Category: <span>SMME</span>

31 May 2022 Media Release: 32 Small Businesses benefitted from the Garden Route District Municipality’s SMME Support and Development Programme

Media Release: 32 Small Businesses benefitted from the Garden Route District Municipality’s SMME Support and Development Programme
For immediate release
31 May 2022

As small businesses are the backbone of the economy, the government has introduced various forms of relief to help Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A good example of this is when the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council resolved, four years ago ‘to put their money where their mouths are’ by supporting and investing tangibly in SMME’s of the Garden Route. With a mentorship process funded by the GRDM, specific business needs were identified through one-on-one business assessments.

This resulted in the GRDM Economic Development and Tourism Departments SMME Support and Development Programme being introduced during the 2019/20 financial year (1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020). This Programme was initiated and is coordinated by the GRDM Economic Development and Tourism Department. Other stakeholders, such as the Department of Agriculture (DoA); Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT); Small Enterprises Development Agency (Seda), the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) and local municipalities in the district played a critical role in driving this.

In the past year, the GRDM Council allocated R682 000.00 from its budget to assist SMMEs in the district to grow their businesses. Small businesses were invited to submit proposals as part of the selection process. An advertisement was placed in the regional newspapers, social media and the municipal website.

An Adjudication Committee, representing various stakeholders, reviewed the all the business proposals received and made recommendations. These recommendations were subsequently approved, which led to a formal handover ceremony.
Thirty-two (32) SMMEs from across the Garden Route received much-needed equipment from the GRDM stakeholder partnership on Thursday, 26 May 2022. The GRDM Deputy Executive Mayor, Adv. Gert van Niekerk, members of the GRDM Mayoral Committee, Local Economic Development (LED) managers of the local municipalities in the district, and various stakeholders attended the ceremony.

The program was officially opened by Ald. Iona Kritzinger, GRDM Portfolio Chairperson of Corporate Services. With a special welcome to the thirty-two beneficiaries, she expressed her hopes that the equipment they received would add value to their businesses and help them to thrive.

Ald. Rosina Ruiters, GRDM Portfolio Chairperson of Planning and Economic Development Services, presented a brief overview of the SMME Support and Development Programme. She announced that the GRDM Council has invested R 2.1 million in the programme over the years and has supported 65 small businesses in the process.

The program director of the event and the Acting Executive Manager of the Planning and Economic Development Department, Ms Melanie Wilson, commended the small business owners for their endurance and strength; and encouraged them with a quote from the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Ms Wilson rendered a special word of acknowledgement and appreciation to the partners involved by saying, “As government we cannot function on our own; we need partnerships to be successful. With this project we’ve realized that in order to change the lives of our people and to make an impact, we need to build partnerships.” Wilson stated. GRDM signed an agreement with Casidra to execute the procurement process of the items on behalf of the District, which was exceptionally well managed.

A message of support for the partnership was delivered by Mr David Nefdt, Acting CEO of Casidra. He explained that Casidra believes that entrepreneurship is the only way to ensure that people have jobs, that there is food on the table, and to address the challenges in our communities.  “There are not enough businesses that can create jobs, so the only way is to start new ones. Casidra wants to be part of this dream of establishing local businesses in the Garden Route District,” he said.

Mr Nefdt gave a brief overview of Casidra’s mandate and function and said that according to his understanding, government needs to do more to foster an environment for entrepreneurs to flourish by making it easier for small businesses to survive. He challenged the small businesses present with the following words, “You need to innovate unity; look at the cracks in your community and see if you can come up with something that can address the needs of people in your community. Let us all create an environment that encourages businesses to grow and be creative and innovative in addressing the needs of all people,” Nefdt concluded.

The keynote address was delivered by Ald. Gert van Niekerk, who explained the various aspects on how the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in business closures, job losses, and declining business profits. Accordingly, the GRDM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Economic Development & Tourism and SEDA with the objective of supporting SMME development in the Garden Route and thus make a crucial impact.

Van Niekerk explained that by initiating and implementing the SMME Support and Development Programme, the Council believes that the assistance granted to the thirty-two (32) SMMEs will make a significant contribution to the sustainability and expansion of their businesses. “We hope that you will continue to create jobs and that your businesses will grow. We salute you!” Cllr van Niekerk concluded.

Two (2) beneficiary SMME’s, Ms Tabita Williams from Ludify Suppliers and Ms Siphesihle Bobo from Sihle Fitness Academy, gave an overview of their respective businesses and thanked the GRDM and partners for firstly believing in them, and secondly for providing equipment and support to SMME’s in the district.

During the vote of thanks, EPWP Manager for the GRDM, Mr Richard Dyantyi, thanked the GRDM Council for their commitment to small businesses in the district. Dyantyi further thanked Casidra as a ‘driving partner’ as well as the other stakeholders involved and the GRDM Team for their commitment in making the programme a success.

At the end of the formalities, the Project Manager of the Programme, Mr Johannes Jafta, together with the GRDM Mayoral Committee, handed over equipment and material to the thirty-two (32) SMMEs.

Upon receiving the equipment, the SMMEs are required to sign a contract in which they agree not to sell the equipment donated to them. As part of the monitoring and evaluation process, GRDM officials will be required to regularly access the premises of all beneficiaries to view the equipment and assess each business’s growth.


9 March 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Business Advisory Forum Established

Media Release: Garden Route Business Advisory Forum Established 

For Immediate Release
9 March 2022 

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Knysna Municipality, Business Chambers and business forums in the region today, 8 March 2022, connected in Knysna to establish a quarterly Garden Route Business Advisory Forum. The forum will serve to promote an inclusive business environment. Being a first of its kind in the Western Cape at a district level, the GRDM Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen also plans to form task teams to promote critical sectors like Tourism, Agriculture, and Construction.

At the first engagement, Cllr Levael Davis, Knysna Municipality Executive Mayor, said: “The Garden Route is filled with a kaleidoscope of opportunities. He shared that Knysna Municipality understands the value the GRDM adds and the importance of the platform’s establishment. “I think it is the right time for this, and we, as the Knysna Municipality, are in full support of this platform, and we know the rest of the region will follow suit.”

Deputy Executive Mayor, Adv. Gert van Niekerk was also present at the engagement with the Mayoral Committee Members, as well as Portfolio Committee members of GRDM.

During Booysen’s overview of the advisory forum, he explained that the forum was established as envisaged in the Garden Route Economic Recovery Plan. This recovery plan is widely consulted, with both government and private sector playing an active role, and subsequently, adopted by the GRDM Council on 30 March 2021. Booysen also touched on his past experiences where investors frequently asked questions that only the business chambers representatives would have had answers to. “The GRDM does not plan to engage with international investors without business chamber representatives being present. This platform will also help us to establish which business would be the best suited for the type of investor we are planning to engage with.

“Today is a new beginning – the first steps of the ‘marathon’,” said Booysen.  

He urged all political parties present at the engagement not to play dirty politics and to work with businesses to promote the region.

Paul Hoffman presented the proposed structure for GRAF, and how it fits into the structure adopted by the Garden Route to drive the implementation of the Garden Route Growth & Development Strategy and Recovery Plan. Chambers, Associations and other business Forums will form part of GRAF at an advisory and strategic level, while individual businesses and sector bodies will be more involved at the implementation level of the Strategy, and will be integrated into the 7 Priority Clusters, namely Tourism, Agriculture, Wellbeing and Resilience, Energy Transition, Water Security, Circular Economy, and a Connected Economy. Hoffman further reiterated that it is not the intention to duplicate existing structures but to be complementary to the current business structures at both a regional, as well as a local municipal level. Knowledge sharing and best practices will be key components of such an engagement, and the engagements will be driven by a “Private Sector driven – Government supported” approach.

Ald. Virgil Gericke, one of the GRDM Proportional Representative Councillors, was also at the event and said that he fully supports the Mayor in the establishment of this forum. He asked that no one stands in the way of this forum’s agenda. “The issue of transformation is critical,” said Gericke. He also emphasized the relaxation of bylaws to make it easier for businesses to thrive – currently, bylaws are not as inclusive as they should be. “The reduction of red-tape and excessively complicated administrative procedures must become a thing of the past.”  Gericke said that he personally experienced startup capital as one of the biggest hurdles when he started a small business. “Many are left with loans at a high-interest rate,” he said. It is no secret that small businesses face widespread challenges with a limited cash flow when they are getting on their feet.

The forum provides a “unique opportunity for businesses to position themselves as part of the decision making processes,” said Rachel Wall, Chairperson of the Stillbay Business Chamber. She is also in full support of the advisory forum but requested for more local municipality representatives to form part of future engagements.

A member of the George Small Business Forum, Basil Myners, urged all stakeholders at the forum to help educate small businesses by mentoring them and sharing information. “I have recently registered six co-operatives in Friemersheim to boost agriculture in the area.” Cooperatives are people-centred enterprises that are owned, controlled and run by and for their members to reach common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations.

Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager: Planning and Economic Development and the current Acting Municipal Manager of GRDM, in wrapping up the session, said: “It is fitting to say this is the start of many more engagements we will have with the business sector.” He assured those present that he fully supported the newly established organized platform and sees the GRDM fulfilling its coordination role. However, he indicated that the business fraternity will need to take the leading role. 

“The GRDM Mayor has planted the seed, and it is now up to us to water it so that it can grow.”

“We are building an enabling environment for business to grow,” Menze concluded.  

Feature image:
Pictured at shortly after the first regional Business Advisory Forum – Ald. Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor (wearing chain) and Knysna Executive Mayor, Cllr Levael Davis (back-right), with stakeholders from various business forums and chambers in the region, as well as municipal representatives.


4 March 2022 Media Release: Local produced products and services to be showcased by Small Businesses at a pop-up market at the Garden Route Mall


For Immediate Release
4 March 2022

Small Enterprise Development Agencies (Seda) in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, and Tourism (DEDAT), and Garden Route District Municipality will provide 30 SMMEs in the Garden Route District an opportunity to showcase their products at a Pop – Up Market in George, Garden Route Mall from 10-13 March 2022. Alex T Qunta, Seda Western Cape Provincial Manager believes that this programme will respond and address one of the key challenges that hamper the growth of small businesses in South Africa, which is access to the market.

Advocate Gert Van Niekerk, Executive Deputy Mayor of the Garden Route District is expected to do a walk-about on Thursday, 10 March 2022 from 13:00. The Deputy Mayor will be joined by Seda Provincial leadership and the Portfolio Committee for Economic Development of the District Municipality.

List of businesses who will exhibit at the mall include:

Business name Product/Service offering
Kaaihaar Hair Care Products
Insomniac Party Bus: Party Bus Events
Lakhiwe’s Creations: Formal Hats and Clothing
Consistency Group: Clothing and Clothing Printing Services
Mayan Chocolate: Chocololate Manufacturing
Litch & Titchi (Pty) Ltd: Hand & Body cream manufacturing
Favors Galore: Cosmetics & soap shop
Ilovani Manufacturing: Home Décor & Furnature manufacturing
Porcupine: Ceramic Manufacturing
Elsies Handmade Products (Pty) Ltd: Sheepskin Slippers
Karootjie (Pty) Ltd: Knitted clothing items
Western Cape Honey Bush Co-operative Ltd: Honeybush Tea
Nelton Willemse t/a Nelton Art: Art
Catchemia Crafts: Art
Barely There Gems: Jewellery
BMD Engineering: Braais
In the Gap Clothing: Apparel
Lumarco Food Distributors: Garlic Food Items
Piekant: Picnic blankets and cooler bags
Rise Coffee Co: Coffee
Rococo: Chocololate Manufacturing
Sharlebel: Mushroom Preserves
Silk Screen Stencils: Silk Screen Stencils
90s Urban Store: Clothing
Omaz Projects: Jewellery
Zukiswa Gqirana: Jam
Fusion Africa: Décor
Living Rocks: Art
Amanda Barendse t/a Keiko: Manufacturing of play dough
Aweh Arts Gifts and Crafts (Pty) LTD: Crafts and Soap
Kaukou (Pty) LTD: Honeybush Tea
Bunting Boutique: Clothing
Sasa-Zee: Clothing (Manufacturing)
Couture By Austin: Clothing
Besige Bytjies: Honey
Lethemba Art and Crafts: Arts and Crafts
Kairos Foods and Services: Catering/Baking
Ouma Barbie se Stoepkombuis: Baking/cakes

 Issued by Seda Market Unit

 For media inquiries, please contact Mr. Sibongile Somdaka, Seda Western Cape Provincial Marketing & Stakeholder Relations Specialist on 072 573 2193.


30 August 2021 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