Deadlock over location of shelter

The ID Morkel Calvynist Protestant Church (CPC) Camp Site, in Camp Road in Strandfontein, is the proposed site for the homeless shelter.

Strandfontein councillor Elton Jansen has objected to the proposed location for The Haven Night Shelter, at the ID Morkel Calvynist Protestant Church (CPC) Camp Site, in Camp Road in Strandfontein.

He said it is surrounded by informal settlements, which already have existing crime concerns, with existing gangs.

Last Thursday Mr Jansen chaired a virtual meeting attended by the shelter’s chief executive officer Hassan Khan and Strandfontein Ratepayers and Residents’ Association (“Strandfontein street people shelter debate”, Plainsman, July 28).

Mr Jansen said the City of Cape Town subsequently suspended The Haven’s allocation and that this should remain in place following a meeting with Mayor Dan Plato and mayoral committee member for community services and health, Dr Zahid Badroodien, to prevent The Haven from opening its doors at the Camp Road site in Strandfontein .

Mr Jansen explained that the shelter did not have programmes during the day and that the people living on the street only lodged at the shelter overnight.

“They will roam around and infiltrate into these informal settlements,” he said.

Mr Khan told the Plainsman they are a law-abiding association and that they have considered all legitimate concerns raised during the meeting.

They are awaiting some compliance certificates but have already started cleaning and preparing the site for 100 street people to seek refuge with them and support their return home.

Mr Khan maintained that the City of Cape Town does not have to ratify the opening of a shelter and that The Haven has a mandate to help people living on the street.

Mr Khan also met with Walied Adams, chairman of the Ratepayers Forum and Economic Development, incorporating Bayview and surrounding areas, who said they supported The Haven opening it to serve humanity.

“We are looking at it from a humanitarian point of view and we will support any organisation that can help people get off the streets,” he said.

Mario Oostendurp, chairman of the Strandfontein Ratepayers and Residents’ Association, however, said they were concerned about the location.

He said existing residents of the nearby informal settlements were already struggling to access services and that the clients of The Haven would need the same services.

Last week Dr Badroodien said the City of Cape Town would not be opening a shelter in Strandfontein.

“It is not within a local government’s authority to open shelters,” he said.