Stellenbosch Umasipala

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Dear Resident

It is sad but indisputable that we have been hit very hard by the outbreak of COVID-19.  I know however, that we are a resilient, courageous and caring community who tackles all challenges with innovation and determination. I have no doubt that our community will therefore make it through this crisis, more resilient and stronger than before.

According to the information provided by the Provincial Government, 16 residents in the greater municipal area have tested positive for the virus (as at 5 April 2020). The health department has taken the necessary steps to isolate and treat these cases and they continue to monitor the situation closely. COVID-19 testing and screenings are being rolled out nationally and the Western Cape Government launched this program on Sunday, 5 April 2020. Health workers will soon be visiting our region. Community Healthcare workers will be identifiable by their uniforms and ID cards. Please request the person’s credentials as part of the rigorous safety precautions. I urge you to cooperate with them and to be patient. They are risking their safety to ensure ours, and we thank them for their sacrifice.

We are continuing our efforts to encourage good hygiene to limit the spread of the virus. We will therefore be installing twenty additional water tanks across our municipal area this week. These tanks have a 5000 litre capacity and will be installed in strategic areas including Enkanini, Watergang, Langrug and Meerlust. The tanks will be fitted with fittings that will allow 5 taps to run at a time. We will fill these tanks on a daily basis to ensure that all our residents have access to clean, safe water sources. Our sincere thanks to the Western Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements that made these additional tanks available to us. 

We are also cleaning and sanitising public spaces. This is part of our efforts to protect the health and well-being of our community. Our teams have already cleaned and disinfected the Stellenbosch CBD and the Bergzicht taxi rank. This program will be rolled out across the region and will focus on sidewalks and streets in town as well as taxi ranks in Kayamandi, Klapmuts and Franschhoek.  The focus is on areas where there are a lot of foot traffic and includes trash cans and public seating areas.  We want our residents and visitors to feel safe and secure in their environment.

Essential services continues during this time and I want to sincerely thank all our staff who are working on the front lines every day to make sure that our communities are cleaned and that services continue uninterrupted. The process was however not without its challenges and as you know we experienced some difficulty with regards to solid waste removal. These issues are now resolved and we worked very hard to clear the backlog and continue services.

All our administrative staff continue to work from home to make sure any queries or problems are addressed. Our call centre and emergency numbers are also manned throughout this time and residents can call or e-mail us. We also have a dedicated WhatsApp that is manned 24/7.

As a municipality, we have taken bold steps to reduce the economic impact on our residents, particularly our most vulnerable residents and a decision was made to assist our communities in the following way:

  •  A payment reprieve/holiday on property rates will be implemented from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020;
  • No interest or penalties will be charged for property rates billed over this period (subject to criteria that will be made available on the municipal website);
  • Free basic water allocation for indigent residents will be increased from 6 to 10 kilolitres per household from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020;
  • A temporary suspension of all credit control measures and procedures will be implemented until the end of April 2020, meaning that all electricity meters that were blocked because of overdue accounts, will be unblocked and residents will be able to buy and upload electricity freely during this period.

We have also made provision for homeless residents in the region.  They are being accommodated at a local facility and are being provided with meals, security and sanitation services. 

The Municipality is working with SCAN, the Stellenbosch University, Visit Stellenbosch and the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust and various NGO’s as #StellenboschUnite to help our most vulnerable residents during this time. Many residents have lost their income due to the lockdown. With the #StellenboschUnite initiative we want to supply weekly food packages to identified vulnerable families.  A basic provision food parcel will be provided to a minimum of 2500 homes per week across our entire region.  To be successful in our efforts we will need at least R250 000 per week. Any person wanting to assist can make a donation to the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust. All the details about the project and the account details are on our website (www.stellenbosch.gov.za) and on our Facebook page.

My heartfelt gratitude goes out to each and every one who has been sharing our message of STAY AT HOME, and who has given their cooperation during this lockdown period. Thank you also for the assistance you have given to help those less fortunate in our communities. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to all our health workers, law enforcement workers and our own municipal staff who form part of essential services and must go out every day. We are so grateful for the amazing work you are doing to serve and protect us.   

Please continue to STAY at HOME and help us beat COVID 19.

In the words of the old gospel song: “We shall overcome!”

Stay safe, stay at home!

Mayor Gesie

 

STB Mun COVID19

 

 

STB Mun COVID19

 

25 March 2020

STATEMENT BY EXECUTIVE MAYOR, ADV. GESIE VAN DEVENETR

For immediate release


 This is an unprecedented time for our municipality, our nation and indeed the world. We welcome the announcement of a national lockdown and we recognise the massive impact this will have on our already fragile economy. 

As a municipality, we have taken bold steps to reduce the economic impact on our residents, particularly our most vulnerable residents.  An urgent council meeting took place today to approve an item that will provide support and assistance to our communities during this challenging time:

  • A payment reprieve/holiday on property rates will be implemented from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020;
  • No interest will be charged for property rates billed over this period (subject to criteria that will be made available on the municipal website);
  •  Free basic water allocation for indigent residents will be increased from 6 to 10 kilolitres per household from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020;
  • A temporary suspension of all credit control measures and procedures will be implemented until the end of April 2020, meaning that all electricity meters that were blocked because of overdue accounts, will be unblocked and residents will be able to buy and upload electricity freely during this period.

Essential municipal services will continue during the lockdown period. This includes refuse removal, water, electricity, traffic, law enforcement and fire services. Councillors, administrative staff and all officials who are not directly responsible for essential or emergency services will be working from home.

As our resources and standby teams will be severely stretched and restricted over the lockdown period, we appeal to all residents to only report issues related to critical services and emergencies. Our control room and WhatsApp service line will remain fully operational.

 

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

Phone (General): 021 808 8111

Phone: (24/7 emergency line) 021 808 8890

WhatsApp: 076 951 0768

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

We will continue to work with our National and Provincial partners to ensure that the regulations and measures announced by National Government are fully adhered to. This will include our Law Enforcement Department providing support to the South African Police Service.

We are fully aware that this is a challenging time and we urge all residents to give their full cooperation and adhere to the restrictions as announced and implemented by the national and provincial authorities. 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.

I would like to implore our communities to stay alert and to stay safe. Please take care of yourself and your family. Follow official government and media platforms for updates and alerts. There is no need to panic buy, there is no need for fear mongering and there is no need to spread fake news. Together, we can flatten the curve, restrict the spread and ultimately beat this virus to potentially save many lives.

 

Media enquiries:

Stuart Grobbelaar T: 021 808 8172 | C: 084 036 1395

Mart-Marié Haasbroek T: 021 808 8024 | C: 072 910 3724

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

 

When does the lockdown begin and end?

The lockdown will begin on the evening of Thursday 26 March 2020 at 23:59 and will remain in force for 21 days, ending at midnight on 16 April 2020.

 

Who is exempted from this lockdown?

  • Health workers in the public and private sector
  • Emergency personnel
  • Security services – such as the police, traffic officers and military personnel.
  • Any persons necessary for our response to the pandemic
  • Citizens involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods and services, essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services, laboratory services, and the provision of medical and hygiene products (pharmacists) 

 

What will remain open/operational during the lockdown?

  • Public and private hospitals and clinics
  • Supermarkets (grocery stores)
  • Pharmacies
  • Veterinarians
  • Banks
  • Petrol stations
  • Social grant distribution points (including ATMs, retail point of sale devices, Post Offices and cash pay points)
  • The SAPS, metro police, municipal law enforcement, the military and emergency services
  • Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open

 

Can I leave my house?

Residents are encouraged to stay indoors and practice social distancing. However, this is a lockdown and not a shutdown. People may leave their houses to buy groceries and important supplies, visit a doctor or pharmacy, get petrol, collect a social grant or visit the bank.

  

Can I visit a nature reserve or the beach?

No – reserves and beaches are closed. Please stay in your homes.

 

What should I do if I think I’m infected?

Immediately contact the dedicated COVID-19 hotlines and await instructions:

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

 

Important tips

  1. Stay connected via the phone, social media or email.
  2. Maintain your networks and speak to friends or family regularly.
  3. Keep doing enjoying and relaxing activities.
  4. Stay informed by getting the facts, not rumors or fake news.
  5. Engage children in your care in creative ways; develop fun learning activities, play games and try to keep their daily routine going.
  6. Stay active by doing simple exercises within your home or garden.
  7. Create an exercise plan specifically to suit your environment.
  8. Social distancing is imperative during the lockdown period – keep a distance of at least 1.5 meter between you and the next person, do not shake hands or hug when greeting one another, minimize physical contact.
  9. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  10. Sanitize your hands and surfaces with an effective sanitizing product.
  11. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  12. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it away after use.

 

The Stellenbosch Municipality Control Room will operate 24/7 during the national lockdown period. Our WhatsApp lines will also remain fully operational during this time.

  • CONTROL ROOM
    021 808 8890 or 021 808 8111
  • LAW ENFORCEMENT WHATSAPP LINE
    079 622 4722
  • SERVICE WHATSAPP LINE
    076 951 0768

 

Email addresses to use

 

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
0800 029 999

NATIONAL SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE
08600 10111

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS
0800601190

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF WATER AFFAIRS
0800 200 200

PRESIDENTIAL HOTLINE
17737

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM
0860 868 747

NATIONAL CRISIS LINE
0861322322

REPORTING UNDUE PRICE INCREASES
0800 141 880

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE COMMAND CENTRE
0800 428 428
OR TOLLFREE
*120*7867#

ER24
084 124

NET CARE 911
082 911

PROVINCIAL DISASTER RISK MANAGAEMNT
021 937 7374

CAPE OF GOODHOPE SPCA
021 700 4140

ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY STELLENBOSCH
0711699922 (08h00-22h00)

 

Let's work together to flatten the curve!
Stellenbosch Municipality

 

PHOTO 2020 03 23 14 47 50

 

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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 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.

 

PHOTO 2020 03 23 14 47 51 2

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.


 

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