The Challenges of Providing for the Street Homeless: Johannesburg as a Single Case Study

Tayob, Muhammad Shabier
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The thesis considers the challenges associated with providing for the street homeless in Johannesburg. From a planning perspective, the research aims at leading to enlightenment on practical solutions to address the problem in Johannesburg. The study notes that the street homeless or the ‘rough sleepers’ population are amongst the most distressed people that live in negligible and inadequate housing. Dating back since before apartheid, Johannesburg has been seen as a place that offers a platform to better one’s living conditions. Thus, there has always been a high influx of local and international migrants into the city. Given the successes of apartheid spatial planning in creating a racially and economically divided Johannesburg that served an urban minority only, the city’s infrastructure is unable to absorb and address all of its inhabitants. This, together with personal circumstances and structural inadequacies is resulting in an increase of street homeless people in the city. Street homelessness in Johannesburg requires a continuum of well-coordinated interventions that address the individualistic and structural causation factors. This research unpacks how street homelessness is being addressed in the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, with particular attention given to government responses. Through the gathering of qualitative and quantitative data, the research aims at measuring government’s effectiveness in addressing the issue. The report moves forward by providing debates, conceptualisations and approaches to homelessness across the globe. Followed by this, the research focuses on identifying gaps in current approaches to addressing the issue and through this, providing potential and valuable input that will assist in effectively curbing street homelessness.
Planning Honours Research Report 2014, Wits University
homeless, housing, government
Tayob, M (2014). The Challenges of Providing for the Street Homeless: Johannesburg as a Single Case Study, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg