Category: <span>Coronavirus</span>

News Release:  COVID-19 Business Safety Kits rolled out in the Garden Route District

News Release:  COVID-19 Business Safety Kits rolled out in the Garden Route District 

For Immediate Release

11 December 2020

The Garden Route District Municipality recently received a total of 1000 COVID-19 business safety kits from the Western Cape Provincial Government (WCG), Department of Economic Development and Tourism. These are already being distributed to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and informal traders in the Garden Route district.

This intervention by the WCG is primarily geared towards supporting businesses, to safeguard jobs and the economy during the present COVID-19 crisis.  Furthermore, to guide and assist businesses to implement the necessary safety and health protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and to protect clientele.

The COVID-19 business safety kit has been designed to enable SMMEs and informal traders to operate their business safely and responsibly, with each kit containing:

  • two bottles of alcohol-based sanitizer – for hands and surfaces;
  • ten (10) re-usable cloth face masks;
  • information posters on preparing and staying safe before work, how to be safe at work and while taking breaks. It also contains information on what to do when returning home from work, and leaflets for customers on shopping safely.

These COVID-19 business safety kits are currently being distributed to small business and informal traders identified by the local municipalities in hotspot areas across the district. The process is managed by the Local Economic Development Managers of the respective municipalities. All recipients of these safety kits will sign a register upon receipt for record and audit purposes. The distribution process will be completed by middle December.

The project aims to reduce the current rate of community-related infection spreading, assisting and enabling businesses to stay open and also illustrate how COVID-19 can be managed responsibly, allowing businesses to operate and for more businesses to open.

In addition to the COVID-19 business safety kits project, the Western Cape Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism also provide other workplace safety support and resources with regards to preparing the workplace; preventing infections and managing workplace infections.

MEDIA RELEASE: ADHERENCE TO ALL HEALTH PROTOCOLS IS CRITICAL IN COMBATTING COVID

ADHERENCE TO ALL HEALTH PROTOCOLS IS CRITICAL IN COMBATTING COVID

7 December 2020

It is very important that every single person in the Garden Route District (GRD) either starts or continues to observe and adhere to all covid protocols. This is the only way we would be able to bring a speedy halt to the current surge in terms of the high infection rate in the area. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who are adhering to the health protocols and also thank our frontline staff for their continued commitment in fighting against the virus.

As at Sunday, 6 December 2020, the GRD had 18 406 cases, of which 13 765 recovered, meaning there are currently 4 078 active cases in the area. Compared to a week earlier, on 29 November 2020, the GRD had 16 197 cases with 12 025 recoveries and 3675 active cases.

As the lead for the Western Cape Government (WCG) in the GRD, I’m deeply concerned with these statistics. Over the coming days, I intend engaging the leadership in the GRD Municipality, Faith Based and other relevant organisations, as well as community leaders, as we have to as a collective address the current surge in the area.

It is deeply worrying to note that there are still those who do not see the need to wear a mask when they’re outside of their homes. We can avoid a situation where stricter measures are enforced if we actively work together to combat the spread of the virus.

We might sound like a stuck record, but must urge all resident in the GRD to wear a mask, sanitise or wash their hands, keep a safe distance of over 1,5m in social settings and wherever possible, avoid large gatherings, particularly in small spaces where social distancing might be a challenge.

From a health perspective our hospitals do have the required equipment and personnel to ensure that patients are assisted, as additional resources have been made available.

Let’s do our bit to vigorously fight against the spread of the virus.

Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 3397 (o) / 082 721 3362 (m)

Or

Nathan Adriaanse

Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations

Tell: 021 483 2868 / Mobile: 083 2631720

Email: Nathan.Adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za

National Minister of Health visiting the Garden Route District

Pictured above, (fltr): National Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize; Executive Mayor for Garden Route District Municipality, Alderman Memory Booysen; Western Cape Government MEC for Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo; and Western Cape Government MEC for Human Settlements, Mr Tertuis Simmers.

The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is currently visiting the Garden Route District Municipality to touch base with all the role players involved in the COVID-19 response of the Garden Route District.

The program of the day includes feedback about the health system recovery; resurgence strategy; mayoral feedback; feedback to the JOC; and hotspot strategies.

The visit will end with a site visit to the George regional hospital and the Harry Comay hospital.

News Release: Garden Route DM loses Councillor to COVID-19

3 December 2020
News Release
For immediate release

Garden Route DM loses Councillor to COVID-19

It is with great sadness that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) announces the passing of Councillor Putco Mphuthumi Mapitiza, an ANC (African National Congress) Councillor from Plettenberg Bay who has succumbed to COVID-19.

The late Councillor Mapitiza was directly elected as councillor to serve on the Garden Route District Municipal Council. He also served on numerous committees, including the Property and Asset Management Committee, the Workplace and Restructuring Committee and the Strategic Services Committee.  Mapitiza is described by councillors who worked alongside him as a true leader; an outstanding servant of the people; a prolific commissar and a revolutionary who loved life.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, recalled meeting the late Putco Mapitiza in 1989 while participating in boxing, whereafter they became inspiring partners, practising and attending tournaments together. Booysen said on a ‘lighter note’, “He (Mapitiza) was lucky, he retired undefeated in boxing”.  Alderman Booysen remembered recruiting Putco into youth politics in 1994-1995 with the help of the present ANC Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, Mr Lulama Mvimbi, whereafter the three of them became political associates.  After ‘graduating’ into fulltime politics and years later, Booysen (who later joined the Democratic Alliance) and Mapitiza both became councillors at the GRDM.  “We will all remember Putco and especially me, as somebody who had no grey areas in his personality.  What you saw was what you got, and one either agreed or disagreed with him. He was not a pretender in terms of expressing his political ideologies. I do believe that his passing is a great loss to the Garden Route as a whole. I am saddened that in this instance I am not just losing a friend or a former sports partner, but a brother too – MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE,” Alderman Booysen concluded.

GRDM’s ANC Chief Whip and long-time “comrade’’ of the late Mapitiza, Alderman Pieter Van der Hoven, remembers him as a visionary, a shepherd and a sober thinker, at the forefront of technology, who was loved by all who dealt with him. “The value Comrade Putco added to the ANC, as well as being a community leader, remains incomparable. As a councillor, he was dedicated, strategic and directional with a reasoned judgement. He was highly respected and had an unsurpassed sense of humour.  Putco’s death is a huge shock and loss to the greater organisation in the region and the community,” Van der Hoven said.

Alderman Virgil Gericke, President of the Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners (PBI) and fellow councillor at GRDM, furthermore described Mapitiza as a present gentleman, a true cadre loyal to the course of freedom and justice.

The late Councillor Putco Mphuthumi Mapitiza served as the former ANC Regional Secretary in the Southern Cape, as well as Ex Officio on the Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC.

As we enter the festive season and with the second wave of COVID-19 in ‘full bloom’, the GRDM wants to call on the public to continue adhering to safe and hygienic behaviours, to stay vigilant and always wear a mask in public, to avoid large gatherings and continue practising social distancing.

END

Media Release: SafeTravels.CapeTown website launched to assist tourists visiting Cape Town and the Western Cape

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 03 November 2020

Release: immediately

SafeTravels.CapeTown website launched to assist tourists visiting Cape Town and the Western Cape 

Today (03 November 2020), we launched the Safe Travels website, which was developed by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism together with our destination marketing and promotion agency, Wesgro, to help domestic and international tourists to navigate the restrictions on travel and be informed about the important health and safety protocols they need to follow when visiting Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The Safe Travels website also aims to inspire confidence in Cape Town and the Western Cape as a destination, and give peace of mind to those travelling for business or leisure.

You can visit this website at safetravels.capetown

As a result of national government’s risk-based approach to international travel and the ‘red list’ of countries restricted to travel to South Africa, there is still much confusion and uncertainty in the travel and tourism industry, especially as the ‘red list’ is not being reviewed consistently every two weeks as promised. (The last update was on the 19 October 2020.)

And so, to guide tourists and ensure their visit to Cape Town and the Western Cape is as hassle-free as possible, our Safe Travels website provides the latest information on travel restrictions and the ‘red list’, as well as visa requirements and the latest Covid-19 health and safety information.

The content for the Safe Travels website was largely developed using social listening tools which provided real-time insights into what potential travelers to South Africa and the Western Cape are concerned about so that we could develop the right content to help address these concerns.

To assist tourists in distress, the Tourism Safety Support Unit at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism are also available to answer queries via email.

Travellers looking to visit the Western Cape, and who require assistance can send their questions to tourismsafety@westerncape.gov.za

On the launch of the Safe Travels website Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, said: “Featuring safety news, FAQ’s and safety initiatives implemented in the province,  SafeTravels.CapeTown has been established as the ‘go to’ page for all visitors coming to enjoy the world-class tourism experience on offer in the province. We invite visitors to peruse the site and put their minds at ease knowing that Cape Town and the Western Cape is travel ready.”

Welcoming the launch of the website, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, said, “By providing this one-stop-shop for travellers, we hope to convince tourists who are deciding where to book their next holiday, that they can confidently choose to visit Cape Town and the Western Cape because we are travel ready.

“The Safe Travels website is an example of the many ways that we have worked hard since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to support businesses, especially tourism businesses in the Western Cape.”

Minister David Maynier also added: “International markets are a key economic driver for the tourism sector in the Western Cape, especially during the summer season, and will be critical to the survival of the sector. Which is why we have maintained from the start that national government must scrap the ‘red list’ and allow all visitors entry into South Africa subject to presenting a negative PCR test conducted at least 72 hours prior to departure, together with screening protocols.

“There is simply no greater risk for transmission of the Covid-19 virus based on the purpose of travel, yet the negative impact of continuing to limit the entry of leisure travellers to South Africa, especially from our key source markets, is severe and extreme. Cape Town and the Western Cape are open and we are travel ready! Our proposed alternative approach to international travel will ensure we can re-open the economy safely to prevent further job losses in the Western Cape and South Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Notes for media:
To read the statement online, watch the videos and download a soundbyte from Minister Maynier visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/safetravelscapetown-website-launched-assist-tourists-visiting-wc

Media Queries:

Francine Higham

Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities

(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)

Tel: 021 483 4327

Cell: 071 087 5150

Email: francine.higham@westerncape.gov.za

Media Release: Premier Winde outlines the path to recovery for the Western Cape 

Media Release: Premier Winde outlines the path to recovery for the Western Cape 

22 October 2020 

The courage needed to get the job done and to keep us moving forward 

Today, I delivered a special address to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in which I detailed the work the province has done in the fight against COVID-19 and chartered the way forward for the Western Cape’s recovery.

My speech detailed the brave and difficult choices the province has faced in addressing the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic and the country’s lockdown decisions, which have resulted in increased poverty, hunger and inequality both in South Africa and in the Western Cape.

The demands on this government have never been greater, and there will be significantly less money to do the job. This moment that now presents itself therefore requires brave decisions. Difficult decisions. It requires us to prioritise – to make a tough call on what we will continue to do and what we cannot.

I also announced the ‘north-stars’ that will guide us when making these brave decisions.

We will focus courageously and single-mindedly on creating jobs, making the province safer and promoting dignity and wellbeing for all our residents.

Because when you have a job, when you feel safe, and when you are treated with dignity, you create well-being and hope. They are all inter-linked, without one you cannot achieve the other.

Together, they are our recipe for real change. They are our ingredients for hope.

Jobs and the economy: 

– The province recognizes that it is the private sector, and not the state, that drives economic growth and job creation.

– We plan to create 20 000 jobs through rapid interventions including finalizing 26 private sector investments currently in the pipeline, the promotion of exports, the removal of red tape in all departments, the fast-tracking existing infrastructure builds which are in the implementation phase, and the scaling up of public sector work programmes for the unemployed to encourage private sector led growth.

-The Western Cape will start the technical process to form a dedicated infrastructure agency, that can transact and hold assets, as well as borrow money, as a 3D entity under the PFMA in order to deliver job-creating infrastructure projects.

– We have taken a decision to explore – for the first time in the history of this province – the possibility of borrowing money from financial institutions to specifically invest in infrastructure that will enhance economic growth and job creation. This decision will not be taken lightly, and all due diligence will be followed. Given our excellent track record in government, and consistent clean audit results, we have demonstrated that we can do so successfully.

-In order to focus spend on infrastructure projects which will have the most impact on job creation, we will prioritise government spending by freezing non-critical posts in the Western Cape Government. The Western Cape Government has also written to the President, and the minister of Public Service and Administration to have a say in wage negotiations which impact the provincial wage bill.

-The Western Cape needs a single Transport Authority for the Greater Cape Town region in order to address mobility challenges, and ensure jobs, dignity and safety of people in vulnerable communities. We will now begin the process of engaging with partners in other spheres of government so that this can be done.

-I also announced the roll-out of a Blue Dot Service, in partnership with the taxi industry which will improve safety and customer service by incentivizing owners and drivers to deliver a better service, which will be tracked using technology. This will support jobs in the industry and provide a safe, reliable and affordable public transport system to help fill the gap created by failing railway systems.

-We have allocated R27 million in initial relief to small businesses and the informal sector who have been hardest hit and we will continue with small business support programmes over the medium term.

-We will support municipalities in leveraging the recent directives from the National Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy that they can now develop their own power generation projects and also secure power from Independent Power Producers.  This government’s focus on the new, green economy perfectly positions us to take advantage of these developments.

-We will boost economic and consumer confidence through local and international promotion.

-We will continue to lobby the National Government to allow all international visitors with a negative PCR Covid-19 test to visit our province, so that tourism can safely boom again and these jobs can come back.

Safety: 

There is a war raging in our communities, especially against our women and children and we must win this war in order to build a better future for our people.

Safety requires both urgent and medium-term interventions. Our Safety Plan remains a priority despite the financial pressures we face.

-Despite budget cuts, we will not roll-back on our boots-on-the-ground commitment.

-The 500 LEAP officers already launched will continue to be deployed to hotspot crime areas based on evidence and data, and we will stick with our plans to deploy an additional 500 officers thereafter.

-We will also not walk-back on our commitment that we will halve the provincial murder rate in the Western Cape in a decade.

-In addition to the boots on the ground, violence prevention programmes will be put in place to foster nurturing relationships between children and caregivers and ensure education and life skills.

-We will confront the Western Cape’s dangerous relationship with alcohol through smart interventions. We will therefore be making a number of amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act.

– As part of these amendments, “per-unit-of-alcohol” pricing, which makes it more expensive to buy alcoholic beverages with a higher alcohol percentage, is being seriously considered because evidence suggests it can be effective in preventing binge drinking.

-We will also consider stricter times for the sale of alcohol, even after the expiry of the national state of the disaster regulations.

-In the short term, we will train and place 120 peace-officers at 6 municipalities across the province.

– As part of our medium-term response, we will recruit an additional 1000 young people to be deployed as safety ambassadors in public spaces.

-We have established a rural safety desk in our government to address concerns of rural communities, and we have already started with recruitment.

-We will upscale our Gender-Based Violence services, through 6 new shelters, and start work on a dedicated GBV strategy for the Western Cape.  We have the funding and the service providers ready to go just as soon as Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille signs the MOU for the properties.

– We are strengthening our after-hours response teams by advertising 30 additional GBV social worker posts. This will ensure we have the right support available to GBV victims late at night and on the weekends, when help is needed the most.

Dignity and well-being: 

– Dignity and well-being have to be consistently realized throughout someone’s life. From the moment we are born to the moment we die, every life matters. Dignity is about a solid foundation in the early years, from pregnancy, through to education, creating opportunities for skills, work and to earn and income. Dignity is also about being respected when you are old and cared for when you are sick.

-We will protect key education services in this tight fiscal environment

-We have rolled out the #CommitToFinish campaign aimed at ensuring that matric learners finish their schooling.

-The humanitarian response will continue to focus on providing food relief in conjunction with our civil society and NGO partners.

-The Department of Social Development will be allocating additional funding to food relief by community kitchens.

– The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has developed a voucher system so that community kitchens can purchase what they need from local businesses and spaza shops.

-We will develop a comprehensive surveillance system, including a stunting baseline survey that will assist us with the evidence we need to intervene with nutrition programmes in the future.

-We will continue with our food garden programme, by launching thousands more gardens in communities across the Western Cape.

-A key priority is to ensure that residents can access comprehensive health services at all our facilities. We must ensure that residents immunize their children and receive treatment for other illnesses.

-We will be using the systems and lessons we learned with Covid, to address TB which is a major cause of death in the Western Cape each year. We will therefore implement a 90/90/90 strategy to find identify 90% of all TB cases, and place them on treatment, find 90% of TB cases in vulnerable populations such as those living with HIV and to successfully treat 90% of all those diagnosed with drug-sensitive TB.

– Our vision is that every person can access early childhood development if they so decide. It is therefore an important priority going forward.

-ECDs provide safe spaces for children and jobs for a number of people, particularly women. So far, 2616 of our ECDs have re-opened, 1423 are ready to re-open and 1255 need more help to become compliant to open safely.

-We will increase assistance by providing more PPE and hygiene materials to those who still need it so that many more can reopen as soon as possible.

-We will also be convening a special consultative forum with key stakeholders doing amazing work in this space, to plot a common way forward to ensure that ECDs are treated like a critical service, and their work can be expanded to reach many more children.

– We will continue to provide support to homeless residents, by scaling-up shelter space and related services for the homeless in areas where it is needed most and we will focus on the reintegration of homeless adults, so that they can have access to the families and support systems that they need to have dignity.

-The province will take its commitment to inclusionary housing even further by finalizing and completing our inclusionary housing policy by the end of the financial year. This policy will guide municipalities across the province.

National Government budget priorities: 

We have committed to all this at a time when the Western Cape Government’s budgets over the medium term are likely to be cut by the same amount or more than is going to be funneled into the black hole which is SAA. Over R10 billion is going to be taken out of the mouths of the poor to pay for our failed state airline.

We don’t need SAA, when there are so many airlines who fly cheaper and better, but we do need life-changing and life-saving services like education and healthcare.

Next steps: 

We have completed the first Provincial Government Medium Term Expenditure Committee engagements, which are critical discussions with the 13 departments and 9 public entities which share our funding.

Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, will next month table the Western Cape’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement will include adjustments to the budget, especially in light of the necessary Covid-19 expenditure we have incurred and the projected cuts we are expecting to see.

The State of the Province Address that I will deliver to you and the people next year, and the main budget which follows soon thereafter, will then be a key opportunity to lift the sails and to move our government in this new, brave direction.

I have already changed the reporting structure of the extended cabinet to include these new priorities, so I can make sure we land them in our government. This extended cabinet also links up to all district municipalities and the City of Cape Town so we work together to get the job done.

We now eagerly await the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni’s delayed MTBPS, which was meant to take place yesterday. This will provide us the much-needed clarity on just how severe the expected budget cuts are going to be.

The trade-offs: 

The priorities I outlined today will require trade-offs. It will mean that programmes and projects that did make a difference, may not be continued. It will be a trying time for us all. We need strong leadership and the commitment, courage and buy-in of all of our residents, and partners.

We are pursuing new ideas, and a different way of working, in order to make a big impact in a very difficult environment.  This will not be easy, and there is a possibility that not all these plans will land.

Being courageous does not mean that mistakes are never made. Rather, being courageous, for me, is the ability to learn from experience, and to try and try again, to make that positive difference. It’s a commitment I make to our residents every single morning of my life.

Media Release: “We Are Open” international tourism campaign kicks off”

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 06 October 2020

Release: immediately

“We Are Open” international tourism campaign kicks off

Today we are excited to announce the first phase of our international tourism campaign to encourage German business and leisure travellers to “Soweit weg fuhlen” (“get that faraway feeling”) by booking their next trip to Cape Town and the Western Cape. [WATCH VIDEO]

With the welcoming of our first international travellers back on the 01 October, it is important that Cape Town and the Western Cape is front-of-mind for visitors planning their next trip, especially as we seek to rebuild our tourism sector and our economy in the Western Cape.

As one of our only key source markets for leisure travel that can now visit South Africa under the risk-based approach regulating international travel, German travellers can once again take advantage of the Western Cape’s warm culture, pristine weather and abundance of natural assets.

It’s no secret that the German market have been in a long-distance relationship with the Western Cape for quite some time with well over 129 000 tourists from Germany visiting the Western Cape in 2019.

Our “We Are Open” campaign, which was launched at the end of August and which was initially targeted at domestic tourists, was designed to be adaptive for the uncertain environment that we are currently operating in as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The campaign is now being expanded for our international visitors, starting with a first phase targeted at the German market and which will be followed by other markets in later phases.

Primarily a digitally-led campaign, the creative elements for our international campaign will highlight popular outdoor activities relevant to the target market and show them in the context of the unique wide-open spaces we have to offer in the Western Cape, and which are sought after in the Covid-19 world.  The campaign will also include in-market events led by Minister David Maynier and a small delegation from Wesgro.

We have worked hard to ensure that Cape Town and the Western Cape is safe for travellers and ready to welcome international visitors for our summer season. Following months of being confined in homes and restricted from travelling, the Western Cape offers weary travellers the ultimate cure from 2020’s cabin fever. Especially now – as more and more holiday-makers shy away from over-tourism, maddening crowds and congested subways and trams, there’s never been a better destination to enjoy.

With 33 blue-flag beaches to bask on, over 22 protected nature reserves, thousands of kilometres of hiking trails and over 400,000 square kilometres of semi-desert – the Western Cape is ready to welcome back visitors safely. Boasting 20 wine routes, sprawled over 5 regions and over 92 067 hectares, or, if you’re longing for a beer, you’ll be pleased to find that the Western Cape has become a mecca for craft beverages too.

David Maynier, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities said: “Cape Town and the Western Cape is open! With our unique wildlife, rich cultures steeped in heritage, and world-class cuisine, re-ignite your passion for discovery in our six breath-taking regions. Come visit us and experience the world within one province. We can’t wait to welcome back visitors from near and far!”

“We are ready to welcome the world back safely and responsibly! Europe has and always will be an important market for us as they are familiar with our world-class local tourism products and well-priced with our favourable exchange rate. We look forward to welcoming back the German market which we believe will have a positive economic impact on our local tourism sector,” concluded Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.

Notes for media: 

Please find soundbyte from Minister Maynier attached
See video message on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidMaynier/status/1313433020498575360
To read the statement online visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/%E2%80%9Cwe-are-open%E2%80%9D-international-tourism-campaign-kicks

Media Queries:

Francine Higham

Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities

(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)

Tel: 021 483 4327

Cell: 071 087 5150

Email: francine.higham@westerncape.gov.za

Media Release: George Hospital virus testing unit closed

6 October 2020

 GEORGE HOSPITAL VIRUS TESTING UNIT CLOSED

George Hospital’s Virus Testing Unit (VTU) closed on Wednesday 30 September 2020. The unit has been a vital part of the George Regional Hospital’s response to COVID -19 since the inception of the lockdown period.

The total number of people screened at the unit since March is 53 649 of which 3 140 were tested and 666 tested positive. July saw the highest number of tests conducted (1064) with 350 positive results.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who have played a crucial part in our COVID-19 response at George Hospital. Through commendable teamwork, so far, we have managed to efficiently contain the COVID pandemic in the Garden Route and George Hospital and successfully treat and discharge many patients. The past few weeks have seen a steady decrease in the number of infections as well as the demand for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. However, we are aware of a potential ‘second wave’, which we will address as the time comes”, said CEO Mr Michael Vonk.

As of 1 October 2020, the screening of the public will take place at Entrance 1 (EC minors/ Day ward entrance) and Entrance 4 (Main Entrance).  At each entrance there will be different screening times that apply, which are as follows:

Entrance 1: 24-hour screening and access

Entrance 4: 07:00 to 16:00 (Monday – Friday)

All persons entering the hospital will still need to adhere to the following conditions:

  1. Screening
  2. Hand sanitising
  3. Face mask

Unfortunately there is still no visiting of patients in hospital under lockdown level 1 regulations, however one birth partner will be allowed during delivery and will include an one-hour visit post-delivery. Parcels can now be delivered and can be dropped off at the specific department. George Hospital Outpatient Department will continue to function with reduced patient slots and the Day Theatre will continue to function as a Covid ward. Members of the public are urged to maintain social distancing at all times within the hospital and leave the building as soon as possible to avoid crowding.

 GEORGE SUBDISTRICT SERVICES:

 As of 1 October 2020 George subdistrict testing sites will be open as follows:

-END-

Nadia Ferreira

Principal Communications Officer

Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts

Western Cape Government Health

Town Clinic, Plettenberg Bay

Tel: 076 379 5423

Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za

Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

 

Media Release: International travel restrictions: A different approach needed to save tourism

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 01 October 2020

Release: immediately

International travel restrictions: A different approach needed to save tourism

The risk-based approach regulating international travel released by national government yesterday (30 September 2020) is a major blow for the tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape.

The tourism and hospitality sector’s survival is dependent on international leisure travellers in the summer season and for this reason it is critical that we look at smart ways to open our international borders, especially for our key source markets, so that we can save jobs and save the economy in the Western Cape.

And so, we will be engaging with national government and preparing a further submission proposing an alternative to the risk-based approach for international travel.

We believe firmly that the safety precautions of a 72 hours PCR test and screening protocols should be applied across the board, regardless of purpose of travel and country of origin.

In fact, this approach is already adopted by national government with business travellers and so it makes little sense to exclude leisure travellers in this way.

Indeed, it is unfair to restrict leisure travellers from high-risk countries as there is simply no greater risk of transmission based on the purpose of travel.

South Africa’s airlines, hospitality and tourism companies have shown that travel and tourism can resume safely and, with stringent health and safety systems in place, it should not be necessary to impose additional country-based travel restrictions.

We are also concerned that the two-week review period of the leisure “no-travel list”, together with the requirement that business travellers from high-risk countries email the Department of Home Affairs for permission to travel, will create a barrier to bookings from visitors in traditional key source markets during the critical summer season. It also does not allow for enough lead time on which airlines can base their decisions to fly, creating further uncertainty for a sector that has already been hard-hit.

We have worked hard to ensure that Cape Town and the Western Cape is safe for travellers and ready to welcome international visitors, because our leisure travellers from key source markets such as the United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands and France make the most of our favourable exchange rate and have a high spending potential which positively impacts our local economy.

We have held many engagements with the tourism industry on implementing health and safety guidelines, launched a workplace safety campaign across radio and digital platforms, our healthcare system has consistently proved it can adequately respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and we are confident in the measures have been put in place for adequate screening at Cape Town International Airport. For our efforts, we have been awarded the WTTC Safety Stamp in the Western Cape.

We are open and we are ready to safely welcome travellers from around the world to experience our world-class and affordable experiences in Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Notes for media: 

Please find soundbyte from Minister Maynier attached
To read the statement online visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/international-travel-restrictions-different-approach-needed-save-tourism

Media Queries:

Francine Higham

Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities

(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)

Tel: 021 483 4327

Cell: 071 087 5150

Email: francine.higham@westerncape.gov.za

Media Alert: Western Cape Government to hold a digital press conference

Media Alert: Western Cape Government to hold a digital press conference

30 September 2020

Tomorrow, Premier Alan Winde will hold a digital press conference to outline the Western Cape Government’s humanitarian response throughout COVID-19, and the focus on dignity in the province’s recovery.

Premier Winde will be joined by Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez and Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer.

Dr Keith Cloete will also provide an update on the health platform.

Date:  1 October 2020

Time:  12 pm

Digital platform: Microsoft Teams

 Please confirm your attendance by 9 am tomorrow and provide your name, surname, the name of your publication and your email address to be added to Microsoft Teams.  We will provide you with a meeting invite to the briefing, upon your confirmation. Only those who have confirmed attendance will be admitted.