Social and recreational activities in Cape Town is expected to come to a halt after the City of Cape Town decided to close all council-owned facilities as of Wednesday. The City of Cape Town said it is now implementing “containment and mitigation measures” in an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19, which has already infected 116 people in less than two weeks. In a statement, the City said it has taken note of best practice from other affected countries and the success they have found in social distancing and improved hygiene practices.
As such, the City has decided to close the below City facilities from Wednesday, 18 March 2020.
Facilities to close include:
· Swimming pools
· Camping sites
· Art centres
· Community halls/Civic centres
· Recreational hubs
· Spray parks
· Braai and picnic spots
· City sports fields
· Nature reserves
Furthermore, visits by the City’s Mobile Office have been suspended until further notice.
Library operating hours (including mobile services) will be reduced incrementally and these facilities will provide only basic services, namely, taking out and returning reading material. The number of persons allowed into the library will be controlled, which might change at short notice.
Cemeteries will remain open, although residents are advised upon making bookings to be mindful of the number of persons at the graveside during burial, and to please stick to their allotted times. The Recreation and Parks Department is working to keep gravesites as far apart as possible to limit contact between mourners during burials.
Following an announcement made by the National Minister of Social Development, all Early Childhood Development Centres will close on Wednesday, 18 March 2020, in line with the schools.
“The City realises that, due to the closure of sporting facilities, there will be an impact on community sporting culture and especially on the municipal facility management committees (MFMCs) who work with the City on the management and maintenance of the facilities. We plead for their understanding and request the support of MFMCs to ensure that all non-essential contact is avoided and that social distancing is strictly enforced,” said Mayor Dan Plato.
All public meetings and non-critical meetings, gatherings and site visits will also be postponed indefinitely unless an emergency meeting is called which we will communicate on. The situation is being assessed on a daily basis and is subject to frequent and rapid change.
City services like cash offices, Driving Licence Testing Centres and housing and planning offices will remain open for now.
Residents are advised that all events at the City’s nature reserves have been cancelled and staff are currently working on refunding affected stakeholders, we will provide a full refund for any bookings and also permits to Steenbras Gorge.
Accounts, motor vehicle licences
The City has encouraged account holders to make use of the City’s online service offerings, where it is possible to do so, rather than visiting City customer centres for over the counter transactions. Customer offices will remain open, however, strong precautions will be taken to ensure a heightened level of hygiene and customers are encouraged to rather conduct their business online or via telephone than over the counter if possible. The number of people going to the offices must be limited to limit the spread of COVID-19. Details on precautionary measures will be communicated as soon as possible.
Customers are reminded that accounts still need to be paid.
For account payments
· The City encourages account holders to use the City’s online e-services portal to pay their accounts
· Other payment options available to account holders include paying online using their bank’s website or via ATM, at Nedbank.
· The City is already listed as a beneficiary with all major banks, so account holders do not need to load bank details when paying online. Account holders can also register with www.paycity.co.za or www.easypay.co.za to pay accounts
· To pay via ATM, account holders can simply contact their bank to add the City as an ATM beneficiary
For account enquiries
If account holders have any questions related to their account, they can please call 0860 103 089 for more information. Account holders should keep the reference number they’re provided with to track the progress of their query.
For motor vehicle renewals
The City’s Motor Vehicle Renewal which includes motor vehicle licence renewals, vehicle registrations and licence payments can be done online. An online licence application takes approximately 14 days from the date of application to receiving it in the post, so residents must please bear this in mind and act in a timeous fashion. Residents who would like to go this route can do so via the City’s online services portal (http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Pay/Driving-and-vehicles/Vehicle-licences/Pay-your-vehicle-licence).
Residents are reminded to take along their proof of address when renewing their motor vehicle licences. This must be done annually as per National Government requirements. It is very important for customers to have all of the required documentation with them when they apply for licence disc renewals to prevent any additional delays.
For driving licenses
Driving License Testing Centres remain open; however, strong precautions have already been instituted to ensure a heightened level of hygiene.
All eye testing equipment is sanitised after each user.
Staff have been issued hand sanitiser, and gloves and masks are on order. Additional sanitation of all work surfaces has been implemented.
The number of occupants have been limited as per the queuing system
Notices have gone up at all DLTCs, advising the public of precautions to take to promote good hygiene and limit the spread of the virus.
For traffic fines
You can pay your fine online via:
· Paycity www.paycity.co.za
· You can also pay your fine using online banking. Please contact your bank directly for assistance or advice.
· Fine payments can also be made through ATMs. Contact your bank directly for assistance, or visit the bank’s website for more information.
The following can be done via e-Services:
· Informal trader bay applications
· Land use and building plan applications (DAMS)
· Motor vehicle licence renewals
· Municipal accounts
· Pet registration
· Report a fault or request a service
· Supplier self-service
· Identity documents uploads
· Company registration documents
· Tax clearance certificates
· Bank statements upload
· Affidavit uploads
· Indigent applications
Numerous resources have been made available to the public regarding COVID-19. These include:
· The NICD Hotline on 0800 029 999 operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day
· The Western Cape Provincial Government Hotline on 021 928 4102
· WhatsApp: 0600 123 456