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High Court grants eviction order for various Cape Town CBD occupations<p>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. The order includes a standing interdict against any further unlawful occupation of these areas and further City-owned public spaces by respondents identified in the application.</p><p>The ruling comes after a lengthy court process since the initial granting of an order for eviction notices to be served in February 2023. The hearing of the matter was then delayed until October 2023 by an eleventh-hour notice to oppose filed by a Johannesburg-based NGO. Judgment was eventually handed down on 18 June 2024.</p><p>Over time, City Social Development officials have made repeated offers of social assistance to those unlawfully occupying public spaces in the city, including offers of dignified transitional shelter at NGO-run night shelters and City-run Safe Spaces.</p><p>Safe Spaces aim to reintegrate people into society, or reunite them with family. Services include dignified transitional shelter coupled with social programmes to assist people off the streets sustainably. Personal development planning and employment opportunities are made available, as are referrals for mental health, medical, and substance abuse treatment.</p><p>'The City welcomes this order, which will enable the restoration of public places for all to use in Cape Town's CBD. The court has affirmed City Safe Spaces as dignified transitional shelter, and the offer of spaces at these facilities still stands for those who have not yet accepted. Accepting social assistance to get off the streets is the best choice for dignity, health, and well-being, and the City has gone to great lengths to extend every offer of care to individuals unlawfully occupying public places in various parts of the metro. </p><p>'Where offers of help to get off the streets have been persistently refused, we continue to seek the court's help as a last resort. 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.</p><p>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. </p><p>The City further expects the imminent launching of an eviction application for the area surrounding the Castle of Good Hope by the land custodian, the national Department of Public Works.</p><p><strong>City expanding Safe Space dignified transitional shelter</strong></p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>The City's Safe Space model includes:</p><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><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2024-06-18T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#ea139b18-ad54-46f1-aa19-e5c04e4dcaf3;L0|#0ea139b18-ad54-46f1-aa19-e5c04e4dcaf3|social development;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb10


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