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

Press Release: More than 500 Water Tanks to be distributed to Western Cape informal settlements

Please note that we have added the section in bold, GRDM Communications

Press Release

For Immediate Release

1 April 2020

In the coming days approximately 500 water tanks will be distributed to various informal settlements across the Western Cape. Residents in these communities should be aware that their safety, health and basic rights are our top priority during this National crisis.

Based on the input provided by Municipalities, it was determined that 293 water tanks will be distributed to non-Metro districts, while the Metro will receive 244 of these tanks.

The non-Metro breakdown will see the Cape Winelands District receiving 75, the Garden Route District 86, Central Karoo District 50, Overberg District45 and the West Coast District 42.

A breakdown of the total number of water tanks per town in the Garden Route District, is as follows:

  • Hessequa: 5
  • Mossel Bay: 6
  • George: 20
  • Knysna: 20
  • Bitou: 15
  • Oudtshoorn: 10
  • Kannaland: 10

It is critical that good and effective hygiene, along with social distancing is practiced in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The provision of these water tanks will undoubtedly assist in this regard, particularly since access to water is one of the challenges that’s faced by informal settlements across the country.

The Western Cape Government will be monitoring the distribution of these water tanks closely, to ensure that they do arrive at the identified area and that it is benefitting the community. I call on community members to ensure that this infrastructure is protected and utilised to strengthen, improved hygiene.

In these difficult times which we are experiencing as a country, I am making a further call on the private sector, as part of active citizenry and who might be in a position to also assist with the provision of water tanks to play a role in this regard, as it will help us in the fight against COVID-19.

We have to #StopTheSpread

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

Media Statement: Domestic waste handling guidelines for those in self-isolation due to COVID-19 infection

Media Statement

For Immediate Release

02 April 2020

The Municipal Health and Waste Management Units of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Local Municipalities would like inform the public about important guidelines regarding the proper handling and storage of domestic waste generated by all positively identified COVID-19 residents.

“Residents tested positive for COVID-19 must be in self-isolation, and the guidelines we provide must be followed to protect essential workers and anyone else who comes into contact with domestic waste,” said Johan Compion, GRDM Manager: Municipal Health Services.

These guidelines are aligned to national guidelines and exist to curb the spread of the coronavirus to the waste management services personnel and other residents.

The GRDM Multi Agency Command Centre appeals to the public to be responsible and to adhere to the guidelines before placing waste outside for kerbside removal.


  1. That all waste items that have been in contact with individuals that are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 (e.g. used tissues, disposable cleaning cloths, gloves, masks, etc.) are disposed of securely within a black refuse plastic bag, separate from the rest of the household’s refuse.
  2. When full, the black refuse plastic bag should then be placed in a second black refuse plastic bag (double bag) and tied to prevent any waste from spilling from the bag.  Additional black refuse plastic bags will be made available to those who tested positive for COVID-19. The distribution of these bags will be done by GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners.
  3. Double-bagged refuse bags  must be stored separately for five (5) days in direct sun, before being placed outside your home for collection by a local municipality. The safest option would be to store bags for an additional week before domestic waste collection is done. This will ensure that the COVID-19 virus is killed.
  4. In the case of wheelie bin removal service, residents are reminded to have all personal hygiene and sanitary products double bagged (placed within two small plastic bags) before placing waste inside a bin. Examples of personal hygiene and sanitary products are tissues, used gloves and masks, etc.)
  5. Residents are requested to please sanitize or wash hands with water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling wheelie bins or black refuse plastic bags. This measure is to protect both the public and the essential refuse removal teams.
  6. Residents are requested to sanitise wheelie bin handles and wheelie bin covers.
  7. Residents are requested to refrain from approaching refuse removal personnel. Please keep a distance of 2m at all times.
  8. The black refuse plastic bags or wheelie bins can be placed out for kerbside removal after the above mentioned steps have been followed.
  9. Please put your bags and wheelie bins out for collection, as close as possible to the time of arrival of the waste collection services.
  10. Please secure the bags in order to ensure that your pets do not have access to the bags to prevent them from tearing the bags or spilling the contents.

Please be aware that this guideline might be updated in the near future and that changes will be communicated.


Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality

Garden Route District Multi-Agency Command Centre

Press Release: Role of Garden Route District Municipality’s Environmental Health Practitioners during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Press Release

For Immediate Release

1 April 2020

During the past few weeks, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP’s) of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) have showed courage in the face of adversity, each playing a vital role to prevent and minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the district. At the beginning of March 2020, the Municipal Health Section of the GRDM’s Community Services launched a massive awareness campaign to educate the general public, not only about the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus disease, but most importantly on ways on how to minimize or prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as other matters on how to protect themselves and others.

As part of the campaign, more frequent inspections are conducted at premises to ensure that basic principles such as hand hygiene (hand washing with water and soap for 20 seconds and hand sanitizing or disinfection), cough etiquette, cleaning, sanitizing and or disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and social distancing are applied.  Other practices which are also promoted include adequate ventilation, the use of personal protective equipment by food handlers, cleaning and disinfection of transport vehicles and pest control, to name a few.

Yesterday, EHP’s in collaboration with the local municipalities in the Garden Route District, South African Police Services (SAPS) and local businesses played a vital role in protecting our community during the South African Social Security (SASSA) grant payouts. This was done by ensuring that social distancing and hand hygiene (where applicable) was practiced.  Personal hygiene practices were also promoted, especially within the public transport sector. Communities of the Garden Route can be assured that the GRDM Environmental Health Partitions will be visible until all SASSA grants have been paid.

Ongoing collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Health where Environmental Health Practitioners play an important role in the active tracing of contacts, meaning those who have been in close contact with a confirmed / positive COVID-19 case in the region, or to find out exactly where a person contracted the virus.  During the contact tracing process, EHP’s do backward tracing, back to the person where the infected person first came in contact with the virus and potentially caught the virus from. EHP’s address the importance of self isolation, self quarantine and waste management as practices used to curb the further spread of the disease.  “We also reassure those individuals who have been identified as confirmed COVID-19 cases and their contacts that any information obtained during investigation will be regarded as confidential,” said Mr Haemish Herwels, GRDM Chief: Municipal Health Services-Hessequa.

As it is enforced that all South Africans participate in the nationwide 21-day lockdown to stop the spread of the COVID -19 pandemic, EHP’s in the Garden Route District are visible daily on streets – “knowing that the only way we will win the fight against COVID-19 is to implement a ‘Whole of Society Approach’, meaning we all have to play our role,“ said Mr Herwels.

As the GRDM we would also like to extend a word of gratitude to our EHP soldiers out in the field, who leave their loved-ones and families behind, to join forces in leading the fight against the COVID-19 disease.

Press Release: Various donations welcomed during the COVID-19 pandemic

A new press release has been issued for donations, follow this link for updated information:

Press Release

For Immediate Release

1 April 2020

South Africa is facing an unprecedented challenge with communities and the economy being affected by the growing COVID-19 pandemic. In the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) jurisdiction, with its seven (7) local municipal areas (Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland), Garden Routers are coming together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by lending a helping hand to others.

According to the GRDM Head of Disaster Management, Mr Gerhard Otto: “The donation of non-perishable food, toiletries, bedding for single beds will be of particular benefit to the less fortunate. Hand sanitisers are also on the list of critical shortages identified. In response to this need, the GRDM Multi-Agency Command Centre kindly requests the public to make donations of this kind at the specified sites.”

“Each municipality in the District have identified a site for storing donations, from where the distribution of items will be done by Western Cape Government Department of Social Development representatives,” said Otto.

Donations by the public must happen without violating the isolation or quarantine measures in place or putting oneself or others at risk. Please note that it is advised that pre-arranged drop-off times be arranged to avoid overcrowding of sites.

Below find a breakdown of where to drop off spots or contacts details per town:


Hessequa Fire Station, Mulder Street, Riversdale. Contact 028 713 7917 or 028 713 8000.


Mossel Bay Fire Station, Corner of Louis Fourie and Schoeman Streets, Mossel Bay. Charles Street, Great Brak River behind Mossel Bay municipal offices.  Contact the emergency call centre on 044 606 5000 or 044 691 3722.


Community and Social Development Services, Corner of St Johns and Varing Streets, George. Contact 044 802 2000 or visit


Contact Pam Booth on 060 998 6967 to make arrangements for collections.


Bitou Fire Station, 1 Flying Cloud Drive, Plettenberg Bay. Contact Andile Sakati on 083 273 7057 / 072 272 4242 or Hadley Venter on 083 443 0120.


Oudtshoorn Fire Station (Disaster Relief Hub), 26 Church Street, Oudtshoorn. Contact Ms Sarah Olislager at 044 272 8977/ 083 689 2893 and Mr Wayne Peterson at 044 272 89 77.


Disaster Management Centre, 23 Church Street, Ladismith (next to Standard Bank). Contact Wayne Robertson on 060 691 3029.

Before any donations are made, please contact the following DSD area representatives:

Mr Dennis Nghonyama [Oudtshoorn/ Kannaland] – 082 960 5746

Mr Mzukisi Skosana [George] – 083 628 7074

Mr Kenneth Mazaleni [Knysna/Bitou] –    082  226 9521

Ms Kholiswa Jobela  [Mossel Bay/Hessequa]- 078 210 5972

Donations will be controlled in adherence to lockdown regulations and responsibly distributed.


Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality