'A fine is never ever the first approach when dealing with a homeless person'

A lot of attention has been given recently to the plight of the homeless in Cape Town, especially in reaction to reports that they are being fined and unfairly treated by city officials.

Kieno Kammies speaks to Zahid Badroodien, City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, about the plans which are in place to assist the homeless.

Badroodien says there is a two-pronged approach to this sensitive and complex issue.

A fine is never ever the first approach when dealing with a homeless person.

Zahid Badroodien, Mayco Member for Community Services and Health - City of Cape Town

The City of Cape Town has two departments dealing with the issue, he says - one is the Social Development Department and the other the Safety and Security Directorate.

Social Development is always the first team that goes in and continuously and recurringly engages with street people in all four of the city's areas to offer them a number of opportunities that they are then able to utilise.

Zahid Badroodien, Mayco Member for Community Services and Health - City of Cape Town

He says the opportunities aim to free the homeless from sleeping rough, to reintegrate into families and communities and to move into safe spaces in the city and become involved in the programmes on offer.

I do believe that over the week-an-a-half the media has intentionally misled the public into believing the City simply fines street people without offering them any form of assistance.

Zahid Badroodien, Mayco Member for Community Services and Health - City of Cape Town

He says there is no one reason people find themselves on the street and so need different approaches.

Listen to Badroodien's interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'A fine is never ever the first approach when dealing with a homeless person'


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