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Coronavirus COVID-19 Archived Information
Archived messages from the Executive Mayor
22 May 2020
As the numbers of infections and deaths continue to climb nationally, provincially and locally, it is very clear that we must all act responsibly and follow the regulations regarding masks, social distancing and washing our hands regularly.
The country is moving towards lockdown level 3 which is good news for the economy and for people who have been unable to earn a living under lockdown levels 5 and 4. With the reopening of certain sectors comes the joint responsibility to do all we can to reduce infections.
We closed the Wellington Civic Centre until Monday, 25 May 2020, after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Drakenstein Municipality has arranged for all affected work areas to be decontaminated and the workplace will be safe for staff/employees to return to work on Monday.
The employee, who contracted the Coronavirus from a family member, is in self-isolation and is doing well.
The Municipality continues to request its staff to wear masks, as well as maintain social distancing. All workers are screened when they report for duty, and hand sanitiser, soap and water are available at work areas as a hygienic measure.
I would also urge all residents to treat the regulations aimed at reducing the chance of infections with the seriousness that they deserve. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and maintain social distancing. We can and we will overcome COVID-19, but we only if we work together.
15 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on every part of our daily life, have forced us to make many changes and to do things very differently to the way we are used to. It has made us think out of the box and today’s Special Council Meeting, held online, was an example of that. There are certainly challenges involved because we must adhere to all the applicable legislation as well as the lockdown regulations. These are unchartered waters which we are navigating and we will prevail.
We still face a triple threat from COVID-19. We face a health threat as the positive cases continue to climb; we face a social threat as people lose jobs and cannot feed their families; and we face an economic threat as many businesses cannot operate during lockdown.
With a possible move to lockdown Level 3, our economy will start to pick up again, providing opportunities for people to work and feed their families. We must however remember that it is important to adhere to the Coronavirus prevention measures. By now everyone knows about washing hands, wearing masks and social distancing. If we hope to move down to Level 1 we must all work together
Despite the challenges we have and the hurdles we face, I believe that Drakenstein is doing their best under the circumstances.
There is an Ethiopian proverb that says “if spiders work together, they can tie down a lion”.
Together we shall overcome COVID-19.
13 May 2020
2020 has been designated as the Year of the Nurse by the World Health Organization and yesterday was International Nurses Day. This event is celebrated around the world annually on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth, to mark the contribution nurses make to society.
This provided a stark reminder of the bravery, commitment and dedication of these front line workers in the battle against COVID-19. The nurses, doctors, healthcare workers join the other essential services staff who have kept our hospitals and clinics operational, our lights on, our taps running and our refuse collected and disposed of. To them we say a big thank you.
Due to the fact that lockdown regulations restrict public gatherings, residents have been unable to attend their regular church or mosque services, and currently worship in their homes. I would like to propose a weekly event to provide a sense of fellowship. From Monday to Friday, at 19:00, those who wish to participate should go out into their gardens or onto their stoep or balconies, and offer praise for seven minutes in any way you see fit.
Seven at Seven (Sewe om Sewe) creates an opportunity for people of any faith and all languages to worship and give thanks through song or prayer at the same time. It will bring us together in faith even though we must stand apart.
11 May 2020
Today is Day 46 of the national lockdown and the 11th day of lockdown Level 4. The National Command Council reviews the lockdown every 14 days so we can expect an update on this by the end of this week.
Drakenstein Municipality continues this week to make certain facilities available for the public and today the financial services at the Customer Care Centers in Paarl East and Mbekweni will open. This follows the opening of the Paarl Civic Centre and the Wellington Customer Care Centre last week.
We have adopted a risk-adjusted approach to the opening of our offices with all the required safety measures, such as temperature screening, social distancing measures and sanitation. An inspection visit by the Department of Employment and Labour, last week gave us the green light. In fact, they said that Drakenstein Municipality was the best prepared municipality they had visited.
Level 4 has seen the re-opening of a number of businesses and sectors, but we need to remember that we must still adhere strictly to the COVID-19 prevention measures that have been put in place.
The number of reported infections nationwide is still growing and it is vital that we stay indoors if we can, wear a mask outside of our homes, adhere to social distancing and wash our hands regularly.
8 May 2020
Over the past two weeks, our essential services teams have been cleaning and sanitising the high density areas across the municipal area. They have been working until late into the night to ensure that areas where people congregate are clean. They have completed the central business districts of Paarl and Wellington, and are working on taxi ranks and other commercial centres.
As lockdown level 4 and subsequent levels allow more people back to work, let us all do our part to keep these areas free of litter and waste.
There is good news for people who had recently bought a new home and were unable to move due to the lockdown. New regulations now make it possible to make the move, under strict conditions. We will post soon all the relevant information regarding this.
This Sunday will once again be a special day for families across Drakenstein, but it will also be a day that will have to be celebrated differently from every other year. Mother’s Day is traditionally a time that families all come together to treat the mothers among us, or to celebrate the lives of those who have sadly passed. The lockdown restrictions are going to make the usual celebrations very difficult or impossible to do, but we can still honour our mothers.
Have a blessed weekend.
7 May 2020
One of the greatest political and spiritual leaders, Mahatma Gandhi, once said: “Unity to be real must stand the severest strain without breaking.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen many examples of people standing together to tackle the different challenges that COVID-19 has brought. Many have put aside the issues that separate us to make a difference in the lives of those that need it the most. COVID-19 is a real test for unity and we cannot let it be broken.
Social media often makes us think that Ubuntu does not exist and that people are as divided as they have always been, but we should not let social media be our yardstick. We should see those who give of their time and resources to help at soup kitchens, those who take the little they have and break it in two to help a stranger, those who face danger every day in our hospitals and clinics to fight the virus, those who share with whoever needs help rather than with whoever can repay them. There are so many South Africans, out of the spotlight, doing amazing acts of kindness and self-sacrifice to help strangers.
It is true that there are still those who would rather divide than unite communities, but we should rather focus all our attention on those who understand that we are all in this together. It may not be easy and we will face many hurdles in the fight against COVID-19. This is a fight that we can and must win together.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
6 May 2020
The seasons are changing and the icy grip of winter can already be felt in large parts of the country. With the arrival of winter we can also expect the usual cold and flu symptoms that we experience around this time every year. Given that our health services are already hard at work with the additional task of screening, testing and treating potential COVID-19 cases, the annual cold and flu cases will add to the workload of our frontline health workers.
Please keep the hotline numbers close at hand so that you can talk to someone if you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms. We will continue to post information on our online platforms as to what to watch out for well as the action to be taken if you believe you may have some of the symptoms.
The need for wearing masks and ensuring social distancing will be even more important during the winter months. By the very nature of the season, more people will be coughing and sneezing, and containing the spread of colds and flu is an important part of the fight against COVID-19.
We have entered a challenging time in our battle against COVID-19 where we need to adhere to strict hygiene rules and slowly reopen our economy in phases at the same time. For this to work and to allow us to get to Level 3 and then beyond, we all need to work together.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
5 May 2020
Over the past weekend I joined our law enforcement teams as they carried out vehicle control points, and yesterday I joined our cleaning crews as they sanitised areas where people congregate like banks, transport hubs and commercial centres. I was once again struck by the dedication and commitment of all our essential services workers who continue to do their jobs and serve our residents during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The country's front line staff and essential services workers ensure that we still get medical help when we need it, that we are safe in our homes and on our streets, that refuse is collected and does not pose a health risk, that the lights stay on and that the taps keep running. They are on duty behind the tills where we buy our essential goods. Over the past 40 days they have gone out to work every day while others have stayed indoors. As we move into Level 4 and hopefully soon into Level 3, let us not forget those who kept the wheels turning during Level 5 and will continue to do so.
I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all essential staff working in Drakenstein and beyond during these difficult times. This includes our medical staff, law enforcement officials, municipal staff and supermarket staff. Please remember to thank them wherever you interact with them, they deserve it.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
4 May 2020
Today marks the start of the first week with Lockdown Level 4 regulations in effect. Only certain industries will reopen and some workers will be allowed to go back to work. We may also now buy more goods than before, including winter clothes and items such as heaters and blankets. It is by no means a return to normal and movements are still highly restricted.
Over the weekend, I participated in vehicle control points with our law enforcement teams in Drakenstein. We encountered people who were out and about in contravention of the regulations. I would like to remind all residents that the country can be returned to Lockdown Level 5 instantly if COVID-19 infections increase drastically. Let us make use of the restrictions that have been eased but still strictly adhere to those regulations still in effect.
The distribution of food hampers will continue again this week. I have been briefed by the task team that the process is well underway and apart from one or two minor adjustments, the logistical arrangements have worked well. It is however a major operation involving a number of departments, agencies and NGOs.
If you are unsure what is permitted in Level 4 or you want credible and accurate information around COVID-19, please continue to visit our online platforms.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
1 May 2020
WORKERS' DAY MESSAGE BY EXECUTIVE MAYOR CONRAD POOLE
On behalf of Drakenstein Municipality, let me wish everyone a happy Workers Day. The world is facing uncertain times and it is the workers that are very vulnerable as COVID-19 tightens its grip across continents. Workers' Day has its origins in the historical struggle of workers, and in the history of South Africa in particular, the role of the working class cannot be underestimated.
I believe South Africans across the board have the strength to stand together and overcome COVID-19. Like any struggle, it will not be easy and there will be a cost, but our faith, our determination and our steadfastness in the face of adversity will see us through.
Today also marks the move from Lockdown Level 5 to Level 4 which brings a number of changes and new regulations with it. My team will ensure that we post on our official online platforms any and all information regarding the changes and how it affects our residents in Drakenstein. Our technical and administrative teams have been hard at work to ensure that we interpret the regulations correctly and that we in Drakenstein are properly prepared for when we open our doors again.
I wish you and your families a blessed and peaceful weekend.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
30 April 2020
Level 4 of the national lockdown will come into effect from tomorrow across the country. There are a few new regulations that are very important to remember and that I would like to highlight. From tomorrow the 1st of May, you have to wear a face mask when leaving your home. We do know that face masks are not always easily available and if you don’t have one, you can use a scarf or something else that will ensure that you have your mouth and nose covered in public.
It is also very important to remember that from tomorrow there will be a curfew from eight o’clock in the evening until five o’clock the next morning. This means that between 20:00 and 5:00 in the morning you cannot leave your homes. Only those essential services workers who are required to work at night and those who have a permit will be able to be outside their homes during the curfew.
Some select retailers, manufacturing companies and hardware shops are set to reopen. Some mining operations will return, providing they operate at 50% of normal capacity. Restaurant and food delivery outlets are allowed to operate but for takeaways only. Hardware, stationery, winter clothes, heaters and beauty products can now be sold in shops. The ban of alcohol and cigarettes remains in place.
One area of concern for many parents is the issue of when schools will re-open. While we hope that clarity will be given on this issue over the next 24 hours, the Western Cape Government has announced that Western Cape schools will not open next week as suggested by the National Department of Basic Education. Please keep checking the official Drakenstein Facebook Page for updates on these and other lockdown regulations.
Lockdown Level 4 still requires all citizens to adhere to the COVID-19 hygiene and preventative measures. Wash your hands regularly, apply social distancing whenever you are with other people, and cover your mouth and nose whenever you leave your house.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
29 April 2020
The roll-out of humanitarian support in Drakenstein is now underway and almost 1 000 food hampers have already been distributed. The Department of Social Development, SASSA, a network of NGOs, municipal soup kitchens and public donations are all contributing to humanitarian support during these trying times. Drakenstein Municipality is doing everything within its control to ensure that there are no irregularities in the distribution process.
During the past month, our essential services team have been extensively focusing on cleaning across the municipal area. Apart from the daily refuse collection and disposal operation, they have targeted illegal dumping hot spots across the municipality. While there are still some sites that need to be cleared, the war on waste has been progressing very well. I would like to urge all residents as we move to Lockdown Level 4 to play their part in keeping Drakenstein clean.
Keep an eye out on our Facebook Page today for an update on how Drakenstein can assist residents in dealing with disposing of recycling during Lockdown Level 4.
I would also like to make special mention today of our teams that work in the homeless shelters ensuring that those in need have food, shelter, clean ablution facilities and a safe environment. We will be communicating soon on a project we have launched to assist people in our temporary shelters to reconnect with their loved ones.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
27 April 2020
Today marks a very special anniversary in our nation’s history. Freedom Day is a time for celebration and commemoration. We remember those who paid the ultimate price to win us our freedom and we celebrate what it means to have freedom and protection under the law.
Eleanor Roosevelt said “With freedom comes responsibility” and that has never been more relevant than in our current global pandemic. It is ironic that to be responsible during COVID-19 we have to give up some of the freedoms that we have come to enjoy. Across the world people have various restrictions to which they must adhere. Our responsibility is to obey these new regulations in order to save tens of thousands of lives.
While temporarily suspending some of the freedoms we have become accustomed to, we are acting in the best interests of all South Africans.
It has not been and will certainly not be easy and for some it will come at a great price. We have all seen the cost of the national lockdown on our economy and our social structures. We know that even though we are moving to a less restrictive level at the end of this week, it will take time to get down to level one.
And that is why honouring Freedom Day is so important to us. It reminds us of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds and not giving up even in the darkest hours. We have seen what we as a nation can do and it is again time to draw on the resilience and determination that will see us overcome COVID-19.
I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Freedom Day.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
23 April 2020
We live in uncertain times. There is no denying that. We all have concerns about the virus, about the growing food dependency and about the stalled economy. COVID-19 has indeed shaken the entire world and changed people’s lives in a very short space of time. This is a reality that we all know to be true.
What is also true is the tremendous response emanating from around the world. Here at home we have seen national, provincial and local government taking unprecedented steps to tackle COVID-19. We have seen donations, support and acts of kindness from individuals and organisations - from the wealthiest to the poorest, from world renowned businesses to street corner sellers, from CEOs to those without jobs.
As a community, a province, a nation we must stand together to overcome COVID-19 and the challenges presented by the national lockdown. Tonight, the President will again address the nation. He is expected to announce what the status of the lockdown will be at the end of April. Whatever that decision is, we need to adapt to it and continue to support and assist those in need. It is unity of spirit and unity of purpose that will see us through uncertain times.
Today is also World Book Day. While some may feel that this has no importance, it does remind me that there is one Book that gives me comfort and guidance in times like these. A Book that has for centuries been a pillar of strength in times of uncertainty. I wish you all a blessed day.
Stay home. Stay Safe.
22 April 2020
Last night President Ramaphosa announced a R500 billion plan to address the three core challenges facing all of us during COVID-19, namely Health, Social and Economic. The massive financial injection will be used to strengthen our health services and prepare for the expected spike in infections. It will be used to temporarily increase SASSA grants, create a temporary unemployment grant and to assist the Department of Social Development to provide food hampers for those in need. The third and arguably the most critical part of the plan will be a rescue and safety net plan for business and the economy.
Like all South Africans I welcome any and all initiatives that will help our citizens cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges. I hope that the Government’s plan to implement these initiatives will be communicated to all of us as soon as possible so that local government will be able to answer questions on how residents can access the new measures announced last night.
Residents often send us messages about people they see on the streets, either in residential areas or commercial areas. Some of these people have valid reasons to be out of their homes and others do not. We have law enforcement and traffic control teams holding vehicle control points every day as well as conducting patrols and answering calls from the public. We do not have the resources to be everywhere at once and will continue to monitor this as best we can. Today our teams have been joined by members of the SANDF as well as the SAPS and security company partners.
I have noticed an increase of fake news and spreading of rumours over the past few days. I would like to point out that it is punishable by law to spread false information regarding COVID-19 or the measures taken by the Government. If you are unsure about information you have heard, you can visit the official Drakenstein Municipality website www.drakenstein.gov.za/coronavirus or Facebook page to get factual and credible information.
We do receive regular questions on the current number of people in our municipal area that have tested positive for COVID-19. I can confirm this morning that a total of eight people have tested positive. Of these eight, six have already fully recovered. Information on the provincial, district and municipal COVID-19 cases is available on our Facebook page.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
21 April 2020
The task team that we appointed to work with a network of NGOs to assist with humanitarian support has made good progress and the roll-out of the project is expected to begin very soon. The 11 registered soup kitchens spread throughout the Drakenstein area will continue to provide their normal service, but will not be the points of distribution for food aid. This role will be fulfilled by the relevant NGOs.
We have seen in some parts of South Africa that a number of individuals within municipalities have been caught abusing their positions to influence the distributions lists or to try and get personal gain from either selling food hampers or attaching conditions to food hampers. This is unacceptable behavioUr and we are making sure that our role as Drakenstein Municipality is to assist and support NGOs without taking part in the distribution process.
Our Ward Councillors will assist residents in need of humanitarian support to submit their details and once verified, the names will be provided to the relevant NGO for distribution purposes. It is important that the names are verified to ensure that those who need humanitarian support receive it and that beneficiaries do not get two or three hampers at the expense of others.
During this time we must not forget the basic preventative measures that we have been practicing for over a month now. Wash your hands regularly, ensure that social distancing is maintained whenever we have to leave our homes and most importantly, stay indoors unless you are going to buy food, seek medical attention or you are an essential services worker.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
20 April 2020
As we start our fourth week in lockdown, many people are talking about the anticipated lifting of the national lockdown in about 10 days’ time. It may be a full lifting, it may be a partial lifting or it may be extended into May. Whichever it is, my team and I are continuing with our efforts to find ways to help our communities. Our core function is service delivery but in these extraordinary times we need to find more ways to assist our residents. We are led by legislation and regulations set by national government and we must constantly find ways to add value when and where our mandate allows.
As a responsible and progressive municipality we are planning post-COVID-19. Once we have contained this pandemic we must ensure that we can operate effectively and continue to deliver services to all our residents. I would encourage residents to send us their comments on our Draft Amended IDP (Integrated Development Plan) and Draft Budget. Both can be found on www.drakenstein.gov.za.
Every day, doctors, nurses and healthcare staff around the world make their way to hospitals and clinics where they put their own lives at risk to save the lives of others. In this time of COVID-19, these frontline heroes face even more risk and a number have already paid the ultimate price.
It is our duty and our responsibility to help our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers by staying indoors and staying safe. By following the rules we make their jobs a little easier and help take pressure off those with limited resources.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
18 April 2020
Earlier this week, I reported on the various food security and distribution points in the Drakenstein Municipality. Given the rising food dependency across our nation as an unintended consequence of the COVID-19 lockdown, the City Manager and I convened a task team to find ways of getting food aid to those who need it the most. On Friday (yesterday) afternoon, senior members of our food security task team communicated on local radio stations and explained the roll out food security program.
The eleven (11) Drakenstein soup kitchens are operating across the municipality.
We were very pleased to see that over 25 000 children were fed since last week in the school feeding scheme run by the Provincial Department of Education. It is also heartening that since the lockdown began, in partnership with the Department of Social Development, over 7 000 meals have been provided to those at our 3 homeless shelters
However, a concern is the wider program to deliver food hampers by various agencies beyond the control of our municipality. These have not yet come into effect and the expectations that have been created have not been met.
I am happy to announce that the work done by task team has resulted in a partnership with almost two hundred NGOs across the length and breadth of our municipality. Whilst Drakenstein will not distribute food hampers directly as a municipality, we will support the wonderful work of NGOs operating from Saron all the way to Simondium and everywhere in between. By working with these organisations we will provide food hampers that will feed over 20 000 people a month.
Right now the need for food is primary for many families and I have instructed the task team to ensure that all the beneficiaries are monitored and coordinated to prevent families from receiving more than one (1) hamper to the detriment of other needy families. We all need to ensure that the hungry households who really need food due to the lockdown are provided with food. Working through the NGOs, the aim is to cater for those residents who have no other source of assistance. Those who wish to access food aid should contact their local NGOs
The Drakenstein food aid program is additional to the eleven municipal Soup Kitchens, the School Feeding Scheme, the Department of Social Development’s food hamper project, the SASSA Relief of Social distress program and our various faith-based and local community organisations.
At this point I want to express my gratitude to the many individuals who are giving of their time and resources on a personal level to help those who need it most. Daily I receive stories of small acts of kindness and generosity.
As a community we must pull together to assist those that need our help. Whether the lockdown is lifted in two weeks’ time or not, the effects of COVID-19 will be with us for some time to come. We must stand together to overcome the pandemic and to rebuild our community and our economy. Let us all work together to weave a safety net for those that need it the most.
Stay Home, Stay Safe.
17 April 2020
There has been much speculation around the number of COVID-19 cases in Drakenstein and I would like to clarify this straight away. There is currently a total of 7 cases in Drakenstein. Six of the seven have recovered and there is currently one active case. This person is not in hospital and is in self-isolation. I would also remind everyone that patient confidentiality is legally protected. Do not share patient information on social media.
Over the past two days our food security task team have been working with NGOs on a plan to provide additional support to those in need. This afternoon members of this task team will be on Paarl FM and Radio KC to talk about what has been set in motion so far.
During the lockdown, our waste management teams have continued their usual refuse removal and cleaning duties and also targeting illegal dumping hotspots throughout Drakenstein. While some areas are still being worked on, many have already been cleared. We MUST all ensure that we do our part to keep our city clean.
Stay Home, Stay Safe.
16 April 2020
The core business of any municipality is service delivery. The provision and the maintenance of services including waste, water and sanitation, and electrical related services. These are extraordinary times and we must temporarily widen our focus.
That is why the City Manager and I met and appointed a task team to come up with a plan for the Municipality to assist in tackling the growing food dependency due to COVID-19. A plan that stretches beyond what we already do with our soup kitchens, our donation drives and the assistance we provide to existing projects like the school feeding scheme.
The team has already made progress and today met with potential private sector partners and NGOs. Working with a local, approved and experienced NGO to coordinate, we will be bringing close to 200 NGOs across the length and breadth of the municipal area into play to assist with our plan.
As I stated in a message last night, time is of the essence and we expect to be able to make an announcement by tomorrow afternoon.
This is not the time for cheap publicity stunts.
This is not the time to try and score political points.
This is not the time to criticise others without making a contribution ourselves.
This IS the time to stand together, to work together and to do our level best as a community to help those in need.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
15 April 2020
On the eve of what would have been our last day of the national lockdown, countries around the world are also adjusting their lockdowns according to the situation on the ground.
France has extended its lockdown into May and Spain has begun lifting some of its lockdown restrictions. China is dealing with re-infections and the United States has the highest death toll of any country in world. I mention this because it is important to remember that the Coronavirus is in almost every single country and it is affecting people of every age, of every race and of every religion.
Our extended lockdown until the end of April may seem unnecessary to some, given that our infection rate is lower than many other countries, but the fact that we went into lockdown so quickly after the first reported cases is a major contributor to our lower numbers.
We need to continue to respect the rules and regulations for the sake of us all. By this time, no one can say they don’t know about the Coronavirus or the lockdown rules. Those out on the streets without a valid reason are doing so knowingly and intentionally. In the interests of keeping our people safe, I urge everyone to consider the seriousness of COVID-19 and follow the rules.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
14 April 2020
I trust you all had a blessed and peaceful Easter weekend. For those who celebrated Easter, it is usually a time of togetherness, sharing and fellowship. Even though this year people had to celebrate with just their closest family, the meaning and the message of Easter remains the same. I believe this time for reflection with those dearest to us will give us wisdom and strength.
Die naweek het ons verskerpte polisie-optrede gesien asook die eerste ontplooiing van lede van die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag in Drakenstein. Dit is alles deel van die landwye poging om die belangrikheid van die COVID-19 reëls en regulasies te beklemtoon. Ek vra weereens vir al ons inwoners om by die huis te bly en om veilig te wees.
I would like to encourage residents to continue visiting our Facebook page and our website, www.drakenstein.gov.za/coronavirus. We update these sites with new information as soon as we verify the accuracy of the information and we share graphics, new statistics and messages regarding COVID-19 from national, provincial and local sources.
Together we can flatten the curve.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
11 April 2020
Yesterday I travelled around our Drakenstein with the National Minister of Police, Bheki Cele. I was deeply concerned to see that in some areas our people do not adhere to lockdown rules and act as though the lockdown is little more than a joke. We have law enforcement doing their best to ensure people stay at home but if we do not have the support of the entire community we will not be able to overcome the threat posed by COVID-19.
While I know that many of our residents are obeying the rules and I thank them all for that, we must work together to get the non-complying people off the streets. Drakenstein Municipality and its partners in law enforcement cannot do this alone. Each of us need to make sure that in our own homes each family member understands the seriousness of the Coronavirus. If every household takes responsibility for the people in it, we can keep everyone indoors and safe. The worldwide death toll is over 100 0000 people. It is not a joke. It can affect anyone.
The sooner we can flatten the curve, the sooner the lockdown can be lifted and we can set about getting our lives, and the economy, back on track.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
10 April 2020
As I am sure you are all aware by now, the national lockdown has been extended by a further two weeks until the end of April. In making this announcement last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa asked South Africans to make even greater sacrifices so that our country may survive this crisis and so that tens of thousands of lives may be saved.
Nationally, there will be an intensified public health campaign, comprehensive economic support measures to assist businesses, and a programme of increased social support.
At local government level, our senior management teams are working on responses that we can and must put in place to ensure that the Municipality continues to provide services, as well as interventions, to maintain and manage support structures like soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
As our nation stays indoors during the national lockdown, I wish all our residents strength and wisdom during this time of reflection with your family.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
9 April 2020
As we approach the end of the second week of the national lockdown, there is much speculation as to whether the lockdown will be lifted at midnight on the 16th, whether it will be partially lifted or whether it will be extended.
Whatever the President and his command team decide, we as a community must be ready to implement that decision. We must, in this coming week, guard against fake news and spreading malicious rumors. I urge all our residents to be very wary of information that does not come from a reliable or credible news source.
My team is constantly in contact with national and provincial structures and we will share any verified and tested statements or announcements on our Facebook page, website and other communication platforms.
The Easter weekend is upon us and I would like to wish all those that celebrate Easter a peaceful and a blessed celebration. This is a time usually associated with fellowship and reflection with family and I call on all of us to celebrate this Easter within the rules and regulations of the national lockdown.
I am very proud of the fact that most of our residents have been respecting the President's call by doing their bit to help flatten the curve.
Together we will halt the spread of COVID-19.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
8 April 2020
We are now 13 days into the national lockdown and it has been and remains a challenging time for all of us. We are not alone in this and across the length and breadth of the country many South Africans face the frustrations and concerns that we face.
We must take some comfort however in the fact that by adhering to the rules and regulations of the lockdown, we are all playing an important part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. I thank you for that. It is only when we have managed to flatten the curve that we will overcome the threat of Coronavirus.
Today the provincial school feeding scheme resumes and this will help ensure that the children who are part of this project will be able to get a regular meal. The 11 registered soup kitchens in the Drakenstein area will also be receiving additional support to strengthen their operations.
The Department of Social Development and SASSA will be launching a feeding scheme in the very near future. Please note that the Municipality has no control over these projects and they will solely be the responsibility of the service providers. These are all actions to mitigate the food dependency that is an unavoidable consequence of the national lockdown.
I would like to once again say a special thank you to the essential workers, especially the doctors, nurses and healthcare teams that are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 every day. We also say thank you to the essential workers who pick up our refuse, keep the lights on and keep the taps running during the lockdown.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
7 April 2020
Let me start by thanking the people of Mbekweni who took part in the screening process that started yesterday. I was on the ground with the healthcare workers who conducted the screenings and I saw that despite some uncertainty at first, our people took an active part in the campaign. This campaign will help us determine what impact the Coronavirus may have on our community so that we can combat the spread of COVID-19. Mbekweni was one of seven high-density areas where screening started in our province.
I am also very pleased to announce that our ‘drive-through’ donation initiative will start today. My team and I are fully aware that food distribution will be critical as the lockdown moves into its second week and the management of donations is part of that.
The Municipality is asking members of the public, after they have bought essential items and want to donate some of these, to drive to the Municipality’s Fire Services in Paarl. You will remain in your vehicle and our officers will collect these items. These donations will be used at the three temporary shelters for the homeless, at soup kitchens and to assist local communities in need.
We are currently in daily contact with both District and Provincial officials to ensure that the planned temporary revival of the school feeding scheme and a SASSA-funded food parcel distribution plan are rolled out effectively in Drakenstein.
According to the information at our disposal, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Drakenstein is six. I urge all our residents to obey the lockdown regulations and help us prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Stay Home, Stay Safe.
6 April 2020
Today Drakenstein will be part of the national focus of COVID-19 as the provincial Health Minister and a team of health workers will be conducting screening in Mbekweni. This is the national screening and testing campaign that started in Gauteng last week. We welcome the opportunity to play our role in the provincial campaign which is being rolled out in seven Western Cape areas.
During screening, healthcare workers will ask members of the community questions about their health. Depending on their answers, they may have to be tested for COVID-19. To test for COVID-19, a swab is taken of the fluid at the back of the nose, as well as a sample of the fluid at the back of the throat.
I urge our Mbekweni residents to welcome these Community Health Workers and to please co-operate with them. It is for our own good. The healthcare workers will also be able to answer questions that residents may have regarding the Coronavirus. With the information at our disposal there are six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Drakenstein.
Another issue very close to our hearts is the distribution of food to those in need which is becoming a critically important aspect of managing the lockdown.
Drakenstein Municipality as well as 14 NGOs are currently assisting with getting donations of food to soup kitchens, homeless shelters and people in need. I want to make it very clear that nobody can provide food aid to residents with conditions attached or for personal benefit. We condemn any attempts by individuals or organisations to enrich themselves or elicit support by exploiting the need in our communities.
Drakenstein Municipality will announce a system to streamline the donations and distribution of food within the next 24 hours.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.
3 April 2020
A journalist asked me a question yesterday that I want to share because it is something we must all think about. She asked me whether I thought the COVID-19 situation would make local government re-evaluate the way some issues are handled. I think all spheres of government, from National Government to the smallest municipality, should take stock of how they operate. Not necessarily because they are doing it wrong but because we must find ways to do certain things better.
One of these are how we assist the homeless. As a nation we must improve our provision of night shelters and safe havens as well as assisting those who want to be reunited with their families. This is where all three spheres of government can work together to assist this vulnerable group.
I also believe that COVID-19 gives us the time to look at our own lives and what our priorities are. Suddenly the flashy lives of celebrities and highly paid sport stars are not as important as our doctors, nurses, researchers and essential workers.
We need to re-evaluate who adds value to our lives and what do we regard as adding value. Each of us needs to look inside ourselves and see what we can do better. It seems that at a time like this there are more things that unite us than divide us and that unity is something we need to take with us into a post-Coronavirus South Africa.
According to the latest information at our disposal, there are six people in Drakenstein who have tested positive for the Coronavirus.
STAY HOME, STAY SAFE.
2 April 2020
Let me start by conveying our heartfelt condolences to the family of the pedestrian who was tragically killed after being hit by a vehicle near Mbekweni yesterday. The driver of the vehicle has been arrested and an investigation is underway. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the young child who was injured in the incident.
It is very heartening to see that where we congregate at shops, ATMs, SASSA pay points, we are observing the social distancing rule and people are for the most part patient and understanding. The more we work together during this time the sooner we will be able to overcome the threat posed by this virus. It is likely that many more people in South Africa will become infected and more people may even lose their lives, but the early and decisive action of the lockdown will help us keep those numbers much lower than other countries which did not act fast enough.
One of the areas where all residents can play their part is to avoid spreading fake news, rumours or incorrect facts and figures about COVID-19. I appeal to all residents to only repeat information that they have received from a credible source in the media or the Drakenstein Municipality website or Facebook page. If you are not sure or it sounds unlikely, do not repeat it until you have confirmed the accuracy of the information.
The latest information we have at our disposal is that six people have tested positive for the Coronavirus in Drakenstein. If this number changes we will inform residents either in this daily message or on our Facebook page. Drakenstein Municipality will be open and transparent with our information and call on residents to trust the information that we, or a credible news source, provides.
It has been almost a week since we went into lockdown and we have all learned lessons that will help us do even better as we enter the second week of lockdown.
Stay Home, Stay Safe.
1 April 2020
Good day Drakensteiners
As the national lockdown goes into its sixth day, I imagine it has been a difficult adjustment for many residents but we need to obey the law, stay indoors except to get groceries, medical attention or social grants and observe social distancing in everything we do. We must stand together by standing apart.
Over the past five days we have opened three venues to accommodate the homeless people in our communities that are in need of assistance during the lockdown. The Paarl Thusong Centre, the Wellington Town Hall and the Huguenot Hall were all opened as temporary shelters. We provide a roof over their heads, a blanket to sleep on, water and food and ablution facilities.
Our Traffic Control and Law Enforcement officers have been transporting those living on the street to the shelters. As these three shelters neared their capacities yesterday with a combined total of over 150 people, we have identified the Weltevrede Sport Hall in Wellington as the fourth shelter. This hall will come into operation as a shelter today.
It was announced yesterday that the taxi operating times have been amended so that they can operate between 05:00 and 10:00 and again between 16:00 and 20:00. I believe this will assist those essential services workers needing to get to and from work as well as residents who need to get basic goods from the shops.
Communication is critical during times like these and we will continue to provide as much information as we can on our social media platforms and municipal website, www.drakenstein.gov.za. Please avoid fake news and only trust sources you know to be reliable.
According to the latest information at our disposal Drakenstein has six confirmed cases of Coronavirus.
Stay Home, Stay Safe.
31 March 2020
Today is the second day that our elderly residents and people with disabilities will be going to pay points to collect their SASSA grants. I urge all those assisting with this process to once again ensure that we take the utmost care with our senior citizens, help with social distancing and provide seating wherever we can.
It is likely that the grant recipients will need to buy groceries and this is also an area where we all can assist in making the process as easy as possible for them.
I am sure many of you saw the President’s message on television last night. His call for South Africans was very clear. Obey the lockdown regulations and accept that the Coronavirus can infect any of us. The President said, and I quote: “Let us not make the mistake of thinking this is somebody else’s problem. Every time you violate the regulations the government has issued or try to get around the rules, you are putting yourself and others at risk, and helping the virus to spread”.
This is a time when we all need to step up and be responsible - for ourselves, our families, our communities, our city and ultimately our nation. We need to obey the law, spread the word and assist the authorities in combatting the Coronavirus.
According to the latest information at our disposal, Drakenstein has six cases of people who have tested positive.
COVID-19 is a global challenge and in every country and every community, people are working together to fight this scourge.
I have no doubt that the residents of Drakenstein can and will do exactly that.
Stay Indoors, Stay Safe
30 March 2020
BOODSKAP DEUR UITVOERENDE BURGEMEESTER CONRAD POOLE
Ek doen vandag ‘n beroep op alle inwoners van Drakenstein: BLY TUİS. Dis die wet! Slegs noodsaaklike dienste, inkopies en mediese uitstappies word toegelaat. Vir die wat wel by die huis bly, sê ek baie dankie. Ons gaan onverpoos voort met die uitdeel van pamflette deur ons amptenare. Hulle verduidelik ook aan mense wat nie kan lees nie waaroor dit gaan. Ons brandweer- en verkeersvoertuie versprei ook die nodige inligting met megafone.
Die nuutste syfers tot ons beskiking is dat ses mense in Drakenstein positief vir die Koronavirus getoets het. Ons sal ons inwoners op hoogte hou sodra nuwe inligting beskikbaar word.
Om die Munisipaliteit te kontak, kan jy die tolvrye nommer 080 131 3553 gebruik. Jy kan ook die alternatiewe nommers 021 807 4500 of 021 807 4665 gebruik.
Bly tuis, Bly veilig.
Drakenstein Municipality intensifies steps to help combat COVID-19
Following South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act on 15 March 2020 to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, Drakenstein Municipality has intensified its steps in an effort to limit the possible spread of the Corona virus in Drakenstein and beyond.
Alderman Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein, says: “As the largest municipality in the Western Cape outside Cape Town, Drakenstein Municipality fully understands and appreciates the serious nature of this pandemic. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as far as possible, we have decided on particular steps – not only in the interest of our Drakenstein community, but also of our staff so they can continue to deliver excellent services to the public.”
Drakenstein Municipality has announced the following steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:
1. All municipal resorts and swimming pools will be closed from 18 March 2020 till further notice;
2. Hygiene measures at municipal buildings will be increased, as well as the regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects that members of the public and/or municipal staff often come into physical contact with;
3. All municipal community meetings will be cancelled until further notice – invitees will be informed accordingly. Drakenstein Municipal Council meetings will continue as normal;
4. Non-essential travel by municipal staff will be limited;
5. The health of municipal staff will be closely monitored;
6. Municipal staff are strongly encouraged to follow the prescribed hygiene steps; and
7. Municipal staff experiencing Corona virus infection symptoms, should report these to their supervisors, self-isolate and request to be tested.
“As healthcare remains national and provincial competencies, the Municipality follows the protocol and planning of the Western Cape Government – in cooperation with the National Department of Health – when cases of Corona virus infection are diagnosed in Drakenstein,” says Alderman Poole.
Drakenstein Municipality supports the other government spheres by distributing basic information relating to the Corona virus – including details of the National Department of Health’s public hotline, 0800 029 999 (Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 to 16:00) – via its communication platforms such as its Facebook page, the municipal website and local media.
The Municipality strongly advises residents to take precautions, follow good hygiene principles and only rely on information from trusted, verifiable sources such as the:
1. World Health Organization website, www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019;
2. Western Cape Health Department website, www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/health; and
3. National Institute for Communicable Diseases website, www.nicd.ac.za.
The precautionary measures prescribed by the World Health Organization are:
• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water kills viruses that may be on your hands.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there the virus can enter your body and make you sick.
• Make sure that you and the people around you cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing as small droplets that come out of your nose or mouth can carry germs. Throw the tissue in a bin immediately and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. By following good coughing hygiene principles, you protect the people around you from contracting cold and flu viruses.
• Avoid close contact with people who have a fever and a cough.
Why: You may inhale the liquid droplets that spray from their nose or mouth which may contain cold or flu viruses.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as desks, telephones and tables with soap and water.
Why? If you cough and sneeze all over these surfaces and then touch those surfaces with your hands, you can transfer viruses to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Issued by: Communication and Marketing, Drakenstein Municipality