About 25 homeless people live on the mountain slopes of Muizenberg. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
About 25 homeless people live on the mountain slopes of Muizenberg. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Concern after Cape homeless camp out in Strandfontein area

By Marvin Charles Time of article published May 19, 2020

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Cape Town - The Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) is up in arms after the City dropped off a group of homeless people from the Strandfontein Temporary Shelter in the area.

According to the MID, scores of homeless people are now camped out in a local park. Chairperson Peter Corbett said: “Residents are concerned that this is a health hazard and it’s appalling; they are not allowed to wander the streets. I’m shocked by the city council. Our main concern is that in a few days the weather will be colder. We are expecting rain and where must the homeless go?”

Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, said: “Homelessness is an unfortunate reality that the City is actively addressing through its Street People Unit. It is mischievous for the MID to suggest that the City is not assisting homeless people during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Corbett said they were not informed the City would drop homeless people off in the area.

“They did not inform us. We had meetings before the end of April, and they asked us to provide them with a list of shelters. They have not built a site. Most of the homeless will be in makeshift shelters and tents in the bushes. They have no interest in the homeless. They have no water, no shelter and live in the most appalling conditions,” he said.

The homeless were temporarily housed at the Strandfontein Sports Field, but after various complaints the site was shut down earlier this month.

Some of the homeless have set up makeshift shelters and tents at a park while others are living in the bushes.

Corbett said they had turned to the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate. “I have written to the human rights commission. It’s a blatant violation of human rights. It needs urgent intervention, someone needs to take this on,” he said.

A resident who had been helping, Phinius Sebatsane, said the homeless were pleading to be placed in a shelter. “Many were given an option to come back to the area and we have started providing them with medical care. They are struggling with addictions and when they arrived in Strandfontein they had withdrawal symptoms.”

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus

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