Following an urgent interdict made by our partners at the Legal Resources Centre on behalf of the residents of Silvertown informal settlement, the City of Johannesburg has implemented vital repairs to the previously dilapidated dwellings.
The shacks, where residents have been living since eviction from their previous homes 10 years ago, had been in a terrible state of disrepair and were at serious risk of collapse. Flash floods in December, 2016 had caused significant damage to the shacks’ already weakened structures of corrugated iron and gum poles.
The renovations, including installation of cement flooring and replacement of leaking roofs, are not a permanent solution to this community's housing needs but the dwellings will now at least provide sufficient shelter to withstand the elements for the duration of the rainy season.
In 2016, CCELAT secured a five year Comic Relief grant to support the LRC’s litigation work in the realm of housing and the right to shelter. The LRCs litigation work has regularly forced authorities and landlords to confront the fact that, at its most basic, human dignity can only be maintained in a context where shelter is a reality. The LRC has taken a series of cases that has made it difficult to evict people where they have nowhere else to go. It has also attempted to enable clarity to be provided with regard to what it is that government has to do to realise the right to housing, and taken action to that ensure that government fulfils such obligations.