oa ESR Review : Economic and Social Rights in South Africa - Judicial overreach in protecting the right to housing in Aouth Africa? A review of Fisher v Unlawful Occupiers, Erf 150, Philippi - case review

Volume 19 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1684-260X



On 30 August 2017, the Western Cape High Court dismissed an application by three owners of neighbouring properties to evict 60,0000 people who invaded their land to establish what became known as the ‘Marikana settlement’. The judgment in the case, Fisher v Unlawful Occupiers, is a landmark decision on the right to access to housing in South Africa. The Court had to balance two competing interests: the right to property of the owners, and the settlers’ right to access to housing. This balancing exercise had to be undertaken mindful of the historical context in which the housing challenge arises, a challenge which is perhaps the largest social crisis in democratic South Africa.

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