City of Joburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba told concerned residents of Yeoville that the issue of illegal churches and buildings in the Yeoville residential area would be addressed urgently.
Mashaba visited the community of Yeoville together with the MMC for Development Planning, Funzela Ngobenil.
Their visit comes after a church that is allegedly running illegally in a residential area was exposed earlier in the month.
“We need to address the issues of illegal churches and buildings in the city. We cannot allow people to break the law [without] consequences,” said Mashaba.
Body corporate members of North Hill Mansions said the pastor had been approached about the church he was allegedly running illegally, but he had ignored the community and continued to hold services.
“Church services are being held on the premises every Sunday and sometimes even during the week. The noise levels are so high and it disturbs residents. The pastor has not shown any signs of moving anytime soon,” alleged body corporate member Honey Makwakwa.
The body corporate said a court order had been issued but this had not stopped the pastor from continuing with renovations to the church building. Makwakwa added that the pastor had even broken down walls during the building renovations despite being warned that he was not allowed to have a church on the premises.
“The church is in contravention of a number of bylaws, noise pollution regulations and church zoning rules. We will be dealing with this issue and [will] make sure [illegal] buildings like this are not allowed in the city,” said Mashaba.
The mayor declared his support to the community of Yeoville and said he would be attending the court case with them on 18 April. Mashaba said this was the beginning of the end for illegal buildings in the city and people who were breaking the law would feel the strong arm of the law.
The pastor of the church was not on site during the visit and attempts by The Express to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.