'We cannot dare to start making exceptions' for homeless - Plato on pavement by-law fines

2019-07-31 15:38
Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato (Gallo Images)

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato (Gallo Images)

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The ANC in the Western Cape is trying to paint the City of Cape Town as a municipality that doesn't care for the homeless when the opposite is true, City of Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said.

Plato was addressing the first full sitting of the council on Wednesday.

Plato also slammed the media for falling for the "ANC's outrage manufacturing machine".

"I see the media has once again fallen for the ANC's outrage manufacturing machine by trying to paint this City as one that doesn't care for its homeless, when the complete opposite is actually true.

"We do more to protect, assist and help our homeless than any other city in this country," said Plato.

'War against the homeless'

Earlier this month, it emerged that the City of Cape Town was issuing fines to homeless people for obstructing pedestrian traffic on sidewalks and various other offences in the city.

At the time, the ANC in the province said they were appalled and disgusted by the City's "war against the homeless".

Facing backlash from the public, City officials explained at the time that they were not targeting the homeless but enforcing by-laws following numerous complaints from residents.

Most often cited were contraventions of the 2007 by-law relating to streets, public places and the prevention of noise nuisances.

'We cannot dare to start making exceptions'

"There is no by-law just for homeless people. That is absolute nonsense. By-laws are for all of society. We cannot dare to start making exceptions.

"There is no reason to sleep on the street or to set up illegal structures on sidewalks. There are beds in shelters. They are not full but some of those who should be making use of the shelters flat out refuse the services available," said Plato.

News24 reported that a homeless man was found dead near the Sea Point promenade in Cape Town's upmarket Three Anchor Bay suburb on Monday morning.

"No foul play is suspected," police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said at the time. An inquest docket was registered at the Sea Point police station.

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Read more on:    city of cape town  |  dan plato  |  cape town  |  homelessness  |  poverty  |  service delivery
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