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Order Against City of Joburg to Provide Housing to Evictees

09 April 2013

Routledge Modise

Eviction and housing law is a constantly evolving area, which has progressed on a day-to-day basis since the Constitutional Court emphatically declared that municipalities have a constitutional obligation to provide temporary, alternative accommodation to evictees. Since this constitutional responsibility was made certain, eviction and housing attorneys have been grappling with the means within which to practically enforce this duty and secure temporary alternative accommodation for their clients.

The pro bono department has been active in this regard, with no less than 15 eviction matters to hold the City of Johannesburg to account. We recently obtained an order against the City of Johannesburg where it was declared that:

  • The City has a constitutional obligation to our clients, who would be rendered homeless upon eviction.
  • The City is ordered to file a report stating what accommodation it will make available to our clients and when such accommodation will become available to them.

The order further specified that failure by the City to comply would result in the matter being heard within five days on the request of the landowner.

In a similar matter, the pro bono department was able to obtain an order against the City, whereby the court held that the City is to provide accommodation to all of our clients before the end of September 2013, and that the accommodation:

  • Must be as close as possible to our clients' current location.
  • Is to allow for the continued co-habitation of family units.
  • Is to be accessible to the residents at all hours.
  • Is to be secure against eviction.

The nature of this order is considered to be a necessary triumph in light of the City's current policy to accommodate persons in shelter type accommodation where family units are separated, children are not provided for and the accommodation is closed during the day.

The pro bono department is committed to campaigning for the rights of our clients and the recognition of essential humanitarian treatment for evictees.

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