The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) wants to urgently meet with City of Cape Town officials to discuss the constitutionality of a city by-law that will see homeless people fined for sleeping in public places.
This is according to SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen, who said that they met with the city over a month ago after initial concerns about how homeless people in Cape Town were being treated.
“We noticed the increased aggression towards homeless people and told the city that the SAHRC will be looking into that,” he said.
“We have received hundreds of complaints from homeless people about their possessions being removed, leaving them with nothing in this world.”
While mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the by-law relating to streets, public places and prevention of noise nuisances has been around since 2007, Nissen said it was only in the last couple of weeks that the SAHRC has received an influx of complaints about the homeless being fined and having their belongings taken away.