Eviction notices are to be served at unlawful occupation hotspots in the City

The Western Cape High Court granted the City of Cape Town’s application for eviction notices to be served at various unlawful occupations in the CBD. Notices will be served before the next court hearing in April.

City Social Development officials have made repeated offers of social assistance to those unlawfully occupying public spaces in the city, including offers of dignified shelter at NGO-run night shelters and City-run Safe Spaces.

The department expanded Care Interventions with R77 million. This is part of a city-wide approach of assessing the social circumstances of those living on the streets. While some have accepted these offers of support, the unlawful occupants receiving notices are those who have consistently refused all offers of social assistance.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said no person has the right to reserve a public space as exclusively theirs, while indefinitely refusing all offers of shelter and social assistance.

“Our city’s public places serve important social and community purposes, and must be open and available for all. Illegal occupations of City open spaces impact the safety of traffic and pedestrians, as well as local businesses critical to growing the economy. Accepting social assistance to get off the streets is the best choice for dignity, health, and well-being.”

Housing activist organisation, Ndifuna Ukwazi, says the City of Cape Town did not think the eviction plan, through.

‘’How is it possible to interdict someone from occupying public space in future, as City of Cape Town intends to do with people expensing homelessness? The eviction plan is: Shelters or nothing, but shelters are not a solution to homelessness so should people try being invisible instead?’’

‘’If the City of Cape Town succeeded in evicting approx. 300 people experiencing homelessness into shelters AND got an interdict preventing them from occupying public space in future: How would every state security officer know who the 300 is and who isn't, to enforce this?,’’ it asked.

Done By: Esona Mfazwe


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