13 November 2012

South Africa: Human Settlements Committee Calls for an End to Demolition of Homes

Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN
A destroyed house (file photo): The site of families fighting for their homes has touched a chord for many South Africans.

press release

The Chairperson (Ms Nomhle Dambuza) of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements intends appealing to the Gauteng government to immediately stop further demolition of houses illegally built on government-owned land in Lenasia.

Regardless of the judgment of the court on this matter, government has a responsibility to resolve this matter humanely, instead of demonising homeowners who might also be victims in this illegal land transaction.

The heart-wrenching and disturbing images of government mowing down people's homes, with women literally being dragged by police kicking and weeping, show the urgent need for change of heart from this caring government. The judgment of the court cannot be used as a justification to misplace and render families homeless by the provincial government that ought to act humanely, decently and reasonably.

We would urge the provincial local government and housing department and MEC Ntombi Mekgwe to suspend these demolitions and put in place mechanisms to take care of families whose homes have already been demolished.

The Committee will immediately interact with all stakeholders involved to ensure that a viable solution is sought to resolve this complex matter without causing further harm to the homes and dignity of the affected members of the Lenasia community.

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