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City of Joburg relocating some Lawley residents after it demolished their homes

The municipality came under fire after authorising the destruction of several homes last week, with many questioning the timing of the demolition.

Residents of Kokotela informal settlement, in Lawley, rebuild their homes after 80 shacks were destroyed by the Red Ants. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The City of Johannesburg is working to relocate some residents in Lawley who were rendered homeless after their houses were demolished.

The municipality came under fire after authorising the destruction of several homes last week, with many questioning the timing of the demolition.

Officials are accusing community members taking advantage of the lockdown by illegally erecting their homes on land earmarked for other housing projects.

But residents have hit back, maintaining they have lived in the area for years.

The row has prompted the intervention of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which mediated between the two parties to find an amicable solution.

The City said it will help affected residents move to a different location while an investigation gets underway.

The City’s spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said, “Unoccupied, incomplete structures have been demolished, but we have agreed with the SAHRC that we will go back to Lawley and talk to those residents that claim to have been in occupation and run a process to verify them because the JMPD has all the videographic and photographic evidence of the structures they demolished.”