City to assist over 200 displaced people
The City of Johannesburg’s Citizen Relationship and Urban Management Department (CRUM) and the Displaced Persons Unit (DPU) are assessing how best to assist more than 200 displaced and vulnerable people identified in Region B over the weekend.
The affected individuals were identified during a series of swoops carried out by the DPU in conjunction with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) in partnership with local ward councillors on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
According to Region B CRUM Inspector Sibusiso Mavimbela, the raids mostly targeted known hotspots on both sides of Ferndale Spruit between Republic and Bourne roads in Ward 102; and between Windsor and Sarland roads in Ward 88.
"The raids were aimed specifically at identifying people living on the street in these areas with the dual objective of creating order and helping the affected secure accommodation at shelters for the homeless," said Mavimbela.
"The DPU is now processing the current addresses and other information given to it to compile a list of those in need of assistance.”
He said affected individuals placed at these shelters would, with the assistance of the DPU, be equipped with skills to help them seek gainful employment in a safe environment.
“We will now get to work and move the interested people to the shelters. Those who don’t wish to be moved have been advised to find alternative accommodation – away from local businesses and intersections,” Mavimbela added.
DPU Inspector Karabo Manaka said the reason many of the displaced individuals were reluctant to move to other areas was because they were concerned the shelters might be far away from job opportunities.
“We are currently compiling a report about these concerns and the extent of the problem in the various hotspots for the CRUM Office. We will follow up these matters to try to assist those in need,” said Manaka.
He added that the SAPS and JMPD were present during the raids to ensure the safety of those involved. The JMPD would, however, follow up on possible violations of bylaws and commission of other acts of criminality.
“When we were out on the streets we saw that there was a definite need to sustain operations of this nature. We are now drafting a report to our heads of department recommending that we look into the possibility of conducting similar operations, maybe on a fortnightly basis,” said Mavimbela.