Evictions can be granted during level 3 but tenants will not be forced to leave their homes until level 2 lockdown
On 1 June, South Africa transitioned into level 3 of lockdown. While the curfew has been lifted, travel restrictions have lessened and more businesses are opening again, many people have lost their jobs, experienced salary cuts and are struggling to pay rent. With landlords demanding their money, eviction threats are on the rise. This, despite evictions remaining largely prohibited at this alert level.
It is important to remember that evictions without a court order are always prohibited and illegal. But, in short, under alert level 3, even a court order for eviction cannot be carried out by the Sheriff unless the court specifically orders otherwise. This means that:
- Courts can hear eviction matters (depending on their specific directions),
- Courts can grant eviction orders, and
- Eviction orders cannot be carried out during alert level 3.
Unless the court specifically orders that it is just and equitable for the eviction to be carried out then and there, law enforcement cannot physically remove you from your home.
In making an order, courts must always consider all factors including the reason for an eviction, the evictees' personal circumstances (especially the elderly, children and people with specific needs), and whether alternative accommodation is available.
Have you been evicted as a result of COVID-19?
If you have been affected by the pandemic which has lead to your eviction, you should contact Rent Strike South Africa immediately via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join Reclaim the City on Facebook for their Online Advice Assembly.
Level 3 regulations
On our Eviction Guide website, we have made the full set of regulations available for download as a PDF. We encourage you to read through these if you are facing eviction and share this with anyone you know who might be going through the same thing.Note that the PDF says level 4, but the regulations are the same for level 3.
It is crucial that throughout court proceedings, and when and if an eviction takes place, all parties take the necessary precautions to prevent the exposure and spread of COVID-19.
For legal advice contact Ndifuna Ukwazi at email@example.com or on 081 832 9363
Links to Eviction Support
Rent Strike South Africa: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RentStrikeSouthAfrica/
Reclaim the City: https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimCT/
The Eviction Guide: https://evictions.org.za