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Author: Ntobeko Mangqwengqwe

Temporary Switch-Off of Thembalethu Streetlights


Issued by George Municipality, 28 May 2024 @18:55

Please note that Electrotechnical Services temporarily switched off Thembalethu streetlights. This measure was taken to help mitigate possible tripping in Thembalethu which may be caused by an overload due to planned work that has not been switched back.

Trimming of Historic “Slave Tree” for Safety Reasons

One of the largest and oldest trees in the Southern Hemisphere, known as the “slave tree,” approximately 212 years old, has been trimmed for safety reasons. This tree has been a sentry, overlooking the many visitors to the George Tourism Office, situated at 124 York Street, since its inception.

The Quercus Robur (English oak) tree, popularly known as the slave tree, is located at the George tourism office and was #29 on the list of Champion trees. However, it was de-listed after the tree was damaged by the elements in recent years.

Planted in 1811 with the establishment of George, this oak tree has been central to an urban legend and dubbed the ‘Old Slave Tree’ due to the thick chain and lock, firmly lodged into the base of the tree. However, in 1811, when slaves were emancipated, the tree was but a sapling, the roller for the lawn tennis court that once stood in front of the girls’ school, was chained to the tree, and the relic of that was left in the tree.

Over the years, the tree has deteriorated, and its falling dead branches have become a hazard to people and property. Consequently, the George Municipality undertook the pruning of these dead branches.

Discussions are ongoing to find a possible way to preserve what remains of this tree, which plays a significant role in the history of George.

Garden Route Dam Level – 28 May 2024

GARDEN ROUTE DAM LEVEL
Issued 28 May 2024, George Municipality

Percentage storage at new raised dam wall height 92,97 %
Rainfall for the previous days: 18.2 mm (Measured rainfall figures from 21 until 27 May 2024)

For water-saving tips please visit: http://tinyurl.com/3439h4n7
The cooperation of all municipal water users is essential and is greatly appreciated.

Urgent Notice for Public: Construction Work Notice: Garden Route Dam Suction Pipe Works

A planned construction of the Garden Route Dam Suction pipe works, initially scheduled to take place on weekdays, will also include tomorrow, Saturday, 25 May 2024 between 07:00 and 14:00.

SERVICE DISRUPTION:
Minor operational interruptions can be expected during the construction works. Advance notification of planned temporary disruptions and the effects thereof will be issued via social media.

TRAFFIC IMPACT:
No impact to traffic.

ACCESS TO SITE:
Access to the site will be strictly controlled. No member of the public will be allowed access to the construction area, in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

PROJECT ENQUIRIES: Mr Andre Scheepers – 044 801 9492 (Technical)
: Mr Alewijn Dippenaar – 082 457 5675 (Public Liaison Officer)

The George Municipality apologises for any inconvenience and appeals to the public to be patient and exercise caution throughout the construction period. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Alien Invasive Plant Awareness Campaign: Sword Fern

Municipal Plant of the Month – Sword Fern: Nephrolepis exaltata / cordifolia. The sword fern typically grows in woodland areas. Fronds tend to be dull green in shaded areas and lighter green or yellowish-green when growing in a sunny position. Both fertile and sterile fronds are pinnate. Rhizomes are orange-brown to pale brown with linear scales having hair-like tips.

It spreads through the thousands of spores it produces. These spores are dispersed by wind and water.

Invasive status: Listed as Nemba Category 1b invasive weed, it is a habitat transformer and must be removed. It threatens indigenous species by aggressively invading swamps, forests, coastal bush, and roadsides. It forms dense stands, quickly displacing indigenous vegetation thus threatening biodiversity.

Control: When uprooting by hand ensure all parts of the plant have been removed. Poisons are available. Regular follow-up is essential.

References: www.invasives.org.za : www.sanbi.org

PUBLIC NOTICE: CYBERCRIME – Beware of Telephone Scams – Unblocking of Prepaid Meters

 

Freepic Image of Cybercrime

George Municipality kindly asks that all ratepayers, and Municipal clients be vigilant – we have been informed of telephonic calls and/or WhatsApp messages made to a ratepayer requesting the payment of a large sum of money into an unknown bank account to prevent the blocking of a prepaid meter. The municipality will not contact a ratepayer telephonically or via WhatsApp regarding the blocking of a meter and also not request a large payment into an unknown account to unblock a meter. Your prepaid meter will only be blocked if you have outstanding payments on your municipal account and despite us sending you several SMS (directly to your registered contact number as the municipal account holder), you make no effort to get in touch with us. Only then will your prepaid meter be blocked, and you will have to come in or phone in to resolve and discuss payment arrangements.

When making any payments to the municipal bank account please follow the procedures for sending proof of payment. Cybercriminals constantly challenge any measures put in place and clients are asked to be vigilant.

The public is urged to carefully check and confirm the municipality’s banking details as received on a municipal invoice. It remains your responsibility as the payer (ratepayer, citizen, business, client of the Municipality etc.) to ensure that the correct banking details are captured when making payments to George Municipality as the insurance companies and banks also do not accept any risk if a transaction approved and authorised by yourself ends up being to fraudulent sources.

BANK DETAILS FOR GEORGE MUNICIPALITY
Bank: First National Bank (FNB)
Account Name: George Municipality
Account Type: Public Sector Cheque Account
Account Number: 62869623150
Branch Code: 210554
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
Use your GRG municipal account details as a reference and send proof of payment to payments@george.gov.za

For traffic fines only:
Bank: First National Bank (FNB)
Account Name: George Municipality
Account Type: Public Sector Cheque Account
Account Number: 62869623168
Branch Code: 210554
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
Use the traffic fine number as a reference.

Please follow these steps to update George Municipality as a beneficiary on your online banking:
1. Delete your current George Municipality beneficiary.
2. Create a new George Municipality beneficiary:
Search for George Municipality as the Institution name and click select,
Continue filling in the required information until the transaction is complete.
3. Should you require any assistance in updating George Municipality as a beneficiary, please feel free to contact our Finance offices on 044 801 9111.

Contact for Debt Control Assistance:
For help, phone the municipality’s debt control section at 044 801 9111 during office hours or via email creditcontrol@george.gov.za

CREDIT CONTROL AFTER-HOURS NUMBER: 072 501 1843 ONLY for EMERGENCY BLOCKED ELECTRICITY METERS during the following hours:
Monday to Friday from 16:30 to 20:00/ Saturday from 8:00 to 20:00 and Sunday from 8:00 to 14:00

Please note: a minimum payment is required before the meter will be unblocked after hours.

MEDIA STATEMENT: 21:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 16 May 2024 at 21:00

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 16 May 2024 at 21:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are still underway on day ten (10) following the building collapse at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 247 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

So far, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

HANDOVER OF SITE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

The Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality are finalising preparations for the Department of Labour and Employment to take over the building collapse site to continue their formal investigation.

RESPECTING PATIENT PRIVACY IN MEDICAL FACILITIES

Members of the media and public are kindly requested to respect the privacy of the patients who are still hospitalised and receiving treatment at medical facilities. Their dignity while they recover, should be observed, protected, and respected.

REFRAIN FROM SPECULATION

The public is advised that official investigations into the incident are being undertaken by SAPS, Department of Labour, Department of Infrastructure, and an independent structural engineering firm appointed by the Western Cape Government. Speculation and possible causes by unofficial “experts” could impact negatively on the official investigation. The public is requested to refrain from spreading malicious rumours and/or fake news.

RESCUE WORKERS ON SITE

The highest number of role players on-site in a single day was 682. As of now, nearly 150 rescue workers and support staff remain committed on-site to the rescue and recovery operations.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6 months. Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

All families of the affected contract workers will from 10:00 am, tomorrow, 17 May, be routed to the Department of Social Development at the York Park Building situated on York Street. For more information contact telephone number: 044 814 1920/1 / 072 4561 486.

THANK YOU TO ALL ROLE PLAYERS

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa during his visit to the site today, and the Western Cape MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Minister Anton Bredell, at the JOC this evening, respectively extended words of gratitude to all roleplayers for the excellent manner in which the entire incident was coordinated.

COMMUNICATION WITH THE MEDIA/PUBLIC

As from Friday, 17 May 2024 (tomorrow), updates about the rescue and recovery operations will be scaled down to and communicated from 6 updates to 3 updates per day at 9:00, 12:00 and 15:00.

The next update will be issued at 9:00, 17 May 2024 (tomorrow).

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 18:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 16 May 2024 at 18:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are still underway on day ten (10) following the building collapse at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 244 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

So far, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

HANDOVER OF SITE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

The Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality are finalising preparations for the Department of Labour and Employment to take over the building collapse site to continue their formal investigation.

RESPECTING PATIENT PRIVACY IN MEDICAL FACILITIES

Members of the media and public are kindly requested to respect the privacy of the patients who are still hospitalised and receiving treatment at medical facilities. Their dignity while they recover, should be observed, protected and respected.

REFRAIN FROM SPECULATION

The public is advised that official investigations into the incident are being undertaken by SAPS, Department of Labour, Department of Infrastructure as well as an independent structural engineering firm appointed by the Western Cape Government. Speculation and possible causes by unofficial “experts” could impact negatively on the official investigation. The public is requested to refrain from spreading malicious rumours and/or fake news.

RESCUE WORKERS ON SITE

The highest number of role players on-site in a single day was 682. As of now, nearly 150 rescue workers and support staff remain committed on-site to the rescue and recovery operations.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6 months. Psychosocial support for all rescue and non-rescue personnel will be addressed.

The next update will be issued at 21:00, 16 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 21:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 15 May 2024 at 21:00

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 15 May 2024 at 21:00

Rescue and recovery efforts are continuing into day nine (9) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 223 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

Up to now, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

DONATIONS TO FAMILIES

Today, several organisations, such as the Gift of the Givers, Makro, Lions Club, and Food Socks (feature image) and the Ghanian Community Association in George, provided food hampers and other items to families who are related to the workers who were present at the Victoria Street building collapse in George. The Multi-Agency Command Centre expresses its heartfelt gratitude and thank you to all these organisations for their generous acts of kindness.

DONATIONS FOR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AT THE GEORGE BUILDING COLLAPSE SITE

The George Municipality would like to provide details of how the public can support the multi-disciplinary emergency personnel with donations of drinking water, energy drinks, wine gums, or food for emergency services while they are on-site.

Donations may be delivered to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George or contact the Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428) in this regard.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa, will be visiting the disaster site in George, accompanied by a delegation of National Ministers, on Thursday, 16 May 2024 (tomorrow).

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6-months.

The next update will be issued at 6:00am tomorrow morning, 16 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

MEDIA STATEMENT: 18:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa, 15 May 2024 at 18:00

Several organisations provided food hampers and other items to families

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 15 May 2024 at 18:00

Rescue and recovery efforts have reached day nine (9) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other role-players have been on site of the collapsed building for 220 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

FAMILIES LINKED TO SURVIVORS AND DECEASED

Up to now, 47 victims have been linked to their families.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

DONATIONS TO FAMILIES

Today, several organisations, such as the Gift of the Givers, Makro, Lions Club, and Food Socks (feature image) and the Ghanian Community Association in George, provided food hampers and other items to families who are related to the workers who were present at the Victoria Street building collapse in George. The Multi-Agency Command Centre expresses its heartfelt gratitude and thank you to all these organisations for their generous acts of kindness.

DONATIONS FOR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL AT THE GEORGE BUILDING COLLAPSE SITE

The George Municipality would like to provide details of how the public can support the multi-disciplinary emergency personnel with donations of drinking water, energy drinks, wine gums, or food for emergency services while they are on-site.

Donations may be delivered to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street in George or contact the Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428) in this regard.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Cyril Ramaphosa, will be visiting the disaster site in George, accompanied by a delegation of National Ministers, on Thursday, 16 May 2024 (tomorrow).

POST-INCIDENT SUPPORT

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has indicated that a comprehensive range of services will continue to be made available to the affected families for a minimum of 6 months.

The next update will be issued at 21:00 this evening, 15 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

#Georgebuildingcollapse

The Ghanian Community Association in George also generously donated various items to the families who are linked to victims of the Victoria Street building collapse. Fltr: Addai Evelyn, Linda Dotefe, Florence Afful, Benjamin Afedo, Josephine Fosuaa, Grace Sarfoa, Jacklin Bimpe, Henry Arhin, Esther Mayi, Owusu Amoah and Evans Asirifi.

MEDIA STATEMENT: 21:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 14 May 2024 at 21:00

Rescue and recovery efforts continue into day eight (8) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other roleplayers have been on site of the collapsed building for 199 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

The formal identification process has been completed by the Victim Identification Centre and Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) as follows:

Identification: 18 (14 males, 4 females)
Nationality breakdown:
South Africa: 7
Zimbabwe: 3
Lesotho: 1
Malawi: 5
Mozambique: 2

IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

The identification of descendants is the responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness FPS manages the visual identification in support of SAPS. After an incident such as this, visual identification can understandably be difficult and traumatic for family members and requires SAPS to undertake identification through scientific means, of which DNA testing is one method. We urge the media and public to please respect the families of the deceased while we facilitate the identification process with SAPS.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Garden Route District Joint Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The National Minister of Employment and Labour, Hon. Thulas Nxesi, will be visiting the area on Thursday, 16 May 2024.

NO MORE FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED FOR FAMILIES

The George Municipality expresses profound gratitude for the overwhelming support shown through food donations for the families impacted by the recent building collapse. Acknowledging the generosity of the community, the Municipality announces that the donations received exceed the immediate needs of the affected families. Consequently, no further food donations are necessary until further notice at the George Civic Centre. However, for those still willing to contribute, donations may be redirected to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street.

The Municipality extends its sincere appreciation to all individuals and organisations for their remarkable outpouring of goodwill during this difficult period.

SPECIAL REQUESTS FROM FAMILY

A request for a Cultural prayer by a family member of one of the deceased was made and permission has been granted for, tomorrow, 15 May 2024 at 07:15 am.

The next update will be issued tomorrow morning at 06:00 am, 15 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Munici

MEDIA STATEMENT: 18:00 Update on Building Collapse Site in George, Western Cape – South Africa

Issued by the Garden Route District JOC/George Municipality, 14 May 2024

Rescue and recovery efforts are on day eight (8) following the incident at 75 Victoria Street. Rescue workers and other roleplayers have been on site of the collapsed building for 196 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:
* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81
* Rescued and recovered: 62
* Of which deceased: 33 (27 males, 6 females)
* Currently hospitalised: 12
* Unaccounted for: 19

IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

The identification of decedents is the responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) manages the visual identification in support of SAPS. After an incident such as this, visual identification can understandably be difficult and traumatic for family members and requires SAPS to undertake identification through scientific means, of which DNA testing is one method. We ask the media and public to please respect the families of the deceased while we facilitate the identification process with SAPS.

STRICT VERIFICATION IN PLACE

The Joint District Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

MINISTERIAL AND OTHER VISITS

The National Minister of Employment and Labour, Hon. Thulas Nxesi, will be visiting the area on Thursday, 16 May 2024.

NO MORE FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED FOR FAMILIES

The George Municipality expresses profound gratitude for the overwhelming support shown through food donations for the families impacted by the recent building collapse. Acknowledging the generosity of the community, the Municipality announces that the donations received exceed the immediate needs of the affected families. Consequently, no further food donations are necessary until further notice at the George Civic Centre. However, for those still willing to contribute, donations may be redirected to AFM (AGS) Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street. The Municipality extends its sincere appreciation to all individuals and organisations for their remarkable outpouring of goodwill during this difficult period.

SPECIAL REQUESTS FROM FAMILY

A request for a Cultural prayer by a family member of one of the deceased was made and permission has been granted for tomorrow, 15 May 2024 at 07:15.

The next update will be issued by 21:00, 14 May 2024.

Photograph: Garden Route District Municipality

SPECIAL UPDATE – No More Food Donations Needed for Building Collapse Victims’ Families

Issued by George Municipality, 14 May 2024 @16:45

The George Municipality extends its heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming support received in the form of food donations for the families affected by the building collapse.

At this time, the Municipality wishes to inform the public that the amount of food received is more than sufficient to meet the needs of the affected families. Therefore, no further food donations are required at the George Civic Centre for the injured or deceased workers’ families.

However, for those still wishing to contribute food donations, we kindly request that they be delivered to RGS Soteria Church at 27 Victoria Street and not to the George Civic Centre.

The Municipality sincerely thanks all individuals and organisations for their outpouring of goodwill during this challenging time. The generosity shown by the community has been remarkable.

𝗠𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗔 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗧: 𝗨𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗽𝘀𝗲 𝗦𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗚𝗲𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗲, 𝗪𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝗽𝗲 – 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮 𝟭𝟯 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰, 𝗮𝘁 𝟮𝟭:𝟬𝟬

Rescue and recovery efforts continue a week after the incident took place at 75 Victoria Street where a partially-built building collapsed. Rescue workers and other role players have been on site for 175 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:

* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81                                                                                      * Rescued and recovered: 61                                                                                                                                                          * Of which deceased: 32                                                                                                                                                                    * Currently hospitalised: 12                                                                                                                                                            * Unaccounted for: 20

𝗙𝗔𝗦𝗧-𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗖𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗢𝗙 𝗣𝗔𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗟𝗢𝗚𝗬 𝗦𝗘𝗥𝗩𝗜𝗖𝗘𝗦

The primary focus continues to be on rescue efforts. With this in mind, we are also proactively setting up plans to expedite the identification of the deceased. This is done by Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) and South African Police Service (SAPS). We, therefore, endeavour to fast-track the process to help bring closure to families. Fingerprints, DNA testing and photographs of unique markings such as tattoos and clothing items are some of the methods used to identify the deceased. Forensic Pathology Services are not limited to the Victoria Street Disaster in George, but also include other cases that happen on a daily basis.

It is confirmed that six (6) of the deceased were positively identified – this information has been verified in terms of current protocols.

𝗜𝗗𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗜𝗙𝗜𝗖𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗢𝗙 𝗙𝗔𝗠𝗜𝗟𝗬 𝗠𝗘𝗠𝗕𝗘𝗥𝗦

We are experiencing difficulties in obtaining accurate names of individuals missing or deceased due to the building collapse. We urgently request families who have lost contact with their loved ones to come to the George Civic Centre on York Street. This will enable the Department of Social Development to collect detailed and precise information, ensuring that all records are accurately documented.

𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗜𝗖𝗧 𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗙𝗜𝗖𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗜𝗡 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗖𝗘

The Joint District Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

𝗣𝗦𝗬𝗖𝗛𝗢𝗦𝗢𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟 𝗦𝗨𝗣𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧

There is still an urgent call for professional psychosocial support practitioners proficient in Chewa, Portuguese, and Shona languages to assist survivors and their families. Several practitioners have already offered their services and more are welcomed to contact Ms. Kholiswa Jobela at 078 210 5972 or Mr. Apolus Swart at 061 504 4205.

𝗠𝗜𝗡𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗔𝗟 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗢𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗥 𝗩𝗜𝗦𝗜𝗧𝗦

Tomorrow, 14 May 2024, Salga Provincial and National Teams will be visiting the area at 10:00.The National Minister of Labour will be visiting the area on Thursday, 16 May 2024.

𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟 𝗥𝗘𝗤𝗨𝗘𝗦𝗧 𝗙𝗥𝗢𝗠 𝗙𝗔𝗠𝗜𝗟𝗬

A request for a Cultural prayer by a family member of one of the deceased was made and permission has been granted for Wednesday, 15 May 2024 at 07:15.

𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗗 𝗢𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗞𝗦

Gerhard Otto, GRDM Head of Disaster Management extended a word of appreciation and gratitude to all stakeholders that continuously provide updated and accurate information to the Multi-Agency Command Centre to report about.

The next update will be issued by 06:00 tomorrow, 14 May 2024.

𝗠𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗔 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗧: 𝗨𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗽𝘀𝗲 𝗦𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗚𝗲𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗲, 𝗪𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝗽𝗲 – 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝟭𝟯 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰 𝗮𝘁 𝟭𝟴:𝟬𝟬

Rescue and recovery efforts continue into a week after the incident took place at 75 Victoria Street where a partially-built building collapsed. Rescue workers and other role players have been on site for 172 hours.

The confirmed statistics for the incident are:

* Total estimated individuals on-site when the incident occurred: 81

* Rescued and recovered: 59

* Of which deceased: 30

* Currently hospitalised: 13

* Unaccounted for: 22

𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗞 𝗬𝗢𝗨

To all residents of George and South Africa who participated in the Moment of Silence in honour of the victims who passed away in the incident, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation for your continuous support.

𝗙𝗔𝗦𝗧-𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗖𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗢𝗙 𝗣𝗔𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗟𝗢𝗚𝗬 𝗦𝗘𝗥𝗩𝗜𝗖𝗘𝗦

The primary focus continues to be on rescue efforts. With this in mind, we are also proactively setting up plans to expedite the identification of the deceased. This is done by Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) and South African Police Service (SAPS). We, therefore, endeavour to fast-track the process to help bring closure to families.

𝗜𝗗𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗜𝗙𝗜𝗖𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗢𝗙 𝗙𝗔𝗠𝗜𝗟𝗬 𝗠𝗘𝗠𝗕𝗘𝗥𝗦

We are experiencing difficulties in obtaining accurate names of individuals missing or deceased due to the building collapse. We urgently request families who have lost contact with their loved ones to come to the George Civic Centre on York Street. This will enable the Department of Social Development to collect detailed and precise information, ensuring that all records are accurately documented.

𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗜𝗖𝗧 𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗙𝗜𝗖𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗜𝗡 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗖𝗘

The Joint District Operations Centre’s adherence to a stringent double verification protocol is crucial for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of reported numbers of the deceased, which is essential in emergency and disaster response scenarios. This verification process involves cross-referencing information from multiple reliable sources, such as recovery teams, hospitals, and forensic services.

𝗣𝗦𝗬𝗖𝗛𝗢𝗦𝗢𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟 𝗦𝗨𝗣𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧

There is still an urgent call for professional psychosocial support practitioners proficient in Chewa, Portuguese, and Shona languages to assist survivors and their families. Several practitioners have already offered their services and more are welcomed to contact Ms. Kholiswa Jobela at 078 210 5972 or Mr. Apolus Swart at 061 504 4205.

The next update will be issued by 21:00 today, 13 May 2024.

Update on Building Collapse, Victoria Street – George

Photo by Herman Pieters, Garden Route District Municipality

Issued George Municipal, 6 May 2024, 9pm

Following the collapse of a multi-storey building under construction in Victoria Street this afternoon, multiple Disaster Service personnel including Saps Search and Rescue teams with sniffer dogs are are currently involved in a rescue operation to retrieve 53 trapped construction workers.

The collapse occurred at 14:09 this afternoon with the first emergency call coming in at 14:14. Seventy-five (75) members of construction crew have been confirmed on site at the time of the incident. Twenty-two (22) patients have been retrieved and sent to hospitals or medical centres in George. Sadly two (2) of the twenty-two (22) patients have been declared deceased.

Emergency personnel on their way from the City of Cape Town and Worcester Disaster Services as well as the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Services are expected to be on site before 12pm tonight. At present over 100 emergency and other personnel are on site.

Family and friends of the construction workers involved in the incident are being given space to gather at the foyer of the main municipal building and will be assisted by Department of Social Services and Correctional Services Social Workers.

Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk expressed his sincere condolences on behalf of George Council and the municipal administration to the family and colleagues of the deceased.

“Our thoughts are with the families and all those affected who continue to wait on word of their loved one’s, “ said Ald Van Wyk.

An update will be issued at 12pm tonight South African Time.

Note: Should any member of the public wish to provide drinking water, lucozade, wine gums, or any food for the emergency services while they are on site – kindly deliver to the tent site via Ivy Street at 79 Victoria St, Delplan Consulting which is being manned by Gift of the Givers and Herman Pienaar of LoveGeorge.

For enquiries to give please contact: Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428)

PUBLIC NOTICE – Assistance for emergency workers

George Municipal Disaster Services, together with a number of other stakeholders (GRDM, SAPS, Ambulance Services) are currently busy with a building collapse on Victoria Street which involves multiple patients.

Should any member of the public wish to provide drinking water, lucozade, wine gums, or any food for the services while they are on site – they must please deliver to the tent site at Ivy Street at 79 Victoria St, Delplan Consulting which is being manned by Gift of the Givers and Herman Pienaar of LoveGeorge.

For enquiries to give please contact: Gift of the Givers: Mario Ferreira (082 490 2752) and Herman Pienaar (082 829 6428)

Thank you in advance.

PUBLIC NOTICE: Municipality opens the foyer of the Main Hall Open to assist families of the construction team

Issued by George Municipality, 6 May 2024 @16:45

The Municipality has opened the foyer of the main municipal hall to accommodate family members of the construction team who were onsite at the time of the incident.

For their comfort and convenience, they are welcome to wait in the foyer where they will be provided with necessary assistance and support.