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STATEMENT BY EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF CAPE TOWN, ALDERMAN DAN PLATO

City of Cape Town welcomes message from South African President and appoints Coronavirus Task Team

Following South African President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa’s message to the nation last night, I called an urgent meeting with the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee and Executive Management team this morning to discuss the City’s approach to managing issues concerning the Coronavirus.

We welcome the announcement made by the President and will be following the instructions issued and put measures in place to give meaning to those instructions. These measures include an immediate travel ban for all staff and councillors – both local and international, and we have advised staff to adhere to all health and personal hygiene recommendations to limit the spread of the virus.

I have appointed a Coronavirus task team who will meet daily to assess the situation and advise of any additional measures that need to be put in place.

Two weeks ago we initiated our own Disaster Operations Coordinating Committee (DOC), with the support of Disaster Risk Management (DRM). This coordinating committee is meeting weekly to ensure the coordination of the various functions assigned to the City by legislation, and is aligned with Provincial Government through their Joint Operations Committee (JOC).

This morning we have taken a decision to cancel all portfolio, sub-council, and ward committee meetings until further notice. We will continue to assess the situation and update this instruction as needed. We will be engaging with the Speaker, Dirk Smit and all political parties about how to deal with important matters such as the city’s budget, which is set to be tabled at the council meeting later this month.

We will need to adjust our approach to public participation processes for the immediate future as we will not be able to have public meetings, and we are encouraging residents to please email or hand in written submissions on matters that require public participation, and in general to use email, website and telephone to engage the Council, rather than in person.

I am working closely with the Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde. Key Mayoral Committee Members, including Dr Zahid Badroodien, who is responsible for the Health portfolio and Alderman JP Smith, responsible for Safety and Security are meeting with the Western Cape Government on a daily basis to ensure city services and processes are aligned with what is required.

I want to encourage our residents to please pay attention to official announcements, and follow the instructions being made – by working together we can limit the spread of this virus.

Detailed advisories on public contact with the City are currently being drafted.

Further announcements and advisories will be made in due course.