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.

National Children’s Day

On Wednesday, 1 November 2017, officials from Eden District Municipality’s (Eden DM) Municipal Health Services, George Municipality’s Civil & Engineering Waste Management Section and Cape Nature celebrated National Children’s Day, with learners of the Waboomskraal Primary School.

Mr David Papier, Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP) started the session with a presentation on water safety and health.  He explained the importance of water, not only for present survival, but also for future generations.  “Without water, we cannot exist,” he said.   He concluded by explaining in lamens terms the functions of water in the body.

Mr Deon Makwena talked to learners about nature conservation.

Second on the programme was Mr Deon Makwena from Cape Nature, who informed learners about the importance of looking after and caring for the environment.  Mr Makwena used dramatic gestures to explain the ripple effect littering have on rivers and the environment as a whole. Followed by Ms Carika Soman, EHP of Eden DM who made a presentation on Personal Health & Hygiene Awareness.  Ms Soman engaged with learners by using practical examples and frequently asking question throughout the presentation.

Ms Janine van Wyk, also from Eden DM did a demonstration on proper techniques when washing hands.  She used two volunteers from the audience.  The last speaker of the day was Mr Geoffrey Bredenkamp of George Municipality who explained the process of water purification.

The core message for learners was to care for your environment, yourself, to save and appreciate our water resources.

Ms Neo-Lay Klue (left) assisted Ms Janine van Wyk (far left) in demonstrating the techniques of washing hands.

Vehicle Emission Testing

The National Framework for Air Quality Management in South Africa, 2012, lists vehicle emissions monitoring as a function of a Local Municipality.   Not all municipalities in the Eden district have the capacity and facilities to measure vehicle emissions.  It is for this reason that the Air Quality Unit of the Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) is coordinating matters pertaining to air quality in the district and subsequently assisting municipalities with vehicle emissions testing.

Vehicle emission testing is done by making use of the Smoke Check 1667 Opacity Meter. The opacity meter measures diesel smoke in ‘percent opacity’, which is the percentage of light that is blocked when shining through a smoke plume, which can range from 0% to 100% opacity.

During the 3rd quarter of 2017, Eden DM undertook vehicle emission testing in Mossel Bay, Plettenberg Bay and Sedgefield in collaboration with the concerned local municipalities. A total of 112 diesel vehicles were inspected. Each vehicle first underwent a visual inspection of exhaust gas, and if a vehicle emitted excessive dark smoke, further testing by means of the Smoke Check 1667 Opacity Meter was undertaken.  The opacity meter gives a printout of the test results and states if the vehicle complies or not. The local municipality may issue a fine or warning, if a vehicle does not comply.

The main objective of this project is to create awareness of vehicle emissions and to minimise the impact it has on ambient air quality in the Eden district. Public awareness plays an important role in protecting the environment for the present and future generations as enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Different role-players worked together to make the project a success.

Eden DM Environmental Health Practitioners held Information Red Meat Traders Workshop in Knysna

Informal food traders with their incentives and certificates for food trading together with the Eden DM Executive Manager for Community Services, Mr Clive Africa, Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, Cllr Khayalethu Lose and EHPs from the Eden DM office in Knysna, Ms Mendy Tyhawana, Mr Mthetho Sithonga and Mr Linden Herwels, in closing of the session.

On Wednesday, 27 September 2017, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) from the Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) office in Knysna presented a third informal red meat traders training session in Knysna.

The aim of the session was to improve the level of food safety by improving knowledge of legal requirements and responsibilities, good operational procedures and red meat handler’s awareness of food safety issues.

The following topics were covered, namely:

  • Health and hygiene practices in an informal food environment.
  • Five keys to safer food and legal requirements.
  • Implications for formal and informal slaughtering.

Eden DM Councillor Khayalethu Lose, Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services (right) and Mr Clive Africa, Executive Manager for Community Services (left), give a word of encouragement to the informal food traders at the session.

The Local Economic Development Section of the Knysna Municipality was also invited to the session and presented their responsibilities towards empowering small businesses.  What is expected from the informal food traders, also formed part of their discussion points.

To end the programme on a higher note, incentives were handed over to the red meat handlers by Eden DM’s Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, Cllr Khayalethu Lose and the Executive Manager for Community Services, Mr. Clive Africa.

A total of 24 food handlers were accommodated in this session.

Eden DM Firefighters attending the 2017 SAESI Conference

Six (6) Firefighters and one EMS officer, have been given the opportunity to travel to Johannesburg to attend South African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI) training and competition from 30 October – 3 November 2017.

Representatives currently at SAESI include Mr Lushiano James, Mr Hein Leslie, Mr Branwille Abrahams, Mr Kirwin Gericke, Mr Emile Conrad, Deon Madekane and Mr Jetro Jacobs.

The focus of the past two days of training was on vehicle extrication. Today Firefighters will compete in a vehicle extrication and Firefighter Combat Challenge until 3 November 2017.

Mr Clive Africa, Executive Manager: Community Services, explains: “The training is essential for firefighters because of the intricacy and technical aspects related to vehicle extrication. Firefighters have to be careful in their approach to similar emergency situations. I also think that with the holiday season coming up, we will be more than ready for any possible emergency.”

Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen extended a word of encouragement to representatives by saying: “Eden DM Council wishes the representatives all the best for the challenge tomorrow – they will make us proud – as always”.

Eden DM receives recognition for its contribution to the Wetlands South Africa project

At the National Wetlands Indaba 2017, the Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) was awarded a Certificate of Participation for its outstanding contributions towards the successful implementation of the ICLEI Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB): Wetlands South Africa project. The Eden DM was one of a few other district municipalities which contributed towards the LAB: Wetlands South Africa project which won the prestigious Wetlands Crane award during the National Wetlands Awards ceremony held at this year’s Wetlands Indaba in Port Edward, Kwazulu-Natal.

The prestigious Crane awards are annually sponsored by Mondi and consist of unique bronze Wattled Crane sculptures designed by sculptor Sarah Richards. It is awarded annually to recognise outstanding contributions to wetland work in South Africa. ICLEI’s LAB: Wetlands South Africa project contributed significantly to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and also served as an inspirational and practical example for others. The project has been enhancing the awareness of wetlands as well as the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision-making. It has built the capacity of district municipalities to prioritise and effectively manage wetlands and biodiversity.

The Eden DM has fully supported and benefitted from this project. Its participation within the project highlighted the challenges experienced with wetland management within the district which resulted in the development of two essential documents, the Eden District Wetlands Report as well as the Eden District Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan. These documents were co-developed by both ICLEI as well as the Eden District Municipality as part of the LAB project. The Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan provide for key implementation strategies within the district as well as its incorporation within the Eden DM Spatial Development Framework and Integrated Development Plans. This will facilitate dynamic and focused wetland management and protection initiatives within the district.

Eden DM recognizes that wetlands are of immense value as it contributes to service provision and disaster risk reduction through ecosystem services such as flood attenuation, water filtration and water security, which are increasingly important in a changing climate. The municipality seeks to enhance the conservation and management of the districts’ natural wetland resources through the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision- making.

OR Tambo District Municipality visits Eden DM to share best practices

Delegates from the OR Tambo District Municipality (OR Tambo), which is situated in the Eastern Cape, with its head-office based in Umtata, visited Eden District Municipality (EDM), on a study tour to experience the EDM Induction programme. This came after OR Tambo delegates who were also present at the Institution of Municipal People Practitioners of Southern Africa (IMPSA) conference, where Ms Trix Holtzhausen, Eden DM Executive Manager: Corporate-/Strategic Services, presented a best practices presentation about inductions at Eden DM.

Delegates, Ms Zuzile Beje: Human Resources Manager (Left), Mr Thembile Vacu: Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) (right) and Ms Tandeka Bangani: Learning and Skills Development Officer (middle), from OR Tambo DM, during a robust debate at the induction session.

The monthly induction programme at Eden DM took place on 7 and 8 September 2017 and was facilitated by Ms Angeline Naidoo, Eden DM Human Resources Practitioner. During this induction, Ms Holtzhausen extended a warm welcome to the delegates, and wished them well in the implementation of their induction programme. “Eden DM Council, management and employees, are very pleased and delighted to host you in our district. It is good to share best practices with colleagues, which will be of benefit to the communities at large.”

The group of District Municipal employees from Eden and OR Tambo who attended the two-day Induction session hosted by Eden DM.

Ms Holtzhausen concluded that, “we would like to extend a word of gratitude towards OR Tambo DM for visiting Eden DM – employees will be empowered with knowledge and be given a chance to better understand the municipal environment”.

The group of District Municipal employees from Eden and OR Tambo who attended the two-day Induction session hosted by Eden DM.


Eden and Sweden to strengthen relations

The Swedish Trade and Investment Council has invited Eden District Municipality (EDM) and local municipalities, including George, Mossel Bay and Knysna, to the two-day Middle East and Africa (MEA) Summit to meet with more than 100 Swedish companies. Local municipalities, however, asked Eden to attend the MEA Summit on their behalf and to present the entire district as a suitable destination for trade and investment. The visit will also form part of an upcoming Memorandum of Agreement between ‘Business Sweden’ and EDM.

On the table for discussion will be strategic issues and possible partnerships, and it is envisaged that Sweden stands the chance to play an effectual role in the envisioned deliverables with reference to renewable energy, waste management, tourism, ICT and transportation in the district. It is a wise decision to partner with Sweden because of their climate change policies and because they have already committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2045.

Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen said that: “I have a keen interest in discussing how we can work with Sweden to find more alternative solutions to solid waste management because it is a pressing matter for the entire district. Maybe Sweden could subsidise some of the projects; assist with state-of-the-art technology to reposition EDM to become a central hub for new energies (alternative fuels); share best practices in waste management; assist with job creation and skills development”.

“Another benefit would be solar plants and wind turbines, which can be set up on one of the EDM properties. Eden will therefore be able to sell surplus energy and generate additional income,” Cllr Booysen said.

Municipal Manager of EDM, Mr Monde Stratu explained that the newly adopted vision, which reads: “Eden, the leading, enabling and inclusive district, characterised by equitable and sustainable development, high quality of life and equal opportunities for all,” could be achieved through a partnership approach. We need to find alternative approaches to equitable and sustainable development, which will ensure that we lead by example and ensure that spin-offs result in a high quality of life and equal opportunities for all.”

Delegates from EDM who will leave on 24 September and return on 29 September to attend the MEA Summit, include Cllr Memory Booysen (Executive Mayor), Mr Monde Stratu (Municipal Manager), and Ms Nadiema Davids (Manager: Legal Services). One representative from the Southern Cape Economic Partnership, Mr Paul Hoffman, will also attend.

Sweden leads the world in many fields and is well known for:

  • According the OECD, Sweden offers the best healthcare in the world;
  • Leading the way in renewable energy;
  • Leads the way in burying its depleted nuclear waste;
  • Leads the way in shared parenting;
  • Leads the way in dumping socialism;
  • Leads the way in public records transparency;
  • Committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2045;
  • Sweden is the best place to grow old with 25 percent of the population over the age of 60; and
  • According to the Spartacus index, Sweden is the only country with full points  for anti-discrimination legislation.

Proposed name change of Eden District Municipality to Garden Route District Municipality

The Eden District Municipality Council resolved the following on 30 August 2017 (DC 214/08/17):

  • That council agrees in principle on the proposed name change from Eden District Municipality to Garden Route District Municipality.
  • That a proper public participation process be initiated to solicit the view of all stakeholders and members of the public.
  • That the municipal logo and other symbols and colours maybe be reviewed after completion of the public participation process.
  • That the comments from B-municipalities within the district also be obtained.
  • That a time frame of sixty (60) days be allowed for a proper public participation process starting from 1 September 2017.
  • That a final report be submitted to council after the public participation process has been finalised.
  • That should council finally approve the proposed new name, the new name be submitted to the Minister of Local Government to comply with Section 16 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998.

The motivation for the proposed name change to Garden Route District municipality among others is as follows:
Various names and brands are used to refer to the Eden district municipal area. names include, but are not limited to: Southern Cape, Southern Coast, Eden, and Garden Route. This creates a state of brand delusion, meaning that there is a mismatch between what some believe, what council believes the municipality’s brand should represent and the experience of the people who live and visit our area.

To create a public perception about a brand takes a lot of time and effort.

There is evidence that a lot of people outside the Eden district do not understand what the word ‘Eden’ means in the context of our municipality or why the district is actually using the name.

From a competitive tourism marketing strategy point-of-view, it is difficult to promote a brand in the oversaturated tourism market. Currently the European, Chines and Southern American and African markets are already aware of the name Garden Route, which makes it easier to continue with a brand aligned to this description.

Our area has already been declared an international biosphere by UNESCO and is known as the Garden Route Biosphere reserve. That is a very prestigious recognition that we must leverage to ensure economic growth for our region.

Eden greets two great minds

Fltr, back row: Mr Jan-Willem de Jager – Chief Audit Executive, MsTrix Holtzhausen – Executive Manager: Corporate Services, Dr Adele Potgieter – Member of the Audit Committee and Mr Hans Ottervanger – Executive Manager: Roads Services.
Fltr, front row: Ms Pamela Lufele – Senior Internal Auditor, Ms Mariska Pieterse – Internal Auditor, Adv Derick Block – Member of the Audit Committee, Mr Jolyon Stoffels – Chairperson of Audit Committee, Ms Lauren James – Risk Management Officer and Mr Neil Metelerkamp – Member of the Audit Committee.

Thursday, 31st August 2017 marked the end of Mr Stoffels’s role as Chairperson and Mr Metelerkamp as a member of Eden DM’s Audit and Performance Audit Committee (APAC). The Municipal Manager, Management, fellow APAC members together with the Internal Audit Section, expressed their gratitude for their service to the organisation throughout the years and awarded them with Certificates of Appreciation during the APAC meeting held on 25 August 2017.

Messrs Stoffels and Metelerkamp with the Certificates of Appreciation, which they received during their last APAC meeting.