Msunduzi News (English)

Safety plans for staff and community

- By Siyethaba Mhlongo

THE outbreak of Covid-19 has led to panic amongst many South African citizen. It is in this regard that Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla has appeal for the people of Msunduzi to be calm especially amongst those who still have to work during this period, particular­ly public servants.

The Municipali­ty has also changed the way it does business so as not to put the health of its staffers at risk.

In response to the outbreak the Executive Committee called an urgent meeting to discuss the measures the Municipali­ty should implement in order to safeguard the health of the people of Msunduzi. Acting City Manager at the time, Mrs Nelisiwe Ngcobo, said they felt it was important for the municipali­ty to strengthen its communicat­ion with the residents.

Senior Manager in the Office of the City Manager, Ms Madeleine Jackson, said during the committee meeting the administra­tion made presentati­ons of the plans to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s March address before the national lockdown was implemente­d. “Since the President said gatherings of more than 100 people are not allowed we will be postponing all the events that we had planned as part of the public engagement­s that the Municipali­ty has with its residents. We will also not be having Council as those have more than 100 attendees including councillor­s, officials and the media,” said Jackson.

Public facilities such as municipal halls were closed so even prior booking were cancelled. Parks and all the City’s swimming pools were also closed. The essential services buildings and facilities were opened and the Municipali­ty ensured that sanitation is done. Everyone entering municipal buildings has to sign a register and to avoid spreading gems everyone has to use their own pen.

The offices normally used by those needing a proof of residence certificat­e were not operating so residents were advised to go to the Ward Councillor­s’ offices if they needed one. The libraries only allowed a limited number of people inside the building at a time to avoid crowding.

Officials from the Occupation­al Health department visited all the taxi rank and old age homes to assist with sanitisati­on and councillor­s were also workshoppe­d so that they could pass on the informatio­n to their wards.

In her capacity as the Chief Financial Officer, Mrs Ngcobo, said the Treasury gave the Municipali­ty the greenlight to procure the necessary goods and services needed to fight the spread of Covid-10.

Commenting on the postponeme­nt of events Ministeria­l Representa­tive, Mr Scelo Duma said: “The Municipali­ty is not forced to host izimbizo but they give it an opportunit­y to engage with the community and also present its plans but the Municipali­ty will have to use newspapers to connect with the committees because the regulation permits that.”

He added that the Manager did not have the power to issue a directive for emergency procuremen­t so the Mayor has to use his so that the Municipali­ty could use the funds that were not allocated according to the budget.

Mayor Thebolla said: “We must not interfere with the work of the Department of Health. Ours is to ensure that there is adequate water supply to the hospital that will be handling Covid-19 cases.”

He said the Msunduzi also had to deliver municipal services to communitie­s.

“What is important is also to protect municipal workers and not do anything that could expose them to the risk of being infected with this disease,” he said.

 ?? Picture: Supplied ?? Ms Madeleine Jackson
Picture: Supplied Ms Madeleine Jackson

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