South Road Families lose high court bid

2017-02-10 21:37

Cape Town – The South Road Families Association is planning to take the City of Cape Town to the Constitutional Court following a high court ruling on Friday which cleared the city of any wrongdoing. 

"That’s the only other option available to us. Housing is of course a constitutional matter,” association chairperson Clive Muller told News24.

They would however first have to look at their financial situation.

Muller expressed frustration with the development and said the city did not properly consult residents.

People living in South Road, Wynberg, received notices to vacate city-owned rental properties in September 2014 to make way for a MyCiti bus expansion. A subsequent interdict was granted to the association, preventing the city from moving forward with the project. 

Muller said the city never held public participation sessions, but merely “information sessions”, and only when residents asked for them.

The city said plans had not yet been finalised on whether the bus route would go through South Road.  According to councillor Brett Herron, the city was unable to finalise plans due to the interdict. 

“We weren’t even allowed to touch the public participation feedback. We will now investigate the responses, until we make a final decision about the route of the MyCiti bus lane,” Herron said in a statement. 

If the city decided to develop bus lanes in South Road, roughly 100 residents and 20 families would be affected.

Muller said certain rental houses were torn down in December 2014.

“The city was trying to use intimidation tactics to force us to leave,” he claimed. 

Muller said families have been living in South Road for 40 years. Most of the residents were elderly people living off social grants. 

Herron told News24 that according to Friday’s high court ruling, the city fulfilled its legal obligations. 

“We went above and beyond. When people requested additional sessions, we organised more sessions. We planned to have 20 consultation sessions, which were increased to 34 after people asked for it,” Herron said. 

The association’s court action stalled the roll-out of the MyCiti services to the residents in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha by nearly two years.

Herron claimed the association was funded by the ANC for political point scoring.

“I wouldn’t want to comment on that. I don’t have that information so I don’t want to suck information out of my thumb,” Muller said in reply. 

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