Today the Executive Mayor of Rustenburg – Councillor Mpho Khunou, held the weekly multi-stakeholder meeting on Covid-19. In the main, today’s meeting was to receive progress reports on work the work done since the last meeting while focusing on the effectiveness of the interventions which were intended to support the Department of Education in the City, as it prepared to welcome more learners to continue with the remainder schooling calendar.
The Department of Education, has welcomed back learners in Grade 6 and 11 since the 6th of July, following the Ministry’s pronouncement of the continuation of the 2020 schooling year. The department has reported to have been well supported by the mining sector in ensuring that all the schools within the jurisdiction are prepared and Covid-19 complaint to receive more leaners.
To date the support from the various mining houses – Anglo American Platinum, Sibanye Stillwater, Glencore Alloys, Tharisa, Impala Platinum and Royal Bafokeng Platinum has ensured that schools in the City has sufficient thermometers and Covid-19 PPE to ensure that the resumption of schooling continues, without compromising the safety and health of teachers, learners and the administrative staff.
Rustenburg continues to be the Provinces epicenter, with about 4488 with 860 recoveries, as at 09th July 2020. Some of the informal settlements in the City continue to be indicative of localized hot-spots including various parts of Greater Boitekong such as Paardekraal, Sunrise Park and the Central Business District. Information gathered through contact tracing, indicates that transmission of the Covid-19 happens with more prominently between people who interact with persons who are associated with activities within the mining sector, which has also been hardest hit by the infection of the virus.
The Department of Health, remains concerned about the failure of the some of the members of the public, who ignore the Covid-19 safety protocols, which include the use of a face mask in public places, maintaining social distancing as well as regular washing of hands with running water and soap or sanitization. The department says it is equally concerned with the informal social interaction of people, some of whom do not comply with Covid-19 regulation, by also wearing face masks, when in small group meetings. The department, says it is optimistic that the PPE recently received at their health facilities in Bathanie, Mfidikwe as well as Thekwane, will assists the concerted efforts of reducing the spread of the virus.
The mining sector, has been relentless in its endeavor to ensure that as the City’s social partners they provide the necessary support to the affected communities including the vulnerable. The Royal Bafokeng Platinum, will be handing over about 18 houses to identified families, who did not have proper housing as well as assisting people with disabilities with the donation of wheelchairs to ease the mobility of the affected person. This as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility program to positively impact the community within which their operations are located.
Similarly, the Anglo American Platinum, has delivered more PPE for Covid-19 to about 21 clinics within the Municipal jurisdiction and further intends to roll out a program targeted at non-governmental organization and care centers for persons with special needs, to offer resource support to the community of people living with varying disabilities. The company also intends to undertake a food relief program, which will see about a thousand recipients benefit. These are persons who have been hard-hit by the implications of the novel- virus who have not been able to self-sustain since the beginning of the nation- wide lockdown. In addition, another mining-giant Sibanye Stillwater will make a bulk sanitizer support of under 15 thousand liters to 15 health facilities, 20 schools as well as 12 Early Childhood Development centers.
Impala Platinum contribution to the department of Education included about 7000 face masks, which were delivered to 33 schools the company had identified. The mining house made a further donation of 400 test kits to the Department of Health, through the Job Shimankana Tabane Hospital, to ensure that more referred cases for Covid-19 were tested almost immediately as required by the protocols. Tharisa will oversee the donation of about 1000 face masks to schools within their area of operation in the coming days.
Following the court judgement last week, on the reopening of Early Childhood Development Centers – ECDS, the Department of Social Development, had prior to the court decision begun the process of ECD preparation ahead of the envisaged reopening. The Department to date has received a sizeable response of applications, for inspection and Covid-19 compliance certification. ECD’s are expected to reopen once the department has issued certificates of compliance and have met the safety requirement to welcome back registered children. The department says, number of the homeless at the shelter have significantly reduced, as a result of societal integration as part of the department’s mandate.
The Rustenburg Local Municipality, has not been spared, there has been a spike in new cases recorded, bringing the current tally to 27 with 6 recoveries.