City ordered to replace destroyed homes

2013-09-04 00:00

THE high court in Durban has ordered the municipality to replace all structures that were demolished by its officials in Cato Crest informal settlement at the weekend.

An urgent application was brought late on Monday afternoon in the high court by Abahlali baseMjondolo on behalf of the residents, to stop the municipality from evicting Cato Crest settlers and demolishing their structures without a court order.

The court ordered the council to construct “temporary habitable dwellings that afford shelter, privacy and amenities at least equivalent to those destroyed, and which are capable of being dismantled, at the site where their previous informal housing structures were demolished”.

The residents brought their application against the municipality and Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay.

At least 15 homes were demolished by council officials. This was done to stop “land invasion”. The city’s action was declared unlawful by the court.

The city will now also have to pay the residents’ legal costs and the cost to rebuild the homes.

Residents yesterday started rebuilding their homes. Local leader Ndabo Mzimela said the ruling was “ground-breaking”.

Metro spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said they had not disregarded the previous court order, but were merely demolishing new structures built a few weeks ago.

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