Residents praise NGO

Life on the streets is tough.

Homelessness remains a problem in both Green Point and Mouille Point.

This was heard at the Green Point Ratepayers’ Association (GPRRA) and Mouille Point Ratepayers’ Association (MPR) annual general meetings on Wednesday May 16 and Thursday May 17, respectively.

Delivering her report, MPR’s chairperson, Suzanne Kempen, said the matter is a concern not only for the ratepayers but for the City of Cape Town as well.

She said they worked hand-in-hand with Straatwerk, a non-profit organisation which aims to uplift the homeless with employment and learning opportunities while offering them a nominal income to save up money and obtain their IDs and open their own bank accounts.

“The social intervention team is reaping fruits and doing an excellent job amongst the displaced people. The team workers are rewarded when the recruits stay on in the upliftment programmes,” said Ms Kempen.

She said Straatwerk continued to do a good job of cleaning and they were grateful for this and called on members to make donations to the organisation so that they were able to recruit more people.

“While doing their rounds they also look out for and report broken drain covers, lights out, signs missing, traffic lights defective etc. Thanks to all the teams involved at Straatwerk,” she said.

The co-chairperson of GPRRA, Elizabeth Knight, also thanked the Straatwerk team for rolling out the weekly cleaning in Green Point streets.

“This has inspired more people to seek employment with Straatwerk and this continues to yield positive results in the community,” she said.

Touching on other issues affecting the area, Ms Kempen said the Licence Plate Recognition camera network continues to bear fruit and they were fortunate that there had been no need to replace cameras, although the previous monitoring service provider requested them to budget R34 000 for this.

“For various reasons Exco also decided to move away from the Sea Point City Improvement District to monitor their LPR system. Currently the LPR system is monitored and maintained by Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA). Alerts are sent to relevant people. Their control room and operators are linked to all the other LPR systems including the Atlantic seaboard,Tamboerskloof and southern suburbs,” she said.

Ward councillor Dave Bryant, thanked the ratepayers for the work they do in assisting the City with issues affecting their communities.

Mr Bryant said most homeless people do not want to go to the safe spaces.

“We’ve created a safe space under Culemborg bridge. We have a social worker and law enforcement on site working to protect the people there. The number of people who have been assisted thus far is incredible and some even got married and others got jobs,” he said.

Mr Bryant said there were about 230 people staying there and they are unable to cater for everyone but their intention is to have a space where people can go and get skills and go find jobs.