Gauteng wins case on police housing

2012-02-02 22:49

Johannesburg - The Labour Court has dismissed a police union's application to prevent the Gauteng government from charging its members market-related rentals for living in state accommodation.

"The court application by [the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union] was dismissed with costs," the provincial government said in a statement.

The court ruled that the decision to charge market-related rentals was taken by the department as a landlord and not as an employer.

"In other words, this is a matter between landlord and tenants, not employer and employee."

Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Bheki Nkosi said: "This is a landmark judgment for my department, which will go a long way in assisting the department to implement market-related rentals."

Popcru's action came after the department issued a notice of intention on February 24 2009, to charge market-related rentals to all occupants of state houses. It said the market-related rentals were scheduled to come into effect on August 1 2009.

It implied that new lease agreements were to be entered into between the occupants and the department, as landlord, from June 1 2010.

Anyone turning down the offer had to vacate their property by May 31 2010. The rental issue would also be excluded from collective bargaining.

The department said it would now apply for a declaratory order to enable it to secure the market-related rentals and to prevent others from making a similar application.

Comment from Popcru could not immediately be obtained.

  • mputumis - 2012-02-02 23:55

    But housing allowance won't be market related, this is sick

      Mhlophe - 2012-02-03 10:54

      Unless things have changed since I was in the SAP, you only got a housing alloance when you bought a house and not whilst renting. Even then, whilst staying in a police house I was paying R146 per month which included lights and water. Those unfortunate enough not to get state housing were paying market related rates. It's a fair decision since every one will pay the same.

  • Sean - 2012-02-03 04:08

    On what grounds can you say this ?

  • The-Azanian - 2012-02-03 06:38

    Wooow even police have unions. its about time regular citizen have a union to protest service delivery.

      Mhlophe - 2012-02-03 10:50

      I think we must establish an "employer Union" and go on strike from time to time when employees make demands.

  • Ramona Baijnath - 2012-02-03 10:16

    As a law abiding, taxpaying civil servant, I must applaud the MEC for the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development, Mr Bheki Nkosi for his successfully crackdown on public servants represented by POPCRU, who occupy government property at grossly discounted rates by ensuring that they are legally obliged to fit the bill for market appropriate rentals. It is high time we tackle public servants, who abuse the system, some of whom pay as little as R200 for rentals – this cannot be acceptable. This court judgement will pave the way for government to evict cosy public servants who have benefited unjustly and wish to continue to benefit at the expense of the tax payer and the expense of government. I must further applaud the Labour Court, which not only passed this precedent judgement but also ordered that the application is dismissed with costs. This will be a stern warning to other possible applicants, who wish to test both government and the law without sufficient cause. It is also indicative of the MECs commitment to closing all loopholes, that his department is applying to the Court to secure an order to effectively implement the market appropriate rentals. This will prevent potential applicants, who were not part of POPCRU application to make another attempt to stop the Department from fulfilling its mandate.

  • Andrew - 2012-02-03 10:54

    Does this apply to all Gauteng government owned housing and do all occupants have to pay market related rentals including the Premier and MEC's?

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