Eviction - Right to housing - Making a Living - Right to dignity - Alternative accommodation
SERI represents 107 waste reclaimers in their opposition of an eviction from the property known as Randjiesfontein farm in Midrand, Johannesburg. The property is vacant undeveloped land located between a residential complex and a business park in Midrand, Johannesburg. The applicant is Rycloff-Beleggings (Pty) Ltd, the registered title-holder of the property. The occupiers are informal reclaimers who have been residing on the property for at least five years. In addition to living on the property, the space has enabled them to eke out a living by sorting and storing their recyclable materials on site.
The reclaimers contend that an eviction without the provision of alternative accommodation would render them homeless and without the ability to make a decent living and that the location of the alternative accommodation provided by the municipality should be where they are able sort and store their recyclable materials and within reach to medium income households who produce high value waste. The occupiers’ eviction from the property will affect numerous constitutional rights as they will not only be rendered homeless but will also lose their source of income. The occupiers argue that allowing for an eviction order in the absence of the provision of alternative accommodation suitable for the reclaimers’ work, amounts to a violation of a range of their constitutionally and internationally protected human rights. In identifying an alternative accommodation site the municipality should take into consideration the need of the reclaimers to sort and store their recyclable materials.
The matter will be heard by the Johannesburg High Court on the 1st of March 2021.