On Thursday, 30 April 2020, I met with key stakeholders in Witzenberg to present the cabinet approved Western Cape Government Integrated Covid-19 Response Plan for the Witzenberg region.
This plan is in response to the rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the Witzenberg region and follows consultation with various Provincial Departments, the Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Witzenberg and Cape Winelands District Municipalities, Agri Western Cape, the Witzenberg Business Initiative and relevant law enforcement agencies.
The Integrated Covid-19 Response Plan responds to the current health, law enforcement and workplace challenges in the Witzenberg area and requires all of us to work towards curbing the further spread of the Covid-19 virus in the Witzenberg region.
The Witzenberg Municipality will proceed to sanitise public spaces and the Western Cape Government Motor Transport Service will begin sanitising taxis and taxi ranks in the Witzenberg area.
Law enforcement initiatives will be intensified to ensure more stringent controls at roadblocks entering and exiting the Witzenberg municipal area.
The South African National Defence Force has been engaged to assist SAPS and we hope to see their deployment over the next few days.
Given the strategic role that agriculture plays in the Cape Winelands region, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (DoA) and the Department of Health (DoH) are already engaging the agriculture sector to assist with the development of guidelines and protocols for screening and testing on farms.
As part of our goal to ensure that all agri workers are provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) the DoA in partnership with Agri Western Cape and AFASA has distributed 35 198 face masks to agri workers in the Witzenberg region.
Our partnership with Distell who donated 500 litres of hand sanitiser to vulnerable communities has enabled us to allocate 150 litres to Witzenberg Municipality.
I am grateful to Anton Rabe, executive director of Hortgro, who on behalf of the deciduous fruit sector arranged for fruit donations from Core Fruit Pty (Ltd) and the Dutoit Group.
Witzenberg survived the 1969 earthquake and I have no doubt that with the necessary commitment, cooperation and courage Witzenberg will defeat Covid-19.
I urge the people of Witzenberg to abide by the five golden rules – Keep washing your hands, keep sanitising, keep social distancing, keep wearing a mask outdoors and keep obeying the lockdown regulations.
Western Cape Agriculture
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.