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

Media Statement: Weddings allowed under the current lockdown regulations (under specific conditions mentioned in this statement)

Media Statement: Weddings allowed under the current lockdown regulations (under specific conditions mentioned in this statement)

For Immediate Release
16 February 2021

According to the National Department of Cooperative Governance, weddings are allowed under the current lockdown regulations. This was communicated earlier to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Command Centre, however, specific directives still apply for those intending to hold such events.

According to the GRDM Head of Disaster Management, Gerhard Otto: “The regulations must be interpreted as a whole, which requires comparing Regulations 33, 36, 39 and 45 with one another.” Otto says it was confirmed that the wedding industry was not mentioned specifically as an exclusion in Regulation 45, however social gatherings at nightclubs are.

It was explained by the Department of Cooperative Governance that the act of getting married at a place of worship, dining out and celebrating a wedding at an entertainment facility is allowed – “within the applicable restrictions,” said Jurgens Dyssel, Director: Policy Development and Regulatory Frameworks at the Department of Cooperative Governance. “As such, an established wedding venue (as a business) can host those parts of a wedding ceremony at their restaurant, ‘chapel’ and entertainment facility that clearly fall within the ambit of the regulations but should refrain from those ‘social’ aspects that do not fall within the permissible components,” he explained.

A summary of the key points applicable to weddings are mentioned below:

  • The regulations must be interpreted in its entirety;
  • The regulations do not define the term ‘social gathering’ and this limits interpretation of the regulations to the general use of the term;
  • Regulation 33(3) sets a 22h00 closing time for certain facilities;
  • Regulation 36(1) imposes health requirements on a person when attending a gathering;
  • Regulation 36(3)(a) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a faith based institution but limit the number of persons to gather to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors (or less), whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a faith based institution;
  • Regulation 36(3)(b) prohibits all social gatherings;
  • Regulation 36(7) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a casino but limit the number of persons to gather to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors (or less), whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a casino;
  • Regulation 36(9) does not limit the reason for a gathering at beaches, dams, lakes and rivers, inclusive of recreational facilities at those places within curfew and within social distancing measures. A person may therefore get married at a beach, dam, lake and river;
  • Regulation 36(10) does not limit the reason for a gathering at swimming pools inclusive of recreational facilities at those places within curfew and within social distancing measures. A person may therefore get married at a swimming pool;
  • Regulation 36(12) does not limit the reason for a gathering at botanical gardens, aquariums, zoos and game parks, other than time of operation and within social distancing measures. A person may therefore get married at a botanical garden, aquarium, zoo and game park;
  • Regulation 36(13) does not permit gatherings at public parks for any reason. A person may therefore not get married in a public park;
  • Regulation 36(15)(a) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a restaurant, but limits the number of persons to gather to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors (or less), whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a restaurant;
  • Regulation 36(15)(b) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a conferencing, dining and entertainment facility, but limits the number of persons to gather to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors (or less), whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a conferencing, dining and entertainment facility;
  • Regulation 36(15)(c) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a business premises, but limits the number of persons to gather to 50 percent of the available floor space, whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a business premises;
  • A wedding has religious, cultural, business, social, legal and other components;
  • Regulation 45 deals with the operation of an economic sector (Table 2), which sets out the specific (economic) exclusions but not specifically exclude weddings or wedding venues; and
  • Regulation 39 deals with places and premises closed to the public, which only lists night clubs as the Minister has not defined others by means of a Direction.

The above-mentioned directives, therefore, provide clarity about weddings and unpacks why they are allowed.

ADDED CLARITY TO STATEMENT

The exclusion of social gatherings, night clubs etc. impact on the ‘social’ components of hosting a wedding ceremony. As such, an established wedding venue (as a business) can host those parts of a wedding ceremony at their restaurant, ‘chapel’ and entertainment facility that clearly fall within the ambit of the regulations but should refrain from those ‘social’ aspects that do not fall within the permissible components.

ENDS

Herman Pieters
Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
Email: communications@gardenroute.gov.za
Website: www.gardenroute.gov.za

Media Statement: Oil smell and possible oil pollution in Dana Bay

Media Statement: Oil smell and possible oil pollution in Dana Bay

For Immediate Release
10 February 2021

Community members recently raised concerns via social media regarding possible oily residue in the Blinde River and areas reeking of oil in Dana Bay.  An inspection was subsequently done at the Blinde River on 10 February 2021 at around 13:15. Results of the inspection indicate that the blackish residue is most likely from algae growth in the river.

Algae often loosens up and decomposes alongside river banks and is in this case visibly darker in colour, similar to oil residue. PetroSA, who also visited the Blind River also confirmed this finding. However, samples were taken and sent for lab tests to confirm this statement. Furthermore, it was also confirmed that there was no oily smell from the black algae residue in the River or in Dana Bay.

The oily smell during the night is most likely residing from the PetroSA Gas To Liquids (GTL) refinery and specifically from an oil spill that occurred at the end of 2020 in two storm water ponds located adjacent to the N2. This incident was subsequently communicated to community members.

The respective case officers from National and Provincial level have been informed and are currently busy with applicable administrative action to resolve this issue. Over the short term, a solution is to clean the affected ponds, which is already underway. While the long-term solution is to upgrade the applicable unit to prevent spillages going forward. Further details about such clean-up operations need to be directed to the relevant authority, i.e. PetroSA.

The fact that the smells are more eminent during early morning hours is just that at that time of the morning, weather conditions are normally stable with dispersion conditions favouring air pollution. As soon as the temperature rises and the wind picks up, the smells gets dispersed.

Provincial air quality monitoring stations are located in George, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. The concentrations of pollutants measured at the Mossel Bay station continues to comply with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Furthermore, the listed activities in the Garden Route are monitored through their respective Atmospheric Emission Licences and any non-compliance will continue to be addressed through administrative action.

Mossel Bay residents are further informed that PetroSA management has opted in for an open line of communication with the public. Residents are therefore urged to contact the PetroSA Shift Manager at 044- 601 2531 to lodge a complaint which will be subsequently investigated.

The public is also welcome to contact the District Air Quality office for any applicable air quality complaints under the GRDM jurisdiction. The office number is 044-693 0006 during normal office hours (Monday – Thursday, 07:30 – 16:30; Fridays from 07:30 – 13:30).

Dr Johann Schoeman
Manager: District Air Quality Control
jschoeman@gardenroute.gov.za
Tel: +27 (0)44 693 0006 | +27 (0)84 317 9167

ENDS

GRDM Grader Operator tragically passes away in motor vehicle accident

09 February 2021
News Release
For immediate release

GRDM Grader Operator tragically passes away in motor vehicle accident

The past weekend, on 5 February 2021, council, management and employees from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) were once again shocked by the sudden passing of a GRDM employee. Johannes Amsterdam, a GRDM Roads Services employee, sadly succumbed due to a motor vehicle accident near Riversdale in the Hessequa Municipal area.

This has been the 6th GRDM employee who passed away since July last year.  He passed away at the age of 59.

Johannes was appointed at the municipality (formerly South Cape Regional Services Council) on 4 April 1995 as a Roads Worker in Riversdale and was later promoted to the position of Supervisor where he was responsible for supervising a team of eight (8) staff members. His last position at GRDM was that of Grader Operator in Riversdale.

Executive Manager for Roads at GRDM, John Daniels, recalls his first conversation with Johannes. During the time Johannes was on sick leave after he fractured his foot. “I could sense he was a wise man and it was clear that he had a great passion for his work, specifically as a Grader Operator.  With his years of experience, he enjoyed mentoring other operators, but most of all for him to be employed at GRDM was something he boasted about. He had tremendous respect for this organisation, his work and his role at the GRDM Roads Department”.

Japie Strydom, GRDM Manager Maintenance, Construction and Mechanical Services, who worked with Johannes many years ago said they had good times together. He added: “It was a pleasure for me to work with Johannes – we shared many joyous moments together on road projects”.

Superintendent at GRDM Roads in Riversdale and Supervisor of Johannes, Jacques Joseph, described him as “an asset to GRDM Roads. He was an employee with many years of experience and because of that many were presented with the opportunity to learn from him”.  He is also remembered as “a strict and straightforward person, yet committed and very hard working – a leader with a passion for his work”.

“Once again, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to his wife and children during this difficult period of their lives and may they find peace in knowing that he fulfilled his role at GRDM with great passion, sincerity and wisdom. We will always remember him for sharing his expertise to ensure that our roads stayed in the best shape possible.”

A virtual memorial service will be hosted by GRDM on Friday, 12 February 2021 at 10:00.

Rest in Peace Johannes Amsterdam – you will be sorely missed.

Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua region

LEVEL 1 for Damaging Waves

Warning valid from Wednesday 10 February 00:00 – until Thursday 11 February 00:00

Affected DM / LM / Metro area:  Bergrivier, Bitou, Cape Agulhas, Cederberg, City of Cape Town, George, Hessequa, Kamiesberg, Knysna, Matzikama, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay, Swartland and Table Bay.

Short Message:  Coastal areas between Hondeldip Bay and Plettenberg Bay tomorrow morning until Thursday morning (10-11/02/2021).

Discussion:  A tight pressure gradient over the western parts of the country is expected to result in strong (50-Gokh) southerly to south-easterly winds along the west and south-western coastline in conjunction with significant wave heights of 4.0-4.5m with short periods of 6-s are expected between Hondeklip Bay and Betty’s Bay from Wednesday morning, resulting in choppy rough seas which poses risk of minor impacts at sea

Impacts Small vessels, as well as personal watercraft such as kayaks and surfboards, are expected to experience difficulty in navigation in choppy waves and be at risk of taking on water and capsizing in totality Impacts such as disruption to beach activities and risk to rock anglers (big waves crashing on the coastline) are expected particularly between Cape Point and Plettenberg Bay including False Bay region as well.

Instruction:  Be aware of large unpredictable waves along the coast Small vessels are advised to seek shelter in harbours, bays or inlets.

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

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.”

News Release: We are one step closer to accreditation to administer human settlements

News Release: We are one step closer to accreditation to administer human settlements

For Immediate Release
5 February 2021

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council supports the administration’s application for Level One Housing Accreditation. Western Cape Government (WCG) MEC for Human Settlements Tertuis Simmers endorsed the GRDMs request, as his position provides him with the authority to legally delegate such responsibilities to a district municipality.

“We are now one step closer to rolling out the human settlements function on a district level,” said GRDM Executive Mayor Alderman Memory Booysen. According to Booysen, this intervention is aligned with the Joint District Metro Approach. Booysen says that middle income housing and student accommodation are only some of the many proposals to be explored, however each decision will be taken in consultation with local municipalities to ensure that there is not an overlapping of functions. GRDM Council has proactively amended its organogram to accommodate a human settlements function.

GRDM is also pleased to announce the appointment of two officials in this new function, namely Vuyani Mkunqwana and Shehaam Sims, whose salaries are fully funded by the WCG Department of Human Settlements.

According to GRDM Municipal Manager Monde Stratu, “One of the immediate priorities of our human settlements employ is to develop a Housing Sector Master Plan. This plan will be linked to Garden Route Local Government Integrated Development Plans and applicable Spatial Development Frameworks. The housing sector plan will focus on the various typologies of housing schemes, including social housing and gap housing.”

“The intent of developing a responsive housing sector master plan is also to list a database of all land pieces (vacant or built on), be it owned by the GRDM, local municipalities, WCG or National Government sector departments, or the private sector,” said Stratu. He explained that the demand for housing and the preferred type of housing will be considered throughout the process of developing a housing sector master plan. Considerations relating to densifying or optimising current properties will be explored in the process. This process will also link to the regional housing nodes that are already identified by the National Department of Human Settlements.

“We are pleased to be in a formal agreement with the GRDM,” said MEC Simmers. “This is a historical step, as it’s a first of its kind where human settlement managers are located at a district municipality, particularly since the district applied for Level One Municipal Accreditation.”

“With our department now providing the relevant human resources, it ensures that the district has the necessary skills and capacity to effectively be involved in the Housing Subsidy Scheme. I’d like to thank the district for agreeing to assist with the planning, development and management of selected human settlement priority projects. This will go a long way in avoiding unnecessary delays and red tape, and it will ultimately ensure that further human settlements can be established and more housing opportunities be created,” said MEC Simmers.

Brief background of Vuyani Mkhunqwana

Vuyani Mkhunqwana, GRDM Manager: Human Settlements

Vuyani Mkhunqwana has extensive experience in local government and has worked for the City of Cape Town for over 15 years as a Manager: New Housing, and as Acting Director of Housing. He served on the board of the newly established Special Purpose Vehicle or Municipal Social Housing Entity called Cape Town Community Housing Company, previously established in 2000 by the City of Cape Town and its business partner, the National Housing Finance Company (NHFC). During this time he monitored and safeguarded the contractual obligations and interests of the City of Cape Town. He was later appointed as the Executive Director: Social Housing and Community Development by the Communicare Social Housing company, accredited by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA). This necessitated that he served as a Non-Executive Director of the Board of Communicare until his departure in 2015.

During his employment stint with the City of Cape Town and later Communicare, he represented the latter in the National Social Housing Organisation (NASHO) as a founding member of this independent institution whose primary role was to lobby, market, and be the voice of the social housing sector. This organisation is also a significant role player in the low income rental affordable and social housing market. Later he was appointed as the president and chairman of the same organisation (i.e. NASHO) over three terms covering nine years until 2013.

Before commencing work at GRDM, he was appointed on a contract basis for secondment as a Director of Human Settlements in the Knysna Municipality until 31 January 2021.

Brief background of Shehaam Sims

Shehaam Sims, GRDM Manager: Human Settlements

Shehaam Sims hails from Cape Town where she worked for the City of Cape Town for 35 years holding various positions. Starting as a Civil Engineering draughtsperson, she soon moved to Director: Urbanisation. During this time she was primarily responsible for transversal management to ensure that the various departments in the municipality worked in sync with each other, using resources efficiently and ensuring no duplication or gaps in service delivery. Sims also served as a Councillor for seven years (2006 – 2013), having served as Mayoral Committee member for Community Services, Human Settlements and Utilities (Water, Sanitation, Electricity and Solid Waste Management). Her recent deployment was to Oudtshoorn Municipality where she headed up the Human Settlements Department (2016-2020).

ENDS

News Release: Eradication of Illegal Dumping campaign in George extended to end of March 2021

4 February 2021
News Release
For immediate release

News Release: Eradication of illegal dumping campaign in George extended to end of March 2021

With the roll-out of the Illegal Dumping Project in George last year and the various phases that have been implemented so far, the timeframe of the project has now been extended to the end of March 2021, according to Morton Hubbe, Garden Route District Waste Manager.

The Illegal Dumping Project is a joint initiative between Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and George Municipality in the fight against the illegal dumping of waste in the George and surrounding areas. The project was launched in Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp during October last year, however the financial assistance by GRDM to George Municipality for the renting of machines to remove the waste has ended on 30 November 2021. George Municipality subsequently decided to continue with the renting of machines at their own cost.

Waste burnt in skips placed at hotspots areas within the George municipal area.

With the funds made available to George Municipality, Hubbe said: “Nine skips were placed at various spots within the Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp areas and are rotated to other illegal dumping hotspots within these two areas”.

George Municipality is already in the process to secure more funds in order for the project to continue to achieve the desired outcomes.

Deployment of EPWP workers

In addition to the project, two teams of thirty Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers are working in both areas to clean-up illegal dumping hotspots throughout these areas. Various items are then placed into nearby skips, for removal. So far nearly 2700 tons of illegally dumped items have been removed with JCBs and Tipper Trucks in both areas.

Awareness about illegal dumping

One of the components of the project, is to create awareness about illegal dumping in the most effected areas. For this purpose, 36 educators were appointed to conduct door-to-door sessions in the respective areas. Households reached also have an opportunity to complete a survey regarding the issue at hand. Questions focus specifically on personal experience in relation to waste removal in their specific areas, the reporting of illegal dumping to the local municipality etc. To date, two thousand (2000) households have been visited and the more are expected to follow. These visits will be conducted until the end of March this year.

Waste burned in Skips

Although the skips are placed at identified hotspots, it has come under the attention of the both municipalities that people within these areas are burning their waste in the skips. This is an unacceptable behaviour and residents are requested to directly report these incidents to the Law Enforcement Unit of George Municipality at 044-801 6350 or sprins@george.gov.za. The skips are only used for the purpose to dump waste and efficient plans to remove full bins are in place.

END

Our roles and responsibilities at a residence where someone died of COVID-19

News Release: Our roles and responsibilities at a residence where someone died of COVID-19

For Immediate Release
4 February 2021

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) plays a key role in the collective response after a person succumbs to COVID-19 at home. Role players such as the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP), funeral undertakers, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) responders, the South African Police Service (SAPS), as well as private and public sector health representatives are involved in this response.

According to Johan Compion, GRDM Manager: Municipal Health and Environmental Services: “The process of handling suspected or positive deceased is not as complex as many may have thought, but it is still a time-bearing process. This does however requires strict adherence to health and safety protocols by all role players,” he said.

When a member of the community passes away from COVID-19 at home, an EHP receives a notification from either the Western Cape Government (WCG) Provincial Health Department or a funeral undertaker to inform them of who, where and when the person is that passed away. During this time, the EHP also confirms if an EMS responder or any other  medical  practitioner from i.e. Netcare 911, ER24 etc.) declared the person clinically dead. Once all the relevant data is checked and confirmed, an EHP is tasked to conduct health surveillance at the residence where the deceased is located.

During such time, all safety protocols are observed and additional information and guidance is provided around the disinfection of bedding, clothing and the handling of household waste that was generated by the person who passed away.

A funeral undertaker who arrives on the scene has to wear the prescribed personal protective gear. An EHP is responsible for not only monitoring this, but also to ensure that funeral undertakers wrap the deceased in a single polythene bag prior to transporting the body to a mortuary. This is followed by ensuring that those who handled the deceased are also disinfected. After all such protocols have been adhered to, the funeral undertaker safely transports the deceased to a funeral parlour where the process of dressing, preparing and storage of the body will take place under more strict prescribed health protocols.

Once the body has been placed in a casket and the outer surface disinfected, it is not deemed necessary to wrap or seal the casket because the deceased does not pose an infection risk to those handling the casket.

It remains of utmost importance for EHPs to be involved in the entire monitoring process as described to ensure the that no additional public health nuisance occurs during any of the steps being followed by all relevant role players.

Read more about the responsibilities of EHPs here.

Picture: Pexels

ENDS

Weather Advisory: Western Cape and Namaqua

The South African Weather Service has issued the following weather advisory for the Western Cape and Namaquland region:

Alert Level: Advisory

Affected Municipalities: Beaufort West, Bergrivier, Breede Valley, Cederberg, Kamiesberg, Kannaland, Laingsburg, Langeberg, Matzikama, Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert and Witzenberg.

Valid From (SAST): 02/02/21 – 08h00

Valid To (SAST): 03/02/21 – 20h00

Discussion: Hot and humid weather will result in extremely uncomfortable conditions. When the temperature and the humidity are high at the same time or when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold, human’s ability to cool their bodies through sweating is reduced.

Impact: When the temperature is extremely high, the human’s ability to cool their bodies through sweating is reduced. This can be a real threat that leads to hyperthermia. People and animals can get heat exhaustion, heatstroke, faintness, dry skin and dehydration.

Instruction: Avoid prolonged direct exposure to the sun as far as possible and drink plenty of water. Make sure your animals have access to enough water. Limit physical activities. Seek medical attention if needed.

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

“I am the first one” – GRDM helped Thembisa to obtain her Code 14 licence

News Release: “I am the first one” – GRDM helped Thembisa to obtain her Code 14 licence

For Immediate Release
2 February 2021

A proud moment was shared by Thembisa Ntshebe, a Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Grader Assistant who now has two licences – a Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) and a Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV) one. GRDM afforded her and many others the opportunity to pursue various drivers licences by recently launching a R550 000, 3-year long Driver’s License Project.

The GRDM Corporate Services head of department, Trix Holtzhausen, has spearheaded the drive for women empowerment to address inequalities linked to traditionally male dominated career fields in the municipality. “This programme will enable women to transform not only the GRDM Roads Services Department’s employment equity composition, but gender parity in a male dominated sector too,” she said.

According to Reginald Salmons, GRDM Coordinator: Skills Development, “the institution identified 74 recipients to get a Code B, 10 and EC license, of which 40 are female”. “The GRDM appointed the Victoria Driving School to provide training over the period.”

During an interview with Thembisa, she shared that she was dreaming about getting a Code 14 licence ever since she started working for GRDM on 1 November 2017. “I know that this is the key I need for doors to open in the future.” Supervisors, superintendents and traffic control officers are some of the career fields that require Code 14 licences.

“Even though I did not pass the first time around I pushed myself and today I am a proud owner of a Code 14 licence”, she said. Thembisa is also the first female enrolled in this project to obtain a Code 14 licence.
This licence allows licensees to drive a vehicle weighing over 16 000 Kg, with a trailer hooked to it that weighs more than 750 Kg. Moreover, those who are in possession of such a licence can operate vehicles under codes 8, 10 and EB too.

When responding to Thembisa’s achievement, Shandré Abrahams, HR Practitioner: Employee Assistance Programme said, “It makes me proud to hear and see women equipping themselves in skills that they never thought would be possible to acquire. It therefore remains important for the GRDM to stay committed to gender empowerment and in acknowledgement of the fact that the glass ceiling can be broken”.
While it remains important for the GRDM to see women empowered, it is equally important to identify gender disparities that have existed for a number of years in certain positions. It is only possible for the GRDM to achieve this when the institution prioritises women empowerment programmes and put its funds where its mouth is.

Caption: Thembisa Ntshebe showcases proof that she passed her Code 14 license

ENDS

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, melanie@gardenroute.gov.za