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NOMZAMO (LWANDLE) MINISTERIAL ENQUIRY Human Settlements Portfolio Committee Meeting 04 November 2014 1.

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Presentation on theme: "NOMZAMO (LWANDLE) MINISTERIAL ENQUIRY Human Settlements Portfolio Committee Meeting 04 November 2014 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 NOMZAMO (LWANDLE) MINISTERIAL ENQUIRY Human Settlements Portfolio Committee Meeting 04 November 2014 1

2 OVERVIEW OF THE PRESENTATION Background Purpose of the Enquiry Terms of Reference Methodology Limitations Findings Recommendations 2

3 BACKGROUND On 2 & 3 June 2014 occupants of Erf 32524, Nomzamo, Strand were evicted from the land they were residing in The evictions resulted in a large number of families rendered homeless and subsequently accommodated in Nomzamo Community Hall The land in question is owned by the South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL) On the 4 th June 2014, the Lwandle Ministerial Enquiry was established 3

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5 MEMBERS OF THE ENQUIRY Adv. D.O. Potgieter SC (Chairperson) Ms B.N. Dambuza Ms M. Ramotsamai-Kotsi Ms J.E. Sosibo Mr A.C. Steyn Ms A. Van Wyk Mr B Xulu (resigned in July)

6 PURPOSE OF THE ENQUIRY Despite the existence of legislation and policies, cases where people are evicted and left homeless and despondent continue to exist and the evictions in Nomzamo (Lwandle) although is amongst many, needed to be used as a lesson on better management of mass evictions and to further interrogate the reasons for what can be presumed as legislative loopholes and policy failures including implementation contestations 6

7 PURPOSE OF THE ENQUIRY The Minister wanted to establish the real causes of the land occupation, resultant eviction and all legal processes that have been followed leading to the ultimate evictions The directive was that the outcomes of the Enquiry must be informative to the continued quest to find humane and lasting solutions to the housing challenges in our country 7

8 TERMS OF REFERENCE: MANDATE OF THE ENQUIRY “Investigate all the circumstances under which the evictions took place, and the history of the evictions, including the facts leading to the application for and obtaining of the court order on 24 January 2014 by SANRAL; the execution of the said court order by SANRAL; the role of the relevant Sheriff for the jurisdiction of Cape Town; the roles of the law enforcement officials of the South Africa Police Services, the Cape Town Metro Police and any other official of the national, provincial and local government involved and any other person; 8

9 TERMS OF REFERENCE: MANDATE OF THE ENQUIRY establish the identity of the members of the informal settlement community of Lwandle, how the community came to be on the land in question when there is a waiting list for the provision of housing in terms of government programmes; report to the Minister on its investigation and findings; and make necessary recommendations to the Minister for consideration.” 9

10 DURATION OF THE ENQUIRY Two months which was later extended to three months 10

11 GROUNDING OF THE ENQUIRY Constitutional Court Decisions and Jurisprudence Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, 19 of 1998 (PIE Act) Emergency Housing Policy Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act 11

12 METHODOLOGY All relevant parties were invited to provide written submissions and/or comments relevant to the subject matter and mandate of the Ministerial Enquiry The request was communicated through newspaper advertisements, television and radio statements and talk-shows, as well as other communication methods 12

13 METHODOLOGY The Ministerial Enquiry conducted all its public hearings except for the evicted community at the Good Hope Sub- Council Chambers of the City of Cape Town at 44 Wale Street Information from the evicted community – was through statement-taking at Nomzamo Community Hall. These were not sworn statements in a judicial sense but were questionnaires to aid the Ministerial Enquiry in its investigation – public hearings were held at Lwandle Community Hall 13

14 LIMITATIONS The Enquiry was investigative and not judicial in nature and therefore did not enjoy the normal powers of a Commission, for example, to subpoena witnesses, receive testimony under oath Timeframes for the Enquiry 14

15 STAKEHOLDERS INVITED TO SUBMIT South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) South African Board of Sheriffs South African Police Service (SAPS), Western Cape City of Cape Town (CoCT) Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements Department of Human Settlements (DHS) 15

16 SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED SANRAL SAPS Strand Sheriff City of Cape Town Western Cape DHS DHS & HDA 16

17 SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED Ward Councillor Matha of Ward 85, Strand Ses'khona People's Rights Movement Access to Justice of Southern Africa Representatives of the Methodist Church Sobahlangula Social Investment Project (SSIP) African National Congress (ANC), Western Cape Tim Flack (member of the public) Colin Anthony Arendse (member of the public) Strand Residents 17

18 MANAGEMENT OF SUBMISSIONS The lens used to analyse submissions focused on: – identifying the issues raised; – synthesising the content of the issues, and – determining recommendations made in the submissions An assessment was made on how these submissions responded to the Terms of Reference 18

19 Evicted Community: The Identity of the Community Evicted on 2 nd & 3 rd June 2014 The full extent of the identity of the evicted community cannot be established The community first moved into the site in December 2013 Although it is common knowledge that over 800 people were evicted, this number could be verified The number of shacks demolished could not be determined 19

20 Evicted Community: The History of Evictions on the Land in Question The community was initially evicted in February 2014 but started to rebuild on the same land a few weeks later The land was not secured even after the February evictions and there were no notices placed on the site During the evictions in February no prior notice was given as a result some people were not present on the day When February evictions took place some people indicated that they have built the structures but had not yet moved in Although the community was not informed about the evictions, they reported to have seen someone counting the structures before the evictions in February 20

21 Evicted Community: How the Community Came to be on the Land in Question The people evicted on 2 nd & 3 rd June 2014 were backyarders in Nomzamo, Asanda Village, Zola, Lwandle, Wag-n-bietjie and other surrounding informal settlements. They named the new settlement Siyanyanzela They stated that they moved to Erf 32524 because they could not afford to pay high rentals, unemployment, overcrowding, family problems, etc. They majority indicated that they saw others building and decided to do likewise Only a small percentage had applied for government housing subsidy and are thus on the waiting list 21

22 Evicted Community: Circumstances Under Which the Evictions Took Place During the evictions in June the community did not receive any prior notice There was no communication about the evictions as a result panic and chaos ensued On the days of the eviction, there was a pandemonium caused by the throwing of stones and petrol bombs by the community and shooting of teargas and rubber bullets by the police The community was unable to remove their belongings as a result some lost everything On 2 nd June the community slept in the open, as they had nowhere to go 22

23 CORE FINDINGS The land was unlawfully occupied during two phases, namely prior to the evictions on 3 February 2014 and during the period between the February and June 2014 evictions. The court order was obtained to prevent the imminent invasion of the land during January 2014 The court order was then utilised by SANRAL to effect the evictions and to regain control of the land on 3 February 2014 SANRAL failed to take effective steps to retain control of the land resulting in it being reoccupied 23

24 CORE FINDINGS The Enquiry has concluded that the court order of 24 January 2014 did not authorise SANRAL to effect an eviction of the occupiers of the land The relief granted to SANRAL by the court was limited to preventing the invasion of the land. The court application was for an interim interdict and not an eviction order in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, 19 of 1998 (PIE Act) 24

25 CORE FINDINGS The court order did not authorise the removal of any persons or structures from the land on 2 and 3 June 2014 The evictions on 2 and 3 June 2014, not having been authorised by a court order, were illegal The Enquiry concluded that entities such as SANRAL, the Sheriff of Strand, the South African Police Service and the City of Cape Town and its Law Enforcement Agencies that were involved in effecting the evictions on 2 and 3 June 2014 acted irregularly in that the evictions were never authorised by a court order 25

26 CORE FINDINGS People were treated with disrespect and indignity where their belongings were destroyed without any regard 26

27 DEVELOPMENT OF RECOMMENDATIONS Enquiry invited Experts to: – Share research outcomes on mass evictions and illegal occupation of land – Share best practice in managing mass evictions – Identify policy and legal loopholes and shortcomings – Identify problems with current practice – Provide recommendations on appropriate responses to the identified challenges 27

28 EXPERTS South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) Lawyers for Human Rights Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape (UWC) Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) South African Shack Dwellers International (SDI) Alliance 28

29 RECOMMENDATIONS The amendment of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, 19 of 1998 (PIE Act) Organs of state should refrain from using land invasion interdicts as de facto eviction orders Land owners must proactively identify and secure their property and/or vacant land, so as to discourage invasion thereof 29

30 RECOMMENDATIONS When carrying out an eviction order, the Sheriff responsible must ensure proper recording and safekeeping of property The approach of the SAPS in the execution of an eviction order, must be one where they also protect the community involved and their property 30

31 RECOMMENDATIONS The three spheres of government should develop an early warning system, tracking and monitoring mechanisms on evictions across the country The Nomzamo (Lwandle) evictions appear to be a microcosm of the situation prevailing in many parts of the country. It is apparent that there is a need for concerted intervention to address the situation of the unlawful invasion of land and the dire consequences that often accompany the steps taken to address such invasions 31

32 THANK YOU “We have come a long way – Celebrating 20 Years of Freedom!” 32

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