Homeless people want Cape Town by-laws declared unconstitutional
Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre will represent 11 homeless people who filed applications at the Western Cape High Court and at the Equality Court to challenge the City by-laws.
The applicants claim that the City of Cape Town's by-laws “criminalise homelessness” and violate a range of fundamental human rights.
"These by-laws criminalise homelessness by making it a crime for persons living on the street to conduct ordinary life-sustaining activities, like sleeping, camping, resting, bathing, erecting a shelter or keeping personal belongings in public", the law centre said in a statement.
In 2019, the same group of homeless people took the City to court seeking a final interdict preventing the so-called 'vagrancy fines'.
Ndifuna Ukwazi attorney Jonty Cogger says the latest court challenge is the second part of the 2019 application.
We're asking the courts to declare these by-laws invalid to the extent that they violate a plethora of human rights.Jonty Cogger, Attorney - Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre
My clients have been fined up to R2,000 for various transgressions with regards to these by-laws.Jonty Cogger, Attorney - Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre
The criminalisation of this vulnerable grouping is cruel and inhumane. It's a punitive response to this socio-economic situtaion.Jonty Cogger, Attorney - Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre
There's roughly 14,000 homeless people in Cape Town but only 2,400 beds. That's five times more homeless people than there are the provision of beds. In these circumstances it can never be justified to criminalise these acts.Jonty Cogger, Attorney - Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre
Listen to the discussion on The Midday Report:
Source : https://www.123rf.com/photo_152756112_poor-homeless-man-sleeps-on-the-street-in-the-heat-in-camps-bay-cape-town-south-africa-.html?term=homeless%2Bcape%2Btown&vti=ml6qbojaglpdspivz1-1-1