Yesterday, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, held a prayer service to remember those whose lives were taken by COVID-19 and to celebrate the extensive number of recoveries in Khayelitsha. The prayer service further reflected on the successful partnerships which contributed towards flattening the curve.
The ceremony was joined by the Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF), Mr Ndithini Tyhido, the COVID-19 steering committee co-chairs Speaker Masizole Mnqasela and Member of Parliament, Richard Dyantyi, and numerous local pastors. Please see photos attached.
Minister Fritz said, “Last night, we thanked the many stakeholders who have assisted the Western Cape Government by playing and continue to play an important role in flattening the curve in Khayelitsha. These stakeholders include the KDF, COVID-19 Steercom, Site B SAPS, Khayelitsha Day Hospital and numerous community leaders and local councilors. Thank you to all of you.”
The prayer service was a first for Khayelitsha as it was simultaneously aired live on Zibonele FM, Facebook live, Zoom and at five sites including SAPS Site B, the Methodist Church in Site B and the Site B training center.
Minister Fritz said, “Over the last few months we’ve been through so much. Our economy has suffered and some of us have lost employment. We have had to isolate ourselves which has had a significant impact on the psychological wellbeing of many residents. Many of us have lost loved ones be they old friends, parents, siblings or family members. In Khayelitsha, we have lost nurses, police, transport officers and many others who served on the frontline, selflessly ensuring that we get through the pandemic. It is important that we remember and mourn their loss.”
Minister Fritz continued, “At the same we’ve changed the way we live and even how we say hello. We have found new ways of connecting and working, ways that will continue to impact how we conduct our day to day lives. We’ve come through it stronger. Even though we’ve been alone, we’ve pulled together.”
As of 1pm Sunday, 20 September 2020, Khayelitsha had:
• 8360 cases; and
• 7865 recoveries.
The collaborative efforts of government and civil society have seen the total number of cases per day in Khayelitsha decrease from 240 at its peak on 18 May to just 1 case on Saturday 26 September.
Minister Fritz said, “As a Department we have worked closely with the other Departments at each level of government as well as civil society and particularly, the KDF. As such, we have pioneered numerous initiatives aimed at flattening the curve and stopping the spread of COVID-19. In particular, my Department has deployed both Chrysalis graduates and Neighbourhood Watch volunteers to places of gatherings such as malls and hospitals to raise awareness of COVID-19 and prevent transmission by encouraging behavioural change in areas such as sanitizing hands and wearing masks.”
Minister Fritz continued, “Additionally, we have compiled a comprehensive behavioural change campaign which has included weekly radio shows challenging stigmatization, encouraging the use of quarantine and isolation and sharing recovery stories. We utilised targeted social media to amplify the five golden rules of hygiene which was amplified further on billboards, posters, community newspapers and taxi interior.”
Minister Fritz continued further, “I want to reiterate that despite moving to alert level 1, we need to continue washing our hands, wearing our masks properly and keeping a 1.5 m distance. Let’s keep thinking of those who are most vulnerable and working to keep them safe. Let’s make sure our children can carry on learning and pursuing their dreams. Let’s get out there, support local business, get back to work and grow our economy and let’s do it all safely.”
Source: Government of South Africa