eThekwini municipality’s homelessness plan a complete failure

Democratic Alliance media statement by Shaun Ryley, CLLR

DA EThekwini Councillor

 

eThekwini municipality’s homelessness plan a complete failure

 

The DA in eThekwnini municipality is appalled that the Margaret Mncadi Drop In Centre, which is often touted as a flagship homeless project under the City’s Qalakabusha programme, is hobbled by severe infrastructure challenges. There is no proper electrical connection to the facticity, doors are broken, the vast majority of toilets do not work, the showers are not operational as there is no hot water, and the drains are not properly connected for suitable outflow.

 

It is surprising why the city touts the centre as a flagship project, when it clearly has very little interest in the wellbeing of those who are to make use of the centre. The Drop In Centre is run by an NGO dealing with significant challenges as urgent work is needed at the facility.

 

The Deputy Mayor loudly and proudly proclaimed to all at the meeting for concerned stakeholders that there is no money for the homeless in eThekwini. This is contrary to the December 5 2017 council resolution approving R1.7 million to be set aside in the 2018/2019 budget for the Qalakabusha project.

 

The apparent indifference to the plight of the homeless by eThekwini Municipality has meant that the onus of caring for the homeless has shifted to various non-profit organisations. If the city truly had the best interests of the homeless at heart, they would begin by fixing all that is wrong at the Margaret Mncadi Drop In Centre.

 

If eThekwini truly wants to become the most caring and liveable city by 2030, the municipality ought to start with correcting the infrastructure failures at the Drop In Centre.

 

The city also ought to look at creating a proper regulatory frameworks and workable policies that can be practically implemented to assist the homeless, and which are not merely a box-ticking exercise. The city, using a solid framework also needs to look into the possibility of establishing a shelter of its own.

 

The DA is committed to fighting for One South Africa for All. One in which our most vulnerable members of society are treated with the respect they deserve.

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