‘March against Grime’ Cape Town councillor apologises to homeless

2016-11-27 21:29
The Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town (Seeff)

The Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town (Seeff)

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Cape Town - A Cape Town DA ward councillor on Sunday issued an apology for having planned a ‘march against grime’ in protest against the homeless in her area.

"I unreservedly apologise to everyone I offended," said Atlantic Seaboard councillor Shayne Ramsay – mentioning in particular "the homeless South Africans in Cape Town".

Previously, Ramsay announced on Facebook that a "march against grime" would be held in December during which protesters would walk along the Sea Point promenade "kindly asking anyone planning on sleeping [there] overnight, to move along".

"Please join me, wearing a white top or t-shirt to stand out in the dark and in the theme of cleanliness," she requested in the post issued on Saturday but removed later that same day.

In the same Facebook post, entitled "Vagrancy in Sea Point," Ramsay suggested that while her ward was a "community" and "vagrants are also people," nevertheless, "if they [the homeless] choose to live in a society like Sea Point, then they have to behave in a manner which is acceptable to the other residents".

Ramsay went on in the post to suggest calling the police "if you are threatened in any way" where "you can report them [the homeless] for any indecent public behaviour and for trespassing".

She also recommended that "since they rely on our hand-outs for their existence, if you stop giving to beggars, street people and car guards, they will move elsewhere". 

Outraged

She then offered the names of various charities where funds could rather be distributed.

She further requested that since residents' garbage often contained "perfectly edible food," they should not put out their bins the night before collection, or put the food to use as compost for their gardens.

In her original post, Ramsay said she had met with "residents, City staff, colleagues and Mayco members" in order to discuss "this increasingly difficult problem".

However, in her apology on Sunday, Ramsay said her previous post was not a reflection of the values of the City of Cape Town nor the Democratic Alliance.

"I believe that… we should care for the most vulnerable in our society," said Ramsay in Sunday's post.

DA Chief Whip Shaun August's office said the party had "noted" the outrage surrounding Ramsay's post and would bring it to the attention of the City of Cape Town's speaker Dirk Smit for investigation.

Read more on:    city of cape town  |  cape town  |  local government

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