“We are trying to educate them on basic hygiene, while we are also trying to encourage them to go back home if they can,” said one of the helpers, Dr Martien Bac, on Tuesday.
Bac was one of a handful of residents who reaches out to the informal settlement on a weekly basis.
He said teams from the University of Pretoria and Cosup (community-oriented substance use programme) were also at the premises on Tuesday to attempt to put relief measures in place and convince people to go home.
“Meanwhile, we have also received a donation of 10 dustbins to place around the premises from the Evangelies Gereformeerde Kerk,” he said.
“This will enable them to keep the premises clean following our clean-up action we launched at the beginning of February.”
He said they also received garbage disposal bags to assist the residents of the informal settlement in keeping the area clean.
Bac said they planned to provide residents of Melgisedek with a bag of maize meal of around 50 kilograms to enable them to be able to cook for themselves.
“For this, any donations are welcome,” he said.
He said a health post was also put up on the premises this past week.
“This will be for the benefit of their health; however, during the lockdown period, it will not be in use,” he said.
Following the President’s announcement about the national lockdown on Monday evening, Tshwane metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said a primary target for the preparedness was an outbreak response team, health department personnel, emergency medical personnel, disaster management and any other persona assisting in outbreak response.
“Our efforts and preparedness must be seen and read in conjunction with standard precautionary measures.”
He said dissemination of information to the vulnerable (homeless and people in informal settlements) would be done through innovative ways, mainly focusing on health promotion and talks.
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“It will spearheaded by health workers that are also in the category of the essential services,” he said.
He said the metro was working on availing portable water through tankers to areas such as the Melgisedek informal settlement.
The dilapidated Melgisedek building, which is about 90 years old, has over the years become a thorn in the side for the Moot community.
About 300 to 400 people are believed to be living at the premises.
Drug use is also common among residents on the premises.
The site consists of a complex of buildings that were once used as student accommodation for TUT students.
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