On Saturday [May 16] the homeless community in Muizenberg protested, calling on the City to provide them with safe shelter for the lockdown. This comes after weeks of engagement between the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) and authorities to ensure the creation of a safe space.
In a press release MID said that they had called on Premiere Alan Winde to intervene as the situation “is fast-becoming a human tragedy in the seaside suburb of Muizenberg.”
According to MID the conditions are atrocious. “This growing number of homeless in the park have no access to food, clean water or ablution facilities, while only a few have illegally-erected tents to protect them from the encroaching winter,” they said. The amount of people living in the park, with a lack of access to resources is creating a health risk in the area.
They explain that many of the homeless people now camping in a local park came from the site for the homeless in Standfontein after it had been shut down. Some of these people had come to Muizenberg voluntarily while approximately 40 were transported there by Law Enforcement vehicles.
Zahid Badroodien, the mayoral committee member for community services and health, told News24 that the City indicated to these individuals that they were allowed to remain at the Standfontein accommodation.
“The City had indicated to these homeless individuals that we would assist them into smaller shelters and that they should remain at the emergency accommodation facility where they were able to access showers, three meals a day, psychosocial programmes and daily medical services,” he said.
“Those who left the facility refused further assistance from the City and this was clearly explained to the MID who have not appreciated this information and are now using the homeless to score points in their community.”
Responding to accusations that the City had “dumped” these individuals in Muizenberg, Badroodien told EWN that “There has been no dumping of people, they chose to move. We have offered opportunity to be integrated.”
He added that he had been in contact with them, and that an alternative solution is being looked into.