Category: Youth

First Youth on the Move event for the district

The Minister of Economic Opportunities, Ms Beverley Schäfer and the Minister of Social Development, Mr Albert Fritz, visited George to launch the first ever, ‘’Youth on the Move: Gateway to Opportunities” programme on 4 and 5 March 2019.

This two-day pilot youth initiative was hosted by the Western Cape Government in collaboration with the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), George Municipality and the Garden Route Skills Mecca steering committee.  The “Youth on the Move” programme is a step towards achieving the commitment made by Minister Schäfer to create 250 000 new job opportunities Local Government level, and aimed at connecting youth who are looking for opportunities with employers and organisations.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen during his keynote address about the Garden Route Skills Mecca and Skill Summit Resolutions.

On Monday, 4 March 2019, Minister Schäfer and her delegation met with the executive mayors of the GRDM and George Municipality, representatives of the local business chambers, potential employers, educational institutions and local stakeholder groups working with the youth.  During this jam-packed gathering, the GRDM Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, explained the district’s vision of becoming a skills mecca, not only for those residing in the Garden Route or Western Cape Province, but for the entire South Africa.  He enlightened the audience about last year’s Investment Conference and the two Skill Summits hosted by GRDM as well as the resolutions taken and spearheaded by the GRDM.  Mayor Booysen continued by saying: “In order for people to invest in our region, we need to have the relevant skills to drive investment and because of this, the GRDM took a conscious decision to up-skill our people in the district.  Today I am here to declare that we are ready for business, we are committed and with the limited funds that we have, we want to drastically lower unemployment, up-skill the youth, and do whatever is necessary for this district to be one of the best”.

On Tuesday, 5 March 2019, Minister Schäfer met with over 200 unemployed young people from the region.  During the event, youth were placed into various working groups where they answered questions about barriers faced when trying to access opportunities. The youth also shared their views on how technology is used nowadays to advance skills and opportunities, and how they go about finding work and opportunities.

During her keynote address, Minister Schäfer said: “Too many young people in South Africa do not have access to opportunities. Our job as government is to open the gateway between employers and young people looking for jobs. You need to walk through that gateway and get that first job. Once you’ve got that first job, you’ve got the experience to put on your CV, which allows you to show that you’ve got skills,” she said.

In conclusion Minister Schäfer said: “Over the past two days we’ve heard from employers that they’re not finding the best people with the right skills and we’ve heard from young people that transport, safety and the cost of printing out a CV, are some of the barriers that they’re experiencing. By growing digital skills in our province, and encouraging youth to use technology like online job searches, apps and to make use of services like youth cafés and the ICAN Learn programmes, we can start to make headway in addressing the concerns expressed by both employers and the youth,” she said.

George Municipality’s Youth Development Officers who assisted with the ‘peace-keeping’’ and logistic arrangement during the 2day event.

Subject to the outcomes of the initiative, the “Youth on the Move” programme will be adjusted and progressively rolled out across the Western Cape Province with an event scheduled every three months as district and local municipalities come on board.  Through this project, the Western Cape Government together with the district- and local municipalities in the Garden Route strive to create a pathway for unemployed youth to access opportunities, to match the demand of employers for suitable qualified persons in the district and in that way sustain industries and support economic growth within the district and Western Cape.


Eden DM in collaboration with Oudtshoorn empowered creches in Greater Oudsthoorn

“100 Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018” celebrations

The Eden DM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, his office and employees from the Municipal Manager’s office, this year focused on empowering Early Childhood Development (ECD) institutions on Mandela Day. The District also partnered with Oudtshoorn Municipality and Ward Councillors from the Municipality who serve on the Eden DM Council to ensure that the most vulnerable crèches benefitted from the initiative. During Mayor Booysen’s address to crèches he emphasised the importance of improving the “conditions at ECD centres” and commended teachers for their “dedication and selfless efforts to ensure the well-being of all children”.

The following crèches received 20 mattresses, 20 blankets and 10 chairs each: Katryntjie and Sommeblom crèche in Oudtshoorn, Emmanuel Crèche in Dysselsdorp and De Rust Pre-Primary in De Rust.

More photographs can be viewed by browsing to Eden District Municipality’s Facebook page here:

Eden District Municipality ready for the Skills Summit

Theme – “Bridging the Skills Gap for Investment and Economic Growth”

Eden District Municipality, in collaboration with Western Cape Government (the Office of the Premier), South Cape Economic Partnership (SCEP) and B-Municipalities in the district, will be hosting an Eden District Skills Summit.  The Summit will take place as follows:

Date: 1 February 2018
Time: 08:00 for 9:00
Venue:  George City Hall, (York Street, George)

Background and purpose of the Skills Summit

South Africa is currently challenged with a slow growing economy, which has had a direct effect on job creation, especially for the youth. The disastrous fires that raged through the Knysna and Bitou Municipal areas during 2017, further complicated this challenge.

Consequently the Eden District Skills Summit has been scheduled to identify and address the shortage of skills.  The Premier of the Western Cape, Ms Helen Zille, will deliver the keynote address with much emphasis on the Garden Route Rebuild Initiative (GRII) which has to date, played a major role in reversing the effects that the June 2017 fires had on the region. Delegates from Municipalities in the Eden district will attend the event, they include: Executive Mayors, Councillors and Senior Management, academic institutions and various other key partners.

The Garden Route Investment Conference (GRIC) will follow soon after the Skills Summit and is scheduled to take place on 8 and 9 March.  The aim of the GRIC is to attract national and international investors by showcasing the investment potential and opportunities that the region offers.  Skills development plays a key role with regards to Investment and the information gathered at the Skills Summit will form part of the discussions at the GRIC.


Tears of joy were flowing on Friday, 27 October 2017, when 13 youth from Oudtshoorn and George, as well as 10 youth from Great Brak River Youth Cafés respectively received their certificates following a First Aid Level 3 training course they have completed successfully.

The one week training programme was presented by the Eden District Municipality’s (Eden DM’s) Disaster Management Centre during September this year for staff of the Oudtshoorn, George and Great Brak River Youth Cafés.

Proud members of the Youth Cafés in George and Oudtshoorn showing off the result of their hard work after they completed their week long 1st Aid Level 3 Training course presented by Eden DM. With them are the Eden DM delegation including, Executive Deputy Mayor, Cllr Rosina Ruiters (front, right) and Portfolio Chairperson for Strategic Services and Cllr Erica Meyer (back, 4th from right).

During both ceremonies the Executive Deputy Mayor of Eden DM, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, inspired the youth with her own life story; how she changed from one profession to another over the years and how she was always open to learn new skills and her willingness to help others. While motivating them, she said: “You cannot have a 1st Aid Level 3 certificate, but you do not apply it by helping others”.  Cllr Ruiters also referred to the disasters that hit the Eden district recently and encouraged them: “If anything would break out in our district in the near future, be willing to use your skills and help where possible”.  Cllr Erica Meyer, Portfolio Chairperson for Strategic Services, also motivated the youth when she said:  “This is not the end. If you persevere, have faith and have a passion for the community, you will achieve much more in life,” Cllr Meyer added.

At the ceremony held in Great Brak River, Manager of the Youth Café, Ms Aa’ishah Alexander, praised the Eden DM delegation for their efforts and highlighted:  “The training does not only contribute to the personal development of our youth, but also gives us an idea who we can count on should we experience a crisis in our area”.

The Eden DM delegation including, Executive Deputy Mayor, Cllr Rosina Ruiters (middle, 2nd from right), Portfolio Chairperson for Strategic Services, Cllr Erica Meyer (far left), as well as the Manager of the Great Brak River Youth Café, Ms Aa’ishah Alexander (back, 2nd from right), share in the joy of the youth after receiving their certificates.

Ms Gail Bekeer, facilitator of the programme, referred back to the lessons learnt in class and praised the participants for their willingness to learn. Ms Bekeer further encouraged them not be afraid when they find themselves in a situation where their skills are needed. “When you feel nervous, quickly remove yourself from the incident, calm down and try again,” she emphasised.

Both ceremonies were directed by Mr Johannes Jafta, Local Economic Development Officer, who is passionate about the advancement of youth in the Eden district.

Youth of Eden district benefiting from (EPWP) Hospitality Training Programme

The National Department of Tourism (NDT), in collaboration with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), is currently rolling out a Hospitality Youth Training Programme in the Western Cape. Learners were inducted to the Programme on 26 October 2016, at the Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) Council Chambers in the presence of their host employers, namely Fancourt Hotel & Estate, Reheifo Lodge and Shenanigans Irish Pub and Eatery. Contracts were also handed over to learners at the induction.

Practical training will be provided to the group of excited learners by Fancourt, Reheifo Lodge and Shenanigans.

The purpose of the Induction was to foster greater appreciation amongst learners and to inform them about future opportunities that exist in the Hospitality Industry in South Africa and abroad.

Considering that “youth development” and “building a capacitated workforce in communities,” forms part of the strategic objectives of Eden DM, the Municipality seized this opportunity and partnered with the NDT and other local role players, to serve on the project advisory committee to monitor the success of the Programme.