Poor residents illegally evicted in Woodstock because of City bylaw

27 05 2009

Woodstock Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
Tuesday, 26 May, 2009

Today, just across the road from evicted Gympie Street residents, another illegal eviction took place at 12A Victoria Rd in Woodstock.

This illegal eviction happened without a court order, without the Sheriff of the Court and despite the fact that all residents have continued to pay rent on a consistent basis.

Poor people of foreign (Congolese, Nigerian) and local origin were herded out onto the pavement to sleep on the cold streets. Residents were only informed of the intended eviction last Friday giving them only 5 days to prepare and find new accommodation. However, there is no court order nor has the owner applied for one – making this an illegal eviction according to the PIE Act. Also, the residents are being evicted by the police without the Sheriff of the Court is in legal terms a criminal act.

Finally, the eviction began at 19:15 and proceeded well into the night making it again illegal but also immoral because of how difficult it makes it for residents to do anything so late at night.

The owner, Mr Miles Jacobs, was able to solicit the help of the police because of a new City of Cape Town bylaw which creates an illegitimate loophole around the safeguards of national legislation. This bylaw allows for evictions with only 6 days notice in the case of certain fire hazards and is clearly in contradiction with the 1998 PIE Act and the SA Constitution.

And what is the owner going to do with the property once he evicts the tenants? Sell it to the highest bidder and make a nice profit on the building. This is part of continued process of World Cup gentrification in Woodstock which is forcing more and more poor people away from the city centre and away from jobs.

For more information contact resident Marcus Ishmael at 071-069-3610 and AEC coordinator Willy Heyn at 073 144 3619

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