Court win for Cape Town inner city residents
The Western Cape High Court has ruled for the residents of Bromwell Street, Woodstock, after they challenged the City of Cape Town's provision of emergency and temporary housing.
Residents demanded accommodation near the inner city, where they live and work. They also wanted the court to declare parts of the city's housing programme unconstitutional, reports News24.
The residents' homes were bought by private developers – Woodstock Hub – in 2013, from the landlord as part of Woodstock's gentrification push.
In a ruling handed down this week, the court ruled that the city's emergency housing programme and its implementation, in relation to the Bromwell Street residents, was unconstitutional.
The court ruled that the city had to provide the residents with ‘temporary’ emergency accommodation or ‘transitional’ housing in Woodstock, Salt River or the inner-city precinct in a location as near as feasibly possible to where the applicants were currently residing – within 12 months of the date of the order.
The court also ordered the city to file a report within four months, in which details of the emergency accommodation or transitional housing to the residents were provided.
Residents were represented by the housing law group, Ndifuna Ukwazi.
The residents have been resisting their eviction since 2014, because they could not afford any other housing options in Woodstock or Salt River, notes the News24 report.
The city had offered alternative accommodation, but residents had refused.
Judge Mark Sher said in his ruling: ‘In my view, the differentiation in treatment which the city's emergency housing programme affords to homeless evictees in the inner city, and in Woodstock and Salt River in particular, is not only unreasonable, but also irrational because it is arbitrary in its implementation.’
Executive Mayor Dan Plato said: ‘The city is concerned about the implications of this judgment for both private property owners and municipalities across the country. While we acknowledge the court's decision, we do not agree with the outcome of this matter and we are in the process of considering our options.’
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.