The City of Johannesburg has identified 37 abandoned factories in the city that it plans to ‘expropriate’ to convert into low-cost, affordable housing, says a Business Day report.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said this came after the council’s resolution last year to make 84 city-owned properties available for the creation of quality low-income housing in the inner city.

Mashaba said the 84 buildings would generate an expected R21bn in investment, 11 000 construction sector jobs and more than 6 000 affordable housing units.

Following on this success in the inner city, the multi-party government has now identified 37 abandoned factories across the city, specifically those located in areas in desperate need of housing opportunities. Arising from their large stand sizes, the yield of these properties will offer nearly 3 000 housing opportunities in multi-storey buildings,’ Mashaba said.

He added the abandoned factories that had been identified were located in Kew, Devland, Rabie Ridge, Doornfontein, Booysens and Nancefield.

Mashaba said 16 of the buildings were near Alexandra, offering the opportunity to reduce the density of settlement in the underdeveloped township.

He said the municipality would prepare a proposal to council in August, which would allow the city to begin legal proceedings to expropriate the properties as abandoned buildings, adding these buildings would be expropriated within the existing legal framework of the Constitution.

Full Business Day report