APCOF submits amicus in support of challenge to Cape Town by-laws criminalising homelessness

APCOF has been admitted as amicus curiae in Gelderbloem and Others v City of Cape Town (WCHC 5708/21 and EC06/2021), which will be heard in September/October 2023. The proceedings were launched by Ndifuna Ukwazi on behalf of a number of applicants against the City of Cape Town in the Western Cape High Court (sitting as both the High Court and Equality Court) challenging provisions of the City’s by-laws related to Street, Public Places, and the Prevention of Noise Nuisance and Integrated Waste Management. The applicants argue that the by-laws are unconstitutional and discriminatory insofar as they criminalise homelessness and unfairly discriminate against homeless people. More information about the case is available on the GroundUp website: Homeless people challenge Cape Town by-laws in court.

In its amicus, APCOF will assist the Court by reflecting on comparative law examples across the African region that deal with the decriminalisation of similar offences, and explore alternatives to criminalisation based on developmental approaches to safety. APCOF is being represented by Lawyers for Human Rights and pro bono counsel.

Photo: Masixole Feni/GroundUp

24 April, 2023
Type of Update:
In the Courts
Updates from our Partners
Courts Systems
Petty Offences
Use of Public Spaces
South Africa
Campaign Partners:
Africa Policing Civilian Oversight Forum

The Campaign to Decriminalise Poverty and Status is a coalition of organisations from across the world that advocate for the repeal of laws that target people based on poverty, status or for their activism.


#DecrimPoverty   |  #DecrimStatus  |  #DecrimActivism