News

Media Release: Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde

6 August 2020

As of 1 pm on 6 August, the Western Cape has 9171 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 97013 confirmed cases and 84 529 recoveries.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases 97013
Total recoveries 84529
Total deaths 3313
Total active cases (currently infected patients) 9171
Tests conducted 430840
Hospitalisations 1280 with 276 in ICU or high care

Cape Metro Sub-districts:

 Sub-district Cases   Recoveries
Western 8161  7245
Southern 8477  7402
Northern 5670  5125
Tygerberg 11983  10687
Eastern 8907  7833
Klipfontein 8451  7432
Mitchells Plain 7695  6797
Khayelitsha 7872  7196
Total 67223 59717

Sub-districts:

 District  Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Garden Route Bitou 467 342
Garden Route Knysna 1119 820
Garden Route George 2819 2181
Garden Route Hessequa 205 170
Garden Route Kannaland 59 47
Garden Route Mossel Bay 1595 1116
Garden Route Oudsthoorn 655 359
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 1860 1629
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 3925 3512
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 2894 2518
Cape Winelands Langeberg 1027 881
Cape Winelands Witzenberg 1347 1103
Overberg Overstrand 1404 1258
Overberg Cape Agulhas 218 166
Overberg Swellendam 248 222
Overberg Theewaterskloof 1025 875
West Coast Bergrivier 360 311
West Coast Cederberg 131 96
West Coast Matzikama 241 186
West Coast Saldanha Bay Municipality 1195 1034
West Coast Swartland 1266 1014
Central Karoo Beaufort West 329 174
Central Karoo Laingsburg 43 22
Central Karoo Prince Albert 7 2

Unallocated: 5351 (4774 recovered)

Data note: It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas.

More data is available here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 48 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 3265.  We send our condolences to the loved ones of all the deceased at this time.

Mitchells Plain Hospital COVID-19 ward handover:

I would like to express my appreciation to the Gift of the Givers, who have donated R 10 million towards renovating and equipping an entire ward of the Mitchells Plain hospital which will be used to treat COVID-19 patients. The ward, now named the Freesia Ward, was handed over to the Department of Health today.

This donation will allow the hospital to open up additional bed capacity for non-COVID-19 services, and use the 60 bed Freesia ward for COVID-19 services. This generous donation will therefore allow us to provide appropriate care to the community of Mitchells Plain in line with our commitment to start re-opening more of our non-COVID related healthcare services over the next few months.

We thank the Gift of the Givers and the many organisations who have partnered with us throughout this pandemic. These relationships have helped to ensure that the Western Cape has been able to provide treatment and care for the sick, and will help to ensure that we are able to roll out the full basket of healthcare services in the coming weeks and months.

George healthcare workers:

I would also like to pay special tribute to the healthcare workers at George hospital. This team of dedicated healthcare workers were able to care for and discharge 12 patients from their COVID-19 ward in one week at the end of last month. This despite the hospital facing increased service pressure, especially in its critical care services. On behalf of all of these patients and their loved ones, I would like to thank all of the staff at the hospital.

The Garden Route has been seeing an increase in new infections and hospitalisations as the region continues to see an upward trajectory on its infection curve. I appeal to all residents of the Garden Route to take precautions to ensure that we are able to flatten the curve, ensure that our hospitals and healthcare workers are not overwhelmed, and ultimately save lives.

You can play your part by staying at home as much as possible, washing your hands frequently, wearing your mask when you go outside, avoiding gatherings and practicing social distancing. I also call on all businesses to ensure that they are operating safely, that their staff are wearing masks and social distancing, and to ensure regular cleaning of high traffic surfaces such as counters, credit card machines, lift buttons, door handles, telephones, computers and public restrooms.

Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela will be in the Garden Route from tomorrow, where he will be assessing COVID-19 compliance on public transport and conducting roadblocks.

Message from Ms Maxwelline Fatuse – Environmental Health Practitioner

Topic:  Being a Frontline Worker

PROTECTING LAND AND UNITS FROM ILLEGAL INVASIONS COSTING MILLIONS, DENYING VULNERABLE 1168 HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES 

5 August 2020

It’s estimated that over the past 15 months, it cost the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements approximately R187 million to prevent illegal land grabs and site invasions.  In addition, this past month alone, the Department has spent R18 Million to prevent illegal occupation of our housing units and vacant land earmarked for human settlement development.

These amounts, which excludes legal costs, as it has not yet not been determined, translates into an estimated 1 168 housing opportunities missed.

Minister Simmers said: “Spending this exorbitant amount on securing our land and sites is unnecessary and quite frankly avoidable. In this day and age, we should not be coerced into utilising such expensive and extremes measures to protect state assets and resources, particularly since they’re earmarked to benefit the most vulnerable and deserving in our society.

It is despicable that we have so-called ‘community leaders’ engaging in such criminal activity by damaging and destroying property. They and all of their followers have taken a conscious decision to embark in this lawlessness and therefore I am appealing to all our Law Enforcement agencies that the full might of the law must take its course.

Our call is still for the South African Police Services (SAPS) to immediately and without fear or favour arrest those who are leading these illegal activities. We are all required to adhere to all the laws of the country and examples should especially be made of those are blatantly disregarding the laws of the country.

We cannot allow lawlessness to take hold in the Western Cape.  Instead, we encourage all those with a genuine housing need to immediately register on the housing demand database. If they’ve already done so, the onus is on them to ensure that their details are verified and up to date.

Furthermore, I wish to make a humble plea to our residents to utilise existing stakeholder platforms and community structures to constructively address their concerns and needs.

Tomorrow, the Provincial Cabinet will be discussing a proposal, which consists of various elements that will seek to address the current situation that we have in our province.

As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.

 Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

Marcellino.martin@westerncape.gov.za

021 483 3397 (o) / 082 721 3362 (m)

Or

Nathan Adriaanse

Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations

Tell: 021 483 2868 / Mobile: 083 2631720 / Email: Nathan.Adriaanse@westerncape.gov.za

Media Release: Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde

5 August 2020

As of 1pm on 5 August, the Western Cape has 9652 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 96 446 confirmed cases and 83 529 recoveries.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases 96446
Total recoveries 83529
Total deaths 3265
Total active cases (currently infected patients) 9652
Tests conducted 428029
Hospitalisations 1359 with 25 in ICU or high care

Cape Metro Sub-districts:

 Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Western 8114  7145
Southern 8410  7320
Northern 5641  5070
Tygerberg 11888  10550
Eastern 8845  7746
Klipfontein 8426  7380
Mitchells Plain 7649  6712
Khayelitsha 7855  7157
Total 66828 59080

Sub-districts:

 District  Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Garden Route Bitou 459 335
Garden Route Knysna 1094 793
Garden Route George 2768 2096
Garden Route Hessequa 202 166
Garden Route Kannaland 58 47
Garden Route Mossel Bay 1542 1056
Garden Route Oudsthoorn 605 332
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 1850 1611
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 3915 3472
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 2863 2487
Cape Winelands Langeberg 1015 869
Cape Winelands Witzenberg 1341 1087
Overberg Overstrand 1400 1246
Overberg Cape Agulhas 217 160
Overberg Swellendam 246 221
Overberg Theewaterskloof 1017 859
West Coast Bergrivier 360 311
West Coast Cederberg 126 89
West Coast Matzikama 236 180
West Coast Saldanha Bay Municipality 1193 1019
West Coast Swartland 1250 995
Central Karoo Beaufort West 315 158
Central Karoo Laingsburg 35 22
Central Karoo Prince Albert 6 1

Unallocated: 5525 (4837 recovered)

Data note: It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas.

More data is available here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 29 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 3265.  We send our condolences to the loved ones of all the deceased at this time.

Stellenbosch testing and triage centre opens:

Today, Health Minister Nomafrench Mbombo opened the new testing and triage centre in Stellenbosch. This is one of 26 of these facilities which have already been completed across the province, with others still under construction. These centres allow hospitals to separate testing and triage from their other healthcare activities. While the province has seen a decline in the number of new cases in certain areas, these centres will still be play an important role in testing in the coming months as we expect the virus to be around for many more months.

Minister Mbombo also visited Kayamandi for a community activation aimed at sharing information with community members to help slow the spread.

In addition to the testing centre, work on the first phase of of the Sonstraal hospital in Paarl is well under way, with the first 63 additional beds due to come online on 10 August

The Cape Winelands District Municipality has recorded a total of 10984 infections and 9526 recoveries-a recovery rate of over 85%.

I am also pleased to see the increased uptake in the use of quarantine and isolation facilities in the Cape Winelands district over the past few weeks-almost doubling from 29% to 57%. These facilities are an important tool in slowing the spread, creating a safe and comfortable space for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to isolate or for those who are direct contacts of a positive case, to quarantine. These facilities are especially important if you share your home with anyone who might be high risk- such as an elderly parent, or a loved one with an underlying illness.

I call on all residents in this region to work with us to ensure that we are able to slow the spread, save more lives and ensure that we do not have a second wave of infections.

The Cape Winelands is an important farming region in the Western Cape, contributing significantly to our economy, to job creation and to food security in the province. We therefore encourage all businesses to take the necessary precautions to ensure that their staff are kept safe. Slowing the spread of this virus will also allow for more areas of our economy to open up, so that we can avoid the second unemployment pandemic.

Further information on the historical deaths reported yesterday:

Yesterday, the Western Cape reported 93 additional deaths- with the majority of these being historical deaths which have now been correctly allocated as COVID-19 deaths. These deaths did not occur in hospitals, and as such, our Department of Health may not have picked up a COVID-19 positive result.

These deaths were recorded as follows:

4 deaths in May

33 deaths in June

16 deaths in July

and 8 deaths in August.

The Western Cape has been working closely with the NICD, using sophisticated, integrated systems to cross reference excess reported deaths to determine if they are COVID-19 related in order to ensure that our records are as accurate as possible. As we continue with these processes, we will continue to keep residents informed.

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

Media Release: Improved operations at the Port of Cape Town welcomed

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAVID MAYNIER

WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Date: 04 August 2020

Release: immediately

Improved operations at the Port of Cape Town welcomed

The efficient and effective performance of the Port of Cape Town is critical to economic recovery and growth for the Western Cape however, ongoing operational challenges have resulted in poor service levels that are impacting our economy in the Western Cape.

The Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated the situation to such a degree that three major shipping lines cancelled calls to Cape Town or implemented a Cape Town congestion surcharge.

This required urgent action and interventions, and I am pleased to confirm that through ongoing engagements between ourselves and the Transnet Port Terminals management, and considerable effort by all stakeholders in the port logistics chain, we have in recent weeks seen some welcome developments.

Mr. Velile Dube was appointed as the new CEO of Transnet Port Terminals, a crew of 20 staff members were brought in from the Port of Durban to temporarily assist and the Port of Cape Town received four new straddle cranes.

While the additional staff returned to the Port of Durban last week, there has been a consistent effort to contain Covid-19 infections and, with the assistance of the provincial Department of Health and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, this has enabled a number of key personnel to return to work maintaining the six-gang operation. And plans to introduce a seventh gang are underway.

The result is that:

  • the average container moves per day has increased from 533 in the week of 25 May, to 1 179 last week; and
  • the period for berthing of vessels at anchor has reduced from 20 days to 1 day.

On Friday (31 July 2020) a vessel docked after waiting only one day, and yesterday a vessel berthed on the day of arrival. This is a significant improvement, and if this performance is sustained during next week and beyond, would mean that the shipping lines could possibly re-install calls to the Port of Cape Town by the second week of August.

There is still much work to be done. And so, in addition to our existing efforts, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism have recently approved a project to integrate data from all fruit packhouses in the Western Cape into a decision-support tool that identifies the best days, times and routes for optimal delivery of containers for export in order to ease congestion in the container terminal.

And through the department’s Red Tape Reduction Unit, we will continue to investigate additional interventions to reduce the cost of doing business in the Port of Cape Town.

Furthermore, I look forward to engaging with the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, and the Transnet management team to implement the permanent structural changes needed to make the Port of Cape Town a globally competitive port.

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

To read the statement online visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/improved-operations-port-cape-town-welcomed

 

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.

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