On Wednesday, occupants of Johannesburg’s infamous Remington Court were evicted, a move allegedly initiated by the building’s owner, according to the City of Johannesburg. However, residents claim they were not notified that they were about to be evicted.
Remington Court, a five-storey building, which has often been described as “hijacked”, situated between Lilian Ngoyi Street, End Street, Jeppe Street and Nugget Street in Johannesburg’s inner city, has long been associated with criminal activities.
The building has been subjected to regular raids by the City of Johannesburg over the past decade, along with many other dilapidated inner city properties, a practice criticised by the Constitutional Court in 2021 as “humiliating and warrantless”.
Notorious for its lack of legal electricity connections, absence of running water and deteriorating conditions, Remington Court has been a recurring challenge for the city. The building’s dilapidated state raised safety concerns, with its interior passages devoid of light and an overpowering stench permeating the entire structure.
According to court documents, an estimated 517 residents lived in the building. Residents are predominantly South African nationals who speak isiZulu. They are scheduled to be relocated to the Denver Temporary Relocation Area (TRA), a plot initially intended for Joburg metro police vehicle impoundments but repurposed by the city as temporary housing for the homeless.
Some survivors of the fire at the Usindiso Shelter on 80 Albert Street have also been moved to the Denver TRA.