Cape Town - In light of the landmark ruling in the Gauteng High Court that metro police cannot confiscate personal possessions from homeless people, the City of Cape Town has said while it does remove illegal structures, it does not take belongings.
According to a survey conducted by the city in 2015, there were a total of 7 383 homeless people in the city.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services JP Smith said: “No personal items like food, money, medication, clothing and identity documents are removed, in accordance with the standard operating procedure. Anything discarded by street people following the removal of illegal structures by law enforcement is collected by the city’s Solid Waste Department and disposed of."
“Any person who feels they have been unfairly treated by any member of the city’s enforcement agencies can lay a charge with the (police), if the alleged ill-treatment is of a criminal nature.”
They could also contact the executive director of safety and security, chief of law enforcement or contact the city’s 107 call centre.
“Complaints are required to provide formal inputs by means of an affidavit or other relevant documentation/ evidence."
“We take such complaints very seriously and have an excellent track record on discipline, regardless of who the complainant is, which is why reports on corruption and police brutality by the Institute of Security Studies and other NGOs shows Cape Town has the lowest level of such transgressions in South Africa,” said Smith.