eThekwini, South Africa

Insight-driven response to homeless migrant and displaced populations in eThekwini


The eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality will implement an insight-driven response to the unmet social and economic needs of undocumented migrant and displaced populations living in situations of homelessness. Focused on improving documentation and access to social services, the project follows a three phased approach. Phase One will focus on a comprehensive point-in-time survey to gauge current needs and numbers of the target population. Phase Two will include the development of eThekwini’s ‘CARE’ database – a self-registration platform that will be connected to existing local drop-in centers distributed across the city. This development phase will also include trust-building activities run in partnership with local civil society organizations to ensure the buy-in of the target population. The final phase of the project will be the roll-out of the CARE program, which will facilitate the registration of refugees and asylum-seekers at the city-level, providing them with unique identification codes they can use to access critical city services, such as access to healthcare, education, food and non-food items, temporary shelter, and livelihoods programs. This project is in line with eThekwini’s proposed project for the MMC's Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees. 


The eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality anticipates three key impacts of this action:

  1. The eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality relies on a comprehensive database of migrants, refugees and IDPs to better understand the magnitude and character of migration and homelessness in eThekwini and improve its municipal service delivery systems.
  2. Undocumented migrants and refugees, especially women and children, have improved access to social services, including shelter, healthcare, and livelihoods programs, while gaining trust in the municipality’s ability to meet their needs.
  3. The eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality’s CARE program provides a model registration platform for other metropolitan areas in South Africa to replicate, helping all residents access to basic services regardless of legal status.
Priority Objectives
Improving migration governance and forced displacement protection
Protecting those most vulnerable
Providing access to urban infrastructure, social services, and education regardless of status
Realising socio-economic inclusion
Realising socio-economic inclusion
South Africa
Local or regional government
Kenneth Mxolisi Kaunda
Start of Project
End of project