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The view of the city from Signal Hill late at night is powerful. One stands in awe to think that not so long ago slaves were sold on Church Square. People were forcefully removed from Bo-Kaap and District Six.

We have come a long way. Really? History has shown us the good, the bad and the ugly sides of humanity.

Were lessons learnt? In this world-class city, one has to ask oneself who runs the place? Who has the final word out there? Who is the powerhouse?

One only has to look at the bureaucracy and red tape nonsense one must entertain these days to get something done. Nobody has got the guts to make quick decisions and the buck gets passed way too much. There is a serious lack of will in the city.

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But if you had money now we are talking funding for the party, locked doors opening up and causes sponsored with a fake smile.

Please, don’t rock the boat. Penny wise, pound foolish.

We have the elite politicians like a white mist covering the mountain and this white mist is the breath of old-school racists, running the poor down, doing what they do best.

Then we have the underground. Here the rules are simple: know your place. And somewhere in-between, they get all tangled up.

Everybody who has some sort of authority has used it to promote their own agendas. “If you show me the cash, I will take it.”

I want you, for just a second, to try and put yourself in the shoes of the homeless. To see. To feel how the city almost bends over backward to make our daily lives hell. Very, very limited water supply.

We smell like the streets. Not because we are lazy or unhygienic. We just do not have resources. No toilets.

Rather pay people from Jesus Safe to go out at six in the morning to go clean up the hot spots. Poopy scoop.

Let me tell you, the safe space the city created for us is just an extension of an NGO that works with the homeless, but instead of showing some dignity, they pulled out a long list of how we are going to mess it up. They already have this negative sentiment towards us.

Danny Oosthuizen, #TheDignityProject ambassador, in his weekly daily column for the Cape Argus tackles the struggles homeless people face. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

I can tell you that this safe space is going to turn into a white elephant. Why? Once again the homeless were not consulted.

No opinion or input requested from those who will be using it.

“Nothing about us, without us.”

In our history of oppression, it is scary that we still sit with these issues. Basic human rights totally disregarded. (I can almost hear them say: “And what are you gonna do about it?”)

Back in the day, if you were not white you were so to speak screwed. Today this applies to being homeless.

* Danny Oosthuizen is the #TheDignityProject ambassador. In his weekly daily column for the Cape Argus he tackles the struggles homeless people face. Connect with Danny on Facebook and on Twitter @masekind3213 or via email: [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus