With A Deficit Of About 300,000 Housing Units Johannesburg Is Doing What Many May Consider ‘Impossible’

By  |  October 17, 2019

A total of 37 factories in Johannesburg which have been abandoned by untraceable owners will be seized by the municipality, City of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba has said in a statement.

The Mayor has stated that the dispossession is within the confines of the law and which he says will allow more houses to be put up for Johannesburg residents.

“The abandoned factories that have been identified are located in areas such as Kew, Devland, Rabie Ridge, Doornfontein, Booysens and Nancefield. Of particular interest are 16 factories identified in close proximity to Alexandra, offering the much-needed opportunity to reduce the density of settlement in this under-developed township,” he said.

Given the large spaces these factories occupy, the spaces will give room for 3,000 housing opportunities in multi-storey buildings.

South Africa’s affordable housing problem has been successful having built four million houses since 1994 but still, the supply of houses has not been able to keep up with the growing demand in urban areas.

The problem has been worsened by budget reductions. In addition, it is said that more than 100 000 people move to Johannesburg a year, making it impossible to address the deficit.

The massive housing backlog in Johannesburg especially when it comes to affordable housing has led to poor living conditions with some residents opting to live in abandoned buildings.

“The City has considerable plans in the 2019/20 financial year to roll out over 2000 RDP houses, 4000 serviced stands and 10 informal settlement upgrades,” the mayor said adding that in the event the government is unable to solve the housing crisis, “it is imperative that we create the environment for the private sector to unleash the potential of their balance sheets, expertise and efficiency to the benefit of the poorest residents in our City.

Featured Image Courtesy: Curbed Boston

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