The above mentioned case, which is cited as Andre Johannes Grobler NO, Anneme Grobler NO, Liezl Hattingh NO v Certain Occupiers on the farm Spioenkop, District Grabouw under case no.'s 1802 /2009 and 3339/2009, 35 rural households are facing urgent evictions.
It is imperative to note, that none of the households cited have suitable alternative accommodation. The 35 households comprise of the following: 6 are headed by single adults, all of which are women. None of these women are currently permanently employed. Of these 6 households, 5 receive disability or social relief grants. Seven households on the farm are headed by elderly people over the age of sixty years and 6 households are headed by persons between the age of 55 and 60 years. There are 42 minor children on the farm affected by the pending evictions instituted. In total there are 125 persons affected by the pending evictions instituted against them.
Most of the residents have been occupiers since the early 1990's but some date back to the seventies. All of the residents worked on the farm at some time or other. Most of the occupiers were employed by the very first owner, Louis Erwee. The farm has been sold 4 times and the current owner, who has instituted the eviction proceedings, namely Mr. Pikkie Grobler bought the land in March 2008. Farming operations have been downscaled and currently there's only a saw mill operative on the farm. The housing on the farm consists of: small houses (2-3 rooms, kitchen, bathroom, water taps) and a compound of single and double rooms with communal shared water points & outside toilets.The residents have always enjoyed services (electricity, clean water & refuse removal). On the 18th June 2008, the residents' water supply had been disconnected.
It has been alleged by two of the residents that the manager of the saw mill, Mr Johan von Willigh bent the water pipe line, damaging it, beyond repair on latter mentioned date. The same water pipe was subsequently sawed in half to deter any repair. The residents currently have no access to water (temporarily being serviced by the municipality). Furthermore, all basic services have been stopped (no refuse removal, no electricity). Meetings and correspondence have been directed at local authorities and DLA (alternatives, temp. assistance, etc).Most of residents have been on waiting list for housing for some years.
The Applicant has lodged urgent eviction applications in terms of PIE & ESTA against our clients. Hence this case is distinguished by two case numbers, as one was brought in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation Act and the other in terms of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997. We have in the interim filed our opposing papers, and have also joined the National Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, the National Minister of Housing, the Member of the Executive Council of Housing (Western Cape), the Theewaterskloof Municipality and the Overstrand District Municipality. The matter has accordingly been postponed to the 13th May 2009, pending filing of further opposing papers by the relevant State departments. It is necessary to state that we have briefed Counsel in presenting arguments for the case.