While many residents have a home to spend the 21 days of lockdown in, many of the Cape’s homeless do not have a family member who would take them in during this time. The City of Cape Town has begun steadily moving the homeless to various shelters across the metropole and outliers, with the Culemborg site being one of the first.
Tents were set up at the parking lot adjacent to the City’s Culemborg Safe Space, along with sanitation facilities. Those who are there will also be employing appropriate social distancing measures.
According to a statement by Mayco Member for Health Services Zahid Badroodien, the homeless persons will be escorted by the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Department.
“City Health will also be onsite to screen individuals and ensure that they are not presenting symptoms of COVID-19,” he added. “Work is also underway at the Paint City site in Bellville and it should be able to go online within the next three to five days.”
The City aims to make available sites in all four geographical areas within the next week, where homeless persons can be housed during the lockdown.
“The search for temporary shelter is taking some time, after initial sites, touted by the national government, were subsequently withdrawn,” Badroodien said. “We understand that there has been immense interest in this particular issue, and we assure the public that we are doing everything possible to provide safe spaces for our street people during this challenging time.”
Numerous other options are being considered, but have not been finalised, as the spaces are not readily available for habitation without extensive work being carried out first.
“The City will provide updates on the situation as these become available, but we would like to emphasise that it is a matter we take very seriously and we are working furiously to bring to resolution,” Badroodien added.
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