Approximately 82 EPWP workers have been employed by subcouncils in Area South as new community ambassadors to help drive COVID-19 education and awareness initiatives in the local central business districts (CBDs). The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management recently joined the first 22 members of the community ambassadors team in Mitchells Plain CBD to observe the rollout of the initiative at the Town Centre.
The Mitchells Plain Town Centre is the CBD of Subcouncil 12, which includes the Mitchells Plain City Improvement District, vibrant public transport interchange and a MyCiTi Bus Station.
Given that this region attracts lots of foot traffic, as the area consists of formal businesses, as well as hundreds of smaller businesses and approximately 690 permitted informal traders, there has been a challenge with ensuring that occupational health and safety regulations are enforced and adhered to.
In addition to the 490 EPWP workers currently undergoing induction to assist Environmental Health Practitioners, the City saw the need to also deploy community ambassadors to try and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in areas, including Mitchells Plain.
As such, a total of 22 community ambassadors have been employed and thereafter, 20 community ambassadors will be employed in the new financial year. The community ambassadors reside in areas of Mitchells Plain which is intrinsic to their role of understanding the dynamics in the area.
They aim to support the existing efforts by agencies, such as SAPS, City’s Law Enforcement, City’s Transport Security officers and the security of the CID, to ensure education and awareness communication around social distancing and sanitising. The community ambassadors, in conjunction with the Area Economic Development’s Compliance Officers, will also assist with checking the informal trading permits and ensuring there is no overtrading of bays.
Other key activities include patrolling the Town Centre and liaising with law enforcement agencies as well as reporting on service delivery complaints in the Mitchells Plain Town Centre. The community ambassadors will assist with line control and crowd control at the businesses by promoting social distancing and ensuring that good hygiene practices are adhered to.
The Urban Management Directorate is also embarking on Community-Based Teams in all of its areas.
Urban Management’s Area South has similarly expanded community ambassadors to the following areas to assist with the foot patrols in our neighbourhoods as additional support to our City Health Services in the COVID-19 education and awareness drives:
- 25 community ambassadors in Subcouncil 18 (Grassy Park, Lotus River, Lavender Hill, Seawinds, the Heights and Ottery)
- 15 community ambassadors in Subcouncil 19 (Masiphumelele and Ocean View)
- 20 community ambassadors in Subcouncil 13 (Philippi East)
As the City’s Urban Management Directorate, we are endeavouring to educate our communities through these awareness drives, about coronavirus- how it is spread and what each one of us can do to help reduce the spread and protect ourselves and each other.
We encourage everyone to please wear their masks when they leave home, as well as businesses and informal traders to ensure they adhere to the necessary measures, such as having hand sanitisers and social distancing.
Through this citizenry approach and sharing this knowledge, we encourage residents and businesses to work with the City so that we can together help reduce the spread of COVID-19.