News Post

Mashaba releases initial findings of investigation into storm damage

Mar 09 , 2018

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on Tuesday announced the provisional findings of an investigation into housing developments.

Two people died after homes in large parts of the city were destroyed during severe storms.

Some of the initial findings point the finger at poor approval processes for construction permits. Officials also intend to approach banks linked to the investigation.

More than 3‚000 homes suffered extensive damage in Protea Glen‚ Lawley‚ Braamfischerville‚ Slovo Park‚ Snake Park‚ Doornkop‚ Meadowlands‚ Westbury‚ Alexandra‚ Lefhureng and Fleurhof.

Read Mashaba’s full statement below:

Investigation into local disaster – Mashaba notes provisional findings

Today‚ I held a meeting with the City’s Group Risk and Advisory Services (GRAS) department to discuss the City’s progress in assessing the damage caused by a violent storm on 30 December 2017‚ which destroyed a number of properties in the southern and western parts of Johannesburg.

Following the storm‚ I had committed to launch a full investigation which would establish whether the construction of the worst affected homes was up to the appropriate standard. As part of the investigation‚ GRAS is charged with:

Establishing the identities of contractors involved in the construction of some of these buildings; The City’s role in issuing certificates of occupation which affirm the safety of these buildings; and The role of financial institutions‚ such as lenders and banks‚ who fund the construction of some of these buildings. The purpose of today’s meeting was to inspect the progress made by GRAS in terms of finalising the investigation. This is after I granted GRAS an extension for the submission of the investigation’s final report late last week.

The purpose of the extension was to ensure that those affected by the investigation’s findings were given a proper opportunity to respond to the matters raised therein. In the interests of promoting fairness‚ I agreed to this reasonable request. Given this‚ a final report is yet to be tabled with my office. Indeed‚ independent structural engineers and quantity surveyors overseeing aspects of the investigation are due to submit their final report by the 14th of March 2018.

Despite this‚ today’s meeting with GRAS gave me the opportunity to receive provisional feedback on the some of the audit findings they have uncovered during the investigation‚ in particular‚ in relation to some of the City’s own systems. Though the investigation is not yet complete‚ I would like to take the residents of this City into my confidence‚ and share some of these provisional findings:

Developers not registered with National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC)

In terms of Section 10 of the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act‚ any person in the business of home building is required by law to register with the NHBRC. Failure to do so is an offence which‚ upon conviction‚ is punishable with a fine of up to R25,000 or a one-year prison term on each charge.

During its investigation‚ GRAS found that among the two developers responsible for housing construction in the affected areas‚ one was not registered with the regulatory body. The possible implications of this is not only the alleged non-compliance with Section 10 of the [...]