Residents going to ConCourt

2009-09-14 21:06

Johannesburg - Residents of the Harry Gwala informal settlement on the East Rand will take the Ekurhuleni Municipality to the Constitutional Court on Tuesday over a dispute about basic services.

The residents seek leave to appeal the judgement by the High Court in Johannesburg.

They approached the high court for an order for the municipality to install communal water taps, temporary sanitation facilities, refuse removal facilitation and high-mast lighting in key areas, pending a decision by the Member of the Executive Council for Local Government and Housing, Gauteng (the MEC), on whether the settlement would be upgraded to a formal township.

In August 2006 the municipality submitted a proposal for its upgrading to the MEC, but a decision has not yet been taken.

The applicants argued that the municipality was obliged in terms of its statutory obligations, Chapter 12 and 13 of the National Housing Programme (the Housing Code) and the Constitution, to provide the settlement with the basic services demanded.

The high court found that Chapter 12 of the Housing Code did not apply because the emergency housing requirements as defined in the chapter were not present.

It furthermore held that Chapter 13 of the Housing Code was only of application once a decision had been taken to upgrade an informal settlement.