City of Tshwane’s broad new strategy to help homeless hailed
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MMC for Community and Social Development Services, Sakkie du Plooy, said the policy had been in the making since 2016, with input from several NGOs, departments and homeless people. “We hold the principle that there should be no talks about the homeless without them.”
He said yesterday that the directorate had held a meeting with all stakeholders to follow up on the work they did in Marabastad, where they provided shelter for people whose shacks had been burned down in the unrest a month ago.
The policy had been expanded, with more NGOs working together not merely to provide shelter for the homeless, but to develop their surroundings and enable them to be able to maintain themselves.
“There’s so much that needs to be done to fulfil the policy, and we have a very organised and co-ordinated method,” he said.
Tshwane Leadership Foundation’s Wayne Renkin said the policy, which was elaborate and comprehensive, was the first of its kind in South Africa.
The policy had five priorities of focus to be implemented in all seven regions in Pretoria. “One of the priorities is to look at facilitating economic opportunities through life and vocational skills training, internship programmes and job-creation.
“We want to see how we can incorporate informal recyclers and how we can use recycling as a job opportunity and economic opportunity,” he said.
They would also look into providing health-care infrastructure, access to identity documents and legal support.
Du Plooy said they had formed a social contract with Unisa, the University of Pretoria, City of Tshwane, the Tshwane Homeless Forum and government departments to assist with the implementation of the policy.