Social Matters

The City did some research into the problem of Street people and their PDF report is attached at the bottom of this page.

This City Campaign is worth supporting.

Instead of handing money and food to vagrants and beggars at the traffic lights, 

donate to the Charities that do something positive to look after such people and help 

rehabilitate them. 


City of Cape Town Social Services phone numbers:
Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 0800 435 748
Social Development Children: 0800 220 250 (i.e. to get help for Street Children)
Social Development Adults: 0800 872 201
NB The above City number is a dedicated 24hr HOTLINE for Displaced Persons
(also known as Street People, The Homeless, and Down and Outs)  
Finally opened: Safe Space at Culemborg for the Homeless Street People:
The City of Cape Town’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department has officially opened its Safe Space for street people as services at the facility continue to grow. The overnight facility, aimed at addressing the shortage of bed space at shelters, has been operational for a few days and has been welcomed by many. 
Read more below:

    The Safe Space pilot project has been open on a small scale for the past two weeks to test the intake system and site operation. The response from street people and other role players has been very positive.
‘There are 15 street people who have been accommodated thus far and all have returned nightly since we opened. They have provided valuable feedback and we now have a list of street people who have expressed interest in being accommodated at the site once it is fully operational,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
The Safe Space is a transitional shelter which provides overnight shelter to up to 230 street people at a facility underneath the Culemborg Bridge on the Foreshore.

‘Already many of those who have made use of the facility have indicated that they feel safe and are glad to be off the streets and receiving social assistance. Living on the street isn’t easy and neither is sleeping on the street. It’s cold, wet, uncomfortable and then there is the constant threat of having your meagre possessions stolen or of being attacked,’ said Alderman Smith.
At the Safe Space, street people can make use of basic services like ablutions, water and storage lockers, and from August they will also have access to health services and assistance to help them with any substance abuse issues.
‘The space has only just opened and already there is a waiting list. We hope that street people will embrace the services offered, which in turn will lead them off the path of homelessness and eventually to becoming reintegrated into the community,’ said Alderman Smith.

Street people using the facility are assigned a storage locker, a sleeping pallet, sleeping bag and blanket as well as a wellness pack containing hygiene essentials.
‘External service providers are providing soup kitchens and cleaning services, while the site will have a dedicated Law Enforcement team for security. Another aim of the project is to take pressure off existing shelters,’ said Alderman JP Smith.
Alderman Smith also lauded partners, role-players and others who have stepped up to the plate.
‘It will take a collective effort to help people get off the street and become part of our society again. We’ve had some partners who have come on board in a big way,’ said Alderman Smith.
FNB has donated sleeping bags, while the V&A Waterfront  has partnered to assist with job opportunities for some of the street people in the Expanded Public Works Programme and who have successfully completed development programmes.
The Cape Town Central City Improvement District has provided sleeping bags, wellness packs, assistance with identifying street people for the space and assistance with security patrols.

It is not a permanent solution, but is aimed at providing temporary relief to street people.
‘We don’t want the homeless to see sleeping on the street as the best long-term choice open to them. By working to bring together all the services to work as one, and partnering with others, we can make a real difference to the lives of street people,’ said Alderman Smith.
Residents and organisations who would like to assist street people are encouraged not to give handouts, but instead to support the safe space.
The site can be contacted directly at or
call 021 801 0140 or 021 801 0082.
This information is courtesy of the Oranjezicht/Higgovale Neighbourhood Watch


Residents of OH Watch have raised their concerns about the area called "Stroompie", which is the informal settlement next to Stor-Age/De Waal Drive. DPVwatch  engage with the city on a regular basis about a solution for this. Law Enforcement is there on a regular basis removing structures but there is a limit to what they can do, and one can’t simply just remove people. The Mayco Member for Assets and Facilities has been engaging and prioritising this issue and there has been progress. The land is “owned” by the city but they are not able to do what they like with it as they are the custodians for the District 6 Land Restitution Trust, whose land it really is. The city has brokered a lease agreement with Trafalgar School who would like to take over this piece of land, rehabilitate it and use it for sports facilities. However, the entire process has been bottle-necked with the District 6 Land Claims Trust. Since this is their land, they need to sign off on this lease arrangement. That is where the process has halted.

NB It was announced on Aug 21st 2019 that the Carpenter's Shop is to be re-named 'The Hope Exchange' an will focus on assisting the homeless with opportunities for change.
The Carpenter’s Shop in Roeland Street, Gardens has operated on these premises for over forty years and provide vocational training and social care to hundreds of homeless and unemployed individuals in the City Bowl. Recently, they have embarked on a number of social enterprises to ensure the sustainability of the organisation and programmes. They would like to improve their visibility in the Gardens area specifically, and are looking at ways to market their services and enterprises. Their  website can be found at
Please note that they are no longer manufacturing wooden items but the Carpentry refurbishment section is still running. Please find attached an updated outline of the work of the organisation. and currently only Car washing is provided. It is a Word document outlining the Case Statement for providing the Carwashing service as vocational training, and is attached at the bottom of this page.
Don't know if to give money to beggars on the street who say they are hungry? Give 5 or 10 cents and tell them to go to the Service Dining Rooms for a meal:

A 2 page PDF with full details of the NGO's and this map is available for download in the box below:

Social Matters documents

CIBRA Cape Town,
9 Jun 2019, 05:56