"...this plague-stricken winter is hardly the time to rigidly enforce that by-law when there are people sleeping outside in this filthy weather,” he said. Picture: Supplied
"...this plague-stricken winter is hardly the time to rigidly enforce that by-law when there are people sleeping outside in this filthy weather,” he said. Picture: Supplied

Cape resident's marquee to shelter homeless from cold weather dismantled by City

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Jun 12, 2020

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Cape Town - Observatory resident Terna Gyuse, who erected two marquees to house homeless people in the area during the winter period, was told to dismantle the marquee by City of Cape Town law enforcement on Wednesday.

“Law enforcement officers told me the Observatory Common is City property, so one needs written permission to put up any kind of a structure.

“I am well aware of that, but there was a vicious storm coming in and it seemed acceptable to me to provide some shelter for people who have ended up huddled under the Station Road bridge, or trying to stay dry in flimsy structures and battered pup tents they’ve put together. I don’t dispute that I was in violation of a by-law, I just feel that this plague-stricken winter is hardly the time to rigidly enforce that by-law when there are people sleeping outside in this filthy weather,” he said.

The marquees were meant to protect the homeless from the cold front, but according to the City they were erected without permission.

Mayco member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien said: “Spaces are available at homeless shelters across Cape Town, and there was no need for an Observatory resident to have illegally erected a tent on public property.

“I question the motives of this resident, and who was really behind this R20 000 tent. Some people genuinely care for the vulnerable, and others have political agendas.”

A tense stand-off between the City and residents of Hangberg also broke out early morning on Thursday after the City’s anti-land invasion team tore down several structures they claim were “unoccupied”.

@MarvinCharles17

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