Mitchells Plain residents who have been fighting a social housing company in order to keep the roofs over their heads have come out victorious in the Constitutional Court, says a Cape Times report. The court unanimously found that the Cape Town Community Housing Company's (CTCHC) cancelling of instalment sale agreements of 12 Wood Ridge residents to be unlawful.

The CTCHC was established through a joint agreement, including with the National Housing Finance Corporation, to provide affordable housing for poor residents. The 12 families had argued that when they moved into the houses between 2000 and 2003, they discovered that the buildings were of an inferior quality. They charged they had to spend substantial amounts of money, some up to R20 000, to repair their new homes, and as a result they paid their instalments at different times and when they could afford it.

The Constitutional Court said the residents were threatened with the cancellation of the instrumental sale agreements if their instalments were not up to date – and in 2014 CTCHC had sold their homes to S&N Trust.

Constitutional Court Judge Nonkosi Mhlantla said when CTCHC sold three houses to the trust it had not cancelled the instalment sale agreements, nor had it submitted an application to the Registrar of Deeds for the cancellation of the recording of the instalment sale agreements.

The effect of this is that the subsequent cancellation of the instalment sale agreements and the cancellation of the recording of these agreements are also invalid,’ Mhlantla found.

Full Cape Times report

Amardien and Others v Registrar of Deeds and Others