Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Builders are using cannabis "not in joints but between joists."
The jokes about homes “going up in smoke” are inevitable.
But the truth is that one of the reasons the cannabis-based building material called hempcrete is gaining acceptance in home construction is that it’s entirely fireproof. As a recent New York Times story reported, hempcrete has been used as a building material in Europe for decades, and lately it’s been incorporated in more homes and offices in the U.S. A small group of hemp entrepreneurs envisions a time very soon when hempcrete will be totally mainstream.
Hempcrete is made with the wood-like interior part of a Cannabis plant, which resemble the look and feel of balsa chips. They’re combined with lime and water, and the resulting material is a block that provides terrific natural insulation, while still being flexible, breathable, and, as mentioned already, fireproof.
And there’s no need to worry about teenage hooligans ripping out your insulation to smoke it. Hempcrete contains an almost imperceptible amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high.
Peacefully Demonstrated outside the Department of Housing May 7 2005
- Plant a cannabis seed. Water and allow the plant to grow and produce seed. Plant and water these seeds. Your goal is to grow enough to build a house, you will need about 1 acre to build a 5 roomed home.
Tyala imbewu ntsangu (ye-cannabis). Nkcenkceshela imbewu uze uyinike ithuba lokuba ikhule ide ikhuphe eyayo imbewu. Uyothi ke uyityale nalembewu uyinkcenkceshele njalo. Injongo yakho kukukhulisa izityalo ezothi zonele ekwakheni indlu, uyakudinga i-acre (malunga nentsimi) enye ukuze wakhe indlu enamagumbi amahlanu.
Plant 'n hemp saad. Water en laat die plante om te groei en saad te produseer. Plant en water hierdie sade. Jou doel is om genoeg te groei om 'n huis bou, jy sal ongeveer een aker benodig om 'n 5-kamer huis te bou.
Sokutshala imbewu insangu njalo. Amanzi nokuvumela isitshalo ukuze zikhule futhi ukhiqize imbewu. Plant namanzi lezi zinhlamvu. Umgomo wakho iwukuba akhule ngokwanele ukwakha indlu, uzodinga 1 Acre ukwakha 5 roomed ekhaya.
- Consider the many relevant points presented in the guidelines of Build a house with hemp / Building with hemp.
Qwalasela yonke imigaqo oyibekelweyo kwincwadana i-Build a house with hemp / Building with hemp.
Oorweeg die baie relevante punte in die riglyne van die Build a house with hemp / Building with hemp.
Cabangela amaphuzu amaningi efanele evezwa neziqondiso of Yakha indlu nge insangu / Building nge insangu.
- Start planning where your house will stand. Consider everything about the environment you’ll be building in, like winter and summer sunshine, wind and rain – you don’t want to build on a floodplain, or your house will wash away. Be sure to plan all your water and waste requirements.
Ceba indawo ozokwakha kuyo indlu yakho. Qwalasela yonke into ngomhlaba lo uzokwakha kuwo indlu yakho, izinto ezinje ngemimoya, ilanga, neemvula zehlobo nobusika, akekho umntu ofuna ukwakha indlu yakhe emgxobhozweni okanye apho iyothi ibe lilifa lezikhukhula khona. Uqiniseke ukuba unamanzi akulungeleyo ukwenza oku.
Begin met die beplanning, waar jou huis sal staan. Oorweeg dit alles oor die omgewing en jy sal gebou in, soos winter en somer son, wind en reën - jy wil nie op 'n vloedvlakte bou nie, of jou huis sal wegspoel. Maak seker om te beplan al jou water en afval vereistes voldoen.
Qala uhlela kuphi indlu yakho eyokuma. Cabanga konke mayelana imvelo uyobe ngokwakha ku, efana ebusika kanye kwelanga ehlobo, umoya nemvula-ungafuni ukwakha ethile kwemfunda, noma indlu yakho iyoba basuse. Qiniseka ukuhlela konke amanzi kanye imfucuza izidingo zakho.
- Cut the grown cannabis plants down and leave in the field to rett for a week. The morning dew and natural rotting process will loosen the fibers from the plant.
a. Process the plant matter by cutting leaves and branches off, then hit small bundles the length of the plant over and upturned rake.
b. The long fiber parts that remain in your hand are good for weaving rugs and making various other items your skills can accomplish.
c. The seed can be gathered for more housing.
d. Gather the small woody bits (the hurd) that have fallen, this waste is what will be used in the construction material.
Sika / sarha izityalo uzibeke egadini ixesha elingangeveki ukuze zibole. Umbethe wasekuseni nezinye izinto zendalo ezibolisayo ziya kuyikhulula I-fibre ezityalweni.
a. Yikhawulezise ngohlukanisa intonga zezityalo namagqabi, uhlale uyiharika rhoqo.
b. Intonga ezi zinothi zincede kwezinye izinto ezifana nokwenza ingubo nezinye izinto onothi uzibonele zona ngokolwazi lwakho.
c. Imbewu inokuqokelelwe ukwakha ezinye izindlu.
d. Qokelela imithana ethe yaziwela njengokuba uzoyisebenzisa xa usakha indlu yakho.
Sny die gegroei hemp/cannabis plante af en in die veld verlaat om rhett vir 'n week. Die oggend-dou en die natuurlike verrotting proses sal die vesel van die plant los te maak.
a. Proses van die plantmateriaal deur te sny blare en takke af, dan is getref klein bundels die lengte van die plant oor en omgekeerde hark.
b. Die lang vesel dele wat in jou hand bly is goed vir die matte weef en die maak van verskeie ander items jou vaardighede kan bereik.
c. Die saad kan vir meer behuising ingesamel word.
d. Versamel die klein houtagtige bits (die hurd) wat gedaal het, die afval is wat sal in die konstruksie materiaal gebruik kan word.
Sika izitshalo insangu njalo. isikhule phansi endle ukuze rhett isonto lonke. Amazolo ekuseni inqubo lwemvelo ukubola kuzokwenza athambise imicu kulesi simila.
a. Ukucubungula udaba plant ukusika amaqabunga namagatsha ahambe ke hit izinyanda amancane ubude sitshalo phezu ne hala sokutakula.
b. I-long fibre izingxenye ezisele esandleni sakho kukhona okuhle ngokuba ihlanganisa omata kanye nokwenza ezinye izinto ezahlukahlukene amakhono akho kungaba afeze.
c. Imbewu kungenziwa babuthana izindlu xaxa.
d. Ubuthe izingcezu bok encane (i-hurd) ukuthi uwe, lokhu imfucuza okuzokusiza lisetshenziswe ukwaziswa yezokwakha
- Wash the hurd, dry it, then wash it again. Be careful not to allow the matter to rot or decay during this process, by turning, airing and allowing the African sun to dry the hurd properly. Now combine in proportions 10:2:3:3 combine the cannabis/ntsangu/dagga Hurd(10), washed river sand 0.5mm(2), hydraulic lime(3) and water(3) to make the mulch (This process may need tweaking depending on your geographic location, humidity, rainfall etc)
Hlamba ingqokelela yakho, uyomise, uphinde uyihlambe.Ulumkele ukuba lengqokelela ibole kwelithuba, yiguquguqule, uyivumele ibethwe ngumoya uvumele nelanga lase Afrika liyomise lengqokelela. Dibanisa ngokwalo mgaqo 10:2:3:3, dibanisa ke lemvuno yakho yomgquba wentsangu (10) kunye nesanti yasemlanjeni 0.5mm(2), ikalika (3) kunye namanzi (3) ukwenza udaka (Nale into ke iyokuthi ixhomekeke kwindawo leyo ukuyo nemvula zakhona njalo-njalo).
Was die kudde, droog dit af, dan was dit weer. Wees versigtig om nie toe te laat die aangeleentheid te verrot of verval gedurende hierdie proses, deur die draai, voorlê en laat die Afrika-son om droog die kudde goed. Nou kombineer in verhoudings 10:2:3:3 kombineer die cannabis / ntsangu / dagga Hurd (10), gewaste riviersand 0.5 mm (2), hidrouliese kalk (3) en water (3) aan die deklaag te maak (Hierdie proses kan tweaking nodig, afhangende van jou geografiese ligging, humiditeit, reën, ens)
Geza izinti, zome it ke geza futhi. Qaphela ukuba singavumeli udaba ukubola noma ukubola kulo msebenzi , ngokubhekisa , angabiki futhi sivumele ilanga Afrika ukuze ome le hurd kahle . Sebesebenzisa ngezabelo 10:2:3:3 hlanganisa insangu njalo. / ntsangu / insangu Hurd (10) , umfula wageza isihlabathi 0.5mm (2) , wokubacindezela umcako (3) kanye namanzi (3) ukwenza semboza ngabo izithombo zezihlahla (Le nqubo may badinga tweaking kuye ngokuthi indawo yokuhlala yakho, umswakama, imvula, njll)
- Now build your house! Ngoku ke yakha indlu yakho! Nou bou jou huis! Manje ukwakha indlu yakho!
- Teach others. Fundisa abanye. Onderrig ander.
You can use this “dagga-cement” for making bricks, shutter casting or the proven “pole-and-dagga” method. This last method allows for a sturdy, warm, fireproof and water proof home – built with pride and intuitive engineering, not a ‘uniform box’.
Be sure to consider all aspects of your house design and structural requirements. Although the cannabis-cement will become stronger than steel in time, it is not advised to build over 2 floors high without considering structural implications. With planning this cement can be used to build up to 4 floors high.
The cannabis-cement will dry over a period of a month (depending on the weather). At this point you will be able to add the roof. Seal your home’s walls with lime; lime external walls annually. Decorate your house with masonry to make it unique, and paint with coloured lime as per custom.
Always PLANT A TREE in a place that will provide shade, to commemorate this accomplishment.
Council will plant trees if citizens care for them. Call (021) 689-8938 http://www.trees.org.za/
Assist your family, friends or neighbors with your experience and expertise. Share information and technique; you can uplift yourself and your community.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre late on Tuesday issued a flood warning for many parts of the province, including the Cape metropole.
In response, the City’s housing directorate urged residents in low-lying, flood-prone informal settlements to reduce the risk of flooding by raising the floor level of their homes.
Communities in flood-hit informal settlements were invited to contact the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089 to request sand to raise the floor of their dwellings to keep water out. If the roof of their home is leaking, residents can apply for flood kits from the City’s Informal Settlements Management team.
The City appealed to residents to help by:
* Clearing out drainage systems on their properties
* Moving to higher ground if they stay in a flood-prone area (for assistance with this they can contact the City’s Call Centre or the Informal Settlements Management team)
* Digging trenches around their homes to divert water away
* Reporting blocked drains, intakes and illegal dumping
* Waterproofing roofs, clearing gutters and removing dead tree branches
“The City’s human settlements directorate is working closely with communities and other City departments to, as far as possible, ensure that the residents whose homes are vulnerable to flooding are cared for,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Benedicta van Minnen.
The City advised that heavy rain, strong wind conditions in the interior and very cold weather can be expected over the next two days.
The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, said the concern was that the weather would not only lead to flooding but mudslides and fires.
“Some of the other associated risks during bad weather like this also includes mudslides, and informal settlement fires as well as severe cold made worse by the possible electricity challenges due to potential load shedding,” he said
Bredell has urged motorists and pedestrians travelling in the province over the next few days, to take extra caution.
“Care should be taken when crossing low lying bridges, or streams and rivers as floodwaters may be on the way.”
Provincial as well as municipal disaster management centres remain fully operational with officials on standby 24/7. These centres can be activated immediately should it be required.
Bredell stressed that communities should contact and cooperate with local authorities and emergency response personnel in the event of any emergency. He said the easiest number to call was 112, adding: “This number can be dialled toll-free from any cellphone.”
In case of emergency other relevant numbers to call are:
* Cape Winelands: Langeberg Municipality 0860 88 1111
* Eden District: 044 805 5071
* Central Karoo: 023 414 2603
* West Coast: 022 433 8700
* Overberg: 028 271 8111
* City of Cape Town: 107 landline or 021 480 7700
The City also attached the following flooding related tip sheet:
How can I prepare for a flood?
* Identify the risk in your local area.
* Prepare a home emergency plan, and identify risks around your home.
* Remove leaves (from downpipes or gutters) or any other items that can increase the risk of flooding in your area.
* Have an evacuation plan. Everyone in your family has to know where to go to find shelter.
* Prepare an emergency toolkit. This should include a first aid kit, torch and portable radio with batteries, candles and waterproof matches, drinking water, a multi-tool, whistle and emergency contact numbers.
What should I do during a flooding?
* Monitor current flood warnings. Listen to the radio for emergency warnings, evacuation advice and weather updates.
* Avoid entering floodwater unless it is necessary, and never underestimate the strength of floodwater, even if you are inside a vehicle.
* Follow all instructions from emergency authorities.
* Turn off all electricity and water and take your cellphone with you.
* Assist elderly and disabled neighbours.
What should I do after the flood?
* Before entering your house, wait until the water has dropped below floor level.
* Check with electricity and water authorities to know whether it is safe for you to use these resources.
* Be aware of contamination if water sources have been flooded; this could be unsafe to drink.
Contact these additional emergency numbers:
* 112 (from a cellphone) and 10177 from a landline.
* Report floods, blocked drains and service disruption to 0860 103 089.
* City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management Centre: 080 911 4357.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Cape Town - An albatross around the necks of ratepayers, or a valuable and iconic asset? The Cape Town Stadium, running at an annual loss of about R40 million, was described as both during Tuesday’s full council meeting where it was agreed that the current management plan should be extended by a year to June 2016.
Councillors alluded to the recent Fifa corruption scandal during their debate on the stadium’s future, with Andre Fourie of the Freedom Front Plus saying that Fifa president Sepp Blatter took billions of rands out of the country, leaving Cape Town and other municipalities with massive bills for the stadiums that were built.
He said the consortium of Stade de France and the local SAIL Group pulled out if its management agreement with the city soon after the World Cup when it realised the stadium would never be filled to capacity.
Fourie said it was unlikely that the formation of a municipal entity to manage the stadium would be the panacea the city needed to make the facility financially viable.
“This albatross - despite the thousands that it cost the city to build - is costing ratepayers in unaffordable monthly operational and maintenance costs.”
Fourie said the only way the city could avoid any further financial loss was by selling the stadium to SA Rugby for R1.
“Acknowledge that the stadium was a mistake. Accept that you are not going to make it commercially viable without an anchor tenant. Cut your losses - and the albatross around the neck of Cape Town’s ratepayers - and offer the stadium to Newlands for R1.”
Demetrius Qually, of the DA, said that although the Fifa scandal had tarnished the World Cup legacy, the stadium remained a valuable and iconic asset.
There was also “justifiable” concern about the long-term viability of the stadium. However, the business plan being finalised, which included the lifting of restrictive environmental conditions, would make it sustainable.
“We are confident that the stadium and Green Point Urban Park can be both viable and financially sustainable,” said Qually.
Grant Haskin, of the African Christian Democratic Party, agreed that the management of the stadium had to continue without interruption while the business plan was being finalised.
But he said the city had been promising “stadium profitability” since 2009. “How then can one blame irate ratepayers for their calls to rather demolish the stadium instead of wasting their money? What was a proud moment in Cape Town’s history has become a furious embarrassment for the city and its people.”
Majidie Abrahams, of the ANC, argued that extension of the management arrangements without clarity on the business plan could put the city at risk of spending and losing money for another three years.
But mayor Patricia de Lille pointed out that the management plan had been extended to June 2016, and not 2018 as initially proposed, and included a condition that a progress report on the commercialisation of the precinct would be submitted to council in March next year.
Garreth Bloor, mayoral committee member for economic development, tourism and events, said the rezoning process was already under way. Demolition of the stadium was not an option, he said.
The city had been advised of 18 revenue streams that would generate a profit for the next 10 to 15 years.
This excluded any revenue that would come in from an anchor tenant.
He said the naming rights alone would secure between R5m and R10m in revenue for the city. The tabled revenue budget for the next financial year is R14m.
But Bloor allayed fears about the discrepancy between the stadium’s projected costs and income.
Although the tabled operating budget expenditure for 2015/2016 was R138m, limited commercial rights would bring this amount down to R34.2m. “The commercial rights process has already started. We will make it work and we will continue the (World Cup) legacy,” he said.
[like a mountain goat skipping through the diaspora with donations...]
- Cape Argus
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
- Financial Times London 08/07/2010
Naturally what followed was colluded stadia construction Cape Town cost R4,4 Billion and service delivery of toilets for 50,000 that remain locked up and maintained at R60 million cost per annum... and Blikkiesdorp
All I can say is #ITOLDYOUSO!
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Cape Town - Violence flared again in Marikana informal settlement on Friday, after residents torched the home of Leticia Mali on Symphony Way.
The act prompted retaliation by residents of Lower Crossroads who, in turn, set ablaze a shack of the man they accused of being behind the attack on Mali’s house.
The conflict has raged throughout the week, starting as a protest prompted by the cutting of illegal electricity connections to the informal settlement.
Four municipal trucks and five other vehicles were set alight, and a 68-year-old man died after his Toyota Hilux was stoned on the N2 on Thursday. Police vehicles were also stoned.
Angry Marikana protesters torched Mali’s home in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The Lower Crossroads residents then retaliated, claiming they were being held to ransom by the informal settlement residents.
“We are angry because we don’t have services to give them, and we are not responsible for them.
“So we don’t understand why they are taking their anger out on us and our homes.
“They have started this fight and we will not succumb to their ludicrous behaviour. These are our homes and we have worked hard for them,” one angry Lower Crossroads resident said.
Mali’s home was petrol-bombed by angry Marikana residents who claimed it was unfair that they were stuck in shacks with no services, while their neighbours lived comfortably.
Mali said some illegal electricity connections had run to Marikana from her house, but that she had cut them off due to the blackouts.
“They got angry and they threw a petrol bomb through the roof of the bedroom.
“The fire spread fast because there was no ceiling in that room,” she said.
Marikana community leader Nocks Gijana countered that it was not residents of the informal settlement who set her house alight, although she acknowledged there was bad blood between the two neighbourhoods.
Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said late on Friday that the area remained tense, and police were monitoring the situation.
“This office can confirm that police action was taken during an ongoing protest in the Philippi East area.
“Property was damaged, but an accurate account of damages cannot no be issued at this stage,” he said.
- Saturday Argus
The offence itself was bad enough - an orgy of overspending by obsequious officials and conniving contractors who managed to spend 246m rand ($21.7m, £14.3m) of public money lavishly upgrading South African President Jacob's Zuma's private homestead, Nkandla.
That is nearly 10 times what taxpayers spent on Nelson Mandela's two homes, and 20 times what it cost to secure Thabo Mbeki's house.
As we now know, Mr Zuma's "essential security upgrades" included a swimming pool, an amphitheatre, a chicken run and a visitors' centre. A fairly humble collection of traditional buildings on a rural hillside has been transformed into something more like a luxury holiday resort.
But as is so often the case in politics, it is the cover up - long, venomous, hair-splitting and sanctimonious - that has been most revealing, and most depressing.
Some of Mr Zuma's closest advisers - those with an eye on image and votes, rather than on real or imaginary security concerns - were urging him from the very beginning to apologise for any errors and to volunteer immediately to pay for any unwarranted expenditure.
The scandal could have ended in a week, and the president could even have emerged with his status enhanced.
Instead Mr Zuma and his supporters have sought to undermine the credibility of South Africa's public protector - whose exhaustively forensic report recommended that he repay some of the money - and have ridiculed the opposition for seeking to turn Nkandla into a presidency-defining scandal about accountability and corruption.
Now the police minister - a man whose career is, of course, entirely dependent on Mr Zuma's goodwill - has produced his own report, which spells out, in inadvertently comic detail, how conveniently the mosaic-inlayed swimming pool can double as an essential source of water for fighting fires.
The minister's unsurprising conclusion - Mr Zuma should not pay back a penny.
President Zuma did not hide his sense of vindication.
In parliament this week he openly mocked the opposition's attempts to pronounce the word "Nkandla" in a not-so-subtle hint that it was white politicians who were driving the criticism.
It was a confident, boisterous, divisive, and - at least for his supporters - genuinely comic moment.
And there is no doubt that Mr Zuma's jibes will have gone down well with his base.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Cape Town - A Khayelitsha family has been left reeling in the aftermath of a shack fire which killed four children trapped inside.
The children, two of them just a year old, had been found dead at the doorway where they had desperately tried to open the door.
Her children had been staying with her sister for the past two weeks as she worked to support her extended family.
"I am just so sad," she said, her voice hoarse and tears spilling down her cheeks.
The other two children were three and six.
Police said the fire had started at around 8pm, They were investigating the cause.
Neighbours said they had stepped outside to see a tower of flames looming over their homes as the fire engulfed a double-storey shack on the property.
Police said four dwellings were destroyed.
- Cape Argus
Cape Town - Cape Town Stadium continues to be a massive financial drain on the City of Cape Town, and it doesn’t appear things will get better any time soon.
The stadium’s operational budget for the 2015/2016 financial year is a staggering R13 758 7954, while expected revenue is a just a tenth of that – R14 843 871.
A substantial portion of the stadium’s operating budget expenditure for the 2015/2016 financial year – more than R20 million – has already been allocated to salary related costs.
The bill is already nearly R6m higher than the expected revenue which is brought in by the hire or rental of portions of the stadium.
Running at a loss of more than R40m a year, the city is considering various commercial models that would make it financially viable.
However, this plan has not been finalised, and the city can’t afford to let the current management arrangement lapse. The temporary management arrangement, which was extended from June 2014, expires at the end of June.
In the absence of a long-term business plan that deals with staffing issues and commercial rights, the City of Cape Town has no option but to extend its current contracts and management plan for another year.
“The retention of the status quo will reduce any down time through the recruitment of a new team, thus reducing operational, infrastructural, safety and reputational risks,” said Lesley de Reuck, of the city’s tourism, events, and economic development directorate. The current staff was familiar with the stadium and the park, as well as their processes and standards.
“Events already booked for the 2015/2016 financial year require contractual fulfilment. These represent potential repeat clients and are critical revenue generators that must be nurtured. The facility cannot cease to operate on June 30, 2015,” said De Reuck.
In a report considered by the mayoral committee last week, De Reuck said a substantial portion of the stadium’s operating budget expenditure for the 2015/2016 financial year – R20 127 130 – had already been allocated to salary-related costs.
“The retention of the status quo will reduce any down time through the recruitment of a new team, thus reducing operational, infrastructural, safety and reputational risks.”
The current staff were familiar with the stadium and the park, as well as their processes and standards.The stadium has also been booked for events in the next financial year. “Current contractual and partnership agreements with event organisers must be honoured. Failure to do so may result in breach of contract and goodwill,” said De Reuck.
The team of external consultants appointed in 2011 to do a business modelling exercise on the stadium recommended that the land use and environmental conditions for the use of the stadium and its precinct should be changed to allow for commercial activity.
These processes are already under way and De Reuck said the submission of the formal application for amended land use planning conditions was “imminent”. The proposed amendments to the current environmental conditions were released for public comment last month.
He said both processes would be concluded by December, if there were no appeals.
Once these provisions have been granted, steps will be taken to release the Granger Bay Boulevard site into the property development market, he added.
Although the report called for a three-year extension of the management plan, until June 2018, Mayor Patricia de Lille amended the time frame, during Friday’s mayoral committee meeting, by just one year, to next June.
She also called for a progress report on the business plan to be submitted to the council by next March.
Also on the operational budget is a depreciation cost of more than R58m and repairs and maintenance costs of more than R192m. The total operating budget is more than R137m, but the expected revenue for the stadium for the next financial year is more than R148m. Most of this comes from the hire or rental of portions of the stadium.
- Cape Argus
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Cape Town - When Nomanindia Mfeketo was Cape Town mayor she made a commitment that within a year there would be no more children sleeping on the city’s streets.
That was in 2004 and, as she later acknowledged, the problem was a lot more complex than she had originally realised.
There have been a number of efforts since then to reduce the number of homeless people on the streets.
Before the World Cup in 2010, NGOs accused the city of rounding up street children and the homeless and dumping them at Blikkiesdorp near Delft. The city denies this, though, saying Blikkiesdorp was established as a Temporary Relocation Area in 2008 to house people who were evicted after invading N2 Gateway houses.
And last year there was a talk of the establishment of “community villages” outside the city centre where people could live and have access to skills training and drug rehabilitation programmes.
Greg Andrews, convener of the Street People’s Forum, said this proposal had since been canned.
The forum is a collective of several organisations working with street people in the city.
Andrews said the city’s “community village” idea was a perennial proposal that had surfaced in many guises over the last two decades.
“Even if such a community village were established, why would people want to go there? Would they be compelled against their will?
“On the other hand, perhaps it would be a really attractive proposition which someone on the streets would love to go to, in which case why would people leave once they have entered?”
Hassan Khan, chief executive of the Haven Night Shelter, believes the streets are no place for people to live.
“The streets should be a cold place, a place where you are hungry, so people come for help.”
But he says people are given permission to be there by politicians and some encouraged by NGOs who go out and give blankets and food to the poor.
“People are pre-programmed to help. They also pay someone just to be left alone.”
Not that he believes that poverty should be policed like the CCID with their private armies who force people to the edge of the CBD.
Khan said there were an increasing number of people coming to the streets, mainly adults.
“There are guys in their 50s from Welkom who have worked their whole lives in the Post Office and are virtually unemployable now.”
There is a large gay population, people who are not accepted by their families, and youngsters lured by the bright city lights.
“The important thing is how quickly a child on the street is identified and helped. The same with adults.”
Zara Nicholson, spokeswoman for mayor Patricia de Lille, said the City of Cape Town was the first city in the country to have adopted a policy for people living on the street.
“The city’s strategy is to reduce the number of people living on the street and to place them back with their families and communities of origin.”
Part of this reintegration effort included attempts to secure employment opportunities via the Expanded Public Works Programme.
Nicholson said that street people could not, however, be forced into accepting the city’s offers of assistance.
The City of Cape Town’s Reintegration Unit, launched in December, had successfully assisted 85 street people in its first three months of operation.
The city is also in the final phase of its Street People Survey which would include conducting a headcount of street people. The last comprehensive survey conducted by the city was in 2001 and there are estimates that there are around 7 000 transient people either living or begging on the street (across the whole city).
Councillor Suzette Little, the city’s mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development announced recently that the city had nearly doubled its budget for its winter street people programme this year. The budget for the 2014 programme was R280 000, but this year R600 000 had been allocated.
Little said they also ran a number of programmes in communities most at risk to prevent more people migrating to the streets.
“These programmes are focused on issues in the home, truancy and substance abuse and to provide support to street people who are reintegrated into their communities to prevent a return to their former life.”
But Andrews doesn’t believe the city’s Street People Policy is actually effective.
“The central aim of its current policy boils down to the removal of people from the streets, though this is couched in gentle terms like ‘reintegration’ and ‘reunification’ so it’s quite palatable.”
But he explains that reunification or reintegration only worked if it was self-determined.
“Take for instance the typical example of someone who has come to the city centre desperate for work. Precious few opportunities exist and eventually he either is begging or parking cars, scrounging a pittance any way he can.
“Even if he never makes enough money to support his family, at least he feels he is not a burden to them – another mouth to feed, a body taking up precious space.
“But sometimes, he may be able to get a bag of groceries back home, maybe for someone’s birthday or for Christmas. Now the city’s Reintegration worker finally compels this man to go home.
“Imagine the shame of being escorted home by the larney from the welfare with nothing to support your family and them being told they must look after you. This is not sustainable.”
Andrews believes reintegration was only possible once the “40 percent unemployment and intractable brutal violence” that characterises daily life in the home communities that people on the streets run away from, are addressed.
“Furthermore, we need to address the bottleneck of over-full shelters, over-stretched services and inadequate social housing. Reintegration is meaningless when we have nothing to reintegrate a person into.”
Andrews says it would be refreshing if the city were to admit that people on the streets are not the problem and they’re not going away any time soon.
“The real problem is that 20 years into freedom, poverty is worse and it’s high time we stop trying to remove the poor from our well-to-do areas just because they make us feel uncomfortable or threaten our illusion of security.”
- Cape Argus