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Update on City’s operations at Strandfontein temporary shelter<p>There has been much debate about access to the site. The City wishes to reiterate that while the sports complex is a public facility, it is currently being used as a shelter as part of the national efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.</p><p>We have already provided access to all interested media houses last week who were shown the various facilities and services on the site. The City has a duty to protect the health and dignity of those on site, and we cannot have unfettered access as has been demanded by various organisations and media.</p><p>This salient point appears to have been lost on many. </p><p>The City’s service providers, including NGO professionals who care for the homeless as well as medical services and food distribution providers, are currently working at the site and are implementing ways of enhancing social distancing.</p><p>It is for this reason that the City is limiting the number of people entering the site. We want to ensure that we reduce the risk of exposure to those living in the safe space. </p><p> The South African Human Rights Commission has been on site several times and we will continue to allow the organisation’s representative access in order to conduct oversight visits. </p><p>For the record, the shelter was set up in terms of the Disaster Act, on instruction from the national government, to mitigate the risk of street people contracting COVID-19; to ensure that, where cases do occur within this vulnerable group, they are treated timeously; and to provide a means of sustenance to street people whose economic lifeline has been cut by the national lockdown.</p><p>The City of Cape Town has put together a facility that is currently housing approximately 1 500 persons.</p><p>Despite some initial challenges, there is a daily improvement in our services at Strandfontein:</p><ul><li>We are protecting the homeless from COVID-19 through comprehensive screening, testing and isolating, where needed, at this facility.</li><li>We are caring for the homeless by providing healthcare, shelter, three meals a day, hot showers, ablution and laundry facilities.</li><li>The site is professionally managed 24/7 in partnership with experienced NGO service providers. </li></ul><p>Every person who has come on site has been screened for COVID-19, as well as TB, and other chronic conditions. We have a dozen positive TB cases and no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Where needed, we have referred persons for appropriate treatment - something that would not have been possible, given our limited resources, if they were still scattered around the city.</p><p>Post screening, we have enrolled 846 persons onto a chronic and clinical care programme. </p><p>To date, 142 persons have left the site – either to be reunited with their families, or of their own volition. This is a clear indication that no person is being held against their will. Leaving the facility does not however exempt any person from penalties they may incur from not adhering to the Disaster Regulations.</p><p>We are working with NPOs to see how we can address the developmental needs of our remaining shelter occupants in the longer term.</p><p>As indicated before, the Strandfontein site was centrally located, had space to house many people and could be converted within a short time-frame.</p><p>We will not deny that this particular operation has been challenging – it was always going to be a tough ask. There were some unavoidable delays, but we moved to address these as quickly as possible. </p><p>However, the City’s efforts have been vilified by a number of sectors and the matter has taken a decidedly political turn, which is unfortunate – particularly as much of the condemnation has been based on untested claims. </p><p> <br> <strong>End</strong><br></p>2020-04-14T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|StatementsGP0|#5fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab;L0|#05fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab|Health;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#2a5efaf1-c8d4-42be-8809-9638cebaefd5;L0|#02a5efaf1-c8d4-42be-8809-9638cebaefd5|shelter;GP0|#12172a04-58cb-441a-9cfc-4a182d1d8b3b;L0|#012172a04-58cb-441a-9cfc-4a182d1d8b3b|strandfontein1

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