Media Release: 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗲 (𝗘𝗣𝗪𝗣) and SASSETA visits GRDM
28 June 2022 For Immediate Release
An Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) delegation consisting of national and provincial officials visited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on 13 and 14 June 2022. The aim of the two-day visit was to learn more about the Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) model and to investigate the possibility of replicating the Skills Mecca concept in other parts of the country.
On the first day, representatives from GRSM and the GRDM EPWP section accompanied the delegation on several site visits to training centres in the area that support the GRSM. Delegates visited Cheeba Africa, African Skills and François Ferreira Academy where they were given thorough insights of each facility and the type of training provided. Through several Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) grants and EPWP programmes, learners have successfully completed courses at the training centres visited by delegates and have been able to enter the job market.
The second day was reserved for engagement. Lusanda Menze (GRDM Executive Manager:: Planning and Economic Development) gave an overview of GRDM and its Growth and Development Strategy and Dr Florus Prinsloo (GRSM Coordinator) gave a comprehensive overview of the GRSM model.
Tsholofelo Pooe from National EPWP presented on the their EPWP Training Framework and possible linkages to the Garden Route Skills Mecca.
MOU between GRSM and SASSETA discussed.
Joining the delegation on the second day, were Chris Mudau and Thamsanqa Mdontswa from the Safety and Security SETA (SASSETA). After listening to the presentations given by GRDM and GRSM, they presented on the SETA’s mandate, Skills Development Levy (SDL) breakdown, and strategic scope amongst other topics.
SASSETA’s sub-sections and constituencies include:
Private Security and Investigation Activities
There are 17 SDL contributors in the Garden Route, which comprises law firms and security companies. It is for this reason that SASSETA and GRDM will enter into talks to establish an MOU that will see closer cooperation with GRSM.
The two-day delegation visit was concluded with a visit to Calitzdorp Hot Springs where a Security Training Centre has been established through formal partnership between BM Skills Development (who is a SASSETA Accredited Training Provider) and the GRDM.
EWSETA has a significant demand-based focus, and it is important for them to determine what the needs are of employers and businesses. They receive a limited skills levy income and need to partner with other agencies to address this challenge. This is why they’ve agreed soon enter into a memorandum of understanding with GRDM.
During his opening remarks, the GRSM Forum chairperson, Ald. De Vries remarked that renewable energy is gaining momentum as countries around the world are increasingly understanding the benefits it offers.
During the forum, Mr. Warrick Pierce, Technical Leader on Energy Systems Modeling at the Energy Centre of CSIR, presented the Draft Municipal Electricity Master Plan for the GRDM. The Draft document was funded by GIZ and co-funded by the CSIR and is considered to be a mini Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Mr. Pierce noted that the plan looks at different possible energy futures and the employment opportunities it may hold. Furthermore, the plan’s focus is twofold as it looks at each municipality individually in the region and the Garden Route as a whole to achieve optimisation.
To draft plan addresses issues of future demand usage and that municipalities need to know their customers – their past behaviors towards energy and how this is changing in terms of self-generation. There seems to be clear indication that Solar PV is the priority option for the Garden Route to consider. The Draft Energy Master Plan will be tabled to the GRDM Council this month for adoption and a media release about it will be issued.
The final presentation was done by Kirsten Freimann, from GIZ, who is the Head of Project: Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E), which is a new 3-year program that started in June.
The program aims to address two major concerns identified by GIZ, which are the economic recession and the high youth unemployment rate plaguing South Africa. With the help of the Swiss Development Agency, The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Government was able to raise €10.5 million for the project.
CPDE4E strives to improve the employability of the youth by unlocking employment potentials by supporting entrepreneurship and SME development in township economies, as well as (ecologic) industrial parks.
The transition from learning to earning will be done by matching soft skills with entrepreneurship training with specific measures in place for girls and women.
Demand-driven TVET/ skills development will improve delivery capacities, through lecturers, in-company mentors, short skills programs, new occupational profiles, and curricula development. It is anticipated that it will strengthen private sector involvement in agile training interventions. This could lead to job creation and meeting demands.
Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route
15 March 2022
For immediate release
The second keynote speaker at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca for 2022 was Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape. He outlined NYDA’s skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.
NYDA is a South African-based agency established primarily to address challenges faced by the nation’s youth. The youth development agency was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 54 of 2008) to be a single, unitary structure addressing youth development issues at the National, Provincial and Local Government levels. The Agency should be seen within the broad context of South Africa’s development dynamics.
During Manyama’s presentation, he outlined their economic participation goal, which is to enhance the contribution of young people to the economy through targeted and integrated programs.
He added that programs created by the NYDA aims to facilitate and provide employment opportunities for the youth and to include them in the economy.
The implementation of this goal is at the following strategic objectives:
To provide socio-economic empowerment interventions and support for young people in South Africa
To provide increased universal access to young people
NYDA runs several economic programs that include:
Grant funding R1 000.00 to R10 000.00
Business Consultancy Services
Sales Pitch and BBBEE Training
Business Management Training
On youth with disabilities, Manyama had the following to say: “Young people with disabilities are not homogenous as there are different disabilities that require different interventions. The sector representing youth with disabilities proposes the establishment of a disability unit at the NYDA to undertake to facilitate all programs aimed at transforming the lives of youth with disabilities.”
He concluded his presentation by stressing the importance of eradicating discrimination and stigmas against people with disabilities and increasing economic opportunities for them.
Access to education is limited and inadequate and this needs to be addressed. Integration of people with disabilities will also need to be addressed as there is a tendency of lumping them together despite their different needs.
Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route
15 March 2022 For immediate release
Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was invited to speak at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum of 2022 and his focus was on the growth and development strategy of the department for the Garden Route. He opened his comprehensive presentation with the following quote by Allan Savory:
“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is impossible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy”.
To put this quote into perspective, Lamberts shared one of the Department’s recent success stories: A farm in Herald was in a dilapidated state due to a lack of interest in purposing the land. A businessman who was passionate about farming bought it, and spent the next five (5) years turning it into a viable business that now produces honeybush and proteas. He is the first black commercial farmer to produce honeybush in the Southern Cape. It is because the Department assisted him that his business was able to create sixteen (16) permanent jobs, with opportunities for an additional twenty (20) seasonal workers.
Before this, in Waboomskraal, the Department assisted another farmer, who became the first black farmer in the area to produce proteas and hops.
Lamberts noted: “When all spheres of government work together in an integrated fashion, these are the type of results we will see”.
Lamberts listed the activities and services the Department provides to farmers and all other stakeholders as the following:
Independent agricultural advice and information
Supporting Livestock farmers – Development program. Livestock Forum
Performance testing/annual evaluation/ID limitations and opportunities
Investigating and implementing new hardy breeds and crossbreeding
Investigations in lowering inset cost through conservation agriculture – cover crops
Investigations into pasture species for marginal lands
Crop production advice and information
The type of training that is provided includes evidence-based and practice-based farmers’ capacity building. This is done through farmers’ days, demonstrations, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interactions. Since 2018, the department trained 820 beneficiaries and this ranged from vegetable training to farm implement operation training.
The Department has a memorandum of understanding with GRDM and vacant land has been identified that the municipality owns which is conducive for agricultural development opportunities. The Department is researching the potential of commodity processing facilities in the Garden Route, which will be a source of immediate job creation – a game-changer for job creation in the region.
The Department furthermore envisions the building of Agri-Business Platforms for clients where potential products can be processed ready for consumption. Through Conservation/Regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to rehabilitate and look after their own soil to turn it into organic matter that fertilizes with very few chemicals. Trials on livestock projects have yielded very positive results to date, and the global view is that going regenerative holds many financial and ecological benefits.
Agritourism needs to be promoted as it holds several untapped opportunities for the tourism sector. There is a need to compile tour packages to visit farms and processing facilities for both local and international tourism. The Roads Department has a role to play as well, as it must ensure easy access through regular road maintenance and upgrades.
The Department is in the process of revisiting mechanization which would allow for a central point that offers services such as ploughing, for example, as well as repair and maintenance services on farm implements.
Lamberts concluded his presentation by saying that we can be very proud of our district and that the Department is very excited to continue its work in the area.
Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture
14 March 2022 For Immediate Release
The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 was held on 25 February 2022 and was attended by delegates in person and online via Microsoft Teams. This setting provides Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.
The forum was chaired by Ald. Stephen de Vries briefly explained the role of the GRSM in relation to the National Skills Development Plan. He alluded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate where he stressed the importance of skills development to support economic growth as part of the economic recovery plan. The GRSM aligns itself with the National Development Plan 2030 vision to improve access to occupations in high demand and priority skills in supporting economic growth, job creation, and social development.
We want to contribute to the vision of an educated and skilled workforce for South Africa.
The second keynote speaker, Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape – presented on matters of skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.
Dr. Florus Prinsloo (Skill Mecca Co-ordinator, GRDM) officially launched the GRSM website, which has been in development since last year.
The aim of the website is to serve as a central point of communication and to close the gap between service providers, investors, and candidates with learning opportunities needs.
There is still work that needs to be done which, once completed, will see the ‘partnership’ page going live. Once this happens, service providers will be able to register and list learning opportunities, which will then be communicated by GRDM’s Communication unit. A process has been established to vet all applicants before registration to ensure that the highest standards are always met.
Media Release: Wesgro enters into a contract with Garden Route District Municipality to drive economic growth
17 February 2022 For immediate release
The Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Wesgro) recently entered into a three-year partnership agreement with Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) to accelerate the region’s economic growth, investment, trade and tourism. Clear targets and deliverables are set out in this agreement.
According to Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager for Planning and Economic Development, “Wesgro has committed to attracting local and international investors and will use the GRDM investment prospectus to do this”.
“They are, amongst others, required to develop a database of businesses per strategic sector, a list of local and international stakeholders, potential investors they engaged and provide a report of the potential leads they generated,” he said.
The agreement also states that one-on-one mentorship of 30 companies across the region has to happen. Exporters in the Garden Route shall be given practical guidance on how to implement business processes to become export-ready. Targeted export promotion of Garden Route companies to international clients is also required at international trade exhibitions where companies will be matched to potential buyers, distributors and importers.
The final part of the agreement will require Wesgro to promote tourism promotion by creating awareness of attractions, properties and itineraries in the Garden Route. Fifteen (15) participants from the travel and trade media companies from Gauteng and Western Cape will be invited to the Garden Route to place a spotlight on the region’s domestic leisure market. The focus will be primarily family- and budget-friendly activities and accommodation such as caravanning, mountain biking, watersports, high-adrenalin and nature-based tourism.
Feature image: Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has entered into a collaborative strategic partnership with Wesgro to promote tourism, investment and trade across various areas and economic sectors. Pictured (fltr): Joshua Palm (Wesgro Assistant Export Manager), Towfiq Hendricks (Wesgro Head of Investment Promotion), Germaine Habiyaremye (Wesgro Administrator: Agribusiness Investment Unit),Sibylle Pfeiffer (Wesgro District Portfolio Manager), Yaw Peprah (Wesgro Chief Business Officer), Ald. Georlene Wolmarans (GRDM Speaker), Melanie Wilson (GRDM Manager: Economic Development and Tourism), Lusanda Menze (GRDM Executive Manager: Planning and Economic Development) and Passmore Dongi (GRDM Manager: Projects, properties, facilities and resort management).
Save The Date: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum to Be Held on 25 February
For Immediate Release
14 February 2022
The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 will be held on 25 February 2022 from 09:00-12:00 virtually. This setting gives Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.
Media Release: Garden Route Coastal Resorts Perform Exceptionally Well Over the Festive Season
For Immediate Release 12 January 2022
The 2020 festive season was very bleak for most of South Africa and other countries. Tight lockdown restrictions, which included the beaches being closed, as well as longer curfews and a ban on the sale of alcohol, placed a damper on everyone’s holiday spirit. In 2020, people had no choice but to cancel their holiday plans. However, the recent festive season was a stark contrast compared to a year ago because restrictions were almost completely lifted. Holiday-goers flocked in their thousands to the Garden Route.
Like many other resorts, Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) coastal resorts benefited from this. Victoria Bay and Swartvlei Caravan Parks reported a bumper holiday season, which started with a visit from the Berg-en Toerklub (BTK) from Stellenbosch University in early December. The group started their journey at Swartvlei Caravan Park, stayed there for one night and then hiked to Victoria Bay Caravan Park along the coast. There they enjoyed another braai, swimming and a well-deserved night’s rest.
As for the rest of the season, Marelize Claassen, Resort Manager, reported that Victoria Bay was at full capacity since early December. According to her, bookings are now decreasing slowly.
Swartvlei bookings increased from 12 December and reached capacity between 18 December 2021 and 2 January 2022. Holidaymakers are now heading home to tackle the new year.
It was a very busy season, and it was as if people waited two years to have this holiday – Marelize Claassen
On behalf of GRDM and its coastal resorts, the Municipality would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support and looks forward to seeing return visitors throughout the year.
Quarterly Skills Mecca Forum draws experts from LGSETA
Media Release 25 November 2021
On Friday, 19 October 2021, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) hosted a virtual Skills Mecca forum attended by the general public, public and private sectors. The forum served as a platform to discuss matters relating to skills development in the Garden Route.
The meeting was chaired by Aneeka Jacobs, Provincial Manager of the Western Cape Local Government Seta (LGSETA). During her opening address, Jacobs emphasised that LGSETA wants to work with all stakeholders, partners, local and district municipalities, as well as training colleges to “bring business and people closer to the table”. She further stressed the importance of synergy between all involved to ensure that the process is collaborative.
Ineeleng Molete (Chief Executive Officer of LGSETA) explained the implications for Garden Route stakeholders on the support from LGSETA and how it aligns with the District Development Model (DDM).
During his presentation, Molete discussed the following:
District Development Model (DDM)
The DDM was launched in 2019 and is an integrated strategic framework that allows the three different spheres of government (national, provincial, and local) to function in unison. The framework promotes:
integration of service delivery areas.
According to Molete, the DDM forms a basis for a single joint plan that will address skills gaps at district and metropolitan levels, which – in turn – will help alleviate and eventually eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment. Furthermore, the model will look at the needs of local communities, including youth development, whilst improving the management and support for integrated planning, addressing gap areas or blockages.
“The Skills Mecca places Local Economic Development (LED) as a central component for Skills development Job Creation.”
Investing in skills development will help:
Enhance good governance, leadership and management capabilities;
Promote sound financial management and financial viability;
Enhance infrastructure and service delivery; and
Promote spatial transformation and inclusivity.
Garden Route Skills Mecca
Dr Florus Prinsloo (GRSM Coordinator) and Reginald Salmons (GRDM Skills Development Coordinator) presented the latest news of the GRSM.
Prinsloo announced that the construction of the GRSM website is almost complete, and it should go live early January 2022. The website aims to centralise information, facilitate communication and serve as a portal for employers, service providers and trainee candidates to interact using databases. Further announcements and dates will be communicated on social media in due course.
Reginald Salmons explained that these technicians would hopefully be employed on a three-year term contract, during which they will be developed against the competencies for professional designations as determined by the professional body in South Africa, namely the Association of Skills Development of South Africa. Once their contracts end, each technician will be able to apply for formal designations that will enhance their employability.
During his closing remarks, Prinsloo said: “We hope to see employers approach us, asking for help to complete SETA applications, as they pay levies to SETAs every month.”
The final presentation was presented by Melanie Wilson (GRDM Manager: Economic Development and Tourism) and Mr Paul Hoffman (Project Manager at GRDP). They discussed the following during their presentation.
The GRDM Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) provides a framework strategy for the Garden Route for the next 20 years. The strategy is long term risk-based and takes the impact of COVID-19 into account through a GRDM Economic Recovery Plan. A Garden Route Development Partnership was established between the government and private sector to implement both plans.
GDS focus areas were identified and aligned to DDM. They are:
A water-secure future;
A circular economy;
Supporting well-being and resilience;
A connected economy: transport and rural-urban integration and ICT; and
Sustainable local energy transition.
Hoffman added that the private sector would be more involved, as this cannot be done without them.
The next forum meeting, taking place on 25 February 2022, will be communicated via the Garden Route District Municipality’s social media pages, stakeholders like the business chambers, local economic development officers from local municipalities and others.
To view slides that were presented at the forum, click on the links below:
Captions:Feature Image: Stakeholders who attended the forum (from left to right);Lerato Tshefu, Trix Holtzhausen, Bertus Hayward Ineeleng Molete, Stephen De Vries, Aneeka Jacobs, Florus Prinsloo, Reginald Salmons