Mayor welcomes positive feedback from Department of Defence on Strandfontein temporary shelter


This morning, I was briefed on the feedback provided by the Department of Defence following the oversight visit by a delegation to the Strandfontein temporary shelter space for the homeless on 18 April. I would like to welcome the positive feedback.

The site was set up following the lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a means to help flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In line with the National Disaster Regulations, the site was set up in record time. After dealing with a few challenges in the early days, I am pleased to say that all individuals on site are receiving excellent care, including:

·       warm showers, ablutions facilities, and laundry services

·       three meals a day with food and snacks in-between,

·       medical assistance,

·       separate isolation tents for those identified with Tuberculosis,

·       blankets, pillows and mattresses, vanity packs with soap, facecloths, toothbrush and toothpaste.

At present, no individual has tested positive for COVID-19, while a small number who were isolated following the initial screening process were found not to be infected after further testing was done.

It has been most unfortunate that the site has been so shamefully politicised. Despite our repeated clarifications about the services being offered, the media have gladly repeated all of these lies. This has not deterred us as we continue to look after the city’s most vulnerable residents.

Over the weekend, the National Department of Defence conducted an oversight visit to the Strandfontein site and remarked that the accommodation tents were neatly erected and well-spaced across the sports ground.

The Department noted that music was played during the evenings and that the site was peaceful. It was also mentioned that the officials conducting the oversight visit observed personnel sanitising the area, and acknowledged that homeless people were screened for COVID-19 and Tuberculosis upon arrival at the site, and that any persons testing positive, were isolated in separate tents.

It was advised that due to not all individuals on site being in possession of an Identity (ID)book, it was a perfect opportunity for the Department of Home Affairs to provide these services to those who required it. We will be engaging the Department about how best to provide these services.

While the City has already reunited a number of homeless persons with their families, it was recommended that the Department of Social Development look at possible family location opportunities, and they have an opportunity to do self-upliftment and empowerment programmes, which we welcome.

One of the individuals on site enquired about support for military veterans, and the Department has advised that they do an investigation on site to identify further military veterans and provide assistance where possible.

I want to thank the Department of Defence for acknowledging and commending the coordinators, service providers, and site manager for the good service being provided to the most vulnerable individuals in our society and for complimenting the manner in which the venue is being managed.

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town