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Better care, protection for homeless required in SA - advocacy group

Advocacy groups said the murder of five homeless men highlighted a lack of adequate systems to address homelessness in the country.

The body of a fifth homeless murder victim was found at a bus stop in Muckelneuck, near Unisa, on 19 June 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There are calls for better care and protection of homeless people in the wake of a spate of killings in Tshwane.

Advocacy groups said the latest crimes highlighted a lack of adequate systems to address homelessness in the country. The plight of homeless people was in the spotlight after the body of a fifth man was discovered in the suburb of Muckleneuk on Wednesday.

Four others were murdered in the same way through repeated stabbing in the same neighbourhood this month.

The Tshwane Leadership Foundation said the recent targeting of those living in the streets should force South Africans to have a deeper conversation about homelessness.

“There no policy or budget that address homelessness directly in the country,” said the organisation’s Wayne Renkin.

Renkin said government needed to have a broader response to address problems facing vulnerable people living on the streets.

“If there were adequate and appropriate shelter and housing for people, we wouldn’t be in this situation where homeless people are being murdered on the streets. They are at this moment constantly fighting for survival,” he said.

According to the advocacy group, as many as 10,000 people are homeless in Tshwane.

Meanwhile, no arrests have been made in connection with the killings.

WATCH: Homeless people after latest murder: 'We don’t know who’s next'

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