R1 million proposal to clean homeless spaces

The EPWP targets homeless people, but some of them don’t want the assistance.

A Sub-council Operational Projects proposal is requesting R1 701 431.89 to employ 31 street people to clean up the homeless hotspots in and around Cape Town.

This proposal was heard at the Sub-council 16 meeting last Wednesday at the Wale Street chambers.

According to the minutes of the meeting, at a workshop held on April 8, ward councillors agreed that funds (R1 701431.89 ) be allocated to the implementing of a sustained programme of area cleaning around homeless hotspots.

However, this project will only be intended for the homeless people that have accepted social assistance from the City of Cape Town and live at the safe spaces.

According to the report, the benefits of this project are as follows:

  • The project provides an opportunity for homeless people to take part in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) therefore reducing begging/aggressive begging on the street;
  • Reduces the amount of human waste in and around homeless hotspots; and
  • Participants will also have access to social services and psycho-social support which may lead to an increase in the number of homeless people being reunited with their families.

The report suggests that problems like illegal occupation of sidewalks, littering, illegal dumping and aggressive begging can be alleviated by this EPWP project.

It’s believed that there are106 homeless camps in various locations like road reserves, community parks, sporting fields and other City property.

Sub-council 16 chairman, Matthew Kempthorne, says the City ran the pilot project last year from April to June and it was a success.

“The funding comes from the Mayors Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP) and should be available in the new financial year and we did it last year and it was successful throughout the Sub-council 16,” said Mr Kempthorne.

“The project is about providing jobs to the homeless that make use of the safe spaces and to clean up Cape Town and get it back to the world class state it was in before lockdown.”

The clean-up projects will take place in wards 54, 55, 57, 77 and 115.

A homeless space known as Tent City during the rains last week.