Media Release: Roads employees bid farewell to a dedicated colleague – Luleka Yoli passes away
For Immediate Release
16 September 2021
Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), particularly the Roads Department, learned about the passing of a colleague, Luleka Yoli, on 9 September 2021.
The late Yoli was a mother of two and passed away in Riversdale at the age of 39.
Her colleagues at GRDM mourn her death as she was, as many describe her, “a loyal and friendly team member – a family member”. She served the Roads Department for 13 years since her appointment on 05 March 2009. Before her departure, she was a member of the Regravel team based in the Riversdale area.
During this period, her colleagues had the opportunity to work with her, and they all shared a common field of specialisation in road works – the re-gravelling of roads in Riversdale. Fulfilling her role to the best of her ability confirms her sterling work ethic and dedication as employee.
Jacques Joseph, Superintendent of the GRDM Riversdale Roads Maintenance, said: “It was a privilege to work with Ms Yoli; as much as she was a friendly person at work, she remained a hardworking and reliable individual”. He added: “It almost feels as if we have lost a family member; she was our sister, and we are going to miss her tremendously, but we know how she battled with her health and for that we grant her eternal rest. She will always live on in our hearts,” he added.
Senior Supervisor of the late Luleka, John Hartnick, remembers Luleka as a well-mannered and respected employee. “She was always ready to do and give her best in the workplace. We also could easily share personal information with her, given her empathy for others and how she carried the best interest of her colleagues at heart”.
GRDM will host an official memorial service to celebrate her life at the municipality’s Council Chambers on Friday, 17 September 2021 at 10:00. Family members, friends, colleagues and members of the public, who will not be in attendance, are invited to follow the proceedings through the municipality’s YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/QljDWhilyTQ or join the webinar at: https://gardenroute.zoom.us/j/96429186478.
Luleka Yoli, may your precious soul rest in peace.
Media Release: Government stakeholders plant trees at the Provincial Launch of National Arbor Month in George
8 September 2021 For immediate release
“Your presence at this event, is an indication that you care, that you embrace what nature can give to us,” were the opening words of Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Alderman Memory Booysen, to the stakeholders at the Provincial launch of National Arbor Month celebrations in George.
The event took place at the Garden Route Botanical Gardens on Friday, 2 September 2021.
Representatives from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), the Department of Water and Sanitation, GRDM, the South African National Parks (SANParks), Cape Nature, the Garden Route Botanical Garden, Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency and George Municipality, attended the occasion.
Alderman Booysen, during his opening remarks said that Arbor Month should be a continuous awareness programme, “a continuous initiative that sets the tone for the whole South Africa, on how we balance nature with what people want”.
Mayor Booysen also shared an idea with the audience which he came across in Morocco, where a fruit tree is planted adjacent to every indigenous tree. These trees are planted within the communities where people are in close proximity to it. He further stated: “We need to start debating the issue on how we can deal with food security while planting indigenous trees at the same time”.
“We also have to determine how it can be managed as a job creation initiative because if we do not deal with humanitarian issues, people will put pressure on the issues,” Booysen emphasised. Referring to the involvement of the youth, he said that it is evident that they show interest in the well-being of the environment, but “we need to lay the foundation for such initiatives where jobs can be created while dealing with food security simultaneously”.
During his keynote address, Acting Regional Head for Western Cape DFFE, Mr Masithandaze Falitenjwa, shared this year’s Arbor month theme, ‘Forest Restoration: a path to recovery and well-being’. With this theme he said that the campaign encourages the celebration of South African trees. It also aims to create awareness of the importance of trees. He furthermore encouraged every person to “protect our indigenous forests, to help prevent veld and wildfires”. He further emphasised that planting a tree to green our country will help mitigate climate change.
In response to the scenario shared by Mayor Booysen, he confirmed that planting fruit trees is part of the programme of the Department of DFFE. He also mentioned the significance of community involvement in their plans by saying: “If we do not include the community in our campaigns and plans, we will be fighting a losing battle. In terms of the initiatives of the DFFE, he admitted that partners and government institutions should become involved in these initiatives. He confirmed that DFFE sourced 200 trees for municipalities of the Garden Route as part of their “Tree for Life” Programme. In closing he highlighted: “Let us ‘green’ the Garden Route and turn it into a “Garden of Eden”.
Mrs Vuyiswa Thabethe, Regional Manager of SANParks in the Garden Route, left some ‘food for thought’ with all delegates when she shared that over the years of celebrating Arbour Month by planting trees, it provides for a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management. She then asked what the impact of our Arbor Month is when we are planting these trees and conducting awareness campaigns. “Does our society understand the value of the initiative?” In response to her question, she commented that if this answer is “yes”, we can pat ourselves on the back and say: “We are doing a good job”. She emphasised that we need to see the impact of similar initiatives, because “if one takes care of the trees, they will definitely take care of us in the future”.
During his address, the Acting Director of Water and Sanitation Services Support, Mr Zolile Simawo, explained the history of Arbor Month and their Department’s relevance in the the month’s activities. He encouraged communities, government departments, non-governmental organisations, non-profit organisations and communities, to plant indigenous trees. He said that planting trees would aid in sustaining the environment, sustain biodiversity (fauna and flora), provide clean air, given the major industrial activities and the pollution it creates, beautifying South Africa and conserve water.
Ald. Leon van Wyk, Executive Mayor of George, extended a word of appreciation to all departments for their contributions. He further said: “We need to continuously look at initiatives to maintain the green within our Garden Route and to maintain the sustainability thereof”. After the formal programme, both Executive Mayors, Ald. Booysen and Alderman Van Wyk, along with the stakeholders present, planted a tree at the Garden Route Botanical Garden as a symbol of their commitment to mitigating climate change.
The event was organised by GRDM Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation Practitioner, Dr Nina Viljoen, in collaboration with participating departments. The programme was directed by Corne Brink from the Garden Route Botanical Garden.
Media Release: GRDM appoints unemployed youth to relieve healthcare professionals at vaccination sites
For Immediate Release 1 September 2021
Since the COVID-19 Vaccination Program was launched, more than 60 000 Garden Routers have already been vaccinated. These include Health Care Workers, residents and staff at Old Age Homes educators, and public members at various community vaccination sites.
However, being a double dose, the Pfizer vaccine adds an extra administrative challenge at vaccination sites, as people have to go through the administrative process twice. Currently, the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) registration portal is open for persons older than 18 years, and the influx of people at the identified sites is causing extra pressure on healthcare professionals.
The President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, stated in his presidential address on 11 July 2021, that the quantities of imported and locally produced vaccines will double and even triple soon.
More vaccines will result in more vaccination sites and a need for additional administrative personnel. For this reason and due to a request received from the Provincial Department of Health, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently appointed unemployed youth to assist nurses at the vaccination sites. The project is an initiative of the Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, and is managed by the GRDM Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
Administrative Assistants appointed at the various sites within the Garden Route district, to relieve healthcare professionals with their administrative duties.
These administrative assistants are placed at the following sites: Alma CDC, Mossel Bay Town Hall, D’Almeida Hall, Wolwedans Community Hall, Groot Brak, Knysna CDC, Knysna Town Hall, Knysna Town Hall, Plett Town Clinic, Kwanokuthula CDC, Thembalethu CDC, Pacaltsdorp Clinic, George Hospital, George Central Clinic, Harry Comay Hospital, Riversdale Civic Centrum, Riversdale Civic Centrum, Still Bay Civic Centre, Toekomsrust Community Hall and Toekomsrust Community Hall. They effectively started with their duties on 1 August 2021. and focus on the administrative responsibilities to relieve nurses to focus primarily on their core function.
According to Richard Dyantyi, EPWP Manager at GRDM, the team was appointed to serve a period of six months until the end of January 2021. He said: “We are reviewing the impact of the project monthly to determine the effectiveness of this intervention. Adding to this he said: “Based on the impact of the intervention, we will consider the expansion of the initiative to other areas as advised by the Provincial Department of Health”. The initiative was influenced by the high unemployment rate of 34, 4% as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, all administrative assistants were unemployed, reside in the Garden Route district, have matric, and have basic computer literacy skills – the ideal characteristics of administrators needed to implement this programme”.
“While relieving our healthcare professionals with their workload, we simultaneously create employment for our youth, who did not have the basic means of income,” Mayor Booysen said. “This is what we as a District Municipality aims to do, is to put bread on the table for our vulnerable – to maintain our vision by ensuring inclusiveness of all the people we serve,” he concluded.
Lonwabo Luthango from the GRDM Disaster Management Centre is appointed to act as project manager of this initiative and to oversee the administration of the appointments.
Feature Image: Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen (middle), with Charlene Magdalene Barnardo (left) and Lyzette Elzane Stroebel (right) at the Knysna Town Hall vaccination site.
Qolweni sod-turning is the start of improved living conditions
Today, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers conducted a sod-turning to officially launch the Qolweni 169 Phase 3A Project in the Plettenberg Bay community.
This project, which has a budget allocation of R 33,5 million excluding professional fees, was approved in October 2019. Construction of the 169 units had to commence in January 2021. Due to various challenges between the Bitou Municipality, the contractor appointed by them, and community dynamics, this could not occur.
After numerous community protests, the Bitou Municipality handed the project over to the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WCDoHS) on 18 June 2021. Regrettably, the WCDoHS could not immediately commence with the project, as the contractor that was appointed by the municipality threatened the Provincial Department with legal action and an interdict, should the WCDoHS start with the project.
Minister Simmers said: “Today’s sod-turning is an exciting moment for the people of Qolweni. Now the most vulnerable, particularly the elderly and those living with medically certified disabilities, will have an opportunity to live in improved and safer conditions. This is only the start of our commitment we made to the community in June when this project was handed over to us. The entire Plettenberg Bay can undoubtedly celebrate this joyous occasion.
I call on all stakeholders to ensure that there are no further hindrances or delays in this project. As the provincial and local sphere of government we’re working together and trust that the community will fully participate in this development. This is particularly important in the protection and safeguarding of the site and all materials. Since taking the project over, we’ve had regular and transparent engagements with all stakeholders. We therefore call for dialogue, should any issue for any reason arise.”
This project is expected to be concluded towards the end of 2022.
“As the Western Cape Government we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open society,” added Simmers.
Members of the public is invited to submit written comments or representations to the municipality in respect of this document. All comments and inputs must be directed to “The Municipal Manager, Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George 6530”.