Cape Town – The Stellenbosch municipality will this morning honour the lives of its two councillors and seven officials who have succumbed to Covid-19 in a virtual memorial service.
The ceremony will be followed by an outdoor wreath-laying ceremony, a guard of honour and drive-by outside the Stellenbosch Town Hall.
Those who will be remembered include 55-year-old DA councillor Manie Pietersen and EFF councillor Derrick Hendrickse, 64, who died within days of each other earlier this month.
Pietersen was elected to council in 2016 and has served as Mayco member for youth, sport and culture since November 2018.
The Stellenbosch council described him as dedicated and caring.
Hendrickse served as councillor in Stellenbosch from 2011 and was described as a true leader of society who served selflessly and fearlessly.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the municipality continued to enforce strict health protocols to minimise further infections, including online Mayco and council meetings to ensure the safety of all participants,” the municipality said.
The council said it had recorded seven municipal staff deaths since June last year.
The City of Cape Town, meanwhile, said it had lost 39 employees and two councillors due to Covid-19 related sickness.
City spokesperson Priya Reddy said since the start of the lockdown in March, up until Monday, 2 765 employees had tested positive for the virus.
Of these 2 144 employees have fully recovered, with 621 recovering.
“Covid-19 testing is available to staff via our Occupational Health Unit for those staff members who do not have medical aid, or whose medical aid benefits for the year may have been exhausted.
“All City employees who test positive for Covid-19 are advised on treatment and quarantine measures. This measure applies across the board, to all affected staff.
’’The same applies to close contacts who are requested to remain in self-quarantine at home for a period of 10 days, and are referred for testing should they show any symptoms,” said Reddy.
Reddy said all council and committee meetings were conducted virtually, with all councillors and officials having access to the necessary tools and online platform.