Minister Maynier visits Grabouw, Overberg to oversee the Hotspot Strategy
On Wednesday, 1 July 2020, I visited Grabouw to meet with local mayors, the disaster management team (Joint Operations Centre - JOC), Joint District Approach (JDA) team, law enforcement, health officials, and other key provincial officials to engage with them on the implementation of our Hotspot Strategy in the Overberg district, which is our whole-of-government approach to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Grabouw and Hermanus have been identified as the hotspot areas in the Overberg, while Villiersdorp and Gansbaai have also been identified as areas of concern due to high transmission of Covid-19.
Following comprehensive briefings by the JOC Manager for Overberg, Reinard Geldenhuys, and Brigadier Heilbrond from the South African Police Service (SAPS) at the Houw Hoek Hotel in Grabouw, a discussion was held on the strategic approach and challenges facing those who are working hard to implement the Hotspot Plan in the Overberg. The Houw Hoek Hotel is also one of the isolation sites being used in the Overberg area.
Central to the successful delivery of the Hotspot Plan was the close co-operation between all spheres of government through the JDA and JOC which focuses on five critical areas – communication, compliance, containment, economy and humanitarian relief - with municipalities taking co-responsibility for addressing these challenges with all other stakeholders.
Challenges still persist however, particularly with regards to non-adherence to the basic safety measures required to stop the spread of Covid-19 such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing, which is leading to a high transmission of Covid-19 in the area. There is also the challenge of low up-take of quarantine and isolation facilities in the area.
Following the briefing, we handed over the first 400 of 1,000 Covid-19 Business Safety Kits for the Overberg to the mayors from Cape Agulhus, Theewaterskloof, Overstrand, and Swellendam who will distribute the kits to SMMEs and informal traders in their municipalities so they can operate their businesses safely and responsibly.
We then visited a taxi rank in Grabouw to observe the municipality’s weekly disinfection of the area, and we visited the Crafting Hope NGO in Klein Begin which operates a soup kitchen and co-ordinates a number of projects with other NGO’s in the area to provide food relief for those in need.
From what I saw during my visit to Grabouw, it is clear that there is excellent co-ordination and teamwork between all spheres of government in the Overberg district to implement and enforce health and safety measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. I have great confidence that a significant effort is underway to implement the Hotspot Strategy in the Overberg, and I would like to thank all those involved.
The Covid-19 pandemic will be with us for some time, and so it is important that every day we are all are taking the simple and responsible actions needed to reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19 in the region. Every single person living in the Overberg is responsible for taking the necessary steps to stop the spread of Covid-19 and together we can protect our loved ones, especially those that are elderly or at high-risk from Covid-19, and ultimately save lives.
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 4327
Cell: 071 087 5150