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

6 September 2021 Media Release: District Council approves its first Joint-District Metro Approach Plan – what’s next?

Media Release: District Council approves its first Joint-District Metro Approach Plan – what’s next?

For Immediate Release
6 September 2021

After Cabinet approved its first District Development Model (DDM) framework, the Western Cape Government adopted the Joint District & Metro Approach (JDMA) in response to the President’s call. Local Government Councils across the country embraced it with open arms because they see the value such an approach holds for solving many of the service delivery and developmental issues facing the government in South Africa. Therefore, in layman’s terms, the JDMA seeks to bring all three spheres of government, which includes national, provincial and local spheres together, in order to drive performance and accountability for more efficient service delivery and meaningful developmental programmes.

The JDMA for GRDM was endorsed by the GRDM Council on 24 August 2021. According to Monde Stratu, GRDM Municipal Manager, “we are proud to submit this item to Council, as it will be submitted to the Department of Local Government and Department Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs”.

“Local Municipalities also played a pivotal role in the compilation of this document and their inputs were included.”

According to Executive Mayor Ald. Memory Booysen, the JDMA/DDM is further unpacked as an approach that introduces a more robust effort towards Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) planning, budgeting and implementation for long-term sustainable outcomes. “Government projects and programmes within each district’s jurisdiction are essential to stimulate new thinking, new socio-economic approaches and solutions,” said Booysen. This approach seeks to fundamentally change the conditions in which people work, play and live. For this reason, the GRDM developed, in partnership with the business community and key organisations, a Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) spanning to 2040. The GRDM Council has already adopted the GDS at the end of its third fiscal quarter in March 2021.

The strategic priorities as per the GRDM were used as the basis to identify the projects that must be included in the JDMA Implementation Plan, therefore it is important to read the JDMA Implementation plan in conjunction with the Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) of the GRDM. These include a Garden Route that boasts a water-secure future, circular economy, resilient agriculture, sustainable tourism, supports its people’s well-being and resilience, connected economy (transport and ICT), and sustainable local energy transition.

What’s next?

The Local Government elections are expected to take place in October 2021 and will usher in the next generation (5-year) IDPs. It is therefore critical that the 5-year IDPs are aligned to the JDMA Implementation/One Plans for each district and metro space as this will ensure that the JDMA Implementation/One Plans are implemented.

The current municipal councils are expected to endorse the JDMA Implementation Plan/One Plans as the Long-Term Strategic Framework for a district or metro space. The incoming council following the elections will then note the endorsement of the JDMA Implementation Plan/ One Plan. Furthermore, it is fundamental that the implementation commitments and projects of sector departments that are in the 30-year JDMA Implementation Plan/One Plans are also reflected in the 5 year IDPs.


6 September 2021 Media Release: Garden Route DM commits an additional R 2.5 million towards export hub

Media Release: Garden Route DM commits an additional R 2.5 million towards export hub

For Immediate Release
6 September 2021

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) reaffirmed its commitment recently for developing the Klein Karoo economy when Council approved R2 520 000.00 towards laying a pipeline from borehole fields near Calitzdorp. This project also forms part of the Joint District Metro Approach (JDMA), which was endorsed on the same day, with this funding approval in August 2021.

Alderman Memory Booysen showing “thumbs-up” to the project during his visit to one of the sites where borehole activities were underway in March 2021.

According to Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for GRDM, “the project will see an Agri Village established in the future, with 600 homes for community members – they’ll have the rights to their own titles too”. “It is projected that 1 800 permanent jobs and 2 000 seasonal jobs will be created through this initiative. Furthermore, this initiative will promote Agri-Tourism, as there are planned events and programmes linked to this activity to bring people into the Karoo” said Booysen.

GRDM initially funded R600 000 to carry out a water study in the area, which turned out to be successful. From this, the Municipality received two desalination plants for reverse osmosis, capable of cleaning 60 000ℓ of water per hour. After laying pipelines, the project will be ready to increase its ‘slice of the cake’ in the export market. Offtake agreements are already in place with SAPEX EXPORTS.

Primary exports will be pomegranates, and even though this type of export business from Southern Africa is a minuscule industry, there is scope for this market to grow exponentially. Currently, only 1% of world pomegranate production is exported from South Africa because exports only started a few years ago. At the moment, the total plantings in Southern Africa are less than 1000ha. “At least 10% of this hectarage will be reserved for previously disadvantaged groups (BEE) farmers,” Ald. Booysen said.

This creates an ample opportunity for exports from the Southern Hemisphere to markets in the Northern Hemisphere in their off-season, and to the Far East because there is no production there.

Feature image: Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for Garden Route District Municipality with his Mayoral Committee members and municipal employees at Celebratio, a company that successfully grows and exports pomegranates.


3 September 2021 Media Release: Tourism for inclusive growth

Media Release: Tourism for inclusive growth

For Immediate Release
03 September 2021

Tourism Month features themed activities aligned to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day Celebrations that take place annually on 27 September. The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is “Tourism for inclusive growth.”

Annually, Tourism Month provides a heightened month-long focus on the importance of the tourism sector and the enormous contribution the tourism industry makes to provincial and national economic growth as well as job creation in South Africa. “This year, we align our efforts with the national and provincial government to emphasize the importance of domestic tourism and inclusive growth. The tourism industry has been severely affected by the Covid–19 pandemic, and in Tourism Month, we want to shift our focus to the recovery of the sector and to build back better. We believe that promoting our beautiful region and its diverse offerings to the domestic market could increase visitors/domestic tourists to the area, contribute towards employment in the sector, and contribute to the growth of the tourism sector within the district,” said Ms Amagene Koeberg, Tourism Coordinator for Garden Route District Municipality.

This year’s theme is all about tourism for all, and it is about the rural women and the innovative youth; it is for the villages, towns and the less-visited part of our country. “This theme is about the cultural diversity of our offerings and the travel tastes of the millennials. Importantly, growth is about the broad-based benefits and support for small enterprises that continue to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tharage, Director-General of the Department of Tourism at the Golden Gate National Park outside of Clarens at the launch of Tourism Month.

Tourism Month in SA aims to encourage South Africans to travel domestically to understand better the affordable, exciting and world-class attractions available on their own doorstep.  It also serves as an opportunity to promote domestic tourism and create a culture of travel amongst South Africans.

Initiatives such as the; SHO’T LEFT TRAVEL WEEK 6 -12 September 2021 will present great travel deals, with airlines, hotel groups, tour operators and tourist attractions offering discounts of up to 50%. These deals must be bought during this week but can be redeemed at any other time, depending on the partner’s terms and conditions. This presents an opportunity for South Africans to tour and experience their own country.

As the country begins to open up again during COVID19, the appetite for domestic travel must be re-ignited, and South Africans should be encouraged to travel their country.

By visiting the website: South Africans can access great holiday deals. Some of these deals feature Garden Route & Klein Karoo tourism partners.  By visiting our regional tourism website’s events page at you can be enticed by the various events/festivals hosted in our local towns during Tourism Month and beyond, suitable to please any and every tourist with the array of diversity we have to offer.



On Monday, 30 August 2021, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, concluded his outreach to the Garden Route with a visit to the Informal settlements in Sedgefield and Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay. These visits were to ascertain how the Informal Settlements Support Programme has improved these living standards of the informal dwellers.

Minister Simmers met with key stakeholders, which included the Ward Councilor, the Community Leadership and the appointed NGO, to discuss current the state of the projects as well as future plans.

Minister Simmers said: “It is pleasing to note that the ISSP is making a significant difference in the lives of our people. It remains the priority of the Western Cape Government to ensure our people live in safer and improved conditions, as this will go a long way in restoring our people’s dignity. I’m also delighted to note the good working relationship between the community leaders and the Ward Councillor, as this helps to remove any and all hindrances from projects.”

Through the ISSP, the Department has erected 104 new toilets and taps, as well as upgraded 74 toilets in Sedgefield. The ISSP provides individuals with a service stand with access to running water, sanitation and electricity services. The beneficiaries of the UISP are eligible to apply to build a house on their stand, through one of the government’s other housing subsidies, applicable to qualifying criterion.

“As the Western Cape Government we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open society,” added Simmers.

Media Enquiries: Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

021 483 3397 (o) / 082 721 3362 (m)


Mr. Nathan Adriaanse

Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations

Tel: 021 483-2868 / Cell: 083 263 1720

1 September 2021 Media Release: GRDM appoints unemployed youth to relieve healthcare professionals at vaccination sites

Media Release: GRDM appoints unemployed youth to relieve healthcare professionals at vaccination sites

For Immediate Release
1 September 2021

Since the COVID-19 Vaccination Program was launched, more than 60 000 Garden Routers have already been vaccinated. These include Health Care Workers, residents and staff at Old Age Homes educators, and public members at various community vaccination sites.

However, being a double dose, the Pfizer vaccine adds an extra administrative challenge at vaccination sites, as people have to go through the administrative process twice. Currently, the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) registration portal is open for persons older than 18 years, and the influx of people at the identified sites is causing extra pressure on healthcare professionals.

The President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, stated in his presidential address on 11 July 2021, that the quantities of imported and locally produced vaccines will double and even triple soon.

More vaccines will result in more vaccination sites and a need for additional administrative personnel. For this reason and due to a request received from the Provincial Department of Health, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently appointed unemployed youth to assist nurses at the vaccination sites. The project is an initiative of the Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, and is managed by the GRDM Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Administrative Assistants appointed at the various sites within the Garden Route district, to relieve healthcare professionals with their administrative duties.

These administrative assistants are placed at the following sites: Alma CDC, Mossel Bay Town Hall, D’Almeida Hall, Wolwedans Community Hall, Groot Brak, Knysna CDC, Knysna Town Hall, Knysna Town Hall, Plett Town Clinic, Kwanokuthula CDC, Thembalethu CDC, Pacaltsdorp Clinic, George Hospital, George Central Clinic, Harry Comay Hospital, Riversdale Civic Centrum, Riversdale Civic Centrum, Still Bay Civic Centre, Toekomsrust Community Hall and Toekomsrust Community Hall. They effectively started with their duties on 1 August 2021. and focus on the administrative responsibilities to relieve nurses to focus primarily on their core function.

According to Richard Dyantyi, EPWP Manager at GRDM, the team was appointed to serve a period of six months until the end of January 2021. He said: “We are reviewing the impact of the project monthly to determine the effectiveness of this intervention. Adding to this he said: “Based on the impact of the intervention, we will consider the expansion of the initiative to other areas as advised by the Provincial Department of Health”. The initiative was influenced by the high unemployment rate of 34, 4% as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, all administrative assistants were unemployed, reside in the Garden Route district, have matric, and have basic computer literacy skills – the ideal characteristics of administrators needed to implement this programme”.

“While relieving our healthcare professionals with their workload, we simultaneously create employment for our youth, who did not have the basic means of income,” Mayor Booysen said. “This is what we as a District Municipality aims to do, is to put bread on the table for our vulnerable – to maintain our vision by ensuring inclusiveness of all the people we serve,” he concluded.

Lonwabo Luthango from the GRDM Disaster Management Centre is appointed to act as project manager of this initiative and to oversee the administration of the appointments.

Feature Image: Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen (middle), with Charlene Magdalene Barnardo (left) and Lyzette Elzane Stroebel (right) at the Knysna Town Hall vaccination site.


1 September 2021 Media Release: Garden Route COVID-19 update 31 August 2021

Media Release: Garden Route COVID-19 update 31 August 2021

For Immediate Release
1 September 2021

There has been a welcome decrease in cases the last 7 days to compared to 7 – 14 days ago. All sub-districts had decreases except for Bitou which essentially stayed the same.  There are now 756 active cases per 100 000.  (One week ago it was 823.)  “We are optimistic that we are in a downward trend. Our staff have been hard at work balancing COVID-19 cases, routine services and also the roll-out of the vaccination programme. They are emotionally and physically tired, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our employees, those on the frontline and those working behind the scenes”, said District Director Mr Zee Brickles.

Hospital services

George Regional Hospital remains under pressure.  On 31 August there were 54 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, of whom 16 are in critical care.

Harry Comay Hospital, used as step-down facility for George Hospital, is less busy.  There are 16 patients in the two wards.

Oudtshoorn Hospital is currently experiencing pressures due to COVID-19 admissions. The hospital currently has 28 patients.

Vaccination programme

The Western Cape has administered 2 million vaccines as of 30  August 2021with the Garden Route almost breaching the 200 000 mark at 191 229 vaccines to date.  Roving vaccination teams are still visiting as many communities in far lying areas as possible, as well as farm workers, big factories and tertiary education centres.

Twenty-eight farmworkers from Patrysfontein in Mossel Bay sub-district received their vaccination during an outreach.

The district’s first weekend vaccination site is Knysna Town Hall on Saturday 4 September from 09:00 to 14:00.  More sites are planned to come onboard in the near future.

Communities are currently rife with misinformation regarding the vaccine which makes it difficult for people to make an informed decision. For credible information visit

We encourage everyone 18 years and older to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccination is safe and based on existing, thoroughly tested and effective technology. Getting vaccinated is our best weapon against COVID-19.

 COVID-19 stats as of 30 August 2021

Sub-district TOTAL Active Recovered Deaths
Bitou 3 800 298 3 383 119
George 22 809 1 383 20 656 770
Hessequa 4 507 597 3 731 179
Kannaland 1 605 178 1 362 65
Knysna 7 532 502 6 804 226
Mossel Bay 14 481 1 081 12 994 406
Oudtshoorn 7 122 719 5 996 407
Sub-total 61 856 4 758 54 926 2 172


Feature image caption: Vaccination Teams in Kannaland held an outreach to Nissanville.


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


30 August 2021 Media Release: Newly appointed MEC of Transport and Public Works visits the Garden Route District

30 August 2021

For immediate release

Newly appointed MEC of Transport and Public Works visits the Garden Route District

This morning, the newly appointed Western Cape Government Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, MEC Daylin Michell, visited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and region, to conduct an introductory meeting with all the Executive Mayors and Municipal Managers in the district.

During his opening remarks, a confident MEC Michell assured local municipal representatives that service delivery to citizens is not new, although he might be new to the position. He also said that the concerns raised during the meeting might not be unique.  His department will try and find solutions in the system to best address emerging and old challenges.  He further mentioned that his visit to the Garden Route District would not be from something new but that today’s process aimed to kick off his predecessors and continue in that fashion.

The GRDM Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, introduced the discussions by explaining that the GRDM has the biggest road network compared to other district municipalities in the Western Cape.  Alderman Booysen further explained how roads in other districts, especially the West Coast, are used as economic networks for farmers getting their harvest to airports and harbours in Cape Town and that those critical roads are tar.  He stated that he believes that there should be no difference in the Garden Route District. Alderman Booysen concluded by requesting that the upcoming Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the Western Cape Government Transport and Public Works and the GRDM address the previous years’ learning curves.

Afterwards, the different local municipal representatives raised their areas’ concerns and welcomed the visit of the Minister of Transport and Public Works.

As part of his visit, MEC Michell and his delegation, joined by Alderman Booysen and some of the other Executive Mayors, visited several sites in the George Municipal area.


Media Release:  Qolweni sod-turning is the start of improved living conditions

30 August 2021

For immediate release

Qolweni sod-turning is the start of improved living conditions

Today, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers conducted a sod-turning to officially launch the Qolweni 169 Phase 3A Project in the Plettenberg Bay community.

This project, which has a budget allocation of R 33,5 million excluding professional fees, was approved in October 2019. Construction of the 169 units had to commence in January 2021. Due to various challenges between the Bitou Municipality, the contractor appointed by them, and community dynamics, this could not occur.

After numerous community protests, the Bitou Municipality handed the project over to the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WCDoHS) on 18 June 2021. Regrettably, the WCDoHS could not immediately commence with the project, as the contractor that was appointed by the municipality threatened the Provincial Department with legal action and an interdict, should the WCDoHS  start with the project.

Minister Simmers said: “Today’s sod-turning is an exciting moment for the people of Qolweni. Now the most vulnerable, particularly the elderly and those living with medically certified disabilities, will have an opportunity to live in improved and safer conditions. This is only the start of our commitment we made to the community in June when this project was handed over to us. The entire Plettenberg Bay can undoubtedly celebrate this joyous occasion.

I call on all stakeholders to ensure that there are no further hindrances or delays in this project. As the provincial and local sphere of government we’re working together and trust that the community will fully participate in this development. This is particularly important in the protection and safeguarding of the site and all materials. Since taking the project over, we’ve had regular and transparent engagements with all stakeholders. We therefore call for dialogue, should any issue for any reason arise.”

This project is expected to be concluded towards the end of 2022.

“As the Western Cape Government we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open society,” added Simmers.


Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin
Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers
021 483 3397 (o)
082 721 3362 (m)


Nathan Adriaanse
Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations
021 483 2868 (o)
083 263 1720 (m)

SMME Support and Development Programme – Call for Business Proposals

SMME Support and Development Programme
Call for Business Proposals

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is embarking on a Small-, Medium- and Micro Enterprise (SMME) Programme to help dynamic and committed entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. A broad scope of non-financial assistance will be provided, including compulsory business development interventions and training.

Only serious applicants with a workable business concept or business profile should apply.


Applicants MUST complete an application form (obtained from either the District Economic Development Office, 54 York Street, George, 6530 or email with the following IMPORTANT supporting documents attached:

  • Company Profile/ Business Proposal or Business Plan;
  • Six (6) months Profit and Loss Summary or (recent Financial statements, if available);
  • Business registration document.


  • Must be a registered business operating for ±2 years;
  • Must have a viable business idea/proposal with clear directions/deliverables;
  • Must be available to present to a selected panel and attend the compulsory business development interventions and training identified by the panel;
  • SARS registered;
  • 100% South African owned;
  • Formally registered for ±2 years or incorporated, e.g. with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC); and must be in operation for the mentioned period;
  • Operating and residing within the Garden Route;
  • It is classified as a micro or small enterprise in terms of the National Small Enterprises Act.

All applications must be in an envelope, stated “2021/2022 SMME Support and Development Programme – Garden Route District Municipality” and be dropped off at 54 York Street, George, 6530 or at any Garden Route DM Offices for attention Mr Johannes Jafta or emailed to Enterprises that benefitted from the previous programme (2019/2020 and 2020/2021) will not be considered. NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED. Please provide us with a detailed outline of your business proposal, together with all required proof. If you don’t adhere to the set criteria, your application will be unsuccessful. Only shortlisted enterprises will be contacted to present their business concept to the adjudication panel virtually or in person. Only the top business concepts concerning the set criteria will be selected.

Closing date: Friday, 10 September 2021 by 13h00.

All enquiries can be directed to the Garden Route District Municipality Economic Development Office at

30 August 2021 Notification: Cater Care (Food Handler) Training Programme

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), through its 3-month Cater Care (Food Handler) Training Programme, aims to train previously disadvantaged individuals and unemployed youth in the hospitality sector. This programme serves as a stepping stone to Garden Routers who are interested in developing culinary skills and strengthening the local hospitality industry. Each student will be given an opportunity to gain a theoretical understanding of food handling and be allowed to gain practical experience at a business too.

This year the course takes place from September 2021 till December 2021.


Must be a SA Citizen; Aged 18-30; Unemployed; School Qualification Grade 10 to Grade 12; Must have a bank account; Must have a Tax number; Eager to shape a career in the hospitality industry; Reside in the Garden Route DM area.


Prospective learners must apply in person at the Francois Ferreira Academy by completing an application form.

All applicants must bring their CV, certified ID Copy, and school results. Certification of documents must not be older than 3 months. Letter from the bank confirming their account. Must have a contact cell phone number plus an alternative number.

Address: Francois Ferreira Academy, Mount View Resort, 1 York Street, George. Office hours: 08:00 – 16:30 (Mon-Thu); 08:00-15:00 (Fri). Contact Ms Veronica Mekile if you have any questions or e-mail or call 044 884 0765.


*All successful candidates are responsible for their own accommodation arrangements and transport and only serious and committed applicants will be considered for this opportunity.