13 March 2018

South Africa: Court Orders Brett Herron to Explain Emergency Housing Options

Magistrate Paul Jethro has ordered the City of Cape Town's Brett Herron and an official from the housing department to explain where it plans to house a group of Woodstock occupants facing eviction.

During the hearing at the Cape Town Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, Jethro said, "They must report to court on 9 May 2018 to assist the court with information regarding alternative accommodation in the event of their eviction rendering them homeless."

The occupants living in Albert Road, Woodstock, were given eviction notices in March and April 2017 after a dispute with the landlord. The City has offered the group emergency housing in Wolwerivier situated just off the N7 and in Blikkiesdorp, Delft.

The families have rejected this offer. They are asking the City to temporarily erect structures for them on vacant sites in the area where they currently live. The City says it cannot as these sites are already earmarked for development.

On Monday, activists from Reclaim the City along with the Woodstock tenants protested at the Civic Centre in the CBD. They demanded to speak to officials in the City's legal department.

The group agreed to conduct a walk-through of Wolwerivier with City officials on Saturday.

This was in response to claims made in court by the City's lawyer, Quinton Williams, at an earlier hearing. Williams claimed the temporary relocation areas of Wolwerivier and Blikkiesdorp have "a number of services" for residents. The residents of Wolwerivier and Woodstock disagree.

The case was postponed until 9 May.

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