Home, Land & Rural Democracy
South Africa is fortunate to have a Constitution which contains progressive protection for socio-economic rights, including the rights to sufficient water, health care services, adequate housing and protection from arbitrary eviction. Formerly known as the Basic Services programme, the CALS Home, Land & Rural Democracy programme focuses on ensuring that socio-economic rights are realised by the state. For a number of years, the programme largely focused on the need for housing and the continuing problem of unlawful evictions in inner city Johannesburg. We have since expanded to include work on access to water, sanitation, and electricity – where we have been able to ensure our clients get the free basic services to which they are entitled. Housing and evictions remain a major challenge, however, and CALS continues to represent many client communities in this area. Of particular concern is the need for the state to provide temporary alternative accommodation to people left homeless when evicted.