NATIONAL NEWS - Homelessness was still a “core” issue for the Tshwane metro, mayor Randall Williams said during his annual State of the Capital Address (SoCA) on Thursday.
This was despite the metro having reallocated R5-million meant to upgrade its Struben Street shelter for the homeless to the fight against Covid-19 instead.
The shelter is the only homeless shelter run and owned by the metro in the city, and has been called the “worst shelter” in the province by the Gauteng social development MEC.
“In the next five years, the metro will execute the 10-point action plan approved by the council in 2019,” Williams said in his speech.
This plan was in partnership with the University of Pretoria Pathways Operations Centre and non-governmental organisations.
The metro will also institutionalise the homeless task team aligned to the Tshwane street homeless policy.
Under this policy, temporary transit shelters would be established in all regions of Tshwane with the support of the metro and various stakeholders.
He said the metro was able to help over 6 700 members of the homeless community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another part of the metro’s social upliftment was to provide people with title deeds.
“As of the end of the third quarter of 2021, the metro has issued 83.36% of the title deeds received from the Gauteng provincial government,” said Williams.
He said the metro had to provide “a basket of services” to the vulnerable in the city and this was what it had prioritised in its current planning.
“This is why we are supporting substance abuse issues, directing interventions to combat the spread of HIV, assisting the homeless, distributing bursaries and providing dignity through the distribution of title deeds,” he said.
“This is how you assist the vulnerable.”