Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

10 June 2024 Media Release: Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen transitions to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament

Media Release: Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen transitions to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament

10 June 2024

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) announces that its Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen, has been nominated and accepted a position as a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament to represent the Democratic Alliance (DA). This significant career milestone for Booysen follows the outcomes of the recent National and Provincial Elections. Booysen’s tenure at the GRDM saw him completing his first term as the 7th Mayor, and re-elected as the 8th Executive Mayor of the district municipality.

To mark Booysen’s transition to the Provincial Parliament, a Special Council meeting was held on 7 June 2024, where he officially notified Council of his intent to resign as the Executive Mayor. He officially resigned on Saturday, 8 June 2024. This move is in line with the law, as no political office bearer is allowed to simultaneously hold a position of a councillor,  as well  as a member of a Provincial Parliament.

The Special Council meeting also marked a bittersweet moment as the staff and Councillors were given a moment to bid farewell to him and reflect on his leadership. Firefighters of GRDM held a guard of honour while Emile Conrad played Auld lang Syne on his saxophone – symbolising endings and new beginnings.

Emile Conrad plays the saxophone while Mzwandile Nelani carries the South African Flag, while firefighters are standing in line for a guard of honour.

Later during the proceedings, Memory delivered his final council address and gave those present an overview of where he came from and reflected on his tenure  at the GRDM. Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu also shared his history of working with Memory and at the end, handed him a golden spade. The same spade was used to turn the sod at the Regional Fire Station and the Regional Waste Management Facility. The spade represents, as shared by the GRDM Speaker, Ald. Georlene Wolmarans – strength, reliability, practicality, growth, stability, resourcefulness and heritage.


Mayor Booysen took Council and the administration back in time when reflecting on his 18 years as a public representative. “My years in service have prepared me for where I am going.” He acknowledged that he could never have succeeded as a lone rider, thanking everyone for lifting him up and appreciating the officials for their support. He made a plea to all Councillors to continue respecting the work of GRDM officials.
He went further to explain that the reason he leads the way he does. “I started out as an independent councillor surrounded by big political parties, and at that time I experienced being disregarded and not having his representatives’ views heard. I know how it feels to be cornered, accused, and made to feel useless,” he said.

In light of this reflection, he therefore urged Councillors to continue offering opposition parties an opportunity to raise their voices and to listen to them. He thanked the Councillors by saying: “You all contributed to making us shine because by listening to the views of everyone, we were able to implement a few ideas I did not previously think of.”

Towards the end of his address, he emphasized the importance of never underestimating your peers and to avoid ‘stepping on others’. He said GRDM has prepared him for the road ahead.

He concluded by sharing that he would make sure that his path crosses again with the GRDM. In commending the GRDM Speaker he urged her to continue to always keeping to facts and giving all councillors an equal opportunity to share their views during Council discussions.


“Mayor, I’ve known you since 2008 when I first joined Bitou as a Senior Manager.” He said that fast-forwarding to today, it is a bittersweet moment to bid Booysen farewell. “Over these years, you have evolved from an independent Councillor to the Executive Mayor of Bitou, then GRDM, and now to the Provincial Parliament. We have shared both sorrow and joy, losing loved ones and gaining lifelong friends. Your leadership, especially during challenging times like the Covid-19 pandemic and the Knysna fires, has been remarkable.”

“In 2011, under your leadership as Executive Mayor of Bitou Municipality, you inspired us to excel, leaving a lasting legacy, especially in the Human Settlements Department.” Monde also referred to Booysen’s transformative leadership that guided the institution through the best and worst of times.

“Personally, I recall your support during my toughest moments, including my arrest for council-mandated work. Your friendship and reassurance were invaluable.”

Monde also referred to leadership and how it is never easy to navigate through, but that Booysen built a foundation of unity and growth for the GRDM.

Your departure ushers in uncertainty, but we trust in God’s guidance. As you move to Cape Town, remember that you have friends and family here who support you.

He thanked him for his service and leadership and shared that his prayers are for God to bless him and his family.


Booysen was one of the key stakeholders behind the construction and funding of the GRDM’s first Fire Station, which was officially unveiled on 2 February 2024. He championed the historical name change of this institution from Eden District Municipality to Garden Route District Municipality. Another feather in his cap was that Council also obtained three consecutive Clean Audits. The Garden Route Skills Mecca is also in existence because of his endorsement of it and trusting in the GRDM administration to make it work as it does today.

The Deputy Executive Mayor of GRDM, Advocate Gert van Niekerk, will assume an acting Mayoral role until council appoints a full-time Executive Mayor. The position for Mayorship has already been advertised and is expected to be filled before the end of June 2024.

The GRDM remains committed to building on the strong foundation he established, ensuring the district’s ongoing development and prosperity.