The City of Johannesburg Human Settlements has warned illegal landlords operating in informal settlements to stop asking for money for government services.
The warning comes after the department relocated more than 300 families who were victims of cabin fires in KwaMaiMai in June.
The families were temporarily housed at the Hofland Park community center until Friday, when they were moved to the informal Kaserne settlement.
During the relocation process, it was established that some of the new structures were locked by illegal landlords, who demanded payment from residents before they could occupy the new cabins.
Law enforcement was called in to break the locks and allow residents access to the temporary homes.
A member of the Mayor’s Committee (MMC) for human settlements in the city, Mlungisi Mabaso pointed out that services are provided free of charge to deserving residents.
“We cannot allow illegal activities in our communities. No one can demand payment for government services that are provided free of charge. We do not recognize these so-called owners, in fact, they are criminals scamming desperate residents,” Mabaso said.
Mabaso added that the problem of illegal landlords is prevalent in many informal settlements and other government properties.
“These illegal owners cannot claim government property as their own. I urge members of the community to work with the ministry to report anyone asking for money for government services so that we can crack down on this lawlessness and victimization of vulnerable people,” the MMC said.
Fraudulent activity can be reported to the Group Forensic and Investigation Service free hotline: 0800 002 587 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org – SAnews.gov.za
Warning against illegal landlords operating in informal settlements
SourceWarning against illegal landlords operating in informal settlements