Author: Bernard Janse van Rensburg

28 June 2022 Media Release: 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗲 (𝗘𝗣𝗪𝗣) and SASSETA visits GRDM

Media Release: 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗲 (𝗘𝗣𝗪𝗣) and SASSETA visits GRDM

28 June 2022
For Immediate Release 

An Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) delegation consisting of national and provincial officials visited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on 13 and 14 June 2022. The aim of the two-day visit was to learn more about the Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) model and to investigate the possibility of replicating the Skills Mecca concept in other parts of the country.

On the first day, representatives from GRSM and the GRDM EPWP section accompanied the delegation on several site visits to training centres in the area that support the GRSM. Delegates visited Cheeba Africa, African Skills and François Ferreira Academy where they were given thorough insights of each facility and the type of training provided.  Through several Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) grants and EPWP programmes, learners have successfully completed courses at the training centres visited by delegates and have been able to enter the job market.

The second day was reserved for engagement.  Lusanda Menze (GRDM Executive Manager:: Planning and Economic Development) gave an overview of GRDM and its Growth and Development Strategy and Dr Florus Prinsloo (GRSM Coordinator) gave a comprehensive overview of the GRSM model.

Tsholofelo Pooe from National EPWP presented on the their EPWP Training Framework and possible linkages to the Garden Route Skills Mecca.

MOU between GRSM and SASSETA discussed.

Joining the delegation on the second day, were Chris Mudau and Thamsanqa Mdontswa from the Safety and Security SETA (SASSETA). After listening to the presentations given by GRDM and GRSM, they presented on the SETA’s mandate, Skills Development Levy (SDL) breakdown, and strategic scope amongst other topics.

SASSETA’s sub-sections and constituencies include:

  • Policing
  • Corrections
  • Justice
  • Defence
  • Intelligence Activities
  • Legal Services
  • Private Security and Investigation Activities

There are 17 SDL contributors in the Garden Route, which comprises law firms and security companies.  It is for this reason that SASSETA and GRDM will enter into talks to establish an MOU that will see closer cooperation with GRSM.

The two-day delegation visit was concluded with a visit to Calitzdorp Hot Springs where a Security Training Centre has been established through formal partnership between BM Skills Development (who is a SASSETA Accredited Training Provider) and the GRDM.

ends

 

 

17 June 2022 Media Release: World Day to combat desertification and drought: Blossom’s Emergency Pipeline Project

Media Release: World Day to combat desertification and drought: Blossom’s Emergency Pipeline Project

For Immediate Release
17 June 2022

The Greater Oudtshoorn region continues to be plagued by ongoing droughts, and alternatives have had to be found to ensure water security for the region. Since 2018, the water supply from the Raubenheimer dam was under severe pressure as the amount of water available from the dam, exceeded the amount that could be relied upon with a 98% degree of assurance. The future and ongoing supply of water in the Oudtshoorn area is severely constrained and drastic measures had to be planned to address the situation urgently.

Furthermore, the Vermaaks Rriver boreholes near Dysseldorp are used to maximum capacity and the Huis River, which supplies De Rust with water, is unreliable during the summer months, which holds negative implications for the Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply System (KKRWSS).

The Blossom’s Emergency Pipeline is a project that was started in 2001 to investigate and develop alternative and additional water supplies for the Oudtshoorn area. Nine deep, and three monitoring boreholes were drilled in the Blossom’s wellfield, which were monitored and tested for 13 years. The test was completed in 2014, and it was concluded that the boreholes yield enough groundwater to supplement the water supply from the Raubenheimer Dam. It was determined that 60l/s (5Ml/day) can be supplied from 5 existing boreholes within the C1 Blossoms wellfield. The test also found that the impact on the environment would be minimal.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) approved a license for the total yield of 8 million m3/a for the ultimate full development of the Blossoms wellfield and gave the nod for the construction to commence. Originally, the project was intended as a medium to long-term bulk water augmentation intervention but given the current water crisis in the Oudtshoorn area, it will be implemented soon.

Funding for the current phases of the project, which started in February 2022, comes from the Municipal Disaster Relief Grant, which allocated a total of R47 million. To date, more than R150 million was spent, which was co-funded by DWS and Oudtshoorn Local Municipality. The current phase of the project is expected to be completed by March 2023.

ends

 

16 June 2022 Today is Youth Day – Let’s all lead by example

Today is Youth Day – Let’s all lead by example
16 June 2022

16 June 1976 was a very dark day for South Africa as many students lost their lives during an uprising against the Apartheid Government who issued a directive that Afrikaans should become the medium of instruction in schools. Students marched peacefully to protest and demonstrate against the Government’s directive but were met with force by heavily armed police, causing the uprising that ended tragically.

Those who lost their lives that day did not do so in vain as they helped to expose the brutality of the Apartheid Government, which received more international revulsion afterward. There are many lessons that 16 June 1976 has taught us, one of which is to lead by example. In other words, show, don’t tell.

Many children and students have already lost hope because of the COVID pandemic, not returning to school, and falling victim to drugs and alcohol abuse. It is up to the entire country to assist Government, NGOs, and parents to turn issues around and break the vicious cycle of hopelessness.

Leading by example can be many things and encouragement is one of them.

Maybe you are someone who fell into the same trap and managed to get out of it. If so, why not share your experiences with someone you know are in need of your positive message? Explain to them the challenges you faced but that it was not impossible. Show them the positive results your actions yielded and if you can, commit yourself to walk a journey with them.

Even if you have not had the unfortunate experience of staying away from school, you can help through encouragement and being there for others.

Remember, this is not something you have to do on your own. Ask your parents, teachers, community and religious leaders for advice.

Follow the example of those who stood together on 16 June 1976 and help rebuild a legacy of a prosperous South Africa.

 

13 June 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release
13 June 2022

The fifth quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum was held virtually on in May 2022 and focused on renewable energy strategies for the Garden Route.

This follows a fruitful engagement Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) had with the Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority  (EWSETA) on Tuesday, 17 May 2022.  During the engagement, EWSETA expressed its desire to support renewable energy projects in the Garden Route, which is in line with its support of Just Energy Transition (JET),  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and the work done in South Africa by The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

EWSETA has a significant demand-based focus, and it is important for them to determine what the needs are of employers and businesses. They receive a limited skills levy income and need to partner with other agencies to address this challenge. This is why they’ve agreed soon enter into a memorandum of understanding with GRDM.

During his opening remarks, the GRSM Forum chairperson, Ald. De Vries remarked that renewable energy is gaining momentum as countries around the world are increasingly understanding the benefits it offers.

During the forum, Mr. Warrick Pierce, Technical Leader on Energy Systems Modeling at the Energy Centre of CSIR, presented the Draft Municipal Electricity Master Plan for the GRDM. The Draft document was funded by GIZ and co-funded by the CSIR and is considered to be a mini Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Mr. Pierce noted that the plan looks at different possible energy futures and the employment opportunities it may hold. Furthermore, the plan’s focus is twofold as it looks at each municipality individually in the region and the Garden Route as a whole to achieve optimisation.

To draft plan addresses issues of future demand usage and that municipalities need to know their customers – their past behaviors towards energy and how this is changing in terms of self-generation.  There seems to be clear indication that Solar PV is the priority option for the Garden Route to consider. The Draft Energy Master Plan will be tabled to the GRDM Council this month for adoption and a media release about it will be issued.

The final presentation was done by Kirsten Freimann, from GIZ, who is the Head of Project: Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E), which is a new 3-year program that started in June.

The program aims to address two major concerns identified by GIZ, which are the economic recession and the high youth unemployment rate plaguing South Africa. With the help of the Swiss Development Agency, The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Government was able to raise €10.5 million for the project.

CPDE4E strives to improve the employability of the youth by unlocking employment potentials by supporting entrepreneurship and SME development in township economies, as well as (ecologic) industrial parks.

The transition from learning to earning will be done by matching soft skills with entrepreneurship training with specific measures in place for girls and women.

Demand-driven TVET/ skills development will improve delivery capacities, through lecturers, in-company mentors, short skills programs, new occupational profiles, and curricula development. It is anticipated that it will strengthen private sector involvement in agile training interventions. This could lead to job creation and meeting demands.

13 June 2022 Opportunities For Unemployed Youth in the Western Cape

Opportunities For Unemployed Youth in the Western Cape

13 June 2022

The Western Cape Government has several opportunities for unemployed youth in the province. Please find all the details below, or visit the following link for more information.

Please contact the designated persons on each advertisement/application should you have any queries. Garden Route District Municipality will not be able to answer any queries regarding the adverts.

West Coast

Overberg

Garden Route

City of Cape Town

City of Cape Town (1)

Central Karoo

Cape Winelands

12 April 2022 Media Release: Several Garden Route DM APAC members complete their terms

Media Release: Several Garden Route DM APAC members complete their terms

For Immediate Release
12 April 2022

After years of strategic services rendered to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Audit and Performance Audit Committee (APAC), the terms of three (3) members have come to an end.

Dr Adele Potgieter, the outgoing Chairperson of APAC, finished her term yesterday. She commenced her duties on 1 November 2012, Advocate Derick Block served on the Committee from 1 March 2016 until 31 October 2021, and Mr Geoff Stenekamp served on APAC from 1 September 2017 until 28 February 2022.

APAC’s primary role is to advise the municipal council, political office bearers, accounting officers, and management of the Municipality about several matters. These include, but are not limited to, financial control and reporting, internal audit, risk management, accounting policies, performance management, governance, performance evaluations, and other matters referred by the institution.

Therefore, the effectiveness of this Committee requires an appropriate mix of professional skills, which are the prerequisites the GRDM identified for APAC members to hold. Appointing APAC members can be a daunting task because finding the relevant skills locally or regionally is not always possible. This is experienced all over the country.

The Chairperson of APAC’s leadership role is central to setting the tone of the work style and ensures that each agenda contributes to the effectiveness of the Committee.

BRIEF EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND OF OUTOING MEMBERS

Dr Potgieter is a Senior Lecturer at Nelson Mandela University. She holds a PhD in Business Management, Marketing, and related support services, a BCom Investment Honours, and a BA degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology. She’s also served on numerous audit committees

Advocate Block holds a B. luris, LLB, and Postgraduate Diploma in Taxation. He has served on more than fifteen (15) committees and boards. He has vast knowledge and experience in local, provincial, and national government, legal, constitutional matters, risk management, audit, corporate governance, and compliance.

Mr Geoffrey Stenekamp has Bsc, BCompt degrees, and he is a qualified Chartered Accountant (SA). He was the national leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and has served on three (3) other Audit Committees before.

CLOSING REMARKS

During Dr Potgieter’s closing remarks, she recalled the journey she walked with the Municipality for more than a decade. “I’ve done countless performance appraisals, worked with various municipal managers, mayors and other professional staff.” She also shared how proud she is of the functional managers of Internal Audit, Risk Management and Performance Management, who have grown immensely since she started working for the GRDM.

“I have learned to work with many good people, new employees – young and old. However, what stood out for me is their willingness to work together – employees want to do good in this Municipality,” she said. “Thank you on behalf of APAC for the diligence on your financial statements. I wish you well going forward. May your days be blessed, and think of us fondly going forward. She also thanked Mr Stratu and the GRDM Council for their leadership.

In her advice to the APAC, she said: “Always stay independent, don’t get gobbed down by others and listen to your heart.”

During his closing remarks at an APAC engagement yesterday, Acting Municipal Manager Lusanda Menze said: “Thank you for the service of APAC and what it has done for the community in its entirety and us.” When referring to the APAC as advisors, Menze referred expressly to Proverbs about wisdom and listening to advisors. “You have also helped steer GRDM to attain a clean audit.”

The GRDM is grateful for the outgoing APAC members and the positive contribution they’ve made and wishes them the best for their future endeavours.

ENDS

15 March 2022 Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route

Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route

15 March 2022
For immediate release

 

The second keynote speaker at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca for 2022 was Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape. He outlined NYDA’s skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.

NYDA is a South African-based agency established primarily to address challenges faced by the nation’s youth. The youth development agency was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 54 of 2008) to be a single, unitary structure addressing youth development issues at the National, Provincial and Local Government levels. The Agency should be seen within the broad context of South Africa’s development dynamics.

During Manyama’s presentation, he outlined their economic participation goal, which is to enhance the contribution of young people to the economy through targeted and integrated programs.

He added that programs created by the NYDA aims to facilitate and provide employment opportunities for the youth and to include them in the economy.

The implementation of this goal is at the following strategic objectives:

  • To provide socio-economic empowerment interventions and support for young people in South Africa
  • To provide increased universal access to young people

NYDA runs several economic programs that include:

  • Grant funding R1 000.00 to R10 000.00
  • Business Consultancy Services
  • Sales Pitch and BBBEE Training
  • Business Management Training
  • Mentorship
  • Market Linkages

On youth with disabilities, Manyama had the following to say: “Young people with disabilities are not homogenous as there are different disabilities that require different interventions. The sector representing youth with disabilities proposes the establishment of a disability unit at the NYDA to undertake to facilitate all programs aimed at transforming the lives of youth with disabilities.”

He concluded his presentation by stressing the importance of eradicating discrimination and stigmas against people with disabilities and increasing economic opportunities for them.

Access to education is limited and inadequate and this needs to be addressed. Integration of people with disabilities will also need to be addressed as there is a tendency of lumping them together despite their different needs.

15 March 2022 Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

15 March 2022
For immediate release

Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was invited to speak at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum of 2022 and his focus was on the growth and development strategy of the department for the Garden Route. He opened his comprehensive presentation with the following quote by Allan Savory:

“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is impossible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy”.  

To put this quote into perspective, Lamberts shared one of the Department’s recent success stories: A farm in Herald was in a dilapidated state due to a lack of interest in purposing the land. A businessman who was passionate about farming bought it, and spent the next five (5) years turning it into a viable business that now produces honeybush and proteas. He is the first black commercial farmer to produce honeybush in the Southern Cape. It is because the Department assisted him that his business was able to create sixteen (16) permanent jobs, with opportunities for an additional twenty (20) seasonal workers.

Before this, in Waboomskraal, the Department assisted another farmer, who became the first black farmer in the area to produce proteas and hops.

Lamberts noted: “When all spheres of government work together in an integrated fashion, these are the type of results we will see”. 

Lamberts listed the activities and services the Department provides to farmers and all other stakeholders as the following:

  • Independent agricultural advice and information
  • Supporting Livestock farmers – Development program. Livestock Forum
  • Performance testing/annual evaluation/ID limitations and opportunities
  • Investigating and implementing new hardy breeds and crossbreeding
  • Investigations in lowering inset cost through conservation agriculture – cover crops
  • Investigations into pasture species for marginal lands
  • Crop production advice and information
  • Niche crops/markets
  • Training

The type of training that is provided includes evidence-based and practice-based farmers’ capacity building. This is done through farmers’ days, demonstrations, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interactions. Since 2018, the department trained 820 beneficiaries and this ranged from vegetable training to farm implement operation training.

The Department has a memorandum of understanding with GRDM and vacant land has been identified that the municipality owns which is conducive for agricultural development opportunities. The Department is researching the potential of commodity processing facilities in the Garden Route, which will be a source of immediate job creation – a game-changer for job creation in the region.

The Department furthermore envisions the building of Agri-Business Platforms for clients where potential products can be processed ready for consumption. Through Conservation/Regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to rehabilitate and look after their own soil to turn it into organic matter that fertilizes with very few chemicals. Trials on livestock projects have yielded very positive results to date, and the global view is that going regenerative holds many financial and ecological benefits.

Agritourism needs to be promoted as it holds several untapped opportunities for the tourism sector. There is a need to compile tour packages to visit farms and processing facilities for both local and international tourism. The Roads Department has a role to play as well, as it must ensure easy access through regular road maintenance and upgrades.

The Department is in the process of revisiting mechanization which would allow for a central point that offers services such as ploughing, for example, as well as repair and maintenance services on farm implements.

Lamberts concluded his presentation by saying that we can be very proud of our district and that the Department is very excited to continue its work in the area.

14 March 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture

14 March 2022
For Immediate Release

The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 was held on 25 February 2022 and was attended by delegates in person and online via Microsoft Teams. This setting provides Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.

The forum was chaired by Ald. Stephen de Vries briefly explained the role of the GRSM in relation to the National Skills Development Plan. He alluded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate where he stressed the importance of skills development to support economic growth as part of the economic recovery plan. The GRSM aligns itself with the National Development Plan 2030 vision to improve access to occupations in high demand and priority skills in supporting economic growth, job creation, and social development.

We want to contribute to the vision of an educated and skilled workforce for South Africa.

The forum hosted two keynote speakers. The first was Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture who outlined, in detail, the department’s growth and development strategy.

The second keynote speaker, Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape – presented on matters of skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.

Dr. Florus Prinsloo (Skill Mecca Co-ordinator, GRDM) officially launched the GRSM website, which has been in development since last year.

The aim of the website is to serve as a central point of communication and to close the gap between service providers, investors, and candidates with learning opportunities needs.

There is still work that needs to be done which, once completed, will see the ‘partnership’ page going live. Once this happens, service providers will be able to register and list learning opportunities, which will then be communicated by GRDM’s Communication unit. A process has been established to vet all applicants before registration to ensure that the highest standards are always met.

ENDS