Author: Herman Pieters

1 September 2021 Media Release: Garden Route COVID-19 update 31 August 2021

Media Release: Garden Route COVID-19 update 31 August 2021

For Immediate Release
1 September 2021

There has been a welcome decrease in cases the last 7 days to compared to 7 – 14 days ago. All sub-districts had decreases except for Bitou which essentially stayed the same.  There are now 756 active cases per 100 000.  (One week ago it was 823.)  “We are optimistic that we are in a downward trend. Our staff have been hard at work balancing COVID-19 cases, routine services and also the roll-out of the vaccination programme. They are emotionally and physically tired, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our employees, those on the frontline and those working behind the scenes”, said District Director Mr Zee Brickles.

Hospital services

George Regional Hospital remains under pressure.  On 31 August there were 54 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, of whom 16 are in critical care.

Harry Comay Hospital, used as step-down facility for George Hospital, is less busy.  There are 16 patients in the two wards.

Oudtshoorn Hospital is currently experiencing pressures due to COVID-19 admissions. The hospital currently has 28 patients.

Vaccination programme

The Western Cape has administered 2 million vaccines as of 30  August 2021with the Garden Route almost breaching the 200 000 mark at 191 229 vaccines to date.  Roving vaccination teams are still visiting as many communities in far lying areas as possible, as well as farm workers, big factories and tertiary education centres.

Twenty-eight farmworkers from Patrysfontein in Mossel Bay sub-district received their vaccination during an outreach.

The district’s first weekend vaccination site is Knysna Town Hall on Saturday 4 September from 09:00 to 14:00.  More sites are planned to come onboard in the near future.

Communities are currently rife with misinformation regarding the vaccine which makes it difficult for people to make an informed decision. For credible information visit

We encourage everyone 18 years and older to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccination is safe and based on existing, thoroughly tested and effective technology. Getting vaccinated is our best weapon against COVID-19.

 COVID-19 stats as of 30 August 2021

Sub-district TOTAL Active Recovered Deaths
Bitou 3 800 298 3 383 119
George 22 809 1 383 20 656 770
Hessequa 4 507 597 3 731 179
Kannaland 1 605 178 1 362 65
Knysna 7 532 502 6 804 226
Mossel Bay 14 481 1 081 12 994 406
Oudtshoorn 7 122 719 5 996 407
Sub-total 61 856 4 758 54 926 2 172


Feature image caption: Vaccination Teams in Kannaland held an outreach to Nissanville.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health


SMME Support and Development Programme – Call for Business Proposals

SMME Support and Development Programme
Call for Business Proposals

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is embarking on a Small-, Medium- and Micro Enterprise (SMME) Programme to help dynamic and committed entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. A broad scope of non-financial assistance will be provided, including compulsory business development interventions and training.

Only serious applicants with a workable business concept or business profile should apply.


Applicants MUST complete an application form (obtained from either the District Economic Development Office, 54 York Street, George, 6530 or email with the following IMPORTANT supporting documents attached:

  • Company Profile/ Business Proposal or Business Plan;
  • Six (6) months Profit and Loss Summary or (recent Financial statements, if available);
  • Business registration document.


  • Must be a registered business operating for ±2 years;
  • Must have a viable business idea/proposal with clear directions/deliverables;
  • Must be available to present to a selected panel and attend the compulsory business development interventions and training identified by the panel;
  • SARS registered;
  • 100% South African owned;
  • Formally registered for ±2 years or incorporated, e.g. with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC); and must be in operation for the mentioned period;
  • Operating and residing within the Garden Route;
  • It is classified as a micro or small enterprise in terms of the National Small Enterprises Act.

All applications must be in an envelope, stated “2021/2022 SMME Support and Development Programme – Garden Route District Municipality” and be dropped off at 54 York Street, George, 6530 or at any Garden Route DM Offices for attention Mr Johannes Jafta or emailed to Enterprises that benefitted from the previous programme (2019/2020 and 2020/2021) will not be considered. NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED. Please provide us with a detailed outline of your business proposal, together with all required proof. If you don’t adhere to the set criteria, your application will be unsuccessful. Only shortlisted enterprises will be contacted to present their business concept to the adjudication panel virtually or in person. Only the top business concepts concerning the set criteria will be selected.

Closing date: Friday, 10 September 2021 by 13h00.

All enquiries can be directed to the Garden Route District Municipality Economic Development Office at

30 August 2021 Notification: Cater Care (Food Handler) Training Programme

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), through its 3-month Cater Care (Food Handler) Training Programme, aims to train previously disadvantaged individuals and unemployed youth in the hospitality sector. This programme serves as a stepping stone to Garden Routers who are interested in developing culinary skills and strengthening the local hospitality industry. Each student will be given an opportunity to gain a theoretical understanding of food handling and be allowed to gain practical experience at a business too.

This year the course takes place from September 2021 till December 2021.


Must be a SA Citizen; Aged 18-30; Unemployed; School Qualification Grade 10 to Grade 12; Must have a bank account; Must have a Tax number; Eager to shape a career in the hospitality industry; Reside in the Garden Route DM area.


Prospective learners must apply in person at the Francois Ferreira Academy by completing an application form.

All applicants must bring their CV, certified ID Copy, and school results. Certification of documents must not be older than 3 months. Letter from the bank confirming their account. Must have a contact cell phone number plus an alternative number.

Address: Francois Ferreira Academy, Mount View Resort, 1 York Street, George. Office hours: 08:00 – 16:30 (Mon-Thu); 08:00-15:00 (Fri). Contact Ms Veronica Mekile if you have any questions or e-mail or call 044 884 0765.


*All successful candidates are responsible for their own accommodation arrangements and transport and only serious and committed applicants will be considered for this opportunity.

28 August 2021 Media Alert: Minister Simmers to conduct Sod-turning for Qolweni Housing Project

Media Alert: Minister Simmers to conduct Sod-turning for Qolweni Housing Project

On Monday, 30 August 2021, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers will conduct a sod turning for the Qolweni Phase 3A 169 Housing project in Plettenberg Bay.

Minister Simmers said: “I’ve been looking forward to this day, since this project was handed over to my Department on 18 June this year. It’s been unfortunate that we were delayed by litigation, but I’m glad that we finally have this opportunity. This project will ensure that the lives of the most vulnerable in the area, particularly the elderly and those living with medically certified disabilities are afforded improved and safer living conditions.

This is a joyous occasion, which the entire Plettenberg Bay community should celebrate with us. It also once again shows how the Western Cape Government remains resolute in ensuring that our people’s lives are improved.”

There will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.



Date: Monday, 30 August 2021
Time: 09:00 – 10:00
Venue/Meeting Point:  Qolweni Project Site

Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin
Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers |
021 483 3397 (o)
082 721 3362 (m)


Nathan Adriaanse
Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations
Tell: 021 483 2868
Mobile: 083 263 1720

28 August 2021 Western Cape Media Alert: Uniondale learners to receive construction toolkits as part of Youth Empowerment Programme

Media Alert: Uniondale learners to receive construction toolkits as part of Youth Empowerment Programme

28 August 2021

On Sunday, 29 August 2021, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements will hand over Construction Toolkits to 8 learners in Uniondale, within the George municipal area.

The event marks the learners’ completion of their theoretical Plumbing Skills training at a TVET college in Cape Town. The Construction Toolkits will assist with the practical training of the programme. The training course is facilitated by the Department, and other stakeholders, through its Youth Empowerment Programme, with a budget of R3 million.

Western Cape Human Settlements Minister Tertuis Simmers will hand over Construction Toolkits to the learners to assist with completion of their practical training part of the course. The learners will also receive a stipend for work done on various projects, such as the George Municipality’s War on Leaks project. The Department is proud of the learners’ achievements thus far and trusts that the equipment will greatly facilitate the learners’ completion of the programme.

These handovers shows the Western Cape Government’s commitment to empower young people across this province. This is part of the reason why for the 2021/22 financial year, we’ve once again ensured that not less than 50% of our Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) is allocated to Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s).

All media is invited.

Date: Sunday, 29 August 2021
Time: 11h00 – 12h30
Venue: Uniondale Golf Course, Vootrekker Street, Uniondale

For media enquiries contact:

Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers 
021 483 3397 (o)
082 721 3362 (m)


Mr Nathan Adriaanse

Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations 
Tel: 021 483 2868
Cell: 083 263 1720



The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to everyone 18 and older. Vaccination can prevent against serious illness, hospitalisation and death. A few other important facts about the vaccines:

  • The vaccines were developed quickly while maintaining the highest safety standard possible: The need for a COVID-19 vaccine was urgent, so governments and companies spent much more money developing it. Research and development took place at the same time around the world, while still following strict safety and clinical standards.
  • The vaccines don’t infect you with COVID-19. None of the vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. They may cause minor side effects such as a sore arm or mild fever, but these are signs that your immune system is responding.
  • The vaccines don’t change your DNA. Some vaccines are made using RNA technology, but this only effects how the vaccine is made, and not what it does inside of the body.
  • It typically takes two weeks after you are fully vaccinated for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus.
  • People who are fully vaccinated canstill get COVID-19 because no vaccine is 100% effective. This is why we need to continue our COVID-safe behaviours.

Uncertainty and doubts about the vaccine will impact all of us, but getting vaccinated can help you beat COVID-19. Visit for detailed vaccine information.

Registering for your vaccine is quick and easy, and can be done by:

Although the 18+ age band is now open, the Department remains committed to ensure we prioritise our most vulnerable. Thus people with comorbidities and older

Source: World Health Organisation


Siyafumaneka ngoku isitofu seCOVID-19 kuye wonk’ ubani uneminyaka eli-18 nangaphezulu. Singakukhusela isitofu kwizigulo ezimandundu, ekulalisweni esibhedlele nasekuswelekeni. Izinto ezimbalwa eziyinyaniso malunga nezitofu:

  • Izitofu ziveliswe ngokukhawuleza ngelixa ziwugcinile owona mgangatho wazo uphezulu wokhuselo: Isitofu seCOVID-19 besidingeka ngokungxamisekileyo, ngoko ke oorhulumente bekunye neenkampani basebenzise imali eninzi ukuvelisa ezi zitofu. Uphando nokuveliswa kwazo lwenzeka ngaxeshanye kwihlabathi liphela, ngelixa kulandelwa ukhuseleko olungqongqo kunye nemigangatho yezonyango.
  • Izitofu azikosuleli ngeCOVID-19. Akukho nasinye isitofu esiqulathe intsholongwane ephilayo ebangela iCOVID-19. Zingabangela iziphumo ebezingalindelekanga ezingephi ezinjengengalo ebuhlungu okanye umkhuhlane omncinci, kodwa le yimiqondiso yokuba amajoni akho omzimba ayaphendula.
  • Izitofu asiyitshintshi iDNA yakho. Ezinye izitofu zenziwe kusetyenziswa itheknoloji yeRNA, kodwa oku kuchaphazela kuphela indlela isitofu esenziwe ngayo, hayi into esiyenzayo ngaphakathi emzimbeni.
  • Umzimba wakho udla ngokuthatha iiveki ezimbini emva kokuba ugonywe ngokupheleleyo, ukuba mawukhuseleke ngokupheleleyo kwintsholongwane.
  • Abantu abagonyiweyo basenganayo iCOVID-19 kuba asikho sitofu sisebenza 100% ngokupheleleyo. Yiyo kufuneka siqhubeke ngokuyithobela imigaqo yokhuseleko lweCOVID-19.

Ukungaqiniseki nokuthandabuza malunga nesitofu kuza kusichaphazela sonke, kodwa ukugonya kona kungakunceda ekuyoyiseni iCOVID-19. Tyelela ukuze ufumane iinkcukacha ezithe vetshe.

Kulula kwaye kuyakhaleza ukubhalisela ugonyo lwakho, kwaye kungenziwa ngokwenza oku:

Nangona bevumelekile abaneminyaka engaphezulu kweli18+, iSebe lihleli lizinikele ekuqinisekiseni ukuba libeka phambili abona bantu basesichengeni. Kungoko kuza kuqalwa ngabantu abanezinye izigulo nabadala


Die COVID-19-entstof is nou beskikbaar vir almal 18 en ouer. Inenting bied voorkoming teen ernstige siektes, hospitalisasie en die dood. ‘n Paar ander belangrike feite oor die entstowwe:

  • Die entstowwe is vinnig ontwikkel, met die hoogste moontlike veiligheidstandaarde: die behoefte aan ‘n COVID-19-entstof was dringend, sodat regerings en maatskappye baie meer geld bestee het om dit te ontwikkel. Navorsing en ontwikkeling het op dieselfde tyd oor die hele wêreld plaasgevind, terwyl dit steeds streng veiligheids- en kliniese standaarde nagekom het.
  • Die entstowwe besmet jou nie met COVID-19 nie. Nie een van die entstowwe bevat die lewende virus wat COVID-19 veroorsaak nie. Dit kan klein newe-effekte veroorsaak, soos ‘n seer arm of ligte koors, maar dit is tekens dat jou immuunstelsel reageer.
  • Die entstowwe verander nie jou DNA nie. Sommige entstowwe word gemaak met behulp van RNA-tegnologie, maar dit beïnvloed slegs hoe die entstof gemaak word, en nie wat dit in die liggaam doen nie.
  • Dit neem gewoonlik twee weke nadat jy ten volle ingeënt is vir die liggaam om beskerming (immuniteit) teen die virus op te bou.
  • Mense wat volledig ingeënt is, kan steeds COVID-19 kry omdat geen entstof 100% effektief is nie. Daarom moet ons ons COVID-veilige gedrag voortsit.

Onsekerheid en twyfel oor die entstof beïnvloed ons almal, maar om ingeënt te word, kan jou help om COVID-19 die hoof te bied . Besoek vir gedetailleerde inligting oor entstowwe.

Dit is vinnig en maklik om vir jou entstof te registreer en kan gedoen word deur:

Alhoewel die ouderdomsgroep van 18+ nou oop is, is die Departement steeds daartoe verbind om te verseker dat ons ons kwesbaarste mense prioriteit gee, dus mense met komorbiditeite en ouer.

24 August 2021 Executive Mayor’s Speech a the GRDM Council Meeting

Mr Speaker

Mr Speaker, I am going to be short and sweet in my address today. One of the issues at hand, Mr Speaker, is that we, as South Africans, are very good at celebrating events. Year-after-year, week-after-week and day-after-day, we celebrate various international days, or focus months. On top of this, we are also very good at creating policies. The challenge faced by all spheres of Government is to efficiently communicate policies to communities and to implement them.

Mr Speaker, we all know that we are currently in Women’s month. During August annually, we celebrate our women, sisters, mothers and nieces, etc. However, we are still getting sleepless nights because if one looks at the headlines in the newspapers and the media in general, we remain and are constantly reminded of the violent society we live in. Even here in our own Garden Route, the crime statistics are on the rise; if it is not men killing their wives, boyfriends killing their girlfriends, children killing their parents – this remains a scary thought and scenario for all of us.

I know that we do not have a silver bullet for resolving crime here or at any Council, but I know Mr Speaker, that we would need to at one stage or another have more engagements. Our safety summits are already making a difference in communities of the Garden Route, and we also have the relevant stakeholder involved there. However, we need longer-lasting solutions and more dedication from all sectors of society to curb violence in our communities.

Mr Speaker, we probably also need to arrange engagements with the judiciary or someone from the crime intelligence; in essence, we need subject experts to help root out the violence faced by women. We know that trust in law enforcement can often become a problem because perpetrators commit crimes again after they’re released from jail. This has a detrimental impact on perceptions about those who are tasked to keep communities safe.

Mr Speaker, we also know that on a daily basis, we get other scary figures on Covid-19 and even one incident/positive case is one too many, let alone losing a loved one to this dreaded disease.

It has also come to my attention that, apart from the fake news and these other conspiracy theories regarding the vaccination etc., that there is a lot of skepticism about the vaccines. Therefore, I would like to plea with everyone to get the jab. I am a living example of someone who took his first and second Pfizer jabs. Also, I know that some people have shown no signs of side effects, while others have had some side effects – both are normal to experience. I said this the last time I addressed you – I am repeating what the medical practitioners are saying; if you react to the vaccine, your body’s defensive system is working perfectly and this is a good sign.

Mr Speaker, we as Government encourage those who are 18 years and older to register for the vaccine and to go for their jabs. Based on the needs of the Health sector, Mr Speaker, we also had an engagement with Provincial Health and we’ve decided to avail twenty (20) Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers to various sites to assist with administrative duties at entrances. This will alleviate the pressure on medical staff. These EPWP workers have also been vaccinated and they are being managed by the George hospital. The feedback we’ve received thus far is positive and we are happy that we are able to make a difference. We are aware that the frontline staff are exposed to the virus more than anyone else and we appreciate them and the passion they have for fighting this pandemic.

Thank you,
Mr Speaker.

23 August 2021 Media Release: Garden Route COVID-19 update 23 August 2021

Media Release: Garden Route COVID-19 update 23 August 2021

For Immediate Release
23 August 2021

In contrast to last week, the Garden Route District had a 34 % increase in new COVID-19 cases over the last 7 days compared to 7-14 days ago. All sub-districts showed an increase with some increases being quite significant.

The total number of positive patients for the district on 23 Aug is 59 678.  (One week ago it was 56 618.)  The district has 823 positive cases per 100 000 population, once again the highest rate per 100 000 people in the Province.

Hospital services

George Regional Hospital remains under pressure.  Today there are 62 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, of whom 21 are in critical care. The COVID-19 ward is thus over 100% full and the Critical Care Unit is 87% full.

Harry Comay Hospital, used as step-down facility for George Hospital, is less busy.  There are 13 patients in the two wards.

All district hospitals are busy, especially Oudtshoorn Hospital.  The supply of oxygen to hospitals is sufficient.

Vaccination programme

The Garden Route has administered 163 042 vaccines to date.  We welcome the additional age group of 18 years and older and have seen great enthusiasm in some sub-districts. We invite everyone above the age of 18 to get their vaccination. We are in the process of identifying weekend sites which will be communicated to the public.

Vaccination sites for week 23 – 27 August 2021.

SUB-DISTRICT Town Dates 23 – 27  August
Knysna sub-district Knysna Community Day Centre 23 – 27
Knysna sub-district Knysna Town Hall 23 – 27
Knysna sub-district Sedgefield Clinic 23, 26, 27
Knysna sub-district Karatara Satellite Clinic 23
Bitou sub-district Kwanokuthula Community Day Centre 23, 27
Bitou sub-district Kranshoek Clinic 26
Bitou sub-district Plettenberg Bay Town Clinic 23 – 27
Bitou sub-district Crags Clinic 24
George sub-district Harry Comay TB Hospital 23 – 27
George sub-district Thembalethu CDC (Sandkraal road) 23 – 27
George sub-district George Central Clinic 23 – 27
George sub-district Uniondale Hospital 23 – 27
George sub-district Mobile Outreach 23 – 27
George sub-district Touwsranten Satellite Clinic 27
George sub-district Haarlem Satellite Clinic 27
George sub-district Pacaltsdorp Clinic 23 – 27
Hessequa sub-district Riversdale Civic Centre 23 – 27
Hessequa sub-district Heidelberg Duivenhoks Hall 24, 25, 27
Hessequa sub-district Albertinia Theronsville Hall 23, 26, 27
Hessequa sub-district Melkhoutfontein Satellite Clinic 25
Hessequa sub-district Still Bay Civic Centre 23, 24, 26, 27
Hessequa sub-district Slangrivier Satellite Clinic 23, 27
Hessequa sub-district Witsand de Duine Hall 25
Hessequa sub-district Gouritsmond Hall 25
Kannaland sub-district Ladismith DRC Church Hall 23, 24
Kannaland sub-district Zoar Sports Club 25
Kannaland sub-district Calitzdorp DRC Church Hall 26
Mossel Bay sub-district Alma Community Day Centre 24 – 27
Mossel Bay sub-district Wolwedans Community Hall 24 – 27
Mossel Bay sub-district Mossel Bay Town Hall 24 – 27
Mossel Bay sub-district D’Almeida Community Hall 24 – 27
Oudtshoorn sub-district Toekomsrust Community Hall 23 – 27
Oudtshoorn sub-district Dysselsdorp Clinic 24
Oudtshoorn sub-district De Rust (Blommenek) Clinic 26
Oudtshoorn sub-district Oudtshoorn Clinic 23 – 27

COVID-19 stats as of 23 August 2021

Sub-district TOTAL Active Recovered Deaths
Bitou 3 662 245 3 300 117
George 22 195 1 535 19 910 750
Hessequa 4 216 659 3 386 171
Kannaland 1 507 145 1 298 64
Knysna 7 318 531 6 569 218
Mossel Bay 13 979 1 164 12 419 396
Oudtshoorn 6 801 818 5 589 394
Sub-total 59 678 5 097 52 471 2 110


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health