The Executive Mayor of Rustenburg, Councillor Mpho Khunou expressed concern during the City’s bi-weekly Intergovernmental Relations Forum (IGR Forum) virtual meeting on Covid-19 which he chairs. The Mayor said, while evidence shows that the efforts which have been led by the department of health, were yielding positive results in containing the spread of the virus, much still needed to be done to re-educate the public on the dangers of Covid-19 and the envisaged third wave.
The Executive Mayor said it was worrying that people went on about wearing face masks inappropriately or not having any masks at all “we know that face masks, cause some level of discomfort because it is not something we are not used to. Despite that we should at all times play our part, and not be complacent, the numbers may be going down, but Covid-19 still roams among us and continues to leave a trail of heartbreak and pain among those who had to bury their loved ones. We must not be suffering from Covid-19 fatigue; we have more to lose than we think” Mayor Khunou remarked.
Mayor Khunou’s comments follow an operation which was led by the City’s Public Safety Directorate where inspections were conducted in businesses in the CBD, government buildings as well as the various mining operations around Rustenburg. The inspections, which were conducted at Home Affairs, Post Office, Shoprite, and at one Impala’s operations pointed out numerous non-compliance issues such as the snaking queues outside premises, with inadequate spaces in between persons as required by the regulations.
SASSA’s operation continues to be of concern as many people go to the offices, to access various services including Covid-19 relief funds. The organization has indicated despite the Covid-19 health and safety measures put in place, the reluctance by some of the members of the public to adhere to social distancing and wearing masks correctly is a cause for concern.
By the end of yesterday evening, Rustenburg had recorded a total of 18351 with about 17091 cases which have been confirmed as recoveries. The case management in the City accounts for over 30% percent of the total cases recorded in the North West Province to date and makes Rustenburg the provincial hotspot. The department of Health in the sub-district noted that although numbers were significantly lower as compared to the previous weeks, the virus was still prevalent, as all of the City’s 45 wards recorded Covid-19 cases.
Further to that, it continues to concern the department, that there is no change in the data collated in respect of the areas which have been identified as hotspots, where numerous Covid-19 non-compliance has been identified. The areas which continue to rank as high Covid-19 hotspots are Freedom Park, Phokeng, Rustenburg CBD, Marikina, Sunrise, Ramochana, Tlhabane West, Boitekong, Geelhout Park, Waterfall East, Mfidikwe, Luka, Kanana and Chaneng.
The mining sector has shown great improvement in respect of the number of recoveries of the virus. The health interventions which have been put in place, have ensured that the number of recorded cases remain low while recoveries continue to dominate. This is remarkable as the economy, requires all of its workforce in good health in ensuring that Rustenburg’s growth continues, despite the challenge the Covid-19 has brought upon the city.
With schools set to reopen from Monday, the law enforcement agencies will be out to ensure compliance to wearing of masks, which is a punishable offense that carries a jail time of up to six (6) months imprisonment or a payment of a fine.   The operation intends to target Rustenburg town and all public areas which include the bus and taxi terminus to ascertain if there is general compliance as required by law. The Education Department has indicated that all systems have been put in place and there are no anticipated disruptions in the resumption of the academic year, given the time lost already, due to the forced shutdown at the height of the second wave.