Thank you Alderman Speaker and once again, good morning to all Councillors present, those in Council Chambers and those who are working from home.
Alderman Speaker, in my culture they say that one builds a relationship by giving a handshake to another or by having eye-to-eye contact. I am now making eye contact with Councillor Wilbert Harris. I would like to relay to him that he is warmly welcomed as a member of our council. We have worked together on other platforms and are not strangers to one another, hence I will relay as Councillor Gericke did, when he congratulated our new Alderladies – let’s continue to do what we are elected to do. I am convinced that you will be able to efficiently do what you were elected to do.
Alderman Speaker, I must remind the people of the Garden Route that we are taking a lot of strain under COVID-19. Our region is still a hotspot and now one of the fastest growing in terms of rising active cases. This has been calculated in terms of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 in our area. We unfortunately keep peaking on a daily basis.
Once again, my plea to Garden Routers is to please abide by what we have been asked to do. We must wear our masks when we go out in public, we must wash our hands frequently for 20 seconds or longer, we must exercise social distancing, and we must look after ourselves when making use of public transport. It is in every individual’s hands to collectively beat this virus together
Alderman Speaker, you did allude to some of our own colleagues who are infected, some are Councillors too. Our prayers are with them and we support them in everything they do. We hope and pray that those in quarantine do not become infectious.
Alderman Speaker, also on another sad note, there was a horrible accident in Plettenberg Bay over the past weekend and I am not going to mention names, because I was not given permission to do so. What I can say is that the lady who died was a personal assistant of mine when I was Mayor for Bitou Municipality. My heartfelt condolences go out to the friends, family and colleagues of the deceased. On behalf of the Garden Route District Municipality, our prayers go out to them – may the Lord give them strength over this time.
Alderman Speaker, we also buried our former Integrated Development Manager the past weekend in Molteno, one of the last items he prepared for today’s meeting. I want to say that those of us who had been to Mr Cekiso’s funeral followed all necessary protocols and safety measures on the day. We did not even get out of our vehicles at the cemetery or anything. Apart from us being sanitised our clothes and the area around us were disinfected.
Thank you Alderman Speaker.