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Building imploded to make way for 1,500 homes

Joburg city is planning a township to house the people of the area

The Kaserne building in downtown Johannesburg has finally been imploded to make way for a new housing development in the area that will yield 1,500 units.

At exactly 10am, the building situated near Kwa Mai Mai imploded, throwing dust into the air and leaving a pile of rubble on the ground.

Residents who used to live in the building were heard ululating as the morning breeze blew the dust towards the inner city.

In April last year, nine people died when a fire broke out in one of the shacks built inside the dilapidated building. They had illegally connected electricity.

It was the third fire in the building and residents were then moved to tents as a temporary measure.

Johannesburg MMC for housing Mlungisi Mabaso said the city is planning a township establishment which will yield 1,500 units.

The housing waiting list in Johannesburg stands at 480,000.

“We are busy with the planning stages of development. We cannot at this stage determine the time frame as to when construction will take place as development planning has its own processes. This will be the first mixed development that we will be implementing in the inner city.

“If everything goes according to plan, we are hoping in the next financial year we will be able to bring in work that will be visible for everyone to see,” Mabaso said.

When asked about the distance between the shacks, which looked far too close to each other, Mabaso said the shacks were a temporary arrangement until the building was demolished.

“There is another site where we are going to do the re-blocking and resettle all the residents that are staying here,” he said.

Mabaso committed to provide electricity to the corrugated temporary structures in order to prevent illegal connections which were suspected to be the cause of the fire that killed the nine people.

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