There are a number of abandoned buildings in Germiston which have been declared unsafe by the metro.
Many of these buildings were abandoned by the legitimate owners due to economic frustrations and have since been targeted by criminals taking advantage of those desperately seeking accommodation.
The metro has caught on to the degradation these buildings have brought to the city and has decided to do something about it.
The EMPD and SAPS held a joint crime prevention drive targeted at hijacked buildings in Germiston.
A five-storey building located on the corner of Meyer and Odendaal streets was targeted on Wednesday, between 8pm and 10pm.
The building, which was declared unsafe for habitation a while ago, was found with tenants who were made to live in very unhygienic conditions.
The EMPD and SAPS found that the building was divided into 90 compartmentalised rooms, where many families were crammed.
Tenants were found using candles and paraffin lanterns for lighting and illegal electrical connections were made for those with power.
“Tenants claimed that an individual by the name of ‘Mandla’ and his committee collected R300 monthly rent from them.
“Most of the tenants are former residents of the Marathon informal settlement and the rest claimed they were from KwaZulu-Natal,” said Chief Supt Wilfred Kgasago, spokesperson for the EMPD.
A lot of these buildings are used to harbour stolen and hijacked vehicles, as well as any stolen goods.
Kgasago added: “The law enforcers’ strategy is to periodically pounce on all the identified hijacked buildings until the city is cleaned of this scourge.”
Although the search led to no arrests, an in-depth investigation has been opened and efforts to track down ‘Mandla’ and his committee are underway.
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