Category: <span>Community Services</span>

30 June 2021 Media Release:  “We are two weeks ahead of schedule” – upgrades at Calitzdorp Spa

Media Release:  “We are two weeks ahead of schedule” – upgrades at Calitzdorp Spa

For immediate release
30 June 2021

After almost a month of hard work, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) owned Calitzdorp Spa is gradually transforming into a new magical mountain retreat, reclaiming its rightful space in the magnificent mountain vistas of the Klein Karoo. Construction work, which was planned to be executed a number of phases, is currently well on track. “We are at least two weeks ahead of schedule,” Medron Bussack, Acting Manager for Calitzdorp Spa.

The roofs of the swimming pool chalets and mountain chalets have already been repaired. As of now, the reception area and main building’s roofs are being replaced with new steel-based, light roof thatch tiles. The contractors also replaced the roofs’ hip and ridge flashings with treated timber battens and related accessories. Amongst the work done has been a new face of the resorts Roman bath. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions of the Spa, the ‘mineral-rich hot spring bath’ is known for its healing and curative properties. The windows in the Roman bathing room were also replaced.

The next phases will commence as soon as funding becomes available in the new financial year, beginning on 1 July 2021.  These phases will mainly focus on more repairs and upgrades of the mountain chalets, as well as the ablution facilities at the four (4) camping sites and the four (4) pool lapas.

With the construction works currently underway, the GRDM wants to assure the public that the resort is still in full operation and looks forward to welcoming visitors to the resort!


28 January 2021 Media Release: GRDM delegation led by Executive Mayor visits Garden Route Food Pantry 

Media Release: GRDM delegation led by Executive Mayor visits Garden Route Food Pantry 

For immediate release
28 January 2021

Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Alderman Memory Booysen, and officials visited the Garden Route Food Pantry in George to view the progress made so far before the facility’s launch in February this year.

The Food Pantry is owned by the Non-Governmental Organisation, Eden Community Hope Outreach (ECHO), and is operated in collaboration with GRDM and local municipalities in the district with the purpose of alleviating hunger.

During the visit, Carl van Blerk, Managing Director of ECHO, spoke about the progress made so far and what has been achieved thus far. He said:  “We are working together with Government (Municipalities) and private sector companies and do this hand in hand.

Executive Mayor of GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen (middle) and Managing Director of the Garden Route Food Pantry, Carl van Blerk (left) with Clive Africa, GRDM Executive Manager for Community Services (right) during discussions at the Garden Route Food Pantry.
Executive Mayor of GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen (right), Managing Director of the Garden Route Food Pantry, Carl van Blerk (left) and Siphiwe Dladla, GRDM Chief of Staff in the Office of the Mayor (middle), during the visit.

“The idea is to get all local municipalities in the Garden Route involved in the Food Pantry to assist with the running cost of the facility”. He added that private sector businesses already donate essential food items to struggling communities through the NGO, while many other businesses also pledged their support to the initiative – discussions are ongoing with all those interested in bringing a positive change to people who need aid,” he added.

Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, said: “We have to lead by the example and this initiative is what we need for this district. It can only be successful if it is run in partnership will all businesses and community members,” he added.

Mayor Booysen highlighted: “This is the first joint initiative of its kind in the Western Cape, therefore we will prove to everyone that this type of strategic partnership is not only important, but much needed to restore the well-being of our friends, families and neighbours. Through this initiative, we hope that other municipalities throughout South Africa will duplicate our approach to assist struggling communities,” Booysen concluded.

The Garden Route District Municipal Council in May 2020 resolved that an investigation needed to be conducted into the joint initiative of a district foodbank. Following meetings with relevant stakeholders in the district, it was resolved that one strategy for the District should be formulated, with clear objectives and targets to address poverty and hunger within the Garden Route district.  Due to the urgency of the current situation, exacerbated by the knock-on effects of the current Covid-19 pandemic,  the Eden Lions Club secured funding for the establishment of a District Food Pantry. In September last year, the GRDM Council indicated their interest in joining the initiative and made a decision to share the operational costs with all local municipalities in the Garden Route. However, according to Clive Africa, GRDM Executive Manager for Community Services who was also present during the visit, the National Covid-19 fund will stop by the end of January, which will have a negative impact on food security within the Garden Route district.

Planning to get the facility ready for the launch are now underway, while engagements with local municipalities not yet forming part of the initiative, continue. The private sector businesses in the Garden Route involved is one of the cornerstones of this initiative and will ensure the successful roll-out of it in the fight against hunger within the district.

Feature Photo:  The GRDM delegation with the Garden Route Food Pantry team in front of the Kevin van Niekerk mural, depicting the entire Garden Route inside the Food Pantry.


Media Release: COVID-19 braille guidelines distributed to public

Media Release: COVID-19 braille guidelines distributed to public

For Immediate Release
26 March 2020

Earlier today, 26 March 2020, a call-to-action was communicated to the public to notify Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), should anyone require a COVID-19 Braille Guideline document. Mr Carl de Campos, a SQL Database Administrator from George, was the first to request one. Just over an hour after the request, Mr Deon Van Wyk (GRDM Deputy Fire Chief), delivered the document to de Campos at his home. Upon receiving the document, de Campos said: “I’d like to thank Garden Route District Municipality for organising this guideline and thinking of the blind, I sincerely appreciate it”. Mr de Campos also shared details of other people in the district who needs the COVID-19 guidelines.

Deliveries of those guidelines will take place today or tomorrow by Essential Workers.
Mr Clive Africa (GRDM Executive Manager: Community Services), is currently on his way to Knysna to deliver another copy of the guideline to a person whose son is visually impaired.

Mr Carl de Campos receives his COVID-19 Braille guideline document.


The document, includes the following content:

Overview of the disease

Infectious Agent; Clinical Description; Reservoirs; Incubation Period; Mode of Transmission; Signs and Symptoms

Case Definitions

Suspected Case;Confirmed Case

Prevention and Control

Precautionary measures to general public; Advise all contacts & home care; When and how to wash our hands; Washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself and your family against diseases and/or illnesses; Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way; Guideline for cleaning and disinfection in your home; Points to Remember.


Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality