Category: <span>Local Economic Development</span>

PPE donated to Garden Route municipalities by SALGA-UN Development Programme

MEDIA RELEASE: PPE donated to Garden Route municipalities by SALGA-UN Development Programme

For Immediate Release
22 February 2021

South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) donated a total of R750 000 worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) toolkits to Local Municipalities in the Garden Route on 22 February 2021. The session was facilitated by the Garden Route District Municipality.

During the PPE handover ceremony, Local Economic Development (LED) Managers and representatives from five (5) of the (7) local municipalities (Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou, Greater Oudtshoorn and Kannaland) in the Garden Route were in attendance. Each toolkit contains facemasks, hand sanitisers, face shields and awareness material. Toolkits will be distributed by the respective municipal LED managers to Informal Traders and Spaza Shops.

The breakdown of the number of toolkits per municipality is as follows: George, Knysna, Mossel Bay, Bitou and Hessequa will receive 50 face shields each, while Kannaland will receive 20 and Oudtshoorn 30. Each municipality will receive 200 x 1 Litre hand sanitisers as well as the same number of face masks.

GRDM Executive Mayor thanked SALGA for the intervention also shared that the GRDM and its local municipalities are fortunate to receive the first batch of PPE toolkits from SALGA in the Western Cape. “It is a very huge task that lies ahead of local municipalities to ensure that the PPE toolkits land up at the correct recipients – Informal Traders and Spaza Shops.” He also said that the “the world is in dire need of PPE at the moment”.

The SALGA Provincial Executive Committee Member, Dr Annelie Rabie, said: “This initiative is currently being rolled out throughout South Africa and is meant to keep smaller informal food traders safe during this pandemic.” She highlighted that small businesses are all facing difficult times, “they do not all have backup plans, live from hand-to-mouth, and therefore find it difficult to purchase all the required PPE materials to keep safe”.

“As we stand here today, it is true that the whole of South Africa is responding to the challenges posed by COVID-19,” Dr Rabie said. She stressed that revenue at local municipalities is already an ongoing problem, which is why this type of funding by the UNDP, can help communities, which in essence, fills the gaps where Local Government do not necessarily have the funding to do it.

Each municipality today completed an “acknowledgement of receipt” form and will also be responsible for capturing details of each recipient and communicate the details to SALGA.

During 2020, the UNDP and SALGA launched a Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) development assistance programme to assist up-and-coming local manufacturers of fabric facemasks. The idea was to strengthen South Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these donations received on 22 February 2021 included products manufactured by SMMEs from that initiative.

Caption of feature image at the top of this article: SALGA, GRDM and Local Municipal representatives (front, fltr): Shanon Louw (Mossel Bay), Sandy Esau (Mossel Bay), Dr Annelie Rabie (PEC: SALGA), Ald. Memory Booysen (GRDM Executive Mayor), Cllr Grant Riddles (Hessequa Executive Mayor), Joan Shaw (George Municipality Acting Deputy Director: Strategic Services), Nkosinathi September (SALGA Senior Advisor: Financial Resilience), Mvuleni Mposelwa (Knysna Municipality). Back (fltr): Greg Baartman (Oudtshoorn Municipality), Lesley Jacobs (Bitou Municipality), Lerato Tshefu (Hessequa Municipality) and Brandon Du Plessis (George Municipality).


WebiPanel: Panel discussion on “The Role of Associations and Chambers in post-COVID-19 economic recovery – a local and international perspective

WebiPanel: Panel discussion on “The Role of Associations and Chambers in post-COVID-19 economic recovery – a local and international perspective

This WebiPanel is scheduled for 17 February 2021 at 09:00 to 11:30 (SA time) and will take place via a virtual Zoom meeting.

Those interested to listen and learn from industry experts are required to register in advance for this webinar by clicking here:

Traditional business membership organisations (chambers of commerce and business associations) were already facing a crisis of relevance in the 21st century knowledge and sharing economy. Chambers of all sizes from across the globe are facing similar challenges and are in a continuous struggle to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges and further disrupted all industries. But, despite all, there is also an opportunity for businesses and individuals to serve and represent the business community in its hour of greatest need. Also, to help drive the Garden Route Economic Recovery Plan which is so critical to a prosperous period that must be revitalised. Governments the world over and in the Garden Route, specifically require the inputs of the business fraternity to strike the best balance between appropriate restrictions to protect public health and the imperative of economic activity that underpins sustainable livelihoods.

Given the circumstances facing many businesses and the private sector as the life-line of economies around the globe, the role of business membership organisations has never been as essential. But, with the question of relevance on the line coming into the crisis, it begs the question of whether such organisations can rise to the occasion. Join the panel of international and local experts to learn how you as a business association or chamber, can re-imagine your organisation in a world where the same is now different.

Invest in our region – Message by Mayor Booysen and a background of the Garden Route

Garden Route District Municipality Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen

Invest in our region – Message by Mayor Booysen and a background of the Garden Route

Growth and development is a key strategic pillar for the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the GRDM has therefore compiled a Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy (GRGDS) to facilitate development in the Garden Route district (GRD). Local Economic Development (LED) Departments in each municipality plays a pivotal role. LED is globally, but especially in developing countries, seen as the solution to improved quality of life, unemployment, poverty and inequality. Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen said: “Through a local economic development process, the GRDM seeks to empower local participants in order to effectively utilize business enterprise, labour, capital and other local resources to achieve local priorities, including promoting quality jobs, reducing poverty, stabilizing the local economy and generating municipal taxes to provide better services”.

“The result is that more and more local businesses are now geared and ready for South African, African and international investments. The GRDM Planning and Economic Development Department encourages the public, private and civil society sectors to establish partnerships and collaboratively find solutions to common economic challenges,” said Booysen.

According to Booysen, the GRDM is approaching growth and development in a holistic nature looking at all sectors of the economy and how they are interlinked to achieve socio-economic growth. In doing this, the GRDM is looking at achieving the following:

  • Attraction of both outward and inward investment
  • Investment in both hard and soft infrastructure
  • Making the business environment more conducive to business
  • A participatory approach to LED
  • Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
  • A move towards community-based LED.

The GRDM has developed a Garden Route Investment Prospectus containing regional catalytic investment opportunities across the Garden Route. The purpose of the prospectus is to display the region’s investment-friendly climate and its economic activities and opportunities to the national and international business community and in so doing, attracting new investments and retaining and expanding existing investments in the Garden Route region. The prospectus includes the investment opportunities of all seven (7) municipalities within the boundaries of the region, as well as the District Municipality’s specific opportunities.

Download the  Garden Route Investment Prospectus.

A background of the Garden Route District

The GRDM is one of five District Municipalities (DMs) in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and the second largest economy outside of the Cape Metro. The Garden Route district (GRD) covers an area of 23 331 km² in the south-eastern part of the Western Cape, covering the regions known as the Garden Route and the Little Karoo. The N2 is a valuable transport route for goods and tourists alike and connects the GRD to the Overberg District and the Cape Metro area in the west and the Eastern Cape Province to the east, while the N12 and the R62 links the GRD with inland areas to the north.

The GRD is the Western Cape’s largest and most significant rural district. The area covers one of the country’s best-known scenic tourism areas and boasts a relatively broad-based, steadily expanding regional economy. Agriculture, tourism, wholesale and retail trade, business and financial services, construction and manufacturing are key sectors of the regional economy, in terms of value addition, The largest sectors of the GRD economy are finance, insurance, real estate and business services, followed by wholesale and retail, and manufacturing. Combined, these three sectors contributed 60, 07 per cent to the total Gross Value Added (GVA) generated by the GRD economy in 2015, an increase from 57,78 per cent in 2001. The increase in the GVA is attributed to a sharp increase of 104, 2 per cent in the contribution of finance, insurance, real estate and business services to the GVA. Over the same period, the contribution of the manufacturing sector to GVA decreased from 16, 19 per cent to 13, 96 per cent. Wholesale and retail trade contribution to the GVA of the GRD economy remain relatively stable over the period, hovering between 17 per cent and 18 per cent from 2001 to 2015.

The economic growth and development of the GRD depends on monopolising on its competitive advantages. The GRD has a wide range of competitive advantages namely the coastal line, with opportunities of ocean economy and coastal tourism; large forestry; arable land for agriculture and farming, and effective natural resources.

The GRDM is pursuing projects that include the establishment of a development agency, bulk infrastructure provision, products value chain development, renewable energy, enterprise development, integrated waste management and other projects as identified within the GRGDS. These projects and programmes will enable the GRDM to fulfil its constitutional mandate and also address the UN-SDGs, but above all address the three critical issues of poverty, unemployment and economic growth.

The district is well-known for its tourist’s attractions and natural beauty. Pristine beaches (many with ‘Blue Flag’ status) and warm waters dissolve inland into picturesque lagoons and lakes, tropical forests, rolling hills and, eventually, the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges. The GRD hosts two of the three biodiversity hotspots that have been identified in South Africa. These are the Cape Floristic region (CFR) and the Succulent Karoo (SK) region.

The Garden Route is ideally located in terms of its competitive advantages of a diverse economy expanding towards a technologically apt and industrialised district, attracting investors and industries because of its location, existing infrastructure, good governance and growth potential.

Key contact person for investment opportunities

Are you interested in investing in any of the investment opportunities offered by Local Government in the Garden Route District? Contact the Manager: District Economic Development and Tourism, Ms Melanie Wilson,


Holidaymakers welcome to the Garden Route district

News Release: We invite holidaymakers to the Garden Route district

For Immediate Release
3 December 2020

Many businesses and tourists have been asking if travel to the Garden Route will remain permitted during the festive season. The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) would like to allay stakeholders’ fears.

“The GRDM welcomes holidaymakers to visit the Garden Route over the upcoming holiday season,” said Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the GRDM.

“After months of restricted movement, it is expected that more people will flock to the Garden Route over December and January. Tourism remains one of the region’s biggest GDP contributors and job creators – the industry assists Garden Routers to make ends meet.”

“It remains important for everyone visiting the region to adhere to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols,” Booysen explained. “The GRDM observed that Garden Routers diligently adhered to these protocols during the peak of the pandemic earlier this year. This new period of mobility means that the risk of transmission will be greater and not limited to areas that currently experience a big surge in caseload.”

The Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism office also welcomed the Western Cape Government’s statement. “Western Cape municipalities are open for tourism this festive season, with all visitors requested to work with the authorities in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus,” it said.

Going forward, apart from regular handwashing and sanitising, Garden Routers are advised to keep wearing their masks when in public and to wear them properly – covering both their mouth and nose. Gatherings are best avoided, and if you must attend a gathering, the GRDM advises that you keep it short, and ensure that the room or area is well ventilated.


SMME Support & Development Programme – Call for business proposals

SMME Support & Development Programme – Call for business proposals

Garden Route District Municipality is embarking on a programme to help dynamic and committed entrepreneurs to grow their business. A broad scope of non-financial assistance will be provided, which will include required business development interventions (equipment and input material) and trainings. Only serious applicants with a workable business concept or business profile that they believe in and with which they want to expand their business operations with, must apply.


Applicants must complete an application form (obtained from the District Economic Development Office, 54 York Street, George, 6530, from Mr. Johannes Jafta via email at and submit with the following supporting documents attached:

  • Company Profile/ Business Proposal or Business Plan;
  • 6 months Profit and Loss Summary or (recent Financial/Bank statements, if available – will be treated confidentially);
  • Tax clearance certificate;
  • Confirmation of employees (Document attached on the application form);
  • Certified ID copy;
  • Certified copy of proof of residence (where business is situated)


  • Must be a registered and viable business operating for at least 2 years with clear direction/deliverables;
  • Must be available to do a presentation to a selected panel and to attend the compulsory business development interventions and trainings identified by panel.
  • Must be tax compliant. (If not, submit tax matters with the application for assessment);
  • 100% South African owned;
  • Applicant must be in full control of business and operations.
  • Formally registered or incorporated e.g. with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC);
  • Operating in the Garden Route;
  • Classified as a micro or small enterprise in terms of the National Small Enterprises Act;
  • Individuals/Businesses that have previously participated in any skills development/training programmes rolled out by the LED & Tourism unit of GRDM can apply.

All applications must be submitted via email to Mr. Johannes Jafta at or placed in an envelope and physically delivered to the Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George, 6530. All applications must clearly state GARDEN ROUTE SMME SUPPORT & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2020.

  • Shortlisted applicants will be required to present their business concepts to an evaluation panel.
  • The Garden Route District Municipality reserves the right to evaluate and select only the highest ranking business concepts according to the above criteria.


  • At the end of the programme all participating businesses must be tax compliant.
  • Applications will close at 12h00 on 06 November 2020.

For further information, please contact:
Ms Natalie Raubenheimer
Senior Economic Development Officer
Garden Route District Municipality or 044 803 1458

Download PDF file here: SMME Support and Development programme, Call for Proposals, Garden Route District Municipality

Media Release: International travel restrictions: A different approach needed to save tourism



Date: 01 October 2020

Release: immediately

International travel restrictions: A different approach needed to save tourism

The risk-based approach regulating international travel released by national government yesterday (30 September 2020) is a major blow for the tourism and hospitality sector in the Western Cape.

The tourism and hospitality sector’s survival is dependent on international leisure travellers in the summer season and for this reason it is critical that we look at smart ways to open our international borders, especially for our key source markets, so that we can save jobs and save the economy in the Western Cape.

And so, we will be engaging with national government and preparing a further submission proposing an alternative to the risk-based approach for international travel.

We believe firmly that the safety precautions of a 72 hours PCR test and screening protocols should be applied across the board, regardless of purpose of travel and country of origin.

In fact, this approach is already adopted by national government with business travellers and so it makes little sense to exclude leisure travellers in this way.

Indeed, it is unfair to restrict leisure travellers from high-risk countries as there is simply no greater risk of transmission based on the purpose of travel.

South Africa’s airlines, hospitality and tourism companies have shown that travel and tourism can resume safely and, with stringent health and safety systems in place, it should not be necessary to impose additional country-based travel restrictions.

We are also concerned that the two-week review period of the leisure “no-travel list”, together with the requirement that business travellers from high-risk countries email the Department of Home Affairs for permission to travel, will create a barrier to bookings from visitors in traditional key source markets during the critical summer season. It also does not allow for enough lead time on which airlines can base their decisions to fly, creating further uncertainty for a sector that has already been hard-hit.

We have worked hard to ensure that Cape Town and the Western Cape is safe for travellers and ready to welcome international visitors, because our leisure travellers from key source markets such as the United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands and France make the most of our favourable exchange rate and have a high spending potential which positively impacts our local economy.

We have held many engagements with the tourism industry on implementing health and safety guidelines, launched a workplace safety campaign across radio and digital platforms, our healthcare system has consistently proved it can adequately respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and we are confident in the measures have been put in place for adequate screening at Cape Town International Airport. For our efforts, we have been awarded the WTTC Safety Stamp in the Western Cape.

We are open and we are ready to safely welcome travellers from around the world to experience our world-class and affordable experiences in Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Notes for media: 

Please find soundbyte from Minister Maynier attached
To read the statement online visit:

Media Queries:

Francine Higham

Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities

(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)

Tel: 021 483 4327

Cell: 071 087 5150


Innovative Re-Imagine Garden Route WebiShop video and presentations now accessible online

News Release
For Immediate Release
2 September 2020

A first ever WebiShop was hosted by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with the South Cape Economic Partnership (SCEP) and Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (WESGRO) on 12 August 2020. This WebiShop aimed to address several topics relevant to re-imagining the Garden Route in an innovative and creative way. It also provided a platform for representatives from various think tanks, based locally and internationally, to share how they do things differently in a streamlined way to enable a “next” normal. Presenters logged in from as far as the United Kingdom and Finland to share their ideas.

At the beginning of the WebiShop (attended by close to 100 people), Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for GRDM, said: “I am in awe when looking at all the brainpower together today”.

“I would like to see all of us putting our ‘thinking caps’ on and come up with innovative ideas,” said Alderman Booysen.

The panel included representatives from the GRDM, SCEP, TOMA-Now, FreedThinkers, Vodacom, The Depository & Clearing Corporation (UK), African Crowd Funding Association, Moxworld (Finland), Brilliance in Business and the Institute for Future’s Research.

The following themes/topics were discussed on 12 August 2020:

  • The place to be – Garden Route as a first choice;
  • Keeping it tight – the Circular Economy Model, concepts and examples;
  • Design it right – service design for the ‘new normal’;
  • Get Smart – solutions for a SMART region;
  • Funding for impact – Crowd Funding as an alternative to conventional funding;
  • The next normal – alternative business models;
  • Time to hold onto customers – practical steps to keeping your customers and attracting new ones;
  • Where to from here – next steps and way forward; and
  • Scenario planning concepts.

The themes and topics discussed provided a perfect baseline from which to begin with a process of re-imagining the Garden Route. The next phase would be to initiate sector-specific workshops. “These will consist of journey-mapping exercises led by three focus sectors namely Tourism, Agriculture, and Construction,” said Mr Paul Hoffman, Project Manager for SCEP. He added that a variety of sector-specific workshops and webinars, training opportunities, sector expert advisors, and business mentors will visit the Garden Route virtually and physically over the next few months to assist individual businesses. “We need to rebuild our economy, and these interventions form part of the Garden Route Recovery Plan that is in progress,” said Hoffman.

Towards the end of the four-and-a-half hour WebiShop, Mr Monde Stratu (Municipal Manager) reflected on the contents of the programme. He also said: “It is clear that COVID-19 has shown us that one sector is not going to be successful without another.” Stratu also stated that government is interested in building partnerships with the private sector. Proof of this commitment is the platforms the GRDM created to attract investment to the Garden Route – including the Garden Route Investment Conference, Green Energy Summit, to name but a few.

“In a month or two we will launch our Growth and Development Strategy for the region. This strategy will help the region to see what needs to be done to change the economic trajectory of the district. Coupled with this, the GRDM is finalising an investment prospectus. “We are trying to show people outside and inside our region what opportunities are available in the district, and that we are open for business,” said Stratu.

View the WebiShop online by browsing to this Youtube page.

Mpho Dondolo: Vodacom

Jaisheila Rajput: TOMA Now

Vicky Bridge: Get SMART

Danielle Ehrlich: Design it Right

Doris Viljoen: Flip it

Samantha Hillion-Burns: Brilliance Customer Experience 

Tarja Castel: Moxworld

Elizabeth Howard: African Crowdfunding Association


Call for applications: COVID-19 Agricultural disaster support fund for smallholder and communal farmers

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development hereby calls for applications from small holder farmers/producers who are currently in production and preparing for winter crops.

The main objective of this support is to complete the current production cycle in an effort to ensure adequate food production and supplies. The targeted beneficiaries are smallholder and communal producers with a turnover between R20 000 and R1 million per annum. 50% women, 40% youth and 6% people with disability will be targeted.  The Funding is a grant and the voucher system will apply in partnership with distributors and manufactures of these inputs and the grant shall not exceed R50 000 per farming operation.

The specific targeted commodities to be supported are the following: (this is guided by the country’s self-sufficiency index)

Commodity Specific Support
Poultry Day old chicks, Point of lay chickens, feed, medication and sawdust;
Vegetables Seed, Seedlings, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and soil correction.
Fruits Final spraying programmes for fruits that are ready for harvest.
Livestock Feed and medication
Winter Crops Soil correction, fertilizer, seeds, herbicides and pesticides.

Application Form

Agricultural Support Application Form

 Closing Date for the application is 22 APRIL 2020 by 16h00. Late applications will not be considered.

 Disclaimer: due to limitation of funds not all qualifying farmers will be funded.

Minimum Requirements

  • Smallholder farmers/producers must have a minimum turnover of R20 000 per annum but not exceeding R1 million. (produce financial records or evidence if financial statement cannot be produced during this lockdown period )
  • South African Certified ID copy; not older than 3 months
  • Valid confirmation of land tenure/ownership (title deeds, Tribal Resolution, Permission to Occupy, minimum 5 years lease agreement)
  • Already farming
  • Application form completed
  • Farming operation able to create permanent and/or seasonal jobs
  • In cases where the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Certificate is necessary for the operations, evidence of such to be provided.
  • Proof of access to water for irrigation in case of fruits, vegetables and winter crops (i.e. water license/rights or proof that it had been applied for, borehole or other sources).
  • Non-Government Employees

More detail on the selection criteria please visit the respective provincial Department of Agriculture OR national department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development or visit

The applications will be evaluated in line with the agreed selection criteria.

Application forms are available at Both National and Provincial Departments of Agriculture offices as well as at the district and National offices of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. DALRRD website:

Completed application forms with the supporting documents must be submitted to the nearest Local, District Municipality or DALRRD.

Garden Route Business Impact and Continuity Survey March 2020

Recently our lives and specifically our businesses have been affected and disrupted by droughts, crime, energy issues / load shedding and now the Corona COVID -19 virus.

We wish to gather information from you as business owners and leaders as to the impact the disruptions are having on your business. Hence the survey is designed to gather a high-level insight into the impact on businesses and measures taken to ensure sustainable business operations. Read more…

Please click on the link below to complete the survey.

The survey consists of 12 questions and should not take you more than 10 minutes to complete.