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Court case between occupiers at circus school and City of Cape Town postponed – again

The court battle between the City of Cape Town and residents who have been squatting at the old SA National Circus School in Observatory


The court battle between the City of Cape Town and residents who have been squatting at the old SA National Circus School in Observatory

  • Both parties will have to return to court on 31 March.
  • Since 2018, residents occupying the site have been served with eviction notices.
  • The City of Cape Town intends to use the land for recreational purposes.

The court battle between the City of Cape Town and residents occupying the old SA National Circus School in Observatory, Cape Town, has hit another dead-end.

On Tuesday, the matter was heard in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

The City is trying to have the residents evicted, but the matter has been postponed again.

It was postponed because the City filed a housing report in the founding affidavit at the last minute.

Attorney for the residents, Tim Dunn, said: 

We have brought an application to the court to strike out the City’s housing report that was filed in the replying affidavit, which means residents have not been given a chance to deal with the matter. We say this is irregular and that the housing report should be struck out.

Both parties will have to return to court on 31 March.

“The City indicated in their housing report that there is no alternative housing for the residents and they would have to be tossed into some squatter camp, basically,” Dunn said.

WATCH | Occupants of abandoned Cape Town circus school engage with City to lease or purchase land

Since 2018, the residents occupying the site have been served with eviction notices from the City, which intends to use the land for sport and recreational activities.

The old SA National Circus School founder, Dimitri Slaverse, allegedly illegally sub-let the property, which belongs to the City, in 2016.

According to the housing report filed by the City, it faces a huge challenge with regards to the provision of emergency accommodation because there has been a huge increase in the number of emergency housing circumstances.

“As a result of this, the City’s resources have been stretched to the limit with regards to the provision of emergency accommodation. However, the City has taken measurers within its available resources to cater for emergency circumstances.

“The City will make every effort to find emergency accommodation for the residents by integrating them into existing informal settlements,” the City said in court papers.

The mayoral committee member for community and health services, Zahid Badroodien, said: “The additional delay in this matter serving before the courts continues to impair the City’s ability to maintain and develop multi-code sports facilities, which serves a wide and diverse community. The longer this matter is delayed, the more the facility becomes derelict.”

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