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Local metropolitan government responses to homelessness in South Africa


  • Jacques du Toit


This article examines metropolitan government responses to homelessness in South Africa, including the context of responses, preparedness to respond, factors influencing responses, shelter locations, and homeless persons' views. Whereas the literature emphasises the need for spatial or physical interventions, this research, using multiple case studies, found that three out of four metropolitan municipalities viewed homelessness primarily as a social dependency issue and responded with social interventions. Yet homeless persons indicated that the most important thing the municipality could do for them was to provide employment and well-located affordable housing. The study concludes that municipalities might respond more effectively with spatial or physical interventions such as equitable urban planning and design and sensitive land use management, and by providing affordable housing close to places of employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacques du Toit, 2010. "Local metropolitan government responses to homelessness in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 111-128.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:27:y:2010:i:1:p:111-128
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350903519390

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