South Africa: Demolitions and Evictions - the Ethekwini Council Has Gone 'Rogue'

analysis

Abahlali baseMjondolo has faced violence, evictions and demolitions at the hands of eThekwini municipality since day one of South Africa's lockdown in response to Covid-19. This is unconstitutional.

Abahlali baseMjondolo fights for the right of shack dwellers to have adequate housing and against unlawful evictions. South Africa's Constitution guarantees all those who live in the country the right to housing. But based on the behaviours of the eThekwini Municipality you wouldn't think so.

Section 26 specifically states:

Everyone has a right to have access to adequate housing.

The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.

No one may be evicted from their home or have their home demolished without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.

The South Africa Human Rights Commission reinforces this, saying: "The right to adequate housing ensures that people enjoy physical and mental health and live in a safe place in peace and dignity."

Section 26 further places responsibility on the state to endeavour to ensure people have safe and adequate housing. As we face the coronavirus pandemic, it is at times like...

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