Gauteng Social Development earmarked over R87 million for the homeless

The homeless are in their own ‘shelters’ on the streets of Braamfontein in Johannesburg. Photo: Rosetta Msimango

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The Gauteng government has set aside over R87 million to be spent on programs for the homeless.

MEC Morakane Mosupyoe of Gauteng Social Development said the growing number of homeless people remained a source of concern for the provincial government.

“In Gauteng, the largest homeless population is estimated to be in metro Johannesburg and Tshwane with over 25,000 homeless. It is therefore in the interests of the department that a concerted effort is made to address homelessness and ensure that homeless people do not return to the streets but are supported and reintegrated into their families and communities.” , said Mosupyoe.

According to the provincial department, the homeless have been the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Gauteng Executive Council has approved a five-year strategy on homelessness called the Gauteng City Region Strategy on Homelessness. -homelessness in adults.

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The department said research carried out by the Cape Metropolitan Council shows that the homeless are among the vulnerable members of society and live with the problem of illiteracy, drug abuse, hunger, malnutrition and poverty. inadequate housing. They are also prone to sexual and criminal abuse and have physical and mental problems.

Mosupyoe, responding to the Gauteng legislature on Monday over funding for a homeless shelter, said more than R87.4 million had been allocated to municipalities since the start of the current financial year to meet homelessness in the province:

Homeless people are considered vulnerable people who need social development services, as well as support from other government departments and stakeholders. Provincial social development will therefore continue with care and protection services for the homeless across the province, using shelters as a means to reach, including those currently on the streets.

She said the province is currently collaborating with municipalities in planning and implementing services for the homeless. The department, Mosupyoe added, provided capacity building, education and awareness programs, funding for meals, staff, security and other operating costs, policy development for homeless services. -shelter and program coordination for the homeless.

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Mosupyoe said the department also works with municipalities and nonprofits to provide services, such as meals, drug treatment, medical screening, counseling and reunification with families.

“In particular, homelessness is a social phenomenon that cannot be completely eradicated. What remains essential is to have an integrated system that works well, that can react at all times and have responsive programs as needed.

She also mentioned that the ministry currently funds 26 homeless shelters in the province.


Joel C. Hicks