George Municipality – the new normal for service delivery

George Municipality is working towards ensuring that all of our office buildings are prepared for the return of our officials in terms of announcements made by the National Minister for Public Service and Administration, MEC Senzo Mchunu on 8 May 2020.

This includes the deep cleaning and sanitisation of offices and preparation for the implementation of Covic-19 measures such as social distancing, hand sanitiser and protective measures and gear for staff.

“We are being guided by national regulations and Western Cape governmental directives and we ask that the public please be patient as the municipality looks for workable solutions to keeping our officials safe as well as those members of the public who must  access our buildings for services when we re-open. Regrettably, we must all understand that everything that is done going forward, must be addressed in terms of Covid-19 and we will be working with a ‘new normal’. It is said that most ‘crisis situations’ are opportunities to either advance or stay where you are, meaning that crisis can also create new opportunities. George Municipality is taking on these opportunities to be both innovative and creative in improving our municipal service delivery,” said Trevor Botha, Municipal Manager.

“The municipality has over the past weeks publicly highlighted the work being undertaken by several of our directorates including Law Enforcement, Traffic, Emergency Services, Refuse Collection, Community Development and Human Settlements departments specifically in relation to the additional strain of working long hours under pressure and on the frontline of Covid-19, essentially an invisible enemy.

“As municipal manager I again extend my gratitude and heartfelt thanks to all officials who have throughout the lockdown process, and still continue to, pull together and keep our essential services running. We take for granted the fact that our lights stay on and water keeps running from our taps. Our officials in these departments have walked the extra mile to ensure that basic services continue. Also a huge thank you to all administrative officials who are working from home, figuring out new processes and methods to keep things ticking over, and to those officials who have been called upon and offered their help to serve our communities – never questioning whether what they were doing fell within their job descriptions,“ said Mr Botha.

Over the past seven weeks, the Civils Customer Care call-in facility have extended their operational hours until 22h00 on normal working days and until 15h00 on non-working days, to relieve pressure on the after-hours service operated by the Emergency After Hours Call centre. Personnel have volunteered to work after hours to ensure that civil engineering services complaints can be logged and dealt with timeously and ensure the provision of water and sanitation remains unaffected.    

Our Finance department is working towards the implementation of a Citizen Portal on the George Municipal website which will allow residents to access and pay their monthly water and lights accounts without having to come in to our cashier halls.

The municipality is in process to ensure that Ordinary Council meetings can restart, given that we have more than 50 councillors it has proven challenging to arrange electronic meetings but progress is being made and dry runs are being undertaken this week to ensure that all technology and Covid-19 regulations are in place.

Municipal offices have not at this point re-opened to the public, but as the lockdown regulations ease, we are able to offer more services online or telephonically. The public of George is requested to keep an eye on our social media channels and website where we keep you updated on which essential services are available.

Keep updated with how the Covid-19 Lockdown Levels affect George Municipality essential services by connecting with us on the below social media:

Follow George Municipality on Facebook: @george.municipality

Download the George Municipality mobile app from Google Playstore. Register with your cellphone number as ‘user’ and ‘password’ (you can change password thereafter).

Follow George Municipality on Twitter: @george_mun

Website (news section or dedicated Covid-19 page): www.george.gov.za  

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