The Covid-19 shelter that was erected at the entrance to Lerato Park, Kimberley, was demolished this week following outrage by community members.
THE COVID-19 shelter that was erected at the entrance to Lerato Park, Kimberley, in September was demolished this week following outrage by community members.
The community members accused the Northern Cape provincial government of “blatant disrespect” for its citizens after learning of the existence of the “Covid-19 shelter for the poor”.
They slammed the structure as “a community prison” and a “pigsty”, which they say is “meant to suffocate helpless people who are already expected to be suffering from shortness of breath due to Covid-19”.
The shelter was supposed to be used as a temporary isolation structure for poor and overcrowded families.
The structure had only two small windows and a door in the front for ventilation and the walls, as well as the flat roof, were reportedly made of hardboard and plastered with cement.
The community members said the erection of the structure was a “cheap electioneering tactic to score votes from the poor”.
They added that the erection of the shelter was “fruitless and wasteful expenditure” on the part of the provincial government.
The Sol Plaatje Municipality had confirmed that the shelter was part of a programme sponsored by the Northern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta).
Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said the structure would form part of the temporary residential units for overcrowded families as part of the Covid-19 densification programme.
He said the structures were set to be erected in the Lerato Park 200, Lethabo Park, Marikana/Waterloo and Riemvasmaak/Golf Course areas in the Sol Plaatje municipal area.
Coghsta said the structure in Lerato Park wass merely a “show house” for the temporary residential units.
The department distanced itself from the erection of the structure.
Coghsta spokesperson Babalwa Mzambo said the structure was demolished because it was commissioned without Coghsta’s approval.
According to Mzambo, R70 885 100 was allocated for the entire project.
“Various companies were appointed for projects in Kimberley, Kuruman and Postmasburg,” Mzambo said.
She added that Coghsta did not pay for the erected structure and that no decision has yet been taken about constructing further shelters.
She promised that the department would advise accordingly regarding the project in due time.