Sexwale: Ruling could cause chaos

2010-03-10 22:21
Cape Town - Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said on Thursday government could approach Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo to voice concern that a landmark court ruling on evictions would throw housing policy into chaos.

Sexwale told the National Assembly during question time that while he respected "the separation of powers" there was a danger case law could impact on policy with dramatic consequences.

"It may end up pushing us into chaos," he told MPs.

Sexwale said last month's ruling by Judge Brian Spilg in the South Gauteng High Court on the fate of some 80 squatters in Berea amounted to "the legalisation of illegality".

Spilg ordered they vacate the building by the end of the month and will then become the responsibility of the City of Johannesburg. The city will have to provide them either with temporary accommodation, or pay each occupier or household head R850 to rent elsewhere.

Govt must pay for squatters


If the judgment were upheld on appeal, the minister said, it would mean that "everywhere they have occupied you have to pay rent for these people" and dire consequences would ensue for municipalities and ultimately Treasury.

Waving an arm around the assembly, he said even if Parliament were illegally occupied the same would apply.

He said the matter had been taken up with Cabinet and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and could be raised with Ngcobo.

Sexwale said like the historic Constitutional Court ruling in the Grootboom case in 2000, the judgment was based on the Protection of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation Act, which was meant to stop a perpetuation of apartheid-era wrongs, but has ended up having unintended consequences.

"We attempted to address history, but unfortunately history has turned on us."

Relief for property owners


But he added that he did not want to pre-empt the outcome of the appeal.

"We can only pray," he said.

Spilg's judgment has brought relief for property owners who have struggled to get squatters evicted because the country's courts have been reluctant to evict illegal occupants who have nowhere else to go.

But it has raised fears with authorities that they will be obliged to provide or pay for alternative housing.

It is only binding in Johannesburg, but local authorities elsewhere have expressed concern that it could prove persuasive in other divisions.
 

- SAPA
Read more on:    tokyo sexwale  |  johannesburg  |  housing
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
Investment tips you need to know 2015-01-29 14:07

Ever wondered how to assess your future potential liability? Feroz Basa, Senior Portfolio Manager Old Mutual Investment Group, weighs in on all the investment tips you need to know. WATCH.

/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something is blocking the flow of things today and it is easy to become frustrated and pessimistic. The problem is that your mind...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.