CoCT spent over R40m on tents for the homeless, Good Party wants answers

According to the city, R44 million was spent on weather-proof tents, to shelter those living on the streets under national lockdown regulations.

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

CAPE TOWN - The Good Party said it wants answers relating to the City of Cape Town's Strandfontein camp for the homeless where millions of rands were spent on tents.

According to the City, R44 million was spent on weather-proof tents, to shelter those living on the streets under national lockdown regulations.

The site has been closed for several months now.

But the Good Party questioned why the tents were this expensive, wants to know who got the money and by what legal process.

The party said they were shocked to learn that for six weeks when the site was in operation it cost the city R53 million and the hiring of tents R44 million.

They questioned the processes followed in awarding contracts and which service providers were contracted.

In a statement on Wednesday, the City said the tents were at multiple sites and was surprised that the Good Party’s Brett Herron has raised issues with the expenditure.

The municipality stated that homeless people were provided with chronic and clinical treatment, tested for TB and screened for COVID-19.

Meals were issued daily, and mattresses and 2,000 blankets were procured.

But Herron said he is focussing on the shelter aspect: “And now they are telling me that they have provided meals and mattresses, but I mean that is not the point. R44 million for a tent? They would have put people in hotels, they could have booked and built permanent shelter for poor and homeless people.”

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