JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The City of Johannesburg risks becoming a “slumlord”.
So says a lawyer representing inner-city dwellers who live in dilapidated state-owned residential buildings.
Checkpoint exposed the city’s double standards when it comes to dealing with rundown buildings, generally viewed as crime hotspots.
The city is hoping to sweep Johannesburg clean of crime and grime through raids.
In August, a man plunged to his death while others sustained injuries trying to flee an understaffed and under-resourced police force, which was infiltrating so-called inner-city crime hotspots.
Residents living in downtown Johannesburg say the city should be managing its own buildings better before pointing fingers.
Starting with paying rates, it expects others to cough up.
Why has the City abandoned its own buildings, some of them for over 10 years?
“I don’t think the City has abandoned those buildings,” said the city’s Conel Mackay.
“It’s a question of establishing perhaps reasons for delays in upgrading them.”
Nomzamo Zondo is the director of litigation at the socio-economic rights institute or Seri.
She represents residents of city-managed buildings.
“The world-class African city as a goal is one that can only be reached if they work together with the residents of the City,” said Zondo.
“The city can’t itself be a slumlord and then be pointing out other slumlords.