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Being homeless is not a crime

(Republished from

Statement from SHAC (Strandfontein Homeless Action Committee) and it’s affiliates such as our HOUSE and the Rehoming Collective (organisations that support homeless people):

We object to the manner in which the City of Cape Town treats it’s approximately 14,000 homeless people and, through their law enforcement agencies,  and their proposed changes to bylaws portray homeless people as deviants and criminals.

  • The Western Cape Provincial Government currently subsidises a total of 2,400 bed spaces for homeless individuals in Cape Town and surrounds and The City of Cape Town provides 200 bed spaces in it’s Safe Spaces. 
  • Cape Town doesn’t have the facilities to offer homeless people living on its streets a dignified alternative.
  • Yet, structures that the homeless erect and tents they put up to protect themselves from the elements are broken down and in the process their meagre possessions including their documentation, medication and ID documents are confiscated!
  • The City also issues fines to these homeless people and are now wanting to change the bylaw so they can arrest homeless people for being homeless. 
  • We say NO to CRIMINALIZING homeless people. We say NO to FINING homeless people. We say NO to ARRESTING homeless people for being Homeless!


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