23 April 2020
COVID-19: Western Cape Provincial Overview
23 April 2020
COVID-19: Western Cape Provincial Overview 4
Western Cape Municipalities are implementing ongoing humanitarian and feeding initiatives to assist vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many Municipal Councils have already approved funding to either implement or support existing food security initiatives in their communities.
The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell has praised the municipalities for their ongoing efforts during this time.
“My department is working hard to support all our municipalities and we are looking at providing urgently needed additional financial support to our councils to further assist them in their critical work, feeding our people.”
Some of the work being done in municipalities across the province:
In George Municipality 23 000 meals per day are being served from 138 municipality supported home-based soup kitchens in vulnerable communities. There is at least one soup kitchen set up in every vulnerable area, five to ten kitchens in larger communities, more than 20 in the greater Thembalethu area and nearly 30 in rural areas. Most kitchens serve two meals a day – pap at around 10am and soup, noodles or another meal based on types of food available, at around 2pm. The people involved have been trained in the Covid-19 health protocols and supplied with hygiene packs and protective gear including masks, gloves and sanitiser. They have been issued with health permits and social distancing, handwashing and other health and safety measures are implemented.
Drakenstein municipality, working with over 200 local NGOs, is rolling out a food aid programme. The Drakenstein Municipality food aid programme is additional to the Municipality’s 11 soup kitchens, the School Feeding Scheme, the Department of Social Development’s food hamper project, the SASSA Relief of Social Distress Programme, and the work done by various faith-based and local community organisations. Municipal account payment date has been extended to 30 April.
Hessequa Municipality has extended the accounts payments for March to 15 May. No interest will be charged.
Stellenbosch Municipality has expanded its financial payment relief offering and won’t be charging any interest on arrears accounts for April, May and June 2020. The Stellenbosch Unite is a collaborative aid action providing social support to vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. The collaboration brings together Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch University, Visit Stellenbosch (civil society), SCAN (Stellenbosch Civil Advocacy Network, representing the non-profit sector) and the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust (administrators). As a first priority, Stellenbosch Unite will be supplying weekly food packages to identified vulnerable families.
Knysna Municipality and the Rotary Club of Knysna are working together to further implement the municipality’s Humanitarian and Social Relief Programme. The aim is to distribute up to 1 000 relief parcels per week.
Mossel Bay Municipality continues to implement a mass sanitation of public spaces program. One of the areas focused on is taxi ranks in town and communal toilet areas in informal settlements.
The City of Cape Town continues to provide basic and essential services to approximately 200 000 informal households. The City has rolled out 31 water trucks in communities where access to water is constrained. This project has seen more than 13 million litres of water delivered to date. The City of Cape Town is also now offering guest houses and B&Bs an option of applying to change their property classification - if they need to - as a result of the COVID-19 impact which in some cases could cut rates bills in half.
“We continue to urge all residents to work with us. Cooperate with the authorities. Stay at home and adhere to the regulations,” Bredell says.
He has urged all citizens with questions or concerns to visit the website: www.westerncape.gov.za/coronavirus or to get in touch with their local municipalities for assistance.
“This website is an up to date source of information for all citizens and gets updated continuously as information comes in. In addition, if you have flu-like symptoms, and have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, please contact the provincial hotline on 021 928 4102 for advice on what to do next. Please always get a second opinion if you are at all concerned.”Last published 23 April 2020