Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health
Dr Zahid Badroodien serves as the Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health in the City of Cape Town. He is tasked with political oversight over the following departments; City Health, Recreation and Parks, Libraries and Information Services as well as Social Development/Early Childhood Development.
He is passionate about the development of young people and especially people in disadvantaged communities. He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree from Stellenbosch University and a certificate in ‘Challenges in Global Health’ from Utrecht University.
Dr Badroodien was appointed Publicity Ambassador for the International Peace Youth Group and as a Youth Ambassador for the International Kindness Campaign by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development.
He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health at the University of Edinburgh. His involvement in the community services sectors is indicative of his pro-community approach.
The City of Cape Town recorded its first COVID-19 case on the 11 March 2020. The arrival of the disease in Cape Town presented an unprecedented situation and thus required a novel, comprehensive, organisation wide response.
We are a city that spans 2 461km2 and have a population of 4,3million people that roughly equates to 1,4million households.
South Africa implements lockdown procedures on a moving scale that is determined by the risk factor. The lockdown measures range from limiting the number of people gathering inside and outside as well as the closure of all non-essential businesses at a certain time. These are in addition to a number of other regulations that have not only shut our city’s doors to the world but has had real impacts on the lives and livelihoods of all our residents in the City of Cape Town.
It was necessary for us as a city, guided by national and provincial guidelines, to act quickly and in the best interest of our residents with the view to protect our economy, our ability to deliver basic services and to increase our service provision to vulnerable communities.
Our city is now focussed on the vaccination programme. Vaccine supply and vaccine hesitancy remain the two major concerns relating to the success of the vaccine programme. Vaccine administration capacity has been scaled up considerably in the months of May and June 2021, with a minimum target of 120 000 doses a week delivered through 70 sites in Cape Town.
The city has been pushed and our ability to cope with acute and chronic stresses has been tested. We have seen that in order to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and any future pandemic the following aspects are key for any local authorities to consider in order to protect services and to prevent as well as fight potential pandemics in the future:
1. Development of resilient practices and policies,
2. Modernisation and utilisation of existing as well as updated datasets,
3. Flexible and agile work teams focused on coordination and implementation of basic and relief services
4. Enhanced strategic communications focusing on the protection of lives and livelihoods
5. Public participation and shared understanding of the threats and shocks faced
Local governments must be responsive and able to adjust quickly and appropriately to the specific nature of any threat. This is done through co-ordinated interventions on both a political and administrative level. The City of Cape Town is prepared to do just that.