This is SERI’s first newsletter for 2021. In it we present a few highlights from our work since our last newsletter in December 2020. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, SERI continues to embolden individuals, social movements and CBOs to use legal and research support to exercise their rights and to inform pro-poor government policy and practice.
Subsequent to the ground-breaking judgment in the Mahlangu v Minister of Labour matter in which the Constitutional Court declared the exclusion of domestic workers from COIDA as unconstitutional; SERI worked with Black Sash to produce a fact sheet for domestic workers, paralegals and community advice offices to provide them with information about the case. In January, SERI supported the #PayTheGrants campaign in the call for the extension and increase of the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant to at least R585 in line with the food poverty line. In February, we made submissions on the Expropriation Bill and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill.
SERI appeared in the Constitutional Court representing the residents of the Winnie Mandela informal settlement in an application to seek constitutional damages for ongoing breach of their constitutional rights to access adequate housing. In March, we represented 107 waste reclaimers in the High Court in Johannesburg to oppose eviction from their homes.
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