South Africa

VIDEO: Tshwane shelter raided, govt funding cut and doors shut

A Tshwane homeless shelter has been ordered to halt operations and its financial support was cut.

The folding of the facility was due to the provincial government, together with police raiding No.2 Struben shelter in the Pretoria CBD.

The provincial social development department found the facility non-compliant and poorly servicing its close to 600 beneficiaries.

Tshwane declared the shelter was home to a recorded 34 children, 72 women, 238 men, 65 senior citizens and seven people with disability unsanitary and unsafe for several years uninhabitable.

The metro had promised to refurbish it in 2021 and pleaded for the Gauteng government to give it R23.5-million for that purpose but then the facility was subjected to a “phased closure” since none of the plans ever took off.

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No.2 Struben Shelter conditions at some point in 2022. Photo: Reitumetse Mahope
Tshwane had blamed its inability to refurbish the site on its poor financial standing.

Gauteng social development, agriculture, rural development and environment MEC Mbali Hlophe swiftly acted to ensure that about R11-million of funding to the NPOs that operated the facility was halted.

Hlope said during the State of the Province address, premier Panyaza Lesufi had demanded the department investigate the NPOs it injected money into.

“Our province makes the highest investment into NPOs at R2-billion annually.

The investigations sought to verify if the department was receiving value for money and that the human rights of the vulnerable were protected.”

The troubled No.2 Struben shelter, fell under the provincial spotlight after a shocking discovery was made at the site.

Hlope said her team and law enforcement found the premises flooded with waste and its toilets overflowed.

“People have even erected shacks in the building of the shelter. Police arrested undocumented individuals and those selling drugs and alcohol.

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No.2 Struben Shelter conditions at some point in 2022. Photo: Reitumetse Mahope
The area was found not conducive for individuals to reside within.

The facts are glaring… the building belongs to Tshwane, which together with the NPO in question, had to secure the upkeep of the shelter failed to do this.”

Hlope has since informed the Tshwane MMC responsible to shut the facility down and move its residents to a safe space urgently.

“We are consistent in acting against non-compliant NPOs. Early this year, we stopped funding numerous NPOs for non-compliance.

We remain unshaken in acting against those who want to milk the state for personal enrichment. The suspension of funding in this shelter is not an isolated case. Our work as Social Development is to ensure that the most vulnerable are serviced adequately in good and well-maintained spaces and it is also our responsibility to act against those that are contravening the law” he said.

“We will stop at nothing to root out malpractices in this sector so that our people are serviced in a dignified manner, instead of issuing media statements that are pointless and out of touch with reality,” said Hlophe.

“The funding for this facility has been cut and the department will announce the investigation outcomes in due course.”



Tshwane was yet to respond to an enquiry at the time of publishing.

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