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PIETERMARITZBURG — Residents of an informal settlement near Howick who have been threatened with eviction for two-and-a-half years must have land, water and sanitation provided to them by their local municipality by December 22 and resettled early in the new year.
This is the demand of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement of South Africa and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri), which issued a joint statement following a court order in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.
“The residents are to be provided land, shelter and services [by the uMngeni Municipality] by December 22, 2011, with a target date of January 6, 2012 for their relocation,” they said.
The organisations added that the order was granted by agreement between the residents of Tumbleweed and uMngeni Municipality after the municipality had applied to evict the residents to make way for a new school.
S’bu Zikode, a former president of Abahlali baseMjondolo, said: “We wish that other municipalities, especially metros like eThekwini, can follow the example of uMngeni.”
Zikode added: “If small, rural municipalities can respect and fulfil poor people’s rights to housing and engage so successfully with shack dwellers, there is no excuse for metros.” — Sapa.