South Africa

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This case concerns the conflict between the constitutional right to adequate housing and an owner’s right to develop private property.  Eighty-six poor individuals were unlawfully occupying private unused industrial facilities as living quarters.  The owner of the property (Blue Moonlight) sued to evict the occupiers in order to develop the property, which would almost certainly render them homeless.  The occupiers argued that the city had an obligation to provide them with temporary housing under the South African Constitution and the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from, and Unlawful Occup

Country: 
South Africa
Working Group(s) / Area(s) of Work: 
Strategic Litigation

An order was issued by the High Court order allowing the eviction of 50 families unlawfully occupying private land and requiring the municipality to provide the occupiers with alternate land.  However, under this order, the eviction was permitted to proceed even if the municipality had not yet provided alternate land to the occupiers, in which event the occupiers would become homeless.  The 50 families appealed from this order, arguing that not requiring the city to provide alternate land prior to the eviction was unjust and inequitable under section 4 (6) of th

The Juma Masjid Trust had allowed the Juma Musjid Primary School, a public school, to operate on its private property for an extended period of time. A dispute arose when the provincial Department of Education responsible for the school did not pay the Trust for rent or out-of-pocket expenses to run the school, and also did not adequately respond to a notice and other communications from the Trust to vacate the premises. The Trust then sought an eviction order to remove the School from its property.

The dispute in this case consists of two elements and arose when the first respondent purportedly purchased a property, Angus Mansions, in Johannesburg. In the initial action, the first respondent sought the eviction of approximately 300 people who were residing on the property (the applicants). The opposing action called into question the validity of the sale agreement and, consequently, the eviction order.

This case concerns the residents from the informal settlement of Makhaza, part of the Silvertown Project in Cape Town. The City of Cape Town had decided to upgrade the informal settlement under the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP).

This case concerns an appeal from a High Court order allowing an eviction of roughly 170 families from private land they had occupied as a result of a settlement’s spilling over onto private land.  The High Court issued an order allowing the eviction of the families from the property.  The families appealed from this order alleging that it was in violation of Section 4(6) of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (“PIE Act”), which was enacted to give effect to Section 26(3) of the Constitution (prohibition against evictions without court orders made aft

The applicants, occupiers of the Harry Gwala informal settlement, argued for the provision of certain interim basic services in their settlement, pending a decision on whether the settlement was to be upgraded on site or relocated to formal housing (whereupon such services would be provided permanently). They relied primarily on sections 26 and 27 of the Constitution and chapters 12 (emergency housing situations) and 13 (upgrading of informal settlements) of the National Housing Code.

The applicants occupy dilapidated buildings on land owned by the Rustenburg Local Municipality. Since 2004 the municipality had been planning to develop this land. The municipality met with the residents several times to discuss the development plan and to obtain consent from the residents, but no consensus was reached. The residents refused to leave their homes and accept alternative accommodation.