The City of Johannesburg says it has identified 85 hijacked buildings in its efforts to clean up the city. It plans to clamp down on abandoned and hijacked buildings and identify slum lords.
Adv Victoria Rammala is director of Property and Hi-jacked Building Investigations in the City of Joburg.
She says since Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba's administration took office, there has been visible intervention and immense support towards tackling the issue of hijacked buildings.
Rammala says even the Department of Home Affairs and immigration officers have stepped in to help identify foreign nationals occupying and hijacking buildings in the city.
We received a lot of complaints about the hijacked buildings. Some have been walk-ins or complaints from the owners of the buildings.— Adv Victoria Rammala, director of Property and Hi-jacked Building Investigations in the City of Joburg
In some cases, the property and building owners are refused access to their buildings. She adds that some hijacked buildings are found to belong to people who are deceased and are then hijacked through fraudulent transfers.
We have uncovered that in some cases there was money paid which is reflected on our systems for clearance but didn't reach the city's coffers.— Adv Victoria Rammala, director of Property and Hi-jacked Building Investigations in the City of Joburg
Rammala says there is a syndicate that is at the forefront of hijacking buildings but assures listeners that guilty parties will be nabbed.
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This article first appeared on 702 : [LISTEN] How the City of Joburg plans to do away with hijacked buildings