The national lockdown has authorities scrambling to get the homeless off the streets.
In Johannesburg, about 2,000 vulnerable people are being housed in shelters and relocated to temporary accommodation but, this is a far bigger problem to grapple with.
The homeless are a permanent feature on Johannesburg’s streets, with the national 21-day lockdown in place, the City of Johannesburg has had to rally resources.
“We have availed additional centres, bringing the available to nine. In those centres, we have 2,000 in them,” said Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo’s spokesperson, Mlimandlela Ndamase.
The process to locate and house the homeless has additional complications.
Ndamase explained: “Amongst that population of 2 000, currently, in our centres, that assumption and estimation is that about 70 percent of them are substance abusers.”
Some people who are homeless shared their challenges.
Benedict Speelman said, “there are a lot of drug addicts inside here. Some are getting very ill every day but we are not just looking at them. We are trying to organize doctors, nurses. They are always here every day.”
Dumisani Mbuli asked for compassion, “unfortunately, we live in a society that judges one another. That would be me encouraging South Africans, to say look, if he or she is from the street, trying and treat him as your brother and embrace him. Find out what his problems are and try to help his situation.”
An estimated 13,000 homeless people still need to be found and relocated to temporary shelters.
It’s hoped that the lessons learned by the City of Johannesburg in this unprecedented time will help to protect and assist our most vulnerable, not only during this crisis but well into the future.
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In other news – Boity Thulo fired for going shopping during Lockdown
Actress, TV Entrepreneur and rapper Boity Thulo‘s army had to come to her defense after she got dragged for going grocery shopping this past weekend during the national lockdown implemented to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Boity decided to share a bit about her shopping experience on Twitter to help show people how different shopping is under the lockdown. continue reading