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Official Launch of GRDM Training Programmes

This year, 2019, marked the beginning of a prosperous year for approximately 120 young people from the Knysna and Plettenberg Bay municipal areas, as they benefited from the Garden Route Municipal Training Programmes, which includes:  First Aid Level 3 Training; Driver’s License Training and Law Enforcement Training.

These training programmes originated from the Garden Route Rebuild Initiative (GRRI), which was established after devastating fires hit the district (Knysna/Plettenberg Bay) in June 2017, and the need for a District Skills Mecca was identified.

The Training Programmes are funded by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and is managed through the Office of the Executive Mayor, under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).  The project’s primarily focus is on youth development in the Garden Route, building capacity among young people; breaking the chain of unemployment and ensuring a marketable labour force in the region. 

The GRDM Executive Mayor, with his delegation, political leaders and officials from the Bitou Municipality, Service Providers and beneficiaries of the Training Programmes.

During the official launch of the training programme, which kicked-off in Plettenberg Bay, the Deputy Mayor of the Bitou Municipality, Cllr Sandile Gcabayi, warmly welcomed guests and applauded the District Municipality for the initiative of providing skills development opportunities to young people in the district.

Cllr Sandile Gcabayi, Deputy Mayor of the Bitou Municipality, during the official welcoming at the launch of GRDM Training Programmes in Plettenberg Bay.

The Manager in the Office of the Executive Mayor, Mr Siphiwe Dladla, briefly explained the background, purpose and objective of the project.  When elaborating on the selection and recruitment process he emphasised that according to the number of applications received, the need to continue with the programme is evident.  He ensured the audience that representation from all wards and areas of the greater Plettenberg Bay and Knysna were covered during the selection process.  Lastly, he explained that the First Aid Level 3 course will be an entry level, where after participants will be able to further their studies to become paramedics.

Manager in the Office of the Executive Mayor, Mr Siphiwe Dladla, gave a brief background and overview of the Programmes.

In his keynote address, the Garden Route DM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, stated that the Garden Route Municipal Training Programme will be rolled-out in all 7 B-municipalities in the district.  He further explained that the Garden Route, in collaboration with various stakeholders, among others, the Provincial Government is in the process of establishing a Skills Mecca. He raised a concern that participants are not taking opportunities seriously and said: “People complain that they are unemployed, but when we provide opportunities to enter the employment arena, they do not take it seriously.  Remember, you must be the ones who need to give the opportunities to those who did not make it into the programme, the first time around, because if this programme becomes successful, we will continue with the roll out “.

Later in the day, the second launch of the Programme took place at the Knysna Municipality.  Beneficiaries from Knysna and surrounding areas attended this remarkable gathering.  The Executive Mayor of Knynsna Municipality, Cllr Mark Willemse, officially welcomed guests and extended a special word of gratitude to the Garden Route DM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, and his delegation for an amazing initiative.

The programme followed the same route as in Plettenberg Bay.  In conclusion, the EPWP Manager, Mr Richard Dyantji, introduced the Service Providers appointed to train the participants.  He encouraged the participants to make use of the opportunity given to them, to “grab it with both hands and run with it”.  Subsequent to the formalities, service providers were given the opportunity to discuss the course layout with the participants.

Mr Richard Dyantji, EPWP Manager at GRDM as well as Programme Manager of all EPWP related training programmes during his address at the launch.

During the past festive season, participants of the previous law enforcement training programme acted as peace officers and assisted the two municipalities to uphold law and order.  The Garden Route Municipal Training Programme will be rolled-out to other municipal areas within the Garden Route District.

The children of any nation are its future.  A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future – Oliver Tambo

WARNING -Veld Fire Conditions

Hazard Alert
Valid from
Valid to
Veld Fire Conditions Warning 28/01/19 – 09h00 29/01/19 – 18h00
Veld fire conditions expected in places over the northern West Coast District and Peninsula of the Cape Metropole (Western Cape) today (Monday), but only in places over the Namakwa District (Northern Cape), Central and Little Karoo (Western Cape) tomorrow (Tuesday).
Description: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions
Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled withwarm dry winds, veld or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spreadrapidly in strong winds.

Precautions: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions
Do not make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Do not throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veld. Do not throw bottles in the veld as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in controlled manner. In the case of a large fire, report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case, sand or a blanket should beused to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from Disaster Management Officers. 

Description: Extremely High Temperatures
When temperature and the humidity is high at the same time, or when
the temperature exceeds a certain threshold, human’s ability to cool theirbodies through sweating is reduced. This can be a real threat that may leads to hyperthermia.

Precautions: Extremely High Temperatures
Stay indoors in a cool room near a fan, if possible. The old and infirm must take extra care to stay hydrated and cool. Avoid strenuous outdoor activity, playing excessive sport and hard labour. Dress in light weight clothes and drink plenty of liquids, NOT alcohol.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from Disaster Management Officers.

Update on Garden Route DM’s 205-hectare property development in Mossel Bay

1.    Regional Waste Management Facility on Farm 419 Mossel Bay

The Development of a Regional Waste Management Facility on the property of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Farm 419, will be finalised by the end of 2019. 

The facility will occupy +-70% of the 205-hectare property (approximate size of 143.5 hectares) belonging to GRDM.  A private partner was selected by GRDM and a Public Private Partnership agreement will soon be entered into between the District Council and the company. Constructing and operating the facility for a period of ten years will be the responsibility of the appointed company.

Bitou, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay Municipalities will make use of the Waste Management Facility which will deal with domestic and hazardous waste disposal. Mobile chipping and crushing facilities will be included to assist the four Local Municipalities with Green Waste Management.

In addition to the Regional Landfill Facility, the following two proposals were received and are subject to all applicable legislation, application requirements and approvals. One proposal was received from Ikusasa Processing Engineering Consultants (PTY) Ltd and the other from Moumakoe-Geza Joint Venture. Sufficient land (+-30% of the 205 hectares of land) is available on Farm 419 for these developments.

 2.    Ikusasa Processing Engineering Consultants (Pty) Ltd

The Garden Route Investment Conference, which was held in March 2018, stimulated the interest of two multi-national companies to invest in the Garden Route. One of the two, which is known as Ikusasa Processing Engineering Consultants (PTY) LTD, approached GRDM with a proposal stating their intent to erect a chemical plant that will support the wide variety of sectors in the region and outside portion of Farm 419 in Mossel Bay. The size will be determined once the necessary plans are finalised and presented to the Garden Route District Municipality and approved by Mossel Bay Municipality. Necessary studies i.e. EIA’s will also have to be undertaken for this proposed development.

3. Moumakoe-Geza Joint Venture

Moumakoe-Geza Joint Venture has recently requested to lease 10 hectares of GRDM land, which forms part of Erf 419, adjacent to PetroSA for the construction of lubricant oil or a lube oil blending plant. The plant will have the capacity of producing 20 800 000 liters of blended products per annum. Studies have revealed that South Africa has a lubricant demand of 2 million barrels per annum. This project is, therefore, a win-win solution for the Garden Route in terms of social and economic development. Necessary studies i.e. EIA’s will also have to be undertaken for this proposed development.

Environmental management is key to the Garden Route future

15 January 2019

“At the launch of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF), launched in December 2018 in Mossel Bay, the event programme was packed by national and regional environmental scientists and specialists,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) Secretariat.

Addressing various subjects relevant to the Garden Route environment, there was a common thread throughout all the presentations, namely that unless we take note of the various factors changing our environment, and plan well ahead in accordance, we are heading for an uncertain future.

Poor in infrastructure and resources, including fresh water, the Garden Route is not suitable nor capable of sustaining large populations.

Climate change is partly to blame for the drying out of the western and northern parts of the Garden Route, and the demise of agriculture in badly-affected areas are real and seemingly irreversible, as farmers and those dependent on making a living off the land are forced to make a new start elsewhere.

“Compounding the situation, over the past two decades we saw exponential growth in regional population, as well as a steady increase in tourists and holidaymakers,” says Meiring.

The steady economic demise of the Eastern Cape is not doing the Southern and Western Cape any favours as rural populations move south in the hope of finding a better life.

Cities such as East London and Nelson Mandela Bay are much better suited to accommodate vast populations in coming years, but continued political uncertainty, regional mismanagement and failure to increase economic growth options leave rural communities no choice but to leave the province.

According to Meiring, migration to cities is a worldwide phenomenon, and the RSA Government is well aware of the challenges lying ahead in managing the seemingly non-reversible trend. 

“True to RSA politics, the national discourse does not recognise the imminent dangers to the population brought about by climate change and urban migration, and the inability of the government to plan for, and address the demands of the future, is alarming.”

“Enhanced populist policies, increased racial tension and economic divisions are drawing attention away from ensuring a resilient environment where the RSA population may stand a better chance for survival.”

As a mere example, by allowing the implosion of raw sewage management systems feeding into the Vaal River, and the resultant demise of freshwater systems, including exponential growth rates of invasive alien plants in catchments, will no doubt impact on the ability of Gauteng to sustain its burgeoning population.

Similarly, the Garden Route population must realise the value of its natural resources and the importance of the protection and management thereof. Ensuring that mountain catchments, rivers and seep lines are clear of invasive alien forests depleting freshwater resources and posing severe fire risks, are perhaps the most important environmental management challenge.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) was launched on 11 December 2018. GREF is an environmental coordinating body, mandated by the Garden Route District Municipality.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.



Cobus Meiring: Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) Secretariat

Cell: 083 626 7619


Western Cape Department of Transport hands over R5.7 million new bulldozer to the Garden Route DM Roads Department

A new Caterpillar (CAT) D7R bulldozer was officially handed over to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Roads Department on Thursday, 6 December 2018, at the DR1524/18.5/0.5R borrow pit near Riversdale. Mr Handre Strydom, Chief Engineer at the WesternCape Department of Transport, together with Mr Henk van der Merwe from CAT South Africa, complemented the GRDM Roads Services’ fleet count when they officially handed over the machine. 

The machine was taken into acceptance by GRDM Portfolio Chairperson of Roads Services, Cllr Rowan Spies, in the presence of GRDM Executive Manager of Roads Services, Mr John Daniels, GRDM Manager for Maintenance, Construction and Mechanical Services, Mr Japie Strydom, GRDM Deputy Manager: Re-gravel, Mr Lionel Coetzee, and officials from the GRDM Roads Department. 

Garden Route District Municipality Portfolio Chairperson for Roads Services, Cllr Rowan Spies (2nd, left), Executive Manager of Roads Services, Mr John Daniels (2nd, right), Deputy Manager:  Re-gravel, Mr Lionel Coetzee (left) and Manager for Maintenance, Construction and Mechanical Services, Mr Japie Strydom (right), at the official handover ceremony.

The new R5.7 million bulldozer is one of two machines that were delivered to GRDM by the Department of Transport this year and it is just what the Roads Department needsto intensity and more regularly maintain the roads of the Garden Route district.  Mr Japie Strydom admits that the process tomotivate for the machine of this magnitude does not happen overnight.  “The process required months of thorough planning and motivation to the Department of Transport, to finally be inpossession of a machine of this nature,” Strydom added. He further extended aword of appreciation, on behalf of the GRDM Management and Council, to MrHandre Strydom and the Department of Transport for the years of continued support in ensuring that the GRDM Roads Department has the resources available to give the Garden Route roads the necessary attention it need.

Describing the mechanical features of the bulldozer, Mr Handre Strydom said: “This 28 ton machine is strong enough to handle a mass of up 30 tons”.  He further added that the machine has a lifespan of 20 years but can be in use for up to 30 years, if well maintained. 

In answering a question posed by Mr Daniels, on whether the parts of the machine are locally available, Mr Strydom responded:  “All parts of the machine are available in South Africa, therefore if parts need not be replaced, it will not cause a delay in the road maintenance operations”.

The face of the brand new CAT D7R bulldozer. The machine is already showing off its capabilities at the borrow pit near Riversdale.

Mr Japie Strydom elaborated that the bulldozer will be utilised to stockpile useful road material from 38 borrow pits situated in the Garden Route, but will mostly be responsible for stockpiling of material from the DR1524/18.5/0.5R borrow pit near Riversdale.  Mr Strydom said: “Material hauled from a borrow pit is transported to a specific road section for further processing.  When the material is finally approved, the re-gravelling of the road can commence.   This process will repeat itself over a certain period of time e.g. 10 years, as small amounts of material get lost over the years, which results in the deterioration of the road. The material gets lost due to environmental factors, traffic counts and weather conditions, such as rain and wind” Mr Strydom added.

While facilitating the discussions of the handover ceremony, Mr Daniels, highlighted: “Now we can continue to deliver services to our road users by ensuring that the quality of our roads in the Garden Route is on standard” and he added: “I am confident that with this type of machine, we will definitely achieve our goals of effective service delivery and well maintained roads”.

Mr Japie Strydom concluded:  “With all these resources to our avail, we will be able to do a high level of preventative maintenance on the machine to ensure that we indeed reach the lifespan of more than 20 years and more”.  For this reason, Mr Jaco Gunter,the machine operator, underwent specialised training on 11 December 2018, which was conducted by a Barloworld Specialist Operator Trainer, Mr Elias Shabalala. Within a few days’time, this brand new machine will be housed at the GRDM Riversdale depot, while its operator and mechanical staff will enjoy the festive period with their family.

Notice: Tabling of 2017/18 Annual Report of Garden Route DM

Notice is hereby given that the Annual Report for the 2017/18 financial year will be tabled at the Garden Route District Municipality Council meeting on 13 December 2018 in terms of Section 127(2) of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), 52 of 2003. Also, the Annual Report is tabled as informed by circular 63 of the MFMA.

Grants-in-Aid: Call for Proposals

Organisations and/or bodies who qualify for financial assistance, in terms of the criteria and prescriptions contained in Garden Route District Municipality’s Grant-in-Aid Policy and Section 67 of the Municipal Finance Management Act 2003, are hereby invited to submit proposals for programs they endeavour to undertake during the calendar year 2019.

Only applications submitted on the prescribed application form and accompanied by all the required information, documentation, financial statements, covering letter, etc. and received by the Office of the Executive Mayor on/or before 18 January 2019 at 11h00, shall be considered. Copies of the said policy and application form are available at the various Garden Route District Municipal offices during office hours (Mondays to Thursdays from 7:30 to 16:30 and Fridays from 7:30 to 13:30), as well as on the website:

Please direct all queries to Ms Androlene Killian at telephone number: 044 803 1300/ 065 839

Garden Route District Municipality reserves the right not to make any award and may disqualify
organisations that have received funds in the previous book year, but have not submitted a final
report on its previous expenditure.
MG Stratu
Municipal Manager
54 York Street
Closing Date: 18 January 2019 at 11h00.
Notice Number: 133/2018

Download the full advert here.

Download the Application Form here.

Garden Route DM and role-players officially launch its “16 Days for No Violence against Women and Children campaign”

This year, on 23 November 2018, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) kicked off their “16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children” at their head-office in George.

The official launch took place at the GRDM and attracted a full house of representatives from local municipalities in the district, the South African Police Service, the Department of Social Services, Correctional Services, Phambili Centre and Working-on-Fire (WOF), who took hands with the municipality in this endeavor.

In officially opening the event, Executive Deputy Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, lit a candle in remembrance of the victims of violence, more specifically women and children.  The spirit in the chambers immediately changed when Acting Speaker of GRDM, Cllr Barnie Groenewald, welcomed the guests with the words: “Stand up, speak out, act, love and protect”.  WOF representatives performed a song and poem depicting the trauma women experience when they fall victim to violence.

Acting Speaker of GRDM, Cllr Barnie Groenewald, welcomed the audience with the words: “Stand up, speak out, act, love and protect,” during the event.

Representatives from Working-on-Fire delivered a song and poem during the event.

Sector Commander for the Garden Route cluster, Major-General Oswald Reddy, from the South African Police Service (SAPS), after announcing that a total of 54 to 57 people are murdered on a daily basis in South Africa, stated:  “We live in a violent society where people have a high level of intolerance”.  Reddy advised that people should use conflict resolution management to deal with disagreements and not use violence as a resolution.  Among the 2017/2018 statistics revealed by Sergeant Adele van der Pool, 15 women and 14 children were murdered; 200 women and 104 children were sexually assaulted; 226 children and 321 women were raped.  Van der Pool further revealed that 2 824 assaults were reported of which 250 were children and 991 women. Investigating Officer, Sergeant Booysen, pleaded to all representatives present: “For months, mothers, aunts and teachers are aware of violent cases that were never reported – we need you to stand up and talk, whether the perpetrator is your husband or boyfriend, let us stand together and work as a team”.

Area Commissioner at the Department of Correctional Services, Ms Ndileka Booi, during her speech at the event.

Ms Zingiswa William, Community Development Supervisor: Eden & Central Karoo, at the Department of Social Services, elaborated on the Department’s Victim Empowerment Programme during her speech.

Area Commissioner for Correctional Services, Ms Ndileka Booi, during her speech stated that there are 13 cases of women who are currently sentenced at the Oudtshoorn Correctional facility after they have committed a crime as a reaction to abuse.  Now they have to serve years of imprisonment, which could have been prevented, if they had reported their cases before they committed the crime.

Ms Zingiswa Williams from the Department of Social Development, informed the audience about the Department’s three-fold Victim Empowerment Programme which is designed to support and empower victims of violence, whether the victims are referrals or intakes. Read more about the programme at

Cllr Khayalethu Lose, Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services at GRDM, signed the pledge in his support for no violence against women and children.

Sector Commander for the Garden Route cluster, Major-General Oswald Reddy from the South African Police Service (SAPS) signing the pledge.

An activist for “No Violence against Women and Children” and resident of the Phambili Centre in Rosemoor, George, Ms Christelle Damons, shared her personal story with the audience and spoke about how she was abused and how the experience repeated itself over and over again.  Through all these years she also made wrong choices, but she lifted herself up when she reported the case to SAPS. SAPS consequently advised her to be accommodated by the Phambili Centre in Rosemoor.  The Centre accommodated her and took care of her and her two children during this traumatic time of her live.  Her final message to the audience was: “It does not matter what you went through, talk to somebody or report the case”.

From left are: Social Worker at Phambili Centre, Ms Colleen Stoffels, Portfolio Chairperson for Rural Development at GRDM, Cllr Joshlyn Johnson, Motivational Speaker and Activist for Violence against Women and Children, Ms Christelle Damons, Chief of Staff in the Office of the Garden Route DM Executive Mayor, Mr Simphiwe Dladla, Executive Deputy Mayor of Garden Route DM, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, Sergeant Adele van der Pool from the SAPS and Garden Route DM Portfolio Chairperson for Finance, Cllr Jerome Lambaatjeen.

Portfolio Chairperson for Rural Development at GRDM, Cllr Joslyn Johnson, extended a word of appreciation to all role-players who took hands with Garden Route District Municipality by creating awareness about violence against women and children.

Executive Deputy Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, in her keynote address, urged members of the community and all present to always listen to their children.  “We need to take everything that our children share with us serious and we need to ACT.  Cllr Ruiters added: “Sometimes parents or family members hear what the children say, but we often do not believe them, due to our perception of the accused.  We cannot ask our children to be open towards us as parents, yet we listen to them with a selective ear or we do not believe everything they say”.

With these words, she closed off: “Let us continue to be active and vibrant custodians to fight all forms of violence against women and children and let us encourage our communities to report these crimes and through this, we all will be the beneficiaries of a better and healthier Garden Route district”.

In closing, representatives present signed a pledge to support all women and children in the Garden Route in the fight against abuse, after which GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Rural Development, Cllr Joslyn Johnson thanked all representatives who took hands with GRDM and who attended the event.

Disposal of the Dead

Section 24 of the CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1996, (ACT NO. 108 OF 1996) states that everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being, and to have the environment protected through reasonable legislative measures.  Environmental Health Practitioners are appointed in terms of the NATIONAL HEALTH ACT, 2003 (ACT NO 61 OF 2003) and has the legislative responsibility to enforce legislation to protect the general public.

Environmental Health Practitioners perform functions as listed in the SCHEDULE OF THE SCOPE OF PROFESSIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH (GOVERNMENT NOTICE R888 OF 26 APRIL 1991).  Nine (9) key performance areas are listed as the roles and functions of Municipal Health Services of which one is the disposal of the dead.

The disposal of the dead is governed by THE REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN REMAINS, NO. R.363 OF 22 MAY 2013 (R363) promulgated under the NATIONAL HEALTH ACT, 2003 (ACT NO 61 OF 2003).

 Disposal of the dead involves;

  • The monitoring of funeral undertakers, mortuaries, embalmers, crematoriums, graves and cemeteries for compliance; and
  • The management, control and monitoring of exhumation, reburial and the disposal of human remains.

The Municipal Health Department of the Garden Route District Municipality is responsible for the issuing of a Certificate of Competency to an operator who carries out any of the abovementioned activities.

To obtain a Certificate of Competency, the following process must be followed:

  • A written application must be submitted to the relevant authority in the area of jurisdiction where the premises is located (Garden Route District Municipality).
  • After evaluation and careful consideration of the application, an Environmental Health Practitioner will conduct a site visit.
  • If the Environmental Health Practitioner is of the opinion that the premises comply with the relevant legislation, a Certificate of Competence will be issued for a premises.

Take note: a Certificate of Competency is valid for a period of two (2) years from the date issued, therefore the Owner or Manager must apply in writing for a new certificate.

New funeral undertakers are required to follow a public participation process, before submitting an application for a Certificate of Competence.  A notice must be published in the local newspaper, not less than 21 days, before submitting an application.  The notice must be published in the main language of the area, as well as an additional language.

The notice shall contain all the relevant information of the local authority where the application will be submitted, to allow the opportunity for the public to submit any comments with substantiated representations to such local authority.

During regular inspections it is the responsibility of the Environmental Health Practitioner to ensure that the following facilities are available on the premises to ensure compliance with Regulation 363, namely;

  • A preparation room for the preparation of human remains;
  • Change-rooms, separate for each sex, for the use by the employees employed at such premises;
  • Refrigeration facilities for the refrigeration of human remains;
  • Facilities for the washing and cleansing of utensils and equipment inside the building;
  • Facilities for the cleansing of vehicles on such premises, equipped with approved drainage systems,
  • Facilities for the loading and unloading of human remains; and
  • Facilities for backup source electricity, in the case of power failure.

Exhumation and reburials of human remains

No exhumations and reburials of human remains shall take place without the written consent and/or approval from relevant local government or a court order issued by a magistrate.  An exhumation approval cannot be issued without a reburial permit.  These permits shall only be granted on condition that the exhumation of the human remains is done by a registered undertaker.

An exhumation must take place:

  • When the cemetery is not open to the public.
  • Under the supervision of the officer-in-charge.
  • In the presence of a member of the South African Police Services (SAPS).
  • Under the supervision of an Environmental Health Practitioner.

It is the responsibility of the Environmental Health Practitioner to monitor the process to ensure that no health nuisance or hazard is caused and/or arise during the exhumation.

Any complaints related to the operations and/or activities of funeral undertakers, mortuaries or crematoriums, must be logged at the respective Regional offices within the Garden Route District Municipality.