Court dismisses Saratoga application

2012-03-30 12:53

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court on Friday dismissed an application to force the City of Johannesburg to say what it is doing about relocating a group of people from a private property.

"The application is dismissed. There is no order as to costs and reasons will be furnished later," said Judge Zac Yacoob.

Lawyers for the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (Cals), who represent at least 127 people who could be evicted in a fortnight, were too stunned to comment and said they would issue a statement later. The lawyer for the city would not comment.

On December 1 2011, the court ordered that the residents - over 80 people - vacate their homes on industrial land owned by a company called Blue Moonlight on Saratoga Avenue by April 15 this year.

The court ruled that the city's housing policy was unconstitutional because it had not budgeted for, nor made allowance for, emergency accommodation.

The City has until Sunday to say where it is planning to move the people to, and how many will be moved. Then, it has until April 15 to carry out the relocation.

Cals filed an urgent application earlier in March saying it could not get information from the city on what its plans were. It asked for a two month extension to the order that the city provide details of where the people will be moved to, and that they be moved by June 1.

They also wanted details on whether families would be able to stay together.

The order means the residents have to wait until Sunday to find out what is going to happen to them, and then have to be off the property by April 15.

  • Peter - 2012-03-30 13:06

    If somebody "squatted" on my property, I will not find other accomodation when I kick them off. So why should the be GIVEN accomodation if they illegally occupied the land

      Pur - 2012-03-30 16:09

      Actually, Peter, if somebody squatted on your property then the law says you CANNOT kick them off it UNLESS you find them alternative accommodation.

      Deon - 2012-03-30 16:26

      The law is strange to most of us. I also had to go to court to have someone removed after they stopped paying rent, it took me 6 months.

  • mmuxo.mosiamedi - 2012-03-30 13:12

    Give them accomodation.

      Mike - 2012-03-30 14:49

      In this context, the word 'give' is another 4-letter word which should not be in use. This would be seen by these people as the authorities surrendering to their demand(s) for free land and housing, with the necessary infrastructure, for which they are highly unlikely to pay anything. Where does it end ? With the existing rate and tax payers' funding the needs of these and other people who 'demand' ? While most South Africans are sensitive to the needs of people for reasonable housing, it cannot just be provided to all, as and when they demand it. More importantly, we cannot create wealth in SA by dividing it up with those who contribute little or nothing. This is a fundamental law of economics, and needs to be understood by all.

      Frank - 2012-03-30 15:32

      I think it would now only be fair for the ANC "comrades" to come to the fore and help these people. After all, they've mostly bought numerous properties and vacant land in and around Jhb with tax money which actually belongs to the likes of these poor squatting "comrades". "Comrade" Malema will make himself insanely popular amongst his "playpen" cadres if he bought a 2 acre plot in Houghton for say R10m (out of his R63m bank balance) and allowed them to squat there. All "naughties" will be pardoned and the ANC might even win the 2014 elections.

      Deon - 2012-03-30 16:28

      No wonder some others are start to give our country negative marks. Too few are working and too many want everything for free, now even food!

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