By Ayinde Summey
Caption: Homeless people at the Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria. Photo: Department of Social Development.
Authorities in Pretoria this week found themselves with a headache after their efforts to provide accommodation for homeless people in a local stadium has been rejected by some.
Tshwane Law Enforcement officers relocated more than 2 000 homeless people to the Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria. There they were given shelter with food. However the conditions became an issue for some people. Crowding also became a problem and no one was allowed to leave.
Yesterday, several news outlets reported that about 200 people had escaped from the shelter, taking advantage of distracted and severely outnumbered police officers.
The escapees said there was insufficient and poor quality food being supplied.
The authorities reportedly had not anticipated that so many people would need to be accommodated.
Instead of trying to fit all the homeless people into the Caledonian Stadium, it will be used as an initial screening centre before people are allocated accommodation. New locations for homeless people are now being set up.
Yesterday Social Development Minister Bogopane Zulu visited the stadium to see for herself what conditions people are being kept in and to monitor lockdown regulations.