The Florida facility is home to several depot buildings and workshops, some dating to the 1940s, and has been used to store old vehicles and office equipment pending their sale.
The facility is host to more than 50 fire engines and other firefighting vehicles, which are to be sold after being scrapped because of the high cost of repair.
“While most could have contributed much-needed funds to the city, they have been stripped of valuable parts," said Knott. "Many buildings have been stripped of ceilings and fittings along with equipment in the workshops.”
The facility was secured by one security guard, who has been powerless to prevent the thefts.
Knott said security would be strengthened to prevent further theft and auctioneers will be approached in March to sell the remaining assets.
“The city will look to repurpose and redevelop the facility through public-private partnerships so that it can be an asset to the residents of Johannesburg. Initial proposals are to convert the workshops into a training facility for youth in the automotive sector.”
She said this was part of the “Golden Start” initiative to uphold the rule of law and to restore the city as the economic heart of the country.
The city's group forensics and investigation unit has concluded an investigation into the theft which implicates former city employees. Cases have been opened with the police but there have been no prosecutions to date.
Knott said the city will track the cases with the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that guilty parties are prosecuted.