Tent city squatters up for eviction

Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers have to tackle rubbish dumps like this within a few homeless sites.

Squatters in the recognisable “tent city” informal shelter located across the street from the Sea Point police station will learn their fate next Tuesday when their eviction case is addressed in court.

Ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell says the legal process is lengthy and the City is willing to help the homeless find alternative housing.

“We have had some success with the eviction process in this ward, the Tramway Road eviction is an example of that success and we have a court date for tent city for quite some time now and we will have to hear what the court says,” said Ms Jowell.

“There are legal processes on the way for shelters in this ward and where we find permanent structures as well as ad hoc sleeping we have increased our social development interventions to assist the people on the streets. We have done early morning operations where we engage with the people and offer assistance and we are optimistic that once the Ebenezer Road safe space is operational that more people will have an option for a safe place to sleep that also has access to social services,” she said.

Ms Jowell says through social development support and evictions, more than 10 informal sites within Atlantic seaboard residential areas have been eliminated.

According to Sub-council 16 Chairman Matthew Kempthorne, the City spends R1.9 million per year on Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) crews cleaning up informal settlements.

“We employ people from the safe spaces to do the cleaning up at hotspots like this (tent city) and the majority of the R1.9 million goes to stipends for the EPWP workers who require transport as they operate from Camps Bay to Century City,” said Mr Kempthorne.

“The EPWP project maintains high standards as they make sure the parks are kept clean and during the festive season they are responsible for the cleaning of ablution blocks and beaches when necessary, it’s a top up service to the department of solid waste,” he said.

Ward 54 contains 11 hotspot sites, according to Gershwin Fouldien, the manager of Sub-council 16, and the EPWP hotspot cleaning team has 30 personnel to clean these places.

“We can’t be here (at tent city) everyday and there is a rotation schedule that the EPWP team follows,” Mr Fouldien said.

“The sites are getting less because of the evictions and because we are cleaning them up effectively, we are happy with this top up service,” he said.

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers with ward councillors and managers from the City of Cape Town.