Rights' group claims warnings about derelict building ignored, City disagrees

The City of Joburg says it has detailed correspondence with the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) over an occupancy audit that was meant to be conducted on the derelict building where three children were killed due to a wall collapse in Doornfontein, on Monday.

Read: 3 children die in Doornfontein wall collapse

Also read: City of Joburg devastated by death of 3 children after wall collapse

Director of litigation at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) Nomzamo Zondo says the organisation has been pressing the city for alternative accommodation for the residents, since August.

We had asked even the owner of the building, saying please relocate this community to somewhere else which is better and safe but the city was saying they have no accommodation available.

Nomzamo Zondo, Director of litigation at Seri

Zondo insists that the City can buy buildings and renovate them.

There are buildings that are available, there are buildings owned by the provincial government, there is land that the City has sold that it could right now be renovating to move these communities to. It is not necessarily that the City has its hands tied but because it has refused to take the very first step to make sure that it can provide accommodation.

Nomzamo Zondo, Director of litigation at Seri

Click on the link below to listen to the interview:

Legal Advisor to City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba Tony Taverna-Turison says at least 100 000 people live under these conditions and that the city cannot take on the task on it's own because of financial constraints.

He insists efforts are being made to resolve this.

Speaking on the Doornfontein building Taverna-Turison says the City has been in correspondence with Seri for over four months to conduct an occupancy audit before it can provide alternative accommodation.

When we did an occupancy audit on the 19th of August and again on the 21st of August these were non conclusive, it was vital that we find another date to do a proper occupancy audit. It was Seri's request that we had to have them present for such audits.

Tony Taverna-Turison, Legal Advisor to City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba

I have detailed correspondence begging Seri and Nomzamo specifically to assist the city in conducting this audit. I have email chats that I can read to you.

Tony Taverna-Turison, Legal Advisor to City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba

He says they were shocked by Seri's statements.

Our final letter from our lawyers on the 15th of December 4 months later, requested please confirm when in the new year you will be available to attend to the final audit for these residents, the building we are talking about where the wall collapsed yesterday.

Tony Taverna-Turison, Legal Advisor to City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba

Click on the link below to hear his response....


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