Statement by Executive Mayor Stellenbosch Municipality

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Statement by Executive Mayor, ADV. Gesie Van Deventer

This is an unprecedented time for our municipality, our nation and indeed the world. We welcome the announcement of a national lockdown and we recognise the massive impact this will have on our already fragile economy.

As a municipality, we have taken bold steps to reduce the economic impact on our residents, particularly our most vulnerable residents. An urgent council meeting took place today to approve an item that will provide support and assistance to our communities during this challenging time:

  • A payment reprieve/holiday on property rates will be implemented from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020;
  • 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 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020;
  • 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.

As our resources and standby teams will be severely stretched and restricted over the lockdown period, we appeal to all residents to only report issues related to critical services and emergencies. Our control room and WhatsApp service line will remain fully operational.

Residents are encouraged to submit service requests using the following channels:

Phone (General): 021 808 8111

Phone: (24/7 emergency line) 021 808 8890

WhatsApp: 076 951 0768

Email: engineering.services@stellenbosch.gov.za

We will continue to work with our National and Provincial partners to ensure that the regulations and measures announced by National Government are fully adhered to. This will include our Law Enforcement Department providing support to the South African Police Service.

We are fully aware that this is a challenging time and we urge all residents to give their full cooperation and adhere to the restrictions as announced and implemented by the national and provincial authorities. Restricting physical and social contact is essential in curbing the spread of the virus and we all have a responsibility to work together to reduce infections.

I would like to implore our communities to stay alert and to stay safe. Please take care of yourself and your family. Follow official government and media platforms for updates and alerts. There is no need to panic buy, there is no need for fear mongering and there is no need to spread fake news. Together, we can flatten the curve, restrict the spread and ultimately beat this virus to potentially save many lives.