“We have to inform residents when they make their bookings that the number of people cannot exceed 100. That is a national regulation which we have to adhere to”
FUNERALS held in municipal halls in Kimberley will be limited to 100 people, the Sol Plaatje Municipality has stated.
While municipalities across the country have closed many public amenities to avoid the possible spread of the coronavirus, most facilities in Kimberley remain open currently.
The Sol Plaatje Municipality said yesterday that the need to close facilities like libraries, swimming pools and resorts would be highlighted by the responsible managers.
Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said yesterday that the local authority would respect and adhere to the regulations imposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Matsie added, however, that municipal facilities such as libraries, swimming pools and resorts would continue to operate as normal, until a decision to the contrary is made by the city council.
“We have to obey the call that was made by the president on Sunday, March 15, 2020. That instruction from the president is specific. Officials will make recommendations regarding local amenities to the city council for a decision,” said Matsie.
“The staff and managers will indicate whether facilities should remain open, but this must be in line with the restrictions announced by the president. One has to bear in mind that there is not an influx of people at some of these facilities and the crowds can be controlled. The managers on the ground are better placed to know whether a certain facility should be closed.”
Matsie pointed out, however, that municipal halls booked for functions like funerals would not cater for more than 100 people.
“We have to inform residents when they make their bookings that the number of people cannot exceed 100. That is a national regulation which we have to adhere to,” he said.
Various municipalities have announced that to try to limit the interaction between municipal employees and the public, swimming pools and libraries would be closed and the number of visitors to parks and resorts limited to 100.
Meanwhile, the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison said it will also hold discussions with taxi organisations on measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Department spokesperson Rennie Andrias said they will meet with taxi organisations to discuss what precautionary measures should be implemented to keep commuters and taxi employees safe from infection.
“Long- and short-distance taxis, including buses, are still operating. We cannot instruct them to stop as people are reliant on public transport to get to their respective places of employment. Others also do their shopping and have to buy essentials and they cannot do so if there are no taxis or buses running. We will be discussing with taxi organisations how we can keep commuters safe and staff safe during this time,” Andrias said.
The president of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), Phillips Taaibosch, during a media briefing in Wanderers yesterday, ordered all taxi operators to ensure that their ranks and vehicles were clean and disinfected daily.
Taaibosch urged drivers to treat every person equally, including those infected with the virus.
He said drivers must ensure they practise the necessary hygienic precautions.
“Taxi associations will be the soldiers that see to it that daily these programmes continue unabated. Taxi ranks and ranking facilities are to be kept clean, disinfected using certified chemicals. All taxis must be cleaned daily and disinfected as frequently as possible to ensure that chances of contamination are reduced. All taxis must have sanitisers that are offered to all passengers when they enter taxis and after handling taxi fares,” said Taaibosch.
He called on queue marshals to constantly encourage and ensure that passengers observed good hygiene habits and to promote the washing of hands with water and soap and the use of sanitisers. Everybody in the vicinity of a taxi rank has been told to always cover their mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing.
Taaibosch encouraged commuters to practise the same hygienic habits they practise at home.