As part of the ongoing national response measures to contain and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, the Minister of Social Development – Ms Lindiwe Zulu, will on Sunday, 24 May 2020 conduct a monitoring visit to a temporary shelter for persons living on the streets and a Child and Youth Care Centre in Middelburg, Mpumalanga Province.
The purpose of Minister Zulu’s visit to the service points is to assess the implementation of the Department’s response on COVID-19 and to ensure compliance with the lockdown regulations.
In response to the declaration of the state of national disaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 15 March 2020, the Department of Social Development is working jointly with municipalities across the country to provide temporary shelters for persons living on the streets (homeless).
This is part of a wider national effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 amongst this particularly vulnerable and high-risk group. To date, the Department has set up 163 shelters that provide temporary accommodation, meals, psychosocial support, healthcare services and other basic necessities.
There are currently over 14 000 homeless persons receiving these services in various shelters throughout the country. The Middelburg shelter renders services to 63 persons living on the streets, comprising 5 females and 58 males.
All the shelters are expected to comply with the lockdown regulations such as prevention and infection control measures, screening, maintenance of strict hygiene standards and social distancing guidelines to limit the spread of the virus.
The second leg of the Minister’s visit will take place at Middelburg Care Centre which renders care and support services to children and youth in need of care. Currently, the centre has 108 children. As part of the visit, Minister Zulu will hand over personal protective equipment to help protect essential workers on the frontlines of the Department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Government of South Africa