The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, launched the Departments Winter Readiness Campaign at the Youth Solutions Africa shelter in Zonnebloem.
Our visit also coincided with our marking of International Day of Families (15 May), which saw the Minister focus the Campaign on our work done to reunite families with homeless adults across the province.
The Minister visited the shelter with NGO partners, Al-Imdaad, which have generously partnered with the Department to donate much-needed equipment and non-perishable foods to shelters across the province. The donation saw the Minister handover;
70 hygiene packs (face cloth, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste etc),
70 sanitary towel packs,
30 warm blankets,
Winter is setting in with temperatures plummeting and widespread showers across the Western Cape, increasing the demand for shelter services.
The department’s Winter Readiness Programme prioritises the homeless by providing R47.6-million through the Children and Families Programme funding to 29 shelters, which provide 1 401 beds each day.
Our shelters render key social work services aimed at reunifying homeless adults with their families, with R16-million allocated to sustained family reunification services.
Furthermore, the department is also working with a number of NGO’s, such as Al-Imdaad, to provide extra mattresses, food, and care packs to the poor.
In addition, our Sustainable Livelihoods Program funds a total of 75 targeted feeding sites across the province. Access to these sites is via the Department of Health and following an assessment by a registered social worker.
Regional Disaster Relief Teams have been established, and are on standby for any disaster relief efforts required. In this regard, the Department is part of the Provincial Disaster Management Forum, and will work closely with SASSA, which is the budget holder for social relief.
We believe that the onset of winter should not mean that the destitute must suffer from the cold, harsh weather.
Our efforts as government are most effective when we work in partnership with NGOs and communities. The public is encouraged to get involved through volunteering or donating to registered NGOs operating in the province. Information on registered NGOs can be obtained by visiting any of our regional and local offices, or by contacting our DSD hotline 0800 220 250.