Garden Route District Municipality’s new Speaker, Alderlady Georlene Raquel Wolmarans, is not new to Local Government. Ald. Wolmarans formed part of the GRDM Council from November 2019, and she’s been an Executive Mayor and Speaker of Knysna Municipality in the past.
Born 1972 in Riversdale, she is a wife to Daniel Wolmarans and a mother of three daughters, Georney, Danelle and Cherne. She has a history of being in leadership positions, which started during her Secondary Education when she was the head girl of Gerrit du Plessis High School in Riversdale, where she matriculated in 1989. Three years later, she moved to Knysna and landed a job in retail management, where she worked for nearly a decade. After that, she joined politics by forming part of the Independent Democrats (ID) in 2004. This means that she has, on the day of her being elected as Speaker at GRDM, 17 years of experience in Local Government.
During the start of her political journey, she was one of the critical players involved in establishing ID branches in Knysna. This was followed by her becoming a Proportional Representation (PR) Councillor for the ID in the Knysna Municipal Council. In 2007, Speaker Wolmarans was elected deputy leader, and later leader, of the ID, Western Cape. She was also the deputy chairperson of the province’s South African Local Government Association (SALGA). In 2009 she completed an Executive Leadership Development Programme for Municipal Councillors at the University of the Western Cape. A year later, in September 2010, Speaker Wolmarans joined the Democratic Alliance (DA) and was co-opted as a member of the party’s East region management team.
She is also very active in her community. Speaker Wolmarans served on the School Governing body of Sunridge Primary School from 2004 till 2010. Having served as Chairperson of Child Welfare South Africa, serving on the board of Knysna Alcohol Drug Centre (KADC) and the Senethemba Youth Development Centre in Knysna, she is passionate about social issues and the youth.
Currently, she is the interim DA Women’s Network interim Leader for the East Region and the Secretary of the DA Knysna Constituency. Wolmarans has been a member of the South African Local Government Association executive since 2007.
In her spare time, she enjoys biking with her husband and friends. She also loves spending time with her three (3) grandchildren.