Media Release: GRDM appoints unemployed youth to relieve healthcare professionals at vaccination sites
For Immediate Release
1 September 2021
Since the COVID-19 Vaccination Program was launched, more than 60 000 Garden Routers have already been vaccinated. These include Health Care Workers, residents and staff at Old Age Homes educators, and public members at various community vaccination sites.
However, being a double dose, the Pfizer vaccine adds an extra administrative challenge at vaccination sites, as people have to go through the administrative process twice. Currently, the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) registration portal is open for persons older than 18 years, and the influx of people at the identified sites is causing extra pressure on healthcare professionals.
The President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, stated in his presidential address on 11 July 2021, that the quantities of imported and locally produced vaccines will double and even triple soon.
More vaccines will result in more vaccination sites and a need for additional administrative personnel. For this reason and due to a request received from the Provincial Department of Health, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently appointed unemployed youth to assist nurses at the vaccination sites. The project is an initiative of the Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, and is managed by the GRDM Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
Administrative Assistants appointed at the various sites within the Garden Route district, to relieve healthcare professionals with their administrative duties.
These administrative assistants are placed at the following sites: Alma CDC, Mossel Bay Town Hall, D’Almeida Hall, Wolwedans Community Hall, Groot Brak, Knysna CDC, Knysna Town Hall, Knysna Town Hall, Plett Town Clinic, Kwanokuthula CDC, Thembalethu CDC, Pacaltsdorp Clinic, George Hospital, George Central Clinic, Harry Comay Hospital, Riversdale Civic Centrum, Riversdale Civic Centrum, Still Bay Civic Centre, Toekomsrust Community Hall and Toekomsrust Community Hall. They effectively started with their duties on 1 August 2021. and focus on the administrative responsibilities to relieve nurses to focus primarily on their core function.
According to Richard Dyantyi, EPWP Manager at GRDM, the team was appointed to serve a period of six months until the end of January 2021. He said: “We are reviewing the impact of the project monthly to determine the effectiveness of this intervention. Adding to this he said: “Based on the impact of the intervention, we will consider the expansion of the initiative to other areas as advised by the Provincial Department of Health”. The initiative was influenced by the high unemployment rate of 34, 4% as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, all administrative assistants were unemployed, reside in the Garden Route district, have matric, and have basic computer literacy skills – the ideal characteristics of administrators needed to implement this programme”.
“While relieving our healthcare professionals with their workload, we simultaneously create employment for our youth, who did not have the basic means of income,” Mayor Booysen said. “This is what we as a District Municipality aims to do, is to put bread on the table for our vulnerable – to maintain our vision by ensuring inclusiveness of all the people we serve,” he concluded.
Lonwabo Luthango from the GRDM Disaster Management Centre is appointed to act as project manager of this initiative and to oversee the administration of the appointments.
Feature Image: Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen (middle), with Charlene Magdalene Barnardo (left) and Lyzette Elzane Stroebel (right) at the Knysna Town Hall vaccination site.