Today the Executive Mayor Councillor Mpho Khunou, convened another follow-up meeting with stakeholders inclusive of sector departments and mining sector to monitor progress and compliance of level 4 in the City. The meeting was attended by various Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMC’s) and the Municipal Manager representing the Municipality. SASSA , an agency of the Department of Social Development said following the pronouncement by Minister Lindiwe Zulu, on the introduction of the Covid-19 social relief program they have been experiencing challenges.
The agency said it has been recording a high turn-out of people seeking social relief has noted the support of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the City’s Public Safety Directorate to ensure compliance with Covid-19 safety and hygiene protocols. The issue relating to social distancing, had been affecting the operations due to the long queues and over-crowding, which are in contravention of Covid-19 safety protocols.
All qualifying beneficiaries for the Covid-19 relief measures that are spearheaded by the Department of Social Development are urged to call the national call center number – 0800 60 10 11, provincial office number 018 397 3360, WhatsApp 082 046 8553 or USSD *134*7737# to access Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants. These grants are meant to assist unemployed South Africans, currently not registered as beneficiaries of SASSA during the period of the lock-down.
The Department of Education, has had meetings with the number of mining houses operating within the Rustenburg jurisdiction who have indicated their support to ensure that the preparation of schools for a possible reopening is achievable. Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, Royal Bafokeng Platinum and Sibanye StillWater have unanimously agreed to prepare an aggressive disinfection and cleaning drive of the schools within the locality of Rustenburg. School premises such as administration blocks, classrooms, ablution facilities and other infrastructure relevant for teaching and learning will be readied to ensure that the resumption of the schooling, is rolled out without any hindrances.
Additional support will include the supply of PPE to the schools, which are critical in the reduction of the transmission of the virus, given that teaching and learning occurs in confined spaces. Once the Ministry of Education has pronounced on the possible reopening, activities in this regard will unfold in preparation of the anticipated phased reopening.
The Department of Home Affairs, has been working closely with the Department of Health, to ensure that while citizens get services from Home Affairs, are screened as the DHA is among one of the departments which continuously experience a high number of walk-ins on a daily basis. The services that are currently provided at Home Affairs during this period include – the issuing of temporary identity documents, issuing of travelling permits for cargo drivers for cross border transportation, issuing of death certificates as well as registration of newly born babies. Other services will be rolled out once, further pronouncements have been made by national government, which are currently halted.
To date the Department of Health has screened over 70 thousand people in the Rustenburg area, including the mass screening campaign which is driven by a door-to-door campaign. More support has been offered to the department by the Red Cross as well as the South African National Defence Force to ensure a wider reach of the screening program. The department in providing feedback had appreciated the concerted efforts by the City to ensure that the response to Covid-19 in Rustenburg is synergistic. This on the back of the first Covid-19 related death in the City. To date Rustenburg, still has the highest number of positive Covid-19 cases.
The SAPS in Rustenburg cluster, has continued to work closely with the Municipality’s law enforcement department in Covid-19 related activities and to date, the cooperation has yielded positive results. Arrests have been made, where criminals have taken advantage of closure of schools and acts of burglary and theft were to be carried out.
In concluding the meeting, the Executive Mayor said it was inspiring to see what the City and all of its stakeholders have been able to achieve and the reports as well as registered progress are evident, that the efforts are not in vain.