Cape Town - With an overwhelming compliance rate by the end of the first week of the Covid-19 lockdown, Mayor Dan Plato has thanked the people of Cape Town for staying home and practising social distancing.
"During the first few days, we saw many communities going about their day as if it was business as usual but we believe that the seriousness of the situation and the ongoing messaging has now sunk in – we can only beat this virus if everyone stays home.
"I know it hasn’t been easy, but with week one done, I want to call on the communities across Cape Town to continue working with us over the next two weeks of the lockdown so that we can flatten the curve, and prevent the spread of Covid-19. We can only do this if we all play our part," Plato said.
"I want to thank all those Capetonians who have continued to provide essential services so that our city continues to function with the bare essentials. These individuals are risking their own health every day to ensure that there is food on our shelves, medicine to dispense, and that law enforcement is upheld 24/7."
Plato said there are many City staff working around the clock to ensure the delivery of essential services, including water and sanitation, informal settlements management, electricity, refuse removal and providing emergency accommodation for the homeless.
"There has been much confusion over the regulations published by the National Government, but the most important thing that you need to know is that you need to stay home, and if you do need to go out to get the essentials, you do not need a permit to do so.
"If, however, you need to attend a funeral, National Government has made it clear that a permit will be required, so please check the regulations to make sure you have completed the necessary forms."
In terms of City services, Plato said the City has ensured that there will be minimal disruption throughout the lockdown:
- Refuse is still being collected, and we have appointed two contractors to assist with clearing the backlog;
- We will be accommodating the homeless at an emergency shelter in Strandfontein for the duration of the lockdown
- Our clinic staff, such as nurses and doctors, continue admirably with their duties
- To assist business owners, we have created a Covid-19 information portal on the City’s www.investcapetown.co.za website for all local businesses who require clarity on the various regulations that have been published
- We continue to urge account holders to pay for services to ensure that the City continues to function to provide basic services; we have existing relief available in the form of indigent relief for rates and services, however, all options are currently being explored
- Our call centre remains open and we continue to engage with our residents daily
- We are deploying 28 water trucks to communities in informal settlements who have limited access to water. These are areas where the City’s ability to install services on the land is legally constrained or the topography of the area is unsuitable for installation of formal infrastructure, but people have, however, settled there
- The City’s Informal Settlements Management department continues to work in informal settlements, while finalising a Covid-19 response, focusing on awareness and helping with the creation of sites for disaster accommodation and access to enhanced services which the national disaster declaration now enables the City to do
- As from Saturday 4 April 2020, the MyCiTi service will operate from 05:00 to 10:00 and again from 16:00 to 20:00 daily, in line with the regulations relating to the national state of disaster. All bus drivers have been issued with masks and gloves and passengers who board at a bus stop can use the hand sanitiser that is placed next to the validators at the left hand door. Passengers boarding at stations should use the sanitiser that is available at these facilities. We also request passengers to please travel with their own hand sanitiser as well, and to wash their hands as often as possible with soap and water for 20 seconds
"I want to thank our officials for being available to assist residents and business owners who have had questions about the lockdown, who may trade, what they need in order to do so, and to get clarity on all aspects relating to the National Government’s regulations.
"We have worked closely with the National and Western Cape Governments as the lead disaster authorities to ensure we are all cooperating wherever necessary and maximising the delivery of services," Plato said.
"Let’s continue working together and we will limit the spread of the virus."