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EThekwini's homeless people say City failed to provide adequate food, shelter

While City officials said they are doing all they can to fulfill their promises, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said this is proving difficult.

Picture: www.durban.gov.za

DURBAN – Homeless people in eThekwini have accused City officials of denying them food and making them sleep in unhygienic tents.

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of a national lockdown, the municipality announced that it would find shelter for thousands of the city’s homeless people.

While City officials said they are doing all they can to fulfill their promises, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said this is proving difficult.

The eThekwini municipality has gathered over a thousand of the City's homeless people at the Durban exhibition centre with a plan to take them to various temporary shelters within the municipality.

A homeless man said they have been taken without their consent and then denied food.
“They are taking us and closing us up like we are criminals.”

Premier Zikalala has justified the use of force, saying it is only way to quarantine some of the homeless.

“Some of them you have to take them through force, because they don’t want to be accommodated anywhere; because they want to do their own thing.”

_WATCH: eThekwini homeless unhappy with municipality's treatment _

Meanwhile, staff members at a non-profit organization at the Durban exhibition centre – who spoke on the condition of anonymity – said City officials have failed to organise hand sanitizers, showers, water and mattresses for the homeless.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.