Shackdwellers clinched a victory in the Durban High Court on Monday when the court ruled against a proposed scheme to evict them.
The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works’ application to appeal the court’s decision to disallow the eviction of inhabitants of 1568 properties throughout the eThekwini Municipality was dismissed with costs.
The broad scope of the MEC’s scheme and his department’s failure to notify the vast majority of the individuals who would face eviction was cited as the main reason for the decision. Continue reading
Thursday 10 September 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Land Occupations are Urban Planning from Below: A Response to Ravi Pillay, Mbulelo Baloyi & Nigel Gumede
After apartheid the new Constitution (1996), and then the Prevention of Illegal Eviction [PIE] Act (1998), gave some protection to people occupying land without the permission of the state or the capitalists. It was still possible for people to be evicted but only after an order of the court had been issued. In 2005 the Constitutional Court insisted that the Act “expressly requires the court to infuse elements of grace and compassion into the formal structures of the law”. When evictions were allowed they were not supposed to be carried out violently or to leave people homeless. Continue reading
Kwanele Sosibo, Mail & Guardian
Abahlali baseMjondolo, emboldened by its victory over the eThekwini municipality that stopped it from evicting shack residents without court approval, has taken its cause to Gauteng.
Abahlali spokesperson Ndabo Mzimela said the movement had been invited to visit high-density shacklands such as those in Germiston, Diepsloot and Soweto. It also wanted to “make public presentations about the movement so people don’t push personal agendas under its banner”.
This week the high court in Durban ruled in favour of Abahlali in a case that dates back to 2013, when the eThekwini municipality and the provincial human settlement department sought, and was granted, an interim order to halt invasions of government-owned land earmarked for housing. The provincial government estimated that more than 1 000 pieces of land were invaded at the time. Continue reading
Kwanele Sosibo, Mail & Guardian
The KwaZulu-Natal department of human settlements and public works this week said it would forge ahead with plans to establish its own land invasion control unit. This follows a Durban high court ruling that forces the departments and the eThekwini municipality to obtain court orders to carry out evictions. The unit would survey and protect all land belonging to the department that has been earmarked for housing. There is already such a unit policing land owned by the municipality.
Mbulelo Baloyi, spokesperson for human settlements MEC Ravi Pillay said on Thursday they had already begun the process of identifying a service provider. Continue reading
Lee Rondganger, Daily News
KwaZulu-Natal’s Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay has raised the alarm that all land is at risk of invasion after the ruling in the Durban High Court last Thursday that stopped municipalities from evicting squatters without a court’s approval.
To prevent invasions the provincial government would have to throw more resources at protecting property from squatters.
The MEC voiced his concerns to the Daily News about the ruling made, which forbade the eThekwini Municipality from evicting shack dwellers in Cato Manor. It may also not destroy shacks without notice, which had been allowed by a previous ruling. Continue reading