Source: JacarandaFm

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—˜๐—ป๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜‡๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—จ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ผ ๐—•๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป. ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—จ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿณ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐˜ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ท๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ.

The commission helped us uncover the causes of the fire, the negligence of the municipality and all its appendages such as the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) and Joburg Emergency Management Services (EMS). As such, it is a step further in pursuit of jusitice for the victims who died and those who lost their belongings in the fire. For this, SAFTU supports the recommendations and calls for their full implementation. The commission recommends amongst others, as follows:

โ€ข Holding COJ officials and departments accountable for negligence, including possible criminal prosecutions
โ€ข โ Disciplinary action against those responsible at the Johannesburg Property
โ€ข Company (JPC) and the Member of the Mayorial Committee (MMC) past and present for their dereliction of duty
โ€ข Continued social and psychological support for victims
โ€ข Prosecution of the person responsible for starting the fire
โ€ข Expedited issuance of ID documents for those who lost them in the fire.

Despite claims made by xenophobes and those seeking to scapegoat the failures of the governmnet that caused the housing crisis and worsening crime levels on the immigrants, disproves them as it shows that 23 of those that were identififed were all South Africans. That South African poor workers opt to live in these inhabitable buildings, proves that the real problem is the housing crisis, not the so called illegal immigrants occupying buildings illegally. This is not to dismiss that criminal syndicates, some of whom are immigrants, do occupy buildings illegally, sometimes pushing legal owners out of such properties.

It has been and it is still our contention that government is the main culprit to be blamed for the tragedy at Usindiso building because of negligence, failure to implement the Cityโ€™s by-laws, and the ultimate crisis of housing that has gripped the city and the country at large. For instance, the Marshalltown Fire Justice Campaign reported that the housing backlog in Johannesburg stands at 500 000 housing units. Given that only 2500 housing units were built in 2022, at this pace, it will take 200 years to clear this backlog.

SAFTU demands that government must build houses to the poor and needy urgently. This will resolve the question of illegal occupation of abondoned buildings, which are often in inhabitable conditions with no access to water, electricity and refuse collection. Given an opportunity, the tenants in these delapidated buildings will opt out, simply because conditions in those buildings are not fit for humans.

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