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CoCT denies officers contracted COVID-19 at Strandfontein shelter

The City's Zahied Badroodien said everyone at the site had now been screened at least twice and no one had tested positive for the coronavirus.

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

CAPE TOWN – As the City of Cape Town prepares to break up the Strandfontein homeless shelter, they are denying any law enforcement officers working there were infected with COVID-19.

Homeless people who have chosen to leave the controversial site will be allowed to do so from Friday.

A court case brought by the Strandfontein Ratepayers Association was postponed on Thursday.

The association wants the shelter shut down, suggesting the homeless people housed there under lockdown be moved to smaller sites.

The Strandfontein camp has been a flash-point for residents of the area, and NGOs - including Doctors Without Borders - singled the site out for criticism over the conditions there.

The City of Cape Town’s Zahid Badroodien said the site was always meant to be temporary.

“We had always said this facility was going to be a screening, testing facility and also an opportunity to connect our homeless people to other medical services.”

Badroodien said everyone at the site had now been screened at least twice and no one had tested positive for the coronavirus.

There are just under 1,100 people staying at the site and the process of closing the facility has now begun.

Starting on Friday, those who want to leave will be bused to various areas of their choice.

“Every person will be screened and will leave with a clinic letter detailing the medical treatment received here."

Badroodien said those who wish to stay would be transferred to smaller sites from 20 May.