SA Affordable Housing March / April 2018 // Issue: 69 - Page 28

FEATURES A graphic account of what bad buildings endure (damaged walls, blood stains, faeces, rubbish, broken windows among others). Johnson believes that the local housing policy doesn’t accommodate people who live in them. “There is relatively little architectural or architectural related information on high-rise urban living conditions in ‘bad buildings’. If architects, COJ, the private sector and all the inner-city stake holders can begin to think of these buildings as a real opportunity to design them as a collective, in a creative and collaborative way, the current view of bad buildings could change.” Nyoni says that, developers can assist in the recovery of these buildings, but they require the assistance of COJ as many of the problems that a developer or owner may face aren’t in isolation. Some of the problems include: • Costs of litigation • Expensive eviction and decant processes • Excessive time delays with soaring holding costs on the projects • High refurbishment costs due to the decayed condition of the buildings • Rates and utilities arrears with the City which are often more than the value of the building When Rammala and her team go after an alleged hijacker they charge them with fraud and theft. “In some instances, we use section 3 of the PIE Act [Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998],” she says. 26 MARCH - APRIL 2018 AFFORDABLE SA HOUSING Section 3 (1)(a-b) of the PIE Act states that no person may directly or indirectly receive or solicit payment of any money or other consideration as a fee or charge for arranging or organising or permitting a person to occupy land without the consent of the owner or person in charge of that land or arrange or permit any person to occupy land without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the land. COJ Mayor, Herman Mashaba, has been vocal about transforming problem properties, Rammala describes a bail hearing of an alleged hijacker that Mayor Mashaba attended for the entire day, just to ensure the perpetrator doesn’t get bail. “He’s very passionate about bringing back the rule of law,” she laughs. Once the matter goes to court, it does take time for a verdict to be reached. “The timeline of each case depends on its merits. There’s a lot that goes into these matters.” However, once a conviction occurs, they find that other hijacked properties are easily handed over. THE WRAP Dealing with a problem property has multi-facets. There isn’t one definition that describes it as it can be looked at from aspects of the law, as well as through social and Ʌѕɥѥ̸%Ё́ЁѡЁɕեɕ)ٕɹа͍́ɽ䁽ݹٕ́)ѼЁѡՔՍ͙ձ丁1ЁȁAЀȁѡ)ѥ́ݔȁ͍́مͽѥ̸