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27 November 2020 – Media Statement: Endumeni Civic Association file an affidavit commenting on the Department of Human Settlement’s report and action plan filed earlier this year

Media Statement

27 November 2020

Endumeni Civic Association file an affidavit commenting on the Department of Human Settlement’s report and action plan filed earlier this year

Durban — The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) continues its fight to secure the right to housing for members of the Endumeni Civic Association (ECA) and others who filed an affidavit this week commenting on the Department of Human Settlements’ report and action plan.

Members of the ECA and other applicants have applied for RDP housing but have not been allocated houses and in February 2018, the LRC was able to secure a judgment in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on behalf of our clients. The Court found that the Endumeni Municipality had acted in breach of the Constitution and declared that the arbitrary application and manipulation of the RDP housing waiting lists, the unclear RDP housing allocation system and policies as well as the corrupt allocation of RDP houses to RDP housing applicants, was inconsistent with the Constitution.

The Court further ordered that Endumeni Municipality deliver a report and action plan on how it intends to provide housing to the rightful beneficiaries. However, the Municipality was unable to deliver this report and action plan, which complied with the order, and LRC was forced to approach the court again to obtain an order declaring the Municipality is unable to execute its duty to provide adequate housing. This responsibility was then transferred to the MEC: Department of Human Settlements, KwaZulu-Natal, to take over.

In terms of this second-order granted, the MEC: Department of Human Settlements is required to take appropriate steps to ensure the right to adequate housing of RDP housing applicants from Ward 4 and 5 in Endumeni Municipality, is realized. The Department is also required to submit a report and action plan detailing how it will provide housing. The report and action plan were delivered by the Department earlier this year.

In the Endumeni Civic Association’s affidavit filed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, it is argued that the report and action plan filed by the Department is inadequate and does not sufficiently comply with the court order. The lack of engagement with members of the Endumeni Civic Association to ensure transparency and accountability is particularly concerning. In their affidavit, the applicants have called upon the Department to provide a new action plan and report which is compliant with the court orders and accommodates members of Endumeni Civic Association and all other members in ward 4 and 5 who have been victims of the corruption and manipulation of housing lists as well as the misallocation of houses in Endumeni Municipality.

The LRC continues to fight for justice for communities that fail to receive access to basic services such as water, sanitation, refuse removal, and housing from their Municipalities. One of the primary functions of local government is to provide adequate housing and to ensure that the systems for basic services are in place so that the right to housing can be enjoyed. In Makhanda, the LRC continues to litigate and work to ensure that the sewage crisis is solved and that the municipality carries out the removal of refuse. The failure of municipalities to provide services to their residents seriously impedes the right to dignity and equality and LRC will continue to ensure that municipalities are held accountable for their failures to fulfil their constitutional and legislative obligations.

Issued by the Legal Resources Centre
For more information, please contact:
Simone Gray (Attorney of record) Email: simone@lrc.org.za
Sharita Samuel (Durban Regional Director) Cell: 074 111 174/ Email:
sharita@lrc.org.za

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