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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

City of Joburg lays down the (by)law

The city is running a weekly blitz campaign to force businesses to comply.

A number of businesses were closed and notices of compliance issued against owners of properties that contravened municipal by-laws after City of Johannesburg urban inspectors conducted a blitz in Bosmont and Industria, west of Johannesburg, on Monday.

Several undocumented immigrants were arrested and taken to the Johannesburg Central police station for processing after they were found to be employed without proper documentation in the area.

The inspectors found offences that ranged from illegal accommodation to health hazards, illegal electricity connections, building control violations, lack of occupational health permits and the employment of undocumented immigrants.

Group Corporate and Shared Services MMC Ntombi Khumalo, who accompanied the inspectors, said the blitz in Region B was part of the weekly Visible Service Delivery Blitz and was conducted in partnership with the departments of home affairs and labour. They targeted five problem properties in Industria and surroundings, leading to them closing down one illegally operating business and issuing notices to comply to others.

Khumalo said two other businesses and a residential area had suspiciously closed before they arrived.

“The urban inspectors had been to each of the five properties before, one of which was residential, issuing non-compliance notices and prohibition notices, but to no avail. The owners of these properties and businesses continue to ignore interventions by the City, which often come to our attention through concerned and frustrated neighbours or residents,” she said.

“The City is seriously concerned about the complete disregard of by-laws and the country’s laws in general. By conducting the weekly Visible Service Delivery Blitz and closing down businesses that fail to comply, we are making sure that the rule of law is returned to the city. We will not tolerate any form of lawlessness in the City of Joburg,” she added.

She said the weekly blitz would continue every week until all businesses operating within the City were compliant with its by-laws.

“The goal is to create an environment where our residents are happy with their surroundings and business can flourish. No stone will be left unturned to ensure that this happens without breaking the law,” Khumalo said.


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