Cape Town – With another cold front set to drop the mercury to single-digit figures this week at night, a homeless man died early on Monday morning on a Sea Point beach of suspected exposure to the winter cold.
The SABC reported that other so-called "bergies", who were sleeping on the steps of a building that accommodates electrical equipment on the Promenade, said they saw the man lying face down on the beach and went to offer him a blanket.
When he did not respond, they searched for a pulse but could not detect a heartbeat. They ran across the road to seek help from SABC security staff.
A police van and an ambulance arrived on the scene shortly afterwards. A police pathology vehicle eventually removed the body.
One of the homeless said a similar incident occurred a few weeks ago on a beach at the nearby Mouille Point.
There are more than 6 000 people living on the streets and in shelters in Cape Town. This was revealed this month when the City released data on its latest enumeration of street people, conducted over 18 days in November 2018.
The statistics showed 3 999 people were sleeping on the street and 2 084 were using shelters. The figure was around 16% lower compared to 2015. Shelters have disputed the accuracy of the City's data.