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Johannesburg fire: there was a plan to fix derelict buildings and provide good accommodation - how to move forward

By Marie Huchzermeyer, Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand
Amira Osman, Professor of Architecture and SARChI: DST/NRF/SACN Research Chair in Spatial Transformation (Positive Change in the Built Environment), Tshwane University of Technology
Hannah le Roux, Associate professor of Architecture, University of the Witwatersrand
Margot Rubin, Lecturer in Spatial Planning, Cardiff University
Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, Writing fellow at the African Centre for Migration Studies, University of the Witwatersrand
Mfaniseni Fana Sihlongonyane, Professor of Development Planning and Urban Studies, University of the Witwatersrand
Neil Klug, Senior Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand
Philip Harrison, Professor School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand
Priscila Izar, Centennial Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Architecture and Planning, Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies, University of the Witwatersrand
Sarah Charlton, Associate Professor, University of the Witwatersrand
Sarita Pillay, Lecturer in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Witwatersrand
Tanya Zack, Visiting senior lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand
Thousands of Johannesburg inner-city residents occupy buildings in conditions like those that led to the fire at 80 Albert Street that killed at least 77 people. They are living in derelict multi-storey buildings, former office blocks, sectional title buildings, tenements, warehouses and factories.

The residents are mostly informal, unsalaried or poorly paid workers. Some are unemployed or on welfare grants. They can’t…The Conversation

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