First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

High court win for Wellington former farm worker over e...

Maverick Citizen

GROUNDUP

High court victory for former farm worker from Wellington over emergency housing

The Western Cape High Court has ruled in favour of Eric Lolo who went to court to hold the Drakenstein Municipality accountable for emergency housing for people evicted from farms. (Archive photo: Barbara Maregele)

Drakenstein Municipality failed in its duty, Western Cape high court finds.

The Western Cape high court has found that the Drakenstein Municipality failed in its constitutional duty to provide emergency housing for people evicted from farms.

In 2015, former farm worker Eric Lolo was served with an eviction order by Greenwillows Properties, which owns Langkloof Roses farm in Wellington, where he was staying with his daughter, Berenice Fransman, and her child. While Lolo has since found employment on another farm, his daughter and grandchild still live at Langkloof.

Lolo applied to the high court on behalf of himself and others living in rural areas, hoping to hold the municipality accountable for the provision of emergency housing.

Acting Judge Bernard Martin ruled on 28 July that the municipality had failed and ordered it to make provision for emergency housing. The ruling reiterated that the Constitution “confers on everyone a right of access to adequate housing”.

Judge Martin found that the municipality did not provide the “factual basis” for a claim that it didn’t have funds to meet its obligations. The judgment noted that in 2016 the municipality had only budgeted R1-million for emergency housing from a total budget of over R2-billion.

Citing a 2016 housing report by the municipality, the judge said that the demand for housing during this time was about 19,500, and between 400 and 800 formal houses were created every year by the municipality with funds from the provincial government.

Martin said that the court should supervise the implementation of the order and the municipality must submit reports on its progress.

“The Municipality’s malperformance, particularly concerning emergency housing, is characterised by a failure to implement proactive planning measures, as well as those plans which it did formulate, being scuppered by its failure [to] self-fund,” the judgment read.

Drakenstein Municipality’s Executive Director of Planning and Development, Jacqui Samson, said in response to GroundUp’s queries, that the ruling did “not take proper cognisance of the municipality’s reliance on the mechanism in the Division of Revenue Act for its funding”.

Samson said the court failed to give proper weight to the “lack of availability of land” and the fact that alternative land earmarked for emergency housing was unlawfully occupied. She said the judgment failed to mention that Lolo had been offered alternative accommodation and relocation assistance but had rejected these offers.

The municipality is considering the way forward, Samson said.

Women on Farms Project (WFP), represented by the Legal Resources Centre and admitted as amicus curiae (friend of the court), welcomed the judgment in a statement. The ruling, said WFP, would have “far-reaching and positive applications for all evictees, especially those facing eviction from farms across South Africa”.

WFP said that Drakenstein is regarded as a “farm evictions ‘hotspot’ … where thousands of farm dwellers are currently facing eviction”. DM

First published by GroundUp

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 1

  • Part of the problem here, in my view, is that the municipalities of SA in general does not give nearly enough priority to the provision of enough housing. It almost seems as if they only want to address short-term issues. But housing is a long-term issue where forecasts have to be made on how many more residents will be in EACH TOWN/TOWNSHIP ten years in the future. Then the process of sourcing land and proclaiming it has to happen forthwith, because my information is that this normally takes about a decade. So some money will have to be spent on the planning process; but just like what happens with other infrastructure, this is not happening. Something serious need to be done to rectify this.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted