The pervasive issue of homelessness in Johannesburg has led the city to take action, with the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) initiating the construction of a new displaced persons shelter in Region G. The City of Johannesburg reports that the R50 million shelter, marked by a sod-turning ceremony in Devland on Monday, 04 December 2023, aims to provide temporary accommodation to individuals in need within Region G and its surrounding areas. Homelessness poses a complex challenge in the community, prompting the City of Johannesburg to proactively address this issue by developing the displaced person’s shelter, aligning with broader commitments to social development and inclusivity.
The construction of the 200-bed shelter in Sodiak Circle, Devland, Ward 119, signifies a crucial step toward creating a safer and more supportive environment for those experiencing unstable housing. Beyond offering a space to sleep, the facility will provide three meals daily, ablution facilities, a skills development program, and reintegration support into the community after social work intervention. Additionally, it will assist with admission into substance abuse treatment centres, reuniting with families, reintegrating into society, and by-law enforcement in the most affected wards in the region, especially Ward 9 in Lenasia.
The modern facility, designed to address the multifaceted needs of the homeless population, will include amenities such as a guard house, parking area, generator room, admin block, social worker offices, medical room, gym area, afterschool care, garden, caretaker’s house, skills centre, and a 90-seater boardroom. The JDA, as a wholly-owned entity of the City of Johannesburg, combines social, economic, and environmental mandates, making it well-suited to coordinate and implement this significant project.
The JDA’s role in the project encompasses various aspects, including site establishment, bulk earthworks, foundations, civil and structural works, brickwork and plaster, facade installations, electrical and mechanical installations, finishes, landscaping, garden creation, and the installation of a new fence and guard house. Speaking at the sod-turning ceremony, JDA acting CEO Siyabonga Genu highlighted the importance of fostering compassion and understanding within the community. Genu expressed the JDA’s commitment to delivering the facility on time and within budget, ensuring it meets the highest construction standards and contributes to the well-being and dignity of those seeking shelter within its walls.
Picture: X / CityofJoburgZA
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