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Author: Herman Pieters

01 December 2023 Media Release: Garden Route DM achieves a hat-trick Clean Audit!

Garden Route DM achieves a hat-trick Clean Audit!

1 December 2023

It is with great excitement that we share with you that the Auditor General of South Africa announced late last night, 30 November 2023, that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) achieved its third (3rd) consecutive Clean Audit.

“Congratulations to all employees who worked tirelessly in the background to help us to achieve another huge milestone, this time around for the 2022/23 financial year,” said Monde Stratu, GRDM Municipal Manager.

The GRDM is committed to its culture of good governance, accountability, and sound financial management. The institution will keep the bar raised to the standard it has set out to.


30 November 2023 Media Release: Municipal resorts and caravan parks are ready for the high-season

Media Release: Municipal resorts and caravan parks are ready for the high-season

For Immediate Release
30 November 2023

Throughout the year, Mayoral Committee members oversee their respective portfolios. The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Mayoral Committee Member overseeing Properties and Asset Management, Cllr Jobieth Hoogbaard, along with the members of his portfolio, embarked on visits early this week to the GRDM municipal resorts in anticipation of the upcoming high season. These oversight visits hold significant importance as they hold the GRDM administration responsible for its management of the municipal resorts and caravan parks. This ensures that service delivery remains both effective and efficient in the lead-up to the high season.

Cllr Jobieth, following his visit said: “I visited the resorts with my fellow Councillors, Alderman Petru Terblanche (Portfolio Chairperson for Roads and Transport Planning), Cllr Hilton Stroebel and Cllr Russel Arends, as well as the acting manager for Projects, Properties, Facilities and Resort Management, Shehaam Sims.”

Hoogbaard and his delegates visited the following four municipal resorts and caravan parks: Calitzdorp Hot Springs, De Hoek Mountain Resort, Victoria Bay Caravan Park and Swartvlei Caravan Park. He commented that the resorts are clean and ready for the high influx of guests who are expected to arrive from 14 December until 15 January 2024 – high season.

Bookings for De Hoek Mountain Resort are mostly full over weekends with a few days open during the week. For those interested in grabbing the last opportunity to book, visit Similarly, Calitzdorp Hot Springs also has some spaces open and bookings can be made via the website Swartvlei ( and Victoria Bay Caravan Parks ( are fully booked for the high season.

All websites of the resorts and caravan parks were recently redeveloped and boast a new, fresh look, with updated pictures and detailed information and pricing.

“I trust that all guests will have an enjoyable experience while staying at our resorts. If there are issues, please e-mail them to,” said Hoogbaard.

Delegates at Calitzdorp Hot Springs (from left to right): Cllr Russel Arends, Elmo Labuscagne (Acting Manager: Calitzdorp Hot Springs), Cllr Jobieth Hoogbaard (Chairperson: Assets and Property Management), Luyolo Ndima (Human Settlement Intern), Ald. Petru Terblanche (Portfolio Chairperson: Roads and Transport Planning Services), and Cllr Hilton Stroebel.


2023 11 17 Public Notice: Strategic Engagement Session at Swartvlei Caravan Park on 1 December 2023


Notice 153/2023

01 DECEMBER 2023

Notice is hereby given that the Garden Route District Municipality Year End Strategic Engagement will be held on 1 December 2023 at Swartvlei Strategic Park, Sedgefield, on 01 December 2023.

Program of the event:
During this session the Municipality will be discussing its strategic plan and commitments for the upcoming financial 2024/2025. financial year. The event will also have guest speakers which will be addressing the Municipality on World AIDs Day, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and Road Safety for the festive season.

The event will take place from 07h30 until 17h00 on 01 December 2023.

Should the public have any objections or queries regarding the event, they are welcome to contact: Mrs Medron Bussack (Acting Manager at Swartvlei Caravan Park) on/or before 22 November 2023 via e-mail to

MG Stratu
Municipal Manager
Garden Route District Municipality
54 York Street
PO Box 12
Tel: 044 803 1300

26 October 2023 Media Release: Collapse of natural infrastructure proves costly in Kaaimans

Media Release: Collapse of natural infrastructure proves costly in Kaaimans

For Immediate Release
26 October 2023

“Following heavy and consistent rain on Saturday, 21 October 2023, the collapse of a seep-line on the western slope of the Kaaimans gorge caused a landslide leading to the temporary closure of the N2 highway. This left the mountainside scarred with severe loss of indigenous vegetation,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

Streams, seep-lines and wetlands on mountain slopes play an important role in ensuring the geological integrity of mountain slopes and their ability to direct and absorb water flow. Sand dunes, rivers, streams, mountain catchments, forests and many other examples are referred to as natural infrastructure, and collectively they play an irreplaceable role in ensuring the well-being of nature and the human population it supports.

Hard infrastructure, such as the N2 highway is constructed on a sensitive and geologically unstable mountain slope through Wilderness and the Kaaimans gorge. This type of area is prone to landslides and will always be at risk of mountainside collapse (or partial collaps) under certain circumstances such as torrential rain. The impact of invasive alien plants on the landscape and upper catchments affecting river function and health, also has negative snowball effects on rivers and streams to cope with large volumes of water flow during floods. This is because it strips river banks of natural vegetation binding river banks and protecting soils.

Indigenous vegetation plays a vital and irreplaceable role in ensuring soil stability on steep slopes, and unfortunately, the forests on the western slope of Kaaimans gorge, have in recent years been badly affected by a creeper plant overgrowing forest vegetation. This type of vegetation causes the collapse of the forest canopy under its weight with trees dying off. It then leaves the seep-line and rivulet’s shallow soil structure susceptible to collapse once it becomes waterlogged. Sufficient surface vegetation would have kept it firmly in place and prevented it from sliding downward.

Rehabilitating the damaged water course in Kaaimans will pose a challenge as all the vegetation and topsoil slid down the slope and washed away. It should be considered to investigate the stability of the remainder of the western slope to determine if is stable or posing further risks to the N2 highway.

“Invasive alien plants are very likely to claim the scar left by the landslide as they outcompete indigenous vegetation in terms of new growth,” says Meiring.

Given the changing climate and rainfall patterns, which increase the probability of episodic rain storms along the Garden Route, the region is likely to experience repeated damage to its road and rail infrastructure in the near future.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a public platform for landowners and environmental managers in the Southern Cape.

Photo: Landslide scar in Kaaimans gorge

Caption: Collapse of indigenous forest poses a further potential threat of landslides


22 September 2023 Impact-Based Severe Weather Warnings – Level 6 for Damaging Waves, Severe Thunderstorms and Damaging Winds

Three severe weather alerts have been issued and are expected to impact various areas within the Garden Route district.

Warnings are all valid from Sunday, 24 September at 00:00 in the morning until 00:00 on Monday 25 September 2023.

Towns to be impacted by DAMAGING WINDS and SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS in the region include all towns – Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Kannaland, and Oudtshoorn.

All coastal towns of the Garden Route will be impacted by DAMAGING WAVES – these include Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, and Hessequa.

  • Level 6 for Damaging Winds (high likelihood, with a significant impact)
  • Level 6 for Severe Thunderstorms (high likelihood, with a significant impact)
  • Level 6 for Damaging Waves (high likelihood, with a significant impact)

Below find copies of the Severe Weather Alerts issued by the South African Weather Service.

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

Report weather-related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044 805 5071.