Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba visited the scene to assess the damage on the corner of Jeppe and Nugget streets. Seven people have died after a fire broke out in the Johannesburg CBD‚ where rescue personnel battled massive flames in attempt to put out the blaze at a notorious downtown building.

“The tragedy at Cape York in the Inner City is a narrative all too familiar. (Residents) live in squalor & pay with their lives‚” Mashaba tweeted.

“It’s imperative to restore dignity & quality housing to residents so they no longer need to resort to such extremities for shelter.”

Fifty people were rescued from the 4th and 6th floors of the Cape York building‚ which has a history of fires.

Emergency services spokesperson Nana Hadebe confirmed that six bodies were found inside the building‚ while another person jumped and died.

Search and rescue operations are currently under way. A skylift was used to rescue the 50 people‚ who were rushed to hospital.

A number of fires have broken out at the Cape York before‚ with reports suggesting that authorities had warned the owners to deal with potential fire hazards.