Martin Williams
3 minute read
18 Nov 2020
5:30 am

Joburg, please expropriate these properties

Martin Williams

The city should expropriate problem properties. Proceeds of the sale could be used to help find accommodation for those living there and to clean up the places.

Picture for illustration. Men collect scrap metal from the Cape York building on the corner of Nugget and and Jeppe street in Hillbrow that caught fire, 5 July 2017. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Expropriation without compensation is the best solution for a special class of problem property in Johannesburg: owner-abandoned, overcrowded cesspits. The worst example in my ward featured in the latest Sunday Times. Driving along Bompas Road, Dunkeld West, you’d probably be unaware of what goes on at number 21, where about 55 people live in unsanitary conditions. Noise, illegal brewing and drinking are alleged, as are connections to crime in the area. In 2017, a woman’s body was found there. The SAPS are frequently called, as are the Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD). Property prices have plummeted. We must not forget...