Category: <span>Local Government News</span>

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.

IMPORTANT

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 johannes@gardenroute.gov.za) 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)

CRITERIA

  • 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 johannes@gardenroute.gov.za 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.

PLEASE NOTE

  • 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
natalie@gardenroute.gov.za or 044 803 1458

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

Invitation to participate in the Household Composting Pilot Project:  Zoar (Kannaland Municipality)

Garden Route District Municipality, in collaboration with Kannaland Municipality, will roll out a Household Composting Pilot Project in Zoar.  Approximately 30% of household waste being disposed of at landfill consists of organic waste that could potentially be diverted from landfill by means of household composting.  Further, household composting could subsequently result in a huge waste management cost saving and put sorely needed nutrients back into our soil.

The pilot project will run for a duration of one year and the data collected will be used to motivate the further roll out of the project to all households in the Kannaland municipal area.  Permanent residents in Zoar are invited to apply for participation in the pilot project.

It must be noted that provision was made to accommodate only thirty (30) households in the pilot project who will be provided with a composting bin, and / or a worm farm, a scale and data sheets.  Due to the limited number, the first thirty applications received will be selected to participate in the project.

All applicants must conform to the following criteria:

  • Must reside permanently in Zoar for the duration of the pilot project (at least one year).
  • Must attend an information session regarding the composting project that will be held in Zoar.
  • Must be willing to participate in the pilot project and report organic waste quantities on a monthly basis for the duration of the pilot project (one year).
  • Composting bins will only be distributed to households with a garden / lawn / vegetable garden(s) generating green waste.
  • Households / apartments that do not have gardens / yards i.e. that generate green waste can be provided with only a worm farm for kitchen scraps etc.

Click here to download the application forms to participate in the pilot project.

Completed application forms must be sent to wayne@gardenroute.gov.za by no later than Friday, 30 October 2020.

News Release: Reduce, reuse and replant – home composting project rolled out in Bitou

News Release

19 October 2020

Reduce, reuse and replant – home composting project rolled out in Bitou

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) continues to roll our home composting projects throughout the Garden Route.

GRDM Waste Management Officer, Mr Johan Gie presenting an insightful presentation about home composting during the information session.

Home composting not only keeps material from overburdening landfill sites but also reduces transport costs of refuse removal services. An earlier waste characterisation study revealed that large quantities of organic waste still got transported from households and businesses in the Garden Route district. Since most landfills sites in the Garden Route are already closed or nearing their fully capacity, the GRDM initiated a home composting pilot project in 2018 to practically and gradually advocate and promote the reduction of organic waste from households going to landfills.

The home composting project aims to motivate the different councils to roll out this project to all households in the municipal areas, and thus extending the lifespans of landfills. After months of waiting due to COVID-19 restrictions, officials from the Bitou Municipality’s Waste Management section and residents from Bitou welcomed the rollout of the project.

Mr Douglas Baardman was very excited for the project to finally kick-off.

A formal information and handover session took place on Wednesday, 14 October 2020. At the event, the Bitou Municipality’s Waste Management Manager, Mr Douglas Baartman, who officially open the session, expressed his Councils gratitude towards the GRDM for initiating the project in the Bitou municipal area. He also mentioned that residents responded in excitement and great numbers to the project – a lot of applications were received.  In concluding he thanked the GRDM Waste Management team for their leadership role and guidance.

Johan Gie with a participant (right), ready to start her own home composting project

Mr Johan Gie, Waste Management Officer of the GRDM did an in-depth presentation about home composting, which was followed by a question and answering session.  He discussed topics inclusive of benefits of home composting; what and what not to compost; how to compost; and the different types of composing.  One of the highlights of the session was when participants were provided with established worm farms.  In addition, each participant also received a troubleshooting guide and guidelines on composting; an electronic scale to record monthly waste diverted for composting, and datasheets to complete monthly statistics.

The information session was conducted in a very informative way and participants were very eager in asking questions.

GRDM Municipal Waste Management section agreed with participants to complete monthly updates to enable the GRDM to monitor the progress of the project and capture data for future reference.  The pilot project will run for a year and results from the study will be presented to Local Municipal Councils. In this report, the exact quantities of organic waste diverted from landfills with the assistance and buy-in from households and businesses will be listed.

Considering that 30% – 40% of the normal household black bag waste contains organic waste originating from the garden and kitchen, the project will seek to change these worrying numbers. Composting is a simple, environmentally friendly and cheap way to add nutrient-rich humus to fuel plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil.

News Release: GRDM SMME Development Programme benefits SMMEs of the Garden Route

News Release
19 October 2020
For immediate release

GRDM SMME Development Programme benefits SMMEs of the Garden Route

Representatives from small businesses in the Garden Route, on 14 October 2020 received essential business products from the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Ald. Memory Booysen. This handover formed part of the GRDM Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) Development Programme.

Executive Mayor of GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen, during his keynote address to all stakeholders and beneficiaries of the SMME Development Programme at the event.

The objectives of the initiative are to assist small businesses with equipment, stock and other necessities to strengthen, improve and expand their businesses to create more employment opportunities within the Garden Route district. A total of R400 000 was made available in the 2019/2020 financial year for this project. As of now, this initiative will assist these businesses that have been challenged in various ways – even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of the weakened economy.  The SMME sector is also the cornerstone of the economy and is a key priority of the GRDM. SMMEs support and restore the economy in line with the municipality’s Economic Recovery Plan. The Plan is therefore one of the interventions of the municipality to revive its economy.

To qualify as a beneficiary, businesses had to be in operation for at least one year within the boundaries of the Garden Route district.

During his keynote address, Executive Mayor of GRDM expressed a word a gratitude to the GRDM Council, Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, and the Economic Development team for their continued efforts to ensure that SMMEs from the District are sought after. Although Alderman Booysen admitted that the COVID-19 lockdown has turned everything upside down, it also presented many opportunities to the GRDM. He said:  “COVID-19 has given us an opportunity in terms of what we can do and it made us realise what we are not doing. During this time we realised as Government, what we are not doing so well when holding hands with the informal sector. We focus a lot on big businesses, and COVID-19 has shown us that we have to reach out now more than ever to the informal sector”.

Alderman Booysen said to the entrepreneurs present:  “The President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and the Premier of the Western Cape, Mr Alan Winde, are all looking for innovation and for us to turn the economy around is to be innovative – we thus have to walk the talk with you as small businesses. When we walk with you, we would be fully informed about your operations. When you would need help, we would be able to open up more doors for you,” Mayor Booysen added.

After Alderman Booysen highlighted that the GRDM has embarked on some big developments, he further encouraged all entrepreneurs to be ready with their products when these developments fall in place. “For us to beat what the lockdown has caused to the economy of the Garden Route,” he said: “We need to create jobs and more jobs. We must stop thinking that we only have to stand in queues to apply for jobs, “what we need is to create entrepreneurs and jobs”.

Mr Quinton Coetzee, Regional Manager of Seda (left) and Mr Alex Qunta, Provincial Manager of Seda (right), thanked GRDM, Mayor Booysen and Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu for the municipality’s relationship with Seda.

While addressing the entrepreneurs at the event, Mr Quinton Coetzee, Regional Manager of Seda, said, “Business entrepreneurs sometimes feel alone, but you need to understand that you are part of the bigger team”. He further said that with the support of partners it becomes easier to stay in business and to keep the doors of the business open. While elaborating on their role in the partnership to assist SMMEs becoming successful exporters of their products, he said, “We looked at the needs of the entrepreneurs and how to fill those gaps. Mr Coetzee stated:  “For the past twelve months we trained the entrepreneurs in exporting and pricing, and now these entrepreneurs are in a position to price their products correctly. Training, information and access to information are therefore critical in the success of any business,” he emphasised.  Mr Alex Qunta, Provincial Manager of Seda, thanked the leadership of GRDM, Mayor Booysen and Mr Stratu for the municipality’s relationship with Seda.  To the SMMEs, Mr Qunta said:  “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done, one being yesterday and the other day is called “tomorrow”.  He added:  “Today is the right day to love, believe in yourself and mostly live your idea and passion”.

Words of appreciation from Beneficiaries

Two of the entrepreneurs Hendrik Tiemie from Hendrik’s Wire Art and Ms Sherrelle Swartbooi from Pure Niqua (Pty) used the platform to share special words of gratitude to the all stakeholders involved.

Mr Tiemie said: “I thank our Heavenly Father for making these contributions possible”. He also thanked the GRDM Team, Mayor Booysen, the GRDM Council and Economic Development team for investing into his business and for their support. He also expressed his appreciation to the relevant Seda business advisor, for her assistance in support of his business. To his fellow SMMEs he said:  “Do not give up; stand firm and you will eventually see the results – you will indeed see it was all worth it”. 

When addressing the audience, Ms Swartbooi highlighted, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once gave birth to a decision that traveled from the mind, through the heart and into the world to be nurtured by sacrifices, hard work, by innovation, by mistakes, small and large wings, determination and triumph. On behalf of all SMMEs she said: “Thank you to GRDM for this initiative and for assisting our businesses during these difficult times. You have made our dreams a reality and also if you don’t build on your dreams, someone will hire you to build their dreams. Always dream and build your own dreams,” she added.

Municipal Manager, Mr Stratu, in his closing remarks, said that this event came at an opportune time, while the country is facing an economic crisis. After sharing his views with all present and saying that our main role is to ensure that we create an environment for business to thrive, he also conveyed a special word of thanks to all stakeholders for making the event possible and for giving entrepreneurs of the Garden Route another opportunity for their businesses to succeed.

The event was directed by Mr Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager for Planning and Economic Development and successfully organised by the Economic Development Unit of GRDM in collaboration with the Seda and the Department of Agriculture.

ENDS

COVID-19 Garden Route Update

COVID-19 Garden Route Update

Media Release
16 October 2020

We would like to thank the residents of the Garden Route for helping us to stay safe by wearing your masks, washing your hands often, and keeping a distance from others. Please continue to remain vigilant to prevent a possible second wave.

“It has been 7 long months of lockdown and the natural reaction to the easing up of these restrictions are to catch up on all that we have missed out on over the past months but we can’t become complacent now. It has always been feared that when the lockdown restrictions ease up, the infection rate would increase. We have unfortunately already seen a 196% increase in covid-19 cases in the district over the past 14 days. (This increase is compared to the previous 14 day-period). We know how quickly the virus can spread and now is the time that we must do our utmost best to prevent or contain a second wave,” said Garden Route District Director for Health, Mr Zee Brickles.

“We as individuals, members of families and communities, are responsible for ensuring that we protect ourselves and keep those near and dear to us, safe at all times. We should ask ourselves in every situation how we can make it safer for ourselves and our loved ones, knowing that we can easily and unknowingly pass the virus on or take it home to our families. Remember to wash your hands regularly, wear your mask when you are in public spaces and avoid large gatherings”.

It is very importing that you avoid possible super-spreader events, such as crowded places, poorly ventilated spaces, and close contact with others.

Reintroduction of Services

The Department’s risk and impact-based approach is guiding the services to be reintroduced – identifying those services which have low risk yet high impact (such as Diabetes, Hypertension, HIV, TB, Child, and Women’s health (including immunizations)). These services which had reduced significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, will have a significant long-term impact for those clients who had missed immunisations, follow-up appointments and scheduled non-emergency treatment.

While elective surgeries are slowly being re-escalated, life-saving surgeries (such as cancer surgeries and urgent cardiac surgeries) will be prioritised with the more urgent cases being dealt with first. However, emergency surgeries have not stopped and will also continue.

Awareness drive campaign

The Department realises the need to continue with normal activities such as going back to work and using public transport. We also need to make sure that we are looking after our health.

In order to ensure that this happens, the Department is currently embarking on an awareness drive at places of gathering and within communities to get residents to take up basic health services again, with a focus on general health, well-being, and ongoing care for vulnerable groups. Be on the lookout for this campaign within malls, taxis, while waiting at the bus shelter and when washing your hands in washrooms at malls.

This awareness drive also includes reminding residents that the best way to keep us moving forward is to wear a mask, keep our hands clean and keep at least a 1.5 metre distance from other people.

Stats as from 16 October 2020

Sub-district Total Active Recovered Died
Hessequa 332 5 309 18
Mossel Bay 2 452 63 2 320 69
George 3 690 113 3 467 110
Knysna 1 584 9 1 526 49
Bitou 650 10 616 24
Kannaland 133 10 122 1
Oudtshoorn 1 533 82 1 353 98
TOTAL 10 374 292 9 713 369

Hospitalisations

From the latest information to our disposal we can confirm that 37 patients are receiving care in both public and private hospitals.

For more information visit: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/

END

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health

Regional Landfill Facility still on the cards, but delayed

Regional Landfill Facility still on the cards, but delayed

Media Statement
16 October 2020

The COVID-19 lockdown has directly impacted the South African economy, bringing with it unforeseeable and unprecedented repercussions for both public and private organisations. Not only has it had devastating and crosscutting negative impacts on businesses, but it also changed the way in which businesses have to navigate into a new economic landscape. Many businesses are now faced with unavoidable and irrecoverable job losses and a discontinuation of various projects.

The proposed Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and Eden Waste Management (RF) (Pty), which includes Interwaste as the lead sponsor, is one such project directly impacted by the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interwaste has recently informed GRDM that it has to pull out from the Garden Route District Municipal Regional Waste Management Facility PPP project.

Municipal Manager for GRDM, Mr Monde Stratu, is of the firm view that various options will be explored to save the project as the GRDM and PPP funders have all invested millions of Rand to get to this advanced stage of the project. “We have advised both National and Provincial Treasury, The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the participating municipalities about the situation,” said Stratu.

The GRDM is currently investigating the following options:

  1. District to build its own regional landfill facility with capital injections (grants and investments)
  2. Involving earlier interested parties
  3. Leasing out the regional landfill site and facility to a private company to operate
  4. Reserved bidder options

GRDM has in the meantime come to an agreement with PetroSA to extend its use of their landfill facility till the end of December 2021.

Reasons for withdrawal from PPP Agreement

Before the final signatures of the PPP Agreement between the two parties could take place the lead shareholder of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Eden Waste Management Propriety Ltd (Private Partner), informed GRDM that they have withdrawn their partnership and as lead shareholder from the SPV. The other shareholders left in the SPV indicated that they are not willing to go forth with the PPP process.

The letter received from the lead shareholder indicated that “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented challenges and constraints it has had on their business, their board has determined that:

  1. It is paramount to preserve their existing business and not to jeopardise the jobs and livelihoods that are supported by their business;
  2. In light of the economic constraints and the ongoing uncertainty as to the future outlook, it is impossible for them to provide the proposed equity investment to ensure the funding of the concomitant debt obligations required in respect of the Project as currently envisaged; and
  3. To proceed with the Project as currently envisaged may compromise their financial position in the future, and consequently, having regard to their fiduciary duties and their obligations as directors in the company the only reasonable decision for Interwaste Proprietary Limited is to withdraw its participation as a shareholder in the Private Party, Eden Waste Management Proprietary Limited, in respect of the Garden Route Regional Waste Management Facility and Alternative Technology Public, Private Partnership Project.”

GRDM is confident that an amicable solution to this crisis will be found, with the assistance of all stakeholders, including the Provincial and National Treasury.

Medical male circumcision to benefit men and their partners

Media Release: Medical male circumcision to benefit men and their partners

16 October 2020

Primary Health Care clinics are  once again continuing services that were high risk during the peak of the pandemic. One of these are medical male circumcisions (MMC).

“Apart from drastically reducing the risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted illnesses, MMC also improves hygiene and reduces the risk of developing penile cancer and the risk of passing the virus that causes cervical cancer to their female partners”, said Programme Manager Sandra Smit.

Smit also elaborates on the great turn-out of young men during MMC outreaches.

“Our programme did really well, and although we had to postpone outreaches and procedures we are excited to get back on track and assist as many men as possible. We implore the youth to make the best decisions for their current and future health. One of those is getting circumcised. The new guideline focus on ages 15 years and older but we will not deny services of those that are younger. Boys under the age of 18 must have parental consent”, she said.

Twenty-year-old Luwayne Michaels says he had the procedure done to ensure he has a healthy family one day. “I wanted to minimize my risk for opportunistic infections, and the fact that I can reduce the risk of my partner developing cervical cancer made it easier to decide”.

MMC is the complete removal of the foreskin. The procedure requires only local anaesthetic and takes about 20 minutes. Patients can leave the facility and go home after the procedure. The wound takes about 6 weeks to heal.

Male Circumcision is not a guarantee that you will not get HIV. Men still need to use a condom each time they have sex, even if they have been circumcised.

Men who are interested should visit their nearest clinic or Primary Health Care Centre to make an appointment for the procedure.  The service is free of charge.

-END-

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health

Media release: Wash your hands

Media release: Wash your hands

15 October 2020

The upbeat sound of ‘Happy Birthday’ regularly resounds through the halls of local clinics – and it has nothing to do with a birthday celebration but more with hand hygiene. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice is a fun way to help you remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Washing your hands regularly with soap is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

Local health facilities will today, 15 October 2020, once again focus on hand hygiene to increase awareness and understanding about the importance thereof as part of International Handwashing Day.

“We do demonstrations of washing hands for patients and show them how to do it for 20 seconds in an attempt to improve hand hygiene in our communities”, said assistant auxiliary nurse Genevieve Lindoor from Conville Clinic. “Although most of our clients are well aware of the importance of clean hands, we do still see clients with dirty hands and nails.” Lindoor has been at Conville Clinic for 20 years of her 30-year career and has seen thousands of hands. “Remember to wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose or mouth, before and after changing a child’s nappy and after using the bathroom, before and after preparing food, after touching any surface in a public area like a communal kitchen, a lift or staircase railings, and after touching an animal,” said Nurse Lindoor.

Nurse Lindoor also reminds everyone to:

  • Have a paper towel ready, if possible, before starting to wash your hands.
  • Remove jewellery like rings before the time.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (remembering to wash between your fingers, the back of your hands and the cuticles and nails).
  • Dry your hands with a paper towel. Close the tap with this towel before throwing it in the bin.

As part of COVID-19 prevention, hand hygiene has been put in the spotlight. “It makes me happy to see how quickly children have become accustomed to sanitising their hands. We must not get complacent now and remember that clean hands play a big role in warding off illnesses such as COVID-19”, Nurse Lindoor said.

Caption: Genevieve Lindoor demonstrates correct hand washing techniques

-END-

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health

Garden Route: COVID-19 numbers still climbing

Media Release
13 October 2020
For Immediate Release

Garden Route: COVID-19 numbers still climbing

Are we experiencing “the calm before a ‘second’ storm”?

The Western Cape Government (WCG) has predicted that a second COVID-19 wave of infections could hit the province by early 2021. It has already hit parts of Europe, with England now seeing new cases quadruple over a period of three (3) weeks. In response, many affected countries implemented targeted local restrictions. An example of a targeted local restriction can include, but is not limited to restricting business operations in certain towns. Examples include the temporary closure of pubs and restaurants.

When Mr Gerhard Otto, Manager for Disaster Management at GRDM was asked about his thoughts about a possible second wave for the Garden Route, he explained: “Yes, a second wave of COVID-19 infections is a reality that we need to prepare ourselves for. Recent studies in 41 countries world-wide indicated that a second wave of infections occur within three to four months after a first wave.

Otto says that a “second wave is directly linked to human behaviour”.  He states that people become complacent by no longer adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols i.e. wearing of face masks; keeping a social distance of 1,5 metres or more; regular hand washing and/or disinfection of hands.

“From what I have seen many people in the Garden Route also no longer abide to these basic rules, not only compromising their own health but also the health of those around them,” said Otto.

“Since the beginning of October, we have witnessed an increase of 120% in new active COVID-19 cases for the Kannaland area, followed by 80% in Bitou and 65% in Mossel Bay areas,” he added.

“The GRDM urges residents in these areas to stay vigilant and to adhere to the five golden rules of good hygiene,” concluded Otto.

SkyNews reported today that a man from the United States of America got infected for a second time. “Doctors said the man needed hospital treatment after his lungs deteriorated during the second infection, which was much worse than the first,” SkyNews reported.

Read the article here: https://news.sky.com/story/us-man-gets-covid-19-twice-with-the-second-infection-much-worse-12102898

ENDS

Pictured: Gerhard Otto, Manager: Disaster Management, Garden Route District Municipality

News Release: October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

News Release
For Immediate Release
8 October 2020

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Annually, October marks “Breast Cancer Awareness month”, an opportunity to place focus on women reducing their cancer risk and to raise awareness. This month also serves to show support for people affected by the disease.

According to studies, early detection remains the cornerstone of controlling cancer. This means, early and adequate diagnosis can lead to effective treatment, resulting in a good chance to cure breast cancer. It is therefore imperative for women to empower themselves with the knowledge to lower their cancer and health risks and to be able to recognise warning signs early.

In South Africa, breast cancer is known to be one of the most common cancers among women of all races. All women are at risk, particularly women with a family history of breast cancer. However, it is also known that about 90% of patients survive after diagnosis when breast cancer is detected at the early stages.

South Africans are lucky to have an organisation like CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) involved in efforts at lowering cancer risks and to provide an integrated service to all people affected by cancer. CANSA continuously supplies the public with information and support. They are committed to offering day-to-day help, including emotional support to patients. In addition, they strive to ensure that cancer survivors and their loved ones don’t have to face cancer alone.

In support of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, women are encouraged to go for annual medical check-ups and cancer screening; and to familiarise themselves with the early warning signs and symptoms of cancer. It is also important for women to check their breasts regularly and to visit health care practitioners if changes are noticed. Awareness of risk factors can help women reduce their personal cancer risk.

Warning signs of breast cancer.

The following are common breast cancer signs and symptoms which include:

  • a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit – you might feel the lump but not see it;
  • a change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling;
  • a change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed;
  • a change to the nipple, for example, it has become pulled in (inverted);
  • rash or crusting around the nipple;
  • any unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple; and
  • changes in the size or shape of the breast.
Warning signs of male breast cancer.

Women must develop the habit of regularly checking their breasts, including the upper chest areas and armpits. It’s simple using the TLC technique (Touch Look Check).

  • Touch your breasts: can you feel anything unusual?
  • Look for changes: does anything look different?
  • Check any changes with your GP

Always remember, awareness of the symptoms and early detection can result in early diagnosis, resulting in improved treatment outcomes. It is in a woman’s nature to generally put others first – BUT, women need to realise that they too have the right to prioritise their own health.