Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit

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23 March 2020

STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF STELLENBOSCH MUNICIPALITY, ADV GESIE VAN DEVENTER 


The Stellenbosch Municipality will be reducing the number of staff at all municipal offices by 50% until further notice. Administrative staff will be required to work from home on a rotational basis, helping us restrict physical contact as much as possible while still enabling us to effectively deliver services to residents.

This decision was made in order for us to comply with social distancing that is required during this unprecedented time.

The Municipality is doing all it can to protect our employees, while still ensuring that essential services such as refuse removal, area cleaning, water and electricity services continues as normal. 

Customer offices will remain open but we urge members of the public to phone, email or send a WhatsApp to engage with the Municipality or their local councillor instead of visiting a municipal office in person. This will restrict direct physical contact and potentially slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Residents are encouraged to submit service requests using the following channels:

  • Phone (General): 021 808 8111
  • Phone (24/7 emergency line): 021 808 8111
  • Email: Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees.
  • WhatsApp: 076 951 0768

We will continue to work with our National and Provincial partners to ensure that measures are in place to curb the spread of the virus. Restricting physical and social contact is essential in curbing the spread of the virus and we all have a responsibility to work together to reduce infections.

 

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STB Mun COVID19

 

STATEMENT BY EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF STELLENBOSCH MUNICIPALITY – GESIE VAN DEVENTER

Release: Immediate 20 March 2020


A report served in front of the Mayoral Committee today to inform the Mayoral Committee of the steps the Stellenbosch Municipality is taking to comply with the national state of disaster due to the COVID 19 outbreak, as announced by the President earlier this week.

Many of these steps have already been implemented and this information will also be presented to the Council at the upcoming Council Meeting, scheduled for 30 March 2020.

The report states the following:

a) Municipal services will provisionally continue as normal, but residents are encouraged to avoid non-essential visits to any of the municipal offices and facilities, and to rather use online, telephone, and electronic services;

b)The following municipal facilities be closed with immediate effect, until further notice:

  • community halls, town halls and library halls, multi-purpose centres, picnic sites and/or resorts, nature reserves, swimming pools, sports facilities and clubhouses;
  • Approval be granted that existing bookings of said facilities either be cancelled or postponed, and that fees be refunded without recovering the administrative fee associated with cancellations where the booking is not rescheduled;
  • The operating hours of the libraries will be from 09:00 – 14:00, but that only basic services (taking out and retuning of reading material) be provided, and that access and number control be applied;
  • Sectoral and other IDP and budget-related public participation meetings be cancelled until further notice;
  • Cemeteries remain open, but users be made aware of the legal number restrictions applicable to gatherings;
  • Customer offices, such as cash offices, traffic licencing and test centres remain open to the public for the time being, but strong precaution be taken to ensure a heightened level of hygiene;
  • Sectional and other budget related public participation will take place through other methods to be communicated soonest;
  • Meetings of the Council and its committees provisionally continue as scheduled, but members of the public will have restricted access to these meetings, excluding the media;
  • Provision will be made for social distance and hygiene;
  • All community development projects, and holiday programmes scheduled and presented by the directorate Community Development during the school holiday and on public holidays, be cancelled;
  • No applications be approved in terms of the Gatherings Act, as well as in terms of the Municipality’s By-law regarding the Holding of Events, and existing approvals be cancelled until further notice.

c) The Municipal Manager be authorised to take urgent decisions relating to the COVID pandemic, inter alia regarding but not restricted to the following:

  • Identification of available sites to be used as isolation and quarantine facilities, and to submit the list to the Department of Health (as per regulations);
  • Shortening/determination of regulatory periods as determined in this resolution;
  • Increased access control and security measures at inter alia municipal offices, stores, test centres;
  • Identification of available sites to be used as isolation and quarantine facilities, and to submit the list to the Department of Health (as per regulations);
  • Shortening/determination of regulatory periods as determined in this resolution;
  • Increased access control and security measures at inter alia municipal offices, stores, test centres;
  • Appointment of a task team and communication spokesperson/s, as well as determination of communication methods and handling of enquiries;
  • Closure/reopening of facilities and termination/continuation of services;
  • Safety measures for staff, e.g. provisional suspension of biometrics, approval and criteria of special/quarantine leave as provided for in SALGBC collective agreement, use of protective equipment/clothing, shift systems and working from home, awareness measures;
  • Attendance of courses, workshops and meetings by staff representatives.

As the situation develops, we will keep our residents and the broader community updated. We are fully aware that this is a challenging time and we urge all residents to please give their full cooperation and adhere to the restrictions as they are announced and implemented by the national and provincial authorities. Please adhere to the restrictions of 100 people (including staff) or less at social events. This includes funerals, weddings and religious services.

Our law enforcement section has been briefed and they have been instructed to act according to the regulations as announced in the national government gazette. Residents and businesses who do not adhere to these regulations may face a hefty fine or even jail time.

For safety information, useful tips and government communications please visit our website (www.stellenbosch.gov.za) or follow us on social media - Facebook: Stellenbosch Municipality and Twitter: @StellMun

 

STB Mun COVID19

 

#FlattenTheCurve: Stellenbosch Municipality COVID19 Update by Gesie van Deventer

Release: Immediate 18 March 2020 


The Stellenbosch Municipality is working hard to prevent and combat the spread of the Corona virus. With this in mind we already took the first essential steps on Monday, in accordance with the President’s decision to declare a national state of disaster. Every decision we make is in the interest of PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY.

The Stellenbosch Municipality have taken the following steps:

  • Community and Protection Services have cancelled all event and gathering applications where 100 people or more are expected.
  • All municipal halls, sport grounds, multipurpose centres, picnic sites, community halls, swimming pools, nature reserves and other municipal amenities will be closed until further notice.
  • Driver License Testing and Learner License Testing will go ahead as scheduled for now. All necessary safety precautions have been put in place.
  • Residents are being encouraged to phone, email or send a WhatsApp to engage with the Municipality or their local councillor instead of visiting a municipal office in person, to limit direct physical contact (all relevant contact information is on our website).
  • Library operating hours will be reduced incrementally and these facilities will provide only basic services, namely, taking out and returning reading material. The number of persons allowed into the library will be controlled. Needless to say, this might change at short notice.
  • Effective immediately, all non-essential travel for all spheres of government to areas outside of the Republic is stopped and domestic travel is restricted. Residents are being encouraged to phone, email or WhatsApp to engage the Municipality or their local councillor instead of visiting a municipal office in person, to restrict direct physical contact.
  • The municipality will provide hand sanitizers or wipes at building entrances to be used to disinfect hands when entering facilities.
  • Public meetings that were scheduled to begin next month, have been cancelled. Electronic, written and telephonic submissions will be encouraged. We are also currently exploring alternative electronic platforms for public participation.

These emergency measures have also forced us to postpone several events, including a title deed handover ceremony as well as the annual Mayoral Golf day.

We will continue to work with our National and Provincial partners to ensure that measures are in place to curb the spread of the virus. Limiting physical and social contact is essential in curbing the spread of the virus. I therefore urge residents to help us curb the spread of the virus by doing the following:

  • Limit social gatherings and meetings wherever possible. If you meet with friends or family, please limit the number of people gathering.
  • Social distancing is imperative – keep a distance of at least 1 meter between you and the next person, especially in public spaces; do not shake hands or hug when greeting one another, minimize physical contact.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sanitize your hands and surfaces with an effective sanitizing product.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it away after use
  • Take additional vitamins to boost your immune system
  • Avoid crowded areas.

Please be aware of scammers posing as health practitioners to gain unlawful access to properties. There have been several reports of criminals approaching people, claiming to be health workers from various institutions pretending to conduct home testing for COVID-19.

We encourage residents to please pay attention to official announcements, and follow the instructions being given. Fake or inaccurate information remains a challenge. We urge all residents not to participate in the distribution of inaccurate, unverified or false information. Spreading fake news on The Corona is now a punishable offence and if found guilty you can spend up to 6 months in jail, as detailed in the Government Gazette, published yesterday. Please consult official sources if you have any doubts or concerns. For official COVID-19 advice, updates and queries:

  • National Hotline 0800 029 999
  • WhatsApp 0600 123 456
  • Provincial Hotline 021 9284102

We are aware that the outbreak of COVID-19 will present a challenging time for our region as it will have an adverse effect on our thriving tourism and hospitality industries. We urge every business owner to act in the best interest of our community and to adhere to the restrictions and guidelines outlined by national government.

“I call on all residents to stay calm during this time of crisis. Please act with kindness and consideration towards all citizens, and be mindful that social isolation will be challenging for many people. Please check in on your loved ones via electronic communication, and please do not panic buy as it contributes to a stressful environment during this difficult time.” – said Mayor van Deventer

We will continuously share information and updates on our municipal website and social media pages.


 

Municipal Manager - Geraldine Mettler

16 March 2020


 

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The Stellenbosch Municipality welcomes the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa and will work to ensure that service delivery continues while the well-being of residents and staff is protected.

With the national state of disaster declared by the President last night and the potential threat of the COVID-19 virus, it is essential to ensure contingencies are in place. The municipality therefore called an emergency meeting of senior management this morning to determine our hands-on response to this virus.

We will continue to work with our National and Provincial partners to ensure that measures are in place to curb the spread of the virus. Key to achieving this, is to minimise physical contact between people and to limit any fears and anxieties that our residents may have.

The Stellenbosch Municipality will be taking the following steps -

The Joint Operations Centre (JOC) with various public and private stakeholders in the health, safety and disaster management environments has been activated and an internal JOC consisting of representatives from municipal departments is also being established. 

  • Effective immediately, Community and Protection Services will cancel all event and gathering applications where 100 people or more are expected.
  • The Jonkershoek picnic site will be closed to members of the public from today, 16 March 2020 until further notice.
  • We are in discussions with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport on the opening times of municipal libraries across the province and more information will follow in due course.
  • Effective immediately, all non-essential travel for all spheres of government to areas outside of the Republic is stopped and domestic travel is restricted. Residents are being encouraged to phone, email or WhatsApp to engage the Municipality or their local councilor instead of visiting a municipal office in person, to restrict direct physical contact
  • The municipality will provide hand sanitizers or wipes at building entrances to be used to disinfect hands when entering facilities.
  • Public meetings that were scheduled to begin next month, have been cancelled. Electronic, written and telephonic submissions will be encouraged. We are also currently exploring alternative electronic platforms for public participation.
  • We have approached the MEC of Local Government on a decision as to whether or not scheduled Council and Mayco meetings may continue as normal.
  • Please be aware of scammers posing as health practitioners to gain access to properties. There have been several reports of criminals approaching residents at their homes pretending to conduct home testing for COVID-19.

We encourage residents to please pay attention to official announcements, and follow the instructions being given. Fake or inaccurate information continues to be a challenge. We urge all residents not to participate in the distribution of inaccurate, unverified or false information. 

By working together we can restrict the spread of the virus

We are aware that the outbreak of COVID-19 will present a challenging time for our region as it will have an adverse effect on our thriving tourism and hospitality industries.

We urge every business owner to act in the best interest of our community and to adhere to the restrictions and guidelines outlined by national government.

For official COVID-19 advice, updates and queries –

  • National Hotline 0800 029 999
  • WhatsApp 0600 123 456
  • Provincial Hotline 021 9284102

Further announcements will be made in due course.

 

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Statement by Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer
4 March 2020


The Stellenbosch WWTW is the single biggest capital expenditure item and bulk infrastructure project in the history of Stellenbosch and will serve our communities for generations to come.

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