The City of Cape Town confiscated ten tents belonging to homeless people who live in Van Riebeeck Park. Officials believe that more tents confiscated will result in a safer city.
This is according to the Daily Maverick, who explained that among this group of people was Ziggy Goredema, a talented immigrant who designs and creates his own lampshades with recycling material to make an honest living.
Many of these people have lived in the park for about three months, while others have lived there for 15 years, reports Ground Up.
“They took it and left. They gave us a note to tell us where we must fetch our tents”, said Goredema who saved up to buy a two-man tent for R650, as Ground Up adds. The tents that were confiscated were taken to a storage depot in Ndabeni, and Goredema and his partner spent a week sleeping under a plastic sheet and tarpaulin that they found nearby.
Meanwhile, homeless people who are found on the streets of Cape Town without permission could be given a fine if they refuse an offer to alternative shelters. This comes after the Cape Town City Council approved the new Unlawful Occupation By-law, including updates to the Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise Nuisances By-law, which has been in existence since 2007.
According to a statement by the City of Cape Town, Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato said that “These crucial by-laws will help us to protect land and buildings from unlawful occupation. We are a caring city seeking to uphold the rule of law. That is why, once gazetted, it will officially be law in Cape Town that an offer of social assistance first be made, including shelter, to ensure the constitutional enforcement of the prohibition on sleeping in public places.”
To ensure the prohibition on sleeping in public places is enforced humanely, and in compliance with the Constitution, the by-law has been amended to provide for the following:
- A person found sleeping in a public place without authority will first be issued with a compliance notice;
- They will be offered alternative shelter;
- Such a person only commits an offence if they refuse a reasonable offer of alternative shelter;
- In sentencing, a court will give a guilty person the option to pay a fine.