On Thursday, 31 August, in the early morning hours, a fire broke out at a five-storey hijacked building on the corner Alberts and Delvers streets in the Johannesburg city center.
At least 73 people died in the fire, with scores more injured. The building is said to have had as many as 200 people living in it.
Daily Maverick has reported extensively on Joburg’s inner-city housing crisis. The photos we’ve taken, as well as others supplied by the Johannesburg Property Owners & Managers Association, expose the circumstances people live in in the dilapidated hijacked buildings.
Also read: Bad to worse – Massive gap in rightful housing and basic service delivery for Joburg’s inner-city low-income residents
Makeshift boards and curtains divide the space where a community of more than 200 waste pickers reside in the Express building in Nugget Street. The occupants are both South African and foreign nationals. (Photo: Michelle Banda)
What used to be a toilet in the Express building is now a locked room. Occupants survive in the building with overcrowding and a lack of electricity, water supply and sanitation. (Photo: Michelle Banda)
Nqobile Zulu, a resident at the Express building in Johannesburg, leads us inside the dilapidated structure. (Photo: Michelle Banda)
Broken windows inside a 21-unit city-owned abandoned apartment building. (Photo: Michelle Banda)
Read more: Mind the gap — solutions to Joburg’s inner-city housing crisis hamstrung by budget constraints
Fifty families have crammed into a ruined building at the corner of Alexander and Market Streets in inner-city Johannesburg. (Photo: Kimberly Mutandiro)
Platinum Place, a formerly hijacked building in Doornfontein, after the illegal tenants had left showed the inhuman conditions in which these people lived. (Photo: JPOMA)
Platinum Place’s lift shaft had become a rubbish tip. (Photo: JPOMA)
Platinum Place missed a roof and all the interior fittings were gone when new owners eventually took over. (Photo: JPOMA)