Joburg residents complain about illegal buildings and land use

Joburg residents complain about illegal buildings and land use

The lack of by-law enforcement, especially around illegal buildings and land use, is the main concern for residents living in Joburg's Region B, which covers Sandton and Alexandra.

At a mayoral roadshow held to hear residents' main concerns in their area, the issue of the flagrant disregard for building regulations by property owners came to the fore.

Residents of suburbs such as Riverpark in Alexandra and Orange Grove complained that nothing was being done about illegal buildings and the erection of shacks.

Riverpark residents said the number of shacks going up in the area was of concern because it was leading to overcrowding and illegal land use.

There were also no toilet facilities, which was leading to shack dwellers using the Jukskei River for their ablutions.

In suburbs such as Lombardy East, property owners were building back rooms and renting them out at a handsome profit.

In one case, a court order was obtained for the demolition of the rooms, but this was ignored by the owner, who simply continues renting out the rooms.

Other areas of concern that Alex residents raised were: the lack of an integrated master plan for Alex; failure to manage and allocate housing; basic service delivery issues such as water leakages, dumping, littering and illegal connections; uncontrolled land invasion; the ratio of toilets versus the number of people who use them, and dilapidated sewerage infrastructure; rodent control; and illegal dumping.

In the wider Region E areas, ineffective law enforcement was the main gripe.

The invasion and overcrowding of abandoned houses that were leading to unhealthy living conditions; illegal activities; incorrect billing; the inability of people's centres and the Joburg Connect centre to assist residents in resolving their queries; neglected provincial and councilowned property; and vagrancy were the main issues. City of Joburg member of the mayoral committee for finance Geoff Makhubu addressed the gathering, standing in for mayor Parks Tau.

He said all the concerns would be conveyed to the relevant departments.

Makhubu expressed concern at the high number of residents complaining about the lack of building by-law enforcement.

"I can see how widespread this problem is - it cuts across all areas," he said.

The Star


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