The Cape Town City Council has approved the new Unlawful Occupation By-law, alongside updates to the Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise By-law.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says to ensure the prohibition of sleeping in public places is enforced humanely, a person will first be issued with a compliance notice.
He says it is only an offence if they refuse a reasonable offer of alternative shelter. He says the objectives of the Unlawful Occupation by-law are to prevent the unlawful occupation of land and buildings and to monitor, control, and regulate the growth of informal settlements in the city.
The City of Cape Town says newly approved by-laws will help them to protect land and buildings from unlawful occupation.
“In as much as we have an obligation to ensure we support homeless and vulnerable people, we have an equivalent obligation to make sure our public spaces remain sustainable and workable and that the structure going up don’t create new crime threats and problems, which create disinvestment that drives job losses that drives more people on the streets. The same bylaws exist in every major city in the world, they all look the same because these common-sense provisions have to be there otherwise your city becomes unmanageable and unsustainable,” says Smith.
Source: SABC News