CAPE TOWN: 06 September 2022

The Women’s Legal Centre will be appearing in the Western Cape High Court sitting as the Equality Court on the Abdullah and WLCT v The City of Cape Town case. The case will be held on the 7th and 8th of September 2022.

This is an application for an order declaring the implementation by the City of Cape Town of its erstwhile housing allocation policy known as “Housing Schemes Constructed by a Local Authority” (‘the policy’) inconsistent with the Constitution. The Applicants Mrs. Abdullah and the Women’s Legal Centre Trust believe that the policy and its continued implementation by the City of Cape Town discriminates against women as contemplated by s 8 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 (‘PEPUDA’).

The City opposed the application that was brought as far back as 2020. In their response to the application, they have indicated that “there are approximately 12 000 ‘delayed transfer units’ in City ownership, where transfer still has to be passed to purchasers” and that the properties allocated in terms of the policy “fall within this category of delayed transfer units”. Further, “there are 52 249 applicants who have received housing assistance up to 31 March 1998” and the “allocation of delayed transfer units in terms of the erstwhile policy may be included in this number”. The continued implementation of the policy by the City of Cape Town, therefore, has far-reaching implications for thousands of women who should be recognised as beneficiaries of the housing allocated to them.

A week prior to the hearing of the matter the City has now brought a counter application in which it seeks ostensibly the same relief as that of Mrs. Abdullah and the WLCT. The matter is set down for hearing on 7 and 8 September 2022 before the Equality Court.

The Women’s Legal Centre is an African feminist legal centre that advances womxn’s rights and equality using tools such as litigation, advocacy, education, advice, research and training.

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