COMMUNICATIONS BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR, CLLR MEMORY BOOYSEN, DURING THE 21ST COUNCIL MEETING OF GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY HELD ON 25 MARCH 2020 IN GEORGE
Councillor Justin Fry, I would like to officially welcome you to the same colour t-shirts we’re wearing in the Garden Route, because for the unprecedented scenarios we face, we have to operate accordingly as well. We are facing “business unusual”. I’m specifically referring to COVID-19.
When a person loses a family member, we say Angel Gabriel visited his or her family. Angel Gabriel also visited the Garden Route District Municipality when Councillor Nomhiki Jacobs. Not only did I lose her as a friend, but a sister as well. She was one of the first people who befriended me and thereafter we became public representatives. At one stage, we briefly parted ways due to different political ideologies and here at Garden Route District Municipality, we grew closer again. We have both always wanted to fight for the people of Plettenberg Bay. She passed away whilst fighting for the community of Plettenberg Bay.
Because of the lock-down, we have also had to take drastic measures. I would like to official communicate to Council that we will adhere to the call of the President, Cyril Ramaphosa. Our municipality closes today and we do have the tools of trade to work from home. We also have the technology because we have teleconference and videoconferencing facilities available in all our Committee Rooms.
One of the most important tools to fight the virus with, is through clear communication. Because of the digital divide and many other circumstances, some of us are disadvantaged. In light of this, Garden Route District Municipality has made provision for the visually impaired by preparing a Braille document about COVID-19. We will distribute the Braille document to those who need it. I want to make it clear – we will do whatever we can to fight the virus.
Thank you, in advance, to all the essential workers who keep us informed wherever there risks are. For most citizens, the immediate reaction is to run away from danger, but essential workers run towards it. I urge essential workers to always keep in mind that their safety is of utmost importance, especially when looking at this virus which has caused a pandemic. The only way to deal with it is to abide to the rules. The same is expected from us as Councillors and officials. We cannot predict how the lock-down will unfold.
Also, for those who will not be called during this testing and trying time, please be safe, isolate yourself. See this as an opportunity to bond with your family. I will encourage all of us, where we can, to remain in isolation. Only in unusual circumstances, we’ll go out and assist.
Finally, I would also like to say to the family of the late Cllr Jacobs that, again, unfortunately, the majority of us would have loved to be at her funeral, but unfortunately because of the lock-down. Councillor Meyer, please also accept my condolences to your loss of one of your family members.
Thank you Mr Speaker.