The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls for the urgent lifting of Alert Level 1 lockdown regulations that make it close to impossible for property owners to obtain eviction orders.
While restrictions on the movement of people have long ago been lifted, the corresponding rights of property owners have not been restored.
To protect their land and buildings against illegal occupation property owners have to overcome extraordinary legal hurdles, creating an open season for land grabs.
Regulation 73(2) empowers a court to stay all eviction proceedings for the duration of the national state of disaster, which at present is an indefinite period.
Most concerning are the factors that a court has to consider in deciding whether or not to stay eviction proceedings.
This includes the duty on parties applying for an eviction order to take reasonable steps to provide alternative accommodation for evicted persons in terms of Regulation 73(2)(i).
By this sleight of hand, the government has effectively transferred its own constitutional duty to ordinary property owners without offering any additional support.
The Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs should amend these regulations so to bring them within reasonable and justifiable constitutional limits.
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