BUILDING hijackers in the inner city get away with their crimes because corruption is rife in the Joburg City Council.

A senior official in the department of housing has lambasted the city and law enforcement officials, accusing them of not being willing to investigate the matter.

An example of the extent of fraud and corruption is illustrated by the city's records for Branksome Towers, which has 77 units.

But on the city's system, though recognising the number of units, the building is billed for one room with one water outlet.

This building used to be part of the Seven Buildings Company, an initiative of the city's Better Buildings Programme. The company had government subsidies from the Gauteng department of housing. But the project was hijacked and when the building fell into debt the body corporate dissolved and changed its name to Snowy Owl Properties and it changed again to Branksome Committee.

Sowetan can reveal that in another case, the electricity bills for Finsburg Court were not paid since January. On June 26 a notice to disconnect the power was served but suddenly, two days later, the city's system reflected the "over R10million charges as written off".