News

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 DistrictMunicipality (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 CATSouth 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, CllrRowan 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 needs to intensity and more regularly maintain the roads of the Garden Route district.  Mr Japie Strydom admits that the process to motivate 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 in possession of a machine of this nature,” Strydom added. He further extended a word of appreciation, on behalf of the GRDM Management and Council, to Mr Handre 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.

Wilderness beach awarded “Pilot Blue Flag” certification

The Garden Routers, more specifically residents of the George municipal area, can be proud of their beach in Wilderness after the beach was awarded a certificate as “Pilot Blue Flag Beach” for this year 2018/2019. Executive Mayor of George, Cllr Melvin Naik, proudly hoisted the Wilderness Pilot Blue Flag on 3 December 2018, during an official ceremony in celebration of this prestigious symbol of quality.

GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, Cllr Khayalethu Lose (left), and Executive Mayor of George, Cllr Melvin Naik (right), after the flag has been hoisted.

“Blue Flag’ recognition is regarded by the World Tourism Organisation as the most well-known international eco-label and gives local and foreign visitors the assurance that beaches are clean, environmentally sound and adhere to international safety, as well as other tourism standards. The voluntary eco-label is given to beaches that meet strict criteria, spanning four aspects of coastal management:

  • water quality;
  • environmental education and information;
  • environmental management; and
  • safety and services.

Furthermore it includes excellent life-saving standards, top-rate parking, facilities for the disabled as well as sparkling ablution facilities. A “Blue Flag” status will ensure that the Wilderness beach achieves effective coastal management and improved service delivery through tourism-generated job creation, education and development opportunities.

Portfolio Chairperson of Community Services at GRDM, Cllr Khayalethu Lose, addressed all stakeholders soon after the “Pilot Blue Flag” was hoisted.

In his keynote address Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services at Garden Route District Municipality, Cllr Khayalethu Lose, said:  “One of the ways in which we are working hard to improve the overall quality of our beaches, is by achieving the standards required for the “Blue Flag” eco-label. Striving to achieve this status will also provides us with an added incentive for the safeguarding of the environment of our beaches and for the safety of all those who make use of them.” Cllr Lose continued by saying that he is confident that the beach can achieve the full Blue Flag status, however, “all relevant organisations and officials must work together to make a success of it.  This would require commitment to the environmental sustainability and to further raise the quality of services at the Wilderness beach”.

Mr Clive Africa, Executive Manager for Community Services at GRDM, extended a word of appreciation to all stakeholders who contributed to this achievement and that he looks forward to the continued support from all parties to ensure that the next level as full “Blue Flag” status for the beach, is accomplished.

From left are: Mr Johan Compion (GRDM), Ms Nina Viljoen (GRDM), Mr Clive Africa (GRDM), Cllr Khayalethu Lose (GRDM), Executive Mayor Melvin Naik (George Municipality), Deputy Mayor Charlotte Clarke (George Municipality), Mr Neels Barnard (George Municipality), Mr Walter Hendrikz (George Municipality), Mr Radie Loubser (George Municipality) and Mr Jonathan Britton (SANParks).

Wilderness beach was awarded the full “Blue Flag” status during the 2016/17 season, and with the commitment and true dedication of all the stakeholders, including the Garden Route District Municipality, George Municipality, the South African National Parks (SANParks), the Salinas Restaurant, and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), as well as members of the  community and visiting tourists, it is possible for the beach to again achieve full “Blue Flag” status for the coming season.

What does a Pilot Blue Flag Beach certification mean?

A pilot Blue Flag beach status is proof to the World Tourism Organisation that the beach is striving towards the highest quality of service, and if achieved, the beach will be awarded full “Blue Flag” status for the next 2019/20 season. Some of the strict standards to comply with is the water quality of the swimming area, which is monitored by the Garden Route District Municipality’s environmental health practitioners. All the authorities and stakeholders are committed to stand together to ensure that the strict Blue Flag standards are achieved in order to once again have a full “Blue Flag” status beach next year.

Severe Weather Warning

A Severe Weather Warning was issued by the Cape Town Weather Office as follows:

Hazard – Veld Fire Conditions
Alert Level – Warning
Valid From (SAST) – 06/12/18 – 06h00
Valid To (SAST) – 06/12/18 – 18h00

WARNING: Extremely high fire danger conditions are expected over the Central Karoo and northern parts of the Garden Route District Municipality, Western Cape, tomorrow (Thursday).

DESCRIPTION: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions
Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veldt or bush fires, can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.

PRECAUTIONS: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions
Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veldt. Don’t throw bottles in the veldt 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 be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

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: www.gardenroute.gov.za.

Please direct all queries to Ms Androlene Killian at telephone number: 044 803 1300/ 065 839
7211.

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
George
6530
Closing Date: 18 January 2019 at 11h00.
Notice Number: 133/2018

Download the full advert here.

Download the Application Form here.

New developments on the Regulation governing general hygiene requirements for food premises and the transport of food

According to World Health Organisation statistics, an estimated 600 million people in the world fall ill because of contaminated food. A shocking 420 000 of these cases result in deaths.

The National Department of Health is responsible for ensuring the safety of food in South Africa. To this end, the Department promulgates relevant legislation to regulate the production, distribution, and preparation of food.

New innovations in food production, as well as the re-emergence of food-borne diseases, require that legislation is amended to address changing conditions and environments.

The National Department of Health promulgated REGULATIONS GOVERNING GENERAL HYGIENE REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD PREMISES, THE TRANSPORT OF FOOD AND RELATED MATTERS, R 638 OF 22 JUNE 2018 under the FOODSTUFFS, COSMETICS AND DISINFECTANTS ACT, 1972 (ACT 54 OF 1972) 

The Municipal Health Department of Garden Route District Municipality has the legislative responsibility to enforce Regulation 638 in its area of jurisdiction. With the additions to Regulation 638, it is deemed necessary to communicate the application of the regulation to the general public.

Take note: Regulation 638 replaced Regulation 962 of 23 November 2012 and Regulation 918 of 30 July 1999. Certificates of Acceptability (COA) issued in terms of repealed regulations, expire on 22 June 2019. This means that all food premises, new and existing, have to be in possession of a new Certificate of Acceptability issued under Regulation 638 by said date under the name of Garden Route District Municipality.

Regulation 638 is applicable to every establishment that handles, prepares, transport and/or sells food to the general public. Accordingly, all such establishments are required to be in possession of valid Certificates of Acceptability (COA).

It is important to note that the Certificate of Acceptability is:

  • issued in terms of Regulation 5 and 6, addressing the Standards and requirements for food premises and the standards and requirements for facilities on food premises, respectively;
  • issued in the name of the person in charge of the premises and not in the name of the establishment. “Person in charge” is a natural person who is responsible for the food premises or the owner of the food premises;
  • Not transferable from one person to another person or from one food premises to another;
  • a person may not effect changes in respect of food premises for which a

Certificate of acceptability has been issued in terms of sub-regulation (5), relating to the provisions of regulations 5 and 6, without informing the local authority in advance and in writing of such changes; and

  • a Certificate of Acceptability must be clearly displayed on the food premises for which it was issued. Should display of a certificate be impractical, it should immediately be made available upon request by the Environmental Health Practitioner or the general public.

How do I apply for a COA?

  • A fully completed, written application form has to be submitted to the relevant local District Municipality, in this case, the Garden Route District Municipality.   An amount of R190.00 is payable as an administration fee for the 2018/2019 financial year.
  • If an Environmental Health Practitioner, after having carried out an inspection, is satisfied that the food

premise concerned, complies with the provisions of Regulations 5 and 6; a local authority in all respects, he or she shall issue a Certificate of Acceptability in the name of the person in charge.

 Does one need specific or specialised training as the person in charge of food premises?

The person in charge of food premises must ensure that –

  • He or she and any other person working on the food premises, are suitably qualified or otherwise adequately trained in the principles and practices of food safety and hygiene. The training must be conducted by an accredited training provider or by an Environmental Health Practitioner of the relevant District Municipality; in this case Garden Route District Municipality.
  • Assessments are conducted to determine the impact of the training.
  • Training programmes and records are kept and routinely updated and are made available to an Environmental Health Practitioner on request.
  • Evidence of accredited training must be submitted to the relevant District municipality before/on 22nd June 2019.

Please contact the Garden Route District Municipal Health offices in your area, should you need more information with regards to any aspect of the Regulation.

George: 044 8031522

Mossel Bay: 044 693 0006

Hessequa: 028 713 2438

Oudtshoorn: 044 272 2241

Knysna: 044 382 7214

Plettenberg Bay: 044 501 1600

ENDS

GRDM officials excel during 2018 SAIEH

The South African Institute of Environmental Health (SAIEH) in partnership with the Swiss Embassy, South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Department of Agriculture (Veterinary Service) and the City of Cape Town hosted the 21st National Conference in Environmental Health, at the City of Cape Town council chambers from 16-19 November 2018.

The theme of the conference “One Health – An Environmental Health Perspective”, aimed to demonstrate an integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

A proud Executive Manager of the GRDM Community Services with his research team and the Portfolio Councillor. Fltr: Ms Maxwelline Fatuse, Mr Gcobani Tshozi, Ms Jessica Erasmus, Ms Heidi Cronje, Ms Sive Mkuta, Mr Clive Africa (Executive Manager), Ms Wandile Magwaza, Mr Lusizo Kwetshube, Cllr Khayalethu Lose (Portfolio Chairperson), Ms Ivy Mamegwa and Ms Emmy Douglas.

The Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Executive Manager of Community Services, Mr Clive Africa attended the 4 (four) day conference, accompanied by his leading team of professionals within the field of Environmental Health. The GRDM Municipal Health Services (MHS) submitted nominations for the Best Municipality and Best Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP) awards. The Municipal Health App Project has been nominated for this Award. The Municipality has been awarded as one out of three municipalities, with the Best Environmental Health Project.

Since the implementation of the Municipal Health App, the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners experience a lot of benefits in conducting their daily inspections.  The App assists EHPs to capture information electronically on site, without writing reports afterwards.  This method assists them to do more inspections and be more productive while they are out in the field and interventions can then be executed immediately. This method also enables EHPs to do more inspections and save more lives.

The GRDM resolved and implemented paperless council meeting agendas a few months ago in their effort to go green to save the planet.

Breakdown of inspections by GRDM

2013 – 2014 financial year – 31 351 inspections

2014 – 2015 financial year – 41 367 inspections

2015 – 2016 financial year – 43 122 inspections

2016 – 2017 financial year – 50 893 inspections

2017 – 2018 financial year – 51 986 inspections

Garden Route DM delegates with the awards received during the gala event.

Mr Francois Koelman, an EHP from the GRDM Oudtshoorn office received a trophy for being one of the Best Environmental Health Practitioners in South Africa. This award is also one out of three nominees at a national level.  Mr Koelman was not present during the award ceremony, but his colleagues received this remarkable award on his behalf. “We are very proud of our colleague and would like to congratulate him on this great achievement – hard work definitely pays off.”

The Saturday and Sunday’s jam-packed programme was attended by various intellectuals in the environmental health sector.  The GRDM research team (which was an initiative of the Executive Manager, Mr Africa), Ms Maxwelline Fatuse, Ms Jessica Erasmus, Ms Sive Mkuta, Ms Ivy Mamegwa and Mr Clive Africa presented scientific papers on the following research topics:

  • Adulterated honey in South Africa;
  • the effects of consuming toxic chemicals used in fake alcohol beverages on human health and the community;
  • counterfeit food; and
  • counterfeit medicine.

The GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen with the EHPs who delivered presentations on day 2 of the conference.

Ms Emmy Douglas who also acted as research supervisor and project leader, did a sterling job in coaching EHPs in delivering a quality research project and research presentations.

On Monday, a field trip was undertaken by delegates to the Goodwood Disaster Centre and the Swiss Housing project in Khayalitsha.

The last item on the program was the compilation and discussion of resolutions that were taken during the conference. One of the resolutions taken was to approach the National Health Laboratories and discuss their service delivery to the public. The possibility of establishing an accredited laboratory in South Africa, as most of the critical scientific testing can only be done overseas at a very costly price was also raised at the conference. Results for these complex tests also take a long time which could negatively influence the health of our communities.

Firefighters battle blazes for a month

On 21 October 2018 wildfires ignited in Vermaaklikheid near Riversdale in Hessequa. A few days later, more wildfires started in the George municipal area. The Disaster Management Centre of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recorded 12 wildfires over the month of October/November 2018, which also resulted in the death of 9 people, including a Working on Fire pilot.

Said to be one of the biggest wildfires recorded since the great wildfire of 1869, the Garden Route is facing a new “normal”. The change can be seen across the globe and it is almost common knowledge that climate change is not on our side. This poses an important question – how can we address this? Can we prevent these type of occurrences in the future or are we doomed?

In short, the Head of Disaster Management at Garden Route District Municipality, Mr Gerhard Otto explains: “ Municipalities and stakeholders, together as a collective we have to develop a system to better plan for fires in our wildland-urban interphase (WUI). Our town planners need to factor wildland fire risk into future development planning and our bylaws, as well as building codes, will have to be altered to ensure resilience to this type of fire incidents. With this, I mean that there should be adequate by-laws in place to address issues like high fire hazard areas. When we look at the urban fringes (where homes at the edge of neighbourhoods meet the forests), inhabitants should be made aware of the fire risk in these areas and a defensible space should be created around all properties not only to create a buffer area but also to provide a space from where firefighters could launch their firefighting actions when fires do approach these areas. In my opinion, the current fragmented approach to fire service delivery is central to many of our challenges, the sooner we centralise firefighting services by establishing a metropolitan municipality and address integrated veld fire management the better – “all efforts should be coordinated from one central authority”. He also added: ”During the recent wildfires, we managed to pull resources from all over South Africa together to work at our Joint Operations Centre at the GRDM head office. I know that since last year’s Knysna fires we have improved the way in which we do things, but there is always room for improvement”.

The following role players must be thanked for their selfless dedication to protect our communities and infrastructure over the past month: Provincial Disaster Management Centre, Working on Fire (WoF), South African National Defence Force, Cape Nature, SANParks, George Municipality, Knysna Municipality, Oudtshoorn Municipality, Bitou Municipality, Hessequa Municipality, Mossel Bay Municipality, Kannaland Municipality, Overberg DM, Cape Winelands DM, West Coast DM, City of Cape Town, Various NGOs and FBOs (Lions Alert, Rotary SA, Gift of the Givers, Garden Route Rebuild), SPCA, National and Provincial Departments, Department of Health, EMS, Human settlements, Rural Development, Housing Development Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, SASSA, DSD, ESKOM, Department of Transport, Provincial Traffic and SAPS.

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 https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/social-development/services/1069/37714.

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.

Arabic posters about health and hygiene distributed to Knysna residents

The recent collaborative “Blitz” operations that were undertaken by various stakeholders, to inspect the informal ”spaza shop” sector, prompted Environmental Health Officials (EHPs) of the Knysna Municipal Health Services to assist South African citizens from foreign  countries that are currently conducting business within the greater Knysna, with health and hygiene awareness.

Initially, the language barrier was a huge challenge which exists between foreigners, especially the Moslim communities from Bangladesh, Somalia and Ethiopia. This inspired  EHPs from the Knysna office to design and  compile a  Health and Hygiene Awareness poster  in the most general – spoken  Arabic  dialect. These posters will assist shop owners with the legal requirements that are required within the applicable legislation as prescribed by the Foodstuff, Cosmetics and Disinfectant Act, Act 54 of 1972.

Mr James McCarty busy to train and educate the members of the Moslim business sector.

The following focus areas were included on the posters:

  • Procuring foodstuff from certified retailers.
  • Selling of compromised foodstuff.
  • Temperature control labelling.
  • Expired foodstuff.

This project is aimed towards the 2018 World Environmental Health Day theme of, “Global Food Safety and Sustainability” and will be rolled out to the other local authorities within the Garden Route District.

On Friday, 16 November 2018 during a ceremony that was held in Hornlee at the Knysna Musallah Mosquee, the posters were handed over to the designated representatives of the Moslim business sector community of Knysna by the local Environmental Health Practitioners, Mr James McCarthy and Mr Linden Herwells.

During the ceremony, the local Muslim business sector and the Imam of the Knysna Musallah expressed their gratitude towards this gesture.  They also committed themselves to provide safe food to the community of Knysna.