Category: <span>Human Resources</span>

16 September 2021 Media Release: Roads employees bid farewell to a dedicated colleague – Luleka Yoli passes away

Media Release: Roads employees bid farewell to a dedicated colleague – Luleka Yoli passes away

For Immediate Release
16 September 2021

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), particularly the Roads Department, learned about the passing of a colleague, Luleka Yoli, on 9 September 2021.

The late Yoli was a mother of two and passed away in Riversdale at the age of 39.

Her colleagues at GRDM mourn her death as she was, as many describe her, “a loyal and friendly team member – a family member”. She served the Roads Department for 13 years since her appointment on 05 March 2009. Before her departure, she was a member of the Regravel team based in the Riversdale area.

During this period, her colleagues had the opportunity to work with her, and they all shared a common field of specialisation in road works – the re-gravelling of roads in Riversdale. Fulfilling her role to the best of her ability confirms her sterling work ethic and dedication as employee.

Jacques Joseph, Superintendent of the GRDM Riversdale Roads Maintenance, said: “It was a privilege to work with Ms Yoli; as much as she was a friendly person at work, she remained a hardworking and reliable individual”. He added: “It almost feels as if we have lost a family member; she was our sister, and we are going to miss her tremendously, but we know how she battled with her health and for that we grant her eternal rest. She will always live on in our hearts,” he added.

Senior Supervisor of the late Luleka, John Hartnick, remembers Luleka as a well-mannered and respected employee. “She was always ready to do and give her best in the workplace. We also could easily share personal information with her, given her empathy for others and how she carried the best interest of her colleagues at heart”.

GRDM will host an official memorial service to celebrate her life at the municipality’s Council Chambers on Friday, 17 September 2021 at 10:00. Family members, friends, colleagues and members of the public, who will not be in attendance, are invited to follow the proceedings through the municipality’s YouTube channel at: or join the webinar at:

Luleka Yoli, may your precious soul rest in peace.


8 July 2021 Media Release: GRDM Council, Management and Staff bid their final farewell to Fire Chief Freddy Thaver

Media Release: GRDM Council, Management and Staff bid their final farewell to Fire Chief Freddy Thaver

08 July 2021
For immediate release

This morning, Council, Management and Staff of Garden Route District Municipality  (GRDM) bid their colleague, the late Fire Chief, Mr Freddy Thaver, farewell during a touching memorial services held by the Municipality at its Council Chambers in George. Mr Thaver passed away in George on Thursday, 1 July 2021 at the age of 53 after experiencing Covid-related complications.

Ms Louise Hoek, with her daughter (back), receiving the helmet of the departed Fire Chief, Mr Thaver, as token of appreciation for his selfless service rendered to the Garden Route district. With them in the back are: Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu (left) and Mayor Memory Booysen (right).

Mr Thaver joined the GRDM on 1 April 2016, to lead the Fire Services Unit as Chief Fire Officer.  He owned diverse characteristics, from being a firm, decisive and strict leader and person, to being a father figure for many and always joyous and full of laughter.

During his eulogy at the event, Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen, referred to Mr Thaver as an expert in his field.  He recalled an incident at one of the wildfires in Hessequa. He explained that the wildfire was of such a nature that it almost burned down the Joint Operating Centre (JOC).  “In a state of panic, farmers arrived at the JOC with ideas to contain the wildfires.  However, Freddy was determined and took a stance that the idea would not work”. He said that it was due to these firm attributes that Freddy was a unique and admirable Fire Chief.

Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, said that Thaver was no push-over. “He had principles and stood for what he believed in”. He also recalled many experiences with him and fellow firefighters, but up to this far he was not aware of anything that Mr Thaver said behind his back which he did not tell in his face. Adding to this Mr Stratu said: “It was always a marvel to watch him fight his battles. Through this, Mr Stratu highlighted: “He was passionate about his work, very strong-willed and very decisive about his positions”.

Ms Louise Hoek, fiancée of the late Mr Thaver, mentioned that he was a proud family man and that he was passionate about firefighting and saving lives. She also remembered how he fought for those who he dearly loved. “I will never forget the example he set. When I met him the first time, he was clearly presented as a proud man in uniform”. Adding to this, she said: “I never thought that today I would be paying tribute to his life at a memorial service, instead I thought we would have done our wedding vows around now”.  She concluded: “Despite of the heartbreak I am grateful for the opportunity to have met him and that we could be part of the life of this special human being”.

Mr Deon Stoffels, GRDM Station Commander, on behalf of the team members at the various GRDM fire stations, described Mr Thaver not only as a fire chief, but a father to the firefighters, a mentor and motivator.  “He was also a man with great respect for his career and others, disciplined and a person of integrity.  He furthermore had a high level of intellect relating to his profession. He had good interpersonal skills and was a hard-working fire chief, determined, but also funny with a unique sense of humour”. The GRDM Riversdale team remembered Mr Thaver as a highly valued and respected member of the Fire Services Department, as well as GRDM. “The effects of his passing are already felt”. Further to this, they said, “Mr Freddy Thaver was a wonderful Chief who understood the meaning of the word ‘leader’. He was always focused on the good of this Fire Services Unit, rather than of his own benefit”.

Apart from only focusing on managing the firefighting team, Mr Thaver made many contributions to this department. The female firefighters recalled the efforts of Mr Thaver in relation to their needs in the service.  “We could do anything that we put our minds to, because we had our Chief’s full support – we will miss him for all his efforts in ensuring that we live our full potential in our profession”.

The service was directed by Mr Clive Africa, Executive Manager for Community Services, responsible for fire services at GRDM.

Mr Thaver was laid to rest in at his home town in Durban, on Sunday, 4 July 2021.

“Rest in Peace Freddy Thaver.

We as Council and Staff, most of all the Firefighters, will sorely miss you”.


2 July 2021 Media Release: GRDM Fire Chief passes away

Media Release: GRDM Fire Chief passes away

02 July 2021
For immediate release

It was a heavy and sad atmosphere at the offices of Garden Route District Municipality this morning during a pray session, after councillors and staff were informed about the sudden passing of their dear colleague, Fire Chief, Mr Freddy Thaver.

Mr Thaver passed away on Thursday, 1 July 2021 in George after a short illness.

During the prayer session the Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and all his colleagues. During the session he also urged staff to continue to be extra cautious during this 3rd wave of the pandemic and to take extra care of themselves and their families in the fight against the pandemic.

A virtual memorial service will be hosted by the municipality during next week – date yet to be confirmed. The late Mr Thaver will be laid to rest at his home town in Durban on Sunday, 4 July 2021.

A full statement will be shared with the public in due course.


15 June 2021 Media Release: 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.


9 February 2021 Media Release: GRDM Grader Operator tragically passes away in motor vehicle accident

Media Release: GRDM Grader Operator tragically passes away in motor vehicle accident

For Immediate Release
09 February 2021

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.

11 January 2021 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality loses Roads employee

Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality loses Roads employee

For immediate release
11 January 2021

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.

2 November 2020 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality welcomes 30 interns for workplace experience

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

For Immediate Release
2 November 2020

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.


6 October 2020 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

28 July 2020 Media Release: A positive attitude helped her beat COVID-19

28 July 2020 Media Release: A positive attitude helped her beat COVID-19

For Immediate Release
28 July 2020

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.