A group of about 25 people living at the old circus school in Observatory have to leave the property by 31 July, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court has ruled.

With the City of Cape Town having offered a Culemborg Safe Space on the foreshore as alternative accommodation, Magistrate Reaz Khan, presiding over an eviction application brought by the city, ruled those living on the property be evicted.

They have until 15 July to make a decision on the city’s offer of accommodation, reports GroundUp.

Jonty Cogger, the attorney who represented the group in the eviction hearing, said the Culemborg Safe Space site was intended for homelessness ‘as opposed to conditions that evictees face’.

Cogger said the safe space site had a number of limitations. These included not accommodating families, people being locked out during the day, and a lack of personal space.

While homeless people making use of the safe space can stay for a maximum of six months, those evicted from the circus school have been offered and 18-month stay.

Cogger said the circus school residents were still deciding if they would appeal the ruling.

He said they would like to visit the Culemborg site to better understand the location and see if it was acceptable.

The eviction application first took place in 2019, with the group having been offered alternative housing in Kampies in Philippi, or Bosasa in Mfuleni.

They were also offered emergency housing kits they could use to build their own shacks if they could find private land owners who were willing to accommodate them.

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