NEWS & ANALYSIS

Covid-19: Do more to help homeless – COSATU

Federation calls on municipalities across country to adopt a common-sense approach to take care of vulnerable

COSATU is calling on government and civil society to do more to help the homeless and vulnerable during this Covid-19 outbreak

18 March 2020

The Congress of South African Trade Unions calls on government at all levels to open emergency shelters and provide adequate resources to the most vulnerable in our society during this Covid-19 outbreak. The Federation is concerned that many homeless people and poor families are left exposed to the elements during this period because of a lack of resources.

We are concerned because the problem of homelessness and drug addiction has escalated recently in many of our urban areas. We hope that measures are taken to provide for them in order to stop the spread of the virus.

We call on municipalities across the country to adopt a common-sense approach to take care of the homeless and the vulnerable during this period. They need to provide the much-needed shelter and sanitation required to combat the spread of the corona virus.

As common practice, persons directly exposed to the virus are advised to undergo a process of self-quarantine for 14 days. How do we expect the homeless and vulnerable persons in overcrowded informal settlements to self-quarantine, without an intervention from the government. The government at all levels must intervene and provide this necessary protection to the most vulnerable in our society.   

We also, encourage our business and our members to donate and contribute the necessary amenities to homeless shelters, churches and civil society organisations that take care of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 18 March 2020