GEORGE NEWS - The George Municipality continues to provide compassionate outreach to communities during the Covid-19 crisis.
George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said the municipality had a Community and Social Services section geared towards providing a social safety net for the most vulnerable members in its communities.
“We are thankful that the municipality has existing processes and projects that provide support to the needy and having these support structures already in place has now proven valuable in our fight against the Covid 19 pandemic,” said Mr Botha.
The George Municipality is keeping open more than 80 of the 140 soup kitchens it usually supports to feed people in areas including Borchards, Lawaaikamp, Rosedale, Syferfontein, New Dawn Park, Andersonville, Pacaltsdorp, Thembalethu, Maraiskamp, Parkdene, Conville, Rosemoor, Blanco, Protea Park, Wilderness Heights, Touwsranten, Kleinkrantz and rural areas such as Uniondale, Haarlem and surrounding farms. A kitchen has also been set up in municipal premises for the cooking of food for the temporary homeless shelter in Rosemoor stadium (details below).
“Our first responsibility is towards the selfless people in these communities who have been hosting soup kitchens in their homes for years. The kitchens whose people’s own health might be a concern and might potentially be vulnerable, have been closed.
“Soup kitchens have been stocked with food supplies and hygienic packs and operators were trained in all aspects of safely handing out soup within the required health, safety and social distancing parameters. In addition to the usual children, aged and vulnerable groups the kitchens usually provide for, they also help prepare food for the now unemployed and homeless as food donations become available.”
The George Municipality also stepped in to create a temporary shelter for the homeless at Rosemoor Stadium where nearly 80 people are being housed to keep them off the streets as per lockdown regulations.
The municipality’s Land Invasion Unit assisted in transporting homeless people to the temporary shelter since lockdown came into effect on Friday. Arrivals were screened for Covid-19 by the Department of Health and given food, hygiene packs and a place to sleep (mattresses donated by a school). The facility is guarded by security personnel and law enforcement.
“We extend our great admiration and appreciation to the George Municipality social workers and support staff for their commitment, patience and bravery - they make the municipality proud. We are also exceptionally grateful to the free of charge services of a medical doctor who is assisting with health services to the homeless at the temporary shelter,” said Mr Botha.
“The unconditional support and cooperation of the Christian Relieve Ministries for the Homeless in George (Cremhog), the Homeless Shelter in Memoriam Street and other non-profit organisations are of great help and heart-warming.”
The municipality continues to need food and supplies, and appreciates any assistance in this regard. Persons or organisations wanting to donate or assist in George during the COVID-19 CRISIS can register via the online form http://bit.ly/CAW_Relief_Assistance or phone 044 802 2000. People, companies and NGOs who have registered will be contacted in due course to make the necessary arrangements.
Donations will be controlled in adherence to lockdown regulations and responsibly distributed. The process will be managed by the George Municipality Department Social Development.
Urgent support required
The George Municipality is eagerly awaiting support from the National and Provincial Departments of Social Development and SASSA who had been issued with a memorandum to provide social relief in this regard but have so far not delivered on local government level and whose assistance is crucial in ensuring that support to our vulnerable communities are sustained.
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