Insisting that “there is enough for all”, three church organisations have challenged their supporters to share, exchange and reuse, to combat the economic downturn. They say there is an alternative to a system built on greed.
With temperatures unlikely to rise much above freezing, the plight of the country's thousands of homeless people has been highlighted by charity workers, who are urging local authorities to step up relief efforts.
Volunteers working with church and secular homeless relief and action groups over the Christmas period have accused the government of failing to respond adequately to the needs of rough sleepers during the cold snap.
The Anglican Church in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province has awarded its Order of the Holy Nativity to the head of a shack-dwellers' movement for being a "beacon of dignity and hope" in standing against injustice.
Charity groups Crisis and Housing Justice say that volunteering over the Christmas season and beyond can play a vital role in alleviating the problems of the capital's homeless and addressing key housing concerns.