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Sol implements safety measures

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Staff also met members of the public entering the civic offices with a questionnaire, which they had to fill in before entering.

WITH two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Northern Cape, the Sol Plaatje Municipality has taken precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The municipality yesterday ensured that all staff members and customers who entered the building sanitised their hands and kept the required one-metre distance from each other.

Staff also met members of the public entering the civic offices with a questionnaire, which they had to fill in before entering.

In this way, the municipality is able to keep track of who enters the building and whether any of those people have travelled to “hot-spot” areas.

“People are requested to give their basic personal information such as their name, identity number, cellphone number and the places they have travelled to in the past months. This is in order for us to trace and supply the government with the relevant information should they need to trace a person. People are also asked general health questions like whether they are experiencing any fever or other symptoms. This ensures that we keep customers safe as well as our staff members who are assisting these clients,” said Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie.

He said that the municipality had ordered hand sanitiser last week and the main priority now was to impart the importance of keeping a safe distance and practising safe hygiene.

“This coronavirus is a serious matter and needs to be treated with the necessary seriousness. There are still some denialists who think this matter can be treated lightly. We will have information sessions where we educate not only residents in the city, but our staff members as well, on how to stay safe.

“We have front-line employees, like those in sanitation and refuse sections, and including those who have to work with money on a daily basis, who are exposed to contracting the virus. We have around

3 000 internal staff members and the health of those in the front-line is paramount. There is a vast amount of information about this virus that even us as employees need to be made aware of in order not to expose ourselves to any contamination.”

He added that the municipality has taken a decision to close some of its amenities to also curb the spread of the virus.

“We have decided to close libraries. The number of people allowed at the parks and halls are limited and will be monitored.”

Matsie said that the individuals who gathered at Hulana Park and Oppenheimer Gardens on the weekend were acting recklessly.

“We will be working in partnership with other role-players and will implement strict measures, including increased traffic monitoring to deal with drinking and driving. The impounding of vehicles will form part of the wider measures that will be implemented for those who are found to be driving while under the influence of alcohol. The failure not to heed the instruction not to gather in large numbers is seriously hampering our efforts to prevent the possibility of spreading the virus. We call on everyone to heed the call to ban large gatherings,” Matsie said.

Matsie added that essential municipal services will continue as normal should a lockdown be implemented by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Our services will continue as normal. If people are ordered to stay at home, services such as traffic, water, electricity and refuse removal will still continue. We also urge residents to pay their municipal accounts electronically,” he said.

On request of the Speaker, all committee and council meetings have been cancelled until further notice.