On Friday, 3 May 2019, SERI participated in a workshop hosted by the Inner City Federation at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The workshop was attended by approximately 30 inner-city residents.
The one day workshop consisted of three sessions facilitated by SERI’s Edward Molopi, who elaborated on housing rights and resisting evictions in South Africa, CALS’ Vuyo Mntonintshi who spoke on securing access to basic services in the inner-city, and SERI’s Kelebogile Khunou who gave a presentation on domestic workers’ rights. The workshop participants were provided with copies of SERI’s domestic workers' rights guide and resisting evictions in South Africa guide.
Molopi presentation explained the various protections offered to occupiers by the Constitution and different pieces of legislation. Molopi’s presentation further highlighted the importance of meaningful engagement in the eviction process in order to find a just and equitable solution without resorting to a forced eviction.
Vuyo Mntonintshi’s presentation explored the provision of basic services to occupied buildings and how buildings that have been previously disconnected can gain access to basic services. Mntonintshi further emphasised the benefits to making use of the Rental Housing Tribunal for dispute resolution on matters related to water and electricity charges.
The presentation on the rights of domestic workers by Kelebogile Khunou, highlighted the importance of viewing domestic work as “real” work with real labour rights and considered how exploitative labour practices have remained largely unchanged for domestic workers with the advent of democracy. Khunou highlighted the importance of knowing the difference between an employer’s unlawful and lawful actions, and taking matters to the CCMA when employers are not in compliance with the law.
The workshop highlighted the shared experience of many of the participants both through their forms of employment and through their status as occupants.