Category: <span>Human Resources</span>

Skills Mecca to become central to job and skills alignment in the Garden Route

Media Release: Skills Mecca to become central to job and skills alignment in the Garden Route

For Immediate Release
15 June 2021

South Africans have almost become immune to bad news as day to day survival remains for many the single most important priority, especially with the arrival of COVID 19 and the world of Lockdown. Many of us would probably not even realised that on 1 June 2021, Statistics South Africa (STATS SA) released the first quarter of 2021 Labour Force survey that shows the official national unemployment stands at 32,6%. This is the highest unemployment rate since the start of the Labour Force survey in 2008. Although the Western Cape is somewhat better off at 23,7%, the smaller percentage makes no difference to those still unemployed and without a job.

Turning such a catastrophic scenario around in a long term sustainable manner is only possible through targeted economic growth and development. This is why the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) developed 20-year Growth and Development Strategy. A well-designed strategy requires a solid foundation with many cross-cutting enablers, one of which is skills development.

A critical question then arises: “What are the skills requirements and challenges that constrain this priority area?”

The GRDM and its relevant stakeholders have ramped up efforts to roll out the Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM). A dedicated GRSM Coordinator, Dr Florus Prinsloo, has subsequently been appointed by the GRDM. Dr Prinsloo has already established an internal task team, as well as an external stakeholder forum. An implementation plan for the Skills Mecca have been finalised and submitted to the Management of GRDM, the Municipal Managers Forum of the District (MMF) and a Council workshop today for further deliberations and input in the month of June. The next step is to develop a website where residents of the Garden Route can access up to date information on the GRSM.

Another essential part of the GRSM concept is establishing a clear link between skills development and jobs, which will only be possible by the GRSM team working closely with Local Economic Development (LED) Units at each municipality in the Garden Route. This approach will help to inform decisions by utilising demand-based methods toward skills development.  This means that economic demand would need to be linked to skills development projects and programmes.  This will result in people studying towards careers where there are jobs vacant.

A partnership-based approach is the only way that such an ambitious process will succeed. At the moment, a pressing and challenging risk faced is the lack of funding available for skills development. Creating partnerships between all the relevant public and private sector is vital to the success of this programme. However, the GRDM is engaging all economic levels to try and source funding for this innovative approach to skills development and job creation.


GRDM Grader Operator tragically passes away in motor vehicle accident

09 February 2021
News Release
For immediate release

GRDM Grader Operator tragically passes away in motor vehicle accident

The past weekend, on 5 February 2021, council, management and employees from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) were once again shocked by the sudden passing of a GRDM employee. Johannes Amsterdam, a GRDM Roads Services employee, sadly succumbed due to a motor vehicle accident near Riversdale in the Hessequa Municipal area.

This has been the 6th GRDM employee who passed away since July last year.  He passed away at the age of 59.

Johannes was appointed at the municipality (formerly South Cape Regional Services Council) on 4 April 1995 as a Roads Worker in Riversdale and was later promoted to the position of Supervisor where he was responsible for supervising a team of eight (8) staff members. His last position at GRDM was that of Grader Operator in Riversdale.

Executive Manager for Roads at GRDM, John Daniels, recalls his first conversation with Johannes. During the time Johannes was on sick leave after he fractured his foot. “I could sense he was a wise man and it was clear that he had a great passion for his work, specifically as a Grader Operator.  With his years of experience, he enjoyed mentoring other operators, but most of all for him to be employed at GRDM was something he boasted about. He had tremendous respect for this organisation, his work and his role at the GRDM Roads Department”.

Japie Strydom, GRDM Manager Maintenance, Construction and Mechanical Services, who worked with Johannes many years ago said they had good times together. He added: “It was a pleasure for me to work with Johannes – we shared many joyous moments together on road projects”.

Superintendent at GRDM Roads in Riversdale and Supervisor of Johannes, Jacques Joseph, described him as “an asset to GRDM Roads. He was an employee with many years of experience and because of that many were presented with the opportunity to learn from him”.  He is also remembered as “a strict and straightforward person, yet committed and very hard working – a leader with a passion for his work”.

“Once again, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to his wife and children during this difficult period of their lives and may they find peace in knowing that he fulfilled his role at GRDM with great passion, sincerity and wisdom. We will always remember him for sharing his expertise to ensure that our roads stayed in the best shape possible.”

A virtual memorial service will be hosted by GRDM on Friday, 12 February 2021 at 10:00.

Rest in Peace Johannes Amsterdam – you will be sorely missed.

Garden Route District Municipality loses Roads employee

11 January 2021
News Release
For immediate release

Garden Route District Municipality loses Roads employee

During the end of year and beginning of the new year while many families plan to enter the new year with hope and new plans, many other families experience a dark period in their lives; having to say farewell to a relative. And, it was during this period recently, when the family of Marthinus Pedro experienced the latter when they said goodbye to their loved one.

Marthinus sadly passed away at the age of 51. He was employed at the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM’s) Roads Department from 6 August 2007.  At the time of his passing, he was employed as Grader Operator at GRDM Roads, Oudtshoorn region. Marthinus was a dedicated employee until his departure, according to Kleinbooi Stoffels, Superintendent: Roads and supervisor of Marthinus since 2011.

Looking back at the type of person he was and the contribution he made to the organisation, Stoffels described Marthinus as a gentle soul with a great passion for his work. He was regarded as one of GRDM’s best operators considering the good quality of work he performed, as well as his work ethics. “He was not a talkative person – he listened most of the time, but he responded only when he needed to,” Stoffels said.  Stoffels also referred to the late Pedro as person who was disciplined in every aspect of this job and he used his optimism to encourage his colleagues when things became tough. He was not only noticed by the colleagues as dedicated employee, but also by the public who loved and praised him, for his work. Stoffels furthermore added: “He did not believe in repeating a task – ‘You do it right the first time,’ he always said and we will miss him for being a great asset to the GRDM Roads Department”.

Gert Verwey, Deputy Manager for GRDM Roads, who also knew Marthinus well, described him as a quiet person. “Although he sometimes had to work through difficult circumstances, he remained polite”.  Adding to this, Verwey commended him for his ability to perform miracles on a road. He said: “He was an exceptional artist in road works, and he had the ability to give new hope to a road that many of us thought was irreparable”.  According to Verwey, his colleagues knew that they could not rush Marthinus to finish a task faster – quality was more important to him than quantity”.

Marthinus was loved by his colleagues at the Roads Department, especially the Oudtshoorn team. His passing leaves behind an emptiness as a person and as Grader Operator at GRDM, and we will sorely miss him.

We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Marthinus during his time of bereavement. May they hold on to his memories and may they find comfort in knowing that he was an great asset to the Municipality and the communities of the Garden Route district.

Rest in Peace Marthinus Pedro – until we meet again.

News Release: Garden Route District Municipality welcomes 30 interns for workplace experience

News Release
2 November 2020
For Immediate Release

News Release: Garden Route District Municipality welcomes 30 interns for workplace experience

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently welcomed thirty (30) interns from various sectors for an internship programme at its Head-Office in George. This, after the Department of Western Cape Department of Local Government created an opportunity for interns to be placed at various municipalities for a period of six months from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 in the 2020/2021 financial year.

The Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) required each municipality to do a Skills Audit of all the qualifications of their staff members. The information obtained was then collated onto the GAPSKILSS Programme which is an online national system. In order to reach the desired outcomes, the DPLG approached the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) to fund the interns, as a means to assist the Department with the entire process. DEDAT then granted municipalities the funds to appoint interns. The funds were transferred to all municipalities who participate in the programme, such as the GRDM.

All municipalities who take part in the programme have to adhere to certain requirements. Two of the requirements are that the municipality have to indicate the need or number of interns needed within the municipality and that they must fund four to five of the interns that they accommodate. The rest of the interns will be funded by the DEDAT.
With the GRDM who accommodates 30 interns, these interns will be able to require the necessary skills and gain workplace experience within their specialised fields. This will allow them to be job-ready and will enable them to start building their careers. Also, the initiative further aims to assist households within rural areas financially.

Interns from various sectors welcomed to the Garden Route District Municipality on the 1st of October 2020.

Strict measures are in place and proper monitoring are done to ensure that the desired outcomes are reached. Currently the interns are tasked with meaningful work activities and proof thereof must be provided together with an attendance register that have to be signed by each participant on a daily basis.


Financial Assistance towards Further Studies – 2021

Applications are invited from students who are currently studying at tertiary or TVET institutions; as well as learners that are currently in Grade 12; or have passed Grade 12 for financial assistance towards further studies for the 2021 academic year.  The award is restricted to full-time study and attendance at a SAQA accredited tertiary or TVET institution and is ONLY eligible to students whose parents permanently reside within the Garden Route municipal area.

Application forms are available at the GRDM head-office and satellite offices within the district during office hours (Monday – Thursday 07:30 – 16:30; Friday 07:30 – 13:30). Application forms are also available on the municipality’s website at


A detailed Curriculum Vitae and cover letter, application form and certified copies of the following documentation must be attached: Latest or Grade 12 results or equal qualification; latest examinations results of students currently enrolled at tertiary institutions; certified copy of ID; affidavit of parents` combined income and proof of residential address (municipal account).  Please forward the application form and all documents to: Records, Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, PO Box 12, George 6530, for attention: Training and Development Section.

For any enquiries do not hesitate to contact Mr Reginald Salmons at 044-803 1363, Ms Angeline Naidoo at 044-803 1420 or Mrs Angela-Ziva Coetzee at 044 803 1344  during office hours (Monday – Thursday 07:30 – 16:30; Friday 07:30 – 13:30).

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Should candidates not be contacted within two months after the closing date, they must consider their application as unsuccessful.

Click here to download the full advert.

Closing date: 30 October 2020

Notice number: 52/2020

News Release: A positive attitude helped her beat COVID-19

28 July 2020

For Immediate Release

An asthmatic official employed at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Ms Spasina Brinkhuys, recently received a notification from the laboratory that she tested positive for COVID-19.

Now out of isolation, she recalls how she got the annual flue this time of the year; however this year her minor symptoms resulted in her going for a COVID-19 test, which confirmed her suspicion.

She stated that on Friday, 17 July 2020, prior to the week when she received her results, she started experiencing mild flu-like symptoms. On Saturday morning, not knowing whether it was the normal flu or perhaps COVID-19 as she had a runny nose, she decided that she would need to work from home as from the Monday the following week. By Monday morning when her symptoms were unchanged, she decided to visit her physician who recommended that she needed to go for a COVID-19 test at the local PathCare pathology practice. With a short moment of waiting for a test that took place in seconds, she received her results in the evening of the same day. “It did not come as a shock, as I was mentally prepared for the news. I just said to myself, I need to fight this infection with all positivity I have in me,” she said.

The first thing Spasina did after receiving her results in the evening, was to immediately wake up all the members in her household to break the news, to ensure that they follow all quarantine protocols and to stay safe while she had to put herself into self-isolation.  Early the next morning, she also contacted the GRDM to inform them about her results. GRDM responded by immediately closing the head office for disinfection and, informing her close contacts. Spasina also informed the school that her children attend.

Her family supported her during this period and constantly monitored her symptoms. During this period she used the paracetamols prescribed by her physician, multivitamins, ate many fruits, as well as vegetables rich in Vitamin C and drank plenty of hot fluids. She further made sure that she caught some morning sunlight.

On day-4 of being in isolation she sent an e-mail to her employer, stating:

“I was wearing my mask all the time and using my gloves while I was working – but I still got the virus.

I normally get flu this time of the year and my current symptoms are the same as normal flu.

Not everyone will get this virus – if your immune system is strong enough, then one won’t get infected. And when one does get the virus, it’s not necessary transmitted from someone specific, it could have been transmitted from droplets left in the air. I therefore don’t  know who gave it to me and how or when I got  infected, and I  also did not get all the  COVID-19 symptoms.

My experience is that I just got my normal flu symptoms, but I tested positive.

My doctor gave me Panado capsules and said it’s the only medication to use, and in addition I used more and more vitamins.

Today is my 4th day and I am feeling very good”.

In closing she highlighted: “I was very lucky” and added that many others who contract the virus develop severe complications and others tragically die. “I have asthma; I believe God really protected me throughout my COVID-19 journey”.

She would like to share a word of gratitude to her physician who recommended that she go for testing, practitioners at PathCare for making her feel at ease when they tested her, her family for their support, care and love, as well as her employer, the Garden Route District Municipality and to all those who supported her during this uncertain period of her life.

Photo captionSpasina Brinkhuys, Manager for Records and Archives at Garden Route District Municipality, who defeated the COVID-19 Coronavirus.


Official launch of the CRF Regional Office in George

On Friday 6 March 2020, the Consolidated Retirement Fund (CRF) opened a regional office in the Garden Route, George.  The purpose of this office is to bring services closer to members, and to promote accessibility and service delivery in the Garden Route district.

The Western Cape Chairperson and Member of Trustees, Mr Andreas Mokweni officially opened the regional office with a brief background address on the benefits of CRF and highlighted some of the positive improvements made over the past few years.  He explained that the Board of Trustees took a decision to establish regional CRF offices throughout the country, in order to be closer to their members; to increase services and to improve accessibility and services offered in general.  He continued by stating that people become very vulnerable when they retire, and at that stage would require access to services as quickly as possible. Mr Mokweni concluded by confirming that the same services received in bigger cities, will be applicable at regional offices – ‘’because it is our standard,” he said.

Representatives from the Garden Route District Municipality (Council & HR & Financial Services) who attended the launch, with Mr Gerhard le Roux (back left), Office Manager of the Regional CRF Portfolium Office.

The formal formalities were followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony. The launch was attended by official and councillor representatives from all 7 b-municipalities in the Garden Route district.

Editor’s note:

CRF is a retirement fund which provides retirement solutions for officials and councillors in the local government sector. With more than 48 000 active members, CRF is known to be one of the largest and fastest growing Retirement Funds within Local Government.

Leave no one behind through Gender Transformation

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) presented a programme about Gender Mainstreaming (equality, empowerment and transformation) on 7 and 8 November to Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) council and administration. The objectives of the programme were to provide support, to advise and capacitate GRDM about issues of gender transformation. The Commission is a Chapter 9 Constitutional Human Rights State Institution, which seeks to ensure a drive towards the successful implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal relating to Gender Equality (5th goal). South Africa and all other participating states have to localise this goal by defining, implementing and monitoring strategies at a local level to achieve targets.

Attendees of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme on 7 November, front (fltr): Cllr Luzuko Tyokolo, Mr Leonard Macakati, Cllr Isaya Stemela (Portfolio Chairperson: Corporate Services). Middle (fltr): Theresia Van Rensburg, Cllr Rosina Ruiters (Deputy Executive Mayor), Ms Trix Holtzhausen (Executive Manager: Corporate Services), Cllr Erica Meyer (Portfolio Chairperson: Strategic Services), Ms Shandré Abrahams (Employee Assistance Practitioner). Back row (fltr): Cllr Barend Groenewald (Speaker), Cllr Ryk Wildschut and Cllr Bernardus van Wyk. (Not pictured: Mr Mzukisi Cekiso (IDP Manager), Cllr Joslyn Johnson (Portfolio Chairperson: Property Management & Development) and Cllr Liza Stroebel).

Leonard Macakati, an Educator from The Commission for Gender Equality presented the Gender Mainstreaming Programme. During his presentation, he specifically emphasised the importance of Gender Forums within municipalities. He then debunked the myth that many believe Gender Forums should consist of only women. “Gender Forums should include people of all genders, disabled people, members of the LGBT community and youth,” he said.

Leonard Macakati from the Commission for Gender Equality presented a Gender Mainstreaming Programme at Garden Route District Municipality on 7 and 8 November 2019.

Macakati later shared the goals of Gender Mainstreaming, which are to:

  1. institutionalise gender equality and equity through gender mainstreaming;
  2. transform institutions simultaneously to sensitise gender equality and equity into the Integrated Development Plans, policies internally and externally; and
  3. recognise the effective participation of women in all municipality programs and levels of Local Government.

Once gender equality issues are included in Integrated Development Planning processes, budgeting, service delivery/policy implementation, reporting, monitoring and evaluation processes, it will help municipalities achieve gender-mainstreaming goals. Attaining these goals will ensure that there is a shift in each municipality’s culture – making everyone more gender-sensitive.

The second presentation took place on 8 November 2019 where employees had a chance to interact with the facilitator on gender mainstreaming.

The Employee Assistance Practitioner of GRDM, Ms Shandré Abrahams, who is also one of the key drivers of Gender Mainstreaming at GRDM, after the two-day session, said: “Many employees expected the workshop to only focus on women, but in actual fact, gender is a multidimensional concept and gender has many dimensions or facets related to each other in multiple ways.”

Later this month on 25 – 26 November 2019, GRDM, in collaboration with the South African Police Service and the Western Cape Government Department of Community Safety will host a Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Summit in George. Stakeholders will formulate an actionable plan to combat and eventually try to reduce social ills facing society.