Our Heart News journalist, Arthur Pose visited the Strandfontein camp for the homeless.
“Nearly 1500 homeless people from across the metro are staying at the Strandfontein Sports grounds – an open field, less than a kilometre away from the false bay shoreline. This area is known for it’s ruthlessly cold and strong winds.
The temporary shelter that’s meant to protect them from the elements, includes a marquee, a tent, and a blanket – although some of the people there claim that not everyone has been given blankets.
The fenced-off area is far from secure, and social distancing seems to be the last concern for people here.
Some say they’re only being fed once a day – and we learned that food is provided by NGO’s, not the City.
They accused some service providers – which are NGO’s and charities, rather than Government – of not taking their needs into consideration.
City officials also told us there were proper ablution facilities in place, including hot water.
But during Thursday’s guided media tour, myself and other media were prevented from going to certain parts of the facility.
The only toilets we actually saw are those reserved for health care workers.
Those restrictions were in part because several of the people there are hostile. Many of them are dealing with substance abuse withdrawals, and other mental health problems.
In short, Strandfontein is far from a happy place – and while it serves the letter of the law, it’s nothing the City of Cape Town should be proud of.”