Cape Town Together: COVID-19 Response

Community Action Network (CAN) Starter Pack
Compiled by Cape Town Together CAN! With input from
Dr Leanne Brady

What is Cape Town Together?

Cape Town Together is a rapid community response to COVID-19. The broader collective is made up of people from all over the city coming together to self-organise, take local action, and develop ways to share resources. Some of us are organisers, some of us are carers, some of us have worked in outbreak situations before. We are teachers, doctors, artists, and many others. COVID-19 reminds us that we are all connected, that this is a time for solidarity, and that we need to move fast.

The goal of Cape Town Together is to support Community Action Networks (CANs) in neighbourhoods across the city. Each community group or CAN is organised at the neighbourhood level and is also connected to the broader CTT network. This means that we act locally, while also drawing on our collective experience and energy to share lessons and resources across the city. The community response will look different in each neighbourhood — we are not trying to create a copy-paste model that can be scaled up. Instead, we are looking to set up a system that can collectively support many locally-led neighbourhood initiatives.

Getting through the COVID-19 pandemic will require a collective effort. We all have a role to play and that there is a lot we can do in our own communities. We commend the government’s response to COVID-19, and offer these guidelines as a way for communities to strengthen and support the government’s response.

It is imperative that any community-based responses are conducted safely and do not expose community members to increased risk, or contribute to the spread of the virus. For this reason, all CAN activities must adhere to official guidance from the Department of Health. At the moment, this involves social distancing as the key tactic to #stopthespread of COVID-19.