Court grants City of Cape Town notice to evict homeless people

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The growing number of homeless people in Cape Town is leading to a number of social complexities.

Advocacy groups representing street-based people estimate that there are over 14 000 people living on the streets of Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town has been granted a notice by the High Court to serve evictions on a number of occupation sites if not opposed by end of April.

Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis says the City of Cape Town will spend around R230 million over the next three years to remove more homeless people from the streets.

“This means we are increasing our budget by 62%. We care about homeless people and our aim is to help as many people off the street as possible,” says Hill-Lewis.

Street people activist, Danielle Louw an attorney from Ndifuna Ukwazi and activist, Carlos Mesquita, say they will not oppose the application but will lobby for mediation solutions.

Mesquita explains, “The housing first model is the model which says that you, persons who have been on the streets, you may have a substance disorder or a mental disorder, but you can come as you are as long as you have commitment to change and we are able to offer you a developmental programme as well as housing. The mayor is talking about a shy of 200 beds available and the new shelter. They are going to be opening it for 300 beds and it has to accommodate people from the Atlantic sea boards right through to the CBD.”