Homelessness in South Africa
Homelessness in South Africa dates back to the apartheid period. Increasing unemployment, lack of affordable housing, social disintegration, and social and economic policies have all been identified as contributing factors to the issue. Some scholars argue that solutions to homelessness in South Africa lie more within the private sphere than in the legal and political spheres.
There is no national census on homeless people in South Africa, researchers instead rely on individual studies of homeless persons in particular cities. The South African homeless population has been estimated at approximately 200 000.
One study found that three out of four South African metropolitan municipalities viewed homelessness primarily as a social dependency issue, responding with social interventions. At the same time, homeless South Africans indicated that the most important thing the municipality could assist them with was employment and well-located affordable housing.
Homelessness in South African cities has been portrayed in art in a controversial piece titled Birds in a Cornfield.
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