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.
Occupants of collapsed building had been waiting for emergency housing for 8 months (9 April 2018). The families liging in an abandoned building at 39 to 41 Davies Street in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, which partially collapsed on 9 April 2018, killing three children, had been asking the City of Johannesburg for safe emergency accommodation for eight months. In July 2017, City official produced a report for Mayor Herman Mashaba strongly recommending that the occupiers be provided alternative accommodation. Yet, the City took no steps to provide the occupiers with a safe alternative. >>Read the full statement here.
Families of Marikana miners urge Ramaphosa to turn his promises on Marikana into action (22 February 2018). During his reply to the state of the nation address debate in Parliament on Tuesday, 20 February, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the state was committed to compensating the families of the striking miners who were killed by police on 13 and 16 August 2012 during the Marikana massacre. In August 2012, these workers, with thousands of others, were on strike demanding a living wage when they were killed after police opened fire on them. SERI welcomes Ramaphosa’s comments and hopes that his promises will lead to action on the part of the state. >>Read the full statement here.
Civil society proposes alternative, people-centred budget (20 February 2018). Ahead of Minister Malusi Gigaba's budget speech on 21 February 2018, a broad collective of socio-economic rights organisations have developed an example of what South Africa's national budget could look like if it takes the needs and concerns fo ordinary South Africans seriously. The human rights budget draws on existing trends in budgeting and makes strong recommendations about where funds should be allocated to give effect to fundamental human rights enshrined in the South African Constitution. SERI contributed to the human rights budget. >>Read the full statement here.