Mayor invites vagrants to meeting

2017-03-15 06:02
A group of vagrants who live on the streets in the city.

A group of vagrants who live on the streets in the city.

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IN his quest to clean up the city, Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo visited vagrants in the city centre recently to invite them to engage with stakeholders on 31 March.

The visit started at the city hall and proceeded to Hoosen Haffejee and Retief streets.

According to municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha, the walkabout was to engage with people living on the streets so they can receive the help they need.

“Our aim is to ensure that we remove vagrants from the city. However, in doing so, we need to engage them so that they can ask for any help they require. Some might want to reunite with their families while those addicted to drugs might want to be admitted to rehabilitation centres,” she said.

Other stakeholders included the Department of Social Development, the SAPS, Community Safety, the business community as well as a relevant non-governmental organisation.

Since Ematsheni was closed down in January, vagrants have spread all over the city, which has created fear among members of the public and business people.

“There were a lot of complaints after vagrants were removed from Ematsheni. During our visit we told them that the area is now dirty and has to be cleaned. They welcomed us and were happy to engage,” said Mafumbatha.

She added that the visits will continue until 31 March and will take place at random. She said it is important that the vagrants be treated as humans, and they also have rights.

“We have a firm belief that there is a lot that can come out of this. The people living on the streets are smart. Most of them pleaded with the municipality to rescue them from the drugs and the cold streets,” she said.

On 10 March, 10 people were arrested in Hoosen Haffejee Street during a police operation. Captain Khosi Khonjelwayo said they normally carry out the operation every Friday around the city to deal with those carrying illegal weapons and drugs.

“Ten people were arrested for the possession of dagga, whoonga, cocaine and heroin. The suspects were to appear in court on Monday [13 March],” said Khonjelwayo.

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