9 APRIL 2020
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
SPEECH BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF CAPE TOWN, ALDERMAN DAN PLATO
Good afternoon, and welcome to the temporary emergency accommodation that we have set up at the Strandfontein Sports Complex.
I want to make this 100% clear to dispel all the misinformation that is going around. This site was set up under the instruction of the National Disaster Regulations published by the National Government. We have had to act quickly in terms of these regulations and under this unprecedented time, we have had to adapt our plans to keep up with the requirements expected of municipalities.
Let me read from the COVID-19 National Disaster regulations, which have been published ahead of the lockdown:
11D. (1) For the period of the declaration of a lockdown, a person refusing to be evacuated from any place subject to lockdown, may be evacuated by an enforcement officer to a temporary shelter, if such action is necessary for the preservation of life.
(2) The State shall identify—
(a) temporary shelters that meet the necessary hygiene standards for homeless people; and
(b) temporary sites for quarantine and self-isolation that meet the necessary hygiene standards for people who cannot isolate or quarantine in their homes.
Today I am here to inspect the various services on site. To ensure that our homeless community is well taken care of while at this facility, we are providing medical services, shelter, meals, ablution and shower facilities. When entering the site, our homeless community is screened by medical professionals and social workers so that we can respond appropriately to their medical and psychosocial needs.
Some people have asked why we haven’t used other stadiums and community halls. The fact is that these sites have already been identified for temporary hospitals, and isolation/quarantine facilities. These are necessary to ensure that we are prepared as the National Minister of Health, Dr Mkhize has warned, of the ‘calm before the devastating storm’. We will need these spaces as emergency hospital sites.
The City of Cape Town identified a range of possible sites, and the Strandfontein sports complex enabled us to move quickly as it has a large perimeter fence, existing infrastructure with water and electricity available, and is big enough to accommodate 2 000 homeless persons on one site, making the delivery or of services for the homeless far more efficient.
I want to call on those political opportunists now, please stop politicising a very serious situation. We are doing whatever we can to ensure that our services continue, that we provide shelter for those who need it, and we are doing it with little to no warning ahead of time. Municipalities across the country are in the same boat, and we are all doing our best to make this work.
Lastly, I want to make a call to our residents, NGOs and private business. If you can donate mattresses that would be greatly appreciated.
After the lockdown, all the temporary emergency accommodation sites, including the one here at Strandfontein, will be restored to their original function.
Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town