South Africa: Fire At Joburg Metro Centre Causes Immediate Closure - Mayor, City Manager and Speaker Moved Out

A weekend fire caused by faulty transformers at the Joburg Metro has shut down the building responsible for administering the city.

Emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi confirmed the 16 September fire to Daily Maverick on Monday morning. He said there were no injuries and that it was contained in time.

There is no electricity in the building.

The city did not put out a communiqué about the fire but has announced a briefing on Tuesday (19 September).

This is the second fire in the Metro building this year -- the previous one was in March. This week, a bid evaluation committee will seek approval from city manager Floyd Brink for a R2-billion refurbishment of the Metro Centre. In May, Daily Maverick reported on creating a campus for the building that will cost the cash-strapped city a fortune, whether out of pocket or via a public-private partnership.

In a memo seen by Daily Maverick and sent by Johannesburg Property Company CEO Helen Botes to Brink this morning (18 September), she recommends that the building be shut.

"Last week the service provider determined that the transformers are problematic. A 2019 engineers report also highlighted the state of the transformers (which were then 40 years old)," said Botes.

She said the closure of the building was recommended as a "measure of absolute...

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