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26 November 2020 Address by Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen at an Ordinary Council meeting of Garden Route DM

Address by Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen at an Ordinary Council meeting of Garden Route DM

Speaker Alderman Groenewald

Greetings to those who are following us online – fellow Garden Routers and the media. Mr Speaker, as we are gathered here today, we are a very concerned municipality, but so is our provincial government. Our concerns and worries are based on an ever-increasing number of COVID-19 active cases. The Garden Route is one of the regions where COVID-19 positive cases are rising the fastest in the Western Cape. By the current trend, we might end up being the fastest rising in the country. Please, therefore, abide by the regulations and do what we can to stop the spike we are seeing. We also want to congratulate the Premier’s office for their efforts. Our local municipalities also made contact with us to ask how we can advance the education and awareness to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Today, as we’re gathered here, there are more than 150 Local Government workers across South Africa who have lost their lives. I would also like to honour all front-line staff. Alderman Groenewald, life does however go on, as we are seeing people have moved back to business as usual. In the same breath, we need to caution one another, we are on the brink of Black Friday. Thankfully we have already approached shopping malls, and warned the public of the potential of Black Friday turning into a super-spreader event. I urge the public to stay safe during this busy time ahead – sanitise, wear a mask and keep a social distance of 1.5 metres.

To our colleagues and everybody online, we currently also experiencing and are aware of many of our colleagues who are in hospital. We suspect that they are hospitalised because of comorbidities. Our prayers go out to all of them and members of the public.

I want to urge the public to:

  • travel as little as possible;
  • avoid events where there are a lot of people.

If we do not do this, we will continue to lose loved ones along the way.

Because of the state of COVID-19 active cases in our region, we decided to take some precautionary measures. We’ve cancelled all our events, even the launch of 16 Days of Activism and the activities relating to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) programmes. However, we are continuing via virtual platforms as far as we can. We urge each and every municipality to follow suite. Speaking on the issue of gender-based violence, it is another pandemic our country still faces. Every day on the news we hear of new murders, rapes, in particular the killing of women and children. We really need to work together with all the law enforcement operators of the State to curb the GBV pandemic. Furthermore, I know there will be another meeting just before the festive season where we we will update the whole of Council in terms of what we’ve achieved thus far in terms of safety measures in our region.

Thank you Speaker Groenewald.