Private developers to submit proposals to City of JHB

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba plans to convert the city-owned buildings into units to address the housing crisis.

FILE: This undated file photo shows Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Private development companies are expected to submit proposals on Thursday for Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba's plan to redevelop buildings in the inner city for low-income housing.

Mashaba on Wednesday visited four of the 12 city-owned buildings which will soon be converted into units to address the city's housing crisis.

Some of the buildings were hijacked but were later reclaimed by the City of Johannesburg.

The City's Siyanda Makhubo says they aim to revitalise the buildings.

“The city has earmarked these buildings in order to create affordable accommodation.”

In August, the Mayor vowed to intensify raids at hijacked buildings.

At the time, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) strongly criticised the City’s push to clean up the CBD, labelling the raids inhumane and unconstitutional.

The Mayor, however, argued that the raids would assist in creating affordable accommodation.

But the rights group believes the raids won’t solve crime or poverty.

During an interview with Eyewitness News in September, Seri’s Stuart Wilson said: “The kind of affordable accommodation the City is talking about is not affordable for the people living in the inner city right now.

“What they really talking about is moving poor people out and moving rich people in and that’s not fair. That’s not lawful and that’s not constitutional.”

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)