A standoff has developed between organisations representing poor residents in Johannesburg’s CBD and the City of Johannesburg. On the one side are the metro council represented by mayor Herman Mashaba and City-owned companies such as the Johannesburg Property Company and Johannesburg Social Housing Company. Ranged against them are poor people supported by NGOs such as the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri), South African National Civic Organisation, Wits Law School and other concerned groups and political parties. At issue is the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act and, to a lesser degree, an amendment bill that would, if enacted, bring some relief to property owners in the CBD. According to the Estate Agency Affairs Board, "the proposed amendment seeks to change the definition of unlawful occupier so as to exclude any person who, having initially occupied residential premises with [express or tacit] consent, thereafter continues to occupy such premises once the consent has been ...

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