Shack dwellers to challenge slums Act in court

Abahlali baseMjondolo, the organisation that represents shack dwellers, will on Thursday challenge KwaZulu-Natal’s Elimination and Prevention of the Re-emergence of Slums Act in the Constitutional Court.

“The Act was imposed by the KwaZulu-Natal department of housing. This Act was imposed against the will of the poor who the government is meant to serve. It is a clear attack on the poor,” said Abahlali baseMjondolo spokesperson Mnikelo Ndabankulu.

The Act was passed in 2007 by the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and it aims to eliminate slums, prevent new slums from developing and controlling and upgrading the existing slums.

Ndabankulu said slum dwellers were not happy with the Act. They saw it as an attempt to give legal support to evictions and to criminalise their organisation.

He said they were also not happy with the government’s temporary relocation areas, because they resulted in people being taken to areas far away from cities.

Abahlali baseMjondolo’s attempts to have the Act done away with failed in 2008 when KwaZulu-Natal judge president Vuka Shabalala ruled in favour of the government.

A housing department spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.—Sapa

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