Category: Garden Route

Severe Weather Alerts issued by the Cape Town Weather Office

Hazard: Damaging Winds

Alert Level: Warning

Valid from (SAST): 29/10/18, 01h00 – Valid to (SAST): 30/10/18, 11h00

WARNING: Gale force W/SW winds of 65-75km/h is expected along the coast between Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay tonight (Monday), into tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

ADVISORY: Strong interior winds (50-65km/h) are expected over the Matzikama Municipality, Breede River Valley, Central and Little Karoo today (Monday), into early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured.  Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from the Disaster Management Officers.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.

Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.

Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.  Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from Disaster Management Officers.

Fires in the Garden Route

Since the end of October 2018, various wildfires started raging through the Garden Route District. The Joint Operations Centre (JOC) has, because of this, been activated. Coordination of firefighting resources and all logistical arrangements are dealt with by the Garden Route DM JOC.

The municipality’s website will be changed from green to orange while the JOC is activated.

For official information about wildfires in the Garden Route, follow our Facebook page: www.fb.com/gardenroutedm

The Emergency Communications Centre can be contacted at 044 805 5071.

Informal Food Traders from Mossel Bay receive training

 

The informal food trading sector in South Africa has a positive impact on micro businesses which contributes to job creation, poverty alleviation and establishment of breadwinners in communities.   The sector plays a critical role in food security, facilitating access to food by poor people living in urban areas and has the potential to expand the economic viability of the region.

To address the Key Performance Areas set for Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs), the EHPs of the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Mossel Bay office, facilitated an awareness training session, focusing on informal food traders selling offal on 3 October 2018, at the Asla Park Community Hall.   The aim of this type of training is to educate traders on basic food hygiene practices, as outlined in legislation and also to ensure that food being consumed does not pose health risks. The importance of safe, hygienic food handling and selling in the prevention of food poisoning outbreaks, are always emphasized during these events.

The thirteen Informal Food Traders from KwaNonqaba and Asla Park in Mossel Bay, after the training session conducted by the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners, Mr Lukanyo Mafuduka (left) and Ms Neo-Lay Britz (right).

Fifteen Informal Food Traders from Mossel Bay attended the session. The following aspects were covered during the training:

  • registration of food stalls
  • food safety
  • food poisoning
  • how does one contract food poisoning
  • signs and symptoms of food poisoning
  • five keys to safer food, which entail:
  • keeping clean;
  • separating raw food from cooked food;
  • cooking food thoroughly;
  • keeping food at safe temperatures; and
  • using safe water and safe raw material.

Subsequently to the training session, interviews were conducted with participants who indicated that the training was significant. The session also confirmed that they were not familiar with some of the opportunities in Mossel Bay, and how it could benefit them. Attendees also indicated that they would appreciate if more training could be rolled out to them. Incentives such as cooler boxes, storage containers, meat trays, hairnets and aprons, were given to all the participants who attended the training

More training sessions will be conducted by the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners throughout the year to ensure that safety and hygiene standards are met in order to protect the public.

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.

GRDM Leadership’s visit to Indonesia

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently received an all-expenses-paid invitation (accommodation and flights) from the ISCC Group of Companies in Indonesia to visit them. It was decided that the Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Councillor Memory Booysen; the Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu; the Executive Manager: Planning and Economic Development, Mr Lusanda Menze and the Manager in the Office of the Executive Mayor, Mr Siphiwe Dladla, to travel to Indonesia from 6 to 11 September 2018.  GRDM came to know of the ISCC Executive Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer earlier this year during the Garden Route Investment Conference.

Based on a concern raised by the Cllr Booysen, about presentations being made by companies who, not often return with tangible outcomes, the Chairperson and CEO of the ISCC Group, Mr Jean Bilala, extended an invitation to the GRDM, to visit their infrastructure projects in Indonesia in order to gain insight on the level and quality of what they are involved in.

The Group of Companies includes Ithuba Savings and Credits, LetsCoin $C and the ISC Bank.  These companies have a footprint in Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, as well as South Africa. Their South African branch is situated in Cape Town.

Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between GRDM and Ithuba Savings and the ISC Bank eBanking and Investment Solutions. Signing the MoU is Mr Jean B. Bilala, President of Ithuba Savings, Cllr Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor (middle) and Mr Monde Stratu, GRDM Municipal Manager, were also signatories to the MoU.

The Group of Companies mainly focuses on technology, artificial intelligence and investment, and is a member of the prestige Bloomberg, as well as a lifetime member of International Securities Identification Number (ISIN).

The ISCC Group of Companies made the following proposal to GRDM:

  • To develop a sustainable smart town for industrial, commercial and residential development within the Garden Route District Municipality; and
  • The possible establishment of a manufacturing plant for electric cars of which the prototype was already developed and build in Germany (ISC Bank), within the Garden Route District.

During the visit, the delegation met with various business representatives in Indonesia, including businesses from India and Singapore, who indicated their intention or expanding and opening business in Africa.  The visit was concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ithuba Savings and Credit; Len24 GmbH ISC Bank; E-Banking and Investment Solutions and the GRDM. The purpose of this MOU is to facilitate collaboration between the different parties in matters of common interest, as well as working arrangements necessary, for the implementation of the memorandum.

The priority areas which forms part of this understanding as outlined in the MOU are:

  • Cooperation in establishing and identifying land and infrastructure required to implement investment goals; and
  • To exchange information and identification of business opportunities to enhance mutual interests for the Garden Route and Western Cape Province.

GRDM is committed to positioning itself as a destination of choice for national and international investment and has recently embarked on various high-level engagements to realize these objectives.

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.