SERI publishes report on evictions and alternative accommodations in South Africa

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ESCR-Net member, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute, published a research report aiming to provide a comprehensive analysis of the jurisprudence on evictions and alternative accommodations, and the contingent obligations on municipalities in respect of the provision of alternative accommodation.

This report has been developed to assist non-governmental organizations and public interest law practitioners to navigate the highly complex legal terrain of jurisprudence on housing rights and evictions, as well as to understand various roles, responsibilities and duties of parties involved in eviction disputes.

Despite South Africa’s commitment to progressively realizing the right to access adequate housing as enshrined in South African Constitution, many state subsidized housing programs are unable to live up to this goal due to housing backlogs, evictions and removals.

This report further elaborates on South Africa’s grossly unequal society in which the poor and of color populations are disproportionally denied adequate housing opportunities and basic amenities. It is hoped that this report might act as a guide to activists, communities and lawyers entangled in eviction-related struggles, as well as to local government officials who are tasked with developing and implementing housing policy.  

The report is structured in five sections. After the introductory chapter, section two of this report sets out a chronological development of the key South African housing and eviction court cases, with the purpose of tracking the development of law in relation to housing rights and evictions.  Subsequently, section three provides a comprehensive analysis of the key legal principles that have been developed through the jurisprudence. Section four of this report dissects the common arguments raised by local government to justify their inability, incapacity or delay in providing alternative accommodation to unlawful occupiers who could be rendered homeless by eviction proceedings. The report concludes with section five, which succinctly sets out the obligations of the various parties involved in eviction proceedings. 

To read the Evictions and Alternative Accommodation Report, click here.

To know more about the right to housing, click here.