Inner city faces forced removals

Pumza Fihlani and Sapa

Pumza Fihlani and Sapa

Three hundred people in Johannesburg's inner city have one month to vacate their homes or face removal by the sheriff and police.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) yesterday upheld an appeal by the City of Johannesburg to remove the people from six "dangerous" buildings.

The council had earlier hoped to evict the families under the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act. This act enables council to prevent people under its jurisdiction from living in dangerous conditions.

A high court last March ruled in favour of the residents who had argued that the eviction orders would render them homeless.

The residents said it was a "violation of our constitutionally guaranteed rights to housing and protection from arbitrary evictions".

The SCA rules that the city council must provide the residents with temporary living facilities with basic sanitation, water and refuse services. It was unclear at the time of going to press where the families would be placed.

Council spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane could not comment, but promised to release a statement.