Joint Committee to implement Khampepe recommendations on Usindiso

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Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has revealed plans for the provincial government and the City of Johannesburg to form a joint committee dedicated to executing the recommendations outlined in the Khampepe Commission of Inquiry.

The commission, which recently concluded its investigation into the Usindiso building fire, released its report after conducting months of hearings.

Among its findings was the determination of the liability of the City of Johannesburg and its entities for the deaths of 77 mostly foreign residents in the fire that engulfed the building in August 2023, causing injuries and displacement.

Lesufi emphasises his commitment to promptly implementing the commission’s recommendations.

“We’ll establish a joint implementation committee between the province and the municipality so that some of the recommendations so that we can move with speed to implement them. I think you are quite aware that Witness X has already appeared in court and we will request additional information from the saps and if they need additional information from us on this report.

“But from my office, we will and we have said to the chair of the commission we appreciate the work and we accept fully without any reservation the recommendations and we will move with speed to implement the recommendations,” says Lesufi.

City of Johannesburg liable for Usindiso building fire tragedy

SERI supports findings

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) says it fully supports the findings and recommendations of the Khampepe Commission of Inquiry into the Usindiso building fire.

SERI’s executive director, Nomzamo Zondo says, “We also commend the commission recommendations around disciplinary action that must be taken by the board of the JPC against its CEO Helen Botes, and the investigation by the city of Johannesburg against other officials who failed in their duties which had this catastrophic consequence as SERI we believe that holding those officials accountable for their failures will also change how inner-city residents and issues around nasty buildings are dealt with by the City of Johannesburg.”

Action plan

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says the City must take the commission’s findings seriously. The party’s shadow mayoral committee member for public safety, Michael Sun, says the City of Johannesburg must also come up with an action plan to prevent such an incident from happening again.

“If you look at the current status and surroundings, I mean the pilling up of refuse and what is being found in that report by Justice Khampepe, it describes the status of the city. The pilling of the rubbish, the house, the burning, the dilapidated status of the building, and the occupied illegal buildings, it’s really hundreds of Usindiso’s waiting to happen. So this is a really serious wake-up call for the city. And I think many named individuals in that report must take action.”

Usindiso building fire report to be released on Sunday: