Shift takes a look at the situation at 11h00 on SABC1, Monday 20 July 2015.
The definition ‘property hijacking’, according to Reyno De Beer is the first problem we have in SA that there is no legal definition for in our law. We all need to improvise and give meaning to it. From research, it is clear that property hijackings are associated to different types of crimes.
Up till now ‘property hijackings’ have been associated with the illegal occupation of properties but from what we have researched the concept of illegal occupation of a property is much more complex than people really think.
According to an article on www.iol.co.za, one in twenty buildings in Johannesburg CBD is hijacked. With an estimated 22 000 buildings in the inner city of Johannesburg, it is thought that more than 1 000 are held captive by building hijackers. The hijackers occupy these buildings without any payment of taxes or rates to the city council. Despite having a task team dedicated to this crime, it’s a challenge to return the buildings to their rightful owners. If you are thinking that property hijacking can’t happen to you, think again. It is not only your vehicle that can be hijacked your home can be hijacked underneath your feet and by the time you realise it, it might be too late.
On 31 March 2014, Ann Cox, a journalist of The Star, reported:-“Hijacked buildings cost Joburg R8bn, The City of Joburg is losing about R8 billion a year in income from illegally occupied buildings and houses. In some areas of the city, mainly La Rochelle and Rosetenville, about 50% of the houses have been ‘hijacked’”.
In studio we want to discuss:
• What is property hijacking?
• Where is it happening?
• What does the law say?
• Who is affected?
• What can be done?
In your area, do you know people who are occupying properties illegally?