On 11 April 2018, SERI's director of litigation, Nomzamo Zondo, appeared on SABC's Morning Live to discuss the need for safe temporary alternative accommodation in inner-city Johannesburg in the wake of the recent wall collapse of a building at 39 to 41 Davies Street in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, in which three children died.

Zondo discussed the concerning and often dangerous conditions that many occupiers living in inner-city buildings are forced to deal with on a daily basis. She noted that

"[a]bandoned buildings have become progressively worse [since the 1990s]. Most of them have little or no sanitation, there is sometimes no power, there is limited access to water ... we're concerned about the risk of fires, we're worried about children falling into lift shafts that are unmaintained..."

When asked how these challenges could be addressed, Zondo said:

"Our main problem with the City of Johannesburg is that it has refused to provide accommodation without being ordered by a court to do so ... it has acknowledged that there is a housing crisis... People who earn below R3 200 [a month] have no other place where they can rent in the formal market [including state-subsidised social housing] in safe and decent accommodation."

Zondo said that although the City plans to roll out low-cost accommodation and temporary emergency accommodation, there is virtually none available at present.

  • Watch the full interview here.

Zondo MorningLive April2018