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The Green Point Ratepayers and Residents Association supports the City’s latest Safe Space development on Ebenezer Road in Green Point.

Public comment ended on May 8, and Liz Knight, co-chair of the GPRRA, says it’s an essential location for individuals who work for the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

“The new shelter with its approximate 300 beds is essential to cater for those living on the street in our communities. It is well located to do so and we anticipate that its primary goal is to give them a better option and also to offer more stable job opportunities,” said Ms Knight.

Safe Spaces provide transitory accommodation to help people get off the streets, together with programmes that promote reintegration into society or family reunification. Addiction therapy, psychiatric referrals, personal development planning, and employment prospects are also available.

“Without well-run shelters we would not succeed in our goals to assist people off the street. It’s part of the road to more stability. Most of our gardeners and our PEP team are living at the Safe Spaces,” she said.

Ms Knight says that EPWP employees can also take their drivers learners exam and, ideally, their driving license tests. Peter Cookson, a professional officer at the Social Development & ECD Department, is in charge of the program.

“We had eight out of 15 EPWP workers that have passed their learners licence. Most of these guys, who are carguards, never thought they would go for their learners so they are really pleased with this accomplishment and now we have another group of 32 who will do their learners in June,” Mr Cookson said.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis of the City of Cape Town says the city is showing its commitment to getting more people off the streets by increasing Safe Space funds by 62% over the next three years.

“We set about expanding our alternative accommodation, our shelter model, which we call Safe Spaces and we are in the process of putting R253 million into expanding the Safe Spaces accommodation. We are expanding rapidly and public consultation is underway for the Ebenezer road safe space, which will be our biggest one yet with 300 beds. It’s not the only one, there is Muizenberg, Parklands, Bellville, a new one in Durbanville and expansions at Culemborg as well,” said Mr Hill-Lewis. – Shahied Joseph, Atlantic Sun

Originally published in the Atlantic Sun on 18 May 2023

Photo: Atlantic Sun