CAPE TOWN – A group of homeless people in the CBD will have to wait another week to move into the City of Cape Town’s safe space.
At the start of lockdown, hundreds of homeless people were accommodated at a macro site in Strandfontein but it was closed at the end of April and people were moved to smaller sites.
However, a group of about 170 were not put into a site, claiming they were left on the pavement at the Culemborg safe space after they were moved from a homeless camp.
After spending about a week under a bridge, in the cold and rain, a group of homeless people were given an option to occupy the Community Chest office.
This is until the construction of a safe space at Culemborg is eventually completed.
The homeless here said that they’re disappointed with the city after it assured them that there would be accommodation when the Strandfontein camp closed.
CEO Lorenzo Davids, who is sitting outside the building with his colleagues connected to free Wi-Fi on his laptop, said that he saw the desperation and handed over the keys to the building.
Davids said that the city dumped them at the site where they had to watch construction workers from the pavement.
“There’s no supervisor here and that to me shows that they are the most amazing human beings. They don’t belong in camp, in shelters, they don’t belong in dehumanised spaces.”
John Hufckie, who was with the group at Strandfontein, said that as long as he had hot water, a roof, and sanitiser he was grateful. But he could not understand why there wasn’t enough infrastructure for the homeless and destitute. He said that he recalled the president saying: ‘Don’t worry my angels, there’s money’.
He also added that they were living in poor conditions at the Strandfontein site, saying that there were no proper measures in place.
“We lived in World War II because that’s what the conditions were like. How can you want to police homeless people? For what?”
The city has told EWN, they are still in the process of extending the site but have encountered delays. The expected date is on the first of July.