IGR Forum on Covid-19 Meets to Assess Effectiveness of Interventions for Resumption of Schooling, as Rustenburg Records More Cases

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.


Virtual Special Meeting Of Council

The following two key items are being tabled at the Virtual Special Meeting of the Rustenburg Council which started at 10H00 this morning:

– Approval of the MTREF Budget for 2020/2021, and
– Approval of the Reviewed Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for 2020/2021

*NB*: Due to COVID-19 Lockdown Regulations, the community is encouraged to view the meeting through life streaming on Facebook.


First Yarona Bus Arrives, Paving Way for Rustenburg Rapid Transport Operation

The Rustenburg Local Municipality welcomed their first Yarona Bus to kick-off the technical demonstration and testing phase of the project at a session held at the Rustenburg Civic Centre. Welcomed by the Executive Mayor of the Rustenburg Local Municipality, Councillor Mpho Khunou, accompanied by the Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMC’s) for Roads and Transport Councillor Lucky Kgaladi, former MMC for the portfolio Councillor Joyce Mashishi-Ntsime currently MMC for Corporate Support Services as well as the City’s stakeholder on the project, said the Municipality had reached an important milestone of the project. “The RRT is part of the 2010 Soccer World Cup legacy project, which aims to integrate public transport in the City, in an affordable, reliable and safe execution. Indeed, we have come a long way, and we owe today’s achievement; the arrival of the first buts to the patience and cooperation of the taxi industry” Mayor Khunou reiterated.
The Municipality has been working closely with the local and affected taxi industry who have shown tremendous support and are part of the transformative agenda of the RRT project. Some of the key milestones achieved with the local taxi industry include the establishment of the Taxi Negotiating Forum, conclusion Memorandum of Agreement, establishment of the Bus Operating Company (BOC) which affected taxi operators would transition into.
The Municipality’s leadership approved the bus and gave the technical demonstration a thumbs-up. The Taxi Negotiating Forum, which was represented by Mr. Cornelius Mogau, the forum’s Chairperson, said the industry was overjoyed, that a significant achievement has been recorded, which can only mean the operationalization of the project is near “Executive Mayor and fellow Councillors, we are happy that after the many challenges, we experienced in the process of ensuring that the project materializes, we have the City’s first bus and the projects is nearing completion.  We are excited, that despite the many challenges we experienced, the project will see the light of day and our people will benefit. It could not have been easy, as this is a first in the country, we you have government and the industry joining hands to bring about an integrated public transport system” Mr. Mogau remarked.
The Mayor announced the much anticipated RRT project would start with the testing and training phase. The bus will be used by the Rustenburg Rapid Transport team to train drivers, and test various infrastructure components including stations and priority traffic lights in a build up to the main launch in October 2020.  The Rustenburg Rapid Transport programme is the national flagship from the National Department of Transport, a road-based component of the Bus Rapid Transport Strategy that was approved by the cabinet in 2007. Its intentions are to ensure swift movement of large numbers of people between parts of a city in a quick and safer way.
At the session, the uniform for the Yarona bus personnel was also unveiled to stakeholders in a form of a distant fashion parade without neglecting the Covid-19 regulations. The uniform unveiled included uniform for drivers, ambassadors, maintenance personnel, tellers and supervisors.
The Municipality further announced that it would be working together with the local taxi industry to integrate the public transport services – particularly taxis and buses. These services would be co-branded and use a single fare system once fully rolled out.
The Municipality plans to roll-out 10 buses for Phase1A of the system before the end of the year with a further 30 buses planned in the coming 24 months. In total 40 buses and 150 taxis would form phase of the first phase of the system.