A homeless man sleeps on the street in the Pretoria CBD. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
A homeless man sleeps on the street in the Pretoria CBD. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Concern about Tshwane’s slow process in identifying facilities for homeless shelters

By Sakhile Ndlazi Time of article published Nov 23, 2020

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Pretoria - Stakeholders in the homeless sphere are concerned about the City of Tshwane's slow process in identifying facilities to serve as long-term shelters.

The Tshwane Homelessness Forum, University of Pretoria, Unit for Street Homelessness, Community-Oriented Substance Use Programme and Unisa referred to the model shelter for people using substances at Capital Park, which had since closed down.

The second, at Lyttelton, is also at risk of closing down.

Tebogo Mpufane of Centurion Haven of Hope shelter said another concern was the quality of facilities.

He said certain services rendered to all the shelters were terminated, including social work, dignity packs, protective gear and sanitary pads. “Gains made in the past months are at risk of being lost due to this process.”

MMC for Community and Social Development Services, Thabisile Vilakazi, said six facilities had been identified. Three of these facilities, however, belong to the Gauteng government.

“The City has since within its parameters set up a dedicated homeless unit within the department to ensure readiness to deal effectively with the transition to the facilities that will serve as long-term shelters,” the MMC said.

“Our intention is to formally launch this directorate soon as it is critical that we play a more assertive role in this space. This directorate has seen us pulling in staff and restructuring aspects of social development to ensure this function is capacitated.”

Vilakazi said a verification process of beneficiaries was being conducted by the City. “Given that this is an unfunded mandate of the City, formal requests were sent months ago to the provincial government for adequate grant funding in order to ensure that the City can better support the homeless.”

Pretoria News

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