City of Cape Town heads to court over homeless shelter

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An application by the City of Cape Town to stop the Human Rights Commission(HRC) from accessing the Strandfontein site for the homeless will be heard in the High Court on Wednesday.

The city set up the shelter when Level 5 lockdown regulations were imposed.

The Human Rights Commission says it has a constitutional duty to monitor circumstances inside the shelter.

In the video below, Doctors Without Borders calls for closure of the Strandfontein site:

The city has, meanwhile, announced a process to shut down the site after hundreds of homeless people were relocated to tents on the sports grounds during Level 5 lockdown restrictions.

The city says the homeless will be moved to smaller facilities.

More than 350 people have indicated that they would prefer remaining in a safe space, instead of returning to the streets and their needs are being finalised.

About 1 000 bed spaces were made available in the Cape Town CBD to accommodate homeless people as part of the city’s measures to adhere to COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

City officials say similar measures were taken in other parts of the Western Cape in areas such as Bellville, Somerset West and Muizenberg and the aim is to extend the initiative beyond the COVID-19 pandemic as a more permanent solution to offer shelter to the homeless.

In the video below, the City of Cape Town talks about the testing and screening of the homeless: