Category: Achievements

Wilderness beach awarded “Pilot Blue Flag” certification

The Garden Routers, more specifically residents of the George municipal area, can be proud of their beach in Wilderness after the beach was awarded a certificate as “Pilot Blue Flag Beach” for this year 2018/2019. Executive Mayor of George, Cllr Melvin Naik, proudly hoisted the Wilderness Pilot Blue Flag on 3 December 2018, during an official ceremony in celebration of this prestigious symbol of quality.

GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, Cllr Khayalethu Lose (left), and Executive Mayor of George, Cllr Melvin Naik (right), after the flag has been hoisted.

“Blue Flag’ recognition is regarded by the World Tourism Organisation as the most well-known international eco-label and gives local and foreign visitors the assurance that beaches are clean, environmentally sound and adhere to international safety, as well as other tourism standards. The voluntary eco-label is given to beaches that meet strict criteria, spanning four aspects of coastal management:

  • water quality;
  • environmental education and information;
  • environmental management; and
  • safety and services.

Furthermore it includes excellent life-saving standards, top-rate parking, facilities for the disabled as well as sparkling ablution facilities. A “Blue Flag” status will ensure that the Wilderness beach achieves effective coastal management and improved service delivery through tourism-generated job creation, education and development opportunities.

Portfolio Chairperson of Community Services at GRDM, Cllr Khayalethu Lose, addressed all stakeholders soon after the “Pilot Blue Flag” was hoisted.

In his keynote address Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services at Garden Route District Municipality, Cllr Khayalethu Lose, said:  “One of the ways in which we are working hard to improve the overall quality of our beaches, is by achieving the standards required for the “Blue Flag” eco-label. Striving to achieve this status will also provides us with an added incentive for the safeguarding of the environment of our beaches and for the safety of all those who make use of them.” Cllr Lose continued by saying that he is confident that the beach can achieve the full Blue Flag status, however, “all relevant organisations and officials must work together to make a success of it.  This would require commitment to the environmental sustainability and to further raise the quality of services at the Wilderness beach”.

Mr Clive Africa, Executive Manager for Community Services at GRDM, extended a word of appreciation to all stakeholders who contributed to this achievement and that he looks forward to the continued support from all parties to ensure that the next level as full “Blue Flag” status for the beach, is accomplished.

From left are: Mr Johan Compion (GRDM), Ms Nina Viljoen (GRDM), Mr Clive Africa (GRDM), Cllr Khayalethu Lose (GRDM), Executive Mayor Melvin Naik (George Municipality), Deputy Mayor Charlotte Clarke (George Municipality), Mr Neels Barnard (George Municipality), Mr Walter Hendrikz (George Municipality), Mr Radie Loubser (George Municipality) and Mr Jonathan Britton (SANParks).

Wilderness beach was awarded the full “Blue Flag” status during the 2016/17 season, and with the commitment and true dedication of all the stakeholders, including the Garden Route District Municipality, George Municipality, the South African National Parks (SANParks), the Salinas Restaurant, and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), as well as members of the  community and visiting tourists, it is possible for the beach to again achieve full “Blue Flag” status for the coming season.

What does a Pilot Blue Flag Beach certification mean?

A pilot Blue Flag beach status is proof to the World Tourism Organisation that the beach is striving towards the highest quality of service, and if achieved, the beach will be awarded full “Blue Flag” status for the next 2019/20 season. Some of the strict standards to comply with is the water quality of the swimming area, which is monitored by the Garden Route District Municipality’s environmental health practitioners. All the authorities and stakeholders are committed to stand together to ensure that the strict Blue Flag standards are achieved in order to once again have a full “Blue Flag” status beach next year.

Eden DM Firefighting Team ready to participate in the 2018 Toughest Firefighter Alive Competition

The Firefighting team of Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) is currently participating in the “South Africa’s Toughest Firefighter Alive (TFA-SA)” competition held at the Roeland Street Fire Station in Cape Town from 10 to 12 August 2018.

The team is registered to participate in all “Individual” categories as well as the “Relay Team Category”. Team members Messrs Emile Conrad, Deon Stoffels, Edwin Lottering, Branville Abrahams and Martino-Mariano Jacobs, as well as team leader Ms Khutula Maki, are representing the Eden district at the event.

The Eden DM Firefighting team is well known for their outstanding performances in the competition since 2011. Especially Senior Firefighter Emile Conrad, who has won gold in the open division at the first participating competition. In this competition the Eden team walked away with four medals.  Over the last seven years, the team excelled and brought back more accolades, as well as more commitment and endurance. Ever since, Emile Conrad continued to make the Eden district proud by maintaining his title as “Toughest Firefighter Alive” and the team members continued to excel in the Individual and Relay challenges over these years.

The event officially kicked-off with the Meet-and-Greet Session and Team Orientation today and will follow with the challenges on Saturday, 11 August 2018 from 9h00 until 18h00.

Good luck to Eden DM Firefighting team. Continue to make the Eden district proud!

Executive Mayor of Eden District Municipality launches the Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018 celebration

“Be the Legacy”

Today, the Executive Mayor of Eden District Municipality (Eden DM), Cllr Memory Booysen, launched the “100 years Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018” celebrations with its National theme “Be the Legacy,” at the Municipality’s Head-Office in George.

After the official launch, Mayor Booysen will be heading to Oudtshoorn Municipality to continue with the a joint programme with Executive Mayor of Oudtshoorn Municipality, Cllr Colan Sylvester.

Officials based at Eden DM sub-offices will take part in various initiatives within the entire district throughout the day.

Eden DM nominated as one of the top 5 finalist for Eco Logic Biodiversity Awards

This year, Eden DM was one of the top 5 finalists for the prestigious Eco-Logic Biodiversity Award. The municipality has received a Certificate of Merit for its Local Action for Biodiversity: Wetlands South Africa (LAB: Wetlands SA) Project.  The award ceremony took place on 5 June 2018, World Environment Day, in Tshwane. The LAB: Wetlands SA project aims to protect wetlands in the Eden District and ensures that these valuable assets provide critical services such as flood attenuation, water storage and water purification, whilst increasing the municipality’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, preventing natural disasters, and preserving vital habitat for local flora and fauna.

The ICLEI’s LAB: Wetlands South Africa Project contributed significantly to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and served as an inspirational and practical example for others. The project continually enhances the awareness of wetlands as well as the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision-making. It has improved the capacity of district municipalities to prioritise and effectively manage wetlands and biodiversity. The Eden DM has fully supported and benefitted from this project. Its participation within the project, highlighted the challenges experienced with wetland management within the district, which resulted in the development of two essential documents – the Eden District Wetlands Report and the Eden District Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan. These documents were co-developed by both ICLEI and Eden DM as part of the LAB project. The Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan provide for key implementation strategies within the district as well as its incorporation within the Eden DM Spatial Development Framework and Integrated Development Plans. This will facilitate dynamic and focused wetland management and protection initiatives within the district.

Other nominated finalists for the coveted Biodiversity Award included the ‘Bearded Vulture Breeding Programme’, the ‘Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project’, the ‘Cape Town Environmental Education Trust – Nature Care Fund’ and the ‘Lifescanner Lab-In-A-Box’ project.

“The Eco-Logic Awards provide recognition for the best eco-champions of South Africa,” says David Parry-Davies, publisher of Enviropaedia and founder of the Eco-Logic Awards.

The Eden District Wetlands Report can be download from the ICLEI website: www.cbc.iclei.org

Eden DM Firefighters wins another challenge

International Firefighters Day was internationally celebrated on 4 May 2018 and celebrations continued in George on 5 May. Countless brave firefighting men and women have been committing their lives and will continue to commit their lives to protect humans, infrastructure, pets and wildlife etc.

After Team Eden DM Won the challenge, from left to right, are: Mr Clive Africa (Eden DM Executive Manager, Community Services), Mr Freddy Thaver (Eden DM Chief Firefighter), Cllr Memory Booysen (Eden DM Executive Mayor), Mr Emile Conrad (Eden DM Senior Firefighter), Mr David van Niekerk (Senior Firefighter) and Mr Deon Stoffels (Eden DM Senior Firefighter).

Eden District Municipality(Eden DM) formed part of the International Firefighter Day celebrations in George, which was arranged by George Municipality and sponsored by Oakhurst Insurance.

On 5 May 2018, Eden DM Firefighters participated in a Potjiekos competition and a Firefighter Team Challenge at Garden Route Mall. Two teams from Eden DM excelled during the Team Challenge where 11 teams competed.

Our Eden DM Firefighters won 1st place, while the other Eden DM team achieved the 5th position. WE WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE all our brave Firefighters for their excellence and perseverance.

Eden DM is notorious for being the best at firefighting in South Africa because the municipality’s firefighters have won the Toughest Firefighter Alive Competition and Relay Team divisions for a few years in a row.

Watch a video produced by the George Herald about the challenge here: https://youtu.be/gQ950Y-DGhU

Pictures were captured by George Municipality and one by the George Herald.

Eden DM Municipal Manager elected as the President of ILGM

Mr Monde Stratu, Eden DM Municipal Manager, was elected as the President of the Institute for Local Government Management of South Africa (ILGM), on 16 November 2017. Currently, there are nearly 300 Municipal Managers in South Africa (Local, district and metros combined).  ILGM is a platform where the Municipal Managers (Section 56 and 57) come together at an annual conference to share best practices in terms of service delivery models and how to deal with various factors relating to the changing political landscape in South Africa.

Proud political leaders from Eden District Municipality with Mr Monde Stratu (seated), who has been elected as the President of the ILGM, South Africa. Standing from left to right behind Mr Stratu is Cllr Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, Deputy Executive Mayor and Cllr Mark Willemse, Speaker.

During a Special Council meeting today, 20 November 2017, Speaker Mark Willemse congratulated Mr Stratu on his election as the president of ILGM and said that it is a remarkable achievement which he has reached in such a short time of being a Municipal Manager at Eden DM.

Cllr Memory Booysen, Eden DM Executive Mayor commented that: “It is a major achievement and privilege for Eden District Municipality to be home to a Municipal Manager who wears the crown as the President of an institution that represents many of the Municipal Managers in South Africa. We are very proud of Mr Stratu.”

While Mr Stratu leads the ILGM, his main goal is to see that the sector is professionalised through an act of parliament. Some of his other goals for the ILGM include:
•    An increase of ILGM memberships;
•    More beneficial programmes;
•    Continuous capacity building;
•    Life-long learning through strategic partnerships; and
•    Constant improvement of conditions of service for Senior Managers.

Eden DM Councillors stand by Mr Monde Stratu (front row, 5th from left) after congratulating him on his election as the President of the ILGM South Africa.