City of Cape Town and national government bicker over housing of refugees


City of Cape Town and national government bicker over housing of refugees

The City of Cape Town says the Paint City website the place some 500 refugees have been housed, doesn’t adjust to Covid-19 rules. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp

City claims Bellville website shouldn’t be compliant with anti-virus rules.

A squabble between the City of Cape Town, and the departments of Home Affairs and Public Works and Infrastructure has laid naked tensions between the municipal and national spheres of government.

The disagreement, ten days after the Covid-19 lockdown was introduced by President Ramaphosa, seems to centre on the use of the Paint City website in Bellville, which is land owned by the City, to accommodate refugees. The City claims that the location shouldn’t have been used as it’s not compliant with Covid-19 rules.

Last Thursday, SAPS confirmed that over 500 individuals had been faraway from the Central Methodist Church on Greenmarket Square, with roughly 200 sq. metres of area to the marquee tent in Bellville, which has roughly 576 sq. metres of area on a plot with roughly 9,500 sq. metres of area.

The City claims that it was blindsided by this elimination and by the use of the Paint City website in Bellville.

On 5 April, Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato described the elimination of the refugees by the police as “untimely”. The Paint City website, he mentioned, “shouldn’t be compliant with the relevant Covid-19 rules and this may occasionally nicely end in an additional relocation being required in the end.”

The departments of Home Affairs and Public Works responded in their very own assertion, accusing the City of making an attempt to mislead the general public. They mentioned the Mayor had agreed to make use of the location for “non-nationals” however had pulled out of plans for the elimination of the refugees the night earlier than the elimination was to go forward.

The assertion quotes from a letter that Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille despatched to the Mayor, through which she says the settlement to make use of Paint City “reached by your self because the Executive Mayor of Cape Town and myself once we went on website collectively and then communicated to Minister Motsoaledi, the Minister of Home Affairs who’s accountable for these issues, was that the Bellville Paint City website was for the non-nationals”.

The assertion says the Mayor’s endeavor was reversed by councillors JP Smith and Ian Neilson.

In response to the assertion from the 2 departments, the City launched one other assertion, saying that the City has “noticed and carried out our companies 100% in step with the Covid-19 rules” and reiterating the declare that the Paint City website was not supposed for refugees.

Meanwhile on Sunday 5 April, the City started transferring homeless residents to Strandfontein Sports Grounds, a sequence of windswept fields dealing with False Bay and subsequent to the Strandfontein Sewer Works. This website is similar to the Paint City website in that there isn’t a gender division within the tents, no privateness, no enforcement of social distancing, and 200 individuals per tent. When GroundUp visited the location on Tuesday, there was no adherence to entry protocols for guests, no protecting tools like masks, and no on-site medical personnel.

The City has not answered GroundUp’s questions in regards to the use of different amenities, together with the Cape Town International Convention Centre, which is 71.4% owned by the City and 23.2% owned by the Western Cape government.

When GroundUp despatched enquiries to the workplaces of JP Smith and Ian Neilson we had been referred again to the Mayor’s assertion.

Republished from GroundUp

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live at 2020-04-08 10:36:17



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