South Africa

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The case was brought by two women who had borrowed minimal sums of money (about 27 and 35 US dollars respectively), had been charged significant interest and fell behind on their payments. This led to the sale and execution of their houses. The applicants argued that legislation permitting the sale in execution of people's homes due to non-payment of trifling debts removed their security of tenure and violated their right to access to adequate housing recognized in section 26 of the Constitution. The law in question was sections 66(1)(a) and 67 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 32 of 1944.

Approximately 20,000 occupiers of the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Cape Town appealed to the Constitutional Court to set aside an order for their eviction granted by the High Court. The eviction had been sought by the National and Provincial Ministers of Housing and a housing company contracted to implement a development of formal housing for low-income families at the site of the informal settlement. While the housing company tendered that they would provide temporary accommodation for the occupiers in Delft, 15 kilometres away, no permanent housing was guaranteed.

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

Five residents of Phiri in Soweto brought a case against the City of Johannesburg, Johannesburg Water (a company wholly owned by the City) and the national Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry. There were two key questions at issue.

The City of Johannesburg sought to evict men, women and children from two buildings in Berea, in the inner city. This was part of an overall clearance policy under the Johannesburg Inner City Regeneration Strategy, in which evictions have been carried out in the middle of the night and without notice, under Apartheid-era laws and regulations. The city alleged that the living conditions are unhygienic and constitute a fire hazard, but had refused to offer the occupiers alternative accommodation.

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

The claimant, Thiagraj Soobramoney, suffered from chronic renal failure (among other diseases) and was in dire need of renal dialysis in order to stave off death. When he ran out of personal funds with which to pay private providers, he sought service in Addington Hospital, a state-funded hospital in Durban. The hospital refused Soobramoney treatment because his general physical condition did not qualify him for treatment under the criteria or guidelines used by the hospital to determine eligibility for such treatments.

Country: 
South Africa
Working Group(s) / Area(s) of Work: 
Economic Policy and Human Rights
OP-ICESCR