Following a fire out-break which killed nine people at Kaserne building in Johannesburg, the Department of Human Settlements in Gauteng is planning to relocate occupants who are resistant to leave the building.
Gauteng Department of Housing spokesperson Neo Goba said they will seek a court order to evict people who live in the building. Goba said shacks are built from the basement to the fourth floor and others are surrounding the building.
“There are people who are reluctant to leave the building even after it caught fire. Nine people including an infant were burnt to death after the building caught fire at 3am last week. One victim got injured after jumping from a floor in order to escape fire. 11 people also got injuries from the blaze. Lives of those who still occupied the building are unsafe. However, they do not want to remove their shacks”, he said.
City of Johannesburg Mayor Geoffrey Makhuba said the building was illegally occupied more than a decade ago. He said due to its unsafe condition after catching fire, it will be demolished.
“The facility used to be a public parking. Currently taxi drivers use space next to the building for parking. People who live near it will be relocated. According to reports, it is the fifth time this building caught fire since 2016. Currently 200 residents are homeless and tents were built to provide shelter for them”, said Makhuba.