Kouga residents and visitors are advised that there may be delays in service delivery this festive season due to an increase in the number of municipal employees who have contracted the coronavirus.
Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said contingency plans were in place to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on essential services such as water, electricity, sanitation, waste management, fire and disaster management.
“Despite these measures, including the appointment of 110 seasonal employees, service delays and interruptions may still occur,” he said.
“We ask that residents and visitors please bear with us. Service updates will be posted on the Kouga Municipality Facebook page, especially where services have been interrupted or municipal offices closed due to COVID-19.”
He said the number of municipal employees with COVID-19 currently stood at 48 and that a further increase was expected.
“Employees who have tested positive are in isolation while those who had close contact with them are in quarantine. The municipality is, in essence, working with a skeleton crew,” he said.
He said the municipal sections hardest hit by the current active cases included:
• Water, sewer and electrical services in Jeffreys Bay and the St Francis area.
• Waste management, including refuse removal, in Jeffreys Bay.
• Parks & Public Amenities in Humansdorp and Patensie, with all grass-cutting teams in quarantine or isolation.
• The Jeffreys Bay Revenue section, including the cashiers and enquiries desk, at 33 Da Gama Road. The building has been closed to the public and will re-open on Monday, 21 December. The Revenue sections at the Humansdorp, St Francis Bay and Hankey offices remain open.
• The Planning & Development section at the municipality’s offices in Woltemade Street, Jeffreys Bay. Employees are working from home, but no site inspections will be conducted in Jeffreys Bay till 11 January. Online plan submissions can still be made.
Hendricks said that, in addition to essential services, pothole repairs would continue to be prioritised.
“Pothole repairs were delayed as many of our teams were in quarantine or isolation,” he said.
“They are back at work and will be assisted by 38 temporary workers to help get road repairs back on track.”
The Mayor commended the work that was being done by the municipality’s 110 Disaster Management volunteers.
“They monitored several funeral services over the weekend to ensure COVID-19 safety precautions were being adhered to. They made a visible difference at these gatherings and we would like to thank them for their dedication.”