On Sunday 23 July, SERI collaborated with the Abahlali baseMjondolo’s Women’s League in a day long workshop in Tembisa. The purpose of the workshop was to inform participants of their rights under the constitution and legislation both in terms of housing as well as family law. The workshop was attended by approximately 50 women from both Tembisa and Germiston.
Over the course of the day, sessions were hosted on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE) as well as introduction to marital regimes. Further sessions were held on the patriarchy as well as the role of women in the movement.
Although both the Constitution as well as the PIE act protect the rights of unlawful occupiers by requiring that an eviction order is granted by the courts, many occupiers, particularly those in informal settlements find themselves at the receiving end of unlawful demolitions and other means of constructive evictions. For many women, these threats to tenure security are compounded because of their gender, and therefore may be vulnerable to eviction from both outside forces as well as eviction from within the household itself.