SERI challenges Sisulu to stop demolitions of homes across the country (2 July 2020). SERI has noted the media statement issued by the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation on Wednesday, 1 July 2020 in response to the brutal eviction of Empolweni residents in Khayelitsha Cape Town by the Anti-Land Invasion Unit and metropolitan police. In the statement, the Department outlines Minister Sisulu’s intentions to challenge the City of Cape Town in court for illegal evictions and provide permanent housing for 49 families currently in Empolweni. While the Minister’s efforts are welcomed, they fail to fully acknowledge the widespread nature of evictions and demolitions of poor and vulnerable households across the country during the COVID-19 lockdown. >> Read the full statement here.
Mashaba’s inner city police raids irrational and unconstitutional, court says (30 June 2020). On 29 June 2020, the full bench of the High Court in Johannesburg delivered a judgment declaring section 13 (7) (c) of the South African Police Services Act 68 of 1995 (the SAPS Act) constitutionally invalid. The full bench found that the former Provincial Commissioner failed to apply her mind to the template-based applications for the authorisations which led to the warrantless raids of the applicants’ homes and simply rubber stamped the applications brought to her. The raids in the residents’ homes were “carried out in a manner that was cruel, humiliating, degrading and invasive” and demonstrate an egregious abuse of, and infringement of the residents’ constitutional rights to privacy and dignity, the court held. >> Read the full statement here.
- Inner city residents head to court to challenge the constitutionality of police raids (13 March 2020). On Monday, 16 March 2020, the residents of 11 buildings in inner-city Johannesburg will challenge the lawfulness and constitutionality of over 20 police raids of their homes conducted between 30 June 2017 and 3 May 2018. The raids were conducted in terms of section 13 (7) of the South African Police Services (SAPS) Act while two of the raids were conducted without any legal authority. The residents contend that section 13 (7) of the SAPS Act is unconstitutional in that it unjustifiably infringes the right to privacy, contained in section 14 of the South African Constitution. >> Read the full statement here.
- Domestic Workers head to Constitutional Court on 10 March (9 March 2020). On 10 March 2020, the Constitutional Court will hear the Mahlangu v Minister of Labour matter. Applicants Sylvia Mahlangu, the surviving daughter of a domestic worker who drowned in her employers’ home in 2012, and the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU) successfully challenged the constitutionality of Section 1(xix)(v) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 ("COIDA") at the North Gauteng High Court in 2019. >> Read the full statement here.
- Justice for Marikana: Commemorating the 7th anniversary of the Marikana massacre (9 August 2019). Friday, 16 August 2019 will mark the 7th anniversary of the Marikana massacre. The mineworkers and their families have yet to see real justice. Only eight police officers, including Major General William Mpembe, in his capacity as former North West deputy police commissioner, have been charged for crimes related to the massacre. The eight have been charged for the deaths of three striking mineworkers and two police officers who were killed on 13 August 2012 and for failing to disclose a death in police custody and for lying to the Farlam Commission. >> Read the full statement here.
- Gauteng MEC Lebogang Maile gets it wrong on Winnie Mandela (8 August 2019). SERI represents 133 residents of the Winnie Mandela informal settlement in their action to compel the delivery of RDP houses built with their subsidies, but fraudulently allocated to others over a decade ago. The residents have noted Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements Lebogang Maile’s remarks about their decision to sue the Ekurhuleni Municipality for constitutional damages after the municipality missed a court-ordered deadline to replace the residents’ stolen houses. Notably, the MEC was party to the court application in which that deadline was set. The MEC did not oppose the application and elected to abide by the decision of the court. >> Read the full statement here.
- SERI to launch four research publications on informal settlements in South Africa (4 July 2019). The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) will launch four of its latest research publications on informal settlements in South Africa. The reports emanate from research entitled “Informal Settlement: Norms, Practices and Agency”. The three site-based research reports are on Ratanang informal settlement in Klerksdorp (City of Matlosana); Marikana informal settlement in Philippi (City of Cape Town); Siyanda informal settlement in KwaMashu (eThekwini Municipality), and a fourth Synthesis Report that pulls together findings in each of the themes (tenure security and land use management; political space; access to basic services and economic life) across the three sites. >> Read the full statement here.
- Johannesburg's low-income residents are fighting for decent housing (30 November 2018). On 30 November 2018 SERI launched a new community practice note, which documents the struggle of the Inner City Federation (ICF), a self-organising coalition of tenants and unlawful occupiers from over 40 buildings in inner-city Johannesburg that advocates for better housing and basic services and challenges the stigma associated with low-income residents. The note examines the struggles of poor inner-city residents to resist evictions, harassment and displacement; establish and maintain effective self-management structures in dilapidated buildings; collectively mobilise; and advocate for decent, affordable housing. >> Read the full statement here.
- South African civil society submits parallel report on the realisation of socio-economic rights to UN Treaty Body (13 September 2018). South Africa ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in January 2015. As required by the ICESCR, the South African government submitted its initial report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in April 2017. A coalition of civil society organisations called “South Africa’s Ratification Campaign of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and its Optional Protocol” (the Campaign) submitted a parallel report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the international treaty body responsible for monitoring the implementation socio-economic rights by states. >> Read the full statement here.
- Never Forget: Commemorating the Marikana Massacre (13 August 2018). It has been a full six years since the Marikana massacre took place. Most of the recommendations that came out of the Farlam Commission have still to be acted upon. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) recommended almost two years ago that 71 police officers be charged. To date, only a few police are facing charges relating to the incident that began on the railway tracks on 13 August 2012. >> Read the full statement here.
- Response to media reports on offers of compensation for slain Marikana miners' families (20 July 2018). SERI is aware of a media report that alleges that the families of the miners killed during the Marikana massacre have been offered R100 million in compensation. SERI is currently taking instructions from the families on various offers of compensation that have been made by the State via the State Attorney. None of those offers, whether individually or collectively, amount to anything close to R100 million. >>Read the full statement here.
For a full archive of all SERI press statements from 2010 to June 2018, see here.