Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane reacted on Twitter to a story carriedin News24, subsequently covered by The Citizen, that detailed the City of Cape Town’s plans to fine the homeless in the hope of enforcing by-law infringements.
The article has caused outrage, leading Maimane to respond that it “tries to paint a distorted picture about the DA’s work in government”.
“It does not reflect our progress, who we are, and the values we have stood for in government over the years. It certainly doesn’t reflect the DA I lead,” he continued.
“We pride ourselves in building a country in which governments are responsive, caring and inclusive.
“I am in communication with the [Cape Town mayor Dan Plato] to look into this, and provide feedback to the public including info on initiatives to assist the homeless.”
The Citizen contacted the office of Maimane and asked him what specifically led him to state that the article paints a distorted picture of DA governance in Cape Town. Media officer Azola Mboniswa would not answer this or refer this question to the DA leader except to say that we should “wait for the feedback” that would result from his contact with the mayor “before any further comment”.
The article detailed how, due to complaints from residents, the City of Cape Town has committed to enforce certain by-laws, such as those relating to the erecting of a shelter or sleeping or camping overnight in any undesignated area; those relating to “noise nuisances”; as well as ones relating obstructing pedestrian on public pavements or “depositing, packing, unpacking or leaving any goods in a public place”.
City of Cape Town law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said fines were not targeting homeless people in the city’s streets, the laws were targeting people that erected temporary shelters, obstructed sidewalks, lit fires, and left any goods in public places, he told the publication.