Search for so­lu­tion to home­less woes

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANNA COX @an­na­cox

THE CITY of Joburg im­me­di­ately con­vened a meet­ing of re­gional di­rec­tors to dis­cuss ways of work­ing to­gether to find last­ing so­lu­tions to the chal­lenges of the home­less fol­low­ing The Star’s ex­posé.

In a story head­lined “Home­less caus­ing flood­ing” pub­lished on Wed­nes­day, The Star re­vealed how the home­less liv­ing in and un­der bridges were com­pro­mis­ing the city’s road infrastructure.

Fol­low­ing that, mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee for health and so­cial de­vel­op­ment, Mpho Pha­latse said the team also went on an over­sight visit to the ar­eas listed in The Star’s ar­ti­cle as well as other iden­ti­fied hot spots in the city.

“We have noted, and are both deeply con­cerned and moved, by the plight of the home­less in our city. The con­di­tions un­der which these peo­ple live are deeply in­hu­mane and are the re­sult of ac­cu­mu­lated fail­ures by ad­min­is­tra­tions over the years,” she said.

In 2013/14, the city’s au­dit re­port stated there were 2 711 home­less peo­ple in the Joburg CBD, most of whom were drug users, yet there is only one re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre to ser­vice the city.

“This shows that the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion was wholly in­ept to deal with the plight of the home­less, per­pet­u­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment of crime and disor­der in the in­ner city.

“This ad­min­is­tra­tion is, how­ever, de­ter­mined to face these is­sues head-on and come up with suit­able, sus­tain­able and in­te­grated so­lu­tions to en­sure that all res­i­dents of this city are taken care of,” Pha­latse said.

The Joburg Metro Po­lice De­part­ment, the SAPS, Pik­itup, so­cial de­vel­op­ment, the Joburg Roads Agency, Joburg Wa­ter and en­vi­ron­ment af­fairs have com­mit­ted re­sources to­wards en­sur­ing that clean­ing up the in­ner city is an ef­fec­tive, hu­mane and sus­tain­able ex­er­cise, she added.

“It is not dif­fi­cult to see that the is­sue of home­less­ness is one that re­quires a well thought-out and in­te­grated re­sponse.

“We started a cam­paign that will di­rectly tackle the is­sue of home­less­ness, crime and squalor in the in­ner city through the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of will­ing drug users; en­forc­ing by-laws, thus weak­en­ing the hold crim­i­nal el­e­ments have over the in­ner city; un­block­ing and re­pair­ing blocked stormwa­ter drains; re­pair­ing burst pipes and me­ters; re­cap­tur­ing bad and hi­jacked build­ings; re­pair­ing dam­aged infrastructure as well as look­ing at ways in which the home­lessand the pub­lic can be in­formed about gov­ern­ment pro­grammes avail­able for their as­sis­tance.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.