Category: Garden Route

Building Smart Cities in a Smart Region

The concept of Smart Cities is gaining momentum in the Garden Route region and to unfold this theory, the Planning and Economic Department of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in collaboration with the South Cape Economic Partnership (SCEP), hosted a Smart City – Smart Region Summit on Wednesday, 3 October 2018 in Bitou (Plettenberg Bay).  Representatives from all the municipalities in the Garden Route, in particularly, Local Economic Development, Tourism;  Infrastructure;  Waste Management;  Planning and ICT Specialists, as well as Private Sector Smart City experts; Town Planners; Technology experts and Tertiary Institutions Subject Specialists, attended the one-day event.

Councillor Peter Lobese, Executive Mayor of the Bitou Municipality welcomed all summit attendees and expressed his appreciation towards the GRDM for organising the Summit for the region.

During the workshop, very exciting and informative presentations were done by Subject Specialists, i.e. Dr Warren Burns from Brilliance;  Dr Nancy Odendaal from the University of Cape Town;  Ms Emiley Vollmer from ISC Bank and Mr Josiah Lodi from the Western Cape Department of Cooperative Governance.

Guided by the experts in attendance, municipalities of the region worked on defining what the concept Smart Cities means for them, and how best to maximise the benefits of smart thinking, to build a Smart Region.

One of the breakaway sessions during the summit with the facilitators, Mr Paul Hoffman (far left) from the SCEP and Ms Rushka Ely (right) from the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership, Cape Town.

The afternoon’s programme was divided into two (2) sets of three (3) breakaway sessions, under the following topics:

First Session:  Smart living, Smart Waste Management and Smart Technology; and

Second Session: Smart Green, Smart Design and Smart Tourism

Some outcomes of the sessions include:

 Smart Living:

  • A pilot project in one community in the region to demonstrate all the 7 principles of “Smart Living”;
  • Increase density, accessible public transport and making the region cycle-friendly;
  • Develop a network of small-scale organic agriculture to supply local restaurants and retailers;
  • Integrated efforts for safety and security by the police, neighbourhood watches and private security companies;
  • Invite businesses to provide innovative solutions through existing forums to current smart living challenges; and
  • Spatial development for poor communities which will allow activities like gardening, etc.

Smart Waste

  • Regional programme for sensitizing residents and incentives for recycling;
  • Continue with the integrated approach between municipalities for alternative technologies; and
  • Waste-to-energy initiatives.

Smart Technology

  • An audit needs to be done on what exists that could be expanded or developed further;
  • Wayleave and trenching policies to be put in place; and
  • Coordination in terms of free Wi-Fi to be coordinated by die district- and local municipalities.

Smart Green

  • Lack of skills within municipalities to interrogate green solutions. Will be addressed through Green Cape Municipal Capacity Building Initiatives;
  • Interrogate current policy to create a more conducive/enabling environment; and
  • Inter-governmental approach to green solutions.

 Smart Design

  • Ensuring values, visions and policies that underpin smart city design, are in place;
  • Increase the focus on GIS skills and resources for smart cities;
  • Integration of data collection and maintenance processes and systems; and
  • Data access protocols that enable access across municipalities.

Smart Tourism

  • Wi-fi hotspots;
  • Regional public transport e.g. Uber;
  • Data collection and analytics for smart tourism; and
  • Smart training for the hospitality and tourism industry.
The organising team behind the successful and well-attend Smart Cities – Smart Region Summit. Fltr, Mr Denver Johnson, Tourism Officer, Mr Paul Hoffman, Project Manager of SCEP, Ms Melanie Wilson, Manager: Economic Development and Tourism, Ms Natalie Raubenheimer, Senior Economic Development Officer, Ms Amagene Koeberg, Co-ordinator: Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism, Ms Raylene Meyer, Administrative Officer: Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism, Ms Nadia Boumeester, Administrative Assistant: Economic Development and Mr Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager: Planning and Economic Development.

In his concluding remarks, the Municipal Manager of the GRDM, Mr Monde Stratu, expressed his appreciation to everyone who participated and who are willing to take the process forward in partnership with the Garden Route District Municipality.  “Let us adopt a vision to do things differently, collaborate and try to work together as a family of municipalities in building a smart region,” said Mr Stratu.

World Environmental Health Day celebrated

Statistics from the Department of Health showed, that many children and adults are suffering from diseases, such as diarrhoea, which can be easily prevented or cured, but sometimes result in very sad consequences.

To address this problem, the Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) of the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Klein Karoo municipal health office developed a drama production aimed at creating awareness among community members, especially school children.

The aim of the drama production was to:

  • promote good food safety practices;
  • educate learners and the community, on how germs and infections are transmitted;
  • improve hygiene behaviour; and
  • prevent the spread of diarrhoeal and other hygiene-, sanitation- and water related diseases in communities.

A local actor and four (4) peer educators were approached to assist with the performance.  The drama piece was also developed in commemoration of World Environmental Health Day, on 26 September 2018, themed – “Food Security and Sustainability”.

Actors and Environmental Health officials with some of the community members from Hoeko (Ladismith) who attended the information session.

On 24 and 25 September 2018, the drama production was performed respectively in Hoeko (Ladismith area) and in Dysselsdorp.  Approximately 216 households were reached through the initiative. Educators and community leaders were impressed by the informative messages that were conveyed. The actors demonstrated the relationship between good hygienic practices and health status towards a positive impact in community health and quality of life.

According to the organisers of the events, the initiative surely increased the self-esteem of community members, promoted health and hygiene awareness practices and empowered the community with knowledge, in order to take responsibility for their own health and life.

Mr Desmond Paulse, Manager Municipal Health: Klein Karoo (left) with the Peer Educators who performed in the drama production.

The drama production forms part of an ongoing health and hygiene education programme performed by the GRDM municipal health section.

Severe Weather Alert (7-8 September 2018)

Significant rainfall and intense downpours are expected on Friday, 7 September 2018, where flooding may be a risk. Thunderstorms are also possible. At this point, rainfall amounts expected 20-40mm along the South Coast (Riversdale to Plettenberg bay) and 50mm in the mountains. Also to note is that light rain is expected from Wednesday through to Saturday morning along the South Coast, which will act to saturate the ground.

Less snowfall expected, compared to the initial assessments done on Monday.  Although snowfalls still very likely for both Thursday and Friday over the Langeberge, Swartberge and Nuweveld berge, the snowfall will be lighter for the Outeniqua mountains than initially expected. Very cold weather will be persisting from today through to the weekend though.

However, please note that the models have not been consistent over the last few days in terms of amounts and locations, and thus the SAWS will monitor further.

Press Conference held at GRDM

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) held its “first” Press Conference earlier today with local media representatives, which included George Herald, SABC and Eden FM.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen while being interviewed by Ms Sagree Chetty, a Reporter from the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

During the press conference, GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen and his team enthusiastically elaborated on the entire process which was followed to reposition the brand-deluded name of “Eden” to a new, fresh, inclusive and internationally known “Garden Route” District Municipality.

“We can all now be referred to as Garden Routers” – Cllr Memory Booysen

An update about progress made in terms of the Regional Landfill Facility and the Municipality’s 2016/17 Audit Outcomes were also discussed. More information about these two topics will be released soon.

Eden DM officially changed to Garden Route District Municipality

It is with pleasure to announce that on 24 August 2018, the Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, MEC Anton Bredell, officially approved the name change of Eden District Municipality to the Garden Route District Municipality.

Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen (front, 2nd from left) and Executive Deputy Mayor, Cllr Rosina Ruiters (front, 3rd from right), with the Government Gazette. Here the Council, Management and staff share in the moment soon after the announcement.

The announcement was made  in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998), as per the Western Cape Government Provincial Gazette no: 7972 published on 24 August 2018.

Download the full copy of the Government Gazette No 7972.

Eden DM performs outstandingly at the SA Toughest Firefighter Alive 2018 competition

It is with great pleasure to announce that the Eden District Municipality firefighters once again proved to be the toughest competitors of the “South African Toughest Firefighter Alive” competition, when they brought back the trophies to the Eden district the past weekend.

The competition took place at the Roeland Street Fire Station in Cape Town from 10 to 12 August 2018.

The accolades include Senior Firefighter Emile Conrad as, once again, the “SA Toughest Firefighter Alive,” being the overall winner of the “Men’s Individual” category. Mr Conrad has won the title ever since he attempted his first TFA competition in 2011.  Furthermore, three firefighters of the Eden DM team, namely Messrs Deon Stoffels, Edwin Lottering, Branville Abrahams and Martino-Mariano Jacobs, participated in the individual challenges and all these participants performed superbly.

In the “Relay Team” challenge the Eden DM team competed against various municipalities and were able to walk away in 2nd position after Ethekwini Municipality snatched the first place.

Mr Conrad extended a word a gratitude to all who supported the team until the end of the competition and added these special words: “I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for His amazing grace, love and overwhelming faithfulness and favour”. Mr Conrad furthermore thanked the organisers for making the event possible and added that the impact that this event has on the Fire Services, is immeasurable.

Mr Conrad extended a word a gratitude to all who supported the team until the end of the competition and added these special words: “I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for His amazing grace, love and overwhelming faithfulness and favour”.  Mr Conrad furthermore thanked the organisers for making the event possible and added that the impact that this event has on the Fire Services, is immeasurable.

Executive Manager:  Community Services, Mr Clive Africa, who accompanied the team during the three day’s events, described the competition as “very tough” and said: “Our Eden DM firefighters fought like gladiators!”

Ms Khutula Maki, the Eden DM Team Leader and Senior Firefighter, commended the team for their performance and emphasised: “Our Team was confident and enthusiastic from the beginning until the end of the competition and did not show any signs of fear or panic”.  Ms Maki concluded: “It was an honour to be part of a winning team”.

Following the events of the past weekend, on Tuesday, 14 August 2018, the Eden DM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, paid a special visit to the team at the Eden DM Fire Station in George to congratulate them personally and praised them for their perseverance throughout the years of their involvement in the competition. “On behalf of Council, management and staff of Eden DM, we wish you well and look forward to many more great achievements from you as a well-renowned and respected Eden DM Firefighting Team,” Mayor Booysen concluded.

Garden Route DM hosts cross-district support engagement for more effective Integrated Development Planning

Representatives who attended the Western Cape Districts Integrated Forum are (from left): Mr Mzukisi Cekiso: GRDM IDP Manager, Ms Natalie Fortuin: IDP Coordinator at Cape Winelands District Municipality, Ms Vanessa Zeeman: Head: IDP and Communication at Overberg District Municipality, Ms Bianca Daries: Director: IDP and Performance Management at Cape Winelands District Municipality and Mr Leon Janse van Rensburg, Manager at the Auditor-General SA.

The Integrated Development Planning (IDP) Unit of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on 3 August 2018, hosted the Western Cape Districts Integrated Forum. The meeting was attended by IDP Managers from the GRDM, Overberg District Municipality, Cape Winelands District Municipality, as well as a representative from the Auditor-General South Africa.

The aim of the meeting was to achieve the cross-district alignment of key performance areas in terms of Integrated Development Planning and to share challenges faced by the IDP function. Best practices pertaining to the function itself, the readiness of the IDP process as per the legislative framework, as well as the establishment of an inter-district IDP support platform, were also discussed at the engagement. During the meeting, the IDP managers exchanged their process plans, as well as time schedules and agreed that future Western Cape Districts Integrated Forum Meetings will take place prior to the Provincial IDP Managers Forum meetings.  The change in meeting schedule, will ensure better outcomes to be expected and more effective decisions to be made at the Provincial IDP Managers meetings.

Manager of the IDP Unit at GRDM, Mr Mzukisi Cekiso, commented on the manner in which the engagement transpired and said:  “It was an excellent Provincial IDP Budget & Performance Management System Alignment engagement, which focused on the importance of districts offering support to one another and finding solutions to common challenges.  This is paramount for the progress of the Western Cape as an entirety,” Mr Cekiso added.

It is envisaged that the Forum meetings will take place on a quarterly basis to continue with the progress of proper Integrated Development Planning across districts in the Western Cape.

Eden DM Firefighting Team ready to participate in the 2018 Toughest Firefighter Alive Competition

The Firefighting team of Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) is currently participating in the “South Africa’s Toughest Firefighter Alive (TFA-SA)” competition held at the Roeland Street Fire Station in Cape Town from 10 to 12 August 2018.

The team is registered to participate in all “Individual” categories as well as the “Relay Team Category”. Team members Messrs Emile Conrad, Deon Stoffels, Edwin Lottering, Branville Abrahams and Martino-Mariano Jacobs, as well as team leader Ms Khutula Maki, are representing the Eden district at the event.

The Eden DM Firefighting team is well known for their outstanding performances in the competition since 2011. Especially Senior Firefighter Emile Conrad, who has won gold in the open division at the first participating competition. In this competition the Eden team walked away with four medals.  Over the last seven years, the team excelled and brought back more accolades, as well as more commitment and endurance. Ever since, Emile Conrad continued to make the Eden district proud by maintaining his title as “Toughest Firefighter Alive” and the team members continued to excel in the Individual and Relay challenges over these years.

The event officially kicked-off with the Meet-and-Greet Session and Team Orientation today and will follow with the challenges on Saturday, 11 August 2018 from 9h00 until 18h00.

Good luck to Eden DM Firefighting team. Continue to make the Eden district proud!

Good-Bye to a Colleague, Alvin Botha

After the sudden passing of Alvin Botha, HR Coordinator at Eden District Municipality on Tuesday, 24 July 2018, a heavy-hearted atmosphere reigned at the George Banquet Hall on Friday, 27 July 2018 when colleagues and Council celebrated his life with his immediate family members at a special memorial service.

Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, during his tribute to Alvin, at the Memorial Service.

On Tuesday morning, the tragic news of the passing of Alvin reached the Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, soon after the Mayor had to come to terms with the shocking news of Eden DM and Knysna Cllr Victor Molosi’s passing.
The Memorial Service event was formally directed by Trix Holtzhausen and opened by Councillor Isaya Stemela, Portfolio Chairperson of Corporate Services.

In his tribute to Alvin’s life, Mayor Booysen described Alvin as a very nice, yet firm person and said that if he would have had the power he would have asked God to bring Alvin back“…and then you realise, it is times like these when your earthly powers are exposed, we are all equal in God’s view… ” Mayor Booysen said.

The Eden DM Choir performed the song “Our Father” at the service.

As the slideshow of photographs was displayed by Megan Cunningham, every single person in the room saw how Alvin touched people’s lives in different ways.  In her tribute to Alvin, former HR official and friend of Alvin, Chrystal Spies, said that it became evident over the years that Alvin loved his family dearly and that he was very fond of his friends. “He also had a very special place in his heart for the Roads colleagues,” Chrystal added. This was confirmed by Nontobeko Klaas, HR Manager, when she shared a story of their recent visit to Roads and said, “The Roads Services personnel did not want to listen to me, they wanted Alvin to address them, because all of them worked with him for years and grew visibly fond of him,” she said.

Alvin will especially be remembered for being a specialist in HR Policies and how he advised Management and Committees during various formal engagements – “we will always remember him for being a nice and cheerful person”.

He will be laid to rest on Saturday, 4 August 2018 in his hometown Oudtshoorn.

May your soul rest in peace our colleague and friend, Alvin Botha.

67 Minutes of Charitable Work

“100 Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018” celebrations

In honour of Madiba and in celebration of the “100 Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018”, approximately 50 (fifty) officials of the Eden DM Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) visited the Rosemoor Rotary Old Age Home, to assist caretakers with their daily activities.  Some of the tasks performed were the pruning of trees, spading of the garden soil and cutting of grass.  Female officials washed the walls, windows and bed linen. The team also restored the fireplace of the Centre.