Updates on two Gauteng eviction cases

Eku rebuilding1

Pictured above: A month after being ordered by a court to rebuild over 70 shacks in Barcelona informal settlement, the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality has only constructed a few wooden poles.

By Max Rambau, CORC

On 6 September 2010, as I was going around mobilizing people for the Ekurhuleni Service Delivery Summit, I also went to Barcelona informal settlement to check on the progress of the rebuilding of 72 shacks destroyed by the Ekurhuleni municipality. The court judgement had ordered the municipality to rebuild the shacks.

I found that not a single shack had been rebuilt by the municipality. This was almost a month since the court judgement on 10 August. Meanwhile, the affected families are staying with other families. I also found out that owners of the 72 shacks are the only ones who had come forward and reported that they had been displaced. But there are many more families that were affected, totaling almost 300 people. I met with the local community leadership and I agreed to arrange a meeting between the community and its legal representatives regarding the fact that the municipality has not complied with the court ruling.

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On 8 September I went to Lanseria to check on the application to reinstate the people who were evicted from of their houses. The people were evicted without a court order by the Lanseria Commercial Crossing (Pty) Ltd. Also, this company used the wrong document for Mzala Informal Settlement to evict the people.

The court ruling was that the people should go back to their houses (the people went back on Thursday, 9 September).

The case continues on 15 September to challenge the legality of the eviction, as well as to rule on the community’s complaint that it was intimidated by the Lanseria Commercial Crossing (Pty) Ltd, which used a fraudulent eviction document.