Homeless people have another battle to fight, this time with the city of Cape Town, after it was announced that by-law contravention will be tackled head-on.
According to News24, residents complained of various contraventions.
Although the City of Cape Town law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said fines were not targeting homeless people in the city’s streets, the laws were targeting people that erected temporary shelters, obstructed sidewalks, lit fires, and left any goods in public places, he told the news site.
Starting or keeping a fire in a public place will now result in a R1,500 fine. Obstructing a pavement or sleeping in a car in a public place will set you back R300, and littering or dumping will see people fined up to R500.
In July last year, the City of Cape Town built an overnight facility, located under the Culemborg Bridge, for homeless people. The facility was part of the City of Cape Town’s social development and early childhood development department project to provide a “safe space” for people living on the streets.
The shelter can accommodate up to 230 people and boasts a soup kitchen, cleaning services, and law enforcement security.
Dyson told News24 that social development and law enforcement needed to be balanced, and that there were plenty of facilities able to accommodate those living on the streets.
He added that most people on the street refused assistance, for various reasons. – Compiled by Nica Schreuder/The Citizen