Western Cape ANC has put the City of Cape Town on the spot, over how it treats its homeless.
ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs accused the city of waging a ‘merciless and heartless’ war against the homeless. This, they say has seen those living in the street forced to pay fines for such offenses as obstructing pedestrians.
“We demand that the city stops this cruel, inhuman enforcement of its by-laws immediately, as well as that it shows more compassion by making more shelters available to the homeless,” said Jacobs.
The party said that though residents have been complaining of the menace, this cannot be more important that human beings.
“The city is fining the destitute for having nothing, not even money to pay these fines. How cruel is that? This is the real hard, cold-blooded, uncaring face of the DA. This is tantamount to criminalizing homelessness,” said Jacobs.
The fines charged on those arrested for starting a fire in a public space can go up to R1 500, while those arrested with obstruction part with R300.
Jacobs said the city should employ more compassionate ways of dealing with the problem, like feeding them and taking them to shelters.
“We demand that the City of Cape stops this callousness immediately and that it implements more humane policies to deal with homelessness,” he said.