City reclaiming hijacked properties and putting them in the hands of residents
The DA-led City of Joburg administration’s efforts to reclaim hijacked properties across the City is gaining momentum with Council, just this past week, passing a report to enable the City to reclaim local community shops in Riverlea.
Units within the building in question will be offered on sale to the community in a bid to ensure that they are able to meaningfully participate in Johannesburg’s economy.
The City had previously handed over one of the units to a longstanding tenant in terms of the Land Regularisation Programme however it was found that the remaining shops were no longer in the hands of the original lessees and were in a serious state of disrepair, much to the Community’s frustration.
In 2018, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Economic Development, Councillor Leah Knott, accompanied by the Speaker of Council, Councillor Vasco da Gama, conducted an oversight visit in Riverlea, Kliptown and Eldorado Park as part of an ongoing property audit drive, to ensure that use of city property follows not only legal processes but also benefits the City’s residents.
MMC Knott and Cllr da Gama consulted with various stakeholders including business owners and residents in a bid to find solutions to enable communities to run businesses in a conducive environment.
MMC Knott said the shops will be released on public tender to ensure that all community members are granted a fair opportunity in line with the Executive Mayor’s goal of building an inclusive society with enhanced quality of life that provides meaningful redress through a pro-poor approach to governance.
The Executive Mayor of the City of Joburg, Councillor Herman Mashaba, has always stated that the administration’s goal of five percent economic growth will only be achieved if private citizens take initiative in pursuing economic opportunities. The City recognises that entrepreneurs and small businesses are key drivers of economic growth and sustainable job creation.
Notices will be issued to current tenants to vacate the properties well in advance. A public consultation process will be undertaken and will be communicated through the local Ward Councillor.
The alienation of property must comply with Section 21 of the COJ: Supply Chain Management Policy for Land (“SCMPL”) which provides that the right to use, control or manager municipal capital assets may only be granted through a competitive bidding process after compliance with the Municipal Supply Chain Regulations of 2005 and the Asset transfer Regulations of 2008, unless the deviations policy applies.