On Friday, 30 April 2021, SERI made two submissions to the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing in line with the special rapporteur’s call for inputs on housing discrimination and spatial segregation.
In it’s first submission, SERI highlighted the lack of viable formal rental options for inner city residents and how this exacerbates the challenges of unlawful occupations in South Africa. The submission discussed on-going unlawful evictions in spite of protective legislation preventing such, considered the reactive alternative accommodation strategies across municipalities and the relocation of evictees to distant and peripheral areas. Lastly, we discuss the failure to dismantle Apartheid spatial planning and implement progressive legislation in order to achieve spatial justice goals.
The second submission, made in collaborated with the Water Integrity Network (WIN), emphasised the links between the human right to housing and the human rights to water and sanitation, and issues of discrimination and segregation relating to informal settlements. It further emphasised how issues of lack of integrity, transparency, accountability and corruption contribute to violations of these human rights. Our main message is that a framework of water integrity, which promotes human rights and protects non-discrimination and equality, participation, transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption, would support improved delivery of water and sanitation in informal settlements. It would also allow such communities to more effectively hold government to account for failure to deliver services.