Rustenburg council hit by Covid-19

Rustenburg mayor Mpho Khunou.
Rustenburg mayor Mpho Khunou.
Image: Martin Rhodes

The Rustenburg local municipality has been hit hard by Covid-19 cases in its leadership after two MMCs tested positive.

This comes in the week when the number of Covid-19 cases in the North West is on the rise.

Yesterday, the municipality confirmed two of its MMCs tested positive, as well as two staff members in the mayor's office, a person in the chief whip's office and an employee in the speaker's office.

This took the number of people who have tested positive in council staff and management to 15.

In a statement, executive mayor Mpho Khunou said Covid-19 tests were conducted among its leadership on June 24. Results came back later with four new positive cases and all of them have since gone into self-isolation.

"The results show that the road is long and we need to keep a positive attitude to ensure that we overcome this pandemic," Khunou said.

"To the MMCs and officials of the municipality, we wish them strength during this time as they adjust to their new reality."

Last week, the North West saw an increase in its contribution of Covi-19 cases to the national total.

On Tuesday, the province contributed 2.3% to the national total, with 2,454 cases, 291 recoveries and five deaths.

By Thursday, it had increased its contribution to 2.5% with 2,965 positive cases and 421 recoveries recorded. This was an increase of over 500 positive cases in just three days.

As at Thursday, Rustenburg municipality had the second most cases in the province at 1,682, behind Bojanala district municipality with 1,883.

By Saturday, the North West had an increase of 2.6% with 3,454 positive cases.

Earlier this month, the Rustenburg municipality was forced to temporarily close its traffic and licensing department in Tlhabane after seven staff members tested positive. Staff members who were in close contact with the infected person who had tested positive were also tested as a precautionary measure.

In the same month, the municipality was also forced to temporarily close its main municipal building, Missionary Mpheni House in the Rustenburg inner city, for disinfection after a staff member tested positive in the finance department.

The closure of public facilities such as municipal offices and police stations has become a common feature during the national lockdown.

Most trade unions struck an agreement with employers for facilities to close down when cases are discovered in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Furthermore, the government expects all employers first to have a plan in place to deal with Covid-19 in the workplace and appoint a person to monitor how the plan is being implemented.

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