Category: Local Government News

Message from Ms Maxwelline Fatuse – Environmental Health Practitioner

Topic:  Being a Frontline Worker

Message from Councillor Clodia Lichaba

Topic: Gender-Based Violence

News Release: More EPWP essential workers for the Garden Route to stop the spread of COVID-19

5 August 2020

For immediate release

With the Garden Route district being identified as one of the COVID-19 hotspots in the Western Cape, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), last month trained 119 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) essential workers, to assist at hotspots in the district and to create awareness about COVID-19.

With the substantial surge of infections over the past weeks, more workers have been recruited of which now reached a total of 226 workers on the programme, with eighty (80) being recruited to service  the George municipal, area as the hotspot of the Garden Route. Twenty-eight (28) workers have been deployed to Knysna, 36 to Hessequa, 30 to Bitou, 20 to the Greater Oudtshoorn municipal area, 12 to Kannaland and 20 to Mossel Bay.

EPWP workers trained by GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners to assist at hotspots within the Garden Route district.

According to Mr Richard Dyantyi, Manager for the EPWP at the GRDM, the increase number of essential workers in these areas, was influenced by the rise in the COVID-19 infections.  Hence the deployment by the National Department of Public Works in collaboration with National Department of Health.

Their tasks include:  health promotion on COVID-19 prevention by creating awareness, the distribution of soap and hand sanitizers, cleaning and disinfection of public areas that are frequently visited by members of the public such as  SASSA pay points,  taxi ranks, communal water collection points and areas identified by GRDM Municipal Health Services. All these tasks are performed with the personal protective equipment provided by the Independent Development Trust (IDT). He also said: “All workers are trained and supervised by Environmental Health Practitioners from GRDM. The recruited EPWP participants are subjected to a screening process, which is coordinated by the GRDM Municipal Health Services . The recruitment is done in such a way that the appointed workers service their respective local Municipal wards,” he added.

The Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen, highlighted: “The increased number of essential workers to these hotspots is an indication that we adapt our efforts to ensure that we address the pandemic as it unfolds. We cannot entirely predict the number of persons to be infected, as community transmissions are highly unpredictable, but we can intensify our initiatives to address the demands, if neededThis is one such example thereof,” Mayor Booysen concluded.

The Head of  Disaster Management at GRDM, Mr Gerhard Otto, said that this additional manpower will assist on ground level to monitor the Covid-19 safety measures i.e. social distancing, regular washing of  hands with soap and water as well as the wearing of face masks. Over the next two to three weeks a whole of government approach with all “hands on deck” would be required to slow down the spread of this deadly virus and ensure the flattening of Covid-19 curve. This would assist in ensuring that our health system meets the ever-increasing demand for critical health care.

This programme is an initiative of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) as a member of the National Joints (NatJoints) Committee, who identified this initiative as the best response mechanism to assist the Department of Health to deliver required public health services at elementary level for purposes of COVID-19 spread prevention and control. The programme is a collective effort between the DPWI, Independent Development Trust, NPOs (such as Edu-Plett and God Care International), Department of Employment and Labour, GRDM and Local Municipalities in the Garden Route district.

Also read: http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2020/06/22/epwp-essential-workers-to-assist-at-covid-19-hotspots-in-the-garden-route/

ENDS

Message from Ms Mouseline Maree

News Release: Bricklaying Apprenticeship continues to benefit youth of the Garden Route

4 August 2020

For immediate release

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa, together with the Services SETA, approached the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) to participate and pilot an A21 Bricklaying Apprenticeship programme. The municipality was provided with ten (10) seats for unemployed youth in the district.

The seats offered to the municipality were split between Bitou Municipality and GRDM and the programme started in March 2019, stretching over a period of three (3) years.

However, with the lockdown announced in March this year, the programme had to be temporary brought to a halt.  During this period, the South Cape College which was appointed as training provider, continued to pay stipends to the apprentices, as per the directive of the Department Higher Education and Training (DHET) since the lockdown was announced.

This programme is an initiative of the Department of Higher Education and Training and was designed to meet two objectives:

  • to address the demand for priority trades needed for the implementation of Government’s National Development Plan in general and its National Infrastructure Plan more particularly;  and
  • to contribute towards the building of capacity of its public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College system to deliver trade qualifications with employer partners.

According to Mr Reginald Salmons, GRDM Coordinator for Skills Development and Training, the initiative was also identified as part of the Garden Route Skills Summit resolutions, to “Progressively support the development of the new apprenticeship of 21st Century (A21) in the District”.

The programme is currently in its second year and has resumed in June 2020.

The learners are being trained theoretically by South Cape College and then do their practicals at a construction company identified by the GRDM.

Photo Caption:  Skills Development and Training officials at Garden Route District Municipality, Ms Angeline Naidoo (left) and Mr Reginald Salmons (fifth from left) with the participants of the A21 Bricklaying Apprenticeship in the District.

News Release: How Red Dot Transport operates in the Garden Route

04 August 2020

For immediate release

The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of a critical transport service during the COVID-19 pandemic to those making use of isolation and quarantine facilities.

If a person does not have a safe or adequate space to isolate and quarantine at, a Red Dot Taxi will be used to escort the patient safely to and from one of the regional facilities. The Western Cape Department of Health earlier this year appointed Umanyano Travel Services to provide the service.

Each vehicle is fitted with a protective screen between the driver and passengers, a tracker to monitor performance and the recognisable Red Dot Taxi sticker to make them easily identifiable for their intended passengers. To ensure that passengers stay and feel safe during their trips, drivers/operators, during and after trips, follow strict safety and hygiene protocols. This includes proper cleaning and the sanitisation of vehicles, the use of cloth masks and appropriate protective gear.

The service can only be arranged through public health facilities in the Western Cape, whereby a clinician (doctor or nurse), will request for a person to be transported.

Also read: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/red-dot-transports-12-000-healthcare-workers

Message from Councillor Liza Stroebel

Topic:  Gender Mainstreaming

Accommodation for leisure FINALLY open!

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 30 July 2020

Release: immediately

Accommodation for leisure FINALLY open!

We can, finally welcome the confirmation by the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, that accommodation for leisure is open for travel within provinces under Alert Level 3.

What this means is that families who live in the province can now spend a weekend away at their favourite getaway spot and enjoy the best that the Western Cape has to offer, while doing so safely and responsibly.

We also welcome the announcement that the curfew will start at 10pm to allow restaurants an uninterrupted dinner service.

We have repeatedly called for the opening of these sectors, who have already done a great deal of work to develop health and safety guidelines and protocols aimed at ‘de-risking’ the sector.

While these adjustments to the restrictions will certainly help to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism and hospitality industry, they don’t go far enough, and so we will continue to engage with national government on this.

This finally brings to an end, months of flip-flopping that have caused immense financial damage and significant jobs losses that could have been avoided if a common-sense approach had been taken from the start.

We call on all people who can, to book a holiday or even just a night away, to support the tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape.

We all need to contribute to economic recovery in the Western Cape – and supporting our accommodation sector, while visiting and supporting shops and restaurants in local towns at the same time has never been more important!

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

To read the statement online visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/accommodation-leisure-finally-open

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.

Press Release: Hotspot Awareness increased for Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp in George

Press Release: Hotspot Awareness increased for Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp in George
Issued George Municipality, Wednesday 29 July

The Western Cape Provincial Government uses a dashboard to track the number of reported Covid-19 positive cases which updated on a daily basis. The dashboard shows the number of tests done, deaths reported, and the number of recoveries  and categorises the Western Cape districts by the amount of infections, monitoring  the trends in infections, deaths and recoveries. Based on the heat mapping derived from this dashboard the Western Cape and Garden Route District Covid -19 Command Centre  together with George Municipality are able to identify localized areas as “hotspots” – these are areas where the rate of infection has increased dramatically through community transmission.

The National Government and Western Cape Government have developed hotspot strategies aimed at reducing community transmission of COVID-19, and the morbidity and mortality of vulnerable people. The premise is to get  people to stay at home unless necessary to travel, to maintain physical distance outside the home, to always use a mask, and to maintain hygiene. The awareness is coupled with the targeted screening and testing of vulnerable people. Various hotspots have been identified in the Western Cape  including  the Cape Winelands, the West Coast, Overberg, the Garden Route, Tygerberg, Khayelitsha, Klipfontein, Mitchells Plain, and parts of the Cape Flats. Within the Garden Route localized hotspots have been identified in Knysna, Mossel Bay and in George – specifically Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp.

A dedicated multi-disciplinary task team has been established to give special attention to those communities showing high rates of transmission of infection and to address the adherence to the Covid-19 regulations and health protocols in general. The awareness methods utilized by the multidisciplinary Covid-19 task team led by  George Municipality include the use of a trailer banner which will move around to different streets within an area and the erection of  lamppole posters. These are supplemented by community radio advertising campaigns, outreaches including radio outside broadcasts, the handing out of flyers and an active social media campaign. Besides the dedicated awareness campaign, the sanitisation and disinfection of public areas are regularly undertaken by GRDM together with outreach programmes implemented by their EHP officials on an ongoing basis.

The public can access the following link to review the statistics per town and per suburb: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard

Criticism of the targeted awareness is noted on social media and it is important to stress that this is not about stigmatizing a particular area. This is being done to protect the community members living in that area . To ensure that they are aware that there is a high infection rate within their area and that they need to take extra care to keep themselves and their families safe.

Chantel Edwards-Klose
Communications: Manager

Office of the Municipal Manager

Office: 044 801 9160

Cell: 082 350 2420

Email: cedwardsklose@george.gov.za