deplorable conditions.
The city has also set aside R219 million to identify city owned properties that will be converted to allocated the displaced and those found to be residing in hijacked buildings says Mfeka.
The city's housing backlog for example has about 300 000 people on it.— Luyanda Mfeka, City of Joburg's media specialist
Following Wednesday's tragic incident, it has been incredibly difficult to temporarily house those affected by the fires and moved out of the building says Mfeka. He goes on to say that they are in talks with the department of human settlements to find a solution.
Food parcels and blankets have since been distributed to those affected and displaced because of the blaze.
The issue of hijacked buildings doesn't discriminate between nationalities.— Luyanda Mfeka, City of Joburg's media specialist
Mfeka says the City of Johannesburg, together with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the owner of the building have agreed to seal the building.