News

Mossel Bay Hand-Wash Project

 

Environmental Health Practitioners busy demonstrating proper hand-wash techniques to toddlers.

In a quest to educate communities, especially children at pre-school level about the benefits of proper health and hygiene habits, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) from Eden District Municipality’s (Eden DM) Municipal Health Section, regularly visits crèches in the district.

 

On 20 and 21 October 2016, EHPs from the Mossel Bay Office, together with the Portfolio Councillor of Community Services, Cllr Khayelethu Lose visited six (6) crèches in Kwanonqaba and Great Brak River. During these visits, four hundred and fifty (450) toddlers and thirty five (35) teachers were reached and trained regarding the importance of proper hand-wash methods.

Toddlers and teachers were also trained in methods to improve hygiene behaviour, as well as ways to prevent diarrhoeal, sanitation and water-related diseases. One of the key messages communicated, was that good handwashing habits are the first line of defence against the spread of many illnesses, like common colds, to more serious infections, such as diarrhea.

Hand-wash techniques were demonstrated and the importance of using soap, were emphasised. Incentives, which included soap dispensers, hand-wash soap and paper towels, were handed out. The project was a great success and feedback received from crèches, was very positive.

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.

Engagement between Chinese and the Eden District might grow trade

The delegates from China with stakeholders from the Eden district shortly after discussions.

A dialogue between various Eden district stakeholders and a Chinese delegation, took place on 8 October 2016 at Oubaai and could lead to stronger trade relations as soon as China buys into what the Eden district has on offer. The Executive Mayor of Eden District Municipality (Eden DM), Councillor Memory Booysen, chaired the engagement and allowed a few local businesses from the agriculture, health and training sectors, to introduce their products and services to Dr Hongbin Cheng and his partners.

Dr Cheng is the Co-founder of New China Times Technology (NCTT), the Managing Director of Beijing Sinoera Technology (BST) and the General Manager in South Africa’s Taichi He. Dr Cheng’s close ties with the Chinese government is an advantage to trade and this will make links to China and South Africa easier. Dr Cheng proposed that a Communication Centre be built in South Africa, to enable efficient communication between the two countries. Communication centres have already been established in Korea, Thailand, Germany and soon in the Netherlands. It is envisaged that Dr Cheng will return next year (2017) with an extended delegation to continue discussions and to visit sites in the Eden district.

The George Executive Mayor, Cllr Melvin Naik welcomed the delegates and said the following: “We want to export, we want to import and we want to do business with other countries, but we have to put our money where our mouths are. I want you to engage with our people and when you come across local businesses that you can assist or help grow, please do so.”

Eden DM Executive Mayor agreed that there might be a level of difficulty when engaging with China via a national level and that engagements should be scaled down to a local level, especially between the more than 300 cities of China. “Those cities should talk to our cities,” and he boasted that “as you spend time with us you will find that this is a great region. We have highly educated people, we are politically stable, we have a good transport system – we are ready for business”.

An extended group of Chinese delegates plan to return to the Eden district during 2017. With Dr Hongbin Cheng (middle), is Councillor Memory Booysen, Eden DM Executive Mayor (left) and Councillor Melvin Naik, George Executive Mayor (right).

Unauthorised Expenditure at Eden DM – Response to George Herald Article

With reference to a news article “George and Eden way over budget,” published in the George Herald on Thursday, 29 September 2016, page 14, the Eden District Municipality responds as follows:

“The properties of Eden District Municipality were revalued during the 2014/2015 financial year by independent valuators that were appointed.  Impairment losses of    R244 million had to be processed against the value of the properties, as the market values of the properties, as per the latest valuations performed, decreased significantly since the previous valuation that was performed.

Impairments on investment properties (land) was R85 million, impairments on investment properties (buildings) was R619 000 and the impairment loss on Land and Buildings (property, plant and equipment) was R159 million, thus the total impairment loss of R244 million was processed in the statement of financial performance, under the expenditure line items, resulting in the unauthorised expenditure. With the compilation of the budget and adjustment budget for 2014/2015 in January 2015, it was not foreseen that the property value would decrease with R244 million and thus no provision on the budget was made for the impairment loss, thus resulting in the unauthorised expenditure.

Please take note that the unauthorised expenditure was not due to payments processed, but merely a financial year-end book entry, to ensure that the assets are reflected at the correct values in the financial statements and fairly represents the assets and liabilities at year-end, which is presented to the office of the Auditor-General for audit purposes.

This item has been tabled before the Financial Services Portfolio Committee, the Audit and Performance Audit Committee, as well as Council. Council approved the write-off of the unauthorised expenditure in June 2016.”

For more clarity on the above matter, contact:
Ms Louise Hoek – Chief Financial Officer – Financial Services Department
E-mail: louise@edendm.co.za / Tel: 044 803 1449

Mr Godfrey Louw – Municipal Manager
E-mail: mm@edendm.co.za / Tel: 044-803 1445

Illegal Practise – Environmental Health Inspections

It has come to the attention of Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) that there are individuals posing as Environmental Health Practitioners / Health Inspectors and demanding payment from owners of businesses for license fees, health certificates and health reports.
This is an  illegal practise  and the general public and business  owners  are hereby  warned not  to participate in any activities by  persons  that pose as  above – mentioned  officials .

All Environmental Health Practitioners employed by Eden DM, will at all times, be in possession of an official Eden identity document, which should be presented before any inspection commences.
This identity document is in colour, with the Eden DM logo displayed in front, accompanied by a colour photo of the official and his or her South African identity number.

The reverse side will quote the applicable legislation (in red), enabling the official to perform his / her duties, accompanied by a H.I. number of the official registered at the Health Professionals Council of South Africa, as well as the date of issue and the signature of the Municipal Manager.

No Eden DM official will demand payment in cash, cheque or any other form of payment for services rendered. Where Health Certificate fees or other fees are payable, an official document with a unique reference number with Eden DM banking details, will be presented. Any fees due to Eden DM should by deposited directly into the banking account of Eden DM.

All inspections undertaken by Environmental Health Practitioners are, with a few exceptions, captured electronically on a cellular phone and managers or persons in charge of the premises are required to sign on the screen of the phone, with an electronic pen.  Inspection books are only used in rare cases where the electronic program does not make provisions for certain types of inspections.
Readers are urged to report any irregularities in this regard to SAPS or any Eden DM office in their area of jurisdiction.

ONWETTIGE PRAKTYK – OMGEWINGSGESONDHEIDSINSPEKSIES

Dit het onder Eden Distriksmunisipaliteit se aandag gekom dat daar persone is wat sakepersele en besighede besoek en hulself valslik as Omgewingsgesondheidspraktisyns/Gesondheidsinspekteurs voordoen. Hulle reik vals besigheidslisensies, geskiktheidsertifikate en gesondheidsverslae uit in ruil vir kontant. Eienaars van besighede word gewaarsku om hulle nie deur hierdie skelms te laat mislei nie.

‘n Omgewingsgesondheidspraktisyn in diens van Eden DM moet ten alle tye ‘n amptelike Eden DM Identifikasiekaart by hom/haar hê en moet dit voor enige inspeksie aan die persoon in beheer van die besigheid, toon.

Hierdie identifikasiekaartjie is in kleur gedruk en sal ‘n Eden DM embleem op die voorkant hê. Daarop verskyn ‘n kleurfoto van die amptenaar, sowel as sy of haar naam en RSA identiteitsnommer. Op die agterkant word die wetgewing ingevolge waarvan die amptenaar aangestel is, in rooi vertoon. Tesame verskyn die amptenaar se proffesionele H.I. Registrasienommer by die “Health Professionals Council of South Africa(HPCSA)”, gevolg met sy handtekening en datum waarop die kaartjie uitgereik is. Onderaan verskyn die Munisipale Bestuurder van Eden DM se handtekening.

Geen omgewingsgesondheidspraktisyn sal enigsins kontant of enige ander vorm van betaling in ontvangs neem nie. Betalings, indien enige, geskied deur direkte inbetalings in Eden DM se bankrekening. ‘n Amptelike betalingsvorm met Eden DM se bankbesonderhede met ‘n unieke verwysingsnommer op die vorm, sal in geval van gelde verskuldig, oorhandig word.

Alle inspeksies wat uitgevoer word, word elektronies deur middel van ‘n selfoon vasgelê en ‘n inspeksieverslag word op die betrokke perseel  ingesleutel. Die besigheidseienaar teken dan met ‘n elektroniese pen op die selfoon se skerm dat sodanige inspeksie uitgevoer is. In uitsonderlike gevalle waar daar nie voorsiening gemaak word om inligting elektronies te laai nie, mag ‘n inspeksieboek gebruik word.

Indien enige persoon namens Eden DM dus kontant, tjeks of enige ander vorm van betaling vereis word ‘n beroep op die publiek gedoen om dit onmiddellik by die SAPD of die naaste Eden DM kantoor, te rapporteer.

2016/17 – 2021/22 Councillors inaugurated

The 2016 – 2021 Eden District Municipal Council was inaugurated on 31 August 2016 at the Eden District Municipality’s CA Robertson Council Chambers, George. Thirty Five (35) Councillors from various towns in Eden district attended the first statutory meeting that was held in terms of Section 29(2) of the Municipal Structures Act, 117 of 1998. Also present at the inaugural meeting, were Executive Mayors from B-municipalities throughout the district.

The top three Councillors, elected by Councillors, are as follows:
•    Executive Mayor, Councillor Memory Booysen
•    Executive Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rosina Ruiters
•    Speaker, Councillor Mark Willemse

In his acceptance speech, Cllr Memory Booysen acknowledged Women’s month and honored his mother, wife, daughters and sister. He also echoed that “the people of the Eden district have spoken”. Cllr Booysen promised that the elected Council will ensure that Eden DM is run in an effective and efficient manner, bearing in mind what the district municipality’s responsibilities are in local government. Cllr Booysen has over 26 years experience in politics and served as the Executive Mayor of Bitou Municipality for 5 years from 2011 till 2016.

Top three Eden DM political office bearers appearing with the Accounting Officer, Mr Godfrey Louw, (fltr) are: Cllr Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor; Cllr Rosina Ruiters, Executive Deputy Mayor, Mr Godfrey Louw, Municipal Manager and Cllr Mark Willemse, Speaker.

The Executive Mayor also announced the Mayoral Committee members after his inaugural address, these Councillors include:

  • Cllr Rosina Ruiters (District Economic Development and Tourism)
  • Cllr Jerome Lambaatjeen (Financial Services);
  • Cllr Khayalethu Lose (Community Services);
  • Cllr Tertuis Simmers (Roads and Transport Planning Services);
  • Cllr Isaya Stemela (Corporate Services);
  • Cllr Joslyn Johnson (Property Management and Development); and
  • Cllr Erica Meyer (Strategic Services).

Eden DM procures a Mobile Air Monitoring Station

“Air Quality ambient monitoring is a statutory requirement of District Municipalities, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act 39 of 2004).

Until recently, the Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) Air Quality Unit made use of passive sampling, which is not ideal for accurate monitoring purposes. In the current financial year, provision was made on the capital budget, for the procurement of a Mobile Air Quality Monitoring Station. The Supply Chain Management processes were followed, where after the tender was awarded to C & M Consulting, for the purchasing of a Mobile Ambient Monitoring Station, the Scentinal SL50.

The Scentinal SL50 provides ambient odour emission monitoring, based on high accuracy (ppb level), detection of odorous gases such as Hydrogen Sulpide (H2S), Ammonia, Volitile Organic Compound (VOC’s), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and other chemical compounds, depending on user specification. The system allows up to 20 sensors to be optionally incorporated into one Scentinal package. It also allows remote live monitoring of plant emissions on Scentroid’s cloud servers or locally from the Scentinal’s on board display. Scentinal SL50 comes in a NEMA4x cabinet, to operate within ambient environment between 4 to 35 degrees Celsius. Optionally, each SL50 can be equipped with an air conditioning system for temperatures between 35 to 60 degrees Celsius. The station is also equipped with a heating system for temperatures ranging from 4 to -30 °C.

The Scentinal can be used almost everywhere, indoor- and outdoor installation is possible. It has two options for live monitoring, one being remotely on a secure cloud based server or locally with the on-board touch screen. The system can be configured remotely or locally. Access is restricted, and the data is encrypted for maximum security. Users will have access with a unique password and username, which will define their permission level.

This Scentinal SL50 Station will assist Eden DM in determining the impact of air pollution, and will serve as a screening method for possible risk areas. The station is also essential for dealing with air quality related complaints. It is mobile and easy to commission and operate. “This is the 1st station of such a nature used by a District Municipality in the Western Cape,” said Dr Johann Schoeman, Eden DM Manager: Air Quality Control.

The Scentinal SL50 Station is in high demand and will be used in the hot spots areas throughout the Eden district. It is also solar operational in areas where there is no electricity supply. The only disadvantage is that it has to be guarded or placed at locations where it is secure. The station with all its accessories cost R480 000.

On Monday, 12 June 2017, the Air Quality Unit held a press conference during which Dr Johann Schoeman explained to the media that Eden DM is confident that the station will assist them with the objective of determining the impact of air pollution in the district. The station was also recently located in Knysna at the Provincial Hospital. The reason was to determine the aftermath of the possible air pollution impact on the residents. There were a few spikes of Carbon monoxide and Particulate matter. This may well be due to some fires still smoldering as well as the current dust situation due to loss of vegetation. There were however, no exceedances of the National Ambient Air Quality standards after the fires.

Wildfires in the Eden District

Only 3 fires left in the Eden district:

1. The Crags
2. Waboomskraal
3. Haarlem

The main focus of the Eden DM firefighters is to extinguish the Waboomskraal fire first and then to move on to the mountainous part of Haarlem where the fire is currently active. Unfortunately there’s no sign of rain on the Northern side of the Outeniqua Mountains.

WoF, SANParks, Bitou Municipality and MTO Forestry are fighting the fire in The Crags, Plettenberg Bay