Garden Route District Municipality Firefighters deliver outstanding performance at TFA-SA
For Immediate Release 21 September 2022
The past weekend, 16 and 17 September 2022, a lot of Garden Routers and visitors from other parts of the country, travelled to Mossel Bay to witness the first South African Toughest Fighter Alive (TFA-SA) competition since 2019. The TFA didn’t take place for a few years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s challenge marked the seventh official competition. The event was hosted in the Garden Route at the De Bakke Beach in Mossel Bay and attracted more than 160 South African competitors.
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Firefighters performed well in the competition, with Emile Conrad winning an overall runner-up position in the competition. He competed against 129 firefighters who competed in the individual event. For the relay event, the GRDM men’s team ended almost at top in second (2nd) position. They beat 28 other teams.
In the events linked to various age categories, the GRDM landed the following top three positions per age category:
Age 30-34 for males: Henrich Leslie – 2nd position. He came 5th overall.
Age 35-39 for females: Bonita Conrad – 2nd
Age 35-39 for males: Emile Conrad – 1st
Age 45-49 for males: David van Niekerk – 1st; and Petrus Jordaan – 3rd
The TFA-SA challenge is based on an international event and has become South Africa’s primary fire fighter fitness challenge. Top competitors at the TFA-SA, are selected to represent South Africa internationally.
GRDM’s recently appointed Chief Fire Officer, Deon Stoffels, said that the GRDM had sixteen (16) competitors in total, including 2 female firefighters. “Each one displayed inspiring courage, perseverance and grit in finishing their individual challenges as well as going all out to ensure their respective relay team, of which we had four (4), performed as best as possible. The camaraderie was contagious and firefighters are already looking forward to perform even better next year in Mossel Bay,” he added. A big thank you is also extended to colleagues that came to support with all theirs cheers and motivation absorbed, including the executive Mayor.
Councillors, management and staff congratulated all participants, especially the GRDM team for their outstanding performance in the competition. By competing in this challenge, the team demonstrated their ongoing dedication in health and fitness. The fitness level of a firefighter is central to their success in containing an incident.
Team Garden Route, congratulations to you!
Feature image: The GRDM Firefighters who participated in the TFA-SA competition, with Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen (back, centre), and GRDM supporters at the event.
Media Release: GRDM Councillors and officials visit premises and establishments in the Hessequa area
For immediate release 30 August 2022
On Monday, 22 Augustus 2022, a Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) delegation visited various premises and sites within the Hessequa region (Heidelberg and Slangrivier) to establish shortcomings, evaluate standards of municipal health services delivered, as well as to hand over sanitary towels to learners. Community Services Portfolio Committee members, Ald. Nompumelelo Ndayi, Cllrs Jobieth Hoogbaard and Cobus Meiring, Executive Manager, Clive Africa for Community Services, Manager for Municipal Health and Environmental Management, Johan Compion, and officials from the Hessequa Region formed part of the delegation.
Municipal Health Services as defined in the National Health Act, 2003 includes the following Key Performance Areas of which these visits are applicable to: Water Quality Monitoring, Food Control, Solid Waste Management, Health Surveillance of Premises, Supervision and Prevention of Contagious Diseases (excluding Immunization), Vector Control, Environmental Pollution Control, Disposal of Human Remains and the Safe handling of Chemical Substances.
The team visited three (3) crèches, a soup kitchen, a high school, a spaza shop and an illegal dumping site. By visiting these facilities/premises Councillors were afforded the opportunity to understand how the interventions of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) assist these establishments to comply with relevant By-Laws and/or legislation. Ongoing monitoring and health and hygiene education by the EHPs enable them to implement measures to address the gaps in line with the Key Performance Areas for Municipal Health Services.
During the visits, Haemish Herwels, Chief: Municipal Health for the Hessequa region, and Marchelles Hurling, Environmental Health Practitioner, explained the inspection procedures and the issues of importance.
Child care facilities – Herwels reiterated the importance of allowable floor space, which dictate the number of children that can be accommodated at childcare premises. According to the relevant norms and standards, 1.5 m² must be available for each child. Furthermore he explained that the compliance to the prescribed number of toddlers and proper ventilation can minimize the spread of diseases within the classroom setting.
When visiting another crèche in the area it was observed that space was a real challenge. Crèche principle, Petro Joseph, informed the delegation that due to the number of toddlers currently registered at the facility she is in the process of expanding the facility to ensure, not only compliance to the GRDM By-laws, but also promoting the health and safety of all their toddlers.
Herwels also explained that EHPs visit these facilities on a regular basis to evaluate the hygiene standards of classrooms, bathrooms, outside play areas and the kitchens of those facilities who prepare meals for the toddlers
Visit to Slangrivier High School – Visiting Slangrivier High School was the highlight of the event when Cllr Ndayi and the team handed over two hundred (200) packs of sanitary towels to learners. When she took the items into acceptance, Raymondi Saayman admitted that not having these items makes it difficult for learners to attend school, which has a detrimental impact on their overall academic performance. She extended a messages of appreciation to the Garden Route team for the generous donation. With August being Women’s month Ald. Ndayi, said “While we are celebrating Women’s Month, we hope that these products will help restore the dignity of our female learners, as they will be our leaders of tomorrow”.
Illegal Dumping – The team visited certain sites along Eikeweg where illegal dumping has become a major problem. Herwels explained that the EHP’s conduct regular inspections of formal and informal settlements to monitor illegal dumping, as part of Waste Management which is listed as a key performance area, as these sites if not managed, create favourable conditions for the breeding of flies and rodents which can contribute to the spread of diseases. When illegal dumping is brought under their attention, it is immediately communicated to the Hessequa Municipality. Furthermore Herwels mentioned that currently they have a good relationship with the Hessequa Municipality, as such that when issues are communicated it is addressed immediately.
Spaza Shops – Spaza shops, over the years have become the life-line of informal economic development which has become significant in our communities across the country. These shops are mostly situated in residential areas and customers therefore do not have to travel far to purchase essential goods, especially in case of emergencies.
Although it has its benefits of easy access, these shops must comply with all the requirements as stipulated in the Regulations Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises and the Transport of Food and Related Matters R 638 of 22 June 2018, to ensure that customers enjoy a convenient, but mostly a healthy shopping experience. Regular inspections are conducted by the EHPs to ensure compliance with the regulation and food samples are taken from time to time to monitor the bacteriological and chemical quality of products. One such spaza-shop is Corner Shop, situated in Heidelberg. When the Garden Route delegation entered the shop, they immediately observed the neatness of the shop with food products that were labelled properly. Marcelles Hurling, the EHP responsible for Heidelberg and Witsand areas, gave an overview of how the inspections are conducted and the intervention taken to ensure compliance to the Regulation. He furthermore explained that constant hygiene and food safety training have an enormous influence on the tidiness of Spaza shops, of which Corner shop is a good example.
Soup Kitchens – A touching moment was to see how Aunt Catherine, together with her assistants prepared a hearty meal for the vulnerable members in her community. When arriving at the soup kitchen, adults and kids were already queuing to receive their warm soup. Cat’s Kitchen provides meals to almost 100 people per day, three days a week. Catherine said: “We started very small, and at a point I was able to register the soup kitchen and from there onwards, various people came on board including councillors and family members, who helped me to be able to provide these meals”. Adding to this, she said: “We are grateful to the group Unspoken for their assistance with the capturing of the beneficiaries’ names when they collect their meals. With this we can determine who the most vulnerable is in the community”.
Ablution facilities– The team furthermore visited Donald Square, an informal settlement in Heidelberg. According to Herwels, EHPs conduct regular inspections in the area, to evaluate the structural requirements of toilet facilities and the hygiene aspects thereof. A major aspect that is also monitored is the issue of illegal dumping.
While addressing the team, in closing, Cllr Ndayi, said: “For the current GRDM Community Services Portfolio Committee it was our first visit to the premises where our Municipal Health Service perform their duties and it has been an inspiring experience to see how thankful these establishments’ representatives were towards GRDM”. Adding to this she highlighted: “Being accompanied by my colleagues Cllrs Meiring and Hoogbaard, as well as the Head of the Department and the team who work closely with these establishments, showed their true commitment and passion for the communities of the Garden Route”.
Feature Photo: Before leaving Cat’s Soup Kitchen in Slangrivier fo their next stop, Aunt Catherine insisted that each member of the GRDM delegation enjoys a warm cup of soup.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FOR THE GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
The Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme was reviewed and updated, in terms of Section 48 of the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Act (Act No 24 of 2008). As per the provisions of the ICM Act, any amendments that are made to the existing Coastal Management Programme must be subject to the public participation requirements in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Municipal Systems Act, prior to being Gazetted.
Notice is hereby given that the Draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme will be available for review and comment from 20 June 2022 to 23 September 2022. The draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme will be available for viewing at the following Places:
1) Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George;
2) Mossel Bay Public Library, 99 Marsh Street, Mossel Bay;
3) Hessequa Public Library (Gouritsmond Library), 9 Kerk Street, Gouritz;
4) Albertinia Public Library, 2 Horne Street, Albertinia;
5) Still Bay Public Library, Main Road, Still Bay West;
6) Riversdale Public Library, Van Den Berg Street, Riversdale;
7) Hessequa Municipal Office, Mitchell Street, Riversdale;
8) Plettenberg Bay Public Library; Saringa Way, New Horizons, Plettenberg Bay;
9) Knysna Public Library, Memorial Square, 2 Main Street, Knysna;
10) George Public Library, Corner Caledon and Courtenay Streets, Camphersdrift, George, and;
11) Garden Route District Municipality website: www.gardenroute.gov.za/documents/
The District Municipality hereby invites comments from interested and affected parties on the draft reviewed Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme. Any comments and inputs submitted will be considered during the finalisation of the draft document for final approval and Gazetting.
Written submissions may be directed to the Municipal Manager using the following address:
Garden Route District Municipality, Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, 54 York Street, George or Private Bag 12, George, 6530 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 23 September 2022.
Any person who is unable to write can submit their input verbally to the Council’s offices where they will be assisted by a staff member to put their comments in writing. Enquiries can be directed to Dr Nina Viljoen at 044 803 1318 or e-mail email@example.com.
GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY
Click here to download the Draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme. Click hereto download the official Notice.
Today, I am honoured to greet my fellow women on this Women’s Day. A day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in social, cultural, and political fields. A day when we recognise the value and importance of women in our lives and around the world.
I want to encourage women to always strive to be themselves; to live their lives as they feel comfortable; and to take time for themselves, as women are often the backbone of their families who put others before themselves.
Over the years, women have contributed massively to the lives of their families, sometimes under difficult and unfair circumstances. However, they still manage to juggle through life while accomplishing their individual and professional goals.
As Speaker van die Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit kan ek met selfvertroue noem dat hierdie munisipaliteit altyd daarna sal strewe, om die kwessies waarmee vroue te kampe kom, op te probeer los en bewusheid oor geslagsgelykheid te vermeerder.
The world is moving towards gender equality and it is moving towards a balance between both men and women.
I would like to encourage women and victims of gender-based violence to be courageous, to stand up, to show strength, and to make their voices heard, as doing so helping them take control and provide motivation for those who have lost their voices and dignity.
‘Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo’ – YES – When You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock…
Media Release:International Albinism Awareness Day
For immediate release
13 June 2022
13 June is proclaimed as International Albinism Awareness Day and by acknowledging and celebrating this day, a platform is created to educate people on albinism in a quest to demystify and debunk deep-seated misconceptions and superstitious beliefs about this condition.
In 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution calling for the prevention or attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism. This was followed by a recommendation on 26 March 2015, by civil society organisations to consider persons with albinism as a specific group with particular needs who require special attention. The Council created the mandate of independent expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
What is Albinism?
Albinism is an inherited genetic condition that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair and/or eyes. Albinism occurs in all racial and ethnic groups throughout the world. In the U.S., approximately one in 18,000 to 20,000 people has some type of albinism. In other parts of the world, the occurrence can be as high as one in 3,000.
Common myths about albinism?
A common myth is that people with albinism have red eyes. Although lighting conditions can allow the blood vessels at the back of the eye to be seen, which can cause the eyes to look reddish or violet, most people with albinism have blue eyes, and some have hazel or brown eyes. There are different types of albinism and the amount of pigment in the eyes varies.
MYTH: Sex with people with albinism is a cure for HIV/Aids: FALSE: This false belief has resulted in the rape of women and girls with albinism in parts of Africa.
FALSE BELIEF: People with albinism (children in particular) bring bad luck. FALSE: There is superstitious misconception that the condition brings sickness or even death.
FALSE BELIEF: Albinism is a punishment of a curse from the gods or ancestral spirits.
FALSE BELIEF: Body parts of persons living with albinism can be used in portions to cure other diseases.
FALSE BELIEF: Drinking the blood of a person with albinism gives you magical powers.
FALSE BELIEF: People who spent too much time in the sun will develop albinism.
FALSE BELIEF: People with albinism have a lower IQ than the rest of the population.
The abovementioned false beliefs are just a few examples which may lead to serious harm, or even death of people with albinism, seeing that many people still believe these myths about albinism to be true.
People with albinism are at risk of isolation because the condition is often misunderstood. Social stigmatization can occur, especially within communities of colour, where the race or paternity of a person with albinism may be questioned. Families and schools must make an effort to include children with albinism in group activities.
Source of some of the facts: Website of National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation
#albinism are #albinism #albino #albinismisbeautiful #albinismawareness
Media Release: Officials from Garden Route District Municipality celebrate Employee Wellness Day – 30 employees donated blood!
For immediate release 3 June 2022
Every year, National Employee Wellness Month is celebrated during the month of June. In view of this, the Garden Route District Municipality’s Employee Assistance Section organised a full-day programme filled with wellness activities to encourage employees to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being at work and overall.
Research indicates that work is closely linked to an individual’s health and well-being. And, as a result, several service providers were invited to interact with employees and advise them on how to improve and adopt a healthier workplace wellness culture since they spend most of their time at work.
Nedbank, Virgin Active, Bonitas- and LA Health Medical Scheme, the Western Cape Department of Health, the Western Cape Blood Services, and CANSA Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) representatives were among the service providers.
The GRDM Blood Donation Drive was one of the highlights of the day as the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) also urges all eligible donors to donate blood as blood stocks are critically low.
According to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), ‘Donating a unit of this “precious gift of life” saves lives of those in dire need of blood. One must develop a habit of donating blood in order for SANBS to collect sufficient blood that will ensure that in cases of emergency quality blood is always available. Thousands of patients can die daily if there is insufficient quality blood in stock. When one donates blood, they give patients the gift money cannot buy or science cannot create. A unit of blood can save up to three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.’
Thirty (30) employees from GRDM donated blood today.
Benefits of donating blood:
Improves overall cardiovascular health.
Enhances the production of new blood cells to produce new blood cells to maintain good health.
Lower the risk of strokes.
Reduces the chance of heart attacks.
Lower the risk of cancer.
Free health screening – vital signs, blood type, and other screening tests.
It saves lives – many lives are saved and hope is given to many whose situation may otherwise be hopeless.
Blood donors give such patients a second lease of life.
As part of the day’s activities, Virgin Active also hosted a Grid Class for employees to participate in.
Public Notice: Adoption of the 2022-2027 Integrated Development Plan (IDP), 2022/2023 Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework and Multi-Year Budget
Notice is hereby given that the Garden Route District Municipal Council’s Integrated Development Plan for the period 2022-2027 and the Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework (MTREF) Multi-Year Budget for the period 2022/2023-2024/2025, were compiled in accordance with the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) and Municipal Finance Management Act 2003 (Act 56 of 2003).
These documents were adopted by the Garden Route District Council at a District Council meeting held on Friday, 27 May 2022.
These documents will be available at all main local libraries, satellite offices and the Garden Route District Municipality’s IDP Unit, 54 York Street George and on the GRDM municipal website www.gardenroute.gov.za.
Please contact the District IDP Manager (Ms Mercy James) or Budget Manager (Ms Louise Hoek) at 044 803 1300, firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries.
PUBLIC NOTICE: Demand Database information about Affordable Housing in the Garden Route District
For Immediate Release 25 February 2022
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently approved a new Integrated Human Settlements Strategic Plan which will guide its eventual implementation of its affordable housing typologies. This critically requires the determination and understanding of the level of demand and supply from members of the public located in the Garden Route District. In order to be able to do that, GRDM needs therefore to generate an updated demand database mechanism that will assist in preparing its Affordable Housing programmes and projects.
The housing demand database will assist Council with defining the types of Affordable Housing preferences, in line with the expressed interests of members of the public from the various communities within the District. Such interest should originate from all 7 B-municipalities (Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn).
In line with the above, we have prepared a standard application form that those interested in Affordable Housing must complete. Forms are available through the following platforms, namely:
Media Release: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
For immediate release
21 February 2022
A thought, or rather a WhatsApp message between two women, eager to make a difference, turned into the beginning of a life-changing movement. A drive resulted in 700 pairs of school shoes being donated to fourteen (14) principals at the launch of the Walk-a-Child-to-School program on Wednesday, 9 February 2022.
On 25 February 2021, Ms Queeny Diko, Vodacom Cluster Specialist for Eden Country, contacted Ms Nomonde Makhubalo, Marketing and Sales Manager of Eden FM Radio Station (Eden FM), to share her idea of establishing a school project initiative in collaboration with Eden FM. She wanted to place empty boxes in all Vodacom stores in George where people could donate school shoes. Eden FM would participate by promoting the project and creating awareness on the community radio station. Several days later, Mr Errol Jafta from the George Museum also approached Ms Makhubalo with more or less the same idea of collecting stationery and school clothes for children.
Following a thorough deliberation and brainstorming between the various parties, and taking into consideration the expected goals and objectives of the initiative, Ms Makhubalo quickly realised, “This project has more potential than meets the eye.” she said. Her enthusiasm led her to approach the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) to join in on the life-changing movement of donating school shoes to underprivileged children.
Through this collaboration between Eden FM, GRDM, Vodacom and George Museum, the shoes are donated and aid children to walk to school in comfort. This initiative also puts smiles on each recipient’s face by restoring their HOPE, PRIDE and DIGNITY.
In March 2021, the Walk-a-Child-to-School project was ‘born’ and officially launched in April 2021. As soon as the project commenced, businesses and community members in George generously opened their hearts and donated money and shoes. Within three (3) months, almost 500 pairs of shoes were donated. This demonstrated the power of collective action and people working together,” Ms Nomonde Makhubalo said.
During the first handover ceremony attended by GRDM Councillors, business owners, principals, and learners, Mr Morne Pietersen, Station Manager of Eden FM, made the following remarks. “Children are honest and pure, and with all the horrible things happening in the world, we need to protect and nurture them because they are our most precious gifts. Working with children is wonderful, but seeing them suffer is difficult, and through this initiative, we hope to ease some of their sufferings,” Pietersen said.
Later, Queeny Diko elaborated on Vodacom’s ‘further together’ tagline. “In my opinion, our company’s tagline emphasises the importance of collaboration and partnerships among businesses, corporate companies, radio stations, and municipalities for reaching a common goal. The Walk-a-Child-to-School Project is very dear to my company because we support our communities and try to encourage and enable children to attend schools,” Diko said.
Additionally, Ms Diko presented a surprise to the learners, principals, and parents present, encouraging them to register on the Vodacom E-school platform, which will enable learners to access free, unlimited, quality online educational content from grades R to 12. She explained that only adults and legal guardians could register learners on the platform. “By registering as many learners on the E-school platform, we are running a competition for all 14 beneficiary schools here today to win two Lenovo laptops. As Vodacom Eastern Region, we say let’s go further together, and when we work together, we can achieve more,” she concluded.
Mr Errol Jafta, the representative of the George Museum, expressed his gratitude to his partner for allowing them to be involved.”Listening to all the speakers here today makes me feel sad. When I started working at the museum, I realised that our children have no idea what a museum is. My vision is to change our people’s mindset by demonstrating to them what a museum is all about by going into the community. As we serve the leaders of tomorrow, let’s be humble and use our resources to advance projects like this.”
GRDM Executive Mayor Alderman Memory Booysen opened his address with the statement, “This initiative is bigger than all of us. I can see this in the next few months, and I can see it in the next thirty years.“ Booysen referred to the MC’s introductory words, which stated that everyone needs a giant to lift them up in life. However, he said that it came to his mind that some giants are not necessarily big, but there are small giants as David of the bible, who was a small man, but who became a giant. “I want to say to the two ladies who started this initiative, sometimes giants become kings, and for a king to be a proper king, you need a queen, and this is what you are.”
He continued his speech by saying that having school shoes can determine whether a learner go all the way to grade 12. “We must not take what is happening here for granted, ladies and gentlemen; this is just the beginning. We also need to teach our children what role they can play to ensure that they look after the planet they live on.”
During the handover of the shoes, the principles present expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the valuable and much-needed donations they received. Principals agreed that shoes are symbolic of pride and give confidence to the young learners knowing that they can walk to school in comfort. Mr Mann, the principal from St.Lukes EK Primary school in Brandwacht outside Mossel Bay, thanked the sponsors and said that most parents in their area rely heavily on social grants, and these school shoes will be a great relief to learners. “We know seasons change, winter is approaching, and our children are dependent on school shoes.
The principal of the Diepkloof Primary school, Mr Bernard Schoeman, also expressed his appreciation and said that gestures like these make lives easier for children and make them feel cared for. Another principle said putting food on the table is a massive challenge for many parents and households; therefore, buying school shoes is, in many cases, impossible.
The GRDM Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, thanked the pioneers of the wonderful project, emphasising that what started as a thought is growing into what it is becoming. He thanked the George Museum representative, reminding the audience that even among the bad news we hear daily, some men have lost their fatherhood and become monsters. However, we still have fathers taking pride in raising children. Mr Stratu thanked the principals and learners for taking time out of their busy schedules, travelling from far. He concluded that as GRDM, we are very proud of being associated with this initiative.
The schools that benefited from the first Walk-a-Child-to-School Project were: Crags Primary School, Chris Nissan Primary School, Diepkloof Primary School, Garden Route Primary School, St Konraad Primary School, Rheenendal Primary School, Slangriver Primary School, Zoar EK Primary School, St Lukes Brandwac Primary School, Tyholorha Primary School, De Rust Primary School KwaNokuthula Primary School, Amalienstein Primary School and
The Programme Director ended the event saying that what happened today is only the beginning and that he trusts that this project will explode, with more sponsors becoming involved, distributing thousands of pairs of schools in the future to children in need because there is nothing that must keep a child back to perform and be the best. Our country is alive with possibilities, and today is one of these events which put a stamp of approval that South Africa is indeed alive with possibilities – UNLESS WE EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN, WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
The Cape Town Weather Office has issued impact based warnings for (1) Level 8 Damaging Winds and (2) Level 2 Damaging Waves for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape as follows:
“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.”
Report any weather related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044-805 5071.