Heavy fines imposed on homeless people in South Africa

In South Africa, the imposition of fines on homeless people in the municipality of Cape Town has provoked heated controversy. The authorities defended their actions by claiming that there has been a substantial increase in resident complaints.

The municipality of Cape Town has decided to enforce a law passed twelve years ago. This law allows the police to a fine up to 1,500 rands about 106.07 United States Dollar, to anyone who lights a fire in public while obstructing pedestrian traffic by building such a night shelter can be hit with a fine of 300 rands about 21 United States Dollar.

Municipal authorities say they have been flooded in recent weeks with complaints from residents against increasing the number of makeshift shelters in their neighborhoods.

Critics of the fine described it as inhuman. With the arrival of the southern winter, calls have been made for the city to focus more on providing more shelters for the homeless.

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