I conducted a site visit at Athlone Stadium to inspect its state of preparedness as the first drive-through and walk-through mass vaccination site in the Western Cape.

I can now confirm that the walk-through site will be opening to the public on 16 August, while the drive-through facility will go live two weeks thereafter.

The stadium is managed by the Strategic Assets Department within my portfolio. The use of the site for such an important initiative demonstrates the resilience of the department in responding to rapid shocks and trends that come our way.

We previously showed this when, during the pandemic, Good Hope Centre was used as a medical storage facility, Cape Town Stadium as a repatriation site for foreign tourists, and Athlone Stadium as a fatalities management site.

The activation of this site comes at a critical stage as the country ramps up the vaccine rollout.

My department, in partnership with others at the City and Western Cape Government, have worked together to make sure that aspects such as connectivity, vaccine storage, social distancing protocols, furniture, sanitisation facilities, fire and evacuation detail, and more are ready for action.

And I am again highly impressed with the level of detail and care that has gone into preparing the stadium which has traditionally been used for sporting and other social events.

The site will have 80 stations at the walk-through facility and five lanes at the drive-through and once fully operational, will be able to administer up to 7000 vaccine shots a day.

Now the site will be handed over to the Western Cape Government – which has the mandate for overall coordination – for the operational phase.

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