From the Mayor’s Desk
25 November 2020
It has become evident over the past week that the Covid-19 infection rate increased drastically in the Eastern Cape with devastating consequences, especially in the Nelson Mandela Metro and the Sarah Baartman District.
It is therefore incumbent upon me to plea with communities to adhere to regulations and prevent, as far as possible, gatherings.
Statistics as at 21 November 2020 recorded a total number of 2209 cases for the period 1 March to 21 November 2020 for Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality. The total number of recoveries recorded for this period is 1643 and sadly, 49 fatalities. There is a worrying increase of 242 new cases bringing the total cases for the month of November to 857. The statistics shows that there are 517 active cases in our area as at 21 November 2020.
The local Covid-19 Joint Operations Committee (JOC) convened a meeting on 17 November 2020 where it was recommended that to assist with the surge in our area:
- sub-JOC’s or ward based rapid response teams be strengthened with involving more stakeholders and area managers to ensure that meetings are convened
- All programs of stakeholders be integrated to address or meet with sectors such as tavern owners, funeral parlours, churches and post offices to intensify knowledge of the regulations
- Ward committees are functional
- Statistics be circulated as far and wide as possible
- Weekly loud hailing take place within wards
The President called on the nation in his address earlier this month, to demonstrate remembrance to all those who have lost their lives in the fight against Covid-19 and Gender Based Violence by participating in 5 days of Remembrance. To symbolize the beginning, the National flag was flown to half-mast today, 25 November at 06h00.
In South Africa, the traditional initiation practice is normally observed in the months of June and December. In a statement released on 22 November 2020 by Deputy Minister Obed Bapela he confirmed that traditional initiation practices remain officially suspended in an effort to decrease exposure and contraction of Covid-19. The Minister also stated that government and all stakeholders will not tolerate bogus initiation schools and anyone who is found to be disobeying the order of initiation suspension.
With these few words, I would like to appeal to everyone to be extremely cautious. The Dr. Beyers Naudé Local Municipality is identified as a hotspot within the Sarah Baartman District and the responsibility is on us to curb the spread of the virus.
Continue to wear a mask, always wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer and practice social distancing. Let us work together to prevent the spread of the virus.
Cllr D. De Vos