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SAHRC, City of CT to ‘find solution’ on fining the homeless

The municipality was criticised for enforcing a by-law and fining homeless people.

Martin Lodewyk, an ex-prisoner living on the streets, says he’s received at least eight fines from the City of Cape Town thus far and says he cannot afford to pay it. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Human Rights Commission on Friday agreed to work with the City of Cape Town to find sustainable solutions to address homelessness.

The municipality was criticised for enforcing a by-law and fining homeless people.

The commission met with Mayor Dan Plato and other officials over the past two days. It said officials raised concerns about tourists becoming victims of crime and businesses in the city wanting to close shop because of criminal activity.

Commissioner Chris Nissen questioned why officials used one by-law to target a group of people. He said the commission had received hundreds of complaints from people living on the street, regarding their treatment at the hands of municipal officials.

Nissen added they would test the law against the Constitution.