Chaos erupted in the streets of Jeppestown in Johannesburg where residents protested against being evicted by owners of the property they occupied.
Dan Bovu, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing in the City of Johannesburg told 702 presenter John Robbie that no one was evicted; instead the residents received notice of intension to evict.
According to Bovu the City of Johannesburg has made funds available to remedy the situation. So far they have identified buildings to be purchased to accommodate evictees. He also said they are working with instructions from the Mayor to do everything in their power to solve the problem.
As government we have been instructed to engage with property owners and talk this eviction. You must know that owners have a right to renovate their buildings as well as put pressure … government has no empty buildings that are siting to accommodate people when they are evicted
He also said that at the moment there are 200 people who have received eviction notices.
John also spoke to Teboho Mosikili, Attorney at the Socio Economic Rights Institute about the City’s obligation to provide alternative accommodation and how the City can deal with homelessness in the event of an eviction.
In defence of the evictees, Mosikili said that they have a ruling from the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) which states that if the city fails to provide an alternative accommodation, certain individuals will be held accountable.
He also said that the type of alternative accommodation the City provides for the people is utterly unacceptable.
They will give what we call dormitory style accommodation, separate the people by their gender and tell them you have to be out by 10am and come back at 5pm
Jonathan Liebmann, CEO of Propertuity (Maboneng Precinct developers) responded to accusations that owners of property at the Maboneng Precinct were behind the evictions that sparked protests at Jeppestown.
We’ve got around 40 buildings in and around Maboneng Precinct and none of them had anything to do with any of the evictions. In fact most of the buildings we bought are either vacant or have been used for industrial purposes previously
22 people were arrested after the protest turned violent.