Category: <span>Municipal Health</span>

27 June 2022 Media Release: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners and stakeholders perform collaborative Spaza Blitz in areas of Knysna

GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners and stakeholders perform collaborative Spaza Blitz in areas of Knysna

For immediate release
27 June 2022

On 8 June 2022, a joint Spaza Blitz operation was conducted in the Nekkies area, located in Knysna. The Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs), together with Knysna Municipality’s Law Enforcement and the South African Police Service (SAPS) formed part of the operations to visit spaza shops in the area.

During the visits to the respective premises, the following were inspected to the determine whether shops complied with the legislative requirements:

  • A valid Certificate of Acceptability In terms of Regulation 638 promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectant Act,1972 (Act 54 of 1972);
  • Business License for food premises;
  • Adherence of applicable COVID protocols;
  • The general hygiene of the premises; and
  • Labeling of foodstuffs.

The team also inspected the shops for any expired products that might have been on the shelves.

A total of twelve (12) shops were visited and inspected of which four (4) did not comply to the requirements. After completion of the operations, GRDM  issued a letter to all the premises that were visited during the day, as well as to the Knysna Municipality in terms of legislative compliance that have to be adhered to. The letter contained clear directives for contravening Spaza Shop owners relating to their shortfalls. Complying to all requirements contribute to the health and safety of the communities that shops sell products to.

More blitz operations are planned for the Greater Knysna during July 2022.

Members of the public are encouraged to report any complaints, relating to the above-mentioned requirements to the Municipal Health Services Section at the Municipality’s office at 24 A Queen Street, Knysna or contact the Knysna office at: 044- 382 7214.

Feature Image: An official from the Knysna Municipality’s Law Enforcement Services during the Joint Spaza Shop Blitz operation that was recently performed in areas of Knysna.

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02 June 2022 Media Release: Crèche surprised with mattress donations by Garden Route District Municipality

Media Release: Crèche surprised with mattress donations by Garden Route District Municipality

For Immediate Release
2 June 2022

Crèches or day care facilities are required to provide safe sleep spaces for toddlers or little ones they care for on a daily basis. To ensure that these spaces are comfortable enough to provide a healthy sleeping routine, a mattress is regarded as an essential item for a toddler.

Towards the end of May 2022, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and their Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, Cllr Nompumelelo Ndayi, paid a surprise visit to the St. Elizabeth Crèche in Avontuur. On arrival Cllr Ndayi, on behalf of GRDM, donated sixteen (16) mattresses to the crèche.  A gratified Principal, Caroline Esau, accepted the items on behalf of the little ones and expressed her gratefulness towards GRDM for the donation, especially due to the timing of the donation.  Avontuur experiences extremely cold weather during winter time, reaching low temperatures of 2°C during autumn and winter.

As part of the visit, the team also demonstrated the steps of proper hand wash techniques to the toddlers and daycare staff.

“Applying these steps will prevent you and your families from easily attracting several types of hygiene-related illnesses,” said Cllr Ndayi at the event.

In closing, the team also distributed pamphlets covering information on daily Health and Hygiene habits. The event ended on a yummy note, with the team sharing snack packs, contributed from their own pockets, with each toddler for behaving and cooperating exceptionally well during their visit.

Carike Soman, Environmental Health Practitioner at GRDM, demonstrates proper handing washing techniques to the toddlers present during the visit.

A few health and hygiene tips shared with the toddlers:

  1. WHY IS HAND WASHING IMPORTANT?
  • Keeping hands clean can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea related illnesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or flu;
  • It can result in less illness and fewer missed school days;
  • When the family is healthy, you don’t have to worry about missing school, work or other activities.
  1. STEPS TO WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY:

Wet first; apply soap; rub palms; rub tips of nails against palms or use a clean scrub; rub fingers between each other; place one hand over the back of the other and rub between fingers. Do the same with the other hand that is not washed; rub each thumb with opposite palms; rinse and dry.

  1. USE OF HAND SANITIZER:
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Feature Image: Garden Route District Municipality’s Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, Cllr Nompumelelo Ndayi (left), hands over a mattress to the Principal of St. Elizabeth Crèche in Avontuur, Caroline Esau.

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1 June 2022 Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners focus on restaurants about safe food handling

Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners focus on restaurants about safe food handling

For Immediate Release
1 June 2022

Five (5) keys to safer food training is a key focus area for Garden Route District Municipality’s Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) to educate the public about. EHPs focus mainly on formal and informal food traders about food safety. Recently, the Mossel Bay EHP team visited food handlers and management of Delfinos, Piza ē Vino, Kingfisher, Big Blu, Patricks and Kaai 4 for exactly this.

Neo-Lay Britz, an EHP from the Mossel Bay sub-office, explained: “Safe food handling is of utmost importance to ensure that quality food is sold to the public. Dangerous bacteria can contaminate food and cause food poisoning if the five keys to safer food are not adhered to”.

The GRDM EHPs, in their educational sessions, focus on the following 5 keys: keeping clean, the importance of separating raw and cooked food, cooking thoroughly, keeping food at safe temperatures; and using safe water and raw materials.

Here are the details of all the keys and their respective tips:

KEEP CLEAN

  • Hands should be washed before and during the food preparation process.
  • Premises should be kept clean, which includes the equipment used, in order to ensure that pests such as cockroaches, mice and rats do not gain access due to the availability of food (food spills, refuse bins and dirty dishes).

SEPARATE RAW AND COOKED FOOD

  • Use separate equipment and utensils for the different types of raw and cooked food.
  • Raw and cooked food should be stored in separate containers.

COOK THOROUGHLY

  • Proper cooking kills most dangerous bacteria, studies have shown that cooking food up to a temperature of 70˚C can help ensure food is safe for consumption.

KEEP FOOD AT SAFE TEMPERATURES

  • Bacteria can multiply very quickly if food is stored/ kept at room temperature, it should either be kept below 5˚C or above 60˚.
  • Food products should be defrosted/ thawed at the correct temperature and not be kept on the table in the hot kitchen during the course of the day.

USE SAFE WATER AND RAW MATERIALS

  • Safe water and raw materials such as fruit and vegetables should be used.
  • Only meat bought from an approved butchery/ abattoir should be used.
  • Choose safely processed foods such as pasteurized milk.

The GRDM EHPs are the first point of contact in ensuring that workplaces are safe, hygienic, and healthy places to work in.

If you become aware of non-compliance, please report it to 082 804 5161.

Feature Image: Environmental Health Practitioners from Garden Route District Municipality in Mossel Bay with employees from a local restaurant.

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19 May 2022 Media Release: Garden Route District Air Quality Awareness Campaigns have reached more than 60 000 people so far

Media Release: Garden Route District Air Quality Awareness Campaigns have reached more than 60 000 people so far

For Immediate Release
19 May 2022

For the last seven (7) years, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has incorporated air pollution education as part of its community outreach activities. The Air Quality awareness campaign was identified in response to the poor air quality status  of informal settlements during winter seasons. Dr Johann Schoeman, District Air Quality Manager at GRDM, emphasised that the poor air quality status is amongst others sources, caused by fires used for  cooking and heating purposes. In the pictures (below) are school representatives from various schools with their study packs.

With this in mind, a three-year formal tender was advertised for the procurement of services by a training provider to facilitate training at schools within the Garden Route.  The tender was awarded to Mingcele (PTY) Ltd to develop study packs and facilitate the training at Primary Schools until 2024. Mingcele facilitates and manages several community development projects with a special focus on educational training support and environmental awareness.

Further to this, Dr Schoeman explained that the Western Cape Provincial Government Education Department was also approached to address the issue at primary school level. This effort resulted in the Clean Fires campaign now being incorporated as part of the Grade 3 curriculum.  In order to reach as many learners as possible, and being inclusive in its approach, the course material is printed in isi-Xhosa, Afrikaans and English.

The course material covers the following air pollution aspects:

  • What air pollution is;
  • The health effects thereof;
  • What causes air pollution;
  • How you can help to reduce air pollution;
  • How to make a fire;
  • How to make a “cleaner” fire for heating purposes; and
  • How to construct a stove from waste material.

Each participating school receives a study pack with study material -convenient for each teacher. The course material is in line with the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and each resource pack consists of full colour posters, an educational game pack, lesson plans, worksheets in all three official languages of the Western Cape, a full colour booklet, a DVD including the lesson plans and worksheets with five plugins for an interactive whiteboard.

Dr Schoeman said: “Since its inception, the project reached most of the primary schools in the Garden Route district. The project is rotated in the region with this year again focusing on the Klein Karoo region. In total, 72 teachers and 2033 learners from 39 schools were reached, amongst others in Oudtshoorn, Uniondale, Volmoed, De Rust, Calitzdorp, Avontuur, Haarlem and Ladismith areas.  GRDM’s officials were involved in the official hand-over of study packs to some of the participating schools.

When determining the current project impact on the receptor environment, Dr Schoeman highlighted: “It is anticipated that four (4) family members per child are reached with a cumulative impact of 8132 community members covered through the project for this year alone”.

The project statistics for the last four years are as follows:

2019: 37 schools and 72 teachers.
2020: 46 schools and 63 teachers.
2021: 66 schools and 151 teachers.
2022: 39 schools, 72 teachers and 2033 learners.

Seventy-two study packs were handed over to the participating schools. For the last 4 years, the project almost reached 60 000 people in the Garden Route.

In closing, Dr Schoeman said: “Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the project is taking place by means of follow-ups through social media (WhatsApp), email communication and completed attendance registers”.  Adding to this he highlighted: “Due to the success of this project and the positive feedback received from the participating schools, the GRDM committed itself for another two years to expand its awareness outreach sessions”.

The GRDM Air Quality Unit encourages the public to contact their office at 044-693 0006 during office hours, for any further information regarding the project.  To learn more about air quality, visit our page at: http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/air-quality/

Feature Image: Bersig Primary School

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10 May 2022 Frequently Asked Questions: Rooikat Recycling Project, Great Brak River

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Rooikat Recycling Project, Great Brak River

Click on the questions below to view the answers to frequently asked questions.

1. What is the Rooikat recycling project in Great Brak River?

Rooikat Recycling is developing robust, fit for purpose, thermal depolymerisation technology.  This technology will allow the treatment of waste plastic and tyres to produce a basket of fuels that can be placed in the existing market.

All waste will be delivered to the site directly from designated sources for processing. Waste will be sourced from private companies wishing to reduce their solid waste footprint and reputable waste management entities e.g., recycling companies.  Waste from the public will not be accepted.

2. What is the Garden Route District Municipality’s involvement in the project?

In terms of Section 36(1) of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, Act 39 of 2004 (the Act), metropolitan and district municipalities are responsible for implementing the atmospheric emission licensing system referred to in Section 22 of the Act.

The Garden Route District Municipality is the Air Quality licencing authority for the Rooikat Recycling Project.

The Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Developmental Planning is the competent authority for the Waste Management Licence and the subsequent Environmental Authorisation.

3. Why was an air emissions license issued?

The proposed activity triggers two Section 21 listed activities, Categories 8.1 and 3.4 and subsequently, Rooikat Recycling applied for an Atmospheric Emission License (AEL) on the South African Atmospheric Emission Licencing and Emissions Inventory Portal (SAAELIP).

The application also triggered activity 6 of the NEMA Listing Notice 2 and required Environmental Authorisation and a Waste Management Licence.

A specialist Air Quality Impact Assessment was required in terms of section 38(1)(a) and also a public participation process as per section 38(3) of the Act.

The issuing of the AEL was subjected to Environmental Authorisation as it takes precedence and must inform the AEL decision.

All Section 39 factors (impact factors) were considered in reaching the decision to issue the granting letter (minimum emission standards, ambient standards, pollution caused by the activity and effect on health, environment, best available technology, etc.)

4. What is depolymerisation?

Depolymerisation is a mild form of pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is an established chemical process that breaks down large molecules (plastic and tyres) into smaller molecules (fuel oil) by the application of heat.  Heat is supplied by burning petroleum gas (LPG) and fuel oil in a furnace.  The process uses a closed-loop system to produce oil (fuel oil).  Carbon black and petroleum gas are produced as by-products.  Petroleum gas is used internally as a fuel.  Both fuel oil and carbon black are sold as fuels or chemical feedstock.  The significant emission from the process is the combustion gas produced in the furnace.   All water produced in the process is recycled as cooling water.  Rainwater is contained on the plant and recycled.

5. What are the emissions associated with this process?

The furnace is the main emission source.  Petroleum gas and fuel oil are combusted in a purpose-designed burner in the furnace to provide heat.  The burner is designed to completely combust the petroleum gas and fuel oil to produce carbon dioxide and water, similar to a vehicle’s exhaust gas.  All combustion processes may produce by-products including particulates (black smoke) which are pollutants. To remove pollutants the combustion gas from the furnace is cleaned, by scrubbing with water, before it is released to the atmosphere.  The cleaned combustion gas is the main air emission from the process.  This is in great contrast to the common idea of tyre, plastic or waste burning or incineration.

6. Will tyres and plastic be burned in the process?

No, Garden Route District Municipality will never allow the uncontrolled burning of tyres and waste.  This is illegal.  Burning of plastic or tyres is not permitted as toxic by-products are produced and released into the atmosphere.  The proposed process does not burn tyres or plastic. The process heats tyres or plastic, to elevated temperatures, in an oxygen-free environment.

7. In the Final Bar it is mentioned that further distillation of diesel oil will take place. This changes the plant from a pilot plant to a processing production plant. Was this considered?

Yes, it was considered.  A suggestion from the public participation process was to explicitly include the distillation of oil to produce diesel, as part of the process description for transparency.  Diesel is a product of the distillation process.  The distillation step is not a new process, but a modification to improve an existing process.  There is no change in environmental impact or emission.  The classification of the plant or process is not changed.

Category 2 of the section 21 activities covers the Petroleum Industry, the production of gaseous and liquid fuels as well as petrochemicals from crude oil, coal, gas or biomass.

  • Subcategory 2.1 Combustion Installations
  • Subcategory 2.2: Catalytic Cracking Units
  • Subcategory 2.3: Sulphur Recovery Units
  • Subcategory 2.4: Storage and Handling of Petroleum Products
  • Subcategory 2.5: Industrial Fuel Oil Recyclers

The distillation of diesel is not a listed activity in terms category 2. The proposed activity triggers only 8.1 and 3.4.

The Act in terms of category 8.1 and 3.4 does not make provision for “pilot plants”. The emission limits and special arrangements for the proposed facility fully applies. For example, the installation of a CEMS unit remains a requirement although the application referrers to the proposed facility as a pilot plant.

8. The area is surrounded by many dairy farms, old age homes and tourism venues. Surely the emission of noxious gasses will have a detrimental effect on this pristine area?

The operation of the facility is highly regulated.  The facility must be operated to comply with both the Waste Management and Atmospheric Emission Licences to ensure the operation is not detrimental to the environment.

An atmospheric emission licence must be seen as a regulatory tool which is implemented to ensure compliance and protect the ambient air quality of a specific air space.   The applicant will only be issued with a Provisional AEL. Only if the applicant can prove compliance with the conditions of the Provisional for period of at least 6 months, will a full AEL be considered.  The facility cannot operate without an AEL.

Based on the outcome of the specialist study the activity will not have a significant detrimental effect on the environment, including health, social conditions, economic conditions, ecological conditions or cultural heritage. The assessment made was based on the minimum emission limits as per the categories and the results demonstrated that the emissions will not exceed the limits as per the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (GN1210 of December 2009). International ambient air quality standards were used to compare the results where ambient air quality standards for specific pollutants are not included in GN1210 of December 2009. The study also included the cumulative impact of the surrounding industries (brick factory and pole yard) on ambient air quality.

9. Why is the plant located in Great Brak River and not in another industrial location such as Mossdustria?

This site was chosen based on its zoning and is an existing industrial zone.  This site is zoned Industrial Zone 3.  The other industrial site investigated, including Mossdustria, is zoned Industrial Zone 2.  This site is part of an existing serviced development and is in a disturbed state.   The site is on the existing Mobicast facility, bordered to the north by a sawmill/pole yard and to the south by the Rheebokstene brick factory. The landfill site is also north of the pole yard.

The entire facility, including storage, office, plant and roads has a footprint of approximately 2 100m².  This is relatively small compared to the sizes of the surrounding industries; Mobicast (43 000m²), Rheebokstene (195 000m²), Woodline Timber Industries (163 000m²) and the Landfill site (74 000m²).

As the proposed site is within the existing Mobicast site on a previously disturbed area and will be fully walled/fenced, its impact on the sense of place of the area would be low. The impact on tourism in the area is negligible due to the presence of existing industry surrounding the chosen site.

10. What process was followed to offer the public an opportunity to lodge their concerns aboutthe proposed project?

Public participation is understood to be a series of inclusive and culturally appropriate interactions aimed at providing stakeholders with opportunities to express their views, so that these can be considered and incorporated into the decision-making process. Effective public participation requires the disclosure of relevant and adequate project information to enable stakeholders to understand the risks, impacts, and opportunities of the Proposed Project.

The processes regulating the application for and granting of both Waste Management and Atmospheric Emission Licenses require public participation at various stages and in different forms.  The timing and nature of the public participation is prescribed by the licensing authority and subsequent legislation.

The following public participation processes were performed as part of the application for a Waste Management Licence:

  1. Pre-application Public Participation
  2. Application Public Participation including clarification meetings
  3. Appeal to granting of Waste Management License

The following public participation processes were performed as part of the application for an Atmospheric Emission Licence:

  1. Application Public Participation
  2. Appeal to granting of Atmospheric Emission License

The following was done in terms of the Waste Management License application:

Pre-application: Due to the nature of the project, a pre-application public participation process was undertaken to obtain comments on the proposed project prior to submission of the Draft BAR application.

Application: More than 150 individuals, organisations and authorities registered as interested and Affected Parties. Methods used to inform the public were inter alia: direct notification, advertisements, site notices, availability of draft basic assessment reports and final draft basic assessment reports.  This was also supplemented with:

Clarification Meeting with Representatives of the Resident’s Associations

  • The Rooikat project team was invited to attend a virtual meeting on 23 November 2020 to provide clarity on the proposed project. This meeting was hosted by representatives from the Resident Associations in the area.

Public Participation Feedback Meeting with Interested & Affected Parties

  • The Rooikat project team hosted a virtual meeting on 10 December 2020 to provide feedback on the main comments and concerns raised during the public participation.

Appeal:  The public participation process also allows the public to appeal the Waste Management License and Air Emissions License after the licenses are granted. Appeals were lodged by the public for both licenses post granting. The appeals were reviewed by the respective licensing authorities and the final licenses were granted.

Other public participation processes followed:

  • There was a parallel Public Participation process in terms of the Air Quality Act which was done according to the requirements of the Air Quality act.
  • Furthermore, a presentation was done to the Mayor of Mossel Bay and was open to the public with a special link. Question and answer sessions were allowed.
  • Media 24 also approached Mossel Bay and Garden Route District Municipalities to produce a video. They interviewed and published a video on their network after interviewing some of the relevant role-players of the project.  Not all role-players chose to be interviewed.
  • The project was presented to the Garden Route Council and a resolution was approved to communicate the project further by means of this question and answers press release to inform the community accordingly.

11. What assurance does the public have if the projects do not live up to the expectations of not affecting the receptor environment?

The facility must be operated to comply with both the Waste Management and Atmospheric Emission Licences to ensure the operation is not detrimental to the environment.  The facility cannot operate without these licenses.

The facility is required to measure and report on its operation to the Licensing Authorities.  The Licensing Authorities also conduct inspections.  The Garden Route Municipality will ensure that the applicant operates within the regulations of the Atmospheric Emission License.  Should the facility not operate within the license conditions, the license may be withdrawn and the facility shutdown.  This has happened to another operating entity in the Garden Route District Municipality in the recent past.

For Air Quality-related queries and assistance, contact Dr Johann Schoeman (Manager: District Air Quality) via e-mail: jschoeman@gardenroute.gov.za 
Learn more about Air Quality here: Air Quality

All media-related queries can be directed to Herman Pieters (Chief Communications Officer), e-mail: communications@gardenroute.gov.za

Photo credit: Istock.

10 May 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Air Quality complies 100% with NAEIS

Media Release: Garden Route Air Quality complies 100% with NAEIS

For Immediate Release
10 May 2022

The National Atmospheric Emission Inventory System (NAEIS) is an internet-based emissions reporting system that is a component of the South African Atmospheric Emission Licencing and Inventory System (SAAELIP) portal. The Air Quality Unit of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) must ensure that regulated industries, as well as authorities, report atmospheric emissions annually between January and March. This is completed to ensure that a national atmospheric emission inventory profile is in place.

According to Dr Johann Schoeman, Manager: Air Quality: “For the 2022 reporting cycle, GRDM had 37 facilities registered, of which all of them submitted their reports on the system before 31 March 2022. This ensured that the GRDM received a 100% submission rate.” Dr Schoeman says the 100% submission rate was achieved because of “relentless assistance to the industry”. The guidance is provided to the industry through special NAEIS completion target-group sessions, appointments, and personal assistance.

The NAEIS is aimed at providing accurate, current, and complete information on all significant sources of identified atmospheric emissions. This includes greenhouse gas emissions from South Africa. The information is used to inform policy formulation, for the Republic of South Africa to meet its obligations under the United Framework Convention on Climate Change and any other international treaties.

WHO SHOULD REPORT TO NAEIS?

Three groups of data providers are required to report to NAEIS, as listed below:

  • Listed activity in terms of Section 21(1) of the National Environment Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 (the Act).
  • Controlled emitters: Section 23(1) of the Act.
  • Mines: Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002).

ARE THERE ANY PENALTIES FOR NOT REPORTING INTO NAEIS WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED PERIOD? WHAT IS THE FINE FOR NON-COMPLIANCE?

A person guilty of an offence in terms of NAEIS Reporting Regulations is liable, in the case of a first conviction, to a fine not exceeding R5 million. A person can also be imprisoned for up to five (5) years. In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, a person can receive a fine not exceeding R10 million or be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

National Emission Reporting regulations that prescribe NAEIS reporting can be downloaded from https://www.environment.gov.za/legislation/actsregulations.

Feature Image: Dr Johann Schoeman (Manager: District Air Quality Management), , Anelisa Fuzani (Environmental Health Practitioner), Sam Bendle (Chief: Municipal Health Services – Mossel Bay), Angus Andries (District Air Quality Officer)

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9 May 2022 Media Release: Several Karoo towns recently visited to create awareness about municipal health

Media Release:  Several Karoo towns recently visited to create awareness about municipal health

For Immediate Release
9 May 2022

Environmental Pollution Control and Prevention of Communicable Diseases forms part of the key performance areas of the Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM). Recent educational visits to Oudtshoorn, Dysselsdorp and Calitzdorp Clinics and surroundings focused on environmental factors affecting human health and wellbeing.

These health & hygiene education & awareness sessions aimed to educate and inform the target audiences on how to take responsibility for their own health, as prevention is better than cure. A total of 137 homes were reached during the health education sessions.

Education material was communicated and distributed to audiences during the sessions, and focuses on the following aspects:

  • Indoor Air Quality;
  • Risk related to tobacco smoking;
  • Tuberculosis prevention;
  • Treatment of household contaminated water;
  • Treatment of diarrhea;
  • Illegal dumping health risks;
  • Food safety and hygiene; and
  • Proper hand-wash techniques.

5 May 2022 Media Release: Have you washed your hands today?

Media Release: Have you washed your hands today?

For Immediate Release
5 May 2022

That is a good question to ask yourself and your loved ones to remind us all of the importance of clean hands.

COVID-19 has once again shown us the importance of hand hygiene as a non-pharmaceutical intervention of preventing the spread of germs.

Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory, diarrheal and a range of other infections from one person to the next.

World Hand Hygiene Day is commemorated annually on 5 May. The slogan this year is: Unite for safety: clean your hands.

The World Health Organization explains that when a health facility’s ‘quality and safety climate or culture’ values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC), this results in both patients and health workers feeling protected and cared for.

Western Cape Government Health and Wellness facilities prioritise hygiene at all levels through strict IPC policies. Hand hygiene is also promoted in communities during outreaches and visits to crèches and schools.

Nathan Jacobs works as environmental health practitioner for Western Cape Government Health and Wellness, and experiences first-hand the impact of hand hygiene . ‘Hand hygiene is important as a non-pharmaceutical intervention to prevent the spread of disease. I see first-hand what important role hand hygiene has is in our places of work, schools and public spaces. We can prevent the spread of many diseases by keeping our hands clean.’

Washing hands with normal soap and running water works best. If access to a shared tap is available, the following method can be used:  

  • Make a hole in the lid of an empty plastic bottle
  • Carefully fill the bottle with water
  • Screw on the cap with a hole in it
  • Wet hands with a little bit of water
  • Apply soap and rub all over your hands to create a foam/lather
  • Use the remaining water to rinse through the hole in the lid of the bottle.

Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:  

  • Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
  • Touch a contaminated surface or objects
  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into your hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects.

For more information visit: www.westerncape.gov.za

Caption: Nathan encourages everyone to wash their hands regularly.

END

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health

Tel: 044 813 1831
Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

31 March 2022 Media Release: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners conduct Door-to-Door Campaign on World TB Day

GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners conducts Door-to-Door Campaign on World TB Day

For immediate release
31 March 2022

In light of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2022 with the theme “Invest to End TB – Save Lives” that was commemorated on 24 March 2022 , Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with Western Cape Department of Health, conducted a door-to-door campaign in George.

Garden Route District Municipality’s Environmental Health Practitioners (from left) are Lusizo Khwetshube, Khanyisa Shoto, Yonwaba Sifo (middle), Sive Mkuta (2nd, right) and Ivy Mamegwa (right) with Patience Shipalane (3rd, left) and Loretta Roelfse (3rd, right) from the Western Cape Department of Health during the door-to-door campaign.

Amongst others, awareness was raised on the health impacts of indoor and ambient air quality pollution which contribute significantly to the increase in health risks such as respiratory illnesses i.e. Bronchitis, TB, etc. Areas such as Rosedale, Sea-View, and surrounding communities of the Pacaltsdorp informal settlements were visited. Approximately 500 pamphlets were distributed during the campaign.

Municipal Health Services as defined in the National Health Act, 2003 includes the surveillance and prevention of these communicable diseases. EHPs have a statutory obligation to protect the health of the present and future generations as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis), which most often affect the lungs. TB is curable and preventable, but it can be spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they push the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

Environmental Health Practitioners spotted at the Rosedale community in Pacaltsdorp (George) educating the public on indoor, ambient air pollution and Tuberculosis.

Eight countries account for two-thirds of the new TB cases around the world including India, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and South Africa.

Common symptoms of TB include:

  • Prolonged Cough
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Night sweats

For any further information relating to the surveillance and prevention of communicable diseases, please contact the GRDM Municipal Services Units at the respective Regional offices of the GRDM and “Let us invest in saving lives”.

Main Office:
Johan Compion
Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services
E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za
Tel: 044 803 1300

George (Outeniqua):
Emmy Douglas (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 803 1501
Fax: 044 803 1566
Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

George (Wilderness):
Pieter Raath (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 803 1501
Fax: 044 803 1566
Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

Mossel Bay:
Sam Bendle (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel:  044 693 0006
Address C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay

Klein Karoo
Desmond Paulse (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 272 2241
Cell: 083 678 6530
Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

Knysna
James McCarthy (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 382 7214
Cell: 082 805 9417
Address: 26A Queen Street, Knysna

Bitou (Plettenberg Bay)
Gawie Vos (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 044 5011600
Address: 4 Virginia Street, Plettenberg Bay, 6600

Hessequa:
Haemish Herwels (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: 028 713 2438
Cell: 083 678 6545
Address: 23 Michell Street, Riversdale, 6670

Kannaland:
George Hendriksz (Chief: Municipal Health)
Tel: +27(0)44 272 2241
Cell: +27(0)82 907 3492
Address: 15 Regent Street, Oudtshoorn

Feature Image: Garden Route District Municipality’s Environmental Health Practitioners (from left) are: Khanyisa Shoto, Lusizo Khwetshube, Yonwaba Sifo, Sive Mkuta, and Ivy Mamegwa shortly before the door-to-door campaign commenced.

ENDS

30 March 2022 MEDIA RELEASE: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS ENSURING HYGIENE STANDARDS ARE MAINTAINED AT KKNK AND OTHER FESTIVALS

MEDIA RELEASE: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS ENSURING HYGIENE STANDARDS ARE MAINTAINED AT KKNK AND OTHER FESTIVALS

For Immediate Release
30 March 2022

In terms of the Municipal Systems Act of 2000, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Municipal Health Services is one of the primary functions of a district municipality. Section 1 of the National Health Act, 2003 (Act 61 of 2003), defines municipal health services as the following key performance areas:

  • Disposal of the Dead.
  • Environmental Pollution Control.
  • Food Control.
  • Health Surveillance of Premises.
  • Surveillance and Prevention of Communicable Diseases.
  • Vector Control / Monitoring.
  • Waste Management.
  • Water Quality Monitoring.
  • Chemical Safety

The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK)

This National Arts festival takes place from Tuesday 29 March until Sunday 3 April 2022 in Oudtshoorn.

During the Festival, EHPs of GRDM conduct routine inspections and monitor all environmental health aspects, such as food stalls, solid waste storage- and removal, wastewater disposal, public toilet facilities, camping sites, etc.

EHPs are doing daily inspections at the different events and premises at the KKNK. They will ensure that all food preparation activities conform to hygienic requirements and that waste-water, solid waste and sanitation facilities are sufficient. The EHP officials will also form part of the daily KKNK Joint Operation Centre (JOC) meetings to address all health-related matters.

On the first day of the KKNK, EHPs inspected all food stalls for compliance with Regulation 638 of 22 June 2018, Section 3(1) and determine if the owner has a Certificate of Acceptability.

FOOD STALLS

During festivals, food control is a mandatory regulation that enforces consumer protection. It ensures that food is safe and wholesome for consumption during preparation, handling, storage, processing, and distribution. Furthermore, that food conforms to the quality and safety requirements as prescribed by R146 of 1 March 2010 and is labelled correctly.

EHPs ensure that food is kept at safe temperatures; food handlers wear proper protective clothing; food stalls are kept clean and hygienic, and no animals except guide dogs are allowed in food stalls. Also, food should be protected from contamination by using good manufacturing practices and the best methods available.  EHPs also take food samples to ensure the food is safe.

GRDM already had discussions with the KKNK management regarding the issuing of Certificates of Acceptance (COA). To be approved for a food stall for the duration of the KKNK, a COA is required from the GRDM Municipal Health Office. Food stall owners were provided with a copy of the hygienic guidelines to ensure they knew the hygienic and health regulations for selling food at KKNK. Environmental Health Practitioners have provided food hygiene education and training to all food handlers and will do this going forward.

PUBLIC TOILET FACILITIES

KKNK will provide adequate toilet facilities and will maintain and clean the sanitation facilities. The EHPs will monitor public toilets daily and report unhygienic conditions to the KKNK office.  Additionally, EHP will ensure that restaurants inside and outside the festival area provide access to toilets and handwashing facilities.

WASTE WATER AND SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

The KKNK and Oudtshoorn Municipality are responsible for providing wastewater collection facilities, while the EHPs monitor the storage and disposal of solid waste. To prevent health nuisances, it is imperative that waste water and refuse bins are removed quickly.

ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES/CAMPING SITES

GRDM EHPs carried out inspections at accommodation facilities and guest houses before the commencement of the KKNK. They ensure that all guest houses that provide food to the public comply with R638 of 2018 and must have a COA for food premises

Minimum requirements regarding refuse removal, water provision, sanitation, and regular cleaning of camping sites were compiled in the past, and EHPs will regularly monitor facilities at camping sites.

SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES: TOBACCO CONTROL ACT

Premises, where meals are provided for consumption in a room, building, or tent, will be monitored. As stipulated in Regulation 975 notice relating to Smoking of Tobacco Products in Public Places, the rules regarding smoking in public places must be adhered to.

Smoking areas must conform to national legislation.  Event coordinators must provide guests access to a designated smoking area.  Smoking in or near food stalls is prohibited.

After the festival, the EHPs participate in debriefing sessions to discuss the best practices and challenges identified.

For any further information, please contact GRDM Klein Karoo Region Municipal Health Services:

Mr. Desmond Paulse

Chief: Municipal Health (Klein Karoo)

Tel: 044 272 2241

Cell: 083 678 6530

Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

 Mr. Johan Compion

Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services

E-mail: johan@gardenroute.gov.za

Tel: 044 803 1300