JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services met with nine of the longest-serving nursing staff in the metro on Thursday.
The staff members are from clinics including Wesbank, Luvuyo, Manenberg and Valhalla Park, have been with City Health for between 20 and 35 years, helping address some of the most pressing health challenges in communities in spite of some very trying circumstances.
"The nurses are the backbone of health services in the City," said Smith.
"City Health has helped lower the child mortality rate by driving life-saving interventions from birth through the First 1 000 Days campaign.
"Cape Town has also achieved phenomenal success in improving the health status of our communities, such as combating HIV and TB. These successes would not be possible without the hard work and dedication – often in challenging circumstances – of our nursing staff and this acknowledgement is just a small token of our appreciation."
Smith also highlighted that Cape Town is experiencing one of the mildest diarrhoea seasons in years – a disease that is "responsible for far too many child deaths in developing countries".
"We rely heavily on our nursing staff to manage what is known as diarrhoea season and the improved results over the last few years is testament to their efforts.
"It is a fact that many of our clinic staff work under very trying conditions, having to contend with service delivery disruptions as a result of crime like theft and vandalism, but also many facilities are situated in the heart of some of our most gang-stricken communities.
"Yet there they are, day after day, serving their clients and helping the City of Cape Town build safer communities – one of the priorities in the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan.
"I tip my hat to our longest serving staff members and their colleagues who continue to help us make this City work for the benefit of all who pass through the clinic doors," Smith said.