CT Mayor defends Strandfontein temporary shelter decision

Various organisations have raised health and safety concerns around the Strandfontein site where at least 1,300 homeless are being accommodated during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Strandfontein site, in Cape Town, which is housing homeless people during the COVID-19 lockdown. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Mayor Dan Plato maintains the that the City of Cape Town was acting in the best interest of the homeless when creating the Strandfontein site.

The Strandfontein Sports Ground currently accommodates at least 1,300 people.

The temporary shelter site has been criticised by various political and civil society groups.

Various organisations have raised health and safety concerns around the Strandfontein site for the homeless.

Last week Doctors Without Borders again called on the City to close the shelter, saying it was a potential hotspot for COVID-19 and tuberculosis infections.

But Plato said they have put measures in place to prevent this.

"Everybody gets screened. people that are suspects might have the virus get put in one tent - away from others - like in a quarantine. There's a tent for people identified with TB. They are put one side. Then there are tents for people with other illnesses."

He said there are nine tents within the facility and men and women are housed separately.

There are four medical doctors and several nurses on-site each day.

The mayor said the City consults with medical professionals before making decisions around the site.
“That's why we are saying we could not just accept the complaints and the critiques from outside people who visit the site for one hour or two hours - and now they believe they have all the information.”

Meanwhile, a man has been arrested for allegedly raping an 18-year-old woman at the site earlier this month.