City establishes task team to assist the homeless

A MULTI-SECTORAL task team has been established to assist in finding holistic solutions to address and combat homelessness in the city of Durban.

The team comprising City officials, community representatives, business owners, faith based organisations and government organisations was convened after Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer held a homeless engagement forum at the Durban City Hall recently.

Peer said the eThekwini Municipality learnt valuable lessons about homelessness over the years and is exploring a more inclusive approach to address this complex challenge.

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Several interventions have been implemented by the City following a 2016 study, which indicated that there are about 4 000 people who are regarded as homeless living in the inner city. According to the study, the prominent driving forces for increased homelessness in eThekwini is unemployment, drug and substance abuse and family disagreements.

As part of an ongoing concerted effort by the City to address homelessness, about 400 homeless people have been assisted by the Municipality in recent months.

The City added a sum of R1, 7 million to fund two drop in or referral centres for the homeless was approved by Council in November 2017.

“We have acknowledged that homelessness is a reality and there are many factors that drive people to come to Durban which is KwaZulu-Natal’s economic hub. It is also important that we are cognisant of the roles and responsibilities of all three spheres of government, give clarity on the gaps and limitations thereof as this requires high level collaborative measures to achieve a common objective.” Peer said.

 

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