Category: <span>Western Cape Government</span>

28 June 2022 Media Release: Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and SASSETA visit GRDM

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:

  • Policing
  • Corrections
  • Justice
  • Defence
  • Intelligence Activities
  • Legal Services
  • 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.




15 June 2022 Media Release: Oral health is important

Media release: Oral health is important

For Immediate Release
15 June 2022

There is simply no health without oral health according to dentist Dr Dillon Manuel. “Good oral health is one of the most important practices to prevent future pain and discomfort. The role of a dentist is to preserve and prevent oral diseases of teeth, gingiva and supporting structures. With good oral health practices,  treating pain and sepsis will not have to be an everyday occurrence. A beautiful smile can be a person’s most inexpensive gift”, he said.

Around 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases at some point in their lifetime.

The following guidelines are important contributors towards good oral hygiene:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day – in the morning and before going to bed.
  • Brushing harder doesn’t clean better.  Brushing hard damages the tooth and causes tooth sensitivity.
  • Floss daily to prevent cavities in between teeth. Brushing alone does not reach these areas.
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes.  Many people brush fast which does not adequately clean the teeth well.
  • Avoid drinks and foods with high quantity of sugar. This is not only good for oral health but also overall health.
  • Use toothpaste and mouth wash with fluoride.

Many parents are misinformed about the importance of primary teeth (baby teeth) and therefore neglect their children’s oral hygiene.

Dentist, Dr Julien Joubert explains. “It is very important to brush the teeth of young children because baby teeth become carious (rotten) very quickly. Limit the sugar in the bottle and don’t let them sleep with the bottle. Brush the teeth twice a day. If it comes to the point where one has to extract the baby teeth, the permanent teeth often come out skewed and the smile can be spoiled. It is all preventable and I prefer if they get to me before it is so bad that I have to extract. I prefer to save teeth by doing a filling when possible. The back baby teeth are particularly important and hold space open for the permanent teeth to erupt into”.

Tips for parents for oral hygiene for children: 

  • Use a clean, damp wash cloth (with toothpaste the size of rice grain) to gently wipe clean the first teeth and the front of the tongue, after meals and at bedtime.
  • Never put your child to bed with bottle or food.
  • If your child wants to have the bottle or sippy cup in between meals, try to fill it with water only
  • Avoid giving your children sugary drinks (including juice) or sticky foods.
  • Visit the dentist as soon as your baby’s first teeth appears.
Shirmone Kriga knows that oral health is important. With her is Dr Julien Joubert and dental assistant Siya Sishuba at her appointment.

Good oral health is also important for your overall health. “Periodontal gum disease creates a portal of entry for bacteria into the bloodstream and some of the bacteria can affect the heart. It can put the body in a pro-inflammatory state which can make the person more susceptible to cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease can progress very rapidly and if left uncontrolled, all the teeth could be lost. Vitamin C intake is also very important because it is needed to build and maintain the tissues around the teeth”, said Dr Joubert.

The Garden Route district offers oral health services at selected facilities. Please contact your local facility to make an appointment for the next oral health visit.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 044 813 1831

13 June 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release
13 June 2022

The fifth quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum was held virtually on in May 2022 and focused on renewable energy strategies for the Garden Route.

This follows a fruitful engagement Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) had with the Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority  (EWSETA) on Tuesday, 17 May 2022.  During the engagement, EWSETA expressed its desire to support renewable energy projects in the Garden Route, which is in line with its support of Just Energy Transition (JET),  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and the work done in South Africa by The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

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.

13 June 2022 Opportunities For Unemployed Youth in the Western Cape

Opportunities For Unemployed Youth in the Western Cape

13 June 2022

The Western Cape Government has several opportunities for unemployed youth in the province. Please find all the details below, or visit the following link for more information.

Please contact the designated persons on each advertisement/application should you have any queries. Garden Route District Municipality will not be able to answer any queries regarding the adverts.

West Coast


Garden Route

City of Cape Town

City of Cape Town (1)

Central Karoo

Cape Winelands

11 May 2022 Notice: Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works: Public hearings on the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill


  • All Mayors, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape
  • All Speakers, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape
  • All Municipal Managers, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape


The Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works will be facilitating public hearings on the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill as indicated below.

The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the planning, declaration, design, construction, maintenance, control, management, regulation, upgrading and rehabilitation of roads, railway lines and related transport infrastructure in the Western Cape; and for matters connected therewith.

It would sincerely be appreciated if you would extend this invitation to all your Councillors in order for them to inform their ward committee members and the wider public accordingly. It would also be appreciated if you could forward this notification to any other person or institution that, in your opinion, may have an interest in the Bill. See attached advertisement.

Therefore, you are hereby cordially invited to submit written submissions as well as requests to make verbal presentations on such written submissions to the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works for the attention of the Procedural Officer Mr Johan Coetzee at email:

Interested persons and organisations who intend to submit an oral submission may do so by WhatsApp as a voice note (cell phone number 064 763 9034). Should you wish to appear before the Committee to make oral presentations you can direct your request to Mr Johan Coetzee (Tel: 021 487 1717, e-mail: or on the WhatsApp), which must include full contact details (name, email address and contact number), to the Procedural Officer.

Copies of the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill will be available on request and an electronic version of the Bill is available on the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s website (

Yours sincerely,


For more information, download the following documents:

Issued: Western Cape Provincial Parliament


5 May 2022 Media Release: Have you washed your hands today?

Media Release: Have you washed your hands today?

For Immediate Release
5 May 2022

That is a good question to ask yourself and your loved ones to remind us all of the importance of clean hands.

COVID-19 has once again shown us the importance of hand hygiene as a non-pharmaceutical intervention of preventing the spread of germs.

Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory, diarrheal and a range of other infections from one person to the next.

World Hand Hygiene Day is commemorated annually on 5 May. The slogan this year is: Unite for safety: clean your hands.

The World Health Organization explains that when a health facility’s ‘quality and safety climate or culture’ values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC), this results in both patients and health workers feeling protected and cared for.

Western Cape Government Health and Wellness facilities prioritise hygiene at all levels through strict IPC policies. Hand hygiene is also promoted in communities during outreaches and visits to crèches and schools.

Nathan Jacobs works as environmental health practitioner for Western Cape Government Health and Wellness, and experiences first-hand the impact of hand hygiene . ‘Hand hygiene is important as a non-pharmaceutical intervention to prevent the spread of disease. I see first-hand what important role hand hygiene has is in our places of work, schools and public spaces. We can prevent the spread of many diseases by keeping our hands clean.’

Washing hands with normal soap and running water works best. If access to a shared tap is available, the following method can be used:  

  • Make a hole in the lid of an empty plastic bottle
  • Carefully fill the bottle with water
  • Screw on the cap with a hole in it
  • Wet hands with a little bit of water
  • Apply soap and rub all over your hands to create a foam/lather
  • Use the remaining water to rinse through the hole in the lid of the bottle.

Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:  

  • Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
  • Touch a contaminated surface or objects
  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into your hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects.

For more information visit:

Caption: Nathan encourages everyone to wash their hands regularly.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health

Tel: 044 813 1831

19 March 2022 Media Release: Swarms Locusts (grasshoppers)  tearing through the Karoo

Media Release: Swarms Locusts (grasshoppers)  tearing through the Karoo

For immediate release
19 March 2022

On Monday, 14 March 2022, large swarms of locusts descended onto the Klein Karoo region. Reports of locust swarms around the Calitzdorp area was received by the Garden Route District Municipality Disaster Management Centre (GRDM DMC) on Monday, 15th March 2022. Later, it was confirmed that farmers in Kruisvallei and Buffelskloof were seeing swarms of locusts flying from west to east along the foothills of the Swartberg mountains.

Over the past year, the increase of locust activity has become apparent, which resulted in the Department of Agriculture conducting several pesticide spraying actions in the Northern- as well as the Eastern Cape and the Central Karoo. However, historically these locust plagues were confined to the Northern parts of the Western Cape as well as the  Central Karoo district.  Therefore, most pro-active Department Locust Officers (DLO’s) training was done in the Central Karoo District Municipal area.

The mandate to deal with locusts lies with the National Department of Agriculture due to locusts being a migratory pest.

On Wednesday, 16 March 2022, the Garden Route District Municipality Disaster Management (GRDM DM) activated its Joint Operation Centre (JOC) in response to the locust infestation.  A JOC meeting was held in response to the Locust Infestation affecting parts of Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn.   Various stakeholders attended the JOC, including the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality Manager of Fire Services & Disaster Management, Agri- Western Cape and the Department of Agriculture Western Cape.

The following concerns were highlighted:

  • That a shortage of chemicals needed to spray the locust infestation causes significant challenges. Currently, there are only 54 000 liters of Decis (a pesticide used for locust control) available in South Africa.
  • Training for locust control has been requested from the National Department of Agriculture and is expected to commence on the 23 March and will take place at a venue identified in Oudtshoorn. Both Kannaland and Oudtshoorn areas will be included in the training.
  • It is challenging to locate the ‘head’ of the swarms, making it difficult to determine the direction they are travelling. Moreover, the swarms move to higher parts of the mountain, making it a challenge to control the swarms without aerial spraying.

According to Agri SA, this is one of the biggest locust swarms in years and, with the assistance of donors and the Department of Agriculture, farmers are trying everything to save crops and ensure food security.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has made R5 million available immediately to provide support to purchase personal protective equipment, sprayer pumps. pesticides and aerial spraying support to teams combating the outbreak of locust swarms in the Western Cape.  Combating the locust infestation is critical for food security and rural livelihood.

Farmers from the area and organisations who would like to undergo training for locust control are requested to contact Ms Adel Supra-Vertue, Manager from the Oudtshoorn Municipality Fire & Disaster Management Services at 064 125 9227/ 044 203 7810. We also would like to request farmers and residents not to start fires as a measure to kill or deter locusts.  Our Karoo areas are still arid, and these fires may cause runaway fires.

Training for Locust District Officers will take place on the 23rd of March from 09:00 am until 14:00 pm at the De Hoek Mountain resort.  Interested parties are requested to send their names to Mr Lonwabo Luthango at or to contact him by cell: 084 881 5853.

Pro-active and re-active actions are coordinated by Me Vuyokazi Mpumlwana from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD).  Her contact detail is 084 760 8176.  Other coordinators from the National Department of Locust Control are Dr Ikafeng, who can be contacted at 072 198 9882.

15 March 2022 Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

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
  • Niche crops/markets
  • Training

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.



For Immediate Release
01 February 2022

The Garden Route district has welcomed two additional registered counsellors who are based in Mossel Bay and Bitou subdistricts.

A registered counsellor has an Honours degree in Psychology with a completed internship as well as registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and are thus highly qualified and equipped in providing preventative and supportive counselling interventions, psycho-education and awareness as well as identification of mental health symptoms and referrals.

‘Although the registered counsellor is a new category of cadre in the Department of Health, they are a welcomed addition to make mental health services more accessible within our communities. One of the goals are to integrate Mental Health services within the Primary Health Care system in order to strengthen the service delivery and make it more accessible within the community,’ said clinical psychologist and programme coordinator, Estelle Crause.

The group of registered counsellors received training in November 2021 on how to facilitate the integration of Mental Health services within the Primary Health Care (PHC) system and on providing a more integrated referral pathway within the PHC. ‘As the awareness and understanding of our role increases, we believe that we will be able to make a significant impact on the service delivery for mental health and this will be a platform for the Registered Counsellors to also be recognised within their category in the mental health context nationally,’ said registered counsellor Carin Olwagen.



Nadia Ferreira

Principal Communications Officer

Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts

Western Cape Government Health

Tel: 044 813 1831      Caption: Carin Olwagen(Mossel Bay) and Mampe Phoshoko(Bitou).



15 November 2021 Media Release: Love and warmth – Kangaroo Mother Care

Media Release: Love and warmth – Kangaroo Mother Care

For Immediate Release
15 November 2021

Kangaroo mother care week is celebrated from 15 to 19 November by parents, communities, health professionals, institutions, and organisations internationally to honour mothers and newborn babies, and to appreciate and acknowledge the benefits of kangaroo mother care.

Kangaroo mother care (skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn baby) is an intervention that has been effectively proven to decrease the mortality rate among low weight and preterm newborn babies.

The Western Cape Department of Health has adopted and implemented the kangaroo mother care policy in all healthcare facilities across the Western Cape to decrease the mortality amongst all low-weight births and preterm babies. The Department is constantly, consistently and continuously striving to create awareness and improve all levels, aspects and standards of kangaroo mother care facilities.

Kangaroo mother care consists of four components. Firstly, more skin-to-skin contact between the mother’s chest and baby’s front, from the start of birth, continuously day and night is helpful.

Secondly, direct suckling by the baby from the mother’s breast is all that is needed to ensure that the newborn baby remains healthy.

Thirdly, if ever the mother and her newborn baby require physical, medical, emotional and psychological support to improve their well-being, services and immediate assistance will be provided to them.

Lastly, a mother and her newborn baby can be discharged early in the ‘kangaroo position’ at any gestational age or weight in the event that they are healthy, have the necessary support and the baby is gaining weight from his or her mother’s breast milk.

‘At first I was afraid, but I had to be strong for my baby.’ Those were the words of young mother Bongiwe Witbooi (21) from George whose newborn baby turns three weeks old on Sunday, 21 November. Bongiwe gave birth to her baby girl Akhelethu Witbooi at 7 months on 31 August 2021 at the George Regional Hospital.  Akhelethu weighed 800 g.

‘The medical staff was so helpful and friendly,’ said Bongiwe with the greatest smile on her face. She later explained that the staff in the neonatal unit gave her the hope and courage to not be scared and bond with her newborn baby girl no matter her size.

Dr Ilse Els-Goussard (specialist in Paediatrics and neonatal care) stated that in previous years, newborn babies were only discharged if they weighed more than 2 kg. Today, because of kangaroo mother care, newborn babies are allowed to be discharged at a weight of 1,7 kg. ‘There are many benefits to kangaroo mother care. Short-term benefits ensure that newborn babies get less severe infections because the babies are colonised with the mom’s flora which protects babies against the resistant organisms in the hospital’, said Dr Els-Goussard.

She also states that the long-term benefits is ‘the amazing bond with the mom and the baby that carries through to adulthood’.

According to Dr Els-Goussard, there are babies in full-time kangaroo mother care currently and babies who receive kangaroo mother care during daytime only.

Currently, at George Hospital there are seven full-time kangaroo mother care beds and other intermittent beds to accommodate 10 to 15 babies receiving kangaroo mother care.

‘The most rewarding part of this programme is when the mom takes charge of the small baby and they become equipped with the knowledge, and that’s the reason the unit can send home babies earlier.

Kangaroo care is medicine for the soul’, she said.

Caption: Kangaroo mother care for  Bongiwe Witbooi (21) and baby Akhelethu.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health