While South Africans welcome the phased easing of lockdown restrictions to alert level 3 of the five-tier lockdown system as from Monday 1 June, this action simply means that business as usual continues for those officials who have been working as essential workers during the lockdown period.
Among these are call centre operators of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Disaster Management Emergency Call Centre who work as frontline staff, 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week. These officials provide a supporting function to essential services providers, by answering general inquiries and emergency calls relating to Emergency Medical Services (EMS); accidents, fires and floods in the Garden Route region, and lately to a large extent, COVID-19 inquiries.
The GRDM Call Centre team consists of four (4) permanent and two (2) temporary operators who work 12 hour shifts at a time, dealing with a volume of ± 2700 – 3000 calls per month. The well-trained and professional officials are known to perform their daily operations with high integrity and efficiency, providing accurate and reliable information to clients.
According to Mr Gerhard Otto, Manager of the GRDM Disaster Management Centre, “these officials are our unsung heroes who in these very difficult and uncertain times, are required to provide answers and direction to the Garden Route public whom they serve. The GRDM Covid-19 Command Centre continuously to provide operators with frequently updated information, in order for operators to address a myriad of enquiries directed to them as front-line call centre staff,” said Mr Otto.
The Council and management of the GRDM would like to acknowledge all employees and especially the essential workers who have showed great commitment and endurance during the past lockdown level 5 and 4.
“Public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation.’’ – Margaret Chase Smith