Oudtshoorn, 14 September 2020 – The Oudtshoorn Municipality mourns the loss a law enforcement official, Donovan le Roux (47) who passed away on Saturday, 12 September 2020, due to COVID19 related sickness.
Le Roux, who joined the Municipality in February 2013, is the second official in the Oudtshoorn Municipality who succumbed to COVID19 related illness. He passed away at the George Provincial Hospital.
Mr. Patrick Jordaan, the Chief of Traffic Services and Law Enforcement says le Roux was admitted at the George Provincial Hospital on 25 August 2020, after complaining about not feeling well.
Jordaan described the passing on of le Roux as devastating. “His death is a huge loss for the Municipality and the law enforcement.
“We lost a reliable, honest person with great character who always did his job diligently. His colleagues admired him for his modesty and introverted personality.” Jordaan added.
The Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Councillor Chris Macpherson sends his sincere condolences to le Roux’s wife, Nicolene and children. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of such a great colleague and we pray that the family, friends and colleagues may be comforted during this difficult time.”
To commemorate le Roux, the law enforcement and colleagues in the Municipality will lead a drive through on Wednesday, 16 September 2020 passing his home at 1356 Eland Road, Bridgton at 12:00.
Le Roux will be laid to rest on Saturday, 19 September 2020 at his home at 11:00. He survived by his wife, two children and one grandchild.Last published 15 September 2020
Oudtshoorn, 11 September 2020 – Access to the Oudtshoorn Municipality’s main building in Voortrekker Road, including the New Council Building, has been temporarily suspended with immediate effect, to ensure implementation of health and safety measures as well as COVID19 protocols.
This comes after a visit by the Department of Labour’s inspectors yesterday to ascertain adherence to COVID19 regulations and health and safety in the workplace in the Municipality.
Even though the Municipality has developed the Back to Work Readiness Plan and the COVID19 Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Standing Operating Procedures, the inspectors detected issues relating to contravention of access control and other safety measures that could improve.
Furthermore, the inspectors reviewed Municipal COVID19 Occupational Health and Safety risk assessment and made some recommendations for it to be reviewed and improved.
It is for the above reasons that the Department of Labour has temporarily suspended the operations and access to the main building of the Oudtshoorn Municipality until these issues have been resolved.
“We welcome the visit and recommendations of the Department of Labour,” said the acting municipal manager, Mr. Gerald de Jager. “This can only create prospect for a much safer environment in our Municipality and adequate compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act as well as COVID19 protocols,” de Jager added.
“We will take full advantage of this opportunity to ensure that safety of officials and the public is intensified, not only in the main building but in all our buildings,” he added.
The Municipality has been given Seven days to ensure that the identified compliance issues are addressed.
Meanwhile, the Municipal Traffic Department which was visited yesterday has complied with OHS and COVID19 regulations and will remain in operation.
“Service delivery will continue as normal and essential services will be in full operation,” de Jager concluded.Last published 11 September 2020
Oudtshoorn, 9 September 2020 – After having had to close its doors as a result of the National Lockdown for a period of approximately six months, the Cango Caves is proud to announce that it will open its doors to the public on Friday, 11 September 2020.
The Cango Caves, which successfully draws about 250 000 tourists a year, is regarded as a provincial, national as well as an international tourism treasure. More than half of all visitors per year are from outside the borders of South Africa, with 60% of all visitors coming from Europe and Britain. South East Asian tourists are also as key visitors.
In this regard the Cango Caves is widely acknowledged for its role as a key contributor to the economy of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo, and in particular Oudtshoorn.
“The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and its resultant negative impact on the economy of the region, meant that the Cango Caves management along with key partners of the Oudtshoorn Municipality had to think very carefully about its future business and plan for accordingly,” says Alison Moos, Acting Manager of the Cango Caves.
“As far we know, this is the first time since opening its doors in the late 1900s that the Cango Caves had to close its doors for such a long period of time – nearly six months since National Lockdown was introduced in March this year,” Moos adds.
“While we are looking forward to opening our doors to welcome tourists again, we are well aware of the importance to protect the safety of both the Cango Caves employees as well as our visitors. We are also aware of the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy, locally, national as well as internationally. This means that at least for the next 18 months we are unlikely to experience as strong a flow of visitors as we saw prior to the onset of the pandemic.”
“We also know that should we register a Covid-19 case at the Cango Caves, we would most likely have to close our doors again, albeit for a much shorter period of time.”
With regards to tours, Moos announced that, as part of the measures introduced to manage the situation, “the Cango Caves will for the foreseeable future only offer the Heritage Tour, which is an easy walk through the first six largest chambers. The size of the groups on this specific tour will also be limited, given requirements for social distancing”.
“The Heritage Tour originally catered for a maximum of 100 people. This has been changed, in line with safety protocol, to 20 people on the tour and the tour is conducted every 15 minutes.”
The Adventure Tour, which is considered a more challenging tour with narrow passages and tunnels that requires a degree of fitness, has been suspended till further notice.
Sanitising stations are available throughout the complex before visitors embark on their tour and visitors are encouraged to regularly sanitise their hands. Face masks are obligatory for all staff and visitors. Electronic temperature screening and sanitising will take place at the entrance to the complex.
The Cango Caves is a public entity and as such adheres to the strict regulation as gazetted by the Department of Labour as well as the Department of Health.
The first tour at Cango Caves was conducted in 1891.Last published 09 September 2020
Oudtshoorn, 8 September 2020 – Local library services have confirmed that all libraries in the Greater Oudtshoorn will open 21 September 2020 when all health protocols and health social distancing measures have been finalised.
The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma released alert level 2 regulations on 17 August that permit libraries to open.
Prescribed health protocols in terms of the directions prescribed to Librarians have already been put in place except for installation of transparent screens on the counters, separating contact between staff and library users. The library staff has been working behind closed doors since 24 August 2020 to ensure that the library services operate seamlessly once the libraries are open to public.
The following protocols must be adhered to by both the library staff and library users when the libraries are open on 21st September 2020:
The Municipality wishes to thank the public for their patience while the staff ensures that all necessary health protocols are in place to ensure the safety of both library staff and the public.
Preparations for readiness to serve the public is not as simple as it may look, the nature of the services involves touching of library material that must circulate from the library to users and back to the library.
Should the protocols that give guidance to use of library material not be followed meticulously, consequences thereof may create higher risks that could lead to the rapid spread of COVID19. The Municipality is looking forward to see library users and render the much needed service that has been on hold for the past six months.Last published 08 September 2020
FLTR: Adel Supra-Vertue (Manager: Fire, Rescue & Disaster Management, Marlu Rust (Western Cape Provincial Government – Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management) and Cllr. Johan Fourie (Chairperson: Community Services Portfolio)
Oudtshoorn, 02 September 2020 – The Disaster Management of the Greater Oudtshoorn has recently received a grant from the Western Cape Province Fire, Rescue and Disaster management in order to improve service delivery within the town.
The grant was a provincial initiative that the municipality received in the 2019/20 financial year. The grant allowed the Department to purchase equipment such as a 4x4 ‘bakkie’, Fire hoses, Aerial support radio’s, Road cones, and a Chain saw.
“The vehicle and equipment will be used by the Firefighters for effective use, improving service delivery within the Greater Oudtshoorn area,” said Adel Supra-Vertue Manager Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management.
Councillor Johan Fourie, the chairperson of the community services portfolio committee officially received the ‘bakkie’ and equipment from a representative of the Western Cape Provincial Fire, Rescue & Disaster Management, Marlu Rust. During the handover of the equipment, Councillor Fourie thanked the Western Cape Provincial Government for their assistance.
Last published 02 September 2020
Oudtshoorn, 02 September 2020 - Covid-19 has not passed. We urge the public to understand that Covid-19 still exists and we need to take every precautionary measure to stop the spread.
Last week, the Greater Oudtshoorn surpassed the 1000 mark of confirmed infections and with a death toll of 64 to date. The executive mayor, Chris Macpherson, wants to encourage residents to act responsible when consuming alcohol, social distancing and gathering of groups.
He requests residents to “please adhere to the restrictions as your safety is our main concern. I want to thank each individual that has reached out and helped a fellow citizen in need and everyone that is contributing to the safety of all of us by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing”.
Meanwhile, the Disaster Management Department of the Greater Oudtshoorn has noted with concern that the public is not adhering to the Covid-19 regulations. Since the implementation of the Alert Level 2, there is a decline in the safety precautions in the sense that people are walking around without wearing masks and ignoring social distancing.
“Our main concern is that people wait too long to seek medical attention and by the time they reach a certain stage of the sickness they need to go to hospital, and for some it is then too late” said Adele Supra-Vertue Manager Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management.
Supra-Vertue is concerned with the fatality rate in the Greater Oudtshoorn which is increasing very quickly, potentially because of this reason.
Macpherson stated that COVID19 has brought us unforeseen challenges. “Our ability to address these challenges will determine the future.”Last published 02 September 2020
Oudtshoorn, 2 September 2020 - The multi-million rand Blossoms Emergency project which was launched during 2018 to alleviate drought and serious water shortages in the Greater Oudtshoorn is continuous, the Municipal Water Department confirmed this week.
“The project entails the equipping of three existing deep boreholes (drilled as part of the exploration program in 2013/14 in the C1 wellfield) into the Table Mountain aquifer and constructing a 23 km pipeline with a diameter of 315 mm from the Blossoms wellfield to the water network of Oudtshoorn,” said the acting director for technical services, Chris Swart.
The current water sources remain under severe pressure. Swart who is also a senior manager for water and sewer, emphasized that the successful implementation of the Blossom water project would yield good results as the project will supply the Greater Oudtshoorn with additional potable water. “It is estimated that these boreholes can supply in the region of 5 Ml/day, which is about half the daily water usage under the level four water restrictions. The water quality is good with only disinfection and possibly removal of iron required for treatment.”
“The additional water sources would also augment water supply to the rural areas of the Greater Oudtshoorn,” Swart added. “The Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply System (KKRWSS) from the Vermaaks River boreholes near Dysselsdorp are already extracted at their maximum and the Huis River supplying water to De Rust is not reliable over the summer months. In addition, the water abstracted from the Raubenheimer dam exceeds the volume that can be relied on with a 98% degree of assurance.”
The Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Councillor Chris Macpherson is impressed in the manner in which the funds from the National Department Water and Sanitation (DWS) and Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) were utilised so far to ensure that the Blossoms projects is being implemented.
“Funding of R30 million as part of DWS’s drought relief was made available during the 2018/19 financial ear. An additional R20 million was made available through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) from DWS for 2019/20. These funds have already been utilised to kick off the project with the design stage purchase a portion of the pipeline material,” Mayor Macpherson said.
The current status of the project is as follows:
“As soon as the landowner agreements are in place, the mechanical installation as well as the installation of the first half of the pipeline will commence, Swart added. “It is envisaged that this will be before the end of 2020.”
Swart assured that the final section of pipeline will then be installed on securing of the additional funds required. “The future development of C1 and C2 wellfields has the potential to deliver approximately 22 Ml/day and together with the possible construction of an additional dam, forms part of the long term planning for the sustainable supply of water to the Greater Oudtshoorn,” he added.
To execute the project fully, the Municipality need an approximate amount of R100 million, leaving a current shortfall of R50 million. Sourcing of this additional funding is in process with regular interaction between DWS, Western Cape Local Government and the Oudtshoorn Municipality.Last published 02 September 2020