Gauteng wins case on police housing
Johannesburg - The Labour Court has dismissed a police union's application to prevent the Gauteng government from charging its members market-related rentals for living in state accommodation.
"The court application by [the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union] was dismissed with costs," the provincial government said in a statement.
The court ruled that the decision to charge market-related rentals was taken by the department as a landlord and not as an employer.
"In other words, this is a matter between landlord and tenants, not employer and employee."
Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Bheki Nkosi said: "This is a landmark judgment for my department, which will go a long way in assisting the department to implement market-related rentals."
Popcru's action came after the department issued a notice of intention on February 24 2009, to charge market-related rentals to all occupants of state houses. It said the market-related rentals were scheduled to come into effect on August 1 2009.
It implied that new lease agreements were to be entered into between the occupants and the department, as landlord, from June 1 2010.
Anyone turning down the offer had to vacate their property by May 31 2010. The rental issue would also be excluded from collective bargaining.
The department said it would now apply for a declaratory order to enable it to secure the market-related rentals and to prevent others from making a similar application.
Comment from Popcru could not immediately be obtained.