Speech by the Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato
President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde
Ladies and gentlemen
Welcome to Cape Town.
Mr President, you acted quickly, and you acted decisively to implement the initial three-week lockdown period in order to allow our health services the necessary time to prepare. As you will see today, we have put the necessary measures in place to expand the health services available to the public during this pandemic.
Our Premier, Mr Alan Winde, his cabinet, and their officials, and together with the City of Cape Town administration, we have been hard at work preparing our health services, adapting other essential services, and ensuring that the residents across the whole province stay informed about what government is doing to address this pandemic.
As the City of Cape Town, we have worked closely with the Western Cape Government as well as the National Government to ensure that we are all working together towards the same goal – to save lives.
As you are very much aware, the lockdown has also caused significant hardship for many in South Africa, and we have to ensure that we also have measures in place to address these hardships.
The social response has been an equally critical lever of our response. During the first few weeks of the lockdown, it was clear that the lack of income in many of our communities was going to have a significant impact. We immediately began working with community leaders, the religious community and local NGOs to identify communities most in need in terms of food aid. Once identified, we began equipping soup kitchens in those communities with additional cooking equipment and dry goods to significantly expand their reach.
This pandemic has been the greatest challenge to our respective administrations and the peak is yet to reach us. The medical response, much like the social response, requires partnerships between different spheres of government. The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has been an important part of the City of Cape Town’s economy through the hosting of major local and international events, as well as some of the world’s biggest conferences, and in the process creating thousands of jobs.
However, its greatest – and most important – use appears to be in the coming weeks. The CTICC –1 building is available to expand our health services until the 27th of July, with an option to extend this on a month-to-month basis until the end of the year. The CTICC has generously waived the hire cost of the venue. The temporary infrastructure build, operating and catering costs for the initial hire period will total approximately R47 million.
This amount excludes the costs that the Department of Health incurs in providing clinical equipment, oxygen, medication and temporary staff for the temporary hospital. We have done our part as government to prepare for the next phase of the pandemic. Even now – especially now at level 3 – as we safely get our economy going again – the responsibility now rests with our citizens, to keep following the health regulations. Mr President, I want to thank you for your leadership. Here in Cape Town, as OneCityTogether, we can beat this pandemic if we all work together, and everyone practices compassion for their fellow human being. This is the most important test of our humanity and I have faith in our communities.
Originally Published by City Of Cape Town