GEORGE NEWS AND VIDEO - George Municipality is geared towards providing a social safety net for the most vulnerable members in its communities.
More than 80 of the 140 municipal soup kitchens have been kept open during the period of lockdown.
The areas include 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.
George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said the kitchens of those whose own health might be a concern, and might potentially be vulnerable, have been closed. "Our first responsibility is towards the selfless people in these communities who have been hosting soup kitchens in their homes for years," said Botha.
"Soup kitchens have been stocked with food supplies and hygienic packs. Operators were trained in all aspects to safely hand 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’s Community Development section initiated and coordinated the creation of 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 George Night Shelter and a school). The facility is guarded by security personnel and law enforcement.
The municipality provides three meals a day to the residents. Donors such as Build on the Rock Ministries, Meals on Wheels, Kingpin Suppliers, Love George and George Night Shelter have greatly assisted with the provision of nutritious and warm meals every day.
Board games, magazines and sport activities help stave off boredom during the lockdown.
"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 Botha.
"The support and cooperation of the Christian Relief Ministries for the Homeless in George (Cremhog), the George Night Shelter in Memoriam Street and other non-profit organisations are of great help and heart-warming."
Sean Snyman, George Municipality portfolio councillor for Community Services, said he was in awe of the great work his team had done in a short space of time,
"The team will continue services to the vulnerable group residing in the Rosemoor sports grounds and looks forward to the relevant provincial and national departments coming on board."
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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