WC DSD prioritises safety of 12 000 essential workers during COVID-19 Lockdown | Western Cape Government


WC DSD prioritises safety of 12 000 essential workers during COVID-19 Lockdown

10 July 2020

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has provided 12 000 essential workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez said: “We are doing our absolute best to deliver comfortable, well-designed personal protective equipment (PPE) that offers essential workers the most effective protection possible. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, essential workers are encouraged to wear (PPE) such as face masks and protective screens to prevent the transmission of the virus.”

Minister Fernandez added: “Social Workers, Child and Youth Care Workers, Carers and Volunteers are among the millions of essential workers putting their lives at risk on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To date, the department has reprioritised funding to ensure that all our services and facilities (both funded and unfunded) are equipped with the necessary resources, to prevent further spread of the COVID-19. The support provided to essential workers has been across 117 Old age-homes, 39 disabled homes, 16 shelters for victims of gender-based violence and 27 homeless shelters.

The nature of the support provided to ensure the safety of essential workers includes amongst others:

  • The provision of 120 000 face masks and 5 000 face shields to Old Age homes;
  • The provision of 50 litres of sanitisers to each old age home;
  • Specialized training for carers;
  • The facilitation of volunteers to sanitize residential facilities , particularly in poorer areas and hotspots; and
  • As far as feasible, the provision of a small number of relief staff to funded Old Age Homes facilities.
  • Additional funds for 117 Old Age Homes and Disabled Homes for PPE totaling R2,340 million
  • Further PPE is in process of being secured by National Private Companies specifically for Old Age Homes.

As a department, we have ensured that 774 social workers have been provided with PPE to protect them whilst they provide crucial services to the residents of the Western Cape.

Furthermore, we are looking for further support in our effort to help those who are vulnerable across our communities. If you are able to donate any Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) or offer other support, please contact service@westerncape.gov.za.

Minister Fernandez said: “I would like to thank all of the donors who have reached out to show kindness and caring for the vulnerable in society. There is always a great need in the social sector for this type of support, as many NGOs do not have the necessary funds to pay for the sustained implementation of Covid-19 protocols. These donations will go a long way to assist in ensuring that their charges are kept safe.”

Minister Fernandez continued: “Many businesses, NGOs, faith-based organisations and international government entities have made donations to the Western Cape Government as a whole, and in particular, to DSD. Donations have included personal protective equipment as well as decontamination services. These have been distributed among vulnerable groups, particularly in Covid-19 hotspot areas. The donations have supplemented the extra support given by the Department of Social Development to facilities, showcasing the difference a whole of society approach can make in addressing Covid-19.”

“I would like to encourage the public to frequently wash their hands, and to wear your masks correctly when leaving home. It is also remarkably important to clean all surfaces around you - whether it be at home or at work. Let’s do everything we can to ensure that we stop the further spread of the virus and protect those who are older and live with high-risk comorbidities,” concluded Minister Fernandez.

We urge the public to access credible information on https://www.westerncape.gov.za/department-of-health/coronavirus.

For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s Website below: