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City welcomes Castle of Good Hope eviction application<p>​The Castle is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town and is a Grade 1 National Monument. The unlawful occupation at the Castle is impacting its status as a top tourist destination, as well as general public safety in the vicinity.</p><div>City social development professionals have assisted the Department of Public Works (DPW) by documenting the personal circumstances of each of the unlawful occupants via on-site surveys. Offers of transitional shelter at City Safe Spaces and NGO-run night shelters have been made over time, and still stand as the eviction application process continues.</div><div> </div><div>City Safe Spaces offer social programmes to assist people off the streets sustainably, reintegrate them into society, and reunite them with family. Personal development planning and employment opportunities are made available, as are referrals for mental health, medical, and substance abuse treatment. </div><div>   </div><div>‘The City welcomes DPW’s launching of an eviction application for the Castle, which is a long outstanding matter since the unlawful occupation began during the national lockdown period. It is high time that this public place is restored to public use, not only for its tourism and economic importance, but also for the sake of the unlawful occupants, as accepting social assistance to get off the streets is the best choice for dignity, health, and well-being. No person has the right to reserve a public space as exclusively theirs, while indefinitely refusing all offers of shelter and social assistance,’ said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.</div><div> </div><div>Meanwhile on 18 June, the Western Cape High Court granted the City a final eviction order for various unlawful occupation sites in the Cape Town CBD. The order relates to various unlawful occupation hotspots along Buitengracht Street, FW De Klerk Boulevard, Foregate Square, taxi rank and Foreshore, Helen Suzman Boulevard, Strand Street, Foreshore/N1, Virginia Avenue and Mill Street Bridge in the city. </div><div><br></div><div>In granting the order to the City for these CBD sites, the court affirmed that the City's Safe Space shelters offer dignified transitional shelter, stating in paragraphs 6-7 of its ruling: ‘We can only care about the homeless when we see ourselves in them; we can only realise our own humanity if we commit to realising theirs; when we see that we are all a few bad decisions and some bad luck from life on the pavements, Umntu ngumntu, ngabanthu. To its great credit, this is largely the attitude the City has largely adopted in its litigation’.</div><div><br></div><div>The High Court further granted the City two similar eviction orders in recent months for central Cape Town. The Sheriff carried out eviction orders for the remaining unlawful occupants at the Green Point Tennis Courts on 22 February, and in the vicinity of the Nelson Mandela Boulevard intersection with Hertzog Boulevard, Old Marine Drive, and Christiaan Barnard Bridge on 10 April. </div><div> </div><div><strong>City expanding Safe Space dignified transitional shelter</strong></div><div> </div><div>The City is spending over R220 million in the next three years to expand and operate its Safe Space transitional shelters beyond the current 770 beds across the CBD, Bellville, and Durbanville facilities.</div><div> </div><div>The City currently operates two Safe Spaces at Culemborg in the east CBD which offer 510 shelter beds across the facilities, with a new 300-bed Safe Space in Green Point set to open in the coming months.</div><div> </div><div>The City also recently supported a 63% bed boost to the CBD’s Haven Night Shelter, expanding this facility from 96 to 156 beds via a R500 000 cost contribution. During last winter, the City further enabled several NGOs to add 300 more temporary bed spaces to cope with additional shelter demand, including the deployment of 184 EPWP workers to assist NPOs.</div><div> </div><div>The City further runs the Matrix substance abuse treatment programme, with an 83% success rate for clients, addressing a key driver of why people end up on the streets.</div><div> </div><div>In the 12 months ending June 2023, the City helped almost 3 500 individuals with shelter placement or referrals to an array of social services. This includes 2 246 shelter placements, 112 family reunifications and reintegrations, 1 124 referrals to social services, and over 880 short-term contractual job opportunities via the Expanded Public Works Programme.</div><div> </div><div></div><div><div></div><div><div><div>The City’s Safe Space model includes:</div><div><ul><li>dignified shelter,</li><li>comfort and ablutions,</li><li>two meals per day,</li><li>access to a social worker on-site,</li><li>personal development planning,</li><li>various social services including ID Book and social grant assistance,</li><li>family reunification services</li><li>access to substance and alcohol abuse treatment,</li><li>skills training,</li><li>help finding a job, and</li><li>access to EPWP work placement</li></ul></div></div><br></div></div><div> </div><div><strong>End</strong></div><div><br><br></div><p><br></p>2024-06-20T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#13dff606-5cfa-42c8-b9da-e6e516e6e771;L0|#013dff606-5cfa-42c8-b9da-e6e516e6e771|Street People;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#332b80ff-fa7b-4b63-aeff-5ec45b65fe4d;L0|#0332b80ff-fa7b-4b63-aeff-5ec45b65fe4d|eviction;GPP|#632815ae-33d6-4255-bae7-4783535a5604;GP0|#90b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534;L0|#090b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534|Mayor10


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