CT courts powerless over vagrants

The City of Cape Town has been struggling to reprimand vagrants who defecate outside courts.

Outside the Bellville Magistrates Court. Picture: Giovana Gerbi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town city bosses have admitted they have been battling to prevent vagrants from littering and defecating on the streets.

Eyewitness News addressed the issue with the city and Justice Department officials, after seeing human waste on the streets on several occasions.

It is particularly problematic outside the Bellville and Cape Town magistrate's courts.

After two Eyewitness News reporters stepped in human faeces, Western Cape Justice Department chief Hishaam Mohamed admitted he had had a similar experience.

But the City of Cape Town's Department of Safety and Security said it cannot enforce the nuisance by-law as vagrants do not have a fixed address for fines to get issued.

The city's health mayoral committee member said she could not comment as human waste on the pavements was not a health hazard.

The buck appears to have stopped with the city's Social Development mayoral member, Suzette Little, who was unaware officials lock public toilets at night, which poses a problem for the homeless in particular.

The city's solid waste department said the streets were cleaned every day.