Sixty graduates from the Chrysalis Academy in Constantia have been deployed at shopping centres and clinics in Khayelitsha in the fight against Covid-19.
The graduates will create awareness about the virus by encouraging the public to practise physical distancing, wear masks and wash and sanitise their hands regularly.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz made the announcement at the Isiviviana Centre, Town 2, Khayelitsha, last week, where Doctors Without Borders gave the graduates Covid-19 training.
The project was rolled out in partnership with the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF), the Chrysalis Academy, the Department of Health and Doctors Without Borders.
Mr Fritz said provincial government wanted to change community behaviour in Covid-19 hot spots with large populations and high transmission rates.
In March, Khayelitsha was named as the first township in the province with a Covid-19 case.
KDF chairman Ndithini Tyhido urged the community to take the virus very seriously as Khayelitsha was the largest township in the Western Cape.
Khayelitsha faces water and sanitation problems, especially in the informal settlements where hundreds of people use communal taps and are forced to share communal toilets.
Many households also still use buckets to relieve themselves and sewage runs in narrow alleys in parts of the community. There is also little to no ventilation in the shacks because they have no windows, and children play outside during the day to escape the heat and stuffi-
Mr Tyhido said there were people who seemed to have their own interpretation of the Covid-19 regulations. “There is no room to interpret, people should stick to the rules to save their lives,” he said.
Mr Fritz said it would be good to see young people playing their part, especially during Youth Month, but they would not be able to do much without the community’s support and would need to work with groups such as the KDF.
Positive Covid-10 cases in the country passed the 100 000 mark this week, with the Western Cape leading the provinces at over
52 000 positive cases.
Dr Lucille Meyer, CEO of Chrysalis Academy, said she was delighted with the Covid-19 training Doctors Without Borders had given the graduates who had spent three months training at the academy to prepare them to serve their communities.
The Chrysalis Academy is a provincial government youth development project that runs a three-month residential programme for 18 to 25-year-olds.
The graduates are then placed in different Expanded Public Works Programme internships across the Western Cape.