On 31 January 2019, the residents of the Winnie Mandela informal settlement filed a contempt application to hold the Ekhurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, the Mayor of Ekhurhuleni, the City Manager, and the Head of Municipal Department of Human Settlements to account for failing to abide by a December 2017 High Court order to provide them with housing. 

SERI represents 133 residents of the Winnie Mandela informal settlement who have lived in shacks at the settlement without sufficient access to basic services since 1994. All the residents were approved and allocated a particular state-subsidised stand, only to find other people living there when they tried to move in. As a result, the residents cannot take possession of the stands allocated to them. By fraud or negligence, those stands have been given to other people, unknown to the residents.

In December 2017, the North Gauteng High Court ordered the municipality to provide each of the residents with a house at Tembisa Extension 25, or at another agreed location by 31 December 2018 and register the residents as the titleholders of their respective erven by 31 December 2019. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, the municipality was given until 30 June 2019 to provide the residents with a house and until 30 June 2020 to register them as titleholders. 

As of 31 December 2018, the municipality had failed to abide by the High Court order by failing to take the intermediary steps required by the Court to ensure that the residents will receive the houses to which they are entitled. This includes the creation of a steering committee to oversee the construction process and quarterly reports on the progress of the construction of the residents’ houses. The residents contend that the municipality’s failure to comply with these aspects of the High Court order indicates that the municipality is not likely to comply with the ultimate object of the order, providing house, on time or at all.

  • Read the contempt application here.
  • Read more about the case here.