COSATU Gauteng Statement on the devastating Johannesburg fire

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in Gauteng extends its deepest condolences to the families affected by the tragic building fire early this morning.

The tragic fire has seen more than 70 people sadly lost their lives leaving 50 people seriously injured. It is reported that Johannesburg officials are still unclear over the direct cause of the fire, however, the Emergency Services reported that firefighters have been able to bring out some of the occupants and are still trying to search for more victims as the fire was contained.

The Federation calls upon emergency services and law enforcement agencies to assist in locating the remaining victims in the building and try to identify the cause of the fire.

The City of Johannesburg and the Department of Human Settlement and Infrastructure should assist provide with temporary accommodation for families left without shelter.

COSATU Gauteng demands that the City of Johannesburg urgently deal with this pandemic of hijacked building in the inner city which has become a serious risk to residents and society. This includes the need to tackle illegal electricity connections. 

This tragedy is a reminder of the importance of providing adequate housing, enforcing the rule of law if we are to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all residents.  Johannesburg inner city cannot be allowed to continue being a source of lawlessness where anything goes and there are no consequences for those who break the law with impunity.

Issued by COSATU.

For further information please contact:

Provincial Chairperson- Amos Monyela: 079 493 5002

Provincial Secretary- Louisah Modikwe: 066 182 2402