Author: Marillia Veldkornet

The following severe weather alerts have been issued by the Cape Town Weather office:

Hazard 1 Alert Level Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
High Seas Watch 21/06/19 00h00 22/06/19 00h00

Wave heights between 6-7.5m are expected between Cape Columbine and Cape Agulhas from Friday evening, spreading to Plettenberg Bay Saturday morning, subsiding by the afternoon.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.  Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Hazard 2 Alert Level Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
Damaging Winds Watch 21/06/19 00h00 21/06/19 00h00

Watch: Gale force north-westerly winds (60-75km/h, gusting 80-100km/h) are expected in places over the Central Karoo, Breede Valley, Cape Peninsula, and coastal regions between Table Bay and Plettenberg Bay (Western Cape) on Friday(21/06/2019). Advisory: Strong north-westerly to westerly (40-60km/h)winds are expected over the southern West Coast District, Cape Winelands, Overberg and Garden Route Districts (Western Cape) on Friday.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

To report any incidents, contact the GRDM Disaster Management Centre at tel: 044 805 5071

The Garden Route Annual Fire Commemoration Event, Climate Change & Adaptation Indaba successfully hosted in Wilderness

The Garden Route Annual Fire Commemoration Event, Climate Change & Adaptation Indaba hosted by Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with the South Cape Environmental Forum once again reminded roleplayers about the fire outbreaks of 2017 and 2018 in the Garden Route and the aftermaths and tragic losses as a result of the fires. The Indaba took place on 7 June 2019 at the Wilderness Hotel in Wilderness of which approximately 150 delegates attended.

Garden Route District Municipality was well represented at the event. FLTR are: Dr Nina Viljoen, Cllrs Rowen Spies, Erica Meyer, Thersia van Rensburg, Joslyn Johnson, Mayor Memory Booysen, Daniel Saayman, Mr Gerhard Otto and Deputy Mayor Rosina Ruiters.

Delegates represented organisations and institutions, such as the National Department of Environmental Affairs, the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Stellenbosch University and Nelson Mandela University, as well as GRDM and Knysna Municipality were in attendance.

Various role-players from Government Organisations, Training Institutions, Municipalities and members of the media attended the event. Front (fltr) GRDM Manager:  Disaster Management, Mr Gerhard Otto, Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen and Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu.

The main purpose of the event, was not to only host the Annual Fire Commemoration event, but also to build on the momentum and team effort the region has created in their efforts to recover from the fire, but also to host a Climate Change Indaba, according to Municipal Manager of GRDM, Mr Monde Stratu. In his welcoming address to the attendants, Mr Stratu said: “It is our objective to shape a better prepared, climate- ready and resilient Garden Route environment for our community, and we trust that you will be able to assist us in achieving that ambitious goal”.

Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at GRDM during, her presentation at the event.
Dr Jo Barnes, Epidemiologist and Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Community Health at the Stellenbosch University, spoke about the harsh realities of the impact of climate change on public health systems in the Garden Route.

In referring back to losses and the recovery of losses and damages as a result of the fires, Mr Cobus Meiring, Secretariat of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) said:  “Recent reports released by Santam and others indicate that the damages incurred by the 2017 Knysna wildfire disaster are very close to three billion rand. For the large insurance companies to arrive at accurate calculations took them a full two years to consolidate all pay-outs and peripheral and associated costs. Three billion rand is a staggering amount of money and is indicative of the kind of damage the fury of nature can incur on civilisation and the environment in a matter of hours. However, when taking into account what best could be described as collateral damage, could be a lot harder to calculate. Take for instance the number of retired folk from Knysna and Plettenberg Bay deciding not to rebuild at all, land becoming vacant for extended periods, formerly employed people now struggling to find new employment opportunities, with employers having decided to move on following the disaster, or even leaving the country as some reportedly did, and suddenly the situation looks even worse than expected,” Meiring said.  It is for these reasons that Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at GRDM described the event as crucial in the way the region is planning ahead with a challenging environment at play.

The event was facilitated by Mr Cobus Meiring, Secretariat of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

Most of the presentations made at the event, placed emphasis on water security, high quality water resources, the living conditions of the communities, sanitation facilities, regrowth of alien vegetation, to name a few. All these factors place a high risk on the state of health of the residents of the area and the economic growth of the Garden Route.   These were furthermore and significantly emphasised by Dr Jo Barnes, Epidemiologist and Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Community Health at the Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, when she spoke about the harsh realities of the impact of climate change on public health systems.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, could not ignore the after effects of the fires in his address, when he made an announcement:  “As we pride ourselves as a District Municipality striving to improve the way we manage our environment, the GRDM and our Environmental Forum has secured substantial funding and support from the Fund for the Rebuild of Knysna to assist landowners who were severely affected by the Knysna, and more recent fires, to deal with the scourge of invasive alien plant re-growth”.  In coming to a point where resolutions had to be taken and the way forward was discussed, Mr Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager for Disaster Management said, “The establishment of the Garden Route Environmental Forum, mandated by the District Municipality and incorporating non-governmental conservation bodies and public platforms, was a first in the Western Cape, and allows for greater cooperation between private landowners and regional and national authorities.”

In conclusion, Otto added that floods and fire in the immediate and foreseeable future can be reduced, but only if those tasked with planning and management understand the issues at play and implement mitigation measures in accordance,” Otto added. “The announcement of a regional public/ private programme to assist landowners who were affected by recent fires and a scourge of invasive alien plant re-growth is a first of its kind in RSA, and further announcements will follow as the initiative reaches implementation stage,” he added.

Premier’s Coordinating Forum currently taking place in George

The Western Cape Premier’s Coordinating Forum (PCF) with the theme “Maximising Citizen Impact” is currently underway at the George Civic Hall in George. The Western Cape Premier, Mr Alan Winde, Provincial Ministers of the Western Cape, Executive Mayors, as well as Municipal Managers are in attendance. This platform is the first PCF meeting to take place under the leadership of Premier Winde.

A full house of representatives attend the Premier’s Coordinating Forum in George.
FLTR: Premier Alan Winde, Mr Harry Malila, Acting Director-General of the Western Cape, Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Mr Bonginkosi Madikizela and Cllr Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality, at the PCF that is currently underway in George.

The overall objective of the PCF is for political and administrative leadership to engage of matters of interest to the communities of the Western Cape:

  1. To promote and facilitate intergovernmental relations between the province and local governments in the Western Cape;
  2. To engage with the Premier on the vision and strategic priorities for the Province; and
  3. To discuss how the Provincial and Local Government and municipalities can work together to achieve a common vision and shared priorities to maximise citizen impact.

Garden Route District Municipality launches the “World No Tobacco Day Campaign”

Councillors, management and staff of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in collaboration with other stakeholders, on Friday 31 May 2019, launched a World No Tobacco Day campaign in front of the GRDM head-office in George.

GRDM Executive Manager for Community Services, Mr Clive Africa, Portfolio Councillor for Community Services, Cllr Khayalethu Lose and Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, displaying educational messages at the start of the launch.

The launch took place in support of this worldwide initiative of which, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), focuses on “tobacco and lung health.” According to the WHO, the world-wide campaign increases awareness on the negative impact that tobacco has on the lung health of people, from cancer to chronic respiratory diseases and the fundamental role lungs play for the health, as well as overall well-being of all people. The campaign also serves as a call-to-action; the advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption; and to engage stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for a tobacco free world.

Environmental Health Practitioners (initiators of the event) from GRDM during the campaign at the Head-Office.

During his keynote address at the launch, Portfolio Councillor for Community Services, Cllr Khayalethu Lose, gave a brief history of the campaign and added that if indeed, 44 000 South Africans die annually from tobacco consumption, this is more reason why this day must be well commemorated, especially because it brings with it knowledge of harmful effects of tobacco use.  In pledging his support on behalf of the GRDM, he highlighted:  “Let us make this World No Tobacco Day more meaningful”.

The demonstration by the GRDM firefighters was short, but all staff and stakeholders were stunned by the idea of how rapidly a fire can start due to smoking inside a vehicle.

As part of the well-being of representatives, stakeholders such as the Cancer Association of South Africa and the Western Cape Department of Health exhibited health-related services in front of the head office between from 10:00 to 12:00, for staff to do health-related screening tests. While the activities were in progress, a burning minibus arrived at the venue, which caught fire due to smoking activities inside the vehicle. This caught the attention of the audience, when the GRDM firefighters had to contain the fire inside the vehicle.  Although this was merely an example of the dangers of fires inside a vehicle, it was indeed a much-needed demonstration to all staff present.

Nearly 100 staff members and stakeholders marched through the town of George to show their support for the World No Tobacco Day Campaign that is commemorated annually on May, the 31st.

Soon after the activities of the launch, GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners (initiators of the event) and stakeholders started with a “silent march” from York Street, through the town of George to display messages to educate the public about the health effects of tobacco consumption. One such message is:  “Quit before your time runs out”.

If all members of the community are willing to stay abreast of these short and powerful educational messages in their daily lives, then, according to Cllr Lose and all councillors, management and staff who attended the launch “together we can live in a tobacco-free world”.

Garden Route District Municipality Roads Department makes history

“The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has the biggest Roads function in the Western Cape”.  This was confirmed by GRDM Executive Manager for Roads Services, Mr John G Daniels at their main office in George on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.

According to Mr Daniels, there are many projects in store for the Roads Department over the current and next financial years. Since the Roads Department is an agency function of the Western Cape Government (WCG), its financial year stretches from the beginning of April to the end of March the following year. The current financial year, therefore, already started in April 2019.

Roads Services officials ready to work and excel.

The Roads Services budget

Mr Daniels confirmed his statement about the magnitude of the Department, when he said that the budget of the Roads Department amounts to over half a billion rand.  “This budget is inclusive of the Department’s yellow fleet that amounts to R386 million, which makes us the biggest Roads Department in the Western Cape,” Mr Daniels boasted. The WCG increased the roads services budget from R145 million, last year, to R160 million for this year.  The increase of R15 million could only have materialised due to the Department’s good record of expenditure and stable staff complement. “All these characteristics personify the Roads Services function and with everything necessary in place, we plan to spend R200 million again,” Mr Daniels said.

Projects in progress and to be implemented

One such project planned for the current and next financial years will be a R21 million project to be implemented in Slangrivier (Hessequa), which is foreseen to commence in August/September this year. Two other projects include the re-gravel and resealing of roads in the entire Garden Route district. The resealing will amount to R23 million and R17 million is budgeted for the re-gravelling project.  The road building project in Friemersheim near Mossel Bay, is envisaged to be completed by September 2019.  The R39 million project in Gwaiing (George) where the road is upgraded from gravel to tar, will be completed in the next financial year and will stretch over a period of 18 months.

Uplifting communities and making an impact

All these projects are labour intensive and with that in mind, Mr Daniels reiterated the importance of labour and the transfer of skills, when he said:  “These are our main priorities for our communities before we complete and leave the area.  Through our projects, we want to leave behind a skilled community and we plan to do the same for all our other projects”.

In explaining his statement, Mr Daniels added:  “When GRDM Roads Services complete our work at a site (roads and infrastructure), we also leave behind a community that is uplifted and skilled, due to the monitory value invested in that community for a period of two years”. He further added:  “We are not here only to deliver services, but we are also here to uplift the community from their social struggles, even if we only change 20 to 30% of their circumstances”. Adding to this, Mr Daniels clarified his statement by sketching the following scenario:  “If a little boy attends school and his dad is unemployed, the teacher might ask him what his dad does for a living and the boy might shy away. After GRDM Roads appoints the dad on a two year contract and the teacher asks the boy again what his dad does for a living, only then will the boy confidently and proudly raise from his chair, wearing new shoes and clothes and answer:  ‘My dad is a road builder!’. What this means, is that these new shoes and clothes were afforded by his dad who acquired a job at GRDM Roads – GRDM Roads indirectly supplied the boy with the new clothing. This will not only stay behind in the mind of the boy, but in the minds of the children of the community, and this is what we do – to uplift,” Mr Daniels highlighted.

Mr Daniels extended a word of appreciation to all the Roads staff by saying: “I thank each and every one of you for your commitment, endurance and work ethic. We made history by spending R200 million for the year!”

Weather Alert – Heavy Rain

A Severe Weather Alert was issued by the Cape Town Weather Office as follows:

Hazard: Heavy Rain

Alert Level: Watch
Valid From (SAST): 27/05/2019 – 16h00
Valid To (SAST): 27/05/2019 – 23h00

Area: Expected over the eastern mountainous regions of the Garden Route late afternoon today into the evening (Monday).

Description: Flooding / Heavy Rain

Flooding occurs when water overflows its normal channels such as streams and storm water drains. It can occur with prolonged period of rain, with continuous heavy falls or in the form of flash floods which are usually associated with severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain may also result in river flooding causing damage downstream to areas that may receive no rainfall at all during the flooding event.

Precautions: Flooding / Heavy Rain

  • If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles.
  • If trapped in flooding in a vehicle, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level.
  • Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building.
  • In rural areas protect/relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground. Abandon your home immediately if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water.
  • NEVER drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any incidents to the Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at: 044-805 5071

 

SUPPLIER OPEN DAY – HESSEQUA

NOTICE OF SUPPLIER OPEN DAY TO BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY 22 MAY 2019 AT THE THUSONG CENTRE IN RIVERSDALE

The Hessequa Municipality in collaboration with the Provincial Treasury and the Garden Route District Municipality is hosting a SUPPLIER OPEN DAY at Hessequa Municipality.

The aim of the Supplier Open Day is to invite prospective providers of goods and services to apply for listing as accredited prospective providers and to provide information on procurement opportunities. The aim is to provide information to emerging local suppliers through the District Municipality, Provincial Treasury and other role players such as SEDA and SARS. Local suppliers are hereby invited to attend the Open Day to promote and equip their business more successfully.

In-depth sessions will take place with the following commodities:
• Catering and Security Awareness
• Central Supplier Database / Western

Cape Supplier database registrations Supplier Open Day takes place on:
DATE: Wednesday, 22 May 2019
LOCATION: Thusong Centre, Van den Berg Street Riversdale
TIME: 08:00 -16: 00

Interested Service Providers within the Hessequa Region should contact the Hessequa Municipality Supply Chain Management Unit for any queries contact:

HESSEQUA MUNICIPALITY
Supply Chain Management
Contact Person: Ellouise Prins
Phone number: 028-7137986
Email: ellouise@hessequa.gov.za

Click here to download the Notice.