A man was injured when a building collapsed in downtown Johannesburg last week Wednesday.

The street vendor who was outside of the building, which is situated at the corners of Jeppe and End streets, was injured when debris from the structure fell on him. He was taken to Hillbrow hospital for treatment.

City Spokesman Niel Rooi said a fire had ripped through the building in February. The structure was further compromised when people began stealing steel support beams from the structure. Emergency services said that could be the reason for the collapse.

A local resident, Banda Ngomezulu, told authorities that at night people could be heard chipping away at the building to get to the steel.

The building was reportedly uninhabited at the time of the collapse but police conducted a search with the canine unit to establish that no one was trapped in the rubble. Ward councillor Nokuthula Xaba said she visited the building to warn residents to leave three times because of the unstable nature of the building.

In a separate incident, another building collapsed in Melrose, Johnnesburg earlier this year. Local emergency services reported that the building, which was under construction, collapsed in January 2012 leaving three people injured. Three walls collapsed and emergency services rescued injured men under the debris. One of the men was critically injured.