The pavements, park benches and dustbins in the Stellenbosch CBD got a good wash on Saturday night as the municipality sanitises public spaces during the coronavirus crisis.
With 16 cases of Covid-19 recorded in the area, the municipality’s essential service workers spread out to spray a thick layer of sanitiser on the pavements, and the benches that residents and visitors used to take a moment to rest on before the lockdown.
Dustbins also got a spray during the operation.
“We will focus on busy public spaces and taxi ranks across the entire municipal area,” the municipality said in a Facebook post sharing pictures of the initiative.
“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our essential services staff who are working long and irregular hours to keep our towns clean and safe!
“Together, we can and will beat this virus!”
On March 15 President Cyril Ramaphosa declared COVID-19 pandemic a national disaster in terms of Section 23(1) (b) of the Disaster Management Act.
A national lockdown started on March 27, with movement limited to essential services workers, and for a member of a home to go out and buy basic items like food or medicine, or visit a doctor.
Stellenbosch is known for its wine tours, tourism and markets, as well as it its university culture.
As this grinds to a halt during lockdown, the municipality has also offered some reprieve for its residents.
A payment reprieve/holiday on property rates will be implemented from April 1 to June 30;
No interest will be charged for property rates billed over this period (subject to criteria that will be made available on the municipal website);
Free basic water allocation for indigent residents will be increased from 6 to 10 kilolitres per household from April 1 to June 30;
A temporary suspension of all credit control measures and procedures will be implemented until the end of April 2020, meaning that all electricity meters that were blocked because of overdue accounts, will be unblocked and residents will be able to buy and upload electricity freely during this period.
Essential municipal services will continue during the lockdown period. This includes refuse removal, water, electricity, traffic, law enforcement and fire services.
Councillors, administrative staff and all officials who are not directly responsible for essential or emergency services will be working from home.
It has also set up a site to accommodate homeless people.