Increase in Kouga and Koukamma COVID-19 cases

HUMANSDORP is no longer the town with the highest prevalence of active COVID-19 cases in Kouga, as it has consistently been for almost six months.

According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Health, most of the active COVID-19 cases in Kouga were located in Jeffreys Bay at the beginning of the week.

Meanwhile, the number of active cases in the Koukamma region increased sharply last week, from 35 to 108.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said while the decrease in active cases in Humansdorp was encouraging, the increase in Jeffreys Bay was of concern.

“With the beaches having re-opened and the weather warming up, we expect an increasing number of visitors to our seaside towns such as Jeffreys Bay,” he said.

“It is, therefore, very important that we all remain vigilant when it comes to COVID-19. Please wear a face mask when in public, practise proper hygiene and maintain social distancing.

“The danger posed by the coronavirus is not yet over and, while the number of active cases is still low, we cannot take our safety and the health of our communities for granted.”

According to the latest statistics, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Kouga totalled 25 as at 4 October. This is a slight increase of three compared to the previous week.

Of the 25 cases, 12 were situated in Jeffreys Bay and nine in Humansdorp while St Francis and Hankey had two active cases each.

The 108 active cases in the Koukamma region were distributed as follows: 42 in Louterwater, 35 in Joubertina, 26 in Krakeelrivier, four in Misgund and one in Coldstream.

Seasonal lifeguards wanted for Kouga beaches

Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming summer season, with at least 50 lifeguards and two shark spotters set to keep bathers safe at the beaches.

“Kouga Municipality will be appointing 48 seasonal lifeguards and two shark spotters to look after the safety of beach-goers,” said Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson.

“Twelve of the lifeguards will be stationed at Jeffreys Bay’s main beachfront from November to the end of April next year.

“A further 36 lifeguards will be appointed to look after the other swimming beaches from mid-November to mid- January and then again from 26 March to 13 April next year. Two shark spotters will also be appointed for these periods.”  

He said the seasonal lifeguards would be under the watch of senior lifesavers, Paul Makupula and Zweli Mafutha.

“Our senior lifeguards have helped several local youngsters to qualify as lifeguards over the past few years. We hope to see many of them applying for this seasonal opportunity,” he said.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday, 9 October.

Kouga Corporate Services Portfolio Councillor, Freddy Campher, said the application form was available on the municipal website at www.kouga.gov.za.

“Applicants must submit the completed form and their CV, together with certified copies of their qualifications, ID document and driving licence electronically as one PDF document to recruitment@kouga.gov.za,” he said.

 He said all shortlisted candidates would be required to undertake a compulsory swim and rescue test, comprising a 200m run, 300m swim and 200m run, to be completed in under 10 minutes.

 “They will also be tested on various rescue and first aid techniques,” he said.

Further details about the requirements, salary and duties are available on the municipal website under “vacancies”.

Trailer donation helps NPC step up a gear

The good work being done by a Kouga non-profit company (NPC) will be stepping up a gear thanks to a donation from Kouga Municipality’s Ward Development Fund. 

Kouga Speaker, Hattingh Bornman, this week officially handed over a trailer to  Masikhathalelaneni, an NPC that has been helping people in need across the Kouga and Koukamma regions since 2017.

NPC Trailer

Kouga Speaker Hattingh Bornman (right) officially handed over the trailer to Maskhathalelaneni members (from left) Prince Banisi, Roselene Jordaan, Maureen Michaels and Freddie van Rooyen this week.

Maskhathalelaneni founder, Freddie van Rooyen, said the trailer would enable the company to assist those in need more effectively.

“The new trailer is smaller and lighter than the one we have been using. This helps us to save on diesel when transporting lighter loads,” he said.  

“It is also perfect for negotiating sharp turns and narrow streets, which we often encounter when distributing care packages in poorer communities,” he said.

Bornman said the municipality was grateful that it could support the good work being done by Van Rooyen and his team.

“They encapsulate the spirit of ‘ubuntu’ and are true champions for the broader community, not only in Jeffreys Bay, where they are based, but across the Kouga region and beyond.”