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12 December 2023 Media Release: Two more awards for the GRDM Communications Team

Media Release: Two more awards for the GRDM Communications Team

For Immediate Release
12 December 2023

The Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Communication Team has won two of the South African Local Government Association’s (SALGA) National Communicators Forum Awards. The one for the “Most Innovative Communications Team” and the second for the “Most Proactive and Responsive Communication Team” at a district municipal level. Previously, the GRDM Communicators also won the SALGA “Most Updated Social Media Platforms” award. The SALGA award ceremony took place in Durban at the ICC on 11 December 2023. The team was up against stiff competition with 43 other district municipalities across South Africa participating.

GRDM’s team consists of five Communicators: Herman Pieters (Communication Mgr.), Marillia Veldkornet (Snr. Communicator), Marlene Nqumse (Snr. Communicator), Vuyolwethu Notyeke (Multimedia Communicator) and Xola Makinana (Intern). Three (3) members, Herman, Marlene and Marillia, have already been working together for over 13 years.

During an Ordinary Council meeting on 12 December, Alderman Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor and Council also congratulated the team on their wins: “Well done and indeed and keep up the good work”. GRDM Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, was also pleasantly surprised with the awards, which come at a time when the municipality also achieved its third consecutive Clean Audit.

According to SALGA, “This is a team that has shown innovative solutions on various platforms to create awareness, keep communities informed and encouraged citizens to take part in municipal activities to ensure that the local government agenda is achieved”. Also in the second category, SALGA says: “This award is for a communications team that is always proactively promoting local government and serving communities, this refers to a team that actively engages with communities on various platforms, create awareness on municipal services and profiles service delivery programmes and events.”

GRDM Communicators recently launched a podcast channel and also partnered with “All Things Vuma Garden Route” to promote the region. According to Pieters, many municipalities already utilise AI to make better decisions, faster and smarter. The GRDM team also utilises AI to generate artwork for educational purposes. “We work hand in glove with our institution’s Health Education Committee to produce images from text prompts. These images are then repurposed to tell stories to children through posters, booklets, and more,” says Pieters.

The GRDM Communications team forms part of a municipality which was also recently achieved the following:

  • Clean Audit for a third consecutive year;
  • Toughest Firefighter Alive South Africa;
  • Developed the first-ever municipal health dashboard in South Africa;
  • Most simplified Integrated Development Plan in the Western Cape.

In line with the GRDM’s vision of being the leading, enabling, and inclusive district, characterised by equitable and sustainable development, high quality of life, and equal opportunities for all, the GRDM Communication Team has demonstrated its dedication to innovation and excellence.