Johannesburg City Development Planning Committee member Cllr Belinda Echeozonjoku lifted the suspension of issuance of certificates of occupancy and temporary occupancy.
This will come into force from Monday, January 3, 2022, because it is satisfied with the corrective measures put in place by the service, which will prevent the issuance of fraudulent certificates.
These irregular certificates put the lives of residents and security officials at risk and damage the City’s reputation for upholding the rule of law.
On December 17, 2021, Cllr Echeozonjoku issued an internal moratorium to temporarily suspend the issuance of certificates until January 10, 2022 to address concerns expressed by advisers, industry organizations and members of the public.
These included certificates issued on behalf of officials who had previously left the department, those issued without proper supporting documentation, and others issued in 2021 but stamped with dates in 2022. Additional allegations are currently under investigation. investigation.
“It is my duty as MMC to serve the residents of Johannesburg and do everything in my power to ensure their safety. The temporary shutdown was the most responsible action to be taken under the circumstances, but I am now satisfied with the corrective measures put in place by the service, which included a thorough investigation of all certificates issued, recall of irregular certificates and a check. more stringent quality. measures in place, ”said Cllr Echeozonjoku.
The authority to grant approval for the occupation of buildings and structures, she added, is delegated to the city through the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977, including the fire compliance and environmental health.
“We cannot forget the tragic events of September 5, 2018, where three firefighters, Sphiwe Maropane, Khathutshelo Muedi and Mduduzi Ndlovu, lost their lives in the line of duty while saving the lives of provincial government officials in the Bank of Lisbon building. in the city center. This building was found not to comply with fire and safety regulations, meaning it should not have had an occupancy certificate.
“A life lost through negligence is one life too many. Corruption costs lives and I urge everyone to report any allegations to the city through the anti-corruption hotline, ”she said.
Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to report any fraudulent or corrupt activity via the 24 hour whistleblower hotline 0800 002 587 or by email: [email protected] or [email protected] or visit GFIS offices located at 48 Ameshoff Street, Braamfontein.
Joburg City Development Planning Department Executive Director Amolemo Mothoagae pledged to resolve all allegations and further assured that measures would be put in place to prevent potential fraud and corruption.
Cllr Echeozonjoku will undertake unannounced on-site visits to some of the properties that received irregular certificates in January 2022, to investigate the allegations and ensure that the proper processes are followed.
“Thank you to the ED and his team for responding quickly to the reported allegations and for prioritizing the provision of quality services to the people of Johannesburg,” added Cllr Echeozonjoku.