Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Western Cape Government

12 September 2020 Weather Alert: Severe Weather Alert, Veld Fire Conditions – 12 September 2020

Weather Alert: Severe Weather Alert, Veld Fire Conditions – 12 September 2020

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following severe weather alert:

Hazard: Veld Fire Conditions

Alert Level: Warning

Valid From (SAST): 12/09/20 – 09h00

Valid To (SAST): 12/09/20 – 19h00

Are expected over the Central Karoo and Little Karoo Municipalities (Western Cape) tomorrow (12/09/2020).

Hazard: Damaging Winds

Alert Level: Warning

Valid From (SAST): 12/09/20 – 11h00

Valid To (SAST): 13/09/20 – 00h00

Warning:  A Gale force north westerly wind (62 to 74 km/h) is expected over the Beaufort-West Municipality (WC) from tomorrow late morning, moderating by evening (12/09/2020).

Advisory:  Strong north-westerly winds (50-60 km/h) are expected over the Central and Little Karoo (WC) tomorrow afternoon (12/09/2020), including the interior of the Western Cape on Sunday (13/09/2020).

Description:  Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden crosswinds if travelling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veldt or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.

Precautions: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veldt. Don’t throw bottles in the veldt as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in a controlled manner. In the case of a large fire report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case, sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any severe weather-related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044 805 5071.

24 July 2020 Media Release: Garden Route Health Platform Update

Media Release: Garden Route Health Platform Update

For Immediate Release
24 July 2020

As of 24 July 2020, the Garden Route District has 4563 confirmed cases of Covid-19.


Garden Route cases and recoveries per subdistrict.

  • Bitou 304 cases; 171 recoveries
  • Knysna 767 cases; 412 recoveries
  • George 2026 cases; 1304 recoveries
  • Hessequa 109 cases; 66 recoveries
  • Kannaland 45 cases; 28 recoveries
  • Mossel Bay 978 cases; 526 recoveries
  • Oudsthoorn 334 cases; 195 recoveries

The Garden Route has recorded 108 Covid-19 deaths.

Hessequa 3
Mossel Bay 15
George 49
Knysna 17
Bitou 10
Oudtshoorn 14


There are currently 109 patients admitted in public and private hospitals with 35 in High Care/ICU.

Community Testing and Screening

The approach to active Covid-19 case finding within the rural areas remain that of community testing and screening with a focus on people > 55 years, the vulnerable and those of high risk (people with co-morbidities). To date 142 310 people have been screened and 1223 referred for testing.

Isolation and quarantine

Isolation facilities are for patients with mild to moderate symptoms where they can recover from Covid-19 and quarantine facilities are for those awaiting test results. These facilities are safe and comfortable and you will receive free transport, meals, and a laundry service. People who cannot isolate or quarantine safely at home, can be referred to a isolation or quarantine facility.

PetroSA (West Camp) is currently the only activated isolation and quarantine facility in the Garden Route. More facilities will be announced, if and when the need arises or capacity is exceeded at PetroSA. We currently have 68 people at West Camp.

Primary healthcare                                                                                                        

Our Primary Health Care platform is an important vehicle to support our health system, so that our patients are well cared for to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Although we advise patients to only visit their nearest clinic for essential services we remind parents and caregivers that services such as immunisations are still rendered. It is important to attend all your confirmed appointments. Services such as women’s health(family planning, antenatal and post-natal care), child health(immunisations) and TB, are still rendered. Stable chronic care patients must collect their chronic medicine at the chronic off-sites. Should you require guidance or advice around your current treatment or scheduled appointment, please contact your clinic/hospital.

Shielding the vulnerable

Persons over the age of 55 or have a chronic condition are at risk for severe COVID-19 illness and should take extra precautions to protect themselves by following these steps:

  1. Avoid getting the virus by staying home, wear a mask (when you have to go out), wash hands regularly and disinfect surfaces
  2. Look after your health by following a healthy lifestyle and take your medication regularly
  3. Get help immediately if you do not feel well
  4. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, go for immediate testing, do not delay

The Department has implemented an action plan for Diabetics with COVID symptoms which includes expanding testing for diabetics who represent a high risk group. Our current data suggests that these patients are presenting or are being admitted too late in a very sick conditions, which has dire outcomes.

Next 100 days

The Department has identified the next 100 days as crucial to refocusing the health system and health services while still managing the pandemic with continued interventions to increase immunisation coverage, TB treatment and ART uptake.

We urge all citizens to remain careful in observing the essential 5 Golden Rules of hygiene and safety. It remains important to take particular care of persons with underlying conditions and particularly Diabetes, who are at significantly increased risk of severe COVID-19. We urge these people to really take special care and to shield themselves from exposure where possible.

The protection of our most vulnerable loved ones remains in our collective hands.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Town Clinic,Plettenberg Bay
Tel: 044 5333846

Picture credit:

25 June 2020 Media Release: George midwife shares her COVID-19 experience

Media Release: George midwife shares her COVID-19 experience

For Immediate Release
25 June 2020

Bleach stains on all her furniture is a stern reminder of Alida Portland’s COVID-19 journey.

Alida (58), a midwife at George Hospital, has survived, with her comorbidities of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. She also had a stroke a year ago. ‘I made it,’ she said.

Delighted to be back at work, Alida shares her COVID-19 journey. “My first symptoms were a sore throat, pressure on my chest and a cough. I immediately had myself tested and went into isolation. The results came two days later. I was positive.”

Her initial reaction was of shock and anxiety. “I was very scared,” says Alida. She lives with her son, 23, who took care of her while he isolated with her as he was one of her close contacts.

“He made sure I had a bucket of clean water, a bucket of water and bleach to clean my hands, and a separate bucket for my eating utensils. He also prepared my food when I did not feel up to the task and brought it on a tray. I felt really ill on day three with immense chest pressure. I was, however, in constant contact with the contact tracing team in George, my manager. and hospital management. Everyone made sure I was being monitored and I really felt that I could press on their button any time of the day.”

Alida says that being in isolation can become lonely. “Loneliness is a big factor during your COVID-19 journey. Two weeks might not seem long, but confined to your bedroom or only certain parts of your home, this can be become a very long and lonely journey. I made sure to be in constant contact with family and friends on WhatsApp. Sadly, we also lost two extended family members due to COVID-19 during my isolation, which was especially difficult for me. Mourning without other family was extremely difficult to go through, but our online counselling support network through government meant I could tap into professional help to assist me during this time,” explains Alida.

When asked what she did to assist her body in healing, she lists eating healthy, drinking enough fluids, getting lots of sunlight, and a positive mindset.

Alida expresses her concern with the behaviour of some members of the public. “People need to realise that COVID-19 can cause serious illness in some, and to protect those people, we need to take all the necessary precautions. We need to change our behaviour.” As someone with comorbidities who had a high risk of severe COVID-19, she urges residents in the Western Cape to protect the vulnerable by practicing social distancing and wearing a mask when they leave their homes.

She laughs when she explains the white bleach stains on all her furniture. “My son was determined to keep all our common areas clean, including parts of furniture I might have touched. This led to white bleach stains on some of our furniture pieces. I had such a laugh – he was the best nurse a nurse could ask for.”


Photo caption: Alida shares her story.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 044 5333846

23 June 2020 Media Release: Fencing subsidies available – call for applications

Media Release: Fencing subsidies available – call for applications

For Immediate Release
23 June 2020

On an annual basis, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) provides fencing subsidies for a selected number of landowners on neighbouring provincial rural roads with fencing of their properties.

This is subject to a budget as received from the Western Cape Government.

The funding is only applicable on a subsidy basis, meaning that a 60% subsidy will be contributed towards a landowner’s material costs for fencing. The subsidy will therefore be determined by an average cost for material. The material is deemed as 60% of total cost. Labour cost is deemed as 40% of the total cost and must be carried by the applicant. All initial costs must be carried by the applicant and a subsidy will be paid out to successful applicant after the completion of the fence. For more information refer to the Fencing Subsidy Policy of GRDM.

The new fences must adhere to the specifications of the Western Cape Government Roads Infrastructure Department. Minimum specifications will be made available to successful applicants.

Application process

  1. Application forms can be obtained from Mr Qamani Nkebana at the Roads Transport & Planning Department. Contact numbers at the office is 044 803 1500 or 1506 or email
  2. Application period: 24 June 2020 to 10 July 2020.
  3. Applications will be audited and evaluated according to risk analysis by a panel. Risk factors include the following: status of road, traffic count, operating speed of vehicles, type of farming, condition of current fence, etc.
  4. The panel outcome will be decided by 14 August 2020. All applicants will be informed. A fencing subsidy contract will be signed with successful applicants. Unsuccessful applicants can apply again in the next financial year.
  5. All fences must be fully completed by 11 December 2021 for payment before 28 February 2021.
  6. Payment will be done after an inspection and an approval for the fence has been made.

Relevant Documents 

“One Day” tourism campaign launched to inspire future travellers to the Western Cape

28 April 2020

The Western Cape government is excited to launch the “One Day” campaign to support the tourism industry in the Western Cape during the Coronavirus crisis.

This innovative campaign was developed by Wesgro, and uses digital platforms like Zoom backgrounds and a Spotify podcast series to showcase our beautiful province. Included are virtual tours via guides in all regions, which aim to support industry and remind travellers that one day Cape Town and the Western Cape will again be open for them to discover.

The campaign has launched with an exciting competition to win a trip to one of our One Day destinations when it is safe to do so.

Find out more here 👉