Cape Town - Democratic Alliance mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille on
Monday pledged to make street people a priority of her administration if
"I would make helping the homeless people of the city a special mayoral
project for the first three years of my administration," she said.
De Lille acknowledged that Cape Town's current administration had put
measures in place during the past five years to prioritise the plight of street
people in the city, and that some significant progress had been made and unique
"It is important that we build a caring city in which everyone who needs
help receives it and an inclusive city where everyone has a stake in the
"A special mayoral project would ensure that the most marginalised
members of our society have their special needs attended to."
If elected, she would implement a six-point programme to help homeless
people, De Lille said.
Among other things, a one-stop assessment centre would be created to help
people get access to necessary services. The city already owned a building that
could be used for this purpose in Woodstock.
"Part of my mayoral project would see the city provide this centre with
resources so that people who need the most help, usually those who appear time
and again in community courts, can break the cycle of their usual habits
without going to prison and can get the social help they need."
The network of outreach workers would also be expanded, and the number of
NGO umbrella organisations sitting on the homeless people portfolio committee
increased to six.
De Lille said she would double the number of people in the Displaced Persons
Unit (DPU). This unit, which fell under law enforcement, currently had 13
people working in it who dealt specifically with the problems that arose
because of homelessness.
"In the first two years, I would double the amount of people working in
this unit to at least 30 people, with 40 as our ideal deployment figure."
Training and orientating the DPU towards playing a social developmental role
would continue. Finally, R1.25m would be allocated over the next two years to
the alcohol diversion programme.
"This fledgling pilot programme which has been running for the last
three years aims to help people who experience serious problems of substance
"My project would give NGOs more funds to run the programmes," she
Building the inclusive and caring city required time.
"In building that city, however, we should not forget those who have
often been left behind by society more generally.
"This six-point programme, would be building on the great work the
previous DA administration has already done to help homeless people," De