Ndifuna Ukwazi invites any member of the public to join its free 3-month Advice Assembly programme at the Bertha House in Mowbray. Advice Assembly is a weekly community education programme designed to help participants understand the laws that govern eviction in South Africa, equipping them with the legal and political knowledge to tackle unfair practices or resist unjust evictions. The 10 week course will begin on 26 April and run until 12 July 2023
Recently the City of Cape Town launched an eviction process against several street-based people in the CBD. The announcement caused some confusion where it was not clear if the eviction had been granted or the process had just begun.
Knowing that the threat of eviction often results in similar confusion and fear, Ndifuna Ukwazi draws on several years of working against unjust eviction to educate the public on their legal rights pertaining to the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE Act) and the framework that regulated eviction.
“The programme is geared at understanding the political and economic context within which evictions take place as well as the law, with the aim to empower people in the face of unjust and illegal evictions. The protection against losing housing results from our history, but the framework is only as strong as citizens’ understanding of it,” says Kyla Hazell, popular educator at NU.
The organisation stresses that the most important message all tenants need to know is that an eviction cannot be carried out without an eviction order from court, as stated in the PIE Act. It is a criminal offence to unlawfully evict someone and courts must always consider if someone will be left homeless when granting an eviction order.
“Evictions are a humiliating and traumatic experience. But they are also avoidable, expensive and ineffective in dealing with the housing crisis. Providing this information to the public is part of our intention to empower the public on their legal rights, which are often abused by landlords or local government,” says Adi Kumar, director of Ndifuna Ukwazi.
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The 2.5-hour long workshops take place once a week, from 6pm to 8.30pm at Bertha House in Mowbray, across the road from Gangstar Cafe. A light supper is provided to participants. Please directly message Ndifuna Ukwazi on their Facebook Page to confirm your attendance or send a Whatsapp to 065 993 1324 or call the offices on 021 012 5094. Child care services are limited.
For specific housing queries, the public can contact the Ndifuna Ukwazi Housing Clinic, which is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 9am to 3pm. The Clinic works on a first-come first-serve basis to accommodate walk-ins, but encourages people to make an appointment through political organiser and paralegal Ntombi Sambu. Call or Whatsapp Ntombi on 0623529372 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Terms and Conditions apply.
Alternatively, OpenUp have developed an online tool to help you find free legal information on evictions in South Africa: https://evictions.org.za/legal-support-offices