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Social justice groups call on govt to reinstate eviction ban

Lobby group Ndifuna Ukwazi said that even though level 3 regulations provided a prohibition on evictions, it was limited.

The Red Ants (foreground) confront residents of the Lakeview informal settlement near Ennerdale on 21 April 2020 after they were evicted by by the City of Joburg. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Forty social justice organisations have written to government to reinstate the blanket ban on evictions.

When lockdown level 5 regulations were implemented, the Justice Minister stated that all evictions and execution of attachment orders would be suspended.

However, the prohibition on evictions has been reduced under lockdown level 3.

The organisations believe that housing is a vital component of the public healthcare response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lobby group Ndifuna Ukwazi said that access to housing was critically important when people needed to self-quarantine or self-isolate.

The group's Mandisa Shandu said that even though level 3 regulations provided a prohibition on evictions, it was limited.

"The courts are now empowered to grant eviction orders and to grant the execution of those evictions if it's deemed just and equitable to do so."

In the letter, the groups said that easing the eviction ban was unreasonable as infections were set to increase, specifically in hotspot areas.

They're also calling for a full moratorium on evictions and demolitions of homes for the duration of the national state of disaster.