Speech by Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen – 30 June 2020 Garden Route DM Council Meeting

Thank you very much for this opportunity.  I’m going to firstly deal with what we are busy with on a daily basis, which is known as the COVID-19 pandemic.  We’re reaching our peak as the Garden Route District.  We must do what we’ve been asked to do – to keep our social distance, to wear masks in public, and now parents in our region also need to face the fact that within a week schools will open for more learners. This means that there might be an increase in COVID-19 infection rates, but rest assured,  schools have put the required measures in place to ensure the safety of learners.

We’re also aware that some of us have lost loved ones – our heartfelt condolences go out to all those affected.  Also, the economy and the lockdown regulations have unfortunately had an impact on the economy.  We appreciate that the economy has been opened a little bit.  But, in our case, we’re disappointed that the George Airport has not been given the thumbs-up to become fully operational.  A lot of people from Johannesburg commute here on a weekly basis, and some businesses transport goods here too.  That National Government, however, did not give the go-ahead for the George Airport to be opened to ensure that our economy gets back on its feet again.  This is unfortunate whilst we deal with COVID-19.

Another pressing matter is gender-based violence which continues to plague our people on a daily basis.  We, as men, really need to occupy our rightful place to protect our women and children.  The Garden Route District Men’s Parliament is back in full swing to deal with the issues at hand.  Also want to say thank you to “Love George” – also on board to deal with this matter and with many other humanitarian matters.  We’ve also had discussions with Love George and requested that they spread its wings to assist the entire Garden Route and perhaps rename themselves to “Love Garden Route”.

Thank you.