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eviction process Archives | Eviction Lawyers South Africa

Wentworth residents protest in defence of woman’s forced removal

By | Uncategorized

Durban – A group of residents living in the south Durban township of Wentworth burnt tyres and debris on the road in a form of protest following an apparent eviction of a woman and her family at a block of flats on Friday.

At this stage, it is alleged that the woman and her family moved into the apartment of a previous resident who recently passed away.

When security and local authorities arrived to evict the woman, residents jumped to her defence.

They then set tyres alight, blocking off part of Austerville Drive and Goede Hoop Street.

“About 100 community members embarked in a protest action after an elderly woman was evicted  by the Sheriff of the Court after she occupied the flat illegally,” Provincial police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said

“They blockaded the Austerville Drive with burning tyres and rubble. The road has been cleared and police are monitoring,” Gwala said.

Residents have expressed their anger over the woman’s apparent forced removal. They are demanding that she be allowed to move into the flat as she has been living in the area for many years.

Reprinted from the Mercury News – 2020-02-21. Emphasis/links by SD Law.

If you need help with an eviction matter…

We are eviction lawyers in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and we believe the landlord-tenant relationship should be built on trust. We act for both landlords and tenants and uphold the rights of each to a fair and satisfactory tenancy. Make sure any eviction you undertake is fair and lawful. Contact Simon at Cape Town Eviction Attorneys on 086 099 5146 or email sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za.

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Farm worker challenges authorities in court over housing

By | ESTA, Eviction news, Eviction notice, Evictions, Farm evictions

Municipality and province accused of not meeting constitutional obligations

A farm worker is to take the Drakenstein Municipality and the provincial Department of Human Settlements to court for their “failure to meet its constitutional obligation by not providing adequate emergency housing” to families facing eviction.

The worker, Eric Lolo, is bringing the matter to court on behalf of all farm dwellers in the region currently facing eviction and in need of emergency accommodation. The case will be heard in the Western Cape High Court in April. Farm worker rights organisation Women on Farms Project has been admitted as amicus curiae [friend of the court] in the matter.

Lolo, 60, shares a two bedroom home with his daughter Berenice Fransman and her child on Langkloof Roses farm in Wellington. Lolo said he had worked at Langkloof intermittently for about 20 years before he was retrenched in February 2014.

In August 2015, the farm’s owners, Greenwillows Properties, lodged an eviction application in the Wellington Magistrates’ Court against Lolo. They argued that according to the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA), the right of Lolo and his family to remain in the house at Langkloof ended along with his employment.

Lolo currently works on an estate in Simondium.

Representing the farm, attorney Ina-Mari Booysen said that despite having worked for the company years earlier, Lolo had only signed a written employment and housing agreement in February 2012.

“Mr Lolo was retrenched for operating requirements. He is being evicted because he is no longer working on the farm. The farm only offers housing to active staff,” she said.

“There is currently a need for housing for employees who must live on-site. This distress and Mr Lolo’s failure to vacate the premises voluntarily is why we instituted the eviction application. There were several occasions where [alternative] housing was discussed with Mr Lolo, among other things,” she said.

The ruling on Lolo’s eviction is pending the outcome of the High Court case. If he is evicted, Lolo told GroundUp, his family has “nowhere to go”.

“I was given R10,000 for all of the years I worked there. They want me to move but I have nowhere to go. My daughter is unemployed and they don’t have work for her there either,” he said.

“The company offered me a bungalow, but I have to find a place to put it.”

During the eviction hearing, the municipality was asked to provide emergency housing for Lolo in Simondium where he currently works. The municipality offered emergency housing at an informal settlement in Simondium, which was rejected by Lolo and his lawyer as the site was already overcrowded and lacked sufficient services.

“Have they [the municipality] seen what that place looks like or know what goes on there?” asked Lolo.

Representing Lolo, attorney Johan van der Merwe said they want the municipality’s housing selection policy — dated 28 October 2014 — declared unconstitutional and invalid.

Van der Merwe plans to argue that this policy precludes farm dwellers from benefiting from the 20% quota set aside for farm workers and dwellers in municipal housing projects.

“The municipality’s practice of relying primarily on money from the provincial government for the provision of emergency housing is unlawful. We want the municipality to be legally obligated to use its own financial resources for emergency housing,” he said.

Gerald Esau, Executive Director of Community Services at Drakenstein Municipality, told GroundUp that as of last week, they were aware of 55 households awaiting placement. He did not say how many people were affected.

The municipality has a budget of R1.2 million available for emergency accommodation. The provincial Department of Human Settlements gave about R12 million to develop a piece of land to house evictees. “The National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is however the lead government institution to address evictions on farms in terms of the Extension of Security Tenure Act. They must provide legal representation and also secure the permanent tenure [alternative accommodation] of evictees,” he said.

Esau said the municipality’s challenges included availability of funding and of suitable land, and the competing interests of evictees and of the communities where they are to be settled. “In Schoongezicht [in Paarl] for instance, the surrounding communities threatened to invade the site and even to harm the evictees unless they could also be accommodated in the project. The challenge is to find land and to get the buy-in from these communities,” he said.

Colette Solomon, co-director of the Women on Farms Project, in an affidavit to the court, said: “We will show that even from the evidence already on record, the living conditions of persons who are evicted from farms within the municipality’s jurisdiction, fall short of acceptable standards. Worse still, on the municipality’s own version, it has not prioritised the needs of the most vulnerable evictees: women and children. This is despite the constitutional injunction that they do so.”

Solomon believes that the evidence to be presented to the court “shows that the municipality’s failure to provide humane and an acceptable emergency accommodation for those evicted from farms in the manner similar to that of the applicants, violates the right to housing enshrined in the Constitution”.

Reprinted from GroundUp – 2020-02-20. Emphasis/links by SD Law.

Need help with an eviction matter?

Simon Dippenaar & Associates Inc. is a Cape Town law firm with offices in Cape Town, and now Johannesburg and Durban, of specialised eviction attorneys and property lawyers. We uphold the rights of landlords and tenants, including farm workers. Contact Cape Town Attorney for help with your eviction matter on +27 (0) 86 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za. One of our Cape Town Eviction Attorneys will contact you right back.

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Mangaung municipality goes after defaulting tenants

By | Eviction news, Eviction notice, Evictions

Since November last year 112 accounts have been handed over to attorneys and defaulting tenants issued with letters of demand.

The Mangaung metropolitan municipality is going after non-paying tenants in residential flats and houses to try and recover monies owed to the municipality.

Operation Patala (Pay up) will focus on non-paying tenants in residential flats, sites that were never paid and reallocation of informal sites sold to non-qualifying beneficiaries.

“All non-paying tenants and those who are employed have been referred to the city’s attorneys (Ramothello Attorneys) to start with the eviction process. This will be dealt with on merit,” said municipal spokesperson Qondile Khedama.

He said unemployed tenants would be required to present proof and a plan will be made to accommodate them in alternative settlement sites owned by the city.

“There have been issues with non-paying tenants at Lourierpark flats over the years. All necessary steps to inform tenants have been taken,” said Khedama.

He said that there were also informal sites that were allocated to beneficiaries who sold them to non-qualifying beneficiaries or non-South Africans.

“We have embarked on the operation to take back these sites and allocate them to beneficiaries who are in real need of accommodation. Where the non-qualifying occupant has built a permanent structure, we make them offers to pay for land costs. Failure to pay will lead to eviction,” he added.

The first phase of the campaign started in November 2019 and since then 112 accounts have been handed over to Ramothello Attorneys and defaulting tenants issued with letters of demand.

The city will now embark on eviction applications in court.

“The campaign also seeks to recover monies from people who were sold sites in Bloemside in the 1990s. Most occupants never paid the land costs; some have built houses and others have sold the sites to third parties,” said Khedama.

Contact Eviction Lawyers in Cape Town and Johannesburg for help if you face eviction

*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 lawyers on 086 099 5146 or info@sdlaw.co.za if you have been evicted unlawfully or simply need advice on your situation.

Reprinted from The Citizen 2020-02-10

Emphasis/links by SD Law

Further reading:

Joy as rightful owners of Mamelodi flats move in after waiting years for homes

When and how you can evict a tenant

100 illegal flat invaders evicted from buildings

Mangaung collects