While he was not aware of drug dealing in the Doordrift greenbelt, the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, has conceded that the City has received complaints about homeless people in the area.
Mr Smith was reacting to a report published in the Bulletin recently, on allegations of drug dealers dealing in the greenbelt, complaints about the presence of vagrants and claims by residents that there has been an increase in crime (“Crime and grime at Doordrift Greenbelt”, Bulletin, March 10).
Mr Smith said drug-related complaints should be reported to police. The City’s enforcement agencies will, however, act in the event that they come across such activities. Instances of homeless people living in the greenbelts can be reported to the City’s Law Enforcement Department on 021 596 1999.
Suzette Little, the City’s mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development, added that the City’s Reintegration Unit had recently conducted two joint operations in this area with law enforcement.
She said individuals found in the area had been profiled and confirmed that they have previously been in shelters and had refused any further social assistance. While the adults indicated that they lived in the area with their children, the unit had not seen the children, she said.
The matter has been referred to the Western Cape Department of Social Development, Ms little added.
”Law Enforcement does all it can to address the various complaints in respect of by-law enforcement. From a social development perspective, the City’s Reintegration Unit cannot force anyone to accept social assistance.
“While there are numerous options available for assistance, these are voluntary. These options include referrals to shelters or other social and/or health services, reintegration with their families, and work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
“The City of Cape Town also has a number of initiatives in place to prevent people from migrating to the streets, including the Local Networks of Care, soft skills programmes focusing on substance abuse and improved family relationships etc, as well as the Give Responsibly campaign aimed at curbing indiscriminate hand-outs that keep people on the street and perpetuate aggressive begging,” said Ms Little.