Nomzamo inquiry cannot resettle evictees

The inquiry probing the eviction process says its mandate does not include resettling residents.

Advocate Denzil Potgieter during a press briefing in Cape Town on 30 June 2014. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A ministerial commission of inquiry, established to investigate the forced removal of families in Nomzamo, says its mandate does not include resettling evictees.

Hundreds of families were kicked off privately owned land near Strand last month and forcibly removed from their informal dwellings.

The land, which is owned by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), has apparently been earmarked for a road building project.

The evictions sparked outrage and prompted government to intervene.

Watch: _Cape evictions leave hundreds homeless _

The commission of inquiry into the eviction process was established by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Inquiry chairperson Advocate Denzil Potgieter says his team has a clear mandate, but it doesn't include dealing with the resettlement of Nomzamo residents.

The City of Cape Town, Sanral and government have all been lashed for the evictions, which have been labelled by some as 'inhumane'.

Potgieter says his team is faced with a tough task.

"I know in the back of my mind that we're going to have to put in quite an effort to do justice to this."

There are calls for government to take a closer look at laws which allow for mass evictions.

Watch: Nomzamo rebuilding delayed

PUBLIC HEARINGS

On Monday, it was revealed the commission is turning to the public for help and has announced public hearings will be carried out in an effort to give those affected by the evictions a chance to state their case.

Potgieter says the submission process took place last week but he could not confirm how many have been received.

He however adds that Sanral will be part of the public hearings.

Potgieter says there'll be two rounds of public hearings, which are expected to start next month and the commission then has three months in which to finalise its work.