Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says South Africa is sitting on a timebomb, due to informally occupied buildings in Johannesburg, Durban and other cities and towns.
He was reacting following a visit to an illegally occupied building in Albert Street in the Johannesburg city centre, where last week a fire gutted a five-storey Usindiso Centre building, killing over 70 people and leaving scores injured.
Makgoba says some of the buildings need to be demolished, “There is a welter of emotions around these buildings. Walking with religious leaders and a few city officials this Wednesday, just made me as a South African a bit scared and I’m a hopeless optimist. But when I was walking, I realised that a couple of them were sitting on a time bomb, some of these buildings quite frankly, as a naive non-businessperson and who’s hopeful need to be pulled down cause they’re not good for habitation.”
Makgoba’s interview on SAfm’s Sunrise below:
The South African Council of Churches (SACC) in Gauteng will this morning hold a memorial service for the victims of the Albert Street fire in Johannesburg’s city centre.
Bishop Dr White Makabe Rakuba, Chairperson of the SACC In Gauteng, also commended the emergency services personnel who did their best to save people from the burning building.
“We’re remembering all those people who have been affected, those who lost lives, those who lost property and those who have been somehow affected. The memorial service starts at 10am this morning at the Central Methodist Church. It is at the corner of Pritchard, and Small street, opposite the high court. The memorial is open to everyone who wants to come. This was a devastating fire, to their best ability, the emergency services did actually respond, unfortunately they could not save everyone.”