Metro police and SAPS officers raided and searched Remington House in Jeppe Street in the Joburg CBD. Picture: Matthews Baloyi
Johannesburg - Fifty-three undocumented foreigners were arrested on Friday despite an outcry from human rights organisations.

The City of Joburg has said it is determined to continue with its crime prevention operations in hijacked properties.

The raids were conducted in Jeppestown, Doornfontein and the CBD, “in order to fight criminal slumlords who live off the desperate needs of our residents”, said city mayor Herman Mashaba.

The foreigners were detained at Jeppestown police station, and immigration officers from the Department of Home Affairs will now process those who were detained.

“The city is still conducting socio-economic and needs audits of those living within the raided buildings to ensure that we offer the necessary support.

“Hijacked buildings are a major challenge in our inner city, but we are unwavering in our resolve to ensure that we turn around the decay of our inner city and see these buildings turned into low-cost housing for our residents,” Mashaba said.

To see this realised, the city was still in the process of conducting an extensive audit of inner-city buildings.

The first stage of this audit is being conducted in Jeppestown, with the goal of identifying 25 suitable properties for development.

“I have stated time and again that the revitalisation of the inner city is key to ensuring economic growth and job creation in the city, and that, as a prerequisite to this, the rule of law must be respected. We are well on our way to ensuring a prosperous and inclusive city for our people to live, work and play in,” he added.

Friday’s operation was led by the city’s group forensic and investigation services department. The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa said the raids were not going to solve any problems.

The Star