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CoCT insists proper measures in place for homeless at Strandfontein site

The Strandfontein Sports Ground is currently accommodating more than 1,400 people during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The City of Cape Town's temporary housing facility for homeless people at the Strandfontein Sports Ground. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Despite health and safety concerns raised by homeless people at the Strandfontein temporary site, the City of Cape Town insists proper measures are in place.

The Strandfontein Sports Ground is currently accommodating more than 1,400 people during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The city said that it had done criminal and medical screening.

Twelve people at the site have been tested for COVID-19 and 43 people have also been tested for tuberculosis (TB). The results of 11 have come back positive for TB.

At this site, there are a number of large marquee tents set up, as well as toilet facilities.

Around these tents stands a ring of steel fencing, with officers lined up close by to keep a watch over the homeless.

Every person is screened on arrival, and if needs be, they are assisted by medical staff on site.

The city's JP Smith said that people at the site came from various backgrounds and they found that some were suffering from withdrawal symptoms due to substance abuse.

"They are being assisted - there are health workers on-site and we are supplying food to them to help with the craving."

He also responded to people saying they feel imprisoned but he said they actually allowed to leave on their own accord.

An angry homeless woman said they were not treated well and conditions were poor.

"We are not happy here. We were told to grab our things - we don't even have clothes, the same underwear, can't shower. We don't have to be treated like this!"

The city said that about 66 private security guards had joined 40 to 50 law enforcement officers at the site.

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