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

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.

GUIDELINES

  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.

ENDS

Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
E-mail: communications@gardenroute.gov.za

Garden Route District Multi-Agency Command Centre

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

MOSSEL BAY

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.

GEORGE

Community and Social Development Services, Corner of St Johns and Varing Streets, George. Contact 044 802 2000 or visit https://bit.ly/2wJ1OrO

KNYSNA

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

BITOU

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.

GREATER OUDTSHOORN

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.

KANNALAND

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.

ENDS

Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
E-mail: communications@gardenroute.gov.za

Mayor Booysen rides the world’s longest Zipline in Mossel Bay

Just under a month after its official opening which took place on 25 January 2020, Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Cllr Memory Booysen, faced his fear of heights (and hard adventures) by riding the world-renowned Mossel Bay Zipline. He was joined by supporters from Mossel Bay Municipality and onlookers from the town.

Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality, Cllr Memory Booysen and his wife, Elethu Booysen geared-up before riding the Mossel Bay Zipline.

Before his Zipline-ride, Mayor Booysen said: “This is a big thing, not only for the Garden Route but also for the Western Cape and I truly believe this should be the attraction for South Africa.” He further added “I am going to tell my peers to also come and experience it”.

According to Mayor Booysen, his wife Elethu convinced him to do it. “He is scared of heights and especially hard adventures, but we do these activities as long as I do it with him. I also gave him the option to pull out if he feels too scared,” she said. This was his also the first time Mayor Booysen did a hard adventure activity, he has only done some soft adventure activities like “hiking at Robberg in Plettenberg Bay and Wilderness,” said Elethu. The next adventures she plans to convince him to do include bungee jumping at Storms River and whale watching in Plettenberg Bay.

After the ride, Mayor Booysen said: “This is the best adrenalin-shot you can ever have, anywhere in the world – this was fun!”

Mossel Bay Zipline

This one-of-a-kind activity happens over the ocean in Mossel Bay. It is the longest over- ocean zipline in the world at 1.1km. The Zipline construction was approved by Mossel Bay Municipality in 2017. It is 90m above sea level and those doing it can reach a speed of up to 90km/h. The cost for a ride is R450 per person. More information about this adventure activity is accessible here: https://mosselbayzipline.co.za/

Mayor Booysen coming down the 90m high Zipline in Mossel Bay, which offers views of the beautiful ocean.

Regional Tourism

The Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism is a central point for people visiting the region to find out what’s on offer in the region in terms of activities and experiences – visit www.visitgardenrouteandkleinkaroo.com to find out more and click on the “Explore” button to see what each town in the region offers.

Editor’s note:

Hard Adventure

Hard adventure refers to activities with high levels of risk, requiring intense commitment and advanced skills. Hard tourism includes the activities like climbing mountains/rock/ice, trekking, caving etc.

Hard adventure activities are highly risked in nature. Professional guide, advance level skills are required to perform these activities. Many tourists died during climbing mountains, caving every day. There is an interesting fact that is for K2, world 2nd highest mountain, for every two people who submit one dies.

Soft Adventure

Soft adventure refers to activities with a perceived risk but low levels of risk, requiring minimal commitment and beginning skills; most of these activities are led by experienced guides. Soft tourism includes the activities like backpacking, camping, hiking, kayaking etc.

Soft adventure activities are low risk in nature. These activities are led by professional guides. Soft adventure is a popular category in adventure tourism. On average, 25% trips taken from North America and Europe are soft adventure trips.

Source: https://tourismnotes.com/adventure-tourism/

 

 

Beware scammers pretending to raise funds for an Eden Municipality Sports Tour

Garden Route District Municipality has been informed by various members of the public of a scam doing the rounds by a person requesting random community members to donate funds to an “Eden Municipality Sports Tour”.

As a result of this, a case has been opened by the South African Police Services and the matter is currently under investigation.

We urge the public to be vigilant about these type of fraudulent activities and to always contact organisations to confirm if such donation requests are, in fact, true. Please do report such scams to your nearest SAPS office.

Financial Assistance towards Tertiary Studies – 2020 – CLOSING DATE EXTENDED TO 31 OCTOBER 2019

CLOSING DATE EXTENDED TO 31 OCTOBER 2019!

Applications are invited from students who are currently studying at tertiary or TVET institutions, as well as learners who are currently in Grade 12, or have passed Grade 12, for financial assistance towards further studies for the 2020 academic year.  The award is restricted to full-time studies and attendance at SAQA accredited Tertiary or TVET institutions and is ONLY eligible to students whose parents permanently reside within the Garden Route municipal area.

Application forms are available at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and satellite offices of GRDM, during normal office hours (Monday – Thursday 07:30 – 16:30 and Friday 07:30 – 13:30). Application forms are also available on the GRDM’s website at www.gardenroute.gov.za.

GRDM WILL ONLY CONSIDER APPLICATIONS COMPLETED IN FULL, AND IF THE DOCUMENTS MENTIONED BELOW, AS AND WHERE APPLICABLE, HAVE BEEN INCLUDED.

A detailed curriculum vitae and covering letter, application form and certified copies of the following documentation must be attached: Latest or Grade 12 results or equal qualification; latest examination results of students currently enrolled at  tertiary institutions; certified copy of ID; Affidavit of parents` combined income; proof of residential address (municipal account).

Please forward the application form and all documents to: Records, Garden Route District Municipality, PO Box 12, George 6530, for attention: Training and Development Section.

For any enquiries, do not hesitate to contact Mr Reginald Salmons at 044-803 1363, Ms Angeline Naidoo at 044-803 1420 or Mrs Angela-Ziva Coetzee, at 044 803 1344 during office hours (7:30 – 16:30 Monday to Thursday and 7:30 – 13:30 Friday).

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Should candidates not be contacted within two months after the closing date, they must consider their application as unsuccessful.

Closing date:  31 October 2019                                                        

 Notice number: 112/2019

Click here to download the full advert.

The Garden Route Annual Fire Commemoration Event, Climate Change & Adaptation Indaba successfully hosted in Wilderness

The Garden Route Annual Fire Commemoration Event, Climate Change & Adaptation Indaba hosted by Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with the South Cape Environmental Forum once again reminded roleplayers about the fire outbreaks of 2017 and 2018 in the Garden Route and the aftermaths and tragic losses as a result of the fires. The Indaba took place on 7 June 2019 at the Wilderness Hotel in Wilderness of which approximately 150 delegates attended.

Garden Route District Municipality was well represented at the event. FLTR are: Dr Nina Viljoen, Cllrs Rowen Spies, Erica Meyer, Thersia van Rensburg, Joslyn Johnson, Mayor Memory Booysen, Daniel Saayman, Mr Gerhard Otto and Deputy Mayor Rosina Ruiters.

Delegates represented organisations and institutions, such as the National Department of Environmental Affairs, the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Stellenbosch University and Nelson Mandela University, as well as GRDM and Knysna Municipality were in attendance.

Various role-players from Government Organisations, Training Institutions, Municipalities and members of the media attended the event. Front (fltr) GRDM Manager:  Disaster Management, Mr Gerhard Otto, Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen and Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu.

The main purpose of the event, was not to only host the Annual Fire Commemoration event, but also to build on the momentum and team effort the region has created in their efforts to recover from the fire, but also to host a Climate Change Indaba, according to Municipal Manager of GRDM, Mr Monde Stratu. In his welcoming address to the attendants, Mr Stratu said: “It is our objective to shape a better prepared, climate- ready and resilient Garden Route environment for our community, and we trust that you will be able to assist us in achieving that ambitious goal”.

Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at GRDM during, her presentation at the event.
Dr Jo Barnes, Epidemiologist and Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Community Health at the Stellenbosch University, spoke about the harsh realities of the impact of climate change on public health systems in the Garden Route.

In referring back to losses and the recovery of losses and damages as a result of the fires, Mr Cobus Meiring, Secretariat of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) said:  “Recent reports released by Santam and others indicate that the damages incurred by the 2017 Knysna wildfire disaster are very close to three billion rand. For the large insurance companies to arrive at accurate calculations took them a full two years to consolidate all pay-outs and peripheral and associated costs. Three billion rand is a staggering amount of money and is indicative of the kind of damage the fury of nature can incur on civilisation and the environment in a matter of hours. However, when taking into account what best could be described as collateral damage, could be a lot harder to calculate. Take for instance the number of retired folk from Knysna and Plettenberg Bay deciding not to rebuild at all, land becoming vacant for extended periods, formerly employed people now struggling to find new employment opportunities, with employers having decided to move on following the disaster, or even leaving the country as some reportedly did, and suddenly the situation looks even worse than expected,” Meiring said.  It is for these reasons that Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at GRDM described the event as crucial in the way the region is planning ahead with a challenging environment at play.

The event was facilitated by Mr Cobus Meiring, Secretariat of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

Most of the presentations made at the event, placed emphasis on water security, high quality water resources, the living conditions of the communities, sanitation facilities, regrowth of alien vegetation, to name a few. All these factors place a high risk on the state of health of the residents of the area and the economic growth of the Garden Route.   These were furthermore and significantly emphasised by Dr Jo Barnes, Epidemiologist and Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Community Health at the Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, when she spoke about the harsh realities of the impact of climate change on public health systems.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, could not ignore the after effects of the fires in his address, when he made an announcement:  “As we pride ourselves as a District Municipality striving to improve the way we manage our environment, the GRDM and our Environmental Forum has secured substantial funding and support from the Fund for the Rebuild of Knysna to assist landowners who were severely affected by the Knysna, and more recent fires, to deal with the scourge of invasive alien plant re-growth”.  In coming to a point where resolutions had to be taken and the way forward was discussed, Mr Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager for Disaster Management said, “The establishment of the Garden Route Environmental Forum, mandated by the District Municipality and incorporating non-governmental conservation bodies and public platforms, was a first in the Western Cape, and allows for greater cooperation between private landowners and regional and national authorities.”

In conclusion, Otto added that floods and fire in the immediate and foreseeable future can be reduced, but only if those tasked with planning and management understand the issues at play and implement mitigation measures in accordance,” Otto added. “The announcement of a regional public/ private programme to assist landowners who were affected by recent fires and a scourge of invasive alien plant re-growth is a first of its kind in RSA, and further announcements will follow as the initiative reaches implementation stage,” he added.

Premier’s Coordinating Forum currently taking place in George

The Western Cape Premier’s Coordinating Forum (PCF) with the theme “Maximising Citizen Impact” is currently underway at the George Civic Hall in George. The Western Cape Premier, Mr Alan Winde, Provincial Ministers of the Western Cape, Executive Mayors, as well as Municipal Managers are in attendance. This platform is the first PCF meeting to take place under the leadership of Premier Winde.

A full house of representatives attend the Premier’s Coordinating Forum in George.
FLTR: Premier Alan Winde, Mr Harry Malila, Acting Director-General of the Western Cape, Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Mr Bonginkosi Madikizela and Cllr Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality, at the PCF that is currently underway in George.

The overall objective of the PCF is for political and administrative leadership to engage of matters of interest to the communities of the Western Cape:

  1. To promote and facilitate intergovernmental relations between the province and local governments in the Western Cape;
  2. To engage with the Premier on the vision and strategic priorities for the Province; and
  3. To discuss how the Provincial and Local Government and municipalities can work together to achieve a common vision and shared priorities to maximise citizen impact.

World No-Tobacco Day 2019

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with George Municipality, Department of Health, Breede Gouritz Catchment Agency, CANSA and Cape Nature will embark on a silent march this Friday, 31 May 2019 in celebrating World No-Tobacco Day. The march will start at 10H00 at GRDM (Head office), proceeding up York Street, right at Hibernia Street, and then a turn will be taken at Cradock Street, marchers will proceed towards Engen garage, from there, those marching will move back to GRDM (Head office).

World No-Tobacco Day is held across the world every year on 31 May.  The theme from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for 2019 is “Tobacco and Lung Health”.  It highlights the link between the use of tobacco products and lung diseases.

The campaign will increase awareness on:

  • the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease,
  • the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.
  • implications of second-hand exposure for lung health of people across age groups

Each year, the WHO selects a theme for the day in order to create a more unified global message for World No-Tobacco Day. The focus this year is on the harmful effects that all tobacco products have on the health of lungs and even more so, the undeveloped lungs of babies and children.

According to WHO, globally an estimated 165 000 children die before the age of five (5) of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke. Those who live on into adulthood continue to suffer the health consequences of second-hand smoke exposure, as frequent lower respiratory infections in early childhood significantly increase risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adulthood.

The poisons in tobacco smoke inhaled by pregnant women or second hand smoke exposure experienced by them, will affect an unborn baby which may result in low birth weight, a cleft lip or palate. Babies also risk being born prematurely.

“Looking after little lungs” is a call-to-action to raise awareness that active and passive smoking of those around children can affect their underdeveloped lungs so increasing their chances of getting pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and continuous ear infections. Pregnant women should never smoke a hookah (water pipe) as that is the same as inhaling 100 cigarettes in one session.  Parents and other caregivers should smoke outside the house and never in a vehicle if there is a child under 18 years present. Smoke stays on the breath of a smoker so parents should take a few deep breaths before going into the house.  Smoke particles can also stick to clothing which the child can inhale causing lung damage.

People who have tuberculosis should not smoke at all because of the double burden placed on the lungs, which will increase the risk of disability and death from respiratory failure.  Those who have diabetes should not smoke either as it can restrict blood-flow to the legs, which increases the risk of gangrene and amputations.

Tobacco smoke can hang in the air for up to five hours, exposing those passing through to an increase in respiratory diseases, cancers and reduced lung function.

It is better never to start smoking because it is known to be difficult to end the cycle. Smoking cessation is possible and it has huge health benefits.

“MAKE EVERY DAY WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY”

A first SODA for the Garden Route

On 12 April 2019, the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Executive Mayor, Councillor Memory Booysen, took an unprecedented step for the District by delivering its first State of the District Address (SODA). The purpose of such an address is to outline the council’s achievements, as well as to emphasise the exciting future projects and spin-offs for local municipalities (Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland) in the region.

More than 200 people attended the event, including the mayors of all b-municipalities, councillors, faith-based community leaders, business owners, stakeholders, media and municipal officials.

The programme was directed by the GRDM Speaker, Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies. In a moment of reminiscence, Bouw-Spies touched on how council, even before she became speaker, have been able to take non-partisan decisions to the benefit of the region’s brand and economy.  “I might not have been actively involved at the district council, but since my appointment as speaker late last year, I have been responsible for mediating some vigorous – sometimes robust debates, but in my objective view as the Speaker, I have also seen how both sides of the house have been in agreement on many occasions. A prime example of our synergy and decisions made in the best interest of our region was changing our municipality’s name and visual identity. Have you ever seen a name-changing process unfold with such ease as well as a new logo adopted without much hassle? The transition was indeed a beautiful, inclusive and a well-thought-through process,” she said.

Garden Route DM Speaker and Programme Director, Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies directed the Garden Route DM SODA.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS
During Councillor Booysen’s keynote address, he focused on the following topics:

  • Improvement in local service delivery;
  • Current socio-economic risks;
  • Embracing the district municipality’s functions and powers as set out by Section 84 of the Local Government Structures Act 117 of 1998;
  • 2019/2020 GRDM budget;
  • Regional investment opportunities;
  • Disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction funding;
  • A future of sustainable energy future;
  • Game changers going forward;
  • Empowerment of youth and women;
  • Building a cohesive region through signature events; and
  • Empowerment of women and the youth.
Cllr Memory Booysen (GRDM Executive Mayor), Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies (GRDM Speaker) and Mr Leiee Edwin Mosesi (Public Sector Provincial Manager), presents a cheque of R15 000.00 to Group of Hope Disability Group.
Cllr Memory Booysen (GRDM Executive Mayor), New Horizon Pensioners Forum representative and Mr Leiee Edwin Mosesi (Public Sector Provincial Manager), presents a cheque of R15 000.00 to New Horizon Pensioner’s Forum.

EMPOWERMENT OF YOUTH AND WOMEN

Mayor Booysen also placed emphasis on the fight to empower youth and women, which must be taken to the mainstream economy so that it reflects the diverse character of the Garden Route. “GRDM has transitioned young men and women to the driving school program, which is currently underway. Out of 26 participants in the driving school program, 23 are women.

The municipality continues to provide bursaries to the youth of our district, through the office of the executive mayor. “It is through education that we can unleash creativity and cultivate a spirit of resilience among citizens,” said Booysen.

SPECIAL WORD OF APPRECIATION

Mayor Booysen extended a special word to Ms Erina de Villiers, Personal Assistant to the municipal manager, Mr Monde Stratu. She retires at the end of April 2019. Booysen described Erina as “not only an employee of this municipality or a colleague to others but a mother to the institution.”

“She has been with this institution for 22 years, happily married to Mr Jacobus de Villiers, blessed with two (2) children and five (5) grandchildren. I can tell you that she inherited more children at GRDM with the municipal manager being her first-born.

During her employment at GRDM, Erina worked in the following sections:

  • Office of the Municipal Manager (current);
  • Records and Archives;
  • Project Management; and
  • Office of the Mayor.
Honoring one of the District Municipality’s employees, Ms Erina de Villiers, who will be retiring at the end of April 2019, are b-municipal Executive Mayors (fLTR), Cllr Mark Willemse (Knysna), Cllr Grant Riddles (Hessequa), Cllr Memory Booysen (GRDM), Cllr Magdalene Barry (Kannaland), Ms Erina de Villiers (PA to the MM at GRDM) and Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies (GRDM Speaker

GRANT-IN-AID ASSISTANCE

Later during the course of the programme, Grant-in-Aid funds were handed over. The following organisations identified for this year, in no particular order, include: Albertinia Museum, Zoar Culture and Heritage Festival, Bambino Voorskool, Emmanuel Pre & aftercare Centre, Neskuikentjie Daycare, Plett Active Youth, Piet Julies Aids Action Group, Heidal Senior Citizens Club, Die Mosselbaai Benevolent Vereniging vir Bejaarde Sorg, Joey’s Babies kleuterskool, Soete Uurtjies Dagsorgsentrum, Suurvlakte Initiative, Rehoboth and Yona – Yethu Initiative.

Nedbank sponsored the New Horizon Pensioners Forum and Group Of Hope Disability Group.

IN CLOSING

Mayor Booysen shared some of his dreams for the district: “A ‘One District’ …a dream of what we can be.”

“How we share and shape our future together – a future where more and more of our people see and believe in rich vistas of opportunity; an environment where the Garden Route dream is embraced as the district dream,” Booysen said.

Booysen’s ideas on how to collectively build a “One District” of our dreams where everyone has the opportunity to participate in a diverse and thriving economy, could be achieved through the following:

  • Being able to live in a safe neighbourhood, free from crime;
  • Having the opportunity as parents to send one’s children to a quality public school of your choice;
  • Living a limitless life – allowing one to thrive as an individual and/or family;
  • For a business to be given a solid return on their investment by their government and high-quality customer service from public servants; and
  • A region that is environmentally sound in a sustainable world-renowned region.

In closing, Mayor Booysen pleaded with everyone to take full advantage of their lives and to follow a path that would provide a prosperous future, harness change for the better, and build the elusive “One District” that we all dream of.

To access the speech of Councillor Memory Booysen, click on the following link: http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2019/04/13/2019-soda-speech-executive-mayor-cllr-memory-booysen/

Pictures of the SODA can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/galleries/2019-state-of-the-garden-route-district-address/