by John Moodey – DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
As Gauteng is currently experiencing a cold snap, the homeless in this province are the most vulnerable to the plummeting temperatures.
The ANC-led Gauteng administration has no empathy and is not doing enough to assist our homeless people.
For instance, the ANC-run City of Ekurhuleni has no budget and no alternative accommodation for homeless people.
This was revealed by the Gauteng COGTA MEC, Uhuru Moiloa, in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
According to MEC Moiloa, Ekurhuleni does not have by-laws or legislation governing the control and management of homelessness in the City.
This is shocking as the number of homeless people is on the rise in this province, particularly in the CBDs.
There are not enough overnight shelters to accommodate homeless people in this province.
Many NGOs that work with homeless people claim that they are not getting enough support from the government.
The DA calls on the Gauteng government to strengthen their partnerships with NGOs that work with homeless people and provide them with adequate support.
An effective partnership between the Gauteng government and the respective NGOs will provide access to upliftment and empowerment programmes that will assist our homeless in getting a step-up on the employment ladder.
Where the DA governs in the City of Cape Town, we have launched ‘Safe Space’ which is an overnight facility to address the shortage of shelter space for the Cape Town CBD’s homeless residents. The facility offers access to a range of social and medical services, with assessments and referrals done on site. There are also short-term work opportunities that are made available through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
Come 2019, the DA will bring Change to the homeless people of Gauteng by replicating the good work done in Cape Town to assist the homeless in moving off the streets and into the job market.