STATEMENT ON THE USE OF CALA BnB AS A QUARANTINE & ISOLATION FACILITY

I have directed provincial Departments of Health and public Works to find an alternative accommodation for a group of people that were to be accommodated at the Mioca BnB in Cala. The booking at Mioca BnB has since been cancelled by the provincial government.

This decision is a proper action by government in order to remove any amount of doubt in the prudence of the work government is doing to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the province.

The work we are doing includes accommodating a number of people that will require decent and suitable accommodation for both quarantine and self-isolation during this pandemic.

I want to appreciate the willingness of the owners of Mioca BnB to accommodate people that were to be accommodate at their facility for this purpose when some accommodation facilities in the area and other parts of the province were reportedly not willing to accommodate people that needed accommodation for quarantine and isolation.

The MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Mrs Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe assured me that she does not own the BnB at issue, and that the ownership of this business enterprise by her daughter was declared as required.

Given the fact that the procurement of this BnB was not done by the Departments led by MEC Tikana-Gxothiwe, the fact that she does not own this business and that she was not involved directly or indirectly in the procurement process of this facility, the allegations of corruption and nepotism peddled by some individuals on social media have not been substantiated.

While any person has a right to question processes and decisions of government, we must guard against making unfounded and baseless accusations against other people with no proof.

We are seeing a worrying behavior in the province where some owners of BnBs refuse to accommodate people for quarantine and isolation. We are concerned that communities neighboring these BnBs are protesting the accommodation of individuals for quarantine and isolation in these facilities.

There have been no valid reasons presented by those wanting to prevent accommodation of individuals for quarantine and isolation at these facilities. This makes to regard this is an attempt to stigmatize the people accommodated for quarantine and isolation.

As part of our COVID19 containment and management plan, we have identified about 127 accommodation facilities such as hospital facilities, nurses homes, nature reserves, hotels, BnBs, to be used for accommodation of people that need both quarantine and isolation during this pandemic. This number excludes those that will need hospitalization for treatment and care.

These facilities were identified by government officials at the district level, some availed by property owners in the private sector and all of these properties were assessed for suitability by the provincial government.

These facilities are in all the districts, and metropolitan municipal areas of the province. These properties include properties owned by the state and those owned by private companies. We appreciate the willingness of private companies to avail their properties for quarantine and isolation of people who might not be able to self-isolate in their homes.

We must all accept that not every person who will need to be quarantined and those that have to be isolated for 14 days will be able to do so in their homes. We have a responsibility to ensure that we provide decent and suitable accommodation for any one we quarantine and isolate during this pandemic.

Everything done by government is and must continue to be according laws and regulations aimed at preventing wrong, irregular and corrupt practices. We will continue making sure that everything we do is above board.

Ends…

NB: This statement must be attributed to the Premier of the Eastern Cape Province, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane.

For media queries, please contact: Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha on 0829558833.

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