Johannesburg is turning 37 abandoned factories into 3,000 low-cost homes

The City of Johannesburg will release abandoned factories to the private sector to build into affordable housing.

Government has identified 37 abandoned factories across the city which are located in areas in desperate need of housing opportunities, said Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba on Monday (24 June).

Arising from their large stand sizes, the yield of these properties will offer nearly 3,000 housing opportunities in multi-story buildings, he said.

“The abandoned factories that have been identified are located in areas such as Kew, Devland, Rabie Ridge, Doornfontein, Booysens and Nancefield,” said Mashaba.

“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.”

Mashaba said that the city will now begin a process of preparing a proposal to council in August 2019, which will allow it to begin the legal proceedings of expropriating these properties as abandoned buildings.

“These factories will be expropriated within the existing legal framework of the Constitution. For this we will utilise the fact that they are abandoned, owners are untraceable and monies owing on these properties exceed their value,” he said.

“Once this has been granted, the City will be able to put these properties out to the private sector and award them on the criteria that achieves the largest number of residential units, the lowest rentals, the highest job creation and investment.”

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Johannesburg is turning 37 abandoned factories into 3,000 low-cost homes