The City of Joburg’s Department of Development Planning initiated a court order to demolish illegal structures in Cosmo City and Rabie Ridge on 14 September.
With a heavy Metro police presence to monitor the situation, the City brought in its bulldozers to demolish the two illegally built structures, giving residents five minutes to clear their belongings and salvage building materials.
According to City stakeholder manager, Poppy Louw, residents of the illegally built structures were given notice well in advance of the demolitions taking place.
The issue began when residents began encroaching their properties into the land of another residence.
The main complainant against the structures is an 82-year-old woman named Doris Shange, who claimed that she faced strong intimidation from her neighbours because of her age when they began to encroach on her property.
Shange said, “I have been reporting this to the City for the past 11 years, and I am so thankful that something has finally been done.”
Neighbours also constructed a sewage line through her property, which heavily impacted the infrastructure in the area.
Louw said, “We have this issue in Cosmo City where people are building structures without permission and the main worry is the danger this presents to surrounding residents and infrastructure.”
Louw said that while builders had submitted plans to the City to construct, the approved plans look nothing like what has been constructed.
According to MMC Reuben Masango, it has been two weeks since the Building Development Management Directorate initiated the enforcement of 54 court orders, including 28 demolition orders.
The campaign to demolish illegal structures, where court orders have been issued, forms part of the Department’s priorities to enhance building compliance in the City.