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Homeless still in streets

Who has failed the homeless people of Matjhabeng?

The local municipality has made 18 venues available to give shelter to people without refuge.

It is the responsibility of the Department of Social Development to implement an action plan to move the homeless to the provided shelters.

The big question is who at provincial level or district level will execute the plan, that is if there is one. No-one seems to know what is going on, and all of the officials are passing the buck of ultimate responsibility.

Countless telephone calls, SMS’s, e-mails and other attempts to get hold of a responsible person has merely caused confusion and an immediate referral to someone else.

Vista has been tediously transferred from one official to another on provincial and district level in the Department of Social Development.

After an irate telephone conversation with an official at provincial level, Vista was yet again transferred to the “right” person to speak to, also on provincial level. But this person’s telephone was on voicemail. Again a message was left, followed by an SMS, and a WhatsApp, and again no response.

Vista was told by a senior official at provincial level in another department that the Provincial Joint Operations Committee should be involved.

This action plan should be part of the overall provincial plan concerning Covid-19 action plans, as was the case with the homeless in Bloemfontein.

The question is what, and who will implement the plan in Matjhabeng?

So now we are on day seven of the lockdown and these venues are still standing empty with massive padlocks on the doors, and the homeless people still wander the streets of Matjhabeng, unhindered.

The proposed venues in Welkom are the Flamingo Hall, Toronto Hall, Welkom Club, Riebeeckstad Squash Hall, Thabong Community Centre, Thabong Indoor Sport Centre, Far East Hall (Thabong), Bronville Hall, Odendaalsrus Hall, Mimosa Recreation Hall (Odendaalsrus), Kutlwanong Hall, Meloding Hall (Virginia), Harvinia Club, Hennenman Hall, Phomolong Hall, Ventersburg Hall, Mmamahabane Hall, Allanridge Hall and Nyakallong Hall.

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