Cause of hijacked building fire to be investigated

A preliminary investigation into what caused the fire that started this morning in Johannesburg’s inner city, claiming seven lives, will now begin.
The City of Johannesburg’s mayor, Herman Mashaba, tweeted that he was at the scene, assessing the damage.


The hijacked Cape York building, Mashaba said, is an all too familiar tragic narrative in the inner city. “[Residents] live in squalor and pay with their [lives].”
Onlookers reported residents trying to escape the fire by tying ropes with sheets. One person jumped to his death.


Mashaba has said hijacked buildings are a major problem in the inner city, “with our people living in deplorable conditions and being abused by slumlords who extort money from them. Photo: Supplied

Nana Radebe, the spokesperson for the City’s Public Safety Department, said a call was received at 9am this morning. “When firefighters got to the scene, the second floor was fully alight and one person jumped to his death.”
Radebe said that after entering the building, rescue workers recovered the bodies if six more deceased. At around 1pm, the fire had been extinguished and the search for more injured residents had ceased.
The fire has sparked conversation on Twitter about hijacked buildings and what is being done about them. Some Twitter users questioned the safety of these buildings and saw the need for it to be renovated.



Mashaba has said hijacked buildings are a major problem in the inner city. “Our people are living in deplorable conditions and being abused by slumlords who extort money from them.
“At Vannin Court, it was found that the occupiers are renting beds in the units from ‘owners’ for amounts ranging from R250 to R1 200 per person.”

Since taking office, the inner city is a special project for Mashaba. He has made oversight visits and consulted with various departments to come up with solutions to counter the decay, faced by the inner city.The Urban Development Zone tax incentive, which was announced in 2003, is still the City’s foot to stand on when convincing and enticing potential investors to invest in the once-vibrant inner city.

Mashaba takes another jab at hijacked buildings 
Cosmo City to get new fire station 

Chantelle Fourie
Metro Reporter

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