The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown have deeply and negatively impacted the livelihoods of many Western Cape residents. As a result, Premier Alan Winde has outlined a plan in the continuing fight against the pandemic, and a way forward for the province’s recovery.

“We will focus courageously and single-mindedly on creating jobs, making the province safer and promoting dignity and wellbeing for all our residents,” Winde said. “Because when you have a job, when you feel safe, and when you are treated with dignity, you create well-being and hope. They are all inter-linked, without one you cannot achieve the other.”

One of the plans Winde suggested includes the Blue Dot Service. This follows the success of the Red Dot taxi service, which is aimed at creating a safe public transport system for healthcare workers and for those being transported to and from quarantine and isolation facilities. Since its launch, the service has completed over 110,000 health worker trips and over 11 400 quarantine and isolation trips.

The Blue Dot Service will be the establishment of a system which ensures that taxis are safe, affordable and reliable while also creating jobs within the industry. It will also provide taxi drivers with operator incentives to provide the service and operate safely.

“We worked with the taxi industry in the province to ensure that the service they offered was safe- with taxis being regularly sanitised, load numbers managed and a protective screen placed between drivers and passengers,” Winde said.

Winde also added that 2000 food gardens would be launched across the Cape, and neighbourhood watches would be used to help ensure social distancing at malls. Neighbourhood watches will also be used to ensure that people receive their chronic medications at home, especially diabetics.
Some of the other measures listed by Winde includes:
– The #CommitToFinish campaign aimed at ensuring that matric learners finish their schooling
– Continue to focus on providing food relief in conjunction with civil society and NGO partners
– Continue allocating additional funding to food relief by community kitchens
– Developing a voucher system so that community kitchens can purchase what they need from local businesses and spaza shops
– Developing a comprehensive surveillance system to help the City intervene with nutrition programmes in the future
– Ensuring that residents can access comprehensive health services at all facilities
“We will be using the systems and lessons we learned with Covid, to address TB which is a major cause of death in the Western Cape each year,” Winde said. “Our vision is that every person can access early childhood development, if they so decide.”
Picture: Western Cape Gov

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.