News

Driving Change through Community Safety and Alcohol Reduction

Over the next two days, 23 – 24 August 2019, a Community Safety Project and an “Alcohol Harms Reduction” Game Changer workshop will take place at Eagle’s Nest Ministries in Pacaltsdorp, George.

This workshop forms part of Western Cape Government’s collaborative efforts with various role players, including Local Government, South African Police Services, Non-Government Organisations, Community Policing Forums and various sector departments to commit on interventions that make a tangible impact on reducing the harms related to alcohol.

In our country, more than 60% of road deaths, domestic violence and homicides are directly or indirectly related to alcohol abuse. Alcohol has also been identified as the 3rd leading risk factor for death and disability in South Africa. Over several years, many attempts have been made to reduce alcohol abuse in the Western Cape, by governments and civil society. However, there is little systemic success to show for all the effort.

WHAT TO EXPECT OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS

23 August 2019 – Day one will focus on Mediation Training. Other focus areas include the role of first responders, the qualities of a mediator, a role-play session, as well as guiding legislation. Today will end off with unpacking the process of developing and implementing a Community Safety Plan.

24 August 2019 – Day two will focus on the reduction of alcohol abuse and early childhood development.

Role-players will focus on some of the following levers to achieve a reduction in alcohol abuse and behaviour change in communities:

  1. Identifying problems people in communities face
  2. Reducing access to alcohol by increasing the number of legal liquor outlets and closing down illegal ones.
  3. Recreational and Economic alternatives.
  4. Alcohol-related health and available Social Services.

TWO-DAY PROGRAMME

Programme Community Safety Day 1

Programme Community Safety Day 2

 

Special Council Meeting: 23 August 2019

Notice of a special council meeting on 23 August 2019 at 11:00

Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 19 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) that a Special Council meeting of the Garden Route District Municipality is scheduled for Friday, 23 August at 10:00 in the CA Robertson Council Chamber, Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George.

MG Stratu
Municipal Manager
54 York Street
P.O. Box 12
GEORGE
6530
Notice number 96/2019

Saluting Women Firefighters at Garden Route District Municipality

Garden Route District Municipality is home to seven (7) Women Firefighters, who form part of a group of 40 Firefighters (including station officers and a fire chief). Although being underrepresented in a male-dominated environment, they are a force to reckon with.

This disproportionately low representation of women in firefighting can be attributed to structural and cultural factors which often play an important role in making the career-choice seem inhospitable to women. Despite this, a “conscious and continuous” attempt by educators, firefighters and parents can help expose youngsters, especially women, to the profession.

INTERVIEW WITH WOMEN FIREFIGHTERS AT GRDM

During an interview with six of the seven women Firefighters at GRDM, who include Ms Bonita Conrad, Ms Kuthala Maki, Ms Odri-Anne Booysen, Ms Devonia Cupido, Ms Elana Basson and Ms Michelle Smalberger, a few assumptions were presented to them.

Assumption 1: Women have to first showcase their knowledge and experience in firefighting before being accepted by their male counterparts.

  • All women firefighters felt that this was true.

 Assumption 2: There is a sense of pressure on women to do the same or even better than their male counterparts.

  • Interviewees felt the assumption was correct, but despite this, acknowledged that they do not feel that they are treated unequally to their counterparts at GRDM.

When asked what the most important parts of their firefighting jobs are, they agreed that “protecting lives, infrastructure and the environment,” are at the top of their list of reasons.

Nearing the end of the interview, a question was asked with the intent of making them think about their worth and potential. “Would you consider fighting in an all-women team?” One firefighter responded by saying – “we need men by our side to fight fires”. Moments later, one firefighter challenged this response and said: “We will be able to fight a fire on our own. Why are we doubting our own capabilities?” With this moment of truth, interviewees had a moment to think deeply about these misperceptions.

Now the question is why did these powerful women for a moment think that they wouldn’t be able to face a fire as an all-women team? Is it a cultural phenomenon? Something we see on television, hear on the radio or read about in newspapers? What really shapes this perception? This is one of the many questions we have to ask ourselves to break the glass ceiling.

One of the Senior Firefighters, Ms Bonita Conrad, twice over the past few years came out at the top of her age group at the South African Toughest Firefighter Alive Competition.

Six (6) of the seven (7) women firefighters at Garden Route District Municipality, front (fltr): Ms Odri-Anne Booysen and Ms Michelle Smalberger. Back (fltr): Ms Elana Basson, Ms Kuthala Maki, Ms Devonia Cupido and Ms Bonita Conrad.

THE DISTRICT WAS FIRST IN WESTERN CAPE TO APPOINT A WOMAN FIRE CHIEF

GRDM has also been dedicated to gender-transformation in firefighting for more than a decade. The District Municipality, in 2006, was the first to appoint a woman Fire Chief in the Western Cape – Ms Annelise Lamprecht-Virtue. She is truly a trailblazer in the field of firefighting. During the October 2018 Garden Route fires she was tasked by the Western Cape Government to assist the district and local municipalities in providing strategic leadership. Her tenure at Western Cape Government as the Assistant Director: Fire and Rescue Services, started in January 2012. Annelise confirmed during a telephonic interview that she will take up a position as Fire Chief at Witzenberg Municipality on 1 September 2019.

Garden Route District Municipality wishes Ms Lamprecht-Virtue all of the best with her future endeavours.

 

Severe Weather Alert

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following severe weather alert.  WARNING: damaging winds over the interior of the Garden Route District Municipality for later today.

HAZARD: Damaging winds
ALERT LEVEL: Warning
VALID FROM (SAST): 07/08/19 – 10h00
VALID TO (SAST): 07/08/19 – 20h00

WARNING:  A strong W/NW’ly gale force wind (70-80km/h) is expected between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas this afternoon (Wednesday), subsiding by evening.

ADVISORY: Strong north-westerly to westerly winds (50-60km/h) are expected over the Breede River Valley, Central Karoo, and the interior regions of the Garden Route District of the Western Cape today (Wednesday).

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

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.

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.

Report any related incidents to the Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at Tel: 044-805 5071.

Severe Weather Alert

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following severe weather alert:

HAZARD: Veld Fire Conditions
ALERT LEVEL: Warning
VALID FROM (SAST): 07/08/19 – 10h00
VALID TO (SAST): 07/08/19 – 20h00

Expected over Central and Karoo and Hessequa municipality of the Garden Route District tomorrow (Wednesday).

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.

Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured.  Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

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.

Durban FilmMart attended by Garden Routers

Eleven (11) delegates from the Garden Route, including Garden Route Film Office (GRFO) members, visited the Durban FilmMart (DFM) between 18 and 22 July 2019. This festival is a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and takes place in conjunction with Durban International Film Festival that spans over a 10-day period, between 18 and 28 July 2019.

Mr Jacques van der Merwe (Director: GRFO), Mr Philip de Vries (Chairperson: GRFO) and Mr Clyde Berning.

Cllr Liza Stroebel, who represented Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) at the DFM, said: “The presence at such a festival is vibrant and exciting.   To see the hype of activities within the film industry under one roof and to be able to meet and greet foreign contingents, attend panel discussions and interact socially with artistic individuals within the broader film industry in South Africa and abroad, was an amazing experience.    I learnt so much about the film industry and will now be able to better represent the Garden Route District Municipality in the film industry in the Garden Route.”

Mr Jacques van der Merwe (Director: GRFO), left, with students at the DIFF, (fltr): Cara Botha, Amy Jansen, Antonie Botha, Moses Williams, and Stefan Kloppers (Standing)

“The purpose of the inclusion of learners from our region to the DFM was to expose them to the functioning of the industry on ground level and the value which could be added and brought to the Garden Route,” said Cllr Stroebel.

What the Durban FilmMart offers

On an annual basis, the DFM offers creatives, producers and other film industry experts the opportunity to develop content, skills and expertise, while also paving the way for cross-border collaborations and networks. Moreover, it offers a jam-packed programme of panel discussions, seminars, workshops, masterclasses, a finance forum and mini-conferences and exhibitions formed part of the festival.

Team of delegates

  • Mr Philip de Vries (GRFO Chairperson);
  • Mr Jacques van der Merwe (Director: GRFO);
  • Patrick Walton (Director: GRFO);
  • Lika Berning (Director: GRFO and owner of Ikasi Media;
  • Cllr Liza Stroebel (Garden Route District Municipality Councillor and EXCO member of GRFO);
  • Amy  Jansen (GRFO Secretary);
  • Stefan Kloppers (Learner);
  • Cara Botha (Learner);
  • Antonie Botha (Learner);
  • Moses Williams (Learner).

 

Visit http://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/ to read more about the International Film Festival.

More information is available on the DFM website too – http://www.durbanfilmmart.co.za/

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following warnings:

Issued: 28/07/2019 @ 12:44

WARNING #1

ALERT LEVEL:  Level 4 Yellow Warning for wind

Valid from: (SAST) 30/07/2019 – 20:00

Valid to: (SAST) 30/07/2019 – 00:00

Affected DM / LM / Metro / area

City of Cape Town, Drakenstein (LM), Stellenbosch (LM), Breede Valley (LM), Langeberg
(LM),Laingsburg (LM), Beaufort West (LM), Theewaterskloof (LM), Overstrand (LM),
Swellendam (LM), Cape Agulhas (LM) and Hessequa (LM).

DESCRIPTION:  There is a Low likelihood of Significant impacts to occur over
over the Cape Metropole, Cape Winelands, Overberg and Central Karoo from Monday
afternoon from early Tuesday morning through to the evening due to WIND.

A cold front affecting the Western Cape will result in strong to gale force and
gusty north-westerly winds over the interior of the Western Cape throughout
Tuesday. Wind speeds are expected to reach 60-70km/h with gusts up
to 80-90km/h. These north-westerly winds will act as a crosswind to the N1, N2
and N7 highways and associated major railways. Winds moderate by Tuesday
night.

Strong to Gale force and gusty crosswinds along the N1, N2 and N7 highways
may result in these major routes as well as corresponding rail transport being
affected. Dangerous driving conditions may lead to road accidents along this
route. High-sided vehicles are at risk of being toppled by intense wind gusts
along the route.These strong winds along with dry and warm conditions may
cause run-away veldfires over the Central Karoo and Eden District on Monday.
Damage to formal and informal settlements and possible visibility reduction due
to dust storms.

WARNING #2

Alert level: Level 4 Yellow Warning for Wind  (Coast)

Valid from: (SAST) 29/07/2019 – 20:00

Valid to: (SAST) 30/07/2019 – 17:00

Affected coastal area (up to 15nm)

Coastal areas between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay.

DESCRIPTION:  There is a Low likelihood of Significant impacts to occur
along the coast between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay due to WIND.

A cold front is expected to move over the south-western parts of the Western
Cape Monday night through Tuesday, with the potential to cause gale force
north-westerly winds (35-40kt) Monday night between Cape Columbine and
Capre Agulhas spreading to the offshore areas of the south coast (Plettenberg
Bay) during Tuesday afternoon while turning westerly.

Weather conditions will cause difficulty in navigation out at seas due to strong
winds, small vessels may be at risk of taking on water and capsizing. Some
disruption to operations for small harbours and ports are possible.

WARNING #4

Alert level:  Level 2 Yellow Warning for Waves

Valid from: (SAST) 30/07/2019 – 00:00

Valid to: (SAST) 31/07/2019 – 08:00

Affected coastal area (up to 15nm)

Coastal areas between Lamberts Bay and Plettenberg Bay.

DESCRIPTION:  There is a High likelihood of Minor impacts to occur
along the Western Cape west and south-west coast early on Tuesday morning,
spreading to Plettenberg Bay during the afternoon due to high WAVES.

Intense cold front passing over the Cape late Monday night and through to
Tuesday, generating high wave conditions along the west and south-west coast
early Tuesday morning. Waves heights of 6-7m are expected with a westerly
component.  These waves will spread along the south coast during the afternoon however
remaining further off-shore. Swell direction swings to south-westerly late
Tuesday.

Difficulty in navigation along the entire coastline is likely and may lead to small
vessels taking on water and/or capsizing. This will be enhanced with the strong
winds that are also expected. Localised damage to infrastructure iis possible
and mainly for the west and south-west coast. Localised disruption to
beachfront activities are also likely.

GRDM Disaster Management and Municipal Health officials celebrated Mandela Day on 19 July

Officials from the GRDM Disaster Management Section on George, on 19 July 2019, visited the Heuwel Day Care facility and Reȅnboog Creche in Calitzdorp respectively. On their arrival at each facility, the team extended a word of gratitude to the caretakers for allowing them the visit to the crèche.

They also shared a word of motivation to all the toddlers, to look well after themselves and work very hard in life to be able to reach their dreams. After the formal part of the visit, the team treated the toddlers with warm soup and bread and donated nappies to the crèche.

George Municipal Health officials reach out to Lancewood Primary School learners

The Environmental health Practitioners from the George office (Wilderness region) celebrated Mandela Day on 19 July 2019 at Lancewood Primary School. Lancewood Primary school is one of our local rural schools in George, and has a total number of 66 children.

Prior to the visit on the 19th, the team conducted a needs assessment to determine the needs of the learners.  During their visit on the 19th the team surprised the school and learners with: netball balls, soccer balls, a rugby ball, made and galvanized netball poles; sanitary towels; assorted color chalks and chalk board dusters; covered and painted cable drums to recycle as dining tables and two (2) outside dining tables that were made from recycled materials.

During the visit the Breede Gouritz Catchment Agency donated puzzles, board games, recyclable water bottles and lunch boxes to the learners and Mortgage Max Sonet Calitz handed out food parcels and stationary.

The event was organised in collaboration with the GRDM Maintenance Team, Mortgage Max Sonet Calitz, as well as the Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency and it was indeed a great success.

Garden Route District Municipality and stakeholders celebrate Mandela Day

As the Mandela Day celebrations are still in progress throughout the world today, 18 July 2019, the respective departments of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) used their 67 minutes to celebrate the life of former and the late President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, throughout the entire Garden Route district.  The aim of this year’s initiatives was to put smiles on the faces of the most vulnerable, but more importantly – the faces of youngsters affected by tough living conditions.  Here are some of the special moments captured during these events today:

George Herald annual Sandwich Jam

The first initiative of the day started with the GRDM Mayoral Committee members and officials who participated in the eighth annual Sandwich Jam of the local media house, George Herald. For this year’s initiative, George Herald’s goal was to prepare 10 000 sandwiches in 67 minutes, however to their surprise, they reached their target in 53 minutes! During the event, all participants prepared sandwiches for identified areas and members of the community.  The event took place at the George Herald premises in Ring Road, George. “We hope that the beneficiaries who include: St Paul’s Primary School, Life Community Services, ACVV, Conville Clinic, George Hospital, Child Welfare, Badisa, Eden Lions, Seven Passes Initiative, Touwsranten, George Night Shelter, New Dawn Park Primary School, Pacaltsdorp Clinic and Mzoxolo Primary School enjoyed the sandwiches, prepared straight from our hearts,” Ms Shandré Abrahams, GRDM Wellness Officer said.

Ethembeni Day Care Centre for Disabled Children

Still, in George, the GRDM officials from the Human Resources Section visited a non-governmental organisation, Ethembeni Day Care Centre for Disabled Children, in Thembalethu.  Each official within the Section contributed funds and donated toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, facecloths and soap, as well as a snack bag for each child at the Centre. Leaving each child with a smile and a happy heart was purely what the team intended to achieve. A total of 17 children benefited from this initiative.

Karmenaadjie Crèche in Oudtshoorn

The GRDM Municipal Health Section in Oudtshoorn visited the Karmenaadjie Crèche in Buffelsdrift. On their arrival, they provided soup and bread rolls to each toddler.  Approximately 51 children and educators enjoyed the warm, tasty soup and bread rolls that were prepared specifically for them.  In closing the visit, the principal of the Crèche expressed her sincere appreciation towards the GRDM team for the gesture, but most of all for caring for the children and their educators, as well as the community. Members of the Buffelsdrift community and the educators also welcomed the initiative.

More initiatives to follow

More activities in celebration of Mandela Day are envisaged to take place, such as a collaborative school visit by the GRDM Municipal Health teams of Knysna and George to the Lancewood Primary School in Woodville is also expected to take place on Friday, 19 July 2019 and a visit to a school in Calitzdorp by the Disaster Management and Fire Services officials.

While all activities are coming to a close, us as residents of the Garden Route should always strive towards changing the living conditions of the community for the better by how we think, act and respond. “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.