Garden Route District Municipality launches the “World No Tobacco Day Campaign”

Councillors, management and staff of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in collaboration with other stakeholders, on Friday 31 May 2019, launched a World No Tobacco Day campaign in front of the GRDM head-office in George.

GRDM Executive Manager for Community Services, Mr Clive Africa, Portfolio Councillor for Community Services, Cllr Khayalethu Lose and Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, displaying educational messages at the start of the launch.

The launch took place in support of this worldwide initiative of which, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), focuses on “tobacco and lung health.” According to the WHO, the world-wide campaign increases awareness on the negative impact that tobacco has on the lung health of people, from cancer to chronic respiratory diseases and the fundamental role lungs play for the health, as well as overall well-being of all people. The campaign also serves as a call-to-action; the advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption; and to engage stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for a tobacco free world.

Environmental Health Practitioners (initiators of the event) from GRDM during the campaign at the Head-Office.

During his keynote address at the launch, Portfolio Councillor for Community Services, Cllr Khayalethu Lose, gave a brief history of the campaign and added that if indeed, 44 000 South Africans die annually from tobacco consumption, this is more reason why this day must be well commemorated, especially because it brings with it knowledge of harmful effects of tobacco use.  In pledging his support on behalf of the GRDM, he highlighted:  “Let us make this World No Tobacco Day more meaningful”.

The demonstration by the GRDM firefighters was short, but all staff and stakeholders were stunned by the idea of how rapidly a fire can start due to smoking inside a vehicle.

As part of the well-being of representatives, stakeholders such as the Cancer Association of South Africa and the Western Cape Department of Health exhibited health-related services in front of the head office between from 10:00 to 12:00, for staff to do health-related screening tests. While the activities were in progress, a burning minibus arrived at the venue, which caught fire due to smoking activities inside the vehicle. This caught the attention of the audience, when the GRDM firefighters had to contain the fire inside the vehicle.  Although this was merely an example of the dangers of fires inside a vehicle, it was indeed a much-needed demonstration to all staff present.

Nearly 100 staff members and stakeholders marched through the town of George to show their support for the World No Tobacco Day Campaign that is commemorated annually on May, the 31st.

Soon after the activities of the launch, GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners (initiators of the event) and stakeholders started with a “silent march” from York Street, through the town of George to display messages to educate the public about the health effects of tobacco consumption. One such message is:  “Quit before your time runs out”.

If all members of the community are willing to stay abreast of these short and powerful educational messages in their daily lives, then, according to Cllr Lose and all councillors, management and staff who attended the launch “together we can live in a tobacco-free world”.

Destruction of ecological infrastructure worsens the impact of floods

“Failure of ecological infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal worsens the impact of recent floods, and the Garden Route must learn from the severe disaster,” says Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum.

According to Dr Viljoen, a series of deadly cyclones and high-intensity rainstorms in KwaZulu-Natal and Mozambique was such that no matter what, the impact would have resulted in disaster.

“The impact of urban and rural development on the ability of nature in mitigating and managing severe floods and rainstorms, cannot be underestimated. The fact that landowners all over the world want to build their houses as close as possible to rivers and ocean shores exponentially raise the risk of the destruction of their property in the event of flooding and ocean storm surges,” warns Dr Viljoen.

She explains: “Over time we have destroyed our ecological infrastructure enabling nature to cope with heavy rain such as wetlands and seep lines. We have channelled our river systems, and hardened saturation surfaces and water table recharge zones, leaving flood waters to gain unbridled energy and volumes, destroying everything in its path and claiming many lives”.

“Considering the predicated impact of climate change, and an increase in severe weather conditions and possible natural disasters, authorities must be vigilant in planning for expansion, and allowing development in areas that are naturally sensitive and prone to disaster”.

On 7 June this year, the Garden Route District Municipality and the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) will be hosting the 2017 Fire Commemoration event and Climate Change and Adaption Indaba in George.

Environmental and climate change experts will review the overarching research and strategy development that has taken place over the past two years regarding environmental risk reduction in the region, and the physical measures that have been implemented. The indaba will also establish a roadmap of what is planned for the region in the coming months to confront the challenges of climate change readiness.

Interested organisations and individuals who would like to attend the Annual Fire Commemoration event and Climate Change and Adaption Indaba on 7 June, can send an email to


** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.


Dr Nina Viljoen: Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Tel/Cell: +27 (0)44 803 1318 | +27 (0)67 035 9203


Garden Route District Municipality Roads Department makes history

“The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has the biggest Roads function in the Western Cape”.  This was confirmed by GRDM Executive Manager for Roads Services, Mr John G Daniels at their main office in George on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.

According to Mr Daniels, there are many projects in store for the Roads Department over the current and next financial years. Since the Roads Department is an agency function of the Western Cape Government (WCG), its financial year stretches from the beginning of April to the end of March the following year. The current financial year, therefore, already started in April 2019.

Roads Services officials ready to work and excel.

The Roads Services budget

Mr Daniels confirmed his statement about the magnitude of the Department, when he said that the budget of the Roads Department amounts to over half a billion rand.  “This budget is inclusive of the Department’s yellow fleet that amounts to R386 million, which makes us the biggest Roads Department in the Western Cape,” Mr Daniels boasted. The WCG increased the roads services budget from R145 million, last year, to R160 million for this year.  The increase of R15 million could only have materialised due to the Department’s good record of expenditure and stable staff complement. “All these characteristics personify the Roads Services function and with everything necessary in place, we plan to spend R200 million again,” Mr Daniels said.

Projects in progress and to be implemented

One such project planned for the current and next financial years will be a R21 million project to be implemented in Slangrivier (Hessequa), which is foreseen to commence in August/September this year. Two other projects include the re-gravel and resealing of roads in the entire Garden Route district. The resealing will amount to R23 million and R17 million is budgeted for the re-gravelling project.  The road building project in Friemersheim near Mossel Bay, is envisaged to be completed by September 2019.  The R39 million project in Gwaiing (George) where the road is upgraded from gravel to tar, will be completed in the next financial year and will stretch over a period of 18 months.

Uplifting communities and making an impact

All these projects are labour intensive and with that in mind, Mr Daniels reiterated the importance of labour and the transfer of skills, when he said:  “These are our main priorities for our communities before we complete and leave the area.  Through our projects, we want to leave behind a skilled community and we plan to do the same for all our other projects”.

In explaining his statement, Mr Daniels added:  “When GRDM Roads Services complete our work at a site (roads and infrastructure), we also leave behind a community that is uplifted and skilled, due to the monitory value invested in that community for a period of two years”. He further added:  “We are not here only to deliver services, but we are also here to uplift the community from their social struggles, even if we only change 20 to 30% of their circumstances”. Adding to this, Mr Daniels clarified his statement by sketching the following scenario:  “If a little boy attends school and his dad is unemployed, the teacher might ask him what his dad does for a living and the boy might shy away. After GRDM Roads appoints the dad on a two year contract and the teacher asks the boy again what his dad does for a living, only then will the boy confidently and proudly raise from his chair, wearing new shoes and clothes and answer:  ‘My dad is a road builder!’. What this means, is that these new shoes and clothes were afforded by his dad who acquired a job at GRDM Roads – GRDM Roads indirectly supplied the boy with the new clothing. This will not only stay behind in the mind of the boy, but in the minds of the children of the community, and this is what we do – to uplift,” Mr Daniels highlighted.

Mr Daniels extended a word of appreciation to all the Roads staff by saying: “I thank each and every one of you for your commitment, endurance and work ethic. We made history by spending R200 million for the year!”

Are we better prepared to deal with fire disasters?

“Blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, the Garden Route can be a deadly deceiving place, as the recent wildfire catastrophes and crippling drought proved,” says Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

“The one question which we are likely to discuss at the Annual Fire Commemoration event and Climate Change and Adaptation Indaba on 7 June, is if we are now better prepared to deal with a repeat of the 2017 and 2018 fire disasters, or if we are increasingly relying on fire-fighting capacity on the ground and from the air,” says Dr Viljoen.

“In many instances, the very same conditions conducive to set the scene for out of control wildfire, such as regrowth of invasive alien plants which burnt down with the last wildfire, are again a feature on the landscape. Built-up areas in the rural/ urban interface are often still exposed to the build-up of biomass in the landscape, providing ample fuel for runaway wildfire. We do get the sense that communities are often vaguely aware of potential dangers, but are slow to react proactively, therefore we have to focus on investing in a better-informed fire-wise community.”

“Similarly, constant rain during the past weeks and months along the Garden Route creates a false sense of security against drought, but the regional population most certainly must prevail with fresh water conservation measures to permanently reduce consumption, and to accept those measures as a new way of life,” says Dr Viljoen.

More information on the upcoming event will be made available in due course.


** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.


Dr Nina Viljoen: Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Tel/Cell: +27 (0)44 803 1318 | +27 (0)67 035 9203


Acting Speaker elected by GRDM Council

Cllr Barend Groenewald, has been elected by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council on 28 May 2019, to act as Speaker. Both sides of the house nominated Cllr Groenewald for the position. This move comes after the previous Speaker of GRDM, Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies, submitted her resignation as Speaker on 8 May 2019. She is now a member of the National Assembly.

During Cllr Groenewald’s first address to Council, he said: “I will, at all times, act in a way that is acceptable to Council.” Cllr Groenewald previously acted in the position of Speaker before Cllr Bouw-Spies was appointed and he is well-known to Councillors for the humble and dignified manner in which he conducts proceedings of Council.|

Councillor Eleanore Bouw-Spies was Speaker from 13 December 2018 till 8 May 2019. During a short interview with her, she said: “It is a dream come true and indeed the top of the iceberg for any politician to represent voters at a level where:

  • laws are passed,
  • oversight of the executive and organs of state provided,
  • facilitation of public participation takes place
  • Promoting and overseeing cooperative governance; and
  • participating in international, regional and continental bodies.”


World No-Tobacco Day 2019

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with George Municipality, Department of Health, Breede Gouritz Catchment Agency, CANSA and Cape Nature will embark on a silent march this Friday, 31 May 2019 in celebrating World No-Tobacco Day. The march will start at 10H00 at GRDM (Head office), proceeding up York Street, right at Hibernia Street, and then a turn will be taken at Cradock Street, marchers will proceed towards Engen garage, from there, those marching will move back to GRDM (Head office).

World No-Tobacco Day is held across the world every year on 31 May.  The theme from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for 2019 is “Tobacco and Lung Health”.  It highlights the link between the use of tobacco products and lung diseases.

The campaign will increase awareness on:

  • the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease,
  • the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.
  • implications of second-hand exposure for lung health of people across age groups

Each year, the WHO selects a theme for the day in order to create a more unified global message for World No-Tobacco Day. The focus this year is on the harmful effects that all tobacco products have on the health of lungs and even more so, the undeveloped lungs of babies and children.

According to WHO, globally an estimated 165 000 children die before the age of five (5) of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke. Those who live on into adulthood continue to suffer the health consequences of second-hand smoke exposure, as frequent lower respiratory infections in early childhood significantly increase risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adulthood.

The poisons in tobacco smoke inhaled by pregnant women or second hand smoke exposure experienced by them, will affect an unborn baby which may result in low birth weight, a cleft lip or palate. Babies also risk being born prematurely.

“Looking after little lungs” is a call-to-action to raise awareness that active and passive smoking of those around children can affect their underdeveloped lungs so increasing their chances of getting pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and continuous ear infections. Pregnant women should never smoke a hookah (water pipe) as that is the same as inhaling 100 cigarettes in one session.  Parents and other caregivers should smoke outside the house and never in a vehicle if there is a child under 18 years present. Smoke stays on the breath of a smoker so parents should take a few deep breaths before going into the house.  Smoke particles can also stick to clothing which the child can inhale causing lung damage.

People who have tuberculosis should not smoke at all because of the double burden placed on the lungs, which will increase the risk of disability and death from respiratory failure.  Those who have diabetes should not smoke either as it can restrict blood-flow to the legs, which increases the risk of gangrene and amputations.

Tobacco smoke can hang in the air for up to five hours, exposing those passing through to an increase in respiratory diseases, cancers and reduced lung function.

It is better never to start smoking because it is known to be difficult to end the cycle. Smoking cessation is possible and it has huge health benefits.


Weather Alert – Heavy Rain

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

Hazard: Heavy Rain

Alert Level: Watch
Valid From (SAST): 27/05/2019 – 16h00
Valid To (SAST): 27/05/2019 – 23h00

Area: Expected over the eastern mountainous regions of the Garden Route late afternoon today into the evening (Monday).

Description: Flooding / Heavy Rain

Flooding occurs when water overflows its normal channels such as streams and storm water drains. It can occur with prolonged period of rain, with continuous heavy falls or in the form of flash floods which are usually associated with severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain may also result in river flooding causing damage downstream to areas that may receive no rainfall at all during the flooding event.

Precautions: Flooding / Heavy Rain

  • If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles.
  • If trapped in flooding in a vehicle, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level.
  • Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building.
  • In rural areas protect/relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground. Abandon your home immediately if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water.
  • NEVER drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

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




The Hessequa Municipality in collaboration with the Provincial Treasury and the Garden Route District Municipality is hosting a SUPPLIER OPEN DAY at Hessequa Municipality.

The aim of the Supplier Open Day is to invite prospective providers of goods and services to apply for listing as accredited prospective providers and to provide information on procurement opportunities. The aim is to provide information to emerging local suppliers through the District Municipality, Provincial Treasury and other role players such as SEDA and SARS. Local suppliers are hereby invited to attend the Open Day to promote and equip their business more successfully.

In-depth sessions will take place with the following commodities:
• Catering and Security Awareness
• Central Supplier Database / Western

Cape Supplier database registrations Supplier Open Day takes place on:
DATE: Wednesday, 22 May 2019
LOCATION: Thusong Centre, Van den Berg Street Riversdale
TIME: 08:00 -16: 00

Interested Service Providers within the Hessequa Region should contact the Hessequa Municipality Supply Chain Management Unit for any queries contact:

Supply Chain Management
Contact Person: Ellouise Prins
Phone number: 028-7137986

Click here to download the Notice.

Meet the GRDM Internal Audit Team, fltr: Mr Siphelele Notyhanga (Internal Auditor), Ms Pamela Lufele (Senior Internal Auditor, now Acting Chief Audit Executive) and Ms Mariska Pieterse (Internal Auditor).

Garden Route DM’s Internal Audit Unit’s Motto:

“Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success”

What Is Internal Auditing?

Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organisation’s operations.

Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Internal Audit Team affiliates with the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA). The IIA SA is part of an international network representing the interests of Internal Auditors worldwide.

As part of this international network, the IIA SA upholds and supports the fundamental principles of the profession – its Code of Ethics, the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) and International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF).


Why International Internal Auditors Month?

The IIA SA encourages its members, chapters and institutes around the world to actively promote internal auditing’s value during the month of May.

Annually, and especially during the month of May, the following misconceptions about the role of an internal auditor, are addressed:

 Myth #1:  Internal auditors are accountants by training

There is an obvious grain of truth in this myth as an accounting background can be helpful for a career in internal auditing. However, internal auditors commonly address fraud risks, compliance issues, and a myriad of operational issues that are unrelated to accounting, therefore the auditors’ backgrounds are likely to be as diverse as the operations they audit.

A recent survey by IIA SA indicated that executives are now recruiting applicants with analytical/critical thinking ability, data mining skills, business acumen, and information technology skills more frequently than applicants with training in accounting.

Myth #2: Auditors are nit-pickers and fault-finders

At the heart of several jokes about internal auditors is the misperception that internal auditors are dead-set on picking apart processes and ruining the reputations of the people who do the “real work”.

In reality, internal audit’s focus is on major risks rather than on nit-picked issues. Audit resources are limited and when auditors focus too much attention on minor issues, they are limiting the time available for addressing the major risks and controls that are at the heart of the audit.

Any auditor would rather report on major cost savings than a minor error.

Myth #3: It’s best not to tell the auditors anything unless they specifically ask

This myth can be actively damaging, it results in less efficient audits and wastes everyone’s time.

If auditors believe that their clients are purposefully hiding information, whether by omission or commission, they will normally increase the scope of the audit to determine whether other important information has gone unreported.

The purpose of internal auditing is to add value and improve an organisation’s operations, and hiding information is against everyone’s best interests.

Myth #4: Internal auditors select certain audits and use standard checklists

This myth is less true with each passing year. Professional standards require risk-based plans to determine our priorities, both in developing audit plans and in planning individual audits. Obviously some risks justify repeat audits on a regular basis and there are certain types of audits required by regulators (e.g. compliance reviews). But in general, internal auditing has become a dynamic profession that changes as an organisation’s risks change.

Myth #5: Internal audit is the corporate police function

In my opinion, the best auditors are almost always those who create a relationship with audit customers. When an auditor’s behaviour is accusing or aggressive, they are far more likely to be met with resistance rather than when they treat findings as an opportunity to assist in accomplishing objectives and facilitate improvement.

“Changing perceptions takes time but with collaborated efforts, we can break down these stereotypes. Our profession’s image is rapidly improving but more work has to be done to enhance our stakeholders’ understanding of our profession. Each of us can help to re-shape these myths and misperceptions through sharing pertinent information” said Lufele.


Council and management rely on internal auditors for insight and objective assurance, ensuring that existing internal controls are adequate to mitigate the organisation’s risks, governance and risk management processes are optimised. Lastly, internal auditors provide assurance and consultation services to assist the organisation in achieving its goals and strategic objectives as stipulated in the Integrated Development Plan.

True Professionals

Internal auditors have to be well-disciplined in their craft. The GRDM Internal Auditing team embodies this workmanship through a commitment to growth, development and fulfilling their roles and responsibilities effectively.  Acting Chief Audit Executive, Ms Pamela Lufele said: “To fulfil our roles effectively, we must be alert about emerging issues and quick to react with long-lasting solutions. My team has business acumen and critical thinking skills required of the job. It’s certainly not easy, but for these skilled and competent professionals, it’s all in a day’s work.”

“Last but not least, we would like to convey our gratitude to the GRDM Council, management and Audit Committee for entrusting us with this great responsibility and for the tremendous support they have afforded us through the years,” said Lufele.

Wildfire in Ruitersbos, Mossel Bay

Garden Route Wildfire Update, Ruitersbos 2019/05/14 @ 13:45

Ruiterbos Wildfire Extinguished

Garden Route District Municipality’s fire fighters have departed from the Ruitersbos area. Cape Nature and Witfontein Working on Fire crew members will continue with mopping-up operations and will monitor the area for any flare-ups.


Garden Route Fire Update, Ruitersbos 2019/05/14 @ 11:00

Affected area stretching over approximately 6 hectares. The wildfire is reported to be under control and not posing a threat to life or infrastructure.

Role players / teams on the scene:
Garden Route DM
Mossel Bay Municipality
Cape Nature


Garden Route Fire Update, Ruitersbos 2019/05/14 @ 10:00

Mossel Bay Fire Services requested assistance from Garden Route District Municipality Fire Services.

Initial Response:
5 Crew
1 Skid Unit
1 Medium Pumper

Issued by Garden Route DM


More updates will be posted to our social media page: