The tragic building fire in Johannesburg, which claimed the lives of at least 74 people, has prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to emphasise the urgent need to address housing challenges in the inner city. Speaking at the site of the fire, President Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and stressed the importance of investigating the fire’s cause as reported by SA News.
He emphasised that the incident serves as a “wake-up call” to tackle the housing situation in the inner city. The building in question, the Usindiso Building, was hijacked after its lease had expired, highlighting the need to address such problems effectively. Ramaphosa called for finding solutions to accommodation and housing issues in the inner city.
President Ramaphosa commended the swift emergency and social response to the fire, acknowledging that caring for the people of South Africa is a top priority. Firefighters arrived at the scene within ten minutes of the fire report, demonstrating preparedness for such calamities.
Regarding the Usindiso Building’s hijacking by criminal elements, Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of addressing criminality in buildings that are taken over by criminals who exploit vulnerable individuals seeking accommodation in the inner city. He stressed the need for law and order in the inner city and highlighted government initiatives to eliminate criminal elements.
Ramaphosa acknowledged the difficult lessons learned from the tragic event and called for a balanced approach in dealing with such buildings, respecting the constitutionally mandated right to housing while addressing criminal activity. He emphasised the need to review regulations and laws to prevent similar incidents in the future.
President Cyril Ramaphosa used the tragic building fire to call for urgent action to address housing challenges in the inner city, root out criminal elements, and ensure the safety and well-being of those seeking accommodation in the urban areas. He emphasised the importance of learning from this tragedy and implementing necessary changes to prevent its recurrence.
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