Media Release: Garden Route Coastal Resorts Perform Exceptionally Well Over the Festive Season
For Immediate Release 12 January 2022
The 2020 festive season was very bleak for most of South Africa and other countries. Tight lockdown restrictions, which included the beaches being closed, as well as longer curfews and a ban on the sale of alcohol, placed a damper on everyone’s holiday spirit. In 2020, people had no choice but to cancel their holiday plans. However, the recent festive season was a stark contrast compared to a year ago because restrictions were almost completely lifted. Holiday-goers flocked in their thousands to the Garden Route.
Like many other resorts, Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) coastal resorts benefited from this. Victoria Bay and Swartvlei Caravan Parks reported a bumper holiday season, which started with a visit from the Berg-en Toerklub (BTK) from Stellenbosch University in early December. The group started their journey at Swartvlei Caravan Park, stayed there for one night and then hiked to Victoria Bay Caravan Park along the coast. There they enjoyed another braai, swimming and a well-deserved night’s rest.
As for the rest of the season, Marelize Claassen, Resort Manager, reported that Victoria Bay was at full capacity since early December. According to her, bookings are now decreasing slowly.
Swartvlei bookings increased from 12 December and reached capacity between 18 December 2021 and 2 January 2022. Holidaymakers are now heading home to tackle the new year.
It was a very busy season, and it was as if people waited two years to have this holiday – Marelize Claassen
On behalf of GRDM and its coastal resorts, the Municipality would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support and looks forward to seeing return visitors throughout the year.
Quarterly Skills Mecca Forum draws experts from LGSETA
Media Release 25 November 2021
On Friday, 19 October 2021, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) hosted a virtual Skills Mecca forum attended by the general public, public and private sectors. The forum served as a platform to discuss matters relating to skills development in the Garden Route.
The meeting was chaired by Aneeka Jacobs, Provincial Manager of the Western Cape Local Government Seta (LGSETA). During her opening address, Jacobs emphasised that LGSETA wants to work with all stakeholders, partners, local and district municipalities, as well as training colleges to “bring business and people closer to the table”. She further stressed the importance of synergy between all involved to ensure that the process is collaborative.
Ineeleng Molete (Chief Executive Officer of LGSETA) explained the implications for Garden Route stakeholders on the support from LGSETA and how it aligns with the District Development Model (DDM).
During his presentation, Molete discussed the following:
District Development Model (DDM)
The DDM was launched in 2019 and is an integrated strategic framework that allows the three different spheres of government (national, provincial, and local) to function in unison. The framework promotes:
integration of service delivery areas.
According to Molete, the DDM forms a basis for a single joint plan that will address skills gaps at district and metropolitan levels, which – in turn – will help alleviate and eventually eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment. Furthermore, the model will look at the needs of local communities, including youth development, whilst improving the management and support for integrated planning, addressing gap areas or blockages.
“The Skills Mecca places Local Economic Development (LED) as a central component for Skills development Job Creation.”
Investing in skills development will help:
Enhance good governance, leadership and management capabilities;
Promote sound financial management and financial viability;
Enhance infrastructure and service delivery; and
Promote spatial transformation and inclusivity.
Garden Route Skills Mecca
Dr Florus Prinsloo (GRSM Coordinator) and Reginald Salmons (GRDM Skills Development Coordinator) presented the latest news of the GRSM.
Prinsloo announced that the construction of the GRSM website is almost complete, and it should go live early January 2022. The website aims to centralise information, facilitate communication and serve as a portal for employers, service providers and trainee candidates to interact using databases. Further announcements and dates will be communicated on social media in due course.
Reginald Salmons explained that these technicians would hopefully be employed on a three-year term contract, during which they will be developed against the competencies for professional designations as determined by the professional body in South Africa, namely the Association of Skills Development of South Africa. Once their contracts end, each technician will be able to apply for formal designations that will enhance their employability.
During his closing remarks, Prinsloo said: “We hope to see employers approach us, asking for help to complete SETA applications, as they pay levies to SETAs every month.”
The final presentation was presented by Melanie Wilson (GRDM Manager: Economic Development and Tourism) and Mr Paul Hoffman (Project Manager at GRDP). They discussed the following during their presentation.
The GRDM Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) provides a framework strategy for the Garden Route for the next 20 years. The strategy is long term risk-based and takes the impact of COVID-19 into account through a GRDM Economic Recovery Plan. A Garden Route Development Partnership was established between the government and private sector to implement both plans.
GDS focus areas were identified and aligned to DDM. They are:
A water-secure future;
A circular economy;
Supporting well-being and resilience;
A connected economy: transport and rural-urban integration and ICT; and
Sustainable local energy transition.
Hoffman added that the private sector would be more involved, as this cannot be done without them.
The next forum meeting, taking place on 25 February 2022, will be communicated via the Garden Route District Municipality’s social media pages, stakeholders like the business chambers, local economic development officers from local municipalities and others.
To view slides that were presented at the forum, click on the links below:
Captions:Feature Image: Stakeholders who attended the forum (from left to right);Lerato Tshefu, Trix Holtzhausen, Bertus Hayward Ineeleng Molete, Stephen De Vries, Aneeka Jacobs, Florus Prinsloo, Reginald Salmons