Cape Town adds 300 beds in shelters this winter to help the homeless

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis announced that the City will help NPO-run homeless shelters to add 300 beds to help more people off the streets this winter. The City will also support these shelters by deploying 184 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers to help lighten the winter workload over the next six months as part of the annual Winter Readiness campaign.

 PHOTO: City of Cape Town

The Winter Readiness Programme is a critical element of the City's social support for vulnerable groups. In total, the City's Street People programme budget amounts to R95 million for 2023/24, a 23% increase from 22/23 as the only metro dedicating a social development budget to helping people off the streets.

After an application process for winter aid, the City is signing Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) with four registered non-profit organisations namely, Ubuntu Circle of Courage, U-Turn, TASP and the Haven Night Shelter who will collectively add 294 temporary bed spaces at their facilities.

Mayor Hill-Lewis said that the City will also provide non-perishable foodstuff, cleaning materials, hygiene packs, mattresses, linen and blankets to the shelters.

“Besides our support for NPOs, the City will spend R230m over three years to expand and operate our own Safe Space transitional shelters. These facilities currently offer around 700 beds in the CBD and Bellville, along with a range of social interventions to reintegrate people into society. Our expansion plans include the proposed 300-bed safe space in Green Point, for which public comments are currently being reviewed,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross, said that it is important to take a step back to see the bigger picture, and appreciate the hard work that happens on a daily basis.

“There is no easy, universal fix to what is a complex social challenge, and the City is doing all it can to make a meaningful difference to people's lives by helping them off the streets,” said Patricia van der Ross.

Done By: Esona Mfazwe


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