South African social media is lighting up with outrage over Cape Town’s newly instated fines for the homeless. The country is condemning the Cape’s war against the homeless which will now see the city fine people for various “offences” such obstructing pedestrian traffic, erecting shelters in undesignated areas and starting fires in public areas.
With winter in full swing, shelter and warmth are what the homeless need more than ever and the simple fact remains that these people have no means of paying any fines. To take what little the homeless have – just for trying to stay dry and warm – only makes them more vulnerable and worsens the cycle of poverty. It’s simply unjust.
We are appalled and disgusted by the City of Cape Town’s war on the homeless, a merciless and heartless onslaught that has seen some of those living on the streets fined for offences such as obstructing pedestrians. We demand that the City stops this cruel, inhuman enforcement of its by-laws immediately, as well as show more compassion by making more shelters available to the homeless.” – ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs
But that’s not all, sleeping in a stationary vehicle for longer than 24 hours is also against the law, and fines will be handed out for this infringement too. Starting a fire in a public space could get you fined R1 500 while obstructing a sidewalk could cost up to R300 and littering, that will start at R50 per offence.
Law enforcement reportedly said the city had received numerous complaints from “locals” about homeless people infringing city by-laws and that all the above offences have always been illegal and that the city is merely enforcing these laws by fining the individuals.
Take a look at what some of the public had to say below and read more on the latest local news right here.
How are they supposed to pay? Yesterday morning I passed under the bridge by Charlton in Hillbrow its bad 💔💔💔💔 now Cape Town expects R1500? Who makes these laws
— Uniquelyself (@Khollly) July 1, 2019
It's bad enough that law enforcement pours buckets of cold water on them in the middle of winter and takes their possessions,now this?
— Dylan Graham (@TheDylanGraham) July 1, 2019
How the fxck does Cape Town officials allow homeless to be given fines R1500 for obstructing pavements..like they have that amount lying around and choose to sleep on the streets than find a place of shelter to rent.
— Verdict_Official (@TheLastVerdict) July 1, 2019
Cape Town law enforcement is also full of nonsense for even entertaining this. How do they suppose the homeless will pay these fines??
I’ve never heard of a more ineffective measure to dissuade or punish by-law infringement.
— rose golden 💫 (@Motheo__xx) July 1, 2019