Category: Council

Speech by Mayor Booysen at an Ordinary Council Meeting of Garden Route DM

Thank you Alderman Speaker and once again, good morning to all Councillors present, those in Council Chambers and those who are working from home.

Alderman Speaker, in my culture they say that one builds a relationship by giving a handshake to another or by having eye-to-eye contact. I am now making eye contact with Councillor Wilbert Harris. I would like to relay to him that he is warmly welcomed as a member of our council. We have worked together on other platforms and are not strangers to one another, hence I will relay as Councillor Gericke did, when he congratulated our new Alderladies – let’s continue to do what we are elected to do. I am convinced that you will be able to efficiently do what you were elected to do.

Alderman Speaker, I must remind the people of the Garden Route that we are taking a lot of strain under COVID-19. Our region is still a hotspot and now one of the fastest growing in terms of rising active cases. This has been calculated in terms of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 in our area. We unfortunately keep peaking on a daily basis.

Once again, my plea to Garden Routers is to please abide by what we have been asked to do. We must wear our masks when we go out in public, we must wash our hands frequently for 20 seconds or longer, we must exercise social distancing, and we must look after ourselves when making use of public transport. It is in every individual’s hands to collectively beat this virus together

Alderman Speaker, you did allude to some of our own colleagues who are infected, some are Councillors too. Our prayers are with them and we support them in everything they do. We hope and pray that those in quarantine do not become infectious.

Alderman Speaker, also on another sad note, there was a horrible accident in Plettenberg Bay over the past weekend and I am not going to mention names, because I was not given permission to do so. What I can say is that the lady who died was a personal assistant of mine when I was Mayor for Bitou Municipality. My heartfelt condolences go out to the friends, family and colleagues of the deceased. On behalf of the Garden Route District Municipality, our prayers go out to them – may the Lord give them strength over this time.

Alderman Speaker, we also buried our former Integrated Development Manager the past weekend in Molteno, one of the last items he prepared for today’s meeting. I want to say that those of us who had been to Mr Cekiso’s funeral followed all necessary protocols and safety measures on the day. We did not even get out of our vehicles at the cemetery or anything. Apart from us being sanitised our clothes and the area around us were disinfected.

Thank you Alderman Speaker.

Alderlady status conferred upon two (2) additional Councillors of the Garden Route District Municipality

News Release
For Immediate Release
27 July 2020
Two new Alderladies for Garden Route District Municipality

Alderlady status conferred upon two (2) additional Councillors of the Garden Route District Municipality. They include Alderladies Jennifer Harnick & Iona Kritzinger.

The bestowment of Alderman or Alderlady statuses occurs upon the commencement of a councillor’s term as Executive Mayor, Executive Deputy Mayor or Speaker of Council. Furthermore, any Councillor who obtains a minimum of ten (10) points on the following scale, also qualifies for the conferment: One (1) point for every year of service as a Councillor at one or more municipalities and it need not be continuous; and one (1) additional point for every year of service as a member of the Mayoral Committee.

Aldermen/Alderladies also receive the following privileges:

  • provision of a special parking space in the municipal parking area on prior arrangement;
  • provision of agendas even after retirement in electronic format if so required;
  • Alderman/Alderlady is kept on municipal invitation lists; and
  • reserving of special seats at Council Meetings should a member so wish; issuing of an Honorary certificate.

Speech by Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen – 30 June 2020 Garden Route DM Council Meeting

Thank you very much for this opportunity.  I’m going to firstly deal with what we are busy with on a daily basis, which is known as the COVID-19 pandemic.  We’re reaching our peak as the Garden Route District.  We must do what we’ve been asked to do – to keep our social distance, to wear masks in public, and now parents in our region also need to face the fact that within a week schools will open for more learners. This means that there might be an increase in COVID-19 infection rates, but rest assured,  schools have put the required measures in place to ensure the safety of learners.

We’re also aware that some of us have lost loved ones – our heartfelt condolences go out to all those affected.  Also, the economy and the lockdown regulations have unfortunately had an impact on the economy.  We appreciate that the economy has been opened a little bit.  But, in our case, we’re disappointed that the George Airport has not been given the thumbs-up to become fully operational.  A lot of people from Johannesburg commute here on a weekly basis, and some businesses transport goods here too.  That National Government, however, did not give the go-ahead for the George Airport to be opened to ensure that our economy gets back on its feet again.  This is unfortunate whilst we deal with COVID-19.

Another pressing matter is gender-based violence which continues to plague our people on a daily basis.  We, as men, really need to occupy our rightful place to protect our women and children.  The Garden Route District Men’s Parliament is back in full swing to deal with the issues at hand.  Also want to say thank you to “Love George” – also on board to deal with this matter and with many other humanitarian matters.  We’ve also had discussions with Love George and requested that they spread its wings to assist the entire Garden Route and perhaps rename themselves to “Love Garden Route”.

Thank you.

News Release: Alderman/Alderlady status conferred upon seven (7) Councillors of the Garden Route District Municipality

News Release
For Immediate Release
30 June 2020

Municipal Honours was bestowed on seven (7) Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Councillors, who are now officially recognised as Alderman Memory Booysen (Executive Mayor), Alderman Barend Groenewald (Speaker), Alderlady Rosina Ruiters (Deputy Executive Mayor), Alderman Stephen De Vries, Alderlady Georlene Wolmarans, Alderman Virgil Gericke and Alderman Pieter Van Der Hoven.

This was the number of Councillors who met the minimum criteria of 10 points as set out in section 5(10)(a) of a GRDM policy approved by Council on 27 May 2020. The conferment ceremony took place at a council meeting today, 30 June 2020 in view of the GRDM Council – some at the Council Chambers, others via Zoom.

The bestowment of Alderman or Alderlady statuses occurs upon the commencement of a councillor’s term as Executive Mayor, Executive Deputy Mayor or Speaker of Council. Furthermore, any Councillor who obtains a minimum of ten (10) points on the following scale, also qualifies for the conferment: One (1) point for every year of service as a Councillor at one or more municipalities and it need not be continuous; and one (1) additional point for every year of service as a member of the Mayoral Committee.

Aldermen/Alderladies also receive the following privileges:

  • provision of a special parking space in the municipal parking area on prior arrangement;
  • provision of agendas even after retirement in electronic format if so required;
  • Alderman/Alderlady is kept on municipal invitation lists; and
  • reserving of special seats at Council Meetings should a member so wish; issuing of an Honorary certificate.

The conferment of Councillors to Alderman or Alderlady has not happened at GRDM over the past 10 years, which is a highlight for the 2016/2021 term of Council.

Feature image caption: Executive Mayor Memory Booysen (left) receives his certificate confirming his conferment of Alderman status by Speaker Barend Groenewald (right).

Speech by Mayor Booysen at the 21st Council Meeting of Garden Route DM

COMMUNICATIONS BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR, CLLR MEMORY BOOYSEN, DURING THE 21ST COUNCIL MEETING OF GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY HELD ON 25 MARCH 2020 IN GEORGE

Councillor Justin Fry, I would like to officially welcome you to the same colour t-shirts we’re wearing in the Garden Route, because for the unprecedented scenarios we face, we have to operate accordingly as well. We are facing “business unusual”. I’m specifically referring to COVID-19.

When a person loses a family member, we say Angel Gabriel visited his or her family. Angel Gabriel also visited the Garden Route District Municipality when Councillor Nomhiki Jacobs. Not only did I lose her as a friend, but a sister as well. She was one of the first people who befriended me and thereafter we became public representatives. At one stage, we briefly parted ways due to different political ideologies and here at Garden Route District Municipality, we grew closer again. We have both always wanted to fight for the people of Plettenberg Bay. She passed away whilst fighting for the community of Plettenberg Bay.

LOCKDOWN
Because of the lock-down, we have also had to take drastic measures. I would like to official communicate to Council that we will adhere to the call of the President, Cyril Ramaphosa. Our municipality closes today and we do have the tools of trade to work from home. We also have the technology because we have teleconference and videoconferencing facilities available in all our Committee Rooms.

One of the most important tools to fight the virus with, is through clear communication. Because of the digital divide and many other circumstances, some of us are disadvantaged. In light of this, Garden Route District Municipality has made provision for the visually impaired by preparing a Braille document about COVID-19. We will distribute the Braille document to those who need it. I want to make it clear – we will do whatever we can to fight the virus.

Thank you, in advance, to all the essential workers who keep us informed wherever there risks are. For most citizens, the immediate reaction is to run away from danger, but essential workers run towards it. I urge essential workers to always keep in mind that their safety is of utmost importance, especially when looking at this virus which has caused a pandemic. The only way to deal with it is to abide to the rules. The same is expected from us as Councillors and officials. We cannot predict how the lock-down will unfold.

Also, for those who will not be called during this testing and trying time, please be safe, isolate yourself. See this as an opportunity to bond with your family. I will encourage all of us, where we can, to remain in isolation. Only in unusual circumstances, we’ll go out and assist.

Finally, I would also like to say to the family of the late Cllr Jacobs that, again, unfortunately, the majority of us would have loved to be at her funeral, but unfortunately because of the lock-down. Councillor Meyer, please also accept my condolences to your loss of one of your family members.

Thank you Mr Speaker.

GRDM Council remembers Cllr Nomhiki Jacobs as passionate public representative

It is with great sadness that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) was informed about the passing of Councillor Nomhiki Jacob on 18 March 2020.

Councillor Jacob was an African National Congress (ANC) Councillor at Bitou Municipality. She also served on the GRDM Council since 2016 and as a member of the GRDM Strategic Services Portfolio Committee during this time.

While describing her as a humble human being and team player, the Council of GRDM have to say goodbye to a team player who made an impactful contribution in making a difference in the lives of many.

Speaker of GRDM, Cllr Barnie Groenewald (Democratic Alliance) said he will remember her as the sweetest, kindest and warm person. He further described her as a “disciplined councillor who always presented herself in a professional and neat manner – always stylishly dressed”. Speaker Groenewald continued:  “I will, and we as Council, will surely miss her and her presence in our Council meetings.  Cllr Virgill Gericke (Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners) referred to the late Councillor as a person with a humble spirit. He said: “It was indeed a pleasure to work with her and to be in the presence of such a humble human being.  I remember her as team player who always did her part to ensure that the work got done”.  Cllr Teresa Fortuin (Indepent Civic Organisation of South Africa) expressed her sincere sadness for the loss of her ‘neighbour’. “Her place was next to me in Council. I never heard her complain about anything. Only in the last few months I could see she was unwell to a point when she told me that she was not well”.  She added: “Through all these years up until the last few months she gave her all and worked hard to serve the community she loved so dearly”.

When talking about Cllr Jacob as people’s person, Cllr Piet Van der Hoven (ANC) said:  “She was a committed councillor, however in the last six months she faced some health challenges, but she continued to do what was expected from her and did it with the utmost passion.   Although we were not fully aware what she went through, in retrospect, her contribution and efforts were even more appreciated and valued.”

Executive Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Memory Booysen, specifically remembers her love for the communities she served, especially the Kwanokuthula community. “I knew the late Councillor Jacob long before we became public representatives”.  He added:  “We were together in community politics and she took me as a brother during that period. We would frequently discuss community issues at her house.  When we both started to serve as Councillors we still maintained a good working relationship”. When describing the time they both started to serve on the Council of GRDM, Mayor Booysen stated:  “Although our ideology changed politically along the way, we continued with our good and professional working relationship. We never allowed our different ideologies to stand in our way.

In conclusion Mayor Booysen said:  “Councillor Jacobs’ passing is a great loss to her family, as well as to GRDM, Bitou and the community of Kwanokuthula which she passionately served”.

The GRDM Council, Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu and the employees of GRDM hereby wish to extend their heartfelt condolences to the Jacobs family and friends of Cllr Nomhiki Jacob. “We wish them sufficient strength to get through this difficult period in their lives – may her soul rest in peace.”