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Eviction lawyers South Africa Archives | Eviction Lawyers South Africa

53 land invasions on Public Works and Infrastructure Department properties, says De Lille

By | Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders
Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA) Archives
Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA) Archives

Cape Town: The Public Works and Infrastructure Department has experienced 53 land invasions on its properties across the country since last year.

The department was unsuccessful in preventing land invasion in 32 vacant properties and had instituted 12 cases of trespassing and/or eviction orders.

This was revealed by Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille when responding to parliamenatry questions from DA MP Samantha Graham.

Graham had asked about the number of vacant properties owned by her department in 2019 and 2020.

The breakdown of invasions to the department’s properties showed that Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape, lead the pack with 14 incidents, followed by nine each in Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit, as well as eight in Durban.

Cape Town recorded four instances, there were three each in Kimberley and Mmabatho, two in Polokwane and one in Bloemfontein.

De Lille said her department had deployed various strategies to prevent land invasions.

These included nine vacant plots of land where the department was planning to procure the services of the security companies to patrol the area.

She also said another strategy was forging relationship with municipalities to collaborate and share intelligence on the land prevention tactics.

“The department is also intending to collaborate with community leaders, civil activists and whistle blowers to receive information of potential threats on land invasion and act immediately upon receipt of such information to prevent further land invasions,” the minister said.

She said they would also report cases to police to assist with the arrest of the trespassers and the demolition of informal structures within 24 hours of their erection.

Meanwhile, Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola said the National Prosecuting Authority and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development had informed him that statistics relating to cases of illegal invasion of state-owned land, which were prosecuted in the past five financial years, had not been kept.

Lamola was responding to DA MP Jacques Julius, who asked about the number of cases of illegal invasion of land owned by the state that had been prosecuted, and the number of successful prosecutions in each province.

He said invasion of state property would normally constitute the civil offence of trespass.

“Complaints in this regard, would be submitted by municipalities. There is no record of cases opened by municipalities against trespassers in this regard,” Lamola said.

He said municipalities usually initiated civil proceedings and sought a court order for the eviction of unlawful land invaders.

“These cases would normally be enrolled on the civil case roll in various magistrates’ districts.”

He said some of these civil cases were often also settled out of court with the result that no case was actually registered on the court roll in such circumstances.

“It is for this reason that the statistics of these civil cases are not readily available,” Lamola said.

Reprinted from IOL (emphasis by SD Law*)

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 eviction attorneys on 086 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or if you are facing unlawful eviction.

Further Reading:

TORCHED KHAYELITSHA CLINIC WAS MEANT TO OPEN TODAY, SAYS COCT

By | COVID 19, Protests

A group of protesters went on the rampage during a demonstration against an eviction in Makhaza.

The Desmond Tutu Hall in Khayelitsha was damaged extensively during a protest on 18 July 2020. Picture: @CityofCT/Twitter
Picture: @CityofCT/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – City authorities are counting the cost of damage to a Khayelitsha community hall, which was torched over the weekend.

The hall was to be used as a COVID-19 facility.

A group of protesters went on the rampage during a demonstration against an eviction in Makhaza.

The City of Cape Town’s Zahid Badroodien said that it was meant to open today.

“We’d started to stock them up because it was meant to open today and actually to kick down the doors and throw around the blood tubes, throw out wheelchairs and gloves all over the place is the most frustrating part of this because this particular facility was meant to decant another two clinics in the area, the Matthew Goniwe Clinic and also the Nomvula Clinic.”

Four suspects have been arrested for the incident.

Reprinted from EWN by Lauren Isaacs

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 sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or if you are facing unlawful eviction.

Further Reading:

Courts must brace for tsunami of rental disputes as lockdown squeezes tenants

By | Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Evictions, Lease Agreement, Rent, Rental Housing Act

The provincial rental housing tribunals and the courts are most likely to be swamped with tenancy-related matters, specifically rental arrears and eviction notices.

The provincial rental housing tribunals and the courts are most likely to be swamped with tenancy-related matters, specifically rental arrears and eviction notices.

Durban – The provincial rental housing tribunals and the courts are most likely to be swamped with tenancy-related matters, specifically rental arrears and eviction notices.

The Organisation of Civic Rights team, faced by a huge volume of tenancy queries, continues to provide advice to tenants during the lockdown period. One of the tenants, a self-employed single mother whose livelihood has been severely disrupted, received a letter from her landlord’s attorney. Should she fail to vacate, the attorney indicated she would be charged a daily rate.

The tenant is contractually bound and therefore liable for the rentals as per her lease contract. Unless her landlord agrees to any proposal she can offer, the landlord may proceed to cancel her lease, which he did. Her lease was lawfully cancelled when she failed to pay the outstanding amount after she was given seven days’ notice to remedy the breach.

As for charging her a daily rate and consequently an exorbitant rental for failing to move out, this is not lawful since she pays rental monthly and not daily. However, once the lease is properly cancelled, the landlord can claim a higher rental as damages but the rental housing tribunal or the court can decide if the landlord is justified.

If the tenant lodges a complaint with the provincial rental housing tribunal, then the tribunal must first determine whether the notice cancelling her lease does not constitute an unfair practice. In addition, the tribunal must decide if the amount claimed is justified.

Only after the tribunal has made a decision, can the landlord start the eviction proceedings. Should the landlord pursue the intended eviction, the process can be lengthy if the tenant decides to defend it.

The amended lockdown regulations in level 4 allows a landlord to approach the court to apply for an eviction order. Once granted, it can only be executed after level 4. It is not possible for courts to merely grant an eviction order since a lengthy process is involved.

Can the tenant rely on the Covid-19 pandemic to justify her failure to pay rental? There are several legal experts in South Africa and abroad who have argued they might be a possibility for commercial tenants to rely on a force majeure clause in the lease as a defence. This would allow the party who is unable to perform his or her or its obligations to have such an obligation suspended or removed. In the absence of a force majeure clause, a party can refer to the common law doctrine of “supervening impossibility of performance”.

A party would rely on this principle if unable to fulfil their obligation due to an unforeseen, unavoidable event. A party would not be able to perform due to “an act of God”. The lease contract ends due to doctrine of “supervening impossibility of performance” since the party or parties are unable to perform their obligations.

It would appear that a force majeure clause and the common law doctrine of supervening impossibility of performance would not provide grounds for residential tenants who fail to pay their rentals and meet other obligations.

Reprinted from IOL.co.za  2020-05-20. Original links retained. Additional links by SD Law.

Simon Dippenaar and Associates Inc. are expert eviction lawyers. We can help you navigate the complex world of lease agreements. Call Simon on 086 099 5146 or email sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za.

Further reading:

Eviction notice got you in a panic?

No lease? No problem. Tenants still have rights.

What is the Rental Housing Tribunal?