Category: Garden Route

Garden Route District Municipality on Springboks winning Rugby World Cup

Embed from Getty Images

Garden Route District Municipality congratulates the national rugby team, the mighty Springboks, for winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Equally, we extend our congratulations to the technical support team that worked with the Boks that led to the magnificent win.

The #StrongerTogether team powered ahead in Yokohoma, beating England with a score of 32-12.

This is our 3rd World Cup victory in just 25 years. As a young nation, we pride ourselves in the strides we have made in developing our sporting fraternity. We are particularly proud of our captain, Siyathanda Kolisi who is our first African captain to lead the team to a world cup victory.

The euphoria created by the sterling performance of the Boks has brought together people of different races, cultures and walks of life and united them for a common purpose. Once again, sport has proven to be a critical part of knitting together the social fabric of our nation. Transformation in our sporting codes and at grassroots levels are vital to strengthening sports in the country.

GRDM thanks the fans and all South Africans, especially those from the Garden Route and across the globe for their continuous support to the South African team throughout the various stages of the World Cup. The united spirit displayed during this World Cup shows us that South Africa can overcome any challenge through determination and by working together. We are indeed #StrongerTogether.

World No-Tobacco Day 2019

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with George Municipality, Department of Health, Breede Gouritz Catchment Agency, CANSA and Cape Nature will embark on a silent march this Friday, 31 May 2019 in celebrating World No-Tobacco Day. The march will start at 10H00 at GRDM (Head office), proceeding up York Street, right at Hibernia Street, and then a turn will be taken at Cradock Street, marchers will proceed towards Engen garage, from there, those marching will move back to GRDM (Head office).

World No-Tobacco Day is held across the world every year on 31 May.  The theme from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for 2019 is “Tobacco and Lung Health”.  It highlights the link between the use of tobacco products and lung diseases.

The campaign will increase awareness on:

  • the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease,
  • the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.
  • implications of second-hand exposure for lung health of people across age groups

Each year, the WHO selects a theme for the day in order to create a more unified global message for World No-Tobacco Day. The focus this year is on the harmful effects that all tobacco products have on the health of lungs and even more so, the undeveloped lungs of babies and children.

According to WHO, globally an estimated 165 000 children die before the age of five (5) of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke. Those who live on into adulthood continue to suffer the health consequences of second-hand smoke exposure, as frequent lower respiratory infections in early childhood significantly increase risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adulthood.

The poisons in tobacco smoke inhaled by pregnant women or second hand smoke exposure experienced by them, will affect an unborn baby which may result in low birth weight, a cleft lip or palate. Babies also risk being born prematurely.

“Looking after little lungs” is a call-to-action to raise awareness that active and passive smoking of those around children can affect their underdeveloped lungs so increasing their chances of getting pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and continuous ear infections. Pregnant women should never smoke a hookah (water pipe) as that is the same as inhaling 100 cigarettes in one session.  Parents and other caregivers should smoke outside the house and never in a vehicle if there is a child under 18 years present. Smoke stays on the breath of a smoker so parents should take a few deep breaths before going into the house.  Smoke particles can also stick to clothing which the child can inhale causing lung damage.

People who have tuberculosis should not smoke at all because of the double burden placed on the lungs, which will increase the risk of disability and death from respiratory failure.  Those who have diabetes should not smoke either as it can restrict blood-flow to the legs, which increases the risk of gangrene and amputations.

Tobacco smoke can hang in the air for up to five hours, exposing those passing through to an increase in respiratory diseases, cancers and reduced lung function.

It is better never to start smoking because it is known to be difficult to end the cycle. Smoking cessation is possible and it has huge health benefits.


Garden Route and Klein Karoo Regional Tourism office is currently exhibiting at the World Travel Market Africa

Garden Route and Klein Karoo Regional Tourism Office is currently exhibiting at the World Travel Market Africa show in Cape Town. The Regional Tourism Office is exhibiting on stands P24 and Q23, together with the Local Tourism Offices: Plett Tourism, George Tourism, Oudtshoorn Tourism, Hessequa Tourism and Calitzdorp Tourism.

The following products are also exhibiting on the stands, namely: De Rusta Estates, Redberry Farm, Oubaai Hotel Golf and Spa, Destination Garden Route, Gourikwa Reserve, the Knysna River Club, Hog Hollow Trails and the Ocean Sailing Charters.

EPWP Grant Allocation Workshop

On Tuesday, 26 March 2019, the National Department of Public Works in collaboration with the Provincial Department of Public Works and Transport held an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) grant allocation workshop. EPWP officials from all seven b-municipalities in the Garden Route and Central Karoo districts attended the event.

The objective of the engagement was to inform municipalities about the methodology utilised for the 2019/20 allocation of grants as per the Discover, Offer, Request, Acknowledge (DORA) framework.  The conditions of grants were presented to workshop attendees.

During the insightful and interactive working session, municipalities reflected on their 2018/19 Integrated Grant Performances, EPWP Phase III performance reports and the targets and expansion areas for the EPWP Phase IV. The different municipalities’ spending performance were highlighted, challenges experienced during the past phase discussed and general concerns and suggestions shared.

Garden Route DM EPWP Manager, Mr Richard Dyantji during the workshop.

One of the key concerns raised by officials during the sessions was that it has not been feasible to provide training to all the big numbers of EPWP participants due to limited funding. It was agreed that targets set by public bodies were unrealistic and many public bodies did not have the capacity to implement and report EPWP projects, and it was suggested that the targets should be linked to grant allocations provided by the national department.  Mr Richard Dyantyi also raised concerns that district municipality does not receive a Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) which hampers them to meet their targets in terms of work opportunities and FTE (Full Time Equivalent), as outlined in the protocol agreement.   During a robust discussion by representatives of all three spheres of government, it arose that the EPWP Phase IV process will come-up with strategies to address most of these challenges.

A few presentations were presented on the following subjects, which were presented by National and Provincial offices-bearers:

  • The EPWP Integrated Grant Model, calculations, DoRA framework and Technical Support;
  • The 2018/19 EPWP Integrated Grant projects on the System and Evaluation Reports;
  • National Skills Fund Training;
  • An update on the EPWP Phase IV; and
  • The National EPWP Policy.

According to Ms Lindiwe Kuna from the National Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP does not have a national formal policy in place – a need to formulate a policy will be prioritised.  According to Ms Kuna, the 1st phase of the policy formulation process started last year, 2018, after a consultant was appointed. “Today, we are here to continue with the process and start with phase 2, whereby we give an opportunity to EPWP representatives to also provide input to be considered for incorporation into the policy,” she said.

Mr Mzimkulu Gusha, Programme Manager at the National Department of Public Works facilitated the programme.

The audience then formed plenary session, after which each group had to discuss and present their feedback to the entire audience at the event.

The session was attended by 60 delegates and was facilitated by Mr Mzimkulu Gusha from the National Department of Public Works











First Youth on the Move event for the district

The Minister of Economic Opportunities, Ms Beverley Schäfer and the Minister of Social Development, Mr Albert Fritz, visited George to launch the first ever, ‘’Youth on the Move: Gateway to Opportunities” programme on 4 and 5 March 2019.

This two-day pilot youth initiative was hosted by the Western Cape Government in collaboration with the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), George Municipality and the Garden Route Skills Mecca steering committee.  The “Youth on the Move” programme is a step towards achieving the commitment made by Minister Schäfer to create 250 000 new job opportunities Local Government level, and aimed at connecting youth who are looking for opportunities with employers and organisations.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen during his keynote address about the Garden Route Skills Mecca and Skill Summit Resolutions.

On Monday, 4 March 2019, Minister Schäfer and her delegation met with the executive mayors of the GRDM and George Municipality, representatives of the local business chambers, potential employers, educational institutions and local stakeholder groups working with the youth.  During this jam-packed gathering, the GRDM Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, explained the district’s vision of becoming a skills mecca, not only for those residing in the Garden Route or Western Cape Province, but for the entire South Africa.  He enlightened the audience about last year’s Investment Conference and the two Skill Summits hosted by GRDM as well as the resolutions taken and spearheaded by the GRDM.  Mayor Booysen continued by saying: “In order for people to invest in our region, we need to have the relevant skills to drive investment and because of this, the GRDM took a conscious decision to up-skill our people in the district.  Today I am here to declare that we are ready for business, we are committed and with the limited funds that we have, we want to drastically lower unemployment, up-skill the youth, and do whatever is necessary for this district to be one of the best”.

On Tuesday, 5 March 2019, Minister Schäfer met with over 200 unemployed young people from the region.  During the event, youth were placed into various working groups where they answered questions about barriers faced when trying to access opportunities. The youth also shared their views on how technology is used nowadays to advance skills and opportunities, and how they go about finding work and opportunities.

During her keynote address, Minister Schäfer said: “Too many young people in South Africa do not have access to opportunities. Our job as government is to open the gateway between employers and young people looking for jobs. You need to walk through that gateway and get that first job. Once you’ve got that first job, you’ve got the experience to put on your CV, which allows you to show that you’ve got skills,” she said.

In conclusion Minister Schäfer said: “Over the past two days we’ve heard from employers that they’re not finding the best people with the right skills and we’ve heard from young people that transport, safety and the cost of printing out a CV, are some of the barriers that they’re experiencing. By growing digital skills in our province, and encouraging youth to use technology like online job searches, apps and to make use of services like youth cafés and the ICAN Learn programmes, we can start to make headway in addressing the concerns expressed by both employers and the youth,” she said.

George Municipality’s Youth Development Officers who assisted with the ‘peace-keeping’’ and logistic arrangement during the 2day event.

Subject to the outcomes of the initiative, the “Youth on the Move” programme will be adjusted and progressively rolled out across the Western Cape Province with an event scheduled every three months as district and local municipalities come on board.  Through this project, the Western Cape Government together with the district- and local municipalities in the Garden Route strive to create a pathway for unemployed youth to access opportunities, to match the demand of employers for suitable qualified persons in the district and in that way sustain industries and support economic growth within the district and Western Cape.


Upcoming Garden Route DM Skills Summit – 7 February 2019

The Garden Route District Municipality, in collaboration with the B-municipalities in the district and the Western Cape Provincial Government, will be hosting the annual District Skills Summit on Thursday, 7 February 2019 in Stillbaai, a coastal town within the Hessequa Local Municipal region. 

This year’s summit follows a resolution taken at the 2018 Garden Route District Skills Summit held on 1 February 2018 in George, during which it was resolved to take the concept of a Garden Route Skills Mecca forward and review progress on an annual basis.   

The idea of a Skills Mecca originates from the Garden Route Rebuild Initiative (GRRI), which followed the devastating fires that hit the district (Knysna/Plettenberg Bay) in June 2017.  Since last year’s summit, municipalities in the district, in collaboration with various stakeholders, among others, the Provincial Government,  progressively worked together in order to bring about and implement the Garden Route Skills Mecca concept.

The 2019 Skills Summit will focus mainly on the achievements of the previous year’s implementation of the summit resolutions. The “show and tell” (presentation/competition) will give municipalities an opportunity to showcase a project that was implemented within their respective municipal areas.

Another objective of the 2019 Skills Summit will be to discuss the progress of establishing the district-wide Skills Mecca made thus far,  and also to evaluate the resolutions  determined in 2018 towards  making the Garden Route a preferred pristine destination for learning in the country and continent.   

Other role-players involved are:

– MECs

– District Mayors

– District Municipal Managers

– Corporate Services Managers

– LED Managers

– Tourism Managers

– Skills Development Facilitator

– Youth Coordinators

– Various government departments

– Western Cape Government

– Local Businesses

– Garden Route Business Chambers

– Hessequa Business Chambers

– Local NGOs

The following resolutions were taken during the 2018 Skills Summit:

  • Continue and accelerate collaboration and cooperation among all district skills development role- players born out of the GRRI;
  • Become involved and add value to the Garden Route Skills Development Strategy for a Skills Mecca across the district;
  • Ensure that the Skills Mecca concept leverages digital infrastructure as far as possible, to ensure learning and processes methods are and remain cutting edge;
  • As far as possible, link Skills Development to Investment and Economic Development opportunities to the  advancement for all;
  • Ensure that all Skills Development processes in the Garden Route ALWAYS consider and proactively
  • considers Water – a Shared Resource.
  • Ensure that all current and emerging skills development intervention in each municipality is supported and built into the Skills Mecca concept;
  • Consider and where possible; efficiently and effectively include the skills needs of Municipality in the Garden Route District, in the development and roll out of the Skills Mecca;
  • Engage with all willing partners, in particular the SETAs and the National Skills Fund, in order to explore the development and implementation of projects across the District as an integral part of the Skills Mecca.
  • Consider and leverage local skilled people, including retired people, within the District, to accelerate the growth of the Skills Mecca; and
  • Within the next six months a new skills project is started within each of the six focus areas within at least one local municipality

Municipalities are expected to prepare and present a case study of an actual skills development project implemented within their municipality at this year’s Summit. A ten minute presentation will form part of a competition to determine the annual Garden Route Skills Mecca Champion for 2018.  Presentations will be evaluated by the delegates on the day of the event through a simple ballot system.  Each case study will be judged against three criteria:

  • Did the partnerships in the project add value? – Yes or No?
  • Did the project support transformation in a creative way? – Yes or No?
  • Did the project make learners more employable? – Yes or No?

The envisaged outcome of the Summit is to ‘’fine-tune” the resolutions from 2018 and develop ideas on how to accelerate implementation of the Skills Mecca in the Garden Route. The Skills Summit will be an annual event on a rotational basis; municipalities therefore also need to budget and plan towards this purpose. The 2018 Skills Summit attracted approximately 350 people and for this year, arrangements are being made to accommodate 250 – 300 people.

For more information contact the GRDM’s Training and Development Section, Mr Reginald Salmons at 044 803 1363. 

GRDM’s Climate Change Team visits the Klein Karoo Sustainable Dry lands Permaculture Project

Ms Alex Kruger is explaining to the group the different types of natural clay that can be used as building material.

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is committed to investigating adaptive climate change initiatives and successes. It is for this reason that the climate change team late last year visited the Berg-en-Dal Farm in Ladismith, which is the home of the Klein Karoo Sustainable Dry lands Permaculture Project (KKSDPP), founded in 1999. During the visit, the municipality’s climate change team was taken on an interactive and eye opening tour by Ms Alex Kruger, who passionately explained each step of their many diverse examples of sustainable climate change adaptation and mitigation examples. The KKSDPP provides a dynamic training environment on the concept of permaculture and its positive impacts on environmental sustainability within an uncertain future. The project team is providing working examples of a wide range of natural building approaches, waste and water recycling, sustainable energy generation and food production, amongst others, to illustrate climate change adaptation and mitigation as part of a sensitive yet dynamic socio-ecological system.

The severe and disastrous impacts of climate change calls for Municipalities to think differently about adaptation. Climate change is no longer a hypothetical future possibility, but an inescapable fact of everyday life. As climatologists become more certain about human effects on global atmospheric composition and their consequences, extreme weather events become ever more common and slower trends such as sea level rises and changes in seasonal weather patterns continue. The most recent summary report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reaches some stark conclusions. It predicts, with high levels of certainty, continued rises in global mean surface temperatures if greenhouse gas emissions are not abated, and alongside this, greater and more frequent extremes of heat, global increases in precipitation, and continued loss of Arctic sea ice. It also suggests that continued changes in many aspects of global climate systems are likely even if temperatures stabilise, and raises the possibility of abrupt shifts in some of these. As our understanding of the significance of climate change deepens, the view that responses will involve a transformation in human relationships with nature becomes increasingly widespread. It is an invitation to re-assess humanity’s place in the world, and to transform global society in ways that allow our continued survival. The concept of permaculture originated in just such a re-assessment, and has become a significant impetus for such a transformation.

Permaculture is the conscious design of human living environments that are reflections of the ecological principle that underlies nature. It includes a diversity of concepts, knowledge, strategies, tools, techniques and practices that are reshaping the world and providing compelling visions of what is possible. The permaculture principles are clear examples of how we can restructure, regenerate, restore, and renew, as part of the necessary tools for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

The KKSDPP is offering a wide diversity of services, courses, events and consultations to the public. They form a dynamic component of a network of permaculture and alternative living practitioners and organisations that spans the globe. The Garden Route District municipality appreciated this new and refreshing view of climate change adaptation – one that is exciting, inspiring, and engaging, and one that calls on us to step up to the adaptive challenge of climate change adaptation.

For more information on the KKSDPP or their various courses and initiatives on offer, please contact Ms Alex Kruger at or 072 241 1514.  

Ms Nina Viljoen Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation
Tel: +27 (0)44 803 1318 | +27 (0)67 035 9203

GRDM officials excel during 2018 SAIEH

The South African Institute of Environmental Health (SAIEH) in partnership with the Swiss Embassy, South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Department of Agriculture (Veterinary Service) and the City of Cape Town hosted the 21st National Conference in Environmental Health, at the City of Cape Town council chambers from 16-19 November 2018.

The theme of the conference “One Health – An Environmental Health Perspective”, aimed to demonstrate an integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

A proud Executive Manager of the GRDM Community Services with his research team and the Portfolio Councillor. Fltr: Ms Maxwelline Fatuse, Mr Gcobani Tshozi, Ms Jessica Erasmus, Ms Heidi Cronje, Ms Sive Mkuta, Mr Clive Africa (Executive Manager), Ms Wandile Magwaza, Mr Lusizo Kwetshube, Cllr Khayalethu Lose (Portfolio Chairperson), Ms Ivy Mamegwa and Ms Emmy Douglas.

The Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Executive Manager of Community Services, Mr Clive Africa attended the 4 (four) day conference, accompanied by his leading team of professionals within the field of Environmental Health. The GRDM Municipal Health Services (MHS) submitted nominations for the Best Municipality and Best Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP) awards. The Municipal Health App Project has been nominated for this Award. The Municipality has been awarded as one out of three municipalities, with the Best Environmental Health Project.

Since the implementation of the Municipal Health App, the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners experience a lot of benefits in conducting their daily inspections.  The App assists EHPs to capture information electronically on site, without writing reports afterwards.  This method assists them to do more inspections and be more productive while they are out in the field and interventions can then be executed immediately. This method also enables EHPs to do more inspections and save more lives.

The GRDM resolved and implemented paperless council meeting agendas a few months ago in their effort to go green to save the planet.

Breakdown of inspections by GRDM

2013 – 2014 financial year – 31 351 inspections

2014 – 2015 financial year – 41 367 inspections

2015 – 2016 financial year – 43 122 inspections

2016 – 2017 financial year – 50 893 inspections

2017 – 2018 financial year – 51 986 inspections

Garden Route DM delegates with the awards received during the gala event.

Mr Francois Koelman, an EHP from the GRDM Oudtshoorn office received a trophy for being one of the Best Environmental Health Practitioners in South Africa. This award is also one out of three nominees at a national level.  Mr Koelman was not present during the award ceremony, but his colleagues received this remarkable award on his behalf. “We are very proud of our colleague and would like to congratulate him on this great achievement – hard work definitely pays off.”

The Saturday and Sunday’s jam-packed programme was attended by various intellectuals in the environmental health sector.  The GRDM research team (which was an initiative of the Executive Manager, Mr Africa), Ms Maxwelline Fatuse, Ms Jessica Erasmus, Ms Sive Mkuta, Ms Ivy Mamegwa and Mr Clive Africa presented scientific papers on the following research topics:

  • Adulterated honey in South Africa;
  • the effects of consuming toxic chemicals used in fake alcohol beverages on human health and the community;
  • counterfeit food; and
  • counterfeit medicine.

The GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen with the EHPs who delivered presentations on day 2 of the conference.

Ms Emmy Douglas who also acted as research supervisor and project leader, did a sterling job in coaching EHPs in delivering a quality research project and research presentations.

On Monday, a field trip was undertaken by delegates to the Goodwood Disaster Centre and the Swiss Housing project in Khayalitsha.

The last item on the program was the compilation and discussion of resolutions that were taken during the conference. One of the resolutions taken was to approach the National Health Laboratories and discuss their service delivery to the public. The possibility of establishing an accredited laboratory in South Africa, as most of the critical scientific testing can only be done overseas at a very costly price was also raised at the conference. Results for these complex tests also take a long time which could negatively influence the health of our communities.

Public Awareness:  Vector Control

Vector control is an important component of many disease control programmes.  It is a cornerstone of very effective campaigns to control vector-borne diseases. For a number of diseases where there is no effective treatment or cure, such as West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever (not endemic to the Garden Route), vector control remains the only way to protect populations.

Vector control is any method to limit or eradicate the mammals, birds, insects or other blood-feeding arthropods, collectively called vectors, which transmit disease pathogens. Mosquitoes are the best-known invertebrate vector and it transmits a wide range of tropical diseases, including Malaria, Dengue and Yellow fever. Another large group of vectors is flies.

However, even for vector-borne diseases with effective applications, the high cost of treatment remains a huge barrier to a large number of developing countries. Vector-borne diseases are transmitted by the bite of infected arthropod species, such as mosquitoes, ticks, bugs and sand flies. Despite being treatable, malaria, which is transmitted by mosquitos in Africa, has by far the greatest impact on human health. A child in Africa dies of malaria every minute, although vector control measures that have been in effect since 2000, reduced fatalities with 50%.

As the impact of diseases and viruses are devastating, the need to control the vectors in which the disease or viruses are carried, continues to be prioritised. Vector control in many developing countries can have tremendous effects on mortality rates, especially among infants. The high movement of populations causes  diseases to spread rapidly – the Garden Route District cannot be excluded from this migration trend.

Control measures:

  1. Remove or reduce areas where vectors can easily breed. This will limit their growth, for example, the removal of stagnant water, riddance of old tyres and cans that serves as mosquito breeding environments.
  2. Limit exposure to insects or animals that are known disease vectors can reduce infection risks significantly, for example, window screens or protective clothes can help reduce the likelihood of contact with vectors.
  3. Chemical control by using insecticides, rodenticides or repellents to control vectors.
  4. Biological control, the use of natural vector predators such as bacterial toxins or botanical compounds can help control vector populations, for example, using of fish that eat the mosquito larvae.

Prevent vectors by wearing light coloured, long sleeved shirts and long pants, tucked into socks or boots. Use repellent on exposed skin and clothing, to protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitos, sand flies or ticks. Simple hygiene measures can reduce or prevent the spread of many diseases.

Avoid vector-borne diseases:

  1. Before travelling, vaccinate against diseases prevalent at your destination for example, Yellow fever. Antimalarial medicines is also available.
  2. Use window screens to control mosquitoes.
  3. Sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net, if in a place or area with a malaria risk.
  4. Check your body regularly for ticks. If you find one, remove it with a tweezers and apply a skin disinfectant. In a tick- infested area, check your clothing, luggage and other belongings.
  5. Avoid contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people or animals.
  6. Make sure to keep strict hygiene control of food and avoid unpasteurised dairy products in areas where tick-borne diseases are prevalent.
  7. If bitten and did receive treatment abroad, please remember to complete your treatment course at home.
  8. If you become ill upon your return, tell your doctor where you have been, as you may have brought a disease back with you.
  9. Child care facilities should treat their sandpits with salt on a regular basis to prevent vectors.