Author: Marillia Veldkornet

GRDM Disaster Management and Municipal Health officials celebrated Mandela Day on 19 July

Officials from the GRDM Disaster Management Section on George, on 19 July 2019, visited the Heuwel Day Care facility and Reȅnboog Creche in Calitzdorp respectively. On their arrival at each facility, the team extended a word of gratitude to the caretakers for allowing them the visit to the crèche.

They also shared a word of motivation to all the toddlers, to look well after themselves and work very hard in life to be able to reach their dreams. After the formal part of the visit, the team treated the toddlers with warm soup and bread and donated nappies to the crèche.

George Municipal Health officials reach out to Lancewood Primary School learners

The Environmental health Practitioners from the George office (Wilderness region) celebrated Mandela Day on 19 July 2019 at Lancewood Primary School. Lancewood Primary school is one of our local rural schools in George, and has a total number of 66 children.

Prior to the visit on the 19th, the team conducted a needs assessment to determine the needs of the learners.  During their visit on the 19th the team surprised the school and learners with: netball balls, soccer balls, a rugby ball, made and galvanized netball poles; sanitary towels; assorted color chalks and chalk board dusters; covered and painted cable drums to recycle as dining tables and two (2) outside dining tables that were made from recycled materials.

During the visit the Breede Gouritz Catchment Agency donated puzzles, board games, recyclable water bottles and lunch boxes to the learners and Mortgage Max Sonet Calitz handed out food parcels and stationary.

The event was organised in collaboration with the GRDM Maintenance Team, Mortgage Max Sonet Calitz, as well as the Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency and it was indeed a great success.

Garden Route District Municipality and stakeholders celebrate Mandela Day

As the Mandela Day celebrations are still in progress throughout the world today, 18 July 2019, the respective departments of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) used their 67 minutes to celebrate the life of former and the late President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, throughout the entire Garden Route district.  The aim of this year’s initiatives was to put smiles on the faces of the most vulnerable, but more importantly – the faces of youngsters affected by tough living conditions.  Here are some of the special moments captured during these events today:

George Herald annual Sandwich Jam

The first initiative of the day started with the GRDM Mayoral Committee members and officials who participated in the eighth annual Sandwich Jam of the local media house, George Herald. For this year’s initiative, George Herald’s goal was to prepare 10 000 sandwiches in 67 minutes, however to their surprise, they reached their target in 53 minutes! During the event, all participants prepared sandwiches for identified areas and members of the community.  The event took place at the George Herald premises in Ring Road, George. “We hope that the beneficiaries who include: St Paul’s Primary School, Life Community Services, ACVV, Conville Clinic, George Hospital, Child Welfare, Badisa, Eden Lions, Seven Passes Initiative, Touwsranten, George Night Shelter, New Dawn Park Primary School, Pacaltsdorp Clinic and Mzoxolo Primary School enjoyed the sandwiches, prepared straight from our hearts,” Ms Shandré Abrahams, GRDM Wellness Officer said.

Ethembeni Day Care Centre for Disabled Children

Still, in George, the GRDM officials from the Human Resources Section visited a non-governmental organisation, Ethembeni Day Care Centre for Disabled Children, in Thembalethu.  Each official within the Section contributed funds and donated toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, facecloths and soap, as well as a snack bag for each child at the Centre. Leaving each child with a smile and a happy heart was purely what the team intended to achieve. A total of 17 children benefited from this initiative.

Karmenaadjie Crèche in Oudtshoorn

The GRDM Municipal Health Section in Oudtshoorn visited the Karmenaadjie Crèche in Buffelsdrift. On their arrival, they provided soup and bread rolls to each toddler.  Approximately 51 children and educators enjoyed the warm, tasty soup and bread rolls that were prepared specifically for them.  In closing the visit, the principal of the Crèche expressed her sincere appreciation towards the GRDM team for the gesture, but most of all for caring for the children and their educators, as well as the community. Members of the Buffelsdrift community and the educators also welcomed the initiative.

More initiatives to follow

More activities in celebration of Mandela Day are envisaged to take place, such as a collaborative school visit by the GRDM Municipal Health teams of Knysna and George to the Lancewood Primary School in Woodville is also expected to take place on Friday, 19 July 2019 and a visit to a school in Calitzdorp by the Disaster Management and Fire Services officials.

While all activities are coming to a close, us as residents of the Garden Route should always strive towards changing the living conditions of the community for the better by how we think, act and respond. “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Severe Weather Alert – High Seas

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following high sea alert:

HAZARD: High Seas – Wave heights between 6.0m to 7.0m
ALERT LEVEL: Warning
VALID FROM (SAST): 19/07/19 00h00 (tomorrow) 
VALID TO (SAST): 19/07/19 23h00 (tomorrow)
AREA: Between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay

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.

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