Homeless horrors

2017-04-04 06:03

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A petition with more than a thousand signatures calls on the City of Cape Town to crack down on antisocial behaviour in Muizenberg.

The petition follows a People’s Post article in which JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, said only five complaints about homelessness in Muizenberg had been recorded by the City since December (“Homelessness no day at the beach”, 14 February).

Members of the Muizenberg Community Safety Initiative (MCSI), which started the petition, say this does not reflect the “levels of concern that Muizenberg is ­experiencing”.

“We are uncertain whether the low number is accounted for by faulty reporting or because people are unsure where to address their complaints, but either way we decided to take on the challenge of setting the record straight,” they say in the petition.

They say this doesn’t match the “levels of distress” residents have, and that the number of vagrants and day strollers is impacting on personal safety, hygiene, business and tourism.

They are calling on the City to look after council-owned land and buildings in Muizenberg, like the Battle of Muizenberg site and the Atlantic Road electricity department, urgently help Muizenberg with key social development solutions and step up Law Enforcement efforts.

“The situation gives criminals an ideal cover to step up their operations in the area. Much of this is being allowed on, or outside, council property,” the petition reads.

MCSI chairperson Trevor Snyders says there is a perception of a growing number of criminals living amongst the long-term homeless people and that many of the bylaws are not being enforced, such as drinking and urinating in public and littering.

“It needs to be clear that we recognise that amongst the people on the street are the true homeless who need significant support to support their basic human rights and these are lacking. They have no access to toilet and ablution facilities, nowhere to wash their clothes or store their personal belongings and have limited protection sleeping on the streets at night. Many have addictions and need support but these are not available. Shelters are overflowing and have no space for those needing shelter.”

“There are a significant number of economic vagrants amongst the homeless. Typically, these tend to be informal car guards (up to 80 have been counted in Muizenberg alone), some of whom have homes in the surrounding areas but choose to be close to their ‘place of work’ or involved in illegal activities,” says Snyders.

The petition, which received 1400 signatures, has already been submitted to the City.

Despite having interventions in place, the City cannot force homeless people to accept the services offered to them, explains Eddie Andrews, Mayco member (South).

“The City has a dedicated reintegration unit which offers social services to street people, including referral to shelters, access to expanded public works programmes job opportunities, assistance with securing IDs and social grants, and social assistance for reunification with their family,” he says.

The social development and early childhood development department’s street people unit has an agreement with the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), Andrews says, and MID deals with all issues regarding the local homeless.

“The City will be called to assist with cases that they are struggling with. The City also assists in assessing cases for social support. Operations are conducted regularly in Atlantic Road and in Muizenberg Park to address any bylaw contraventions.

“Recently an operation was also held at the Battle of Muizenberg site and a number of trespassers were arrested and charged. In addition, the electricity depot is fully secured but street people do sometimes loiter nearby.”

Law Enforcement officers also enforce the law during patrols if the contravention occurs in their presence, says Andrews.

“They will also deal with any bylaw contraventions that are brought to their attention via complaints from the public. However, just like any other resident they also enjoy freedom of movement and officers cannot prevent people from moving around in an area.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.