Cape Town Homeless Face Fines

Homeless people in Cape Town will be fined R1 500 for obstructing pavements and making fires.

Photo: Gerry Erasmus / Flickr

By Omphile Seetseng

Despite having nothing, Cape Town homeless people are to be fined for sleeping in the streets.
The City of Cape Town has received complaints that the homeless are contravening laws by obstructing pavements. Starting a fire carries a hefty fine of R1500 while sleeping in a doorway can cost the destitute R300.
According to the City of Cape Town, these fines are not to target the destitute, but to create safe spaces for them. “We have created a space where people can easily access such assistance such as showers, toilets, and accommodation as they see fit.” 
City of Cape Town’s JP Smith explained that the City is fairly lenient on the rules, and accommodates homeless people by providing them with job opportunities, reintegration, and counseling. 
DA’s Mmusi Maimane has tweeted that these fines on the homeless do not reflect what the DA stands for, and plans to communicate with the Cape Town mayor to look into the matter.

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