Media Release: Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and SASSETA visit GRDM
28 June 2022 For Immediate Release
An Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) delegation consisting of national and provincial officials visited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on 13 and 14 June 2022. The aim of the two-day visit was to learn more about the Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) model and to investigate the possibility of replicating the Skills Mecca concept in other parts of the country.
On the first day, representatives from GRSM and the GRDM EPWP section accompanied the delegation on several site visits to training centres in the area that support the GRSM. Delegates visited Cheeba Africa, African Skills and François Ferreira Academy where they were given thorough insights of each facility and the type of training provided. Through several Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) grants and EPWP programmes, learners have successfully completed courses at the training centres visited by delegates and have been able to enter the job market.
The second day was reserved for engagement. Lusanda Menze (GRDM Executive Manager:: Planning and Economic Development) gave an overview of GRDM and its Growth and Development Strategy and Dr Florus Prinsloo (GRSM Coordinator) gave a comprehensive overview of the GRSM model.
Tsholofelo Pooe from National EPWP presented on the their EPWP Training Framework and possible linkages to the Garden Route Skills Mecca.
MOU between GRSM and SASSETA discussed.
Joining the delegation on the second day, were Chris Mudau and Thamsanqa Mdontswa from the Safety and Security SETA (SASSETA). After listening to the presentations given by GRDM and GRSM, they presented on the SETA’s mandate, Skills Development Levy (SDL) breakdown, and strategic scope amongst other topics.
SASSETA’s sub-sections and constituencies include:
Private Security and Investigation Activities
There are 17 SDL contributors in the Garden Route, which comprises law firms and security companies. It is for this reason that SASSETA and GRDM will enter into talks to establish an MOU that will see closer cooperation with GRSM.
The two-day delegation visit was concluded with a visit to Calitzdorp Hot Springs where a Security Training Centre has been established through formal partnership between BM Skills Development (who is a SASSETA Accredited Training Provider) and the GRDM.
EWSETA has a significant demand-based focus, and it is important for them to determine what the needs are of employers and businesses. They receive a limited skills levy income and need to partner with other agencies to address this challenge. This is why they’ve agreed soon enter into a memorandum of understanding with GRDM.
During his opening remarks, the GRSM Forum chairperson, Ald. De Vries remarked that renewable energy is gaining momentum as countries around the world are increasingly understanding the benefits it offers.
During the forum, Mr. Warrick Pierce, Technical Leader on Energy Systems Modeling at the Energy Centre of CSIR, presented the Draft Municipal Electricity Master Plan for the GRDM. The Draft document was funded by GIZ and co-funded by the CSIR and is considered to be a mini Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Mr. Pierce noted that the plan looks at different possible energy futures and the employment opportunities it may hold. Furthermore, the plan’s focus is twofold as it looks at each municipality individually in the region and the Garden Route as a whole to achieve optimisation.
To draft plan addresses issues of future demand usage and that municipalities need to know their customers – their past behaviors towards energy and how this is changing in terms of self-generation. There seems to be clear indication that Solar PV is the priority option for the Garden Route to consider. The Draft Energy Master Plan will be tabled to the GRDM Council this month for adoption and a media release about it will be issued.
The final presentation was done by Kirsten Freimann, from GIZ, who is the Head of Project: Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E), which is a new 3-year program that started in June.
The program aims to address two major concerns identified by GIZ, which are the economic recession and the high youth unemployment rate plaguing South Africa. With the help of the Swiss Development Agency, The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Government was able to raise €10.5 million for the project.
CPDE4E strives to improve the employability of the youth by unlocking employment potentials by supporting entrepreneurship and SME development in township economies, as well as (ecologic) industrial parks.
The transition from learning to earning will be done by matching soft skills with entrepreneurship training with specific measures in place for girls and women.
Demand-driven TVET/ skills development will improve delivery capacities, through lecturers, in-company mentors, short skills programs, new occupational profiles, and curricula development. It is anticipated that it will strengthen private sector involvement in agile training interventions. This could lead to job creation and meeting demands.
Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route
15 March 2022
For immediate release
The second keynote speaker at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca for 2022 was Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape. He outlined NYDA’s skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.
NYDA is a South African-based agency established primarily to address challenges faced by the nation’s youth. The youth development agency was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 54 of 2008) to be a single, unitary structure addressing youth development issues at the National, Provincial and Local Government levels. The Agency should be seen within the broad context of South Africa’s development dynamics.
During Manyama’s presentation, he outlined their economic participation goal, which is to enhance the contribution of young people to the economy through targeted and integrated programs.
He added that programs created by the NYDA aims to facilitate and provide employment opportunities for the youth and to include them in the economy.
The implementation of this goal is at the following strategic objectives:
To provide socio-economic empowerment interventions and support for young people in South Africa
To provide increased universal access to young people
NYDA runs several economic programs that include:
Grant funding R1 000.00 to R10 000.00
Business Consultancy Services
Sales Pitch and BBBEE Training
Business Management Training
On youth with disabilities, Manyama had the following to say: “Young people with disabilities are not homogenous as there are different disabilities that require different interventions. The sector representing youth with disabilities proposes the establishment of a disability unit at the NYDA to undertake to facilitate all programs aimed at transforming the lives of youth with disabilities.”
He concluded his presentation by stressing the importance of eradicating discrimination and stigmas against people with disabilities and increasing economic opportunities for them.
Access to education is limited and inadequate and this needs to be addressed. Integration of people with disabilities will also need to be addressed as there is a tendency of lumping them together despite their different needs.
Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route
15 March 2022 For immediate release
Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was invited to speak at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum of 2022 and his focus was on the growth and development strategy of the department for the Garden Route. He opened his comprehensive presentation with the following quote by Allan Savory:
“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is impossible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy”.
To put this quote into perspective, Lamberts shared one of the Department’s recent success stories: A farm in Herald was in a dilapidated state due to a lack of interest in purposing the land. A businessman who was passionate about farming bought it, and spent the next five (5) years turning it into a viable business that now produces honeybush and proteas. He is the first black commercial farmer to produce honeybush in the Southern Cape. It is because the Department assisted him that his business was able to create sixteen (16) permanent jobs, with opportunities for an additional twenty (20) seasonal workers.
Before this, in Waboomskraal, the Department assisted another farmer, who became the first black farmer in the area to produce proteas and hops.
Lamberts noted: “When all spheres of government work together in an integrated fashion, these are the type of results we will see”.
Lamberts listed the activities and services the Department provides to farmers and all other stakeholders as the following:
Independent agricultural advice and information
Supporting Livestock farmers – Development program. Livestock Forum
Performance testing/annual evaluation/ID limitations and opportunities
Investigating and implementing new hardy breeds and crossbreeding
Investigations in lowering inset cost through conservation agriculture – cover crops
Investigations into pasture species for marginal lands
Crop production advice and information
The type of training that is provided includes evidence-based and practice-based farmers’ capacity building. This is done through farmers’ days, demonstrations, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interactions. Since 2018, the department trained 820 beneficiaries and this ranged from vegetable training to farm implement operation training.
The Department has a memorandum of understanding with GRDM and vacant land has been identified that the municipality owns which is conducive for agricultural development opportunities. The Department is researching the potential of commodity processing facilities in the Garden Route, which will be a source of immediate job creation – a game-changer for job creation in the region.
The Department furthermore envisions the building of Agri-Business Platforms for clients where potential products can be processed ready for consumption. Through Conservation/Regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to rehabilitate and look after their own soil to turn it into organic matter that fertilizes with very few chemicals. Trials on livestock projects have yielded very positive results to date, and the global view is that going regenerative holds many financial and ecological benefits.
Agritourism needs to be promoted as it holds several untapped opportunities for the tourism sector. There is a need to compile tour packages to visit farms and processing facilities for both local and international tourism. The Roads Department has a role to play as well, as it must ensure easy access through regular road maintenance and upgrades.
The Department is in the process of revisiting mechanization which would allow for a central point that offers services such as ploughing, for example, as well as repair and maintenance services on farm implements.
Lamberts concluded his presentation by saying that we can be very proud of our district and that the Department is very excited to continue its work in the area.
Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture
14 March 2022 For Immediate Release
The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 was held on 25 February 2022 and was attended by delegates in person and online via Microsoft Teams. This setting provides Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.
The forum was chaired by Ald. Stephen de Vries briefly explained the role of the GRSM in relation to the National Skills Development Plan. He alluded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate where he stressed the importance of skills development to support economic growth as part of the economic recovery plan. The GRSM aligns itself with the National Development Plan 2030 vision to improve access to occupations in high demand and priority skills in supporting economic growth, job creation, and social development.
We want to contribute to the vision of an educated and skilled workforce for South Africa.
The second keynote speaker, Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape – presented on matters of skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.
Dr. Florus Prinsloo (Skill Mecca Co-ordinator, GRDM) officially launched the GRSM website, which has been in development since last year.
The aim of the website is to serve as a central point of communication and to close the gap between service providers, investors, and candidates with learning opportunities needs.
There is still work that needs to be done which, once completed, will see the ‘partnership’ page going live. Once this happens, service providers will be able to register and list learning opportunities, which will then be communicated by GRDM’s Communication unit. A process has been established to vet all applicants before registration to ensure that the highest standards are always met.
Garden Route DM helps Non-Profit Organisations and students with funding support
For Immediate Release 22 April 2021
An annual highlight for the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is when the institution is able to finalise and officially hand over its committed funding support to students and Non-Profit Organisations (NPO). This year, the GRDM supported fourteen (14) NPOs, as well as twenty-two (22) students who are studying towards accredited NQF qualifications; some are studying degrees such as Chemical Engineering, Tourism, Computer Science or LLB Law.
During his keynote address, Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for GRDM, said: “We supported NPOs with R210 000.00, even though we all face tough budget cuts because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also provided funding support to the tone of R510 000.00 to students, which was partly funded by the Western Cape Provincial Treasury.”
He also alluded to the fact that “we are the poorest of all eight (8) municipalities in the Garden Route, and we have been told that we often punch about our weight”. However, he stated that the GRDM would continue to try its best to help communities as far as possible.”
Ald. Booysen pleaded for external bursary recipients to never forget where they are coming from, particularly for what their parents fought for. “Do not forget your grannies, fathers, uncles and aunts, amongst others; some of them had to drop out from school to make money and support their family members who had dreams of studying further.
Ald. Booysen asked: “What does the future hold for South Africans?” He then answered: “I do not have answers to where our country will be in the near future, but the GRDM is trying its best to play a small part in the solution.”
When referring to students, he said: “I am optimistic about your futures and that you will not drop out – that you will shine and make a success of this opportunity”.
The Human Resources Manager at GRDM, Ms Nontobeko Klaas, highlighted that the municipality places an advertisement in newspapers, social media (Facebook and Twitter) around the beginning of October annually. This call-to-action is intended to invite students and families who require assistance with funding their studies to apply for such support. Cllr Rowan Spies, who was the programme director of the handover ceremony, also boasted about the GRDM Education, Training and Development Committee he serves on. He said: “Mayor, without undermining the efforts of other committees I serve on; this specific committee gives us the most gratification because of the impact it has on communities”.
During the address by Mr Siphiwe Dladla, GRDM Chief of Staff, he provided a brief background of the Grant-in-Aid support offered by the Mayor’s office. He said: “We advertise during November or December, but the COVID-19 pandemic shifted our deadlines to January 2021”. He further added: “We received forty (40) applications and had to utilise internal policy directives to guide our selection process. Currently, we focus on NPOs who work with causes such as HIV/AIDS, Senior Citizens, Disabled, Youth and Substance Abuse.”
WORDS OF APPRECIATION
One of the recipients of an external bursary for BCom Accounting through the University of the Western Cape, Mr Lizalise Gamane, said: “This financial contribution towards me and others is a gesture of confidence in us as the youth of the Garden Route – it provides a great deal of hope for families who are here. Children from marginalised families now also have the opportunity to study and eventually support their families when landing jobs in their respective career fields”.
Ms Elmarie Maxim delivered a word of appreciation on behalf of the NPOs by saying that beneficiaries are honoured and happy for the gesture by the GRDM to support them.
“We are all trying to recover from the adverse financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. NPOs need to constantly look for funding, at the same time, it remains difficult for us to find such support, especially after the public offered so much support since 2020 ,” she said.
NPO Recipients (in no particular order).
List of NPOs who received funding support:
Golden Movement Service Centre – Knysna/ Karatara
Epic Sports Project – Kleinbrak River
The Plett Aid Foundation – Plett
Outeniqua Dawn – George
Paul M.Draay soup drive – Mossel Bay
The Living cornerstone alzeimers res – Sedgefield
Smiling ducks Educare – Albertinia
J-Square empowerment – Riversdale
Knysna Association for Persons with Disabilities – Knysna
Vermont Old Age Home – Knysna
Hephziba Solutions – Sedgefield
Youth for Change – Plett
Linos – Calitzzdorp
Tinkerland Nursery School – Knysna
External Bursary Recipients (in no particular order):
Please note that some of the recipients were represented at the handover ceremony by their parents.
Johannes Van Wyngaard
Luciano Cobrim Trantraal
Shurenay Magan Jacobs
Heimne Giselle Elizabeth Esau
List of Grant In Aid Applications for year 2021:
1 Golden Movement Service Centre Sandalina Afrika
6 Hospice Plett Cecily van Heerden
10 Epic Sports Project Nicolaas Bezuidenhot
12 Outeniqua Dawn Xoliswa Bomvana
13 Paul M.Draay Soup Drive William Sam
14 The Living Cornestone Alzeimers Res Gilda Scammell
15 Smiling Ducks Educare Arita Terblanche
16 J-Square Empowerment Justin van Rensburg
17 Knysna Association for Persons with disabilities Veronique Fortune
19 Vermont Old Age Home Magdallena Hillary Brouwers
29 Hephziba Solutions Cleone Vanstone
37 Youth For Change Sithenkosi Innocent Bobani
38 Linos Coffee Christolino Pêrel
39 Tinkerland Nursery School Elmarie Maxim
The newly launched National Certificate in Supervision of Construction NQF Level 4 program includes 75 officials of the GRDM and 15 unemployed youth from the Garden Route. The one year program will be divided into 30% theory focused classes and 70% on the job training.
GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for the Roads Department, Councillor Rowan Spies, during the launch of the programme alluded to the fact that this is the first programme where 25 participants were attending theoretical training from various locations throughout the district. “Covid-19 has robbed us from having huge gatherings. However, at GRDM we have to adapt to a new approach to training,” said Cllr Spies. He wished all the learners on the program the best of luck and said that he was extremely excited and filled with pride that everyone would benefit from the program.
The Executive Manager of Roads Services, Mr John Daniels encouraged participants to grab the opportunity with both hands. He explained that his department follows the concept, “from sweeper to engineer”, where all staff members are presented with equal opportunities to be able to achieve the peak of their careers, regardless of where they started. Mr Daniels boasted that his Department invested a further substantial amount of funding towards bursaries. “This is all done to improve the department’s vision of providing quality services to the public,” he said.
Ms Nokuthula Dube, Chief Executive Officer of Nokuthula Dube and Associates, the service provider for the training, shared a broad overview of the programme. She explained to participants that the programme wasn’t easy as it includes a wide variety of supervisory skills and project planning. However, she wished the learners well and encouraged them to be committed to their studies and concluded that only hard work will pay off at the end of the day.
Two employees of GRDM who are also participants in the programme, Ms Valentyn and Mr Mona, thanked the GRDM Management on behalf of all participants for providing them the opportunity and investing in their future. The chairpersons from both trade unions IMATU and SAMWU pledged their support towards the programme and encouraged learners to make use of the opportunity presented to them with energy and optimism.
During his keynote address, the Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen, motivated learners by sharing his own life story and challenges faced during his upbringing and career path. Alderman Booysen explained: “My goal while at school was to become a truck driver. My primary and tertiary school years were not all plain sailing and I started believing that I wasn’t going to pass matric. The only hope I had was to follow in my family’s footsteps to become a truck driver. To my surprise, I passed matric and at that time I did not have any plans to continue studying; I took a leap year and ended up being an “agter-ryer” – an assistant to a truck driver,” Booysen said.
Alderman Booysen promised participants that he will share with them how he managed to become the Executive Mayor of the GRDM, but only on the day they graduate. However, he encouraged learners to take the opportunity seriously and meet GRDM’s same intent – to take the development of everyone serious. To conclude, Alderman Booysen encouraged the GRDM Training and Development Section to make sure that no participant drops out of the program and to provide management with monthly reports to ensure that the participants stay in the program and complete the program.
During the closing remarks, Cllr Spies thanked the Executive Mayor for his leadership role, the Management Team for their commitment to Skills Development and all the participants for their courage to enrol for further studies. He also thanked the Program Director Ms Simile Mqoto (Manager Roads) for directing the program.
Media Release:Garden Route unemployed youth commences 12-month telecommunication network operations training
19 November 2020 For Immediate Release
Garden Route youth between the ages of 18 and 25 yesterday, 16 November 2020, received induction training for a 12-month telecommunication network operations learnership which will officially start today. The programme is a strategic partnership between Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Muja Media, Long Ships and MICTSeta. GRDM Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen; GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Roads and Transport Planning Services, Cllr Rowan Spies; Training and Development Committee Chairperson, Cllr Stephen De Vries; and Acting GRDM Municipal Manager, Ms Trix Holtzhausen, were present at the engagement with all the relevant stakeholders, including the 25 beneficiaries.
Mojo Media offers television products, outside broadcasting, content creation, audio-post production branded content, channel management, graphics, video editing and facility rentals. The training will take place at Bethesda in Rose Moore where they will be attending classes under the supervision of their Facilitator Mr Limbani Maxwell.
The Garden Route youth are ready to embark on their new journey with Mojo media. During the induction session it was evident that the learners are passionate about the road ahead of them, i.e. learning about Telecommunication. When they were given opportunity to meet the Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, their faces lit up with smiles of hope for a positive change to their careers.
During Mayor Booysen’s address he said, “If the chance comes your way grasp it. I encourage all of you to shine in your work and to become the best you can be”. In his speech he focused on his own background too and how he progressed in life and where he finds himself now.
Learners were given the opportunity to thank all the stakeholders who made it possible for the learnership to exist. Two learners were chosen to share a word of thanks, Riaan Van Schalk Wyk and Akhona Ncaphayi. Akhona Ncaphayi displayed confidence in her speech when saying, ”On behalf of other learners, I would like to thank service Seta partnering with Garden Route District Municipality for giving us this opportunity to be a part of this learnership; this will help us to learn new skills.
GRDM frequently rolls out learnerships and internships to assist the youth to enter the job market. Many youngsters struggle to get work because they lack experience, which is why such interventions are of great value. Visit www.gardenroute.gov.za/vacancies to see what jobs and opportunities are currently offered by the GRDM.