Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs chairperson Faith Muthambi on Friday applauded the Cape Town, Johannesburg and eThekwini metropolitan municipalities for sharing their plans to combat the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in their cities, as well as their recovery plans.
Three of South Africa’s biggest metros appeared before the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Portfolio Committee to share their Covid-19 response plans – eThekwini and Johannesburg were represented by their respective mayors Mxolisi Kaunda and Geoff Makhubo, while Councillor Zahid Badroodien represented the City of Cape Town.
Makhubo did warn that an extended lockdown may lead to a possible increase in social unrest linked to loss of income, food provision and service delivery.
Muthambi said the committee welcomed the cities’ efforts to provide shelter and food to homeless people, as well plans to sanitise public spaces, such as taxi ranks and bus stations.
However, committee members also appealed to the metros to ensure aggressive monitoring in densely populated areas where physiacal distancing was difficult.
The committee also emphasised the importance of transparency and openness in the spending of Covid-19 emergency funds, saying the public should be informed what the money is being spent on.
“We are going to follow up on these cities’ response plans to the virus. They are the epicentres of the virus outbreak and we want to ensure their plans to contribute to curbing the spread of the virus do succeed. This is a health crisis as well as an economic crisis,” Muthambi said.