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Case by homeless people group against eThekwini Municipality removed from roll

From 1999 to 2004, the eThekwini Municipality relocated hundreds of homeless people from the Durban Ark shelter in the CBD to locations in the city's periphery and bused others to a shelter in Cape Town.

Picture: Supplied.

DURBAN - The case by a homeless citizens’ lobby group against the eThekwini Municipality has been removed from the roll in the Durban High Court.

The Durban Ark Ministry had approached the court on Monday to force the municipality to compensate homeless citizens for promises made to them while being relocated from a homeless shelter.

Judge Anton van Zyl told the lobby group their application could not be granted as it was made on behalf of a company that no longer existed.

From 1999 to 2004, the eThekwini Municipality relocated hundreds of homeless people from the Durban Ark shelter in the CBD to locations in the city's periphery and bused others to a shelter in Cape Town.

It said these shelters were temporary accommodation and decent housing would be constructed at a later stage.

It even promised to assist with relocation fees by pledging over R10 million and asked the homeless citizens to register a company through which the funds would be transferred.

However, 20 years later, the city has not deposited that amount and the company which was supposed to receive the money has now collapsed.

The Durban Ark Ministry wants R500 million to build another shelter for the homeless.

The ministry's Peter Munns said: “This is just another delay, we’re here for the long haul and this is evidence that the system is there to delay or deny justice.”

Former residents of the Durban Ark shelter have expressed disappointment in Monday’s ruling.