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Mayor’s letter 14 for 12 August

Mayor’s Desk Newsletter for 12 August

A recent series of visits to a number of Ward projects is yet another reminder of the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic that hopefully is slowly down its third wave in George. We have recently experienced the highest infection rate within the Western Cape. It is so important that we continually remain aware of the need to wear masks, observe social distancing, wash hands regularly and generally remain alert to be safe and conscious of changes in our health. The vaccination programme is also underway and we should be registering and obtaining our jabs.

The Municipality continues to support approximately 130 soup kitchens where dedicated “tannies” make sure that children who would not otherwise be fed, queue up after school to receive helpings of nourishing soup 3 times a week and in some cases 5 times a week. At one soup kitchen the chefs are up by 06h00 to commence with the day’s meal for 250 children. One is left with thoughts of how additional assistance can be provided in these desperate situations in the form of additional protein, flour, pots, ingredients. The Municipality assists with ingredients, electricity, gas while numerous businesses provide assistance in various ways.

In many cases, the parents have lost their forms of employment and are unable to afford keeping youngsters in creches. Some creches are also being vandalised with criminal elements breaking into premises to steal items that are then sold off cheaply.

Over the past year many forms of illegal dumping have emerged. The Municipality has been employing teams who move around clearing up these dumping sites. Invariably front-end loaders and tipper trucks are used to clear up and remove the waste. Soon after clearing up a site with the team having moved on to the next problem, communities once again start the dumping process. This continued cycle of ill-discipline is costly and means that funds are not being spent on worthwhile projects for communities. A roster exists for refuse collection in the form of black (household refuse), green (garden) and blue (recyclables) bags, yet communities do not encourage their neighbours to assist in keeping their surroundings clean and healthy. The Community Services Directorate is now exploring the introduction of incentive programmes in communities where monitors can be rewarded for keeping their areas clean.

It is encouraging to see individuals who have started vegetable gardens on their own and often neighbour’s properties to successfully grow vegetables for their own use and sale. We should now be looking to holding regular market days where excess produce can be sold.

Any suggestions on assistance for the plight of citizens living in these difficult circumstances can be sent to: so that my office can attempt to facilitate.