Cape Town mayor Dan Plato briefed the city’s four million people on Thursday about how city council services would be delivered during the three-week Covid-19 lockdown.
Image: GroundUp/Ashraf Hendricks
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato issued a lengthy statement on Thursday about how the three-week lockdown will affect services the city council provides for four million people.
It covers clinics, safety and security, waste removal, water and sanitation, electricity, transport, cemeteries, finance, vehicle registration, housing, informal settlement, homeless people, council facilities, fleet management and municipal courts.Here are the details
The City of Cape Town is primed to continue delivering essential services to residents during the three-week lockdown that takes effect at midnight.
However, we have had to institute mitigation measures to ensure that we operate within the framework of the lockdown, as set out by the president in his address to the nation earlier this week, and that we abide by the hygiene and social-distancing protocols that have been advanced since the virus was first detected in South Africa.
The city would therefore like the public to take note of the following arrangements that have been put in place:
Clinics across the city will still operate for the collection of medication and for primary health care services.
When visiting a clinic, all patients are required to maintain social distancing and ensure that they make use of the provided hand-sanitiser.
The City of Cape Town, in conjunction with the metro district health service, is looking at various ways in which to reduce the number of clients presenting at health facilities.
A number of initiatives have already been undertaken, while others are in the pipeline. These include:
Increasing chronic medication packs to last for two months — and three months in some instances;
Establishing quick pickup points for medication outside the clinic;
Nurses giving medication for minor ailments from the consulting rooms to lighten the load on the facility pharmacies;
Where possible, home deliveries of medication by community health workers of NGO partners;
Spacing/postponing non-essential follow-up appointments;
Installation of tents where clients will be triaged before they enter the facility; and
Educating the community at large on the importance of social distance.
We urge the communities to understand the inevitable delays resulting from the implementation of these new measures. Ultimately, we require the public’s assistance during the lockdown period and we urge residents to please only visit their clinic if they are in urgent need of medical care.
Safety and security
The safety and security operations during the lockdown will continue with key departments geared to protect citizens, property and the city’s emergency response teams.
The Cape Town traffic service and law enforcement operations will remain operational during this time. Additionally, the fire and rescue services will remain operational.
We continue to request that all residents adhere to the lockdown regulations to ensure the safety of themselves and other residents.
The metropolitan police service during this time will work with our national security forces, the SA Police Service (SAPS) and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to monitor and enforce strict adherence to the guidelines outlined by the president during the 21-day lockdown.
The disaster operations centre will be activated and run 24 hours a day during this period, acting as a central information point to communicate swiftly with the public during emergencies.
This centre plays an essential role in co-ordinating and integrating multiple emergency services and other essential services to ensure that these organisations work together, to ensure effective response and recovery from disasters.
The city’s 107 operation centre will remain open during this period. The city reminds the public to please save the number for the public emergency communication centre on their cellphones.
The number to dial in the event of an emergency is 107 (landline) or 021 480 7700 (cellphone)
In addition, city emergency and policing vehicles have started loud hailing across areas communicating the lockdown and disseminating information on basic health and safety measures.
Every effort will be made to ensure collection of solid waste continues as normal, however this may be affected due to staff availability.
If services are affected, residents should please take their bin out every morning (preferably by 6.30am when trucks start clearing their beats) and taking it back in every night after 9pm until it is collected.
Current indications are that delays should not last for more than a week, and in most cases, backlogs will be cleared more quickly.
Impact to services going forward is difficult to predict at this stage. Residents should be aware that lower-income and higher-density areas are being prioritised due to increased risks of the disease spreading quickly in these areas.
In order to protect staff delivering this vital service, we will be ensuring that social distancing is practised and providing necessary protective equipment.
In addition, we request that all waste coming from a property where someone has been diagnosed with, or is showing symptoms of the Covid-19 virus, is double-bagged.
Residents are encouraged to submit service requests using the following channels: