21 APRIL 2024


City invites comments on its draft strategy to address rough sleeping

The draft strategy, set to replace the existing Street People policy, will enable the City to collaborate with more role-players, and broaden the scope of interventions for persons sleeping on the street. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town has, for years, gone above and beyond its municipal mandate to help people off the streets.

While the constitutional mandate and budgets for welfare services reside with national and provincial government, the City introduced a Street People Policy in 2013. 

The policy guided the implementation and expansion of numerous programmes to assist persons sleeping and living on the street, including access to social services, reintegration, personal development plans and short term work opportunities; facilitating access to identity documents and social grants, as well as access to NGO-run shelters.

In addition, the City has supported the NGO sector through Grant-in-Aid funding, and in 2018, the Community, Arts & Culture Development Department (previously Social Development & Early Childhood Development) piloted its first Safe Space transitional shelter. Since then, 800 bed spaces have been made available at four Safe Spaces, with more to come. 

‘We have achieved a lot thanks to the current policy, but we can do more. Rough sleeping is a complex issue that affects many major cities, and the situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the related economic impacts. This draft strategy is an opportunity for everyone to have their say and help us formulate a new blueprint that will alleviate the risks that make people vulnerable to rough sleeping,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.

The draft strategy to reduce rough sleeping aims to guide all assistance and interventions, partnerships (including social development programmes) to people sleeping on the streets, in open spaces, vehicles and makeshift structures, as well as those living in temporary accommodation such as shelters, safe spaces or temporary accommodation of a similar nature.


The public participation process runs from 22 April until 22 May 2024.

Details will be available on the City’s webpage: Have your say (

Written comments can also be sent to