- Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has said that he will be closing down illegal churches in the city this festive season
- The operation is in conjunction with both metro police and emergency services to make the city safer over the holiday period
- These churches have been the source of numerous complaints, mostly noise pollution and parking issues
Herman Mashaba, mayor of Johannesburg, has said that he will be closing down illegal churches based in the inner city and nearby suburbs this festive season.
Attending the official opening of the City of Johannesburg festive season safety campaign the metro police chief David Tembe and Herman Mashaba both revealed the plain to shut down the churches.
The campaign involves both metro police and emergency services and aims to keep the festivities safe and sound.
Metrowatch has reported that they have received increasing complaints regarding the churches, who operate without permission. The complaints include high levels of noise pollution as well as parking problems. The problems start on a Friday and continue until Sunday.
Mashaba said: “If they are operating in the suburbs without required permits, we will shut them down.
“Legitimate traditional churches are operating within normal hours and not disrupting residents”.
Although the Metro police have been conducting numerous raids, confiscating chairs and sound equipment, the churches simply retrieve these items after paying a small fee of R1500.
IOL recently reported that on Bellevue resident ( asking to stay anonymous) has said that:
“The city is toothless. They issue court orders for the churches to be closed which are always ignored. In fact, they are increasing operations. The church next to us has now installed bright lights which keep us awake all night. I have installed new curtains to block out the lights, but even those do not help,”
This is beside the noise and the parking problems in the streets, he added.
Mayor Herman Mashaba had recently made headlines for not allowing churches or shebeens in his new housing project, which was launched on Tuesday.
Briefly.co.za recently reported on the stir these comments made on social media, with people taking it as an attack on churches, religion and even God.
Tweeting following the launch he said that the city had more problems with churches than with shebeens.
The new housing project will accommodate more than 500 families and will consist of one and two bedroom units. These units will be rented to families earning between R1500 and R15 000 a month. The social housing project will cost around R191 million and is aimed at relieving poor living conditions in the city for low-income families.
“I have made 3 small appeals to apply to this housing project: 1. This project is exclusively for our poor South Africans, 2. No Churches allowed in this housing project, 3. No shebeens allowed in this project.” Said Mashaba.
Mashaba launched the R191 million social housing units in Turffontein on Tuesday.
He said the project consisted of one-bedroom and two-bedroom communal rental units targeting people earning between R1,500 and R15,000 a month.
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