The widely-despised and feared ‘Red Ants’ are likely to descend on a number of properties owned by the Johannesburg council after the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) announced that it would tear down illegal structures on its land.
The structures have been erected on land in Power Park, Dhalmini, Diepkloof, Orlando West and Dobsonville where homeless people have put up shacks, houses and other buildings.
The JPC successfully applied for demolition orders against these properties in November last year but it has taken until now for the company to put the order into effect.
According to Brian Mahlangu, public relations and media office for the JPC, the illegal structures will make way for new projects that are currently being planned.
“In Power Park, development of Orlando Ekhaya was interrupted by illegal invasions of properties there. The same thing happened in Dhlamini Extension 3 where a social housing project was about to start when the land was hijacked and residents erected illegal shacks,” he says.
Ashton Bodrick, executive manager of stakeholder relationship management at JPC says that the court order will be implemented without fear or favour.
“Illegal building and illegal occupation of the city’s land hampers economic development and wastes time on costly legal processes,” says Bodrick. “JPC will now evict all illegal residents who are occupying council land,” he says.
“The JPC will not hesitate to take the necessary steps to protect property that belongs to the city of Johannesburg,” Bodrick adds.
Apparently meetings have been held between the JPC and the affected communities.
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