Families living in Cape Town nature reserve told to move

Future of Driftsands Nature Reserve uncertain By Siphokazi Mnyobe The Driftsands Nature Reserve in Cape Town, which has been occupied by thousands of families, has lost its value as a nature reserve, according to the Western Cape government. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning intends to de-proclaim the reserve. Meanwhile some of the families who moved onto the land...

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Thousands of farm workers face eviction with the end of the National State of Disaster, activists warn

Women on Farms march against evictions in the Western Cape 27 April 2022 | By Liezl Human Farm worker evictions are likely to spike with the end of the National State of Disaster, Women on Farms (WFP) has warned. WFP said when cases already on the court roll were processed, thousands of workers and their families would be evicted. About 100 women marched...

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Major shift in housing policy is an opportunity for civil society

We need a comprehensive approach to site and service schemes By Noah Schermbrucker, Mirjam van Donk and Jens Horber A drastic change to housing policy in South Africa is in the institutional pipeline. From a delivery model centred on subsidised houses, the state is to shift focus to site and service schemes. But there is very little clarity as to how this will work, and...

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Cape Town to give an additional R10-million to shelters

Human Rights Commission urges city to move away from ‘us and them’ mentality when it comes to homelessness By Marecia Damons A report by the Human Rights Commission into homelessness in Cape Town found a lack of ablution facilities, clean water and homeless shelters for families. The report follows the City’s amended by-law that provides for compliance notices to be issued...

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Eviction orders not in line with Constitution, says legal organisation

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute says that Johannesburg’s Central Magistrate’s Court is often not applying the relevant laws By Masego Mafata The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) has analysed 47 of the 65 evictions granted by the Johannesburg Central Magistrate’s Court from 2013 to 2018. Most of the cases were over non-payment of a monthly rental. In the vast majority...

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How a determined community is fighting the army’s attempts to evict them

Happiness Village’s residents fear for their lives and face unlawful evictions, beatings and intimidation, legal action and shack demolitions By Kimberly Mutandiro Since their unlawful eviction from their homes at the Marievale military base in 2017, the residents of Happiness Village informal settlement have fought for their right to remain on army land. In and out of court ever since, helped...

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Judge scolds Ekurhuleni municipality for trying to dodge court order

Municipality has tried to back out of settlement to buy unlawfully occupied buildings By Tania Broughton An agreement made an order of the court last year required the City of Ekurhuleni to buy 16 unlawfully occupied buildings using provincial funds. The agreement put an end to years of legal wrangling between the City, the province, the occupiers and the owners of...

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Developers try to overturn sale of land for Cape Town housing development

Covid-19 triggered a plan to move families from overcrowded Dunoon informal settlements, but more than a year later, they’re still there By Peter Luhanga The Racing Park Developers’ Association wants to overturn the sale of industrial land to the Western Cape Human Settlements Department. The association has already unsuccessfully appealed against the rezoning of the land for mixed-use housing of 1,500...

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Activists impatient with long wait for promised social housing

City of Cape Town says national government slow to release “well-located” land for affordable housing By Marecia Damons Land and housing legal support organisations Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU) and Reclaim the City (RTC) say the City of Cape Town is moving too slowly on its promises to create affordable housing. In July 2017, the City announced that 11 pieces of public land in the...

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Draft Cape Town by-law could see land occupiers fined or imprisoned for up to two years, fear housing activists

Treating occupiers as criminals fails to recognise that the vast majority of people are forced to take land, says Ndifuna Ukwazi By Mary-Anne Gontsana Over 8,000 people have signed a petition to extend the City of Cape Town’s public comment period on a draft by-law. Public comments closed on 31 July. Housing activists believe the by-law will criminalise the occupation of...

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