City of Cape Town welcomes ruling on foreign nationals

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The City of Cape Town has welcomed the ruling of the Cape Town High Court allowing the City to enforce its by-laws outside the Central Methodist Church where hundreds of foreign nationals are sheltered.

Acting Cape Town High Court Judge, Daniel Thulare, granted the City an interim order to remove those foreign nationals living on the pavements outside the church on Green Market Square. The City applied for an interdict in 2019 after more than 600 foreign nationals moved into the church, but not all could be accommodated inside. Many of them sleep, cook and wash outside the church.

Acting Cape Town High Court Judge Thulare ruled that the City has seven days to execute the order.

“Since October 2019 we have been prohibited from enforcing the city by-laws which has led to absolutely an untenable situation around Green Market Square despite complaints from businesses, informal traders, residents, tour operators and everybody else. The court decision means that we now have a process which includes the City supplying a venue for the Department of Home Affairs to do the screening of foreign nationals which we will do within the seven days that the court order requires,” says City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.

Foreign nationals say they are disappointed with the court ruling.