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Government responses to street homelessness in South Africa


  • Vinothan Naidoo


This paper reviews government responses intended to assist the street homeless in South Africa. The paper demonstrates that in South Africa the legislation and policy responses to the problem of street homelessness have been to a great extent shaped by the broader circumstances of a larger population living in informal housing, with whom the street homeless share intimate ties through social instability and economic poverty. This context has resulted in an intersectoral legislative and policy framework shaped mainly by two sectors - Social Welfare and Housing - that has prioritised various preventive measures to reduce the structural, social and economic risks and vulnerability of becoming homeless on the street. Given its nature, this framework has been and continues to be highly dependent on effective collaboration and coordination between government departments.

Suggested Citation

  • Vinothan Naidoo, 2010. "Government responses to street homelessness in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 129-141.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:27:y:2010:i:1:p:129-141
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350903519408

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