Covid-19: Illegal evictions

South Africa has a long history of various modes of forced removal. A growing list of private owners and municipalities is showing little regard for the ban on evictions laid down as part of the Covid-19 response package. What are the motivations for this? What are the implications for people left houseless or carelessly relocated to inappropraite alternative living spaces? Centrally, what are people’s individual and collective rights and what are the context-sensitive routes to having those rights enforced?

S’bu Zikode is the founding president of the shack dwellers Movement of South Africa, Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Zikode has campaigned for the right to decent housing for all in many countries across the world. Under his sterwardship Abahlali baseMjondolo has grown to be the largest social movement of the impovershed to have emerged in post-apartheird South Africa.

Kelly Kropman is a private attorney running the firm Kropman Attorneys in Johannesburg.

Before starting Kropman Attorneys she interned at several public interest law centres and practised as an attorney at the Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg. She works with non-profit organisations and private individuals who face issues such as evictions, domestic violence, labour matters and other rights-related issues.

Edward Molopi works as a Research and Advocacy Officer at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI), a litigating research NGO based in Johannesburg. He holds a BA Honours (in Politics) and a Masters degree in Urban Studies both from the University of the Witwatersrand. His Master’s research was based on eviction struggles in the context of the housing demolitions that took place in Lenasia South in 2012.

Prior to joining SERI, Molopi worked as a researcher with the Babuthi Research Institute where he conducted research on various housing-related issues. He has also worked on a number of community participation and urban change projects.

Molopi’s research interests lie broadly within the fields of housing and urban politics. He works closely with communities, academics and policy-makers. He has appeared and been interviewed on a number of media platforms including TV, radio and print media.