South Africa

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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.

The applicant Phakamile Ranelo brought a complaint before the Eastern Cape High Court against the South African Social Security Agency alleging that the State had unlawfully terminated his disability grant. South African regulations oblige the Social Security Agency to have informed Ranelo, in writing, of his approval for a disability grant, its temporary nature, and his right to appeal its temporary status. Ranelo argued he received no such prior notice, so his belief in his grant’s permanent nature was valid.

Over the last decade, the legal opportunities for claiming economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights have greatly increased in many parts of Africa. This can be seen in the growing use of litigation strategies amongst civil society, increased legal mobilisation of...

Due to the deterioration of the buildings within Schubart Park, a state-subsidized residential complex, the City stopped the water and electricity supply while 700 families were living there. Residents protested by lighting fires and throwing objects from buildings. The police removed these residents and would not allow them or any other residents from this complex to return. Negotiations occurred between the residents and the City to find temporary accommodations for the displaced residents, but no agreement was reached.

A mentally disabled woman with three children sought to set aside an eviction order from the family home obtained by her former husband. In making the eviction order, the magistrate found that the man was the registered owner of the property and the former wife and the children occupied the home after he had withdrawn his consent. The magistrate acknowledged the woman’s disability, but found that the former wife had suitable alternative accommodation available because she could move back in with her relatives (which she denied).