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High Court orders the serving of eviction notices at CBD unlawful occupations<p>​Eviction notices are to be served at 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.</p><div> </div><div>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.</div><div> </div><div>This is part of a city-wide approach of assessing the social circumstances of those living on the streets, while offering help and dignified transitional shelter. These facilities offer programmes to help people off the streets, and to reintegrate into society, or reunite with family. Addiction treatment, referral for psychiatric treatment, personal development planning and employment opportunities are also offered. </div><div> </div><div>While some have accepted these offers of support, the unlawful occupants receiving notices are those who have consistently refused all offers of social assistance while continuing to unlawfully occupy busy intersections and road reserves in the CBD.</div><div> </div><div>‘We have done our absolute level best over the past year to extend every offer of care to each of these people, and to help them off the streets. Where this has been persistently refused, we must now ask the courts for the order we are seeking. No person has the right to reserve a public space as exclusively theirs, while indefinitely refusing all offers of shelter and social assistance. Our city’s public places serve important social and community purposes, and must be open and available for all. Illegal occupations of City open spaces impact the safety of traffic and pedestrians, as well as local businesses critical to growing the economy. Accepting social assistance to get off the streets is the best choice for dignity, health, and well-being. In Cape Town, we have responded to the national and global challenge of homelessness by expanding our Care Interventions to help people off the streets, with R77 million for Safe Spaces and social programmes this financial year, as the only metro dedicating a social development budget to this important issue,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.</div><div> </div><div>The City approaches the court only in the last instance, in cases where all offers of support are indefinitely refused.</div><div> </div><div>The City’s application includes the unlawful occupation of the sliver of municipal-owned land adjacent to the traffic intersection at the Cape of Good Hope Castle in the CBD. The National Government owns the large portion of land directly adjacent to the Castle and the Moat, with the legal responsibility for its vacation residing with the Department of Public Works. The City has written to the responsible department over the past few months regarding this matter, which impacts the public health, safety, businesses and tourism around this critical heritage site.</div><div> </div><div>City expanding Safe Space dignified transitional shelters</div><div> </div><div>The City will continue adding more transitional shelter beds in the coming months to help more people off the streets across different parts of the metro. </div><div> </div><div>An over 300-bed Safe Space is on the cards for Green Point, to help people off the streets in the CBD and seaboard area. The City will soon file a planning approval application for this new facility, which will follow the full regulatory and planning process before being implemented. Comment by affected parties will be called for and duly considered.</div><div> </div><div>In total, there will be a 420-bed boost for Cape Town’s inner city, with around 120 shelter beds already added to the City’s Culemborg Safe Space during winter 2022, bringing the total there to around 450 beds across two facilities in the east of the CBD. </div><div> </div><div>Yet more new beds will follow as the City works to help expand NGO-run shelters operating on municipal-owned land in central Cape Town, as well as the annual seasonal bed boost as part of the City’s Winter Readiness Campaign 2023.</div><div> </div><div>The City will increase Safe Space capacity in Bellville, Muizenberg and Durbanville in coming months. The City is also making progress on re-purposing other municipal-owned sites elsewhere in the metro, working together with NGO partners, CIDs and residents.</div><div><br></div><div>The City has committed more than R142 million over a three-year period to expanding and operating Safe Spaces where these are most needed. This is over and above its ongoing support to NGOs assisting the homeless, including grant-in-aid funding.</div><div> </div><div>The City’s Safe Space model includes:</div><div>·       dignified shelter,</div><div>·       comfort and ablutions,</div><div>·       two meals per day,</div><div>·       access to a social worker on-site,</div><div>·       personal development planning,</div><div>·       various social services including ID Book and social grant assistance,</div><div>·       family reunification services</div><div>·       access to substance and alcohol abuse treatment,</div><div>·       skills training,</div><div>·       help finding a job, and</div><div>·       access to EPWP work placement</div><div> </div><div><br><br></div><p><br></p>2023-02-19T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#b2c90d9f-c5fb-4e30-a642-051931602428;L0|#0b2c90d9f-c5fb-4e30-a642-051931602428|Homeless people shelters;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#e38c99a2-b6cc-4692-88be-17602acbc22a;L0|#0e38c99a2-b6cc-4692-88be-17602acbc22a|occupancy;GP0|#332b80ff-fa7b-4b63-aeff-5ec45b65fe4d;L0|#0332b80ff-fa7b-4b63-aeff-5ec45b65fe4d|eviction;GPP|#632815ae-33d6-4255-bae7-4783535a560410


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