Evictions should be humane – minister

2014-06-13 08:18

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Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu called on land owners to be humane when enforcing evictions.

Sisulu said yesterday that she was unhappy with evictions in winter when it was cold and while children were writing exams.

“I fail to understand why a property owner will receive a court order in summer and wait until winter to effect it,” she said in a statement.

“It is inhumane and it is bad timing. It is totally unacceptable.”

The Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act required that land and property owners act against illegal occupiers within six months of the illegal occupation.

“Should the owner fail to do so, they are required to provide temporary accommodation as part of the eviction plan,” she said.

Sisulu called on landowners to suspend evictions nationwide until such requirements were met.

Evictions recently took place in Lwandle, near Somerset West, Alexandra in Joburg and Bokamoso near Phuthaditjhaba.

Last week, families living in abandoned factories in Alexandra were evicted following a court order.

In Lwandle, about 800 people living on SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) land next to the N2 highway were evicted last week following an interim court order.

Their shacks were demolished and set alight. Many lost their personal possessions and were left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.

The families were taken to alternative Sanral-owned land in Blackheath, largely an established residential area.

Residents of the area were reportedly outraged at the arrival of the families and demanded that the families leave.

On Wednesday, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille announced the families would be moved back to Lwandle while they waited for a housing development project to accommodate them.

Sisulu has set up an inquiry into the Lwandle evictions.

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