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RDP housing applicants‚ who were victims of the allocation system used by the Endumeni Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal‚ have been granted relief by the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

The Endumeni Civic Association‚ which represents 294 RDP housing applicants‚ brought the matter to the court.

The organisation challenged the arbitrary application and manipulation of the RDP housing waiting lists‚ unclear allocation systems and policies and the alleged corrupt allocation of houses in Ward 4 and 5 of the municipality.

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC)‚ which represents the association‚ argued that housing applicants are the most needy and vulnerable residents of the municipality.

The Association feared that the failure to resolve the problem would increase the tension between applicants who were incorrectly prioritised and unfairly benefitted‚ and those still waiting for houses.

The high court had to evaluate the conduct of the municipality against relevant principles in the Constitution. These included reasonableness‚ good governance‚ justice and equity‚ impartiality‚ fairness and equitability.

In the judgment handed down on Friday‚ the court found that the conduct of the municipality was unconstitutional.

It also ruled that the arbitrary‚ irrational and unreasonable allocation of houses in Ward 4 and 5 must be reviewed and set aside.

“The LRC welcomes the judgment and supports the court’s call upon the Endumeni Local Municipality to file a report within two months identifying all the applications for RDP houses pertaining to Ward 4 and 5 of the area of Dundee.

“The court further stated that‚ for each application for RDP housing‚ the Endumeni Local Municipality shall indicate whether the application was approved or rejected‚ and if rejected‚ the reasons for such rejection‚ and the requirements that the RDP housing applicants were required to meet in order for their applications to be approved‚” LRC said.

The court further directed the municipality to explain the steps it will take to finalise the applications for RDP houses and allocate houses to the correct applicants.

The municipality will also have to explain the criteria it will use to ensure that people who do not qualify for the allocation of a home are removed from houses they currently occupy.

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