Cape Town sets up tents for 4,000 homeless at coastal sports ground

Homeless people will be accommodated in tents at Strandfontein Sports Ground during the Covid-19 lockdown, the City of Cape Town said on April 2 2020.
Homeless people will be accommodated in tents at Strandfontein Sports Ground during the Covid-19 lockdown, the City of Cape Town said on April 2 2020.
Image: Google Earth

Cape Town changed its lockdown plan for 4,000 homeless people on Thursday and will now accommodate all of them in tents at Strandfontein Sports Ground.

Mayor Dan Plato said a single facility would be easier to manage than several smaller ones, and the sports ground — near Strandfontein Pavilion on the False Bay coast — could “comfortably” accommodate the number of people who needed shelter, while complying with physical distancing protocols.

“The task to get the temporary shelter up and running requires long hours and a lot of resources from various city departments,” Plato said. “This project will be co-ordinated under the command of the disaster operations centre.”

Preparations would include the erection of tents and ablution facilities on the cricket, rugby and soccer fields. The site would then be handed to the city council social development and early childhood development department.

“The department will oversee the operational matters relating to the site, in conjunction with the four operators who will be responsible for the day-to-day needs of the site occupants.

“The city’s enforcement services will assist with transporting people and their belongings to the site. The city will also ensure a law enforcement presence on site, 24 hours a day.

“Health screenings will be conducted upon registration at the site, so that we are able to identify individuals who may be at risk due to pre-existing conditions.”

While sites that had been considered as temporary shelters would not be used, they would be considered as permanent shelter sites after the coronavirus crisis was over, said Plato.

“The previously identified sites will remain available to health services to set up primary care facilities to decant medical services to communities who need it most.

“We hope that the public can appreciate the magnitude of the exercise to provide accommodation at short notice to thousands of people, while continuing to deliver essential municipal services in the midst of the biggest health crisis our country has faced.”

Anyone who wants to provide donations for the Strandfontein camp should e-mail disaster.donations@capetown.gov.za.


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