Category: <span>Coronavirus</span>

News Release: Illegal dumping needs to stop for the sake of all of us

News Release

10 September 2020

For immediate release

Illegal dumping needs to stop for the sake of all of us

Illegal dumping and littering is a national environmental problem which has a detrimental effect on human health.  This problem not only negatively affects the environment, but it also has social and economic repercussions, such as detrimental impact on tourism.  Recently it became widely known that illegal dumping is prevalent in the majority of the identified COVID-19 hotspots in the Garden Route district.

With the above in mind, the need to effectively clear and manage illegal dumping in the COVID-19 hotspot areas has become a matter of urgency.  Consequently, an investigation was initiated by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) to determine the challenges of each local municipality to effectively manage illegal dumping in their respective municipalities. Also, to determine the associated costs relating to doing this for the remainder of the 2020-2021 financial year.

According to the local municipalities, all the identified illegal dumping hotspots in the Garden Route district receive waste management services.  In most municipalities, waste skips are placed in and around areas where illegal dumping is prevalent and waste disposal at the waste facilities is also free of charge.  Therefore, illegal dumping is not due to a lack of waste management services but is however a human behavioural issue.  The problem is especially prevalent in less affluent areas of municipalities. There are a countless number of instances where domestic waste is disposed of in ravines and open spaces.  Similarly, small builders and gardening service providers are also frequently reported for illegally dumping builders’ rubble and garden waste in open spaces and road reserves. These areas become particularly difficult to access by means of machinery i.e. front-end loaders and tipper trucks and therefore require a different approach.

GRDM has found that each local municipality has unique needs, volumes of illegally dumped waste and clearing methodologies and the costing and implementation of a district or standardised approach will therefore not be efficient.  Also, the majority of the local municipalities have a dire lack of budget allocation and/or understanding of the requirements to effectively manage illegal dumping.

As a result, a project was identified to clear all accumulated waste in the COVID-19 and illegal dumping hotspots.  The project aims to implement measures to maintain clean and hygienic conditions in these areas to mitigate the associated detrimental health effects. A door-to-door educational and awareness campaign on proper waste management and environmental pollution will be conducted. This grassroots level approach will attempt to change residents’ attitudes towards illegal dumping. Also, it would be a great achievement if behavioural change can happen through the buy-in of the community. This will ensure that the project is sustainable.

Due to the enormity of the project and the associated costs at a district level, the project will be implemented in a phased approach.  Phase 1 of the project will entail the clearing of illegally dumped waste in the Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp areas of the George Municipality, for four months from September 2020 until the end of December 2020.  George Municipality, specifically Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp, were identified as the areas where illegal dumping is currently most prevalent in the district. Therefore, these areas are perfectly suited for the implementation of Phase 1 of the project.  The project will be rolled-out in collaboration with the applicable local municipalities and in this case, George Municipality.

Front-end loaders and tipper trucks will be utilised for the clearing of large stockpiles of illegally dumped domestic waste as well as for the clearing of accumulated garden waste and builders’ rubble.

Community-based contractors and workforces i.e. employment of workers from within the communities will be utilised for the areas that are inaccessible to large machinery and equipment.  The EPWP job creation approach is being used, which means that EPWP participants are being recruited and appointed by the GRDM for a period of four months.  The GRDM will appoint a total of thirty-five (35) EPWP participants as support staff to the front-end loaders which will include fourteen (14) EPWP participants as support staff to the front-end loaders provided by George Municipality. Thirty-six (36) EPWP participants will be appointed for the door-to-door education and awareness and the conduction of a survey to determine the causal factors contributing to illegal dumping.  George Municipality will implement loud hailing throughout the illegal dumping areas in order to inform residents of the project and to request their cooperation during and after the project.  The Ward Councillors of the respective wards in Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp will also assist in spreading the word.

George Municipality has already appointed two contractors to commence with the clearing of illegal dumping in Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp by using a front end loader and tipper trucks. One supporting team was dispatched to assist the JCB with clean-up of waste that cannot be cleaned by the Frontend Loader.

 

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 09 September 2020

Release: immediately

Tourism Month: Western Cape tourist guide registration system goes online

We are excited to announce a new online system launched to make it easier for the 5 000 tourist guides in the Western Cape to register, renew and update their details.

Until now tourist guides have had to complete application forms in hard copy or via email, but now the new online registration system provides them with the opportunity to register or create a profile, search the knowledge base of resources, give feedback, ask a question and chat with an agent.

Access to the tourist guide registration system is through the Western Cape Government eService portal.

With the re-opening of inter-provincial travel under Alert Level 2, our tourist guides play an important role in welcoming visitors to the Western Cape and ensuring they have a great experience and keep coming back.

Our new online registration, which is the first of its kind in South Africa, is just one of the many ways we have been working hard to support tourist guides during the Covid-19 pandemic in the Western Cape.

To ensure that our tourist guides were able to access the relief funding that national government made available to them, we collected and verified the details of an estimated 5 000 tourist guides which were then submitted to the Department of Tourism to receive financial support.

Our “One Day” tourism campaign which was developed by Wesgro and launched to inspire future travellers during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, also provided an opportunity for tourist guides to become virtual guides, using streaming services to conduct tours of our top experiences in the Western Cape. At the end of the virtual tour, viewers had the chance to show their appreciation to the tourist guides through Paypal or Snapscan.

From September, tourist guides can also schedule appointments to collect their tourist guide ID cards and badges from the Tourism Guide Registration Office at Waldorf Building, 80 St George’s Mall. While the Office remains partially closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions, almost 200 tourist guide ID cards and badges are ready for collection. To collect, tourist guides must schedule an appointment with one of our staff members:

Vorena Rudolph 021 483 3012 vorena.rudolph@westerncape.gov.za
Puleng Leoatle-Kwepile 021 483 9130 puleng.leoatle-kwepile@westerncape.gov.za
Babalwa Matiti 021 483 2960 babalwa.matiti@westerncape.gov.za

Notes for media:
Please find soundbyte from Minister David Maynier attached

To read the statement online visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/tourism-month-western-cape-tourist-guide-registration-system-goes-online

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

If you do not want to receive future media releases from Minister David Maynier then please reply directly to this email requesting to be removed from our mailing list.

Media Release: GDP contraction: We will apply the same urgency to rebuilding our economy as we did to the health response in the Western Cape

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 08 September 2020

Release: immediately

GDP contraction: We will apply the same urgency to rebuilding our economy as we did to the health response in the Western Cape

The massive 51% real GDP contraction in the second quarter of this year shows just how devastating the lockdown has been on the economy across South Africa.

When the national economy contracts, the provincial economy contracts, and so there is no doubt that the lockdown will have a severe impact on the economy in the Western Cape.

However, one positive is the agricultural sector which has grown by 15% and provides a glimmer of hope as this sector contributed 209 798 jobs and R21 billion to the economy in 2019 in the Western Cape.

We have led the way in calling for the opening of the economy where it was safe to do so, with some success in the re-opening of the ecommerce, construction and tourism sectors.

We have worked hard to support businesses during the crisis with many resources and tools such as:

  • the Covid-19 Content Centre, set up with our partners at Wesgro and the City of Cape Town, to provide support and advice for businesses during the crisis,
  • the Covid-19 support finder which helps businesses navigate and access the many financial relief packages available to them,
  • our Red Tape Reduction Unit which assists businesses, including small businesses, with information such as how to start a business and where to register a business, as well as red tape related issues, such as delayed permits
  • our health guidelines and information materials on preventing and managing Covid-19 infections in the workplace, and
  • our PPE marketplace which helps businesses to find Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suppliers and which supports small businesses providing PPE to private businesses.

We have stood with business through the crisis and we remain committed to standing with business in recovery, which is why we are now moving forward and focusing on our economic recovery with all the urgency of the health response in the Western Cape.

We have launched our “We Are Open” domestic tourism campaign, and we will continue to call for the further opening of the economy where it is safe to do so. This includes calling for the opening of our borders to allow international travel, which is critical to supporting businesses in the hardest hit tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape.

Notes for media:
Please find soundbyte from Minister David Maynier attached.

To read the statement online visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/gdp-contraction-we-will-urgently-rebuild-our-economy-western-cape

 

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

If you do not want to receive future media releases from Minister David Maynier then please reply directly to this email requesting to be removed from our mailing list.

Third Garden Route DM employee loses his life to COVID-19

News Release

31 August 2020

Third Garden Route DM employee loses his life to COVID-19

It is with profound sadness and loss that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) announces its third employee who succumbed to COVID-19. On Friday, 28 August 2020, Mr Nono Willie Nkasayi, a Senior Worker at the GRDM Oudtshoorn Roads Services Department passed away when he lost his battle against Covid-19.

The 54-year-old Willie Nkasayi worked at the Oudtshoorn region since 3 June 2005. Colleagues remember him as a humble and beloved person. Mr Gert Verwey, Deputy Manager at the Oudtshoorn region described him as a man who has always treated everyone with respect, and who had the ability to look at the “bigger picture” of things in life. He further described the late Nkasayi as an exceptional person – well-known, as a God-fearing person.  Having been a pastor at his church, Verwey refers to Willie as a prominent religious leader in the Southern Cape and Karoo area.  He acknowledges that Willie’s passion for the Lord and people drove him to always serve his fellow community members.

Mr Kleinbooi Stoffels, Roads Services Superintendent and the immediate supervisor of Willie Nkasayi said that he will be deeply missed amongst his colleagues.  He described Willie as a very disciplined and caring person.  “Willie was a go-getter in his team, always ready to make plans on how to complete a task productively.  His passing really ‘shocked’ me, and made me realise how short life is and that we should appreciate each other while we still can. I will miss his visits in the morning in my office. I am eternally grateful that I was able to walk a path with such a great spirit,” said Kleinbooi.

During his journey at GRDM Roads Services, Willie served his colleagues as a union representative for the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU).  As a shop steward, he lived his passion and he believed that a matter could be resolved in a respectful and orderly manner.  Willie Nkasayi will also be remembered as a family man whose loved ones and relatives meant the world to him; as a community leader; a teacher for many; a caring colleague and friend.

Hamba Kahle – ‘Tata Nkasayi – as you were known by all’.

MINISTER SIMMERS CONDUCTS COVID AWARENESS IN GEORGE

MINISTER SIMMERS CONDUCTS COVID AWARENESS IN GEORGE

27 August 2020

Today the Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, in his capacity as the Provincial Government’s lead in the covid response for the Garden Route conducted an awareness campaign in Pacaltsdorp and Thembalethu, George.

Minister Simmers, who was accompanied by the Garden Route District Mayor, Memory Booysen and the George Municipal Mayor, Leon van Wyk, along with various MAYCO members, Councillors and the Premier’s Community Liaison Officers (CLO’s) distributed masks and information pamphlets, while also supporting a local boerewors seller in Thembalethu.

Minister Simmers said: “It was enjoyable to engage residents and remind them of the importance of adhering to all covid regulations. The only way we will fully overcome this virus, is if we all play our part. It is critical that we continue keeping the spotlight on this virus, as we have to push the infection rate down. This is truer now, particularly since the alert level has been relaxed and more people can move around. I also enjoyed the boerewors roll and I encourage all residents to support their local and small businesses, but it must be done in a responsible manner.”

The Garden Route’s total cases, as at 4 pm on 26 August 2020 was 8659 with 7440 recoveries. George’s total cases at the same time, was 3249, with 2903 recoveries.

Minister Simmers added: “It was deeply concerning to see a number of people walking in their respective communities not wearing masks. I’d like to implore all residents to not take this virus lightly. I’d also like to thank both the Garden Route District and George Mayors, along with the various MAYCO members and Councillors as well as the Premier’s CLO’s for their support today.

We have to ensure that the message to fight COVID-19 remains a priority for all while wearing our masks, keeping a safe distance of at least 1.5 metres apart, wash our hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds or sanitise our hands, remain at home if there’s no need for us to be out and about and should we display any symptoms, to immediately consult a health practitioner.”

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

Media Release: Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde

Media Release: Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde

26 August 2020

As of 1pm on 26 August, the Western Cape has 4675 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 102 976 confirmed cases and 94 500  recoveries.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases 102 976
Total recoveries 94500
Total deaths 3761
Total active cases (currently infected patients) 4675
Tests conducted 473109
Hospitalisations 997 with 187 in ICU or high care

Cape Metro Sub-districts:

 Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Western 9000  8332
Southern 9279  8495
Northern 6387  6000
Tygerberg 12915  12014
Eastern 9781  9006
Klipfontein 8923  8120
Mitchells Plain 8315  7725
Khayelitsha 8182  7645
Total 72782 67337

Sub-districts:

 District  Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Garden Route Bitou 561 498
Garden Route Knysna 1333 1199
Garden Route George 3249 2903
Garden Route Hessequa 269 213
Garden Route Kannaland 102 95
Garden Route Mossel Bay 2058 1794
Garden Route Oudsthoorn 1087 738
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 1985 1835
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 4174 3845
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 3218 2958
Cape Winelands Langeberg 1104 1004
Cape Winelands Witzenberg 1496 1335
Overberg Overstrand 1499 1436
Overberg Cape Agulhas 258 230
Overberg Swellendam 270 246
Overberg Theewaterskloof 1124 1038
West Coast Bergrivier 402 364
West Coast Cederberg 153 138
West Coast Matzikama 320 263
West Coast Saldanha Bay Municipality 1318 1209
West Coast Swartland 1449 1311
Central Karoo Beaufort West 471 349
Central Karoo Laingsburg 122 77
Central Karoo Prince Albert 16 11

Unallocated: 2156 (2074 recovered)

Data note: It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas.

More data is available here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 40 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 3801. We send our condolences to their family and friends at this time.

Mitchell’s Plain business visit:

Premier Winde visits Suraya Williams of Design 26 in Mitchell’s Plain.

Today, I had visited some businesses in Mitchell’s Plain to chat to them about their business, some of their concerns and the impact of the lockdown.

My first stop was dressmaker Suraya Williams – whose Design 26 foundation teaches young women from the community sewing skills. Her business, which makes women’s clothing and custom matric ball dresses, has been heavily impacted by the lockdown. As a result, she has had to pivot to making masks and running her business as a small-scale CMT business.

I salute Ms Williams for doing what was necessary to continue to operate, but many other small businesses have not been able to stay open. We need to get our economy growing again, so that we can save jobs and address the second pandemic of unemployment, hunger and increased levels of poverty. This is a top priority for the Western Cape Government, as we work on our recovery plan.

I also visited Marshall Nelson who provides skills training for young people in Mitchells Plain. He and his children started 3D printing protective face shields during the lockdown which they distributed in their community – using their available equipment and innovation to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Then, I popped into the Eve and Steve hair salon in the Promenade Mall. I had my first haircut here after salons were first allowed to open under alert level 3 and returned today for a trim. I was pleased to see that the business is still taking all the necessary safety precautions to operate safely.

I also had the opportunity to walk around the mall and to engage with the mall management. As with my visit to the Cape Town CBD last week, I noticed that some businesses were quieter an others had closed their doors. I was however pleased to hear that while some spaces were to let- there were some new tenants coming in as well.

At the same time, my community liaison team, “Team Premier” were on the ground engaging with businesses in the Garden Route today. They were sharing information about the golden rules of hygiene, as well as distributing masks and informational posters to businesses. Tomorrow, they will also be joined by Minister of Human Settlements Tertuis Simmers who is the hotspot lead for the Garden Route as well as representatives from local government.

Over the coming weeks and months, I hope to visit many more businesses and areas as the Western Cape Government focuses on its recovery.

It will take some time for businesses to rebuild and to regain what was lost during the lockdown. I therefore continue to appeal to everyone to support a small or a local business wherever they can to help to protect jobs. Whether it be buy buying your fruit and vegetables from a local vendor,  buying locally produced clothing, or going out for a meal or a coffee, you can help to support a business and the jobs that they create.

You can also help to support small businesses without spending a cent by reviewing them on social media or by recommending them to family, friends and colleagues. But please remember to do this safely, by always following the golden rules.

MEDIA ALERT: MINISTER TERTUIS SIMMERS TO CONDUCT COVID AWARENESS IN GEORGE

MEDIA ALERT: MINISTER TERTUIS SIMMERS TO CONDUCT COVID AWARENESS IN GEORGE

26 August 2020

Tomorrow, 27 August 2020, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, in his capacity as the Provincial Government’s lead in the covid response for the Garden Route, will conduct a Covid-19 awareness campaign in George.

Minister Simmers, who will be accompanied by the Garden Route District Mayor, Memory Booysen and the George Municipal Mayor, Leon van Wyk, along with various MAYCO members, Councillors and the Premier’s Community Liaison Officers (CLO’s) will be distributing masks and information pamphlets.

Minister Simmers said: “I’m looking forward to engaging residents and reminding them of the importance of adhering to all the covid regulations. It is critical that we continue keeping the spotlight on this virus, as we have to push the infection rate down. This is truer now, particularly since the alert level has been relaxed and more people can move around.”

There will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.

ALL MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND.

DETAILS:

Date: Thursday, 27 August 2020

Time: 08:00 – 09:00

Venue/Meeting Point: Hypersave, Pacaltsdorp, George

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 of Communication & Stakeholder Relations

Tell: 021 483 2868 / Mobile: 083 2631720

Email: Nathan.Adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Southern Cape coastal degradation visible as winter storms take their toll

MEDIA RELEASE: Southern Cape coastal degradation visible as winter storms take their toll

25 August 2020

“Much of the erosion and degradation of the Southern Cape coastline, in particular from Mossel Bay to Storms River, is well documented and closely monitored by scientists, and for good reason,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

He says even a modest rise in global sea levels and increased wind velocity make for exponentially stronger wave action, which in turn results in rapid shoreline degradation. The degradation potentially renders coastal communities and infrastructure vulnerable to irreparable destruction and displacement.

“Coastal degradation is a complex matter and due to a great many factors, the manner in which it manifests is not uniform.”

“For example, the ongoing degradation of a dune system in St Francis, leaving multi-million rand properties exposed to the might of the open ocean, is not necessarily the same process as the degradation of ancient sand dunes at Kleinkrans near Wilderness, or severe damage to roads and the promenade in Cape Town and Bloubergstrand.”

According to Meiring the overall onslaught by nature on the Southern Cape coastline is relentless, consistent and on the increase with every winter as cold fronts bring ever-stronger winds and increasingly powerful wave action.

“Climate change and global warming are matters that are frightening to present and future generations, but there is a lot ordinary folk can do to mitigate the damage to the environment. A point of departure is the way we plan future developments along the Southern Cape coast, the way we manage our water sources, and the way we conserve what remains of our biodiversity,” concludes Meiring.

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serves as a catalyst to drive climate adaptation practices in the Southern Cape and strives to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Cobus Meiring: Chair of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Cell: 083 626 7619

Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

Photo: Coastal degradation along the Wilderness coast near Kleinkrans is on the increase and is symptomatic of increased wave action, stronger winds and global sea level rise. (Photo: Cobus Meiring)

Western Cape Government acknowledges the role of Faith-Based Organisations and Religious Leaders in combating COVID-19

The Western Cape Provincial Government has identified and implemented several measures which focus on public health and behaviour, using a whole of society approach. As part of Government’s Whole of Society Approach, Cabinet resolved to have regular interactions with Western Cape Faith Based Organisations (FBO’s) and religious leaders about Covid-19 government interventions.  An Inter-Ministerial Committee headed and chair by Minister Ivan Meyer has been meeting weekly, to improve and streamline communication between government and citizens in the province.

The Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Ms Anroux Marais and Ms Sharna Fernandez, Minister of Social Development also form part of the FBO Inter-Ministerial Committee.  The focus of this committee is to utilise skills in the religious community to expand the caring and humanitarian relief footprint to those in need.

In addition, the FBO forum creates a platform where members can obtain vetted information from the Western Cape Government and in many ways, becomes a voice piece for religious leaders and their constituencies to directly engage with government.  Questions and concerns that relate to what communities and congregants are currently unclear about are being addressed at the forum.  Issues like humanitarian relief, funeral and bereavement support plans and information regarding various regulations and feeding schemes form part of the regular agenda.

According to MEC Ivan Meyer, “Religious leaders and faith-based organisations play an important role in society. We also welcome suggestions and ideas in the fight of Covid-19 in the Western Cape. We believe that spiritual leaders offer us unique insights into the social and spiritual wellbeing of our citizens. As crucial stakeholders in our provincial response to Covid-19, our religious leaders have been asking the right questions and guiding us in many ways, to package information that is the most practical at ground level. We appreciate the commitment and levels of engagement that we share with them as well as the constant inputs they provide in helping us find solutions where necessary.”

He continues to acknowledge the exceptional work done by religious leaders during the Covid-19 and lockdown period, as well as the significant contributions, inputs and suggestions as joint efforts to combat the pandemic. “Suicides during the Covid-19 lockdown period are a great matter of concern and spiritual leaders play an integral part in emotional and physical support to the bereaved family members. They also provide counseling, care and relief activities and food relief scheme,” Meyer said.                                    

District Mayors from the various municipalities in the Western Cape also from part of this platform, and are encouraged to establish similar forums within their respective districts. This will enable them to engage with spiritual leaders at local level, thus ensuring that information shared during these engagements cascade down to the citizens within the Western Cape. FBO leaders are champions in establishing a behavioural change in the areas of higher transmissions.

Cllr Lisa Stroebel of the Garden Route District Municipality

 In the Garden Route District, the Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality, Alderman Memory Booysen, chairs the Garden Route Faith-Based Organisations Forum and is assisted by Councillor Liza Stroebel. The George FBO Forum has been established and is meeting via an online platform weekly. It is anticipated that other FBO forums in the Garden Route will soon follow suit. Inputs by various Stakeholders are also shared during such weekly meetings.

Psycho-social support is available on the hotline number on 0800 220 250.

Media Release: Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde

24 August 2020

As of 1pm on 24 August, the Western Cape has 5084 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 102 615 confirmed cases and 93 788  recoveries.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases 102 615
Total recoveries 93 788
Total deaths 3743
Total active cases (currently infected patients) 5084
Tests conducted 469 953
Hospitalisations 1019 with 203 in ICU or high care

Cape Metro Sub-districts:

 Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Western 8986  8284
Southern 9250  8430
Northern 6380  5952
Tygerberg 12896  11962
Eastern 9747  8962
Klipfontein 8890  8090
Mitchells Plain 8269  7662
Khayelitsha 8102  7571
Total 72520 66913

Sub-districts:

 District  Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Garden Route Bitou 557 490
Garden Route Knysna 1326 1173
Garden Route George 3226 2856
Garden Route Hessequa 268 210
Garden Route Kannaland 100 78
Garden Route Mossel Bay 2049 1745
Garden Route Oudsthoorn 1051 715
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 1974 1830
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 4163 3819
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 3206 2923
Cape Winelands Langeberg 1103 1000
Cape Winelands Witzenberg 1487 1321
Overberg Overstrand 1494 1434
Overberg Cape Agulhas 257 226
Overberg Swellendam 268 243
Overberg Theewaterskloof 1124 1041
West Coast Bergrivier 396 357
West Coast Cederberg 155 137
West Coast Matzikama 317 251
West Coast Saldanha Bay Municipality 1315 1209
West Coast Swartland 1445 1292
Central Karoo Beaufort West 469 338
Central Karoo Laingsburg 123 65
Central Karoo Prince Albert 16 10

Unallocated: 2206 (2112 recovered)

Data note: It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas.

More data is available here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 17deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 3743. We send our condolences to their family and friends at this time.

Return to school:

Many learners will return to schools across the Western Cape this week, joining grades 7 and 12 who had returned to learning earlier this month. We wish all the children well as they return to school and prepare for the remainder of the school year. We also thank all of the teachers, principals, school staff and volunteers who have been on hand to ensure that the return to school is as safe as possible.

Western Cape Education Minister, Debbie Schäfer said: “There are a just over 800 000 learners in the grades forming part of this week’s phased return to class. However, not all of these learners came back to class today. Each school has a unique Temporary Revised Education Plan to manage the 1.5m physical distance requirement, so grades are attending on alternate days, weeks or using another model. A third of our schools had also previously notified the Head of Department that they would bring some grades back to class earlier than this week, so it isn’t the first day back for those learners.

Nonetheless, it is still a large number of learners, so we are very pleased with how things have proceeded today.

This school year has been difficult for many learners and parents and we understand that there may still be fears associated with children returning to school. However, we also understand that many other parents are eager to see their children back in the classroom which provides a safe space for them in the day when parents are at work. We also know that the extended closure of our schools has had a significant impact on many learners, with the poorest, who may not have access to digital learning resources at home, impacted the hardest.

The return to school must be done safely and we encourage parents to have age-appropriate conversations with their children around the return to the classroom, hand washing and mask -wearing. Children by nature will mimic common behaviours they see, so wearing your own mask, regularly washing your own hands and practicing social distancing when you are outside of the home, will encourage them to do the same.

Reopening of the economy:

We have seen more people returning to work this week- with many of our gyms reopening for the first time today. The reopening means that many people will be able to return to work in the fitness industry and I call on businesses, gyms, trainers and clients to all take the utmost care to ensure that they reopen safely.

We have to do all that we can to ensure that we support businesses at this time so that we can save jobs and reduce unemployment, hunger and starvation.