Another shady eviction by eThekwini and violent protest in Cato Crest

Hlanganani Gumbi, MPL

DA KZN Shadow MEC on Human Settlements

I will be writing to the Chairperson of the Human Settlements Committee Hon IE Mkhize to request that he urgently place the Cato Crest evictions on the portfolio committee’s agenda at its next meeting. The lastest shady eviction resulted in serious and violent protests. eThekwini Municipality acts on behalf of MEC Ravi Pillay as an implementing agent of his department and so must conduct its evictions in a dignified manner and with due respect for the law.

Myself and DA eThekwini Caucus Leader Cllr Zwakele Mncwango have inspected the area of the eviction and it is clear that the municipality showed complete disregard for the little belongings that people have during the eviction process, and have not accommodated their right to temporary relief shelter.

eThekwini municipality by now should be well aware of the law around evictions. It is the duty of the municipality to conduct an eviction with a clear sensitivity to the rights of the affected and to provide temporary relief accommodation for where people do not have somewhere to go. This requirement was particularly highlighted by the ruling between the CITY OF JOHANNESBURG METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY v  BLUE MOONLIGHT PROPERTIES 39 (PTY) LTD and Others (CC).

I have already submitted questions to MEC Ravi Pillay surrounding the recent cases of illegal evictions that eThekwini municipality is embroiled in and requested a schedule of planned evictions for the next two years in order to assess whether the department or municipalities acting on its behalf intend on following the law.

It is completely unacceptable for eThekwini to ignore the law and their obligations to protect people’s rights during evictions. It is equally unacceptable for the MEC to continue standing idly by as municipalities violate peoples rights in order to implement his mandate.