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GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND OTHERS v GROOTBOOM AND OTHERS 2001.doc

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GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA ANDOTHERS v GROOTBOOM AND OTHERS 2001 (1) SA 46 (CC)Flynote : SleutelwoordeConstitutional law - Human rights - Right to housing in terms of s 26 of Constitution of theRepublic of South Africa Act 108 ofI1996 - Respondents evicted from informal homes situatedon private land earmarked for formal low-cost housing - Respondents applying to Court fororder requiring government to provide them with adequate basic shelter or housing until theyobtained permanent accommodation - State obliged to takeJ2001 (1) SA p47positive action to meet needs of those living in extreme conditions of poverty, homelessness orintolerableAhousing - Real question in terms of Constitution whether measures taken by Stateto realise right afforded by s 26 reasonable - For person to have access to adequate housingthere has to be provision of land, services and a dwelling - Right also suggesting that not onlyState responsible for provision of houses but that other agents withinBsociety to be enabledby legislative and other measures to provide housing - State therefore to create conditions foraccess to adequate housing for people at all economic levels of society - Section 26 as a wholeplacing, at very least, a negative obligation upon State and all other entities and persons todesist from preventing or impairing right of access to adequate housing - Manner in whichpresent eviction carried out resulting in breach of this obligation - Section 26(2) making itCclear that obligation imposed on State not absolute or unqualified - Extent of State's obligationdefined by three key elements to be considered separately:(a)obligation to take reasonablelegislative and other measures;(b)to achieve progressive realisation of right; and(c)withinavailable resources - Court to enquire whether measures adopted toDcomply therewithreasonable - Accepted that right contained in s 26 not immediately realisable - Evidenceshowing that at date of launch of application, State not meeting obligation imposed on it by s26, in particular that programs adopted by State in relevant area falling short of requirementsof s 26(2) to provide relief to categories of people in desperate need - People in need havingcorresponding right toEdemand that State meet its obligations - Declaratory order issued thats 26(2) of Constitution requiring State to devise and implement comprehensive and co-ordinated program progressively to realise right of access to adequate housing, includingobligation to devise, fund, implement and supervise measures to provide relief to those inFdesperate need within available resources.Constitutional law - Human rights - Right of children to shelter in terms of s 28 of Constitutionof the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996 - Respondents, some of whom children, evictedfrom informal homes situated on private land earmarked for formal low-cost housing -Respondents applying to Court for order requiring governmentGto provide them with adequate

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