Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba announced that his municipality’s council passed a resolution on Thursday morning to expropriate 37 abandoned factories accross the city, 16 of which are in Alexandra.
The mayor sees this as part of his plan to tackle the area’s housing backlog.
“These factories will be expropriated within the legal framework of the Constitution. For this, we will utilise the fact that they are abandoned, owners untraceable and monies owing on these properties exceed their value,” Mashaba said in a statement.
The mayor plans to turn the properties into accommodation, calling the move a “victory for low cost housing”.
“This move allows the City to put the properties out to tender, with the intention of allowing private developers to create as many housing units as possible for our residents, closer to economic opportunities”.
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According to Mashaba, the properties should offer “nearly 3,000 housing opportunities”.
Mashaba considers this a “historic achievement” that “would only be possible with the continued support of the DA caucus as well as members of our coalition government, the IFP, ACDP, Cope, UDM and Freedom Front Plus”.
“A huge thanks also goes to the EFF caucus, which votes with us on an issue by issue basis,” he added.
Following the announcement, EFF leader Julius Malema retweeted a Twitter user who said: “It turns out Mashaba is 100 times better than ANC could ever hope to be”.
Other EFF supporters have also taken to Twitter to express their support for the move.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)