Commercial eviction

Dozens of brick and mortar homes built by occupiers demolished on Monday

By | Commercial eviction, Eviction news, Evictions

Public Works claims it only demolished newly built and incomplete homes

Photo: Johnnie Isaac

Hundreds of people who occupied land belonging to the Department of Public Works near the East London Airport were left homeless on Monday when their homes were demolished.

Hundreds of people who occupied land near the East London Airport were left homeless on Monday when their homes were demolished.

At least 100 homes, some made of concrete blocks and mortar, were built on a piece of land belonging to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

Some residents watched as the heavy machinery demolished their homes. Others anxiously await the return of the court sheriff who had warned of further demolitions this week. Community leaders estimate that the building materials lost add up to hundreds of thousands of rand.

Several people claimed that they had bought plots for between R500 and R15,000, but community dnied this.

Thabile Manuel had just moved into her home in June after spending nearly a year building it. “I am in deep pain with what is happening right now. We have lost everything we have put towards building this house. We did not even get eviction notices. We just saw the police coming and demolitions starting,” she said.

Other residents told GroundUp they had received eviction notices but only when the court sheriff arrived with the police. The notice dated back to 2017.

Thembile Ndibaza claims that they were given permission to occupy the land. “When we showed those agreements to the police, they told us that those papers are not legitimate. The sheriff is using a letter dated 2017 for a different piece of land, not this one.”

Ndibaza said they decided to build on the land a few years ago because it had become a crime hotspot. “Women used to get raped here, dead bodies dumped here and stolen livestock also got slaughtered here. Since we built houses, those activities stopped,” he said.

Another resident, Lulama Rantjie, said, “We are left with nothing. They took our furniture and our building material. We don’t know where we are going to sleep.”

Department of Public Works and Infrastructure spokesperson Lunga Mahlangu said residents were warned about pending evictions because the land is not designated for housing.

“We only demolished new structures, unoccupied structures and structures that were under construction. Those structures fell on the piece of land that is not designated for human settlemen; it interferes with the airport runway,” said Mahlangu.

It is unclear if the department will obtain a court order for the remaining homes.

Reprinted from GroundUp by

Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a firm of specialist eviction lawyers, based in Cape Town and now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or if you need advice on the eviction process or if you are facing unlawful eviction.

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Township hub traders facing eviction

By | Commercial eviction, Eviction news
If you’ve been served with an eviction notice, don’t panic. You have rights and are protected by PIE. We explain the process and we're here to help.

More than 20 businesses trading from a piece of land in the heart of Olievenhoutbosch’s busiest economic hub face being evicted, allegedly to make way for a national food retailer.

The piece of land, located in the centre of Marabastad’s area of the township, is owned by Tshwane Municipality but a company that claims to have a valid lease on the land has issued notice to the traders to vacate the area as, according to the traders, it plans to set up a major retailer there.

The company, Mweusi Mali Maendeleo, which has Chulumanca Nomlomo as its sole director, wrote to the businesses, requesting them to vacate the property.

The letter also acknowledges that the company does not own the land but merely has a lease with the City of Tshwane.

It also gives the occupants 30 days to voluntarily vacate the premises and, according to a number of businesses City Press spoke to, a barbed wired fence was erected to barricade the area. However, it is alleged that criminals within the community removed the fence within a few weeks. “After the fence was taken, we just returned to our businesses,” said one businessperson who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of being victimised.


Most of the businesses that City Press spoke to have been trading in the area for more than a decade and though they have been harassed for bribes by metro police, they have never been told to vacate the land by the municipality, despite not paying rent.

However, according to the municipality, the company that has leased the land is called Green Valleys Project and has different directors to Mweusi.

Questions sent to Mweusi’s lawyers, as well as Nomlomo, were not replied to by the time of going to print.

Attempts to contact the directors of Green Valleys Project were also unsuccessful.

Tshwane municipality spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the businesses were occupying the land illegally.

“The businesses currently occupying the property are using council property without approval and/or a valid lease agreement and they are therefore illegal occupants. The city is not making any alternative arrangement for these occupants since the use of that property is illegal in the initial instance.

“That is the basis upon which the city is taking steps to evict them. Lawyers for Human Rights has been approached to intervene on their behalf and the city is attending to that aspect through its legal department.

“The property in question has been leased out to Green Valleys Project through an open tender. The said company needs to take occupation of the property and commence with the development as per the award,” Mashigo said.

However, according to Louise du Plessis from Lawyers for Human Rights, the organisation is not handling the matter.

Source: City Press (emphasis by SDLAW*)

*Cape Town Attorneys. Simon Dippenaar & Associates is a Cape Town law firm of specialised eviction attorneys in Cape Town, and now in Durban and Johannesburg, offering expert legal advice and representation to both landlords, and tenants regarding residential, commercial and farm evictions related matters in South Africa. Contact a Cape Town Lawyer on +27 (0) 86 099 5146 or email

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