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Shelter still under discussion

A safe space, or shelter, for homeless people in the Table View area will hopefully someday become a reality, that is to say if all the necessary departments within the City of Cape Town eventually come on board.

The safe space in ward 107 will service various other wards within subcouncil 3 including ward 1, which includes Richwood, Welgelegen, Panorama and Plattekloof as well as ward 5, which includes Edgemead and Bothasig.

According to ward 107 councillor, Nicky Rheeder, there were some issues with the erf numbers of the property identified for such a shelter in Table View. She told TygerBurger a site visit will be conducted again at the property on Friday 27 March.

The safe space matter has been on the council agenda since 2018, Rheeder said.

Since then several site visits had taken place between her, ward 103 councillor Joy Solomons, and law enforcement officers, “but no one from the department of social development,” Rheeder said.

Rheeder was speaking at the subcouncil 3 meeting on Thursday last week when she expressed her unhappiness.

Nazlie du Toit, a representative from the City of Cape Town’s department of social development, said they cannot provide safe spaces in all of the wards as the department does not have the funds.

She said currently the department is looking at establishing safe spaces – similar to the one in Culemborg, Cape Town – in the central business district (CBD) near to the Strand Street Quarry, in Bellville near the Paint City building on Robert Sobukwe Drive and in Mitchell’s Plain where a location has not yet been confirmed.

Asked by Rheeder why another shelter is needed in the CBD, Du Toit said that this area has the highest number of homeless people.

“To operate a safe space we require R8,3 million per annum,” Du Toit said.

Rheeder said homeless people tend to move around in the Parklands, Blouberg and Table View areas and that the area is in much need of such a facility.

Rheeder also added that the shelter will benefit wards 1, 4, 5, 103, 107 and 23.

She said often homeless people want to go to a shelter, but they also do not want to leave the area as all of their possessions are there.

Cheryl Visser, ward 1 councillor, highlighted the need for a shelter in her ward and requested to be part of the follow-up site visit.

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