NGOs vow to fight eviction from Joburg buildings
THE future of 32 non-government organisations is uncertain after the City of Joburg kicked them out of municipality-owned buildings in the city centre.
The city evicted NGOs from Bramfischer Towers in Albert Street on Wednesday after they allegedly violated a lease agreement.
The city and the NGOs have been clashing since last September when the lease expired.
The city acquired Nedbank Building in Commissioner Street and Bramfischer Towers in 2009 through the Johannesburg Property Company and sub-let it to the NGOs. The plan was for the NGOs to rotate the occupation of the premises yearly.
The city's spokesman Nkosinathi Nkabinde said Johannesburg committed to pay 80 percent of the rental per year, which is R5,2-million . The NGOs owe the city R328 000.
The city took the NGOs to court and won a court order to have them evicted.
A team of Red Ants, accompanied by the sheriff of the court, pounced on the building and removed loads of office equipment, much to the shock of NGO workers who scrambled around to save important documents. The furniture and equipment was dumped on the pavement.
Yesterday morning members of the NGO were still searching for missing items, stolen when their equipment was left in the open overnight as most of them were not on the scene during the eviction.
Fikiswa Mthimkhulu coordinator of Morelogolo Inner City Project, which runs feeding schemes and youth dance projects in townships, and other members of her organisation had to sleep in the street to keep an eye on their furniture.
"We can't afford transport to remove furniture and other equipment. We spent the night fighting off thieves who wanted to help themselves to our stuff," Mthimkhulu said.
Some NGOs lost files with ID details of beneficiaries. Mthimkhulu said they would have to stop their services.
Eric Mafuyeka of Rainbow Road Safety Ambassadors, which teaches road safety to children, has lost a rented photocopy machine worth R12 000, a computer, a laptop and other important documents.
"I don't know what to do," Mafuyeka said.
Spokesman Dududu Magano said NGOs were not notified of the eviction and would appeal the court ruling.