Category: Coronavirus

Press Release: More than 500 Water Tanks to be distributed to Western Cape informal settlements

Please note that we have added the section in bold, GRDM Communications

Press Release

For Immediate Release

1 April 2020

In the coming days approximately 500 water tanks will be distributed to various informal settlements across the Western Cape. Residents in these communities should be aware that their safety, health and basic rights are our top priority during this National crisis.

Based on the input provided by Municipalities, it was determined that 293 water tanks will be distributed to non-Metro districts, while the Metro will receive 244 of these tanks.

The non-Metro breakdown will see the Cape Winelands District receiving 75, the Garden Route District 86, Central Karoo District 50, Overberg District45 and the West Coast District 42.

A breakdown of the total number of water tanks per town in the Garden Route District, is as follows:

  • Hessequa: 5
  • Mossel Bay: 6
  • George: 20
  • Knysna: 20
  • Bitou: 15
  • Oudtshoorn: 10
  • Kannaland: 10

It is critical that good and effective hygiene, along with social distancing is practiced in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The provision of these water tanks will undoubtedly assist in this regard, particularly since access to water is one of the challenges that’s faced by informal settlements across the country.

The Western Cape Government will be monitoring the distribution of these water tanks closely, to ensure that they do arrive at the identified area and that it is benefitting the community. I call on community members to ensure that this infrastructure is protected and utilised to strengthen, improved hygiene.

In these difficult times which we are experiencing as a country, I am making a further call on the private sector, as part of active citizenry and who might be in a position to also assist with the provision of water tanks to play a role in this regard, as it will help us in the fight against COVID-19.

We have to #StopTheSpread

Media Enquiries:
Marcellino Martin
Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers
Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za
021 483 3397 (o)
082 721 3362 (m)
or
Mr. Nathan Adriaanse
Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 021 483-2868
Cell: 083 263 1720

Press Release: Role of Garden Route District Municipality’s Environmental Health Practitioners during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Press Release

For Immediate Release

1 April 2020

During the past few weeks, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP’s) of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) have showed courage in the face of adversity, each playing a vital role to prevent and minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the district. At the beginning of March 2020, the Municipal Health Section of the GRDM’s Community Services launched a massive awareness campaign to educate the general public, not only about the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus disease, but most importantly on ways on how to minimize or prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as other matters on how to protect themselves and others.

As part of the campaign, more frequent inspections are conducted at premises to ensure that basic principles such as hand hygiene (hand washing with water and soap for 20 seconds and hand sanitizing or disinfection), cough etiquette, cleaning, sanitizing and or disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and social distancing are applied.  Other practices which are also promoted include adequate ventilation, the use of personal protective equipment by food handlers, cleaning and disinfection of transport vehicles and pest control, to name a few.

Yesterday, EHP’s in collaboration with the local municipalities in the Garden Route District, South African Police Services (SAPS) and local businesses played a vital role in protecting our community during the South African Social Security (SASSA) grant payouts. This was done by ensuring that social distancing and hand hygiene (where applicable) was practiced.  Personal hygiene practices were also promoted, especially within the public transport sector. Communities of the Garden Route can be assured that the GRDM Environmental Health Partitions will be visible until all SASSA grants have been paid.

Ongoing collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Health where Environmental Health Practitioners play an important role in the active tracing of contacts, meaning those who have been in close contact with a confirmed / positive COVID-19 case in the region, or to find out exactly where a person contracted the virus.  During the contact tracing process, EHP’s do backward tracing, back to the person where the infected person first came in contact with the virus and potentially caught the virus from. EHP’s address the importance of self isolation, self quarantine and waste management as practices used to curb the further spread of the disease.  “We also reassure those individuals who have been identified as confirmed COVID-19 cases and their contacts that any information obtained during investigation will be regarded as confidential,” said Mr Haemish Herwels, GRDM Chief: Municipal Health Services-Hessequa.

As it is enforced that all South Africans participate in the nationwide 21-day lockdown to stop the spread of the COVID -19 pandemic, EHP’s in the Garden Route District are visible daily on streets – “knowing that the only way we will win the fight against COVID-19 is to implement a ‘Whole of Society Approach’, meaning we all have to play our role,“ said Mr Herwels.

As the GRDM we would also like to extend a word of gratitude to our EHP soldiers out in the field, who leave their loved-ones and families behind, to join forces in leading the fight against the COVID-19 disease.

Media Statement: Lockdown applies to common areas including that of complexes and estates too

Media  Statement

For Immediate Release

31 March 2020

Lockdown applies to common areas including that of complexes and estates too

People living in private residential complexes, estates, apartment block and other such private facilities MAY NOT USE COMMON AREAS DURING LOCKDOWN.

This is in response to queries that have arisen from notifications that may have emanated from estate management companies and homeowners associations regarding the right to move on their own properties, including common areas such as parks, play parks, open grass areas, etc.

Herewith confirmation by Garden Route Disaster Management Head Gerhard Otto today (31 March 2020) that during lockdown:

  1. State of emergency regulation supersedes all other rules, including that on ‘private property’.
  2. No common property in estates may be used during lockdown for public gatherings or recreational activities.
  3. Body corporate/homeowners associations have the authority to self-enforce.
  4. Body corporates/homeowners associations may be criminally culpable for not enforcing lock down.

ENDS

Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
E-mail: communications@gardenroute.gov.za

Update on the Coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde- communities can help us fight this virus

Media Release: 

As at 00h01 on 31 March 2020, the Western Cape had recorded 348 cases of COVID-19 across the province.

Sub District Breakdown (Cape Town metro):

Metro
Cases
Western 118
Southern 104
Northern 17
Tygerberg 23
Eastern 14
Klipfontein 7
Mitchells Plain 5
Khayelitsha 1
Total 289

Sub-district breakdown (Non-metro):

Non-Metro
District  Sub-district  Cases
Garden Route Bitou 4
Garden Route Knysna 6
Garden Route George 8
Garden Route Hessequa 3
Garden Route Mossel Bay 5
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 11
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 6
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 4
Cape Winelands Langeberg 1
Overberg Overstrand 5
Overberg Theewaterskloof 1
West Coast Saldanha Bay 1
West Coast Swartland 1
Total   56

Not allocated by address: 3

Sunday was the first day that we provided lower level data and some processing errors occurred in the way that data was allocated to various sub-districts- specifically Swellendam, Bitou and Knysna. These errors have been corrected in today’s data and we apologise for any inconvenience or concern caused.

We currently have 13 people in hospital, with three patients being treated in ICU.

We can also confirm today that 50 people who previously tested positive for COVID-19 in the City of Cape Town, have fully recovered from their symptoms. All of them have completed their 14 day period of self-isolation, and can now, in accordance with guidelines set out by the NICD, leave isolation. They are now in the same scenario as all other members of the public, in that they are required to obey the lockdown laws, but can leave their homes for necessities such as medical care, food, cash and to collect grants, only.

SASSA grants:

Since yesterday, we have seen long queues for the collection of social grants in supermarkets and shops. We are therefore calling on members of the public who are not collecting grants, to refrain from shopping over the next few days unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. This will help to minimize crowds and queues and ensure that grant recipients including the elderly and disabled, are not put at unnecessary risk.

Communities:

The Western Cape Government is working around the clock to ensure that we can mitigate the impact of this virus. Communities have a critically important role to play in protecting themselves and those most vulnerable from COVID-19 infection. By ensuring that we stay inside, and limit contact with other people when it is necessary to go out, we will be able to flatten the curve of infections and ensure our health services are not overwhelmed. This will allow us to ensure that those who are sick, are able to receive the care they need.

It came to our attention today that the Bo-Kaap community has established their own COVID-19 response team. This team, together with proactive and open family of a patient, was able to alert the community to a positive test in a way that was informative, and did not stigmatise the illness. Their efforts could also support us to trace close contacts and ensure they self-isolate. This kind of response team can only work if the messaging is responsible, caring and shared on a voluntary basis, and we would like to thank them for this.

We also call on communities to support our #ThankYouWC campaign aimed at celebrating those essential service workers, from the doctors and nurses at the frontline of our response, to the supermarket staff, farmworkers, law enforcement and all of the other men and women who go to work every day to ensure we are able to get through this pandemic. We thank you for your service.

Residents are asked to hang a flag or a colourful piece of cloth from their doors and windows as a show of support and solidarity in neighbourhoods.

Important numbers

Coronavirus national hotline: 0800 029 999

Coronavirus provincial hotline: 021 928 4102

To report crime or transgressions of the lockdown regulations: 10111

Reporting line for instances of abuse by police members: 073 890 1269

Reporting line for instances of abuse by the military: 012 676 3800 or email intake@milombud.org

Western Cape Police Ombudsman (complaints related to policing): Ombudsman@wcpo.gov.za

LOCKDOWN: Transport of essential services workers

MEDIA RELEASE BY BONGINKOSI MADIKIZELA

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS

 29 March 2020

LOCKDOWN: Transport of essential services workers

Since the Covid-19 lockdown commenced last week, we have received numerous reports of essential services workers, including healthcare and retail staff, being stranded and unable to get to work.  Disturbingly, we have also received reports of minibus taxi operators refusing to allow their usual passengers to use alternative transport and, in some cases, violently attacking alternative means of transport for essential services workers. This is unacceptable and is happening despite our commitment to work together to address the challenges of the lockdown.

Many of the essential services workers that have been left stranded would ordinarily have used minibus taxis.  Fewer minibus taxis are operating than normal, with some operators being unwilling to do so due to the new restrictions placed on their operating capacity by the public transport lockdown regulations. Minibus taxis are now only permitted to carry 8 people, rather than the usual 16 (i.e. 50% capacity). During the lockdown, all public transport operators are restricted to two daily operating slots: from 05:00 (5 am) to 09:00 (9 am), and from 16:00 (4 pm) to 20:00 (8 pm).

It goes without saying that it is critically important for essential services workers to be able to get to work at the time they are needed.  This is especially important in the healthcare sector, who are at the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19.

At this difficult time, we implore the minibus taxi industry to continue transporting essential workers, where possible, and to stop intimidating other transport providers or passengers looking for alternative means of getting to work.  We understand and are sympathetic to the challenges that the capacity restrictions impose on the industry, and would welcome immediate dialogue to develop a way forward.

At the same time, my Department has requested that Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) increase its services to provide an immediate alternative for those left stranded.  We have also urgently requested that hospitals and other essential services provide us with the details of their stranded employees so that we can develop an appropriate response, working with GABS and the minibus taxi industry.

We all need to pull together at this difficult time to ensure that our essential services workers can get to where they need to go.  This is critical for the broader fight against Covid-19.

To this end, we urge all essential service employers who are experiencing problems to contact the Department on HOD.TransportPublicWorks@westerncape.gov.za, stating the nature of their transport challenge. Please provide specific details, including number of people that need to be transported, from where, to where, at what time.

It has always been my intention to work with the minibus taxi industry to find the best responses to the challenges to the Covid-19 pandemic and the operating challenges that have arisen during the lockdown. However, the events of the last few days has shown this is not possible. The Department of Transport and Public Works is actively engaging to find solutions to the problems that face the citizens of the Western Cape. We appeal to the minibus taxi industry not to interfere with these arrangements.

Media Queries:              

Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka

Spokesperson for Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela

Tel: 021 483 8067

Cell: 082 953 0026

Email: Ntomboxolo.Makoba-Somdaka@westerncape.gov.za

Garden Route Business Impact and Continuity Survey March 2020

Recently our lives and specifically our businesses have been affected and disrupted by droughts, crime, energy issues / load shedding and now the Corona COVID -19 virus.

We wish to gather information from you as business owners and leaders as to the impact the disruptions are having on your business. Hence the survey is designed to gather a high-level insight into the impact on businesses and measures taken to ensure sustainable business operations. Read more…

Please click on the link below to complete the survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BusinessImpactSurveyMar2020

The survey consists of 12 questions and should not take you more than 10 minutes to complete.

Press Release: Temporary closure of all Garden Route District Municipality Resorts

Press Release

For Immediate Release

23 March 2020

After careful consideration, and under the advisement of public health experts regarding the current risk of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) spread, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has decided to temporarily close all its resorts, namely: Calitzdorp Spa, De Hoek Mountain Resort, Swartvlei Caravan Park and Victoria Bay Caravan Park. This will be effective from Tuesday, 24 March 2020 until further notice.

The District has made this decision so as to safeguard the health and safety of guests, resort employees and community members.

GRDM looks forward to re-opening at the earliest opportunity and will keep the public informed when the resorts will re-open again.

ENDS

Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
E-mail: communications@gardenroute.gov.za

COVID-19 Health and Hygiene Awareness Sessions in the greater Oudtshoorn and Kannaland area

As part of the district-wide intervention to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19, also called Coronavirus, personal hygiene and coronavirus awareness sessions were held in the greater Oudtshoorn and Kannaland areas.

People were informed about the following aspects:

  • What the coronavirus is;
  • How the virus is spread;
  • Symptoms;
  • Treatment;
  • Prevention;
  • Measures that should be in place; as well as
  • The importance of hand washing.

The awareness campaign was rolled-out in the form of one-on-one sessions, poster and pamphlet distribution and group sessions.  During the sessions, emphasis was placed on proper hand wash techniques and the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. The following premises and audiences were reached:

  • Municipalities;
  • Libraries;
  • Community Halls;
  • Hospitals;
  • Clinics;
  • Schools;
  • Crèche’s;
  • Barbers’ and Hairdressers;
  • Food Premises;
  • Police Stations and Courts;
  • Churches;
  • Resorts;
  • Old age homes; and
  • Public Facilities.

Ongoing sessions and outreaches programmes are schedule for weeks to follow.

GRDM Municipal Health Services conducts Corona COVID-19 awareness at St Pauls Primary School

According to Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996,  “Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being and to have the environment protected through reasonable legislative measures”.

In a quest to join forces with the rest of South Africa and to curb the rapid spread of the COVID-19, also called Coronavirus by many, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently embarked on a district-wide intervention by rolling-out a personal hygiene and coronavirus awareness campaign.

To start off the campaign, EHPs of the George office visited the St. Paul’s Primary School in George, where they explained the importance of good hygiene practices to learners.  In a very simplified way, officials engaged with children about COVID-19, focusing on what the disease is; the symptoms; how the virus spreads and methods to prevent the virus.  A practical illustration on proper hand-wash techniques was demonstrated.  This kept learners attentive from beginning to end.

By the end of the session, the Executive Manager of Community Service, Mr Clive Africa thanked the Principal, Mr Baron Calvet for availing learners and teachers to attend the session.  Mr Africa extended a special word of gratitude to the caretakers of the school for keeping the learners bathrooms, which he visited unexpectedly, in such a clean condition.

Through this campaign, the GRDM acknowledges the power of children in helping to educate and inform parents, families and members of the community.  More sessions are underway at primary schools all over the district.

The Portfolio Chairperson of Community Services, Councillor Khayalethu Lose in his address encouraged learners to wash their hands regularly and to live responsibly in order to prevent the virus from spreading.

Mr Clive Africa – Executive Manager of Community Services inspired learners to apply everything they have learned at home.

Learners were very eager and enthusiastic to take part in the discussions.

Garden Route Skills Summit cancelled due to growing concerns over COVID-19 VIRUS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 March 2020
Garden Route Skills Summit cancelled due to growing concerns over COVID-19 VIRUS

George – 15 March 2020. After carefull consultation between the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Cllr Memory Booysen and GRDM Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, a decision has been made to cancel the Garden Route Skills Summit which was planned for 19-20 March 2020 in Knysna.

“Following an increase of the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa and in particular, the Western Cape, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global pandemic. We are disappointed that we are unable to hold such a Summit that was geared towards economic growth and skills development, but we know it is the right decision based on the information we have today,” said Monde Stratu, GRDM Municipal Manager.

GRDM will continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve. As a result, the District municipality is now directing that all its employees also stop traveling with immediate effect. This, however, does not include our Roads Services employees who travel while servicing Provincial Roads.