Sheriffs to cooperate with Gauteng Housing on evictions

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pretoria - The next few weeks will be without evictions in central Johannesburg, Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo was informed today after meeting with the sheriffs of Central Johannesburg.

MEC Mamabolo is on a drive to build working relationships with the sheriffs and other stakeholders in the province in order to minimise the impact of evictions on residents. The MEC has already met with the Red Ants, who normally carry out evictions, in a separate meeting.

“The meeting was not intended to stop the sheriffs from serving and executing their work, but to find ways of cooperation. The aim is to ensure that the rights of vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and the disabled are taken into consideration when evictions are carried out,” MEC Mamabolo said.

In the meeting, it was also agreed that the sheriffs will share with the department all pending orders of evictions.

This will ensure that tenants, who often claim that that they were not informed of the evictions, are informed on time.

“We hope that with this information beforehand, we can verify if notices were properly given to tenants, that the orders were lawfully acquired through a court process and that they are legitimate.

“According to the Constitution, no person may be evicted or have their homes demolished without a valid court order,” MEC Mamabolo said.

The MEC also learnt from the Sheriff that in some cases, those who cry foul at the evictions are themselves the hijackers of those buildings.

MEC Mamabolo said building hijackings remain illegal.

“The other problem of hijackings is that law-abiding citizens become victims of evictions, whereas they had been paying their monthly fees consistently.”

The MEC urged would-be tenants to always check and verify who the owners of the properties are, lest they fall victim to hijacking syndicates.

He advised that tenants must check with their municipalities and local estate agents who the real property owners are.

MEC Mamabolo concluded by saying that he will continue to meet all the sheriffs in Gauteng, and expressed his commitment to working mutually with them. –

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