We are all now in lockdown level four
That means that the moratorium on evictions has been partially lifted - courts will now consider and pass judgements on evictions. However, most evictions will only be able to take place at lockdown level three (whenever that ends up being for your province). These laws are harmful as they allow for a situation where people who cannot work or who have not been able to work to be evicted. Courts may even evict people during level four.
Ndifuna Ukwazi has put together a very good 8 minute podcast outlining how the law works, here. They also have a PDF version of this that is accessible on their facebook page or ours, or our facebook community support group.
There's also the important resource, evictions.org.za, which can take you step-by-step through your options.
We don't have all the information - seems nobody does - but we will update this as we get more, and you should help by sending us what you learn! Here's the basic rundown on rent and bonds as we know it:
If you don’t pay, landlords are able to start an eviction process from May 4, and you would ordinarily have to pay all the rent you haven’t paid to remain in your home, unless you can successfully argue that the extreme circumstances warrant otherwise, which is an option, but not one we can guarantee.
If you are a single tenant with a landlord with no other tenants, we recommend you learn the laws and your options, and in many cases it will be preferable to speak with your landlord about reducing or eliminating rent for the period. Unfortunately many landlords will not care about your needs or your well-being. It may still be worthwhile for you to keep your rent for the purpose of feeding yourself at a later stage.
If you are one of many tenants with the same landlord, then you are in a good position to organise together with them, safely, to strike against that landlord. Check out our resources section where someone has made a podcast that will give you an idea of how to organise this. Also be sure to join our private facebook group if you have facebook to engage us there. We are happy to work directly with tenant unions.
Feel welcome to engage us and to ask questions. We're incredibly busy but will try to point you in the right direction at least.
The law is the same for residential rent - however, some relief has already been granted from a large landord umbrella organisation - this can be read about here. This does not include everyone, and should extend to the most vulnerable. You can help everyone by finding out exactly who gets what, and letting us know.
Government-mandated debt relief has been granted in many sectors, but this appears not to extend to mortgages. People must not go further into debt during this period. We call for a full bond repayment holiday, with no added interest. Please build this platform with us, as it appears that nobody in government or civil society is doing this.
Banks themselves have offered relief, and it appears in some cases to include mortgages. Please check in with your banks and find out, and get back to us with your findings. Let's take this forward together and get our banks on board for a full repayment holiday.