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

17 January 2022 Impact Based Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua: Veld Fire Conditions

Impact Based Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua: Veld Fire Conditions

17 January 2022

Hazard Affected Municipalities Valid from (SAST) Valid to (SAST)
Veld Fire Conditions Beaufort West, Kannaland, Karoo Hoogland, Laingsburg, Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert and Swellendam 18/01/22 10h00 18/01/22 18h00

Discussion: The warm temperatures, dry conditions and strong winds could result in the development of runaway and veld/bush fires.

Impact: Conditions are such that the FDI index is above 75. Under these conditions, fires may develop and spread rapidly resulting in damage to property and possible loss of human and/or animal life.

Instruction: Fireteams, labour and equipment are to be placed on stand-by. At first sign of smoke, every possible measure should be taken in order to bring the fire under control in the shortest possible time.

 

SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
Cape Town Weather Office
2nd Floor: Oval Office Park
Cape Town Int airport
Freight Road
Matroosfontein
Cape Town

E-Mail: factfc@weathersa.co.za
Tel: 021 935 5700

Report any weather-related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at: 044 805 5071.

17 January 2022 Impact Based Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua: Yellow level 2: Damaging Waves

Impact Based Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua: Yellow level 2: Damaging Waves

17 January 2022

Hazard Alert Level Affected Municipalities Valid From (SAST) Valid To(SAST)
Damaging Waves Yellow(L2)
(High likelihood of Minor Impacts)
Bergrivier, Bitou, Cape Agulhas, Cape Agulhas, Cederberg, City of Cape town, George, Hessequa, Kamiesberg, Knysna, Matzikama, Mossel Bay, Nama Khoi, Overstrand, Richtersveld, Saldanha Bay, Swartland and Table Bay 18/01/22 15h00 20/01/22 00h00

Discussion: Strong to gale force SW’ly winds (50-70km/h) are expected from Tuesday afternoon between Cape Point and Plettenberg Bay. This will cause rough, choppy seas with quick successive steep waves. From Wednesday, winds drop down, but wave heights increase to 4-6m along the entire coastline (Alexander Bay to Plettenberg Bay) from the morning. Wave heights may reach 7m along the southwest coast on Wednesday. Periods of 16s is expected on Wednesday and Thursday which will result in high energy waves. Springtide this week will also result in waves reaching further up the beach.

Impact: Difficulty in navigation for small vessels and personal watercraft may lead to vessels being at risk of taking on water and capsizing. Localised disruptions of small harbours or ports is possible for short period. Localised damage to coastal infrastructure is possible (mainly Wed-Thurs). Localised disruption to beachfront activities. The public at risk of being swept off coastal rocks due to infrequent large waves (Wed-Thurs).

Instruction: Small vessels are advised to seek shelter in harbours, bays or inlets.

 

SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
Cape Town Weather Office
2nd Floor: Oval Office Park
Cape Town Int airport
Freight Road
Matroosfontein
Cape Town

E-Mail: factfc@weathersa.co.za
Tel: 021 935 5700

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

 

 

17 January 2022 Joint Media Release: SALGA Western Cape hands over a cheque of R54 862 to Kwamdlezane Baby Care Centre as part of its Mandela Day initiative for 2021

Joint Media Release: SALGA Western Cape hands over a cheque of R54 862 to Kwamdlezane Baby Care Centre as part of its Mandela Day initiative for 2021

For Immediate Release
17 January 2022

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) Western Cape in collaboration with the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Alderman Memory Booysen identified Kwamdlezane Baby Care Centre in Plettenberg Bay as part of SALGA’s initiative for Mandela Day 2021. A cheque of an amount of R54 862 has been handed over to the centre, on Monday, 17 January 2022 by SALGA and the Executive Mayor.

During his keynote address, Ald. Booysen said that their municipality tends to focus on primary and high schools when they do outreaches, however, after discussions with my Mayoral Committee, they have decided to shift the focus towards Early Childhood Development centres (ECDs).

Kwamdlezane Baby Care Centre own is a centre headed by a 25-year-old Sipeshihle Mafani, who took over the centre from her mother when she passed away in 2017. Mafani thanked SALGA and the Executive Mayor for the funds donated to the centre. She said it will be used for the better upkeep of the children accommodated at the centre.

“Thank you for your continued support. This donation will definitely go a long way in sustaining our mission and it will definitely make a difference in the centre,” she said.

GRDM Mayoral committee member for financial services, Cllr Anco Barker said the municipality needs to bend a tree while it’s young. This means that the GRDM should make an impact on the lives of ECDs.

“We tend to forget that we need to start making a difference to the lives of community members when they are still young,” said Barker.

She also thanked Kwamdlezane Baby Care Center committing to report on how they will share the funds donated to them.

2021 marked 12 years of Nelson Mandela Day Celebrations under the theme “Take ActionInspire Change – Make Every Day a Mandela Day”, Action Against Poverty” while Mandela Day calls to action remain a general call to reach out to those in need, SALGA’s focus was to be on the challenge of food security, sanitation and ECD work.

Since the pandemic, this devastating reality worsened. Staff members at SALGA were called to support efforts related to these goals during Mandela Month 2021.

SALGA Western Cape’s Provincial Director of Operations Mr Khalil Mullagie mentioned that they meant to do the donation in July last as part of SALGA’s Mandela Day initiative. But due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the project was delayed.

“Covid-19 disrupted our plans last year, as a result, this project was delayed. But we are happy that we got to finally handover the much-needed funds to Ms. Mafani’s centre,” said Mr Mullagie.

He further said that, with the help of the GRDM, they identified this centre as the suitable beneficiary, because the Principal of the ECD is a young person contributing to her community by creating jobs through the centre.

End

Issued by: South African Local Government Association Western Cape
For further media enquiries, please contact:
Joyce Moholola
082 874 9222
jmoholola@salga.org.za

Herman Pieters
081 4555 699
communications@gardenroute.gov.za
Chief Communication Officer
Garden Route District Municipality

15 January 2022 Impact Based Warning: Severe Thunderstorms

Impact Based Warning: Severe Thunderstorms

15 January 2022

Hazard Alert Level Affected Municipalities Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
Severe Thunderstorms Yellow (L2) (High likelihood of Minor Impacts) Beaufort West, Hantam, Kannaland, Karoo Hoogland, Khâi-Ma, Laingsburg, Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert 15/01/22 11h00 15/01/22 22h00

Discussion: Showers and thundershowers are expected to develop over the interior of the Namakwa as well as the Central and Little Karoo from early afternoon, where some may become severe with quick and heavy downpours (30-40mm/hour) which can lead to flash flooding as well as possible large amounts of small hail (diameter of 2cm and less).

Impact: Localised flash flooding of susceptible roads, low-lying areas and bridges (main concern being the N1 and the Swartberg Pass) which can lead to difficult driving conditions especially where the roads are slippery due to the combination of hail and pooling of water on the roads and the heavy downpour that can reduce visibility. This may contribute to minor vehicle accidents and longer travel times. Localised damage to infrastructure and settlements (mainly informal) and localised and short term disruption to municipal and other essential services are also possible.

Instruction: If possible stay indoors away from metal objects. Do not seek shelter under trees or tall objects. Do not go fishing or play golf as both the golf clubs and fishing rods are good conductors of electricity. Be aware that any combination of hail, strong winds and/or heavy downpours can accompany the storms.

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance. It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
Cape Town Weather Office
2nd Floor: Oval Office Park
Cape Town Int airport
Freight Road
Matroosfontein
Cape Town

Media Release: Garden Route Air Quality remains tops

Media Release: Garden Route Air Quality remains tops

For Immediate Release
14 January 2022

“Humankind faces its greatest existential threat in the form of climate change” – President Cyril Ramaphosa, 2020 State of the Nation Address

Climate change refers to long-term changes in weather patterns and temperatures. Such shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. Climate change has been primarily driven by human activities since the 1800s, particularly through the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Fossil fuel combustion produces greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.

Climate change and air quality are closely related. Some of these emissions are not only of concern, but they often come from the same sources. Furthermore, air pollution and climate change interact in complex ways in the atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) alter the energy balance between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface, altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

Examples of developments that will result in the release of GHG`s include:

  • Electricity generation facilities that utilize fossil fuels.
  • Industrial developments that contribute to atmospheric emissions.
  • The extraction and production of fossil fuels.
  • The development and related operations of feedlots.
  • Clearing of vegetation and where it is replaced by built infrastructure such as roads, airports, and urban development.
  • Waste disposal facilities.
  • Treatment of waste through burn technologies.

In October 2011, the Government of South Africa published the National Climate Change Response White Paper, which details the Government’s vision for an effective response to climate change and a just transition to a climate-resilient, lower-carbon economy and society. The Minister has promulgated the National GHG Reporting Regulations. The purpose of these Regulations is to introduce a single national reporting system for the transparent reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, which will primarily be used to: Inform policy formulation, implementation and legislation.

“The Garden Route District Municipality recognises climate change as a threat to the environment, its residents, and its future development,” says Dr Johann Schoeman, District Manager: Air Quality. Böckmann (2015) states that measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions or enhance greenhouse gas sinks (mitigation). However, due to lag times in the climate and biophysical systems, the positive impacts of past and current mitigation will only be noticeable in the next 25 years (Jiri, 2016). In the meantime, adaptation is seen as an inevitable and necessary response to the changes projected in the district. Garden Route District Municipality has therefore prioritised the development of a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Change Response Plan.

The Air Quality status of the Garden Route

Air Quality in the Garden route is managed through its 3rd generation Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP). Our Air Quality vision is: To have air quality worthy of the name “The Garden Route”

“The GRDM is one of the front-running municipalities with regards to Air Quality management in South Africa,” said Schoeman.

Air pollution is an increasing risk, and it is estimated that more than 7 million people die worldwide because of air pollution. it is due to this risk that the GRDM for the last 6 years intensified its air pollution awareness through its GRDM Clean Fires campaign, focussing on air pollution awareness at the primary school level.

The Garden Route is a fast-developing zone with people all over South Africa migrating to the district. This will ultimately also lead to increased industrial activity and more pressure on the environment. Within the Western Cape Provincial contexts, GRDM issued 21% of the total number of Atmospheric Emission Licences within the Western Cape, with only the City of Cape town issuing more licences than the GRDM.

Garden Routers is fortunate to have three Provincial Air Quality monitoring stations, which are located strategically within the district. Their placement is based on potential hazardous sources of pollution. These stations are complemented by monitoring stations operated by the industry as well as air quality monitoring activities done by the Garden route district municipality. The George station is also reporting live to the South-African Air Quality Information System (SAQIS).

In general, the pollution measured at these stations are in compliance with the Ambient Air Quality standards of South Africa and the Garden route can still be regarded as a district with very good air quality. The public can access the data on the SAQIS- system. There is excellent cooperation between GRDM and Industry and many emissions reduction programmes and improved technology projects have been implemented to mitigate the harmful effect of air pollution.

Goals 3 and 4 of the GRDM Air Quality Management Plan focus on Climate change response (CCR). The following tasks are envisaged under this objective relating to CCR:

  • Determining the types and quantity of fuels used in households
  • Continue the Clean Fires campaign at schools
  • Refine the emissions inventory to include household emissions
  • Identify the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions within the GRDM
  • Engage with these contributors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and acknowledge those who take effective steps
  • Assist local municipalities to amend by-laws to affect emissions limits on unlicensed industries that emit greenhouse gasses.

The importance of air quality on the quality of life is often overlooked due to a lack of understanding of the impact that poor air quality has on the health and wellbeing of the community. The GRDM AQMP will continue to prioritise protecting vulnerable communities against exploitation.

Feature image: Air quality sensor

ENDS

13 January 2022 Weather Advisory for the Western Cape and Namaqualand Region

13 January 2022

Weather Advisory for the Western Cape and Namaqualand Region

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

Alert level Affected Municipalities Valid from (SAST) Valid to (SAST)
Advisory Breede Valley, City of Cape Town, Drakenstein, Kannaland, Knysna, Laingsburg, Langeberg, Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert, Stellenbosch, Witzenberg 13/01/22 01h00 17/01/22 00h00

Discussion: Very hot conditions will result from predominantly northerly wind flow over the interior parts of the Western Cape. Temperatures reaching 40 and above is likely to occur.

Impact: In an extremely hot environment, the most serious health and safety concern is heatstroke. Heatstroke can be fatal if medical attention is not available immediately.

Instruction: Avoid prolonged direct exposure to the sun as far as possible and drink plenty of water. Limit strenuous outdoor activities, find shade and stay hydrated. Never leave kids in the car unattended. Make sure your animals have access to enough water.

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
Cape Town Weather Office
2nd Floor: Oval Office Park
Cape Town Int airport
Freight Road
Matroosfontein
Cape Town

 

Media Release: Garden Route Coastal Resorts Perform Exceptionally Well Over the Festive Season

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.

Visit www.victoriabaycaravanpark.co.za and www.swartvleicaravanpark.co.za to book your spot. Remember to like our social media pages on Facebook by searching for our resorts on the platform.

Fire Update 3: Klein Bavaria on 11 January 2022 at 10:55 am (Closing report)

Fire Update 3: Klein Bavaria on 11 January 2022 at 10:55 am

Mopping-up operations ended yesterday at 17H00. A 12-hour patrol and monitoring period by the landowner was done and it is confirmed that the wildfire is extinguished. No lives were lost and no infrastructure damages were recorded.
 
Garden Route District Municipality would like to extend its thank yous to all the supporting agencies who assisted its firefighters during this period. These role players include South Cape Fire Protection Association, Bitou and Knysna Municipality Fire Services and Working on Fire (ground and aerial firefighting).
 
Issued by Garden Route District Municipality Communications

10 January 2022 Impact Based Warning: Severe Thunderstorms

The Cape Town weather office has issued a ‘Level 2 Thunderstorms’ Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape.  In addition, please find a map indicating alternative routes should Meiringspoort be closed due to flooding.

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”