Families wait for court ruling

Residents of Bromwell Street in Woodstock are awaiting the judgement on their application to stop their eviction, as the City of Cape Town concluded its arguments in the Western Cape High Court last week.

The Bromwell families argued that they should be given a preferential right to relocate to a location as near as possible to Bromwell Street, explains Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development.

“They applied for a court order declaring that the City is under a Constitutional duty to provide them and their dependents with temporary emergency accommodation as near as possible to Bromwell Street and to do so within three months,” he says.

“We have argued that the Bromwell residents are not entitled to temporary emergency housing at a location of their choice – that being in Salt River or Woodstock.

“We have stated in court that the City does not have temporary emergency housing available in these areas for this purpose. In our view there ought to be parity and fairness in the provision of housing assistance to those who are in need. We argued that the resources allocated for the provision of emergency housing should not impede the City’s ability to progressively provide permanent housing to those in need and who qualify for these opportunities.”

Herron adds that the City offered seven households, who live in the Bromwell Street properties, temporary emergency accommodation in Wolwerivier.

“The temporary emergency accommodation that we have offered to these seven households, comprising 16 adults and 11 children, complies with the requirements and obligations imposed on the City by the Constitution and the National Housing Code.”

Judgement has been reserved in the application but the respondents want to recover legal costs from the 27 people taking them to court over the planned relocation the Western Cape High Court heard on last week.

Disha Govender, the attorney representing the Bromwell families comments that with judgement reserved it is now “a sit and wait situation”.

“We have to wait for the judge to deliver judgement,” she says.

“It is a difficult situation and we will react to the situation with consultation with our clients depending on that judgement.”

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