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Hillbrow eviction: Williston Court not suitable for occupation

More than 60 families were left stranded after being evicted from the Williston Court flats in Hillbrow.

Belongings of residence from the Williston flats being thrown out on the streets.Picture Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The owners of a Johannesburg building where hundreds of residents were evicted said the structure was no longer suitable for human occupation and they had no other choice.

More than 60 families were left stranded after being removed from the Williston Court flats in Hillbrow on Wednesday by the red ants.

At least 15 petrol bombs were found in the building.

Security consultant for the owners, Mike Ferguson, said the building doesn't meet basic health and safety standards and is not safe for children.

"We've got people who're running businesses here. We getting people as many as 15 per flat, which overloads the sewage, which overloads electrical wires. The municipal came in with City Power and shut the power down because of the safety aspect, but these guys have reconnected it."

Ferguson said the building maintenance is long overdue and renovation plans are underway.

"Then the owner can carry on with maintenance which is the ideal thing to do here. Rewire this complete place and make it compliant and safe for people to live in."

But many angry residents claim they weren't given enough time to find alternative accommodation, claiming the eviction was illegal.

OWNERS OF BUILDING USED EVICTION AS LAST RESORT

The owners of the building say they have tried every avenue of negotiation with evictions as the last resort.

Ferguson says all legal protocols were followed and they tried to negotiate peacefully.

He says the eviction has been a long time coming and authorities have given them every green light for the removals.

Ferguson says the owner plans to refurbish the building to meet all health and safety regulations.