Category: <span>Executive Mayor</span>

21 December 2021 Media Release: AVBOB George donated R31 500 to GRDM

Media Release: AVBOB George donated R31 500 to GRDM

21 December 2021

For Immediate Release

Today, 21 December 2021, AVBOB George branch donated R31 500 to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) for humanitarian purposes. The GRDM will donate this money to SA Harvest  (previously known as Garden Route Food Pantry), the GRDM’s partner that promotes food safety and security in the Garden Route. AVBOB also donated 5000 x 1ℓ distilled water were also donated.

The handover ceremony was attended by the Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen, Cllr Gert van Niekerk (GRDM Deputy Executive Mayor), Deon Stoffels, (GRDM) Acting Fire Chief, Chris Botha (AVBOB Area Manager, South Cape: George) and Julian Hendricks (AVBOB District Manager).

Alderman Booysen thanked AVBOB for their generous donation and ongoing support during a brief informal gathering. AVBOB also donated R500 000.00 during 2018 to a disaster fund of the GRDM to assist those who suffered losses during wildfires. “Today, we witnessed a continuation of a relationship that started even before 2018, and this also demonstrates that big things can happen when the public sector is trusted,” Booysen said.  He further explained that the water received will also be used “during incidents where residents lost their homes or when portions of towns in the district are without water”.

Deputy Executive Mayor van Niekerk also extended a word of gratitude to the management of AVBOB and said, “As we observe the impact the covid-19 pandemic had on the economy in our district, which resulted in unemployment and poverty, we are genuinely grateful towards AVBOB for this donation. I can assure you that this donation will help our municipality’s efforts to promote food security in the Garden Route”.

With Christmas only four (4) days away, GRDM embraces the holiday spirit of giving and helping others in need through strategically partnering with companies to support vulnerable communities.

15 December 2021 Media Release: WELCOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE GARDEN ROUTE

15 December 2021

WELCOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE GARDEN ROUTE

This is our second year of living through an unprecedented time. However, as Garden Routers, I continue to believe that we will bounce back from this situation as we are a resilient district.

South Africa, including the Garden Route District’s Tourism Sector, remains the backbone of our country’s economy; this is why we need people to visit us from all over the world. Support of our regional tourism sector is imperative because it advances prosperity, drives inclusive and sustainable development.

Last year, I also encouraged you to seek the little adventures the Garden Route offers, indulge yourself, take a break, and support our businesses. This year, my plea is the same. Please support our local businesses. Explore the region and the many tourist activities that are right on your doorstep; in turn, you will be contributing to the growth of the tourism sector. We depend on tourism for jobs and livelihoods. Thank you to the businesses that remain conscious of the current economic climate and provide budget-friendly tourism packages. This clever approach will attract more visitors to our region.

Before visiting us or when you arrive here, you will be able to find a myriad of activities to do in our region. A few that come to mind, include iconic sightseeing spots, fun-filled days and unmissable events, in particular this December. To see what I am talking about, visit our regional tourism website, https://buff.ly/3o7Tqtx.

While enjoying your time with us, you have to exercise caution and be tolerant while travelling. Please obey speed limits; road rules; do not text or call while driving; do not drink and drive, and always wear a seatbelt. Save our 24/7 emergency call centre number if you find yourself in a troubling situation – 044 805 5071. As we head into the festive season we’d like to keep the Covid-19 infection rates low, so please, adhere to the Covid- 19 protocols and regulations. Remember to wear your mask, wash your hands, sanitize, avoid large crowds, and keep your social distance – hang outside with friends and family!.

Thank you for all the efforts to keep safe and move forward. See you in the Garden Route!

Alderman Memory Booysen

Executive Mayor

Garden Route District Municipality

02 December 2021 Media Release: WELCOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE GARDEN ROUTE

2 December 2021

WELCOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE GARDEN ROUTE

This is our second year of living through an unprecedented time. However, as Garden Routers, I continue to believe that we will bounce back from this situation as we are a resilient district.

South Africa, including the Garden Route District’s Tourism Sector, remains the backbone of our country’s economy; this is why we need people to visit us from all over the world. Support of our regional tourism sector is imperative because it advances prosperity, drives inclusive and sustainable development.

Last year, I also encouraged you to seek the little adventures the Garden Route offers, indulge yourself, take a break, and support our businesses. This year, my plea is the same. Please support our local businesses. Explore the region and the many tourist activities that are right on your doorstep; in turn, you will be contributing to the growth of the tourism sector. We depend on tourism for jobs and livelihoods. Thank you to the businesses that remain conscious of the current economic climate and provide budget-friendly tourism packages. This clever approach will attract more visitors to our region.

Before visiting us or when you arrive here, you will be able to find a myriad of activities to do in our region. A few that come to mind, include iconic sightseeing spots, fun-filled days and unmissable events, in particular this December. To see what I am talking about, visit our regional tourism website, www.visitgardenrouteandkleinkaroo.com.

While enjoying your time with us, you have to exercise caution and be tolerant while travelling. Please obey speed limits; road rules; do not text or call while driving; do not drink and drive, and always wear a seatbelt. Save our 24/7 emergency call centre number if you find yourself in a troubling situation – 044 805 5071. As we head into the festive season we’d like to keep the Covid-19 infection rates low, so please, adhere to the Covid- 19 protocols and regulations. Remember to wear your mask, wash your hands, sanitize, avoid large crowds, and keep your social distance – hang outside with friends and family!.

Thank you for all the efforts to keep safe and move forward. See you in the Garden Route!

Alderman Memory Booysen
Executive Mayor
Garden Route District Municipality

27 October 2021: Message of Support to the Class of 2021

To the Matrics of 2021 – Well done, you’ve achieved something extraordinary, amid the COVID-19 pandemic with all its disruptions and new norms of doing things. As you sanitize your hands, wear masks, and walk into the last stage of writing your final exams, I would like to encourage you with the following words.

Be focused and confident in your abilities, and concentrate intensely on your books. Prepare well for the exams, and remember; only hand work, commitment, and determination will help you succeed and achieve your full potential and dreams. Visualise your dreams and be willing to put in time, energy, and sacrifices to reach your goals. Manage your time well, and avoid “time wasters” such as social media, television, and late-night gallivanting, which might interfere with your state of readiness to write exams.  Focus on ticking off one subject at a time, and don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed by looking at the whole list of papers you still need to complete.

To the parents, teachers and communities out there – thank you for being a pillar of strength to our learners in these unknown times.  Thank you for helping them to stay calm, confident and positive.  Evidently, the adage “it takes a village to raise a child” is still true in our society today.

As the Garden Route District Executive Mayor, I am incredibly proud of every Matric learner in our district.  For the past 12 years, you’ve been equipped with values and principles to make you a responsible member of society.  Work hard – be true to yourself and be part of a generation that will be recorded in history books for tackling the most crucial year of their schooling career at the height of a pandemic – what a feat.

Good luck to the Class of 2021!

I salute you.

Memory Booysen
Garden Route District Municipality Executive Mayor

29 September 2021 Speech by Executive Mayor at the 2016/2017 -2021/2022 final Garden Route District Municipality Council Meeting

Speech by Executive Mayor at the 2016/2017 – 2021/2022 final Garden Route District Municipality Council Meeting

Thank you Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, we, as believers, we believe that there is a time for everything. And the sad part about this is that some of these occasions are very emotional. There is a time to laugh, a time to come, and a time to go and also a time to celebrate. And you know, Mr Speaker, as we just announced, whilst people are celebrating, other people are grieving. We just heard the sad news about Alderman Gericke’s family; our prayers are with him and his family.

Mr Speaker, the main thing is that we’ve come a very long way and so did I. I know we all started in 2016, ‘our first term’, and along the way we’ve lost some of our fellow councillors. We have lost officials and some of us here have lost loved ones…the list goes on and on. So we are not a full team anymore, the team we started with in 2016 is no more; I will always carry great memories with me Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, what a lot of people don’t know, is sometimes we have to say these things.

On the other side of the house of the Council Chambers – the side of the African National Congress, there are two specific councillors; I have never said it to them and probably this is the best time to say it now. It is Aldermen Van der Hoven and De Vries. Politically I grew up with them being my leaders (political leaders) many years ago. I recall this being in the 90’s, in the early 2000’s. De Vries, at the time, was our Regional Chairperson and Alderman Van der Hoven, the party he still represents used to utilise him to come and check up on all the branches. Whenever there was something happening at branches (we did not understand our own party’s Constitution back at the time), they used to send Alderman Van der Hoven. At that time I was always wearing shorts, but now I wear a suit. Thank you very much to all the Councillors. You know, but one learns, a person learns good things – tricks of the trade to help you with your duties. So I took the best from what I’ve learned from them and I now blend it with what I have learned under the new blue machine. This approach has made me to become very versatile – so I want to thank them for the role they played in my career development.

Mr Speaker, the other thing on top of that, which is not something one would necessarily want to say out loudly, is that some of us are not coming back after the elections. For some of us it is deliberate, while for others it is because of misfortunes. But what I do want to say is that, I don’t care who says what. Whether I go to any other province; whether I would go to our federal offices; whether I go to Cape Town; wherever I go – I regard myself as the Mayor who is standing on a solid foundation. I am standing on a solid foundation because of each and every one of you here. I have learned something from all of you. Whether you are a Councillor or an official, it doesn’t matter. I have always learned something from somebody here. The others are not here today; they are online. The others are probably still at home and part of the meeting, but I have learned a lot from everybody. Even the people who serve tea and coffee at work. In the morning I greet them. In the morning they say something to me before we start our day; I’ve learned something out of that. And that is – what I’m applying as a parent, because I regard them as parents.

So, colleagues, it will never be the same again after this meeting Mr Speaker – it will never be the same again. I will say it in Afrikaans. Ek weet nie of van die Afrikaans-sprekendes dit weet nie. Hulle sê, die oumense sê: “Jou voete kan nie ruik nie”. Wat dit beteken is “jou voete lei jou waar jy nie weet waar jy môre gaan wees nie, maar jou voete lei jou iewers heen”. So, as jou voete kon ruik, dan sou dit vir jou gesê het: “I am not going into that direction”. You never know where God is leading you to. So, to everyone here, the full complement of this team, after the first of November we will be friends again and after the 1st of November we will all still be Garden Routers, regardless of what happens after 1 November. Fortunately for me, God willing, I will come back. I might not come back as the Executive Mayor, but I will come back as a Councillor. So, still be nice to me, because I will come back. Remember the reason why I am saying this. I had a discussion with Alderman De Vries at one stage many years back, because I know tonight we are going to have our own makietie as well. So we are going to meet up here again. The reason, why I am saying that we should still be nice to each other tonight, is because we don’t know what is going to happen after the 1st of November. We had a discussion with Alderman De Vries in Knysna at an occasion, the one politician kicked the Municipal Manager back then, so we do not want that to happen tonight, certainly not to me, but these things happen. Alderman Van der Hoven might also have received that report many years ago about somebody who kicked the Municipal Manager.

Colleagues, I will miss those who are not coming back, those of you who are going into retirement. What I also learned is that what we need to do, is certainly something that I always press the button on, is that those with more experience than myself and those who have been there, done that, please keep your phones on. I will still call you.

I thank you very much.

1 September 2021 Media Release: GRDM appoints unemployed youth to relieve healthcare professionals at vaccination sites

Media Release: GRDM appoints unemployed youth to relieve healthcare professionals at vaccination sites

For Immediate Release
1 September 2021

Since the COVID-19 Vaccination Program was launched, more than 60 000 Garden Routers have already been vaccinated. These include Health Care Workers, residents and staff at Old Age Homes educators, and public members at various community vaccination sites.

However, being a double dose, the Pfizer vaccine adds an extra administrative challenge at vaccination sites, as people have to go through the administrative process twice. Currently, the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) registration portal is open for persons older than 18 years, and the influx of people at the identified sites is causing extra pressure on healthcare professionals.

The President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, stated in his presidential address on 11 July 2021, that the quantities of imported and locally produced vaccines will double and even triple soon.

More vaccines will result in more vaccination sites and a need for additional administrative personnel. For this reason and due to a request received from the Provincial Department of Health, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently appointed unemployed youth to assist nurses at the vaccination sites. The project is an initiative of the Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, and is managed by the GRDM Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Administrative Assistants appointed at the various sites within the Garden Route district, to relieve healthcare professionals with their administrative duties.

These administrative assistants are placed at the following sites: Alma CDC, Mossel Bay Town Hall, D’Almeida Hall, Wolwedans Community Hall, Groot Brak, Knysna CDC, Knysna Town Hall, Knysna Town Hall, Plett Town Clinic, Kwanokuthula CDC, Thembalethu CDC, Pacaltsdorp Clinic, George Hospital, George Central Clinic, Harry Comay Hospital, Riversdale Civic Centrum, Riversdale Civic Centrum, Still Bay Civic Centre, Toekomsrust Community Hall and Toekomsrust Community Hall. They effectively started with their duties on 1 August 2021. and focus on the administrative responsibilities to relieve nurses to focus primarily on their core function.

According to Richard Dyantyi, EPWP Manager at GRDM, the team was appointed to serve a period of six months until the end of January 2021. He said: “We are reviewing the impact of the project monthly to determine the effectiveness of this intervention. Adding to this he said: “Based on the impact of the intervention, we will consider the expansion of the initiative to other areas as advised by the Provincial Department of Health”. The initiative was influenced by the high unemployment rate of 34, 4% as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, all administrative assistants were unemployed, reside in the Garden Route district, have matric, and have basic computer literacy skills – the ideal characteristics of administrators needed to implement this programme”.

“While relieving our healthcare professionals with their workload, we simultaneously create employment for our youth, who did not have the basic means of income,” Mayor Booysen said. “This is what we as a District Municipality aims to do, is to put bread on the table for our vulnerable – to maintain our vision by ensuring inclusiveness of all the people we serve,” he concluded.

Lonwabo Luthango from the GRDM Disaster Management Centre is appointed to act as project manager of this initiative and to oversee the administration of the appointments.

Feature Image: Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen (middle), with Charlene Magdalene Barnardo (left) and Lyzette Elzane Stroebel (right) at the Knysna Town Hall vaccination site.

ENDS

3 June 2021 Media Release: GRDM Executive hands over registration certificates for cooperative and PPE to ‘Farming-with-Pride’ Small Scale Farmers in Calitzdorp

Media Release: GRDM Executive hands over registration certificates for cooperative and PPE to ‘Farming-with-Pride’ Small Scale Farmers in Calitzdorp

For Immediate Release
3 June 2021

The Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Ald. Memory recently delegated two officials to engage with the Farming-with-Pride Small farmers in Calitzdorp, Kannaland, to investigate the possibility of assistance from the District. After discussions and meetings with the participants, interventions were initiated, and a surprise visit from Mayor Booysen took place. The purpose of the visit was for the Mayor and his delegation to view the farm’s operations and progress.

The visit occurred after GRDM approved their application for R15 000 Grand-in-Aid funding on 22 April 2021. GRDM made the funding available for the project to boost and expand the business activities of the farm.

Last year the project owner, Christolino Perel, applied for grand-in-aid funding to GRDM after Mayor Booysen saw the potential for the project to be expanded. He explained: “The project started from nothing to a coffee shop named Lino’s PTY, to a small tomato farm that still needed infrastructure to store and process tomatoes into various products to be market-ready. The project is now fully registered with the intervention of GRDM and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA). A training session was scheduled on 09 March 2021 with the Farming-with-Pride team. The session’s objectives were to outline the cooperative registration and draft their constitution.

During his address, Richard Dyantyi, GRDM Manager for the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), said: “It may seem as we took a long time to come up with a solution, but time is sometimes needed to see significant results.” He explained that some of the grant-in-aid funds were also used to clean the site after earmarking the project. GRDM also went as far as to appoint six (6) of the workers from 1 April to the end of June 2021 as part of its EPWP programme under the principle of supporting Small Macro Enterprises (SMEs).

Mayor Booysen, during the latter part of the programme, handed two certificates over to Perel – SEDA issued the 1st Certificate to declare the project legally registered. The second document is the Certificate of Acceptability issued by the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners. Together with this, Mayor Booysen donated Personal Protective Equipment (clothing) to the team members. When handing over the items, Mayor Booysen commended the team for starting the project from nothing. He said:  “As far as possible, we have to do what we are supposed to and at the same time address unemployment and drug abuse issues in the area. Your location and your distance from the major towns is also one of those challenges.”

In concluding the visit, Mayor Booysen encouraged commercial farmers to support the project as it would benefit the lives of the communities of Calitzdorp.

ENDS

26 May 2021 Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor and Mayoral Committee visit three key projects in the Greater Oudtshoorn and Kannaland areas

Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor and Mayoral Committee visit three key projects in the Greater Oudtshoorn and Kannaland areas

For immediate release
26 May 2021

On Friday, 21 May 2021, the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Alderman Memory Booysen, together with his Mayoral Committee members, first visited the Western Cape Honey Bush Tea Co-operative (PTY) Ltd in Oudtshoorn and later, two other projects in the Kannaland region where the GRDM is involved.

Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, during his address to members from the Western Cape Honey Bush Co-operative.

The Cape Honey Bush Tea Co-operative (PTY) Ltd leases land from GRDM to produce honeybush tea for domestic consumption and international markets. The land is situated adjacent to the GRDM’s De Hoek Mountain Resort in Oudtshoorn. According to Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager for Economic Development and Planning, the Cape Honey Bush Tea Co-operative (PTY) Ltd is currently leasing the property from the municipality for nine years. However, he further explained: “It will take an extended period for the farm to reach a level of sustainability and to provide the Co-operative ample time to achieve all the objectives they have set out to achieve”.

During the visit, members of the Co-operative shared essential information with the delegation, including their background, the progress of the farming operations and what plans they have in place to attract tourists to the farm and Greater Oudtshoorn area. The plan also includes a training facility for those interested in this unique honeybush product and other related products that could be produced in the area.

As part of the programme, the delegation was accompanied to the Nooitgedagt Farm where honeybush plants will be grown and harvested. Currently, small-scale farmers harvest honeybush in mountainous areas, but in a sustainable manner. Honeybush is pruned for optimal regrowth and more are cultivated for planting during the growing season.

The Nooitgedagt Farm where honeybush plants will be grown and harvested.

Mayor Booysen and his Mayoral Committee members welcomed the presentations made by the members of the Co-operative and Ald. Booysen said: “This initiative and partnership has the potential to add value to families, the Garden Route and Western Cape economies”. When referring to De Hoek Mountain Resort and its activities, Mayor Booysen said: “When GRDM Council took office in 2016, the following questions came to mind: How the municipality fits in as government and as landlords of the property and how the project fits in with us in becoming a partner of with small business”. In explaining his statement, he said: “One leg of government rest on the community which we operate in and of which you form part of”. He then highlighted: “The time has come to formally put this initiative on the map; however, we are now first navigating through red-tape and we need to follow the relevant processes,” he emphasised.

In conclusion, he said: “Let us make this initiative work – this has to work, it needs to be on the map of the Garden Route, on the map of the Western Cape and the map of the entire Republic of South Africa.

The municipality is now in the process of requesting the Council to withdraw its previous Council resolution relating to the lease period and consequently seeking approval from the Council to proceed with the legislative processes to extend the current lease contract to twenty (20) years.

As soon as the item is approved, both parties and the communities of Greater Oudtshoorn will be able to look forward to mainstream Honeybush tea production activities in their area. Together with this, the initiative will address the issue of unemployment in the area and the training facility where formal training can become a reality and economic spin-offs for the Klein-Karoo and the Garden Route district.

Subsequently, the delegation also visited other projects while in the Klein-Karoo, namely the borehole/pomegranate project in Calitzdorp, as well as the municipality’s resort, Calitzdorp Spa, to view the progress made regarding the installation of new roofing for chalets.

Also read:
http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2021/05/20/grdms-calitzdorp-spa-receives-a-facelift-with-new-thatch-roofs/

END

14 May 2021 Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor encourages participants of Mayoral Programmes during Certificate Ceremony

Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor encourages participants of Mayoral Programmes during Certificate Ceremony

For Immediate Release
14 May 2021

On Wednesday, 12 May 2021, youth between the ages of 18 and 35 from various towns within the Garden Route, were acknowledged and handed over certificates by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), after  completing a Peace Officer (Law Enforcement) and/or Learners & Drivers Licence Programme.  This was the last group of participants who underwent one or both programmes as part of the 2017-2021 Mayoral Programme.

The event took place at the Rosemoor Stadium with the councillors, management, training providers, service providers and the participants in attendance.

Executive Deputy Mayor at Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Ald. Rosina Ruiters welcomed all officials and participants and training providers to the event.  She specifically welcomed and commended the training providers for the excellent manner in which they presented the programmes to the participants.

The Mayoral Law Enforcement programme started in 2017 with the aim to capacitate local municipalities to enforce by-laws within their respective areas. The programme initially commenced in the Knysna and Bitou municipal areas due to the high crime rates in both areas at the time, but subsequently was extended to the other areas of the district.

After completion of the Law Enforcement Programme, the Learners and Drivers Licence Programme was rolled out to empower unemployed youth with essential skills to get easier access to the job market, according to Richard Dyantyi, Manager for Expanded Public Works (EPWP) at the GRDM. “Both these programme are initiatives of the GRDM Executive Mayor, Ald Memory Booysen,” he said.

GRDM Councillor Rowan Spies, programme director of the event, congratulated and encouraged all participants who completed the programme(s) with the following words: “Success is not a moment, but a challenge that you pick up every step of the way. It is getting up in the morning and showing up what you are supposed to do that day when you do not feel like doing it. It is working through relationships in spaces that you work in and learn in and try to move forward when you do not get along with people which you supposed to be working with. That is how success is built. Adding to this he highlighted: “Success comes after your darkest moment when you just want to give up – commend yourself for your hard work and success,” he concluded. Spies is also a member of the Skills Development Training Committee, as well as Portfolio Chairperson tasked with Road and Transport Planning at GRDM.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen, with some of the participants of the two programmes.

Participants namely Nolusindiso Thafeni, Nathan Buys and Jozé Olivier shared warm messages of appreciation with GRDM, Mayor Booysen, their respective local municipalities and training providers for their efforts to roll out these programmes. Thafeni (Law Enforcement) said: “There are people who weren’t as lucky as us to be selected to the programme, so we are very grateful to Mayor Booysen for making this possible. We are also grateful to everyone who was involved and took initiative by teaching us and getting us here today – we thank you. Buys from Riversdale said: “I am thankful towards both GRDM and Hessequa municipalities for the opportunity created for the youth, in order to build a future for themselves. He also thanked Mayor Booysen for the course that was created for the youth and for all future programmes that will continue to benefit youth. Oliver, a Learners and Drivers Licence participant, also thanked GRDM and stakeholders involved for the opportunity created to assist them in obtaining the necessary skills to be job-ready.

The moment all participants waited for was the appearance of Mayor Booysen when he shared his story of passion with them to help the Garden Route district become a better district for all.  He applauded the group for their endurance throughout the programme and praised them for not giving up on themselves. When highlighting the group’s achievement, he said: “This is just the beginning, because if you are doing good in what you are doing today, you are not only paving the way for yourselves but for others too. Your performance during these programmes motivates us as Council to continue to invest in similar programmes,” Mayor Booysen said.

When referring to the challenges faced by our country in terms of skills development and jobs, Mayor Booysen emphasised: “The GRDM Council made a unanimous conscious decision to invest in the skills of the Garden Route youth and will continue to do so. This idea fits into the broader Skills Mecca concept, which is also being driven by the GRDM at the moment”. He added that from the GRDM’s side, Council also wants to make sure that when opportunities arise, the youth are ready for those opportunities. In closing, he said:  “To be ready for the future, you need to be able to help yourself, you need to be able to solve problems and if you are able to do so, you would then be able to fulfil your purpose in the future of the Republic of South Africa”.

The event was organised by the representatives in the Office of the Executive Mayor, led by Siphiwe Dadla (Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Mayor), in collaboration with the EPWP Unit and other internal departments of GRDM.

END

22 January 2021 Executive Mayor’s Speech – 1st GRDM Council Meeting of 2021

Executive Mayor’s Speech – 1st GRDM Council Meeting of 2021

Mr Speaker,

The blessing on behalf of all of us on this platform, is that we have made into 2021.

I know that we had an extremely difficult 2020. And hopefully Mr Speaker and everybody on this platform and all the Garden Routers, it is in our hands to make this a better year. We know what is required from us and I am mentioning this, as also alluded by the Speaker, is that Covid-19 has hit us very hard. Hard in a sense that, we have lost loved ones. We have lost prominent South Africans and leaders of the country. We have lost staff members and we are still sitting with many active cases Mr Speaker and hopefully, as I am praying here, is that we really survive this, by means of changing our behaviour.

Mr Speaker, we know that this is the first meeting of the new year and we are still sitting with many challenges and we are well-known for not backing down on challenges. Some of the challenges Mr Speaker, is the fact that there are a lot of projects that we need to roll out this year. One being, the regional landfill site – we know what happened with the project. Therefore it is something that needs to be completed, because it becomes another pandemic in waiting, to fail on it. The good news Speaker is that with all the efforts that we have put into this project, people have taken note – the European Union has made contact with us in terms of trying to partner with us in this regard. We also know that the University of Kwazulu-Natal and the University of Crete also contacted us. This is just an indication that we are really trying the best we can and with all of this on our table and the participation of Council and officials, we will make this work.

Also Mr Speaker, it has being coming a long way that we have being negotiated a regional foodbank. Although there are still a lot of scepticism around, but once again we are not going to sit back and fold our arms – we as the GRDM has started the initiative and I will make time very soon to have a look at the operations at the Food Pantry. We have dealt with this at the District Coordinating Forum (DCF), but we will take it back to the DCF, now that it is operational so that all the Mayors and Municipal Managers and relevant Officials can experience this first hand. Thank you to the partners, thank you to those who have donated up to now and those that still plan to donate. We really appreciate this, because it really makes a difference in the lives of the people. Because things are different Mr Speaker, we now also need to do things differently, we now need to put livelihoods and communities (peoples’ dignities) first.

Lastly, allow me to welcome the two councillors, Cllr Ndumiso and Cllr Ruiters. As other speakers have indicated, it is indeed a learning college that we have stepped in, in terms of how we do things politically and administratively and I am sure that they will enjoy it.

I thank you.