Court rules that Joe Slovo residents be evicted

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that about 20 000 residents in the Joe Slovo informal settlement on the Cape Flats must be evicted.

However, five judges said in a unanimous judgment that those evicted must be given alternative housing.

The Constitutional Court upheld in part an appeal brought by residents after the Cape High Court granted an eviction order last March.

Although the Constitutional Court ruled that the eviction order stands, it said those evicted must be consulted with first and must be given alternative housing.

Further, 70% of the new formal houses to be built on that land must be allocated to former Joe Slovo informal settlement residents who apply for and qualify for this housing, the judges ruled.

The national government wanted to move the Joe Slovo residents 15km away to Delft to make room for formal housing being built under the N2 Gateway project.

The Cape High Court granted the government an eviction order, but Joe Slovo residents appealed that ruling in the Constitutional Court.

In September 2007 residents clashed violently with police over the evictions.

Some partly constructed homes on the Slovo site were damaged, and several people arrested.

Joe Slovo is one of Cape Town’s biggest informal settlements, containing about 4 500 crowded shacks. It is 10km from the city centre.—Sapa



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