On 21 January 2020 the High Court in Mafikeng handed down an order dismissing an application by Transnet to evict 29 market traders trading near the Mogwase Shopping Complex in Mogwase, North West.
Transnet approached the High Court in Mahikeng seeking an order to evict the market traders alleging that they are trading on land currently owned by the Republic of South Africa which will soon be transferred and registered to Transnet. Transnet alleged that the traders are trading on their property, close to a railway line, which poses a safety risk for the traders. Transnet further states that they have engaged with the municipality in order to resolve the situation but the municipality has not been responsive.
On 21 November 2019, SERI, on behalf of the market traders, appeared in the Mahikeng High Court, arguing that: Transnet is mistaken about which land the traders are doing business on. Drawing on records from the Registrar of Deeds, SERI was able to show that the Mogwase traders are in fact on land immediately next to Transnet’s property, and not actually on it. In its reply and a subsequent site inspection, Transnet conceded that at least half of the Mogwase traders are not actually on its land. The Mogwase traders persist in their contention that none of them are actually trading on Transnet’s land.
Despite its concession, Transnet still sought the eviction of all of the traders. But SERI argued that an eviction order cannot be granted where there is no acceptable evidence that the traders are actually on Transnet’s land.
SERI further argued that the traders’ activities are not illegal and are recognised and protected in terms of the Businesses Act 71 of 1991.