The city authorities have introduced tough new measures against asking for money in public. People are now required to have written permission from the city council in order to collect money on the streets and are prohibited from touching people, following people in what is perceived as a threatening way and continuing to beg after being turned down. People caught infringing the rules will be subject to a fine or imprisonment for up to six months or both. The new measure also outlaws defecating or urinating in public and sleeping in a vehicle in a public space. The injustices of the apartheid years and the failure of the democratically elected government to get to grips with lack of housing and unemployment has meant that many Capetonians live in a state of abject poverty in a city where the gap between rich and poor is extreme.
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