A homeless couple living in a broken-down car was shocked to find their only shelter towed away by traffic cops.
Kyle Billinge and Nathline Abrahams, 32, said they were living peacefully in the Hyundai Accent owned by Kyle’s mother until earlier this month.
The car is normally parked in a yard, but Kyle says they moved it into the street because the homeowner wanted to mow the lawn.
“My father died of cancer when I was young, my mother Karin, 59, and I had no place to go so I ended up on the streets at 16 and my mom found a room for her and my son two years ago,” says Kyle.
He and Nathline have been living in the car for two years.
“We spend most of the day on the street and then sleep in the car at night.
“We never bother anyone and were given a place to park by a generous woman in Blacksmith Street in Summer Greens.
“We live inside the car to have a place to sleep.
“We moved it off the property and stayed in the street for a while because the owner of the house wanted to mow the lawn in preparation for a birthday party.”
First, they got a shock to find a warning notice from the Traffic Department stuck to the windscreen.
“On 8 July we saw a little notice stuck on the car to tell us that we have to move the vehicle immediately.”
Kyle says Nathline was still inside the vehicle when it was towed away two weeks ago.
“Nathline tried to gather our belongings, but it was already being hoisted and she had to jump out fast.”
The couple is now sleeping in an alley in Blacksmith Road.
Traffic Services Spokesperson Kevin Jacobs confirmed the vehicle was removed by Traffic Services.
“The vehicle was marked for abandonment on 8 July in Blacksmith Road, Summer Greens, and observed for nine days and subsequently towed away on 16 July,” he says.
“A letter to this effect is sent to the registered owner, at the address listed on the Natis system. The vehicle is currently being stored at the Ndabeni pound.”
He says it will cost the couple R1771.70 to get the car back.
“Payment can be made at the Traffic Department in Somerset Road, Green Point.”
But Kyle says they don’t have money, and will have to remain on the street for now.