The Gauteng government has set up a task team to deal with evictions in the inner city of Johannesburg.
The task team is made up of the Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Human Settlements Department, government entities and major stakeholders who will address issues of eviction and assess as well as reconsider the impact of the current legislation on eviction.
The team will convene this morning as hundreds of residents evicted from a dilapidated building and some hijacked buildings in the city centre have been spending the nights in the cold.
The Legislature says the committee has been receiving concerns of dissatisfaction from stakeholders in relation to alleged illegal evictions that are conducted by estate agencies in collusion with the Banks and South African Police Services.
It is alleged that some properties are sold for amounts as little as R100 as well as agencies that sell elderly people’s houses.
“In some instances, it is reported that houses are sold while there are still people occupying them. People are evicted from a house that has been sold to approximately 10 people, and the banks give loans to all of them. It is reported that on an annual basis, there is about 1000 eviction taking place,” spokesperson Pfano Bulasigobo explained.
As such, the committee wants to strengthen relations with stakeholders such as the Legal Aid Board to represent the poor as they are expected to in cases of eviction.
Challenges highlighted by the community that the task team will focus on resolving include the process of these evictions, family houses in terms of ownership from one generation to another, the process of attaining a title deed, verifications of the rightful person who should have a title deed and the means test of the Legal Aid Board to assist the community.
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