City of Joburg seeks court order to demolish illegal properties in Kensington, Sandringham
Johannesburg – City of Joburg approached the South Gauteng High Court on Monday morning on an urgent basis seeking demolition orders for two properties in Sandringham and Kensington.
The City claims the owners of the properties were found to have flouted the City’s by-laws and that processes to halt all construction were at an advanced stage.
The urgent application follows a visit by City’s officials to both properties
MMC for Development Planning Lawrence Khoza, executive director Amolemo Mothoagae, chief operations officer of the city Floyd Brink, and acting chief of the JMPD Angie Mokasi went there over the weekend.
They conducted inspections that allegedly revealed the structures contravened building regulations, were non-compliant and deliberately deviated from the original approved plans.
The owners are alleged to have consistently ignored the departmental notices issued to them in this regard and continued with the construction work.
Khoza said he observed more structures had been built without following the legal processes and without approved building plans.
“The City officials have issued notices and confiscated building material and equipment to stop the construction work pending the finalisation of demolition orders.
“Lawlessness will not be tolerated in the city of Johannesburg. Illegal buildings have become a major problem. The Department of Development Planning, the JMPD, Group Legal and other key city departments are determined to put a stop to illegal buildings,” Khoza said.
He said those who abused the system would feel the might of the City and be held to account.
“The City of Johannesburg welcomes developments, but these should not infringe on our by-laws and policy decisions.
“The operation this weekend is not a once-off. More operations will be conducted on a regular basis and we will continue to visit various regions for site inspections and take the necessary steps to ensure that such cases are dealt with in Johannesburg.
“The Department of Development Planning takes such matters seriously, hence there will be no tolerance for property owners who refuse to follow necessary protocol. The city will do what is necessary to send a strong message regarding the illegal erection of structures. There will be serious consequences for contravening building regulations,” said Khoza, urging residents to report illegal buildings as promptly as they see them.
Last week The Star reported the City was being accused of ignoring thousands of illegal building transgressions in the suburbs, with owners transforming normal residential houses into “lodges” and “guest houses”.
That, it was reported, was not only resulting in the City losing revenue from property rates, but forcing many owners to sell their properties because of the devaluation these illegal structures were causing.