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South Africa: Law on Eviction of Unlawful Occupiers Declared Unconstitutional

(Oct. 20, 2009) It was reported on October 15, 2009, that the South African Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional a KwaZulu-Natal provincial law, the Elimination and Prevention of Re-Emergence of Slums Act, which mandated that municipalities evict unlawful occupiers of slums in the event that landlords fail to do so. (Franny Rabkin, Slum Law Evictions Ruled to Be Unlawful, BUSINESS DAY, Oct. 15, 2009, available at

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke declared section 16 of the Act unconstitutional for violating the “dignified scheme that has been developed for the eviction of unlawful occupiers”: namely, the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act (No. 19 of 1998), the Housing Act (No. 107 of 1997), and the state's constitutional duty to take “measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right” [to adequate housing]. (Id.; see also Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, §26 (1996), as well as the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act No. 19 of 1998 and the Housing Act No. 107 of 1997, both available via the South African Government Information website, (official source) (last visited Oct. 16, 2009).)