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'Schubart Park ruling a relief'

The Tshwane Municipality must provide alternative accommodation for the people evicted from the slum.

A member of the Tshwane Metro Police kicks open a door inside a residence of the Schubart Park block of flats during evictions. Picture: Sapa

PRETORIA - The Constitutional Court has set out a programme with deadlines for the Tshwane Municipality to hold talks with Schubart Park residents.

The court ruled on Tuesday that the city's eviction of the tenants was unconstitutional and that they may move back in.

The city evicted the residents in September last year, following a day of violent clashes with police.

The court also ruled that the municipality must now provide alternative accommodation for the hundreds of people evicted from the slum.

Spokesperson for the Schubart Park Resident's Association, Aubrey Ramothlale, said the judgement was a welcomed relief.

He said more than 75 percent of residents from the complex were still homeless, adding that they had been forced to squat with their families.

The municipality has been ordered to meet with the residents to develop a plan to help them reoccupy the building.

A progress report will be submitted to the court by the end of November, and must be ready by the end of January.

The court ordered that the city must also establish how the residents will pay for water and electricity.

An attorney at Lawyers for Human Rights, Nathaniah Jacobs, said, "We still need to meet with the city to see what they're prepared to offer."

She said a preferable date for the lobby group to discuss the judgment would be early next year.

The Tshwane Municipality said the ruling on Schubart Park had put a hold an all planned development of the area, including the demolition of the complex.

It said it had accepted the judgment, but was still studying it.

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