MEC: Evictions distasteful

2014-06-11 21:13
Workers dismantle shacks in Lwandle (Rodger Bosch, AFP)

Workers dismantle shacks in Lwandle (Rodger Bosch, AFP)

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Johannesburg - The way people are evicted from their dwellings is distasteful and has to stop, Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Wednesday.

"We are deeply concerned by the acts of violence, displacements, confrontations, loss of property and gross disregard as well as the violation of human rights every time evictions take place," Mamabolo said in a statement.

"Our experience is that evictions leave behind a trail of pain."

Mamabolo met management of the Red Ant Security and Eviction Services company on Wednesday.

The meeting was to ensure future evictions did not infringe on the human rights of residents, department spokesperson Victor Moreriane said.

The partnership between the two parties would include identification of vulnerable groups, such as children and the elderly, before evictions were carried out.

It also provided for detailed communication with people facing eviction.

Mamabolo said eviction notices should be clear and should be distributed with instructions informing residents what to do.

"Our intention is to discourage violence while also taking care of the vulnerable groups. I am deeply convinced that things could be done better," said Mamabolo.

The Red Ants management complained of being unfairly implicated in violence-related events they were not responsible for.

"The company said it has a strict disciplinary code of conduct for its employees and will take action against anyone implicated in deliberate acts of violence and damage to property," Moreriane said.

He said the eviction company noted that most evictions were characterised by emotion and aggression.

"They also noted hostile cases in which some of their members were being attacked or even killed while executing eviction orders."

The emergence of unregistered companies using violence to evict residents through the use of illegal eviction orders in the Johannesburg CBD, was also raised by the company.

"We want to make it clear that we do not accept illegal occupations of land and properties," Mamabolo said.

"We therefore call on Gauteng communities to work with us. We will not tolerate property theft in this province."

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