Category: Coronavirus

Media Release: Update by Premier Alan Winde on the coronavirus

14 April 2020

As of 00h01 on 14 April, the Western Cape has recorded 657 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection.

Sub Districts Cape Town Metro:

Sub-district Cases
Western 202
Southern 141
Northern 32
Tygerberg 61
Eastern 42
Klipfontein 35
Mitchells Plain 16
Khayelitsha 19
Total 548


Sub Districts Non-Metro:

District  Sub-district Cases
Garden Route Bitou 5
Garden Route Knysna 13
Garden Route George 13
Garden Route Hessequa 5
Garden Route Mossel Bay 17
Garden Route Oudtshoorn 2
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 16
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 6
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 6
Cape Winelands Langeberg 1
Cape Winelands Witzenberg 1
Overberg Overstrand 9
Overberg Theewaterskloof 1
West Coast Saldanha Bay Municipality 3
West Coast Swartland 2

Unallocated: 9

A total of 184 recoveries have been recorded (in line with NICD guidelines on recoveries) in the province.

  • A note on today’s statistics: A case allocated to Bitou yesterday has been re-assigned to Witzenberg after address details were updated. We apologise for the inconvenience. The laboratories sometimes use patient addresses already on file at the time of testing, which are then corrected during the follow-up and contact tracing processes.

There are currently 35 Covid-19 positive people being treated in hospitals in the province, with 18 of these in intensive care.

Premier Alan Winde has his temperature read before entering the premises at the KWay factory in Ottery.

Cloth masks:

Today I had the opportunity to visit two clothing manufacturers who have repurposed their factories in order to make cloth masks. The KWay factory in Ottery and the Reliance Clothing factory in Observatory have both recently repurposed their production lines in order to make cloth masks. The Western Cape Government has advised residents to wear cloth masks when going out into public places like grocery shops, pharmacies and to medical facilities.

Worn correctly, clean cloth masks, in conjunction with hand washing, social distancing and other hygiene measures, are a tool to help stop the spread.

At the same time, these companies have been able to bring back some of their production staff to perform this essential service, and provide work to home-based CMTs, who would otherwise have no other source of income during this period.

While visiting the workspaces, I was pleased to see various measures in place to ensure the safety of their staff, including reduced numbers of people to ensure social distancing, and strict hygiene measures. All staff were also wearing their own cloth masks.

As we prepare to transition out of the lockdown phase in a few weeks, we must prepare individuals, workplaces and businesses for the “new normal”. This will mean taking extra precautions to prevent further infections while we ramp up economic activity again.

We encourage those who can do so, to make their own masks, and also to make for or donate to less fortunate communities.

Community screening and testing:

Community testing and screening will be conducted in the following areas tomorrow:

Metro:

Northern Tygerberg Subdistrict: Kraaifontein (Ward 6), Delft, Belhar

Southern Western Subdistrict: Imizamo Yethu, Du Noon, Lotus River, Grassy Park

Klipfontein Mitchells Plain Subdistrict: Gugulethu, Nyanga, Silvertown, Hanover Park, Manenberg

Khayelitsha Eastern Subdistrict: Mfuleni, Macassar, Site C (Khayelitsha)

Non-metro:

Cape Winelands: Mbekweni, White City

Garden Route: Asla Park, Fikile Street Block, Zoar, Amalienstein, Vanwyksdorp, Calitzdorp, Ladismith

West Coast: Vredendal Noord, Mangaung, Piketberg, Old Asla Houses, Riverview South Citrusdal, Clanwilliam (Khayelitsha), Malmesbury (Ilingilethu), Saldanha Town (Marikanna, Middel pos)

Screening sites may be changed at short notice.

Lockdown humanitarian aid:

The Coronavirus has resulted in widespread economic hardship for many South Africans and we are extremely worried that many vulnerable communities no longer have the means to put food on the table.

In order to respond to this major challenge, during the lockdown, the Western Cape Government has assigned R53 million in additional funding which will be used for emergency school feeding, to bolster the Department of Social Development’s feeding programmes and for the once-off creation and distribution of 50 000 food parcels.

Earlier today, community unrest broke out in Mitchells Plain around the distribution of food parcels. We also saw looting in certain areas. This demonstrates the serious humanitarian challenge facing communities across our country, and the need for increased support from SASSA and national government in addition to our emergency measures. We urge all residents to abide by the law and looting cannot be tolerated.

We are pleased that SASSA has started distributing food relief. As the lead agency charged with social support to the poor in terms of the Social Assistance Act, they have an important role to play in helping communities through this tremendously difficult time. We hope that they continue to do more to help vulnerable communities – in line with their mandate, and we urge the national minister to reconsider her directive closing all of SASSA’s local offices during the lockdown period. We also look forward to working with National Government on their humanitarian relief programmes, and we hope to see these details soon.

With respect to the Western Cape Government’s emergency additional funding which was approved as a result of the lockdown: each individual request will be assessed by departmental officials based on the criteria set out below.

DSD social workers complete the screening and assessments of all beneficiaries, to ensure that those individuals who are the most vulnerable, benefit from the limited food parcels that are available.

The food parcels will support an average household for one month and will be based on the following qualifying criteria:

  • Households affected by COVID-19 infections in the following instances:

–   A member/s of the family who tested positive for the virus and are in quarantine in their homes.

–   A household where a member of the family who tested positive for the virus and who have insufficient means to sustain themselves during the lockdown period.

  • A person who is on medication or who suffers from a chronic illness and have insufficient means to sustain themselves, and was assessed and referred by a local clinic or registered health practitioner.
  • A person and their household who have insufficient means to sustain themselves during the lockdown period who was referred by a registered humanitarian relief agency, registered NPO or a municipal manager, and assessed by DSD. In this instance, persons not yet in receipt of SASSA grants, including the elderly, child headed houses, grant awaiting beneficiaries will be prioritised.

The current situation we find ourselves in is unprecedented and as the lockdown is set to continue until the end of the month, affecting the ability to earn a living across our province, we are likely to see more people needing assistance. This is something that is going to take effort from all levels of government and of society to solve. Now is the time for kindness, empathy and generosity. We know that this is a difficult time for many, but we call on those individuals, businesses and NGOs who are able to assist, to do so. To find out more about how to assist, visit the How You Can Help page at www.westerncape.gov.za/coronavirus. We thank all of those organisations and people who have stepped up to help their fellow citizens.

Press Release: Licences and certificates of acceptability for informal food trading (uncooked) during COVID-19 lockdown

Press Release

For Immediate Release

14 April 2020

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) municipal health officials continue to issue Certificates of Acceptability (COA) to informal food traders where municipalities allow them to trade. It is however important to note that not all local municipalities are issuing licences. Knysna, Bitou, Hessequa and Kannaland municipalities continue to issue new licences while George, Mossel Bay and Greater Oudtshoorn municipalities do not. COAs issued prior to the lockdown will continue to be renewed where applicable.

The trading conditions for licenced informal food traders are:

  • trading hours from 08:00 to 18:00;
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the trader (mask, sanitisers and gloves), and the availability of water;
  • no selling of unpermitted goods e.g. cigarettes;
  • a distance of at least one metre apart should be maintained between trading stalls;
  • customers to be at least one metre apart and the trader is responsible for ensuring that these distances are maintained; and
  • traders must have the permit available for inspection at all times.

The following documents must accompany the applications:

  • Identity document or refugee permit;
  • existing trading permit; and
  • concession letter.

Contact details of chief municipal health officials responsible for issuing a COA are:

GRDM pleads with all informal food traders to co-operate with us and local municipalities in fighting this pandemic. Informal traders are reminded to please take the necessary precautionary measures to improve hygiene conditions in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Also related to this: http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2020/04/08/press-release-role-of-various-agencies-in-relation-to-permits-certificates-and-other-approvals/

ENDS

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

Press Release: Statement by the Garden Route District Executive Mayor – Cllr Memory Booysen

Press Release

For Immediate Release 

14 April 2020

As the Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), I want to assure residents of the Garden Route district that even though the world has temporarily turned upside down because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are hard at work to ensure that our economy thrives again.

As a district, we know that the nation-wide lockdown of 35 days has hit several industries and businesses very hard; hence we want to reassure businesses in our District that we are working closely with other key collaborative partners, to provide clarity and credible information to them.

These collaborative partners include:

  • The Western Cape Departments of Economic Development and Tourism
  • Department of Agriculture
  • WESGRO
  • Department of Unemployment and Labour
  • local municipalities
  • South Cape Economic Partnership (SCEP)
  • Business Chambers and -forums
  • Afrikaanse Handels Instituut Wes-kaap (AHI WC)
  • Small Business Forum
  • SEDA
  • business partners

We have established a Garden Route COVID-19 Economy Cluster which aims to assist businesses to navigate through opportunities for business assistance, funding, payment relief, etc.  Three (3) workstreams feed into this cluster namely, Business Continuity, Municipal Local Economic Development and Tourism.

To ensure that we fully understand what issues businesses face during these trying times, we and many others (SEDA, Business Partners, Sake Liga and the George Business Chamber) have initiated surveys to gain a clear picture of how COVID-19 has impacted them. All the data will be used to gain insights that will assist planning for the immediate, and medium to long term takes place, which include:

  • Business Continuity – through this period for the next year while the effects of the virus still have an influence (more so for the Tourism and Hospitality industry);
  • Business Revival / Rebuild – how to look internally at new business ideas to rebuild the local economies as we knew it; and
  • Business Innovation – what is the new normal and what can be done to implement totally new ideas that weren’t there before.

These are only a few of the aspects of our crisis response.

Last week, the Western Cape Government have launched an online tool which businesses can use to find and access appropriate government assistance. This tool can be accessed at https://www.supportbusiness.co.za/covid-19-support-finder/. Businesses can now access the Fund Finder facility through this website, to assess and determine exactly which financial or other assistance their businesses qualify for, be it government or private sector assistance.

We are hopeful that these efforts, structures and processes will help ensure the continuity and resilience of business operations during these turbulent economic times and post the national lockdown period, and in  doing so, minimize the number of job losses resulting from this pandemic.

We want to encourage residents in the district to stay calm, adhere to the lockdown regulations, practice personal hygiene and maintain social distance.  Together we can stop the spread.

Press Release: App launched to support entrepreneurs in the Western Cape

On Tuesday, 6 April 2020 a new mobile application (app) called JUMP for Entrepreneurs Smartphone app was launched by the Western Cape Government, which guarantees trusted information, access to business networks, tools and advice to business owners in the Western Cape.

The app was develop by the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and is designed to be an innovative one-stop-shop of support for existing and potential businesses, with all the resources needed to start, scale and grow a business.  The app will be updated with the latest information on the coronavirus relevant to businesses.

According to the Western Cape Government the app will also offer advice on industry sector experts on regulations, and guidelines to support businesses and their staff at this time, but will also be an invaluable resource into the future.

The Jump for entrepreneurs app is available and free to download on the App Store and Google Play and ‘’offer entrepreneurs a range of fantastic features including a map-driven database of more than 4 000 small businesses and service providers spread across the Western Cape’’.  In other word, an entrepreneur will be able to list his/her business, find other businesses to network with, and support in their area.

Other features available in the app include:

How To – for guidance on starting and running your business

Biz Assist – to find local organisations and businesses to network with

JumpCast – for inspiring talks from experts and other entrepreneurs

JumpStart – a business health check that highlights new opportunities and ideas.

For new information on the JUMP app for entrepreneurs visit www.bizjump.co.za.

Press Release: Garden Route DM purchases half a million rand worth of essential goods for the vulnerable

Press Release

For Immediate Release

9 April 2020

On 9 April 2020, Executive Mayor of GRDM Cllr Memory Booysen, informed local municipalities that R500 000.00 worth of essential goods are ready for collection at its Fire Station in George.  These goods were purchased to aid local municipalities in assisting the most vulnerable communities in their areas. The delivery of items is expected to take place by tomorrow. “This R500 000.00 provides up to a week of essentials to 800 households of five members or less,” said Cllr Booysen.

Local Municipalities have been requested to identify the most vulnerable and in need of support that would not be addressed in terms of the Department Social Development (DSD) Social Relief of Distress (SDR) program. Strict measures will be in place to ensure that no duplication of distribution takes place, known as “double-dipping”. For this reason DSD officials and the municipalities will ensure that a centralised database is used. The South African Police Service will ensure that areas, where food parcels will be delivered, are secure and safe for those doing deliveries.

Last week DSD announced that the Department made R18 million available to distribute food parcels in the Western Cape of which 9 000 food parcels will be distributed to households in the Garden Route district from next week Thursday.

Manager of Disaster Manager at GRDM,  Mr Gerhard Otto, highlighted:  “To ensure that food is provided to all vulnerable residents for the period ahead, all municipalities are in the process to pledge their financial support to fill the gaps of the DSD funded programmes”.

Food items, toiletries and other necessities, donated by the public throughout the district will also contribute to the programme to ensure that no one is left unfed.

Also read:

http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2020/04/06/additional-r53-million-allocated-to-food-relief-programmes-in-the-western-cape/

http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2020/04/03/your-donation-is-needed-coronavirus-covid19-pandemic/

Press Release: Garden Route District Municipality continues with disinfection of public areas

Press Release

For Immediate Release

8 April 2020

While the number of Covid-19 positive cases are still increasing worldwide, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently started with a disinfection programme to disinfect various informal settlements and public areas in the district.  Prior to this initiative thorough training was provided to the teams to ensure that the correct processes are followed and also that each person is using suitable personal protective equipment during these operations. During this initiative special focus is placed on waiting rooms, meeting/committee rooms, facilities of the South African Police Service (SAPS) e.g. police cells, to name a few.

Firefighers disinfection public areas in Thembalethu. Photos & feature photo: George Herald

Disinfection operations at Courts and SAPS facilities in the Garden Route.

This morning the GRDM team continued with this initiative in George where they started off at Conville Police Station. Thereafter they disinfected the George Police Station and court, where after the Thembalethu Police Station and court followed suit. The next area of focus will be Pacaltsdorp.  On 9 April the team also plans to address the Uniondale, Haarlem and Noll areas etc. which are situated next to the N9.

For the past week, since the initiative commenced, all efforts have been well-received.  This is an indication that residents are fully aware of the seriousness of the pandemic. These efforts will keep the firefighters busy for a while, although they simultaneously have to deal with their first responsibility to ensure that reported fires in the district are contained, should the need arise.

The GRDM Management and Council at this stage would like to extend a word gratitude to all members of community and government departments for their cooperation throughout the process to ensure that the pandemic does not continue to spread. They also commended the GRDM firefighters (on-duty and standby crews, as well as volunteers) and Municipal Health officials for all their continued efforts during this initiative.

Firefighters disinfect courts in the Garden Route district.

For more information or requests, please contact:

  • Johan Compion – jcompion@gardenroute.gov.za
  • Emmy Douglas – emmy@gardenroute.gov.za

Also view: http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2020/04/04/district-municipality-rolls-out-district-wide-decontamination-plan/

Media Statement: Noticing illegal price hikes? Report it to authorities

Media Statement

For Immediate Release

3 April 2020

After the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic started affecting South Africans, members of the public now face a myriad of challenges that no one anticipated.  One challenge, which was also brought to the attention of the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM’s) Multi-Agency Command Centre, is the rapid increase of prices of essential goods within the Garden Route district. These items include various food products, toiletry essentials, disinfectants, to name a few.

The Competition Commission on 20 March 2020 issued a media statement to alert retailers regarding this type of conduct during this critical period. According to the statement, several complaints from the public about rising prices for essential products in particular certain food products, healthcare and hygiene products are noted.  The Commission also stated their concern about suppliers inflating prices as government, retailers and private healthcare companies embark on emergency procurement of products related to the curbing and managing of the spread of COVID-19.

The National Minister of Trade and Industry and Economic Development Ebrahim Patel on Thursday gazetted regulations in terms of the Competition Act and Disaster Management Act which aims to strengthen the ability of the commission and the National Consumer Commission to respond to incidences of exploitative pricing. These regulations empower the commission to prosecute cases where prices have increased materially without any cost justifications for the increase.

The Multi-Agency Command Centre urges retailers in the district, that should they not adhere to the regulations published by the National Minister, they will face severe penalties, including a 10 % of the store/business’ annual turnover for an offence of the first time and a 25 % of the annual turnover for a repeated offence. Further to this, directors of such companies who engage in illegal price hikes will face a potential imprisonment for a period of up to 10 years.

We therefore call upon all businesses/retailers within the Garden Route district to adhere to these Regulations to ensure that the residents/consumers of the district are fairly treated and served.

Consumers should bring their concerns to the attention of regulators through the toll-free no. 0800 014 880.

Written by Marillia Veldkornet | Communication Officer

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

Garden Route District Multi-Agency Command Centre

Press Release: Your donation is needed – CoronaVirus/Covid19 Pandemic

Press Release

For Immediate Release

3 April 2020

South Africa is facing an unprecedented challenge with communities and the economy being affected by the growing COVID-19 pandemic. In the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) jurisdiction, with its seven (7) local municipal areas (Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland), Garden Routers are coming together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by lending a helping hand to others.

Donation of non-perishable food, toiletries, bedding for single beds and hand sanitisers will be of particular benefit to the less fortunate.   The Social Development Cluster of the GRDM Multi-Agency Command Centre kindly requests the public to make donations of this kind at the sites listed below:

Drop off points and/or contacts details per town are as follows:

HESSEQUA

Hessequa Fire Station, Mulder Street, Riversdale. Contact 028 713 7917 or 028 713 8000.

MOSSEL BAY

Mossel Bay Fire Station, Corner of Louis Fourie and Schoeman Streets, Mossel Bay. Charles Street, Great Brak River behind Mossel Bay municipal offices.  Contact the emergency call centre on 044 606 5000 or 044 691 3722.

GEORGE

Persons or organisations wanting to donate or provide  assistance in George can register via the online form http://bit.ly/CAW_Relief_Assistance  or contact the Social Development office on 044 802 2000.  Registered people, companies and NGOs will be contacted in due course.

KNYSNA

Contact Pam Booth on 060 998 6967 to make arrangements for collections.

BITOU

Bitou Fire Station, 1 Flying Cloud Drive, Plettenberg Bay. Contact Andile Sakati on 083 273 7057 / 072 272 4242 or Hadley Venter on 083 443 0120.

GREATER OUDTSHOORN

Oudtshoorn Fire Station (Disaster Relief Hub), 26 Church Street, Oudtshoorn. Contact Ms Sarah Olislager at 044 272 8977/ 083 689 2893 and Mr Wayne Peterson at 044 272 89 77.

KANNALAND

Disaster Management Centre, 23 Church Street, Ladismith (next to Standard Bank). Contact Wayne Robertson on 060 691 3029.

Before any donations are made, please contact the following DSD area representatives:

Mr Dennis Nghonyama [Oudtshoorn/ Kannaland] – 082 960 5746

Mr Mzukisi Skosana [George] – 083 628 7074

Mr Kenneth Mazaleni [Knysna/Bitou] –    082  226 9521

Ms Kholiswa Jobela  [Mossel Bay/Hessequa]- 078 210 5972

Donations by the public must happen without violating the isolation or quarantine measures in place or putting oneself or others at risk. It is advised that pre-arranged drop-off times be arranged to avoid overcrowding at sites. Donations will be controlled in adherence to lockdown regulations and responsibly distributed.

We thank you.

ENDS

Written by Marillia Veldkornet | Communication Officer

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

Garden Route District Multi-Agency Command Centre