The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Cape Town

Shelters Urged to Apply for Winter Aid Program in Cape Town

Michael Hawthorne

As winter approaches, the City of Cape Town is calling on registered non-profit organizations, particularly shelters catering to those living on the streets, to submit their applications for the Winter Readiness Programme. The initiative, scheduled to run from April 29 to October 31 this year, aims to bolster the efforts of these organizations in providing shelter and support to the indigent population during the colder months.

Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross, emphasized the significance of the Winter Readiness Programme in supporting shelters and ensuring the safety and well-being of vulnerable residents. “The aid we provide allows for more people to be safe and warm when the weather is at its harshest,” she stated.

The program offers assistance to qualifying organizations in the form of food parcels, toiletries, mattresses, bedding, and the deployment of workers from the Expanded Public Works Programme to aid with cooking and cleaning. The focus is on creating additional bed spaces, enabling shelters to accommodate more individuals seeking refuge from the harsh winter conditions.

Councillor Van der Ross highlighted the importance of shelters in the City’s efforts to assist people permanently off the streets. “The City does all it can to help people off the street permanently, but with the help of shelters, we can ensure they’re inside during bad weather spells,” she affirmed.

To be eligible for participation, shelters must be registered non-profit organizations or public benefit organizations, possess existing facilities to accommodate clients, and address their needs through developmental programs. Compliance with the Population Certificate requirements, health and safety regulations, and approval of building plans are also essential. Participating organizations must agree to site inspections by various City departments and provide a draft floor plan for the additional bed spaces. Additionally, shelters must have a certificate of acceptability for food premises.

Application forms for the Winter Readiness Programme can be accessed on the City of Cape Town’s official website at The deadline for submission is 16:00 on March 8, 2024.

Councillor Van der Ross encouraged all eligible shelters to apply for the program, stating, “You care for some of the most vulnerable residents, and the City wants to assist in that care and help you get even more people off the street.” The initiative aims to build capacity within these organizations, ensuring that they can effectively cater to the increased demand for shelter during adverse weather conditions.

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