The barriers to justice are extremely high, particularly for poor and working class people, both in terms of cost, but also in terms of limited capacity for public interest litigation, and consequently, limited access to the courts. Historically, paralegal advice offices played a significant role in ensuring some access to justice, but funding cuts have closed the majority of them. The limited access to free legal services is particularly dire in Cape Town, where public interest litigation NGOs operate with limited human resources.

Ndifuna Ukwazi offers a legal practice of activists, human rights campaigners and lawyers that is responsive to the socio-economic needs and struggles of poor and working class communities in Cape Town. We provide accessible and specialised legal services to individuals, social movements and community-based organisations from poor and working class communities on matters concerning the advancement of socio-economic rights and associated matters of public interest.

Cape Town is in the midst of a housing and segregation crisis. No state funded inner city affordable housing has been built since the end of apartheid. The state continues to sell off prime public land, suitable for housing delivery, to private sector property developers. Poor Black and Coloured families continue to be priced out, evicted and removed from Woodstock, Salt River and other inner city neighbourhoods.

The Bromwell Street families living in a terrace in Salt River, Cape Town, stand to be evicted from their homes by The Woodstock Hub who plan to build apartments there. Many have nowhere to go, and will be rendered homeless.

It is common cause that the City of Cape Town has an obligation to provide tenants who will be rendered homeless with temporary emergency accommodation in evictions initiated by a private party.

After the Mayor’s intervention, The Woodstock Hub agreed to stay the eviction until the City could meaningful engage with residents and meet its obligation. The City  insists that Wolwerivier Relocation Camp, some 30km away, is the only possible option for those facing homelessness. The residents feel that the City has not reasonably considered the impact of the location on their livelihoods; and whether any other options can be found as near as possible.

As such, on 20 September 2016, the Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre, representing the Bromwell Street families, brought an urgent application before the Western Cape High Court to compel the City to comply with its obligations in this regard.

Founding papers

Applicants’ Heads of Argument

City of Cape Town’s Heads of Argument

Woodstock Hub’s Heads of Argument

Press Statement – 20 September 2016

Notice of Motion

Founding Affidavit of Charnell Commando (Part 1)

On Friday 5 May 2017, Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre launched an application in the High Court to review the decision of the Western Cape Province to sell the Tafelberg site.

Founding Papers

Notice of Motion

Founding affidavit of Ms Thozama Adonisi

Rule 16A Notice

On 11 April 2016, Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre filed papers in the High Court on behalf Mrs Thozama Adonisi and other supporters of Reclaim the City, requesting an urgent hearing to interdict the Western Cape Provincial Government from selling the Tafelberg School site in Sea Point.

Founding Papers

Notice of Motion

Founding affidavit of Ms Thozama Adonisi

TA1: Tafelberg Property Report

TA2: Supporting Affidavit of Susan Marion Parnell

SM1: Susan Parnell’s Curriculum Vitae

TA3: Supporting Affidavit of Malcolm McCarthy

MM1: Malcolm McCarthy’s Curriculum Vitae

MM2: WC Department of Human Settlements letter objecting to sale, 26 March 2013 

TA4: Supporting Affidavit of Sharone Daniels

TA5: Supporting Affidavit of Bianca Sossen

TA6: Supporting Affidavit of Reclaim the City

YM1: Resolution of Reclaim the City

TA7: Supporting Affidavit of Athenkosi Nkampule

TA8: NU letter of demand to Provincial Government, 19 February 2016

TA9: Chief Director of the Provincial PPP letter to NU, 23 February 2016

TA10: News24 Article reporting sale of Tafelberg, 26 January 2016

TA11: NU letter to Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School requesting purchaser’s particulars

TA12: Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School acknowledgement of receipt, 11 March 2016

TA13: WC Department of Public Works letter to NU re: Section 5 PAJA Notice, 1 April 2016

TA13A: NU follow up letter to Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School requesting particulars, 6 April 2016

TA14: Thozama Adonisi record of housing application with City of Cape Town

TA15A: WC Department of Human Settlements letter objecting to sale, 26 March 2013

TA15: WC Regeneration Programme request for Expressions of Interest, p16

TA16: Social Justice Coalition, Equal Education & NU objection to disposal of four sites, 17 April 2014.

TA17: Record of MEC Carlisle telephone call to Dustin Kramer (SJC), 17 April 2014

TA18: Dustin Kramer’s (SJC) Letter to MEC Donald Grant, 11 June 2014

TA19: MEC Donald Grant Response to Dustin Kramer, 11 June 2014

TA20: WC Department of Public Works Offer to Purchase pro forma

TA21: Tafelberg Property: Provincial Urban Design Report

TA22: Notice of Disposal

TA23: NU letter to Province further objection to sale, 4 February 2016.

TA24: MEC Donald Grant responds to NU, 19 February 2016

TA25: NU letter to WC Department of Human Settlements re Interest in Tafelberg, 18 March 20165

TA26: MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela responds to NU, 30 March 2016

TA27: NU Section 5 PAJA Notice to Province, 23 March 2016

Confirmatory Affidavits of Dustin Kramer, Moegamat Davids and Mandisa Shandu

Service Affidavit of Moegamat Davids

Service Affidavit of Shaun Russell

Settlement Order

The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works settled in this matter, made an order of Court on 5 May 2016 and agreed to pay costs. Download here.

The Social Justice Coalition, represented by the NU Law Centre, launched the case for permanent sanitation infrastructure in Cape Town’s informal settlements on Friday 1 July 2016 in the Equality Court and Western Cape High Court.

The case challenges the provision of temporary sanitation solutions in Cape Town’s informal settlements, seeking an order, in the form of a structural interdict, which will compel the City of Cape Town to adequately budget and plan for the provision of improved access to sanitation in the City’s informal settlements.

The case aims to affirm the equal rights to quality sanitation, and basic services in general, of Cape Town residents who reside in informal settlements.

Residents living in informal settlements in Khayelitsha and other parts of Cape Town are permanent residents of our city. The City of Cape Town needs to acknowledge this, and must plan for, and implement sanitation services accordingly, instead of claiming that their hands are tied and reverting to inadequate, temporary solutions.

High Court application

Notice of Motion and Founding affidavit of Phumeza Mlungwana

Notice in Terms of Rule 16A

High Court application, sitting as an Equality Court 

Notice of Motion and Founding affidavit of Phumeza Mlungwana

Notice in Terms of Rule 16A

Annexures for both applications

PM1: Resolution of the executive council of the SJC

PM2: Expert affidavit of Conrad Barberton

PM3: Expert affidavit of Jay Kruuse

PM4: Constitution of the SJC

PM5: Supporting affidavit of Thobeka Bobotyana

PM6: Supporting affidavit of Lindela Bebi

PM7: Supporting affidavit of Nosiphelele Msesiwe

PM8: Supporting affidavit of Nobathembu Seplani

PM9: Supporting affidavit of Nolizwe Maneli

PM10: Informal settlement asset register

PM11: Photos of toilets in Khayelitsha

PM12: Cllr Ernest Sonnenberg radio interview with John Maytham

PM13: Alderman Ian Neilson article in GroundUp, April 2015

PM14: Map of Enkanini

PM15: Map of CT Section

PM16: Cllr Ernest Sonnenberg list of settlements affected by constraints, 19 June 2015.

PM17: Cllr Ernest Sonnenberg Op Ed in the Weekend Argus

PM18: Cllr Ernest Sonnenberg letter to the SJC, 6 January 2015

PM19: Minutes of meeting with Executive Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson

PM20: City of Cape Town’s response to SJC budget campaign in 2015

PM21: SJC budget submission 2015

PM22: Response to SJC regarding 2015 budget submission

PM23: Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille article in Cape Times, 2015.


Ndifuna Ukwazi DARE TO KNOW
18 Roeland Street (behind City Varsity)
Cape Town
South Africa

Telephone:  +27 (0)21 012 5094