City of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba has announced that the municipality will be expropriating 37 factories around the city, which have been abandoned by untraceable owners.
Mashaba said the expropriation is taking place within the existing framework of the Constitution, and it will allow the city to put the properties out to tender.
The intention is to allow for private developers to create as many housing units as possible for Joburg residents, closer to economic opportunities, the mayor said.
“Arising from their large stand sizes, the yield of these properties will offer nearly 3,000 housing opportunities in multi-storey buildings. This is especially important given the desperate need for housing in (the city), which is plagued by congestion – particularly in an area like Alexandra,” Mashaba said.
Of the 37 factories, 16 are located near Alexandra. Other areas include Kew, Devland, Rabie Ridge, Doornfontein, Booysens and Nancefield.
This new initiative comes on the back of 139 properties and land parcels having been awarded to developers across the inner city, Mashaba said, which is expected to generate more than R30 billion in investment, while creating 11,000 construction sector jobs and producing around 8,000 housing units.
“In the environment in which government alone cannot address the staggering housing backlogs, 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,” Mashaba said.
The city plans to roll out 2,000 RDP houses, 4,000 serviced stands and 10 informal settlement upgrades in the next financial year.