Category: Council

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


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.

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.”

Council Meeting: 27 August 2019

Notice of a council meeting on 27 August 2019 at 12:00

Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 19 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) that a Council meeting of the Garden Route District Municipality is scheduled for Tuesday, 27 August at 12:00 in the CA Robertson Council Chamber, Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George.

MG Stratu
Municipal Manager
54 York Street
P.O. Box 12

Special Council Meeting: 23 August 2019

Notice of a special council meeting on 23 August 2019 at 11:00

Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 19 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) that a Special Council meeting of the Garden Route District Municipality is scheduled for Friday, 23 August at 10:00 in the CA Robertson Council Chamber, Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George.

MG Stratu
Municipal Manager
54 York Street
P.O. Box 12
Notice number 96/2019

Both parties in agreement when electing New Speaker

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is delighted to announce that the Acting Speaker, Cllr Barend (Barnie) Groenewald was unanimously elected as the new Speaker during a Council meeting held on 27 June 2019.
The position became vacant following the recent resignation of Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies as Speaker of Council and her inauguration as a member of the National Assembly.
Cllr Barnie Groenewald previously acted in the position of Speaker before the appointment of Cllr Bouw-Spies and was once again re-elected as Acting Speaker during a Council meeting on 28 May 2019.
Cllr Ivan Mangaliso, spokesperson of the ANC, during the Council meeting, congratulated the newly elected Speaker on his appointment and emphasised that his party regards Groenewald fit for the position and believe that he will bring and keep the ‘house’ in order.
GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, referred to the occurrence where both sides of the house nominated and agreed in placing their trust in Cllr Groenewald, as an unusual event. “Our side of the ‘house’ welcome you as the new Speaker; we acknowledge your competence and the manner in which you have managed the house in the past. We believe that you will take us to higher levels,” Mayor Booysen said.
The leader of the PBI (Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners), Cllr Virgil Gericke, commented by congratulating Cllr Groenewald and advised him to “always act just and fair, and try to look for the right thing to do”.
During his first address, Speaker Groenewald said: “I would like to thank you for the opportunity. I will serve my Councillors diligently and continue to stay humble. My objective is to make you all happy councillors, to remove your frustrations and assist you where I can,” Speaker Groenewald added.
He concluded by saying that he will always allow his Christian principles and the following words to guide him in performing his work: “In everything you think, say or do, ask yourself – is this true, is it fair for concern, will it build better friendships and understanding, and lastly, will it be of benefit to all”.