Author: Marillia Veldkornet

28 September 2023 Media Release: Klein Karoo and Mossel Bay EHPs celebrate World Environmental Health Day

Media Release: Klein Karoo and Mossel Bay EHP’S celebrate World Environmental Health Day

For immediate release
28 September 2023

The theme of World Environmental Health Day which is celebrated on 26 September 2023 was “Global Environmental Public Health: Standing up to protect everyone’s health each and every day”.

As part of the build–up activities towards World Environmental Health Day, the Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in the Klein Karoo region engaged in various activities to reach out to food handlers, crèches and community members to create awareness about the impact of the environment on our overall health and well-being.

The emphasis of the various awareness actions was to convey the message of the importance of a clean environment to ensure a good quality of health and life.

Illegal dumping awareness was done at crèches and in the community and health and hygiene awareness information was provided to persons in charge of -and food preparers of food premises.

It is important that children learn from a very young age to prevent littering and waste pollution and to use acceptable and appropriate methods that are available to dispose waste effectively. A clean environment encourages outdoor play without fear of children being injured by playing near waste heaps and trash.

Community members were sensitised on the fact that a clean neighbourhood free from illegal dumping holds many benefits to our communities and that a clean environment is a healthy environment. No illegal dumping means no pollution from hazardous substances and chemicals that could cause damage to the soil, the air and the surrounding groundwater. An environment, free from illegal dumping prevents the presence of insects like flies and mosquitoes, rodents like rats and mice, as well as bad smells. It furthermore ensures the health, safety and well-being of communities

According to the World Health Organisation statistics, an estimated 600 million people in the world fall ill because of contaminated food. A shocking 420 000 of these cases end in death each year. Regulation 638 of 2018 requires that all food premises, new and existing, have to be in possession of a Certificate of Acceptability. Also, the person in charge of -and any other person(s) working on the food premises must be adequately trained in the principles and practices of food safety and hygiene. Additionally, new innovations in food production, as well as the re-emergence of food-borne diseases must be adequately addressed to adapt to the changing conditions and environments.

Furthermore, in Mossel Bay the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners, serving the area, created awareness and shared valuable advice and useful information on how to keep food safe during periods of load shedding. The session took place at the Evethu Clinic.  As part of the programme, EHPs also disseminated pamphlets to visitors that were present during the session.

Click here to read more on how to keep food safe during loadshedding.

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22 September 2023 Media Release: Focus on the Garden Route District Municipality Industry Working Group

Media Release: Focus on the Garden Route District Municipality Industry Working Group

For immediate release
22 September 2023

The industry working group focusing on air quality management was established early in 2011, short after the new National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (NEMAQA) came into full effect on 1 April 2010 and the old Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act (APPA) of 1965 repealed.  The focus of the platform is to actively involve the industrial sector in Air Quality Management and to serve as a platform for information sharing and capacity building purposes.

A Working Group quarterly engagement.

The quarterly engagement include topics such as licence application procedures, the South African Atmospheric Emission Licensing & Inventory Portal (SAAELIP), emission monitoring and reporting, legislation and proposed amendment, etc.

As the time progressed, a self-compliance auditing system was introduced which requires industry to verify compliance with conditions of their Atmospheric Emission Licence. The compliance verification is completed on the municipal collaborator portal which is tailored to each individual AEL.

“Since the transition from APPA to NEMAQA, and the handover of the Atmospheric Emission Licence function from Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP) to the district, the working group from the district side is viewed not only for compliance purposes, but to improve service delivery, consultation, openness, and transparency and giving best value” said Dr Johann Shoeman, District Manager for Air Quality in the Garden Route.

Another achievement is that since its establishment, not one quarterly meeting was missed. “Even during Covid 19, we managed to hold meetings virtually and currently meetings are held hybrid to accommodate attendees from far,” Schoeman said.

The GRDM Air Quality unit is often complemented by external stakeholders, specifically on the Working Group and all indications are that this platform forms an essential part of managing air quality sufficiently in the Garden Route district.

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20 September 2023 Garden Route District Municipality and stakeholders collect nearly 500 bags of waste, including recyclable materials, in Thembalethu

Garden Route District Municipality and stakeholders collect nearly 500 bags of waste, including recyclable materials, in Thembalethu

Representatives from the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment (DFFE), with the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning, Garden Route District and George Municipalities, Cape Nature and stakeholders from the Private Sector including John Dory’s and the Spur Foundation, embarked on a clean-up operation near the Schaap-kop River on 15 September in Thembalethu, George.

The clean-up operation included 65 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) members, including a Working-on-Fire Team from George. The programme formed part of the Clean-Up and Recycle – South Africa initiative and was also part of the International Coastal Clean-Up Day that is celebrated in September each year. Approximately 100 participants, with the stakeholder representatives, rolled up their sleeves to clean up the littered area.

A few bags of waste collected at the site during the cleanup operation.

On behalf of CapeNature, Stakeholder Engagement Officer, Thabiso Mokoena, said that with the initiative and the impact of pollution on the environment, he hopes that it will inspire the community to do better in terms of how household waste is disposed of.  Katt Perry, Senior Manager at John Dory’s, said that they have a vested interest in the project, and she stressed that “if waste comes through the river, it will end up in the oceans and eventually, we won’t be able to help the fish that are disappearing”. Perry thanked participants present for their hard work and said: “It takes that one person to make a difference”.

Dawid Adonis, Director for Community Services at George Municipality, during his remarks said: “We need to make sure that we keep the environment clean – we need communities to assist us to keep our environment clean and take responsibility”. In addition, he said: “Each and every one of us is an ambassador to make sure that our households use the bags and separate household waste as it will help the municipality to take less waste to the landfill facility”.

Before the groups went into different directions, each with refuse bags, GRDM’s Waste Management Officer, Innocentia Sikweyiya, explained the purpose of the various bags and what waste types are allowed in the different bags”.

At the end of the event, more approximately 320 black bags and nearly 50 recyclable bags were collected. Thank you to all stakeholders and participants who formed part of this initiative.

Stakeholders and members from the WOF and EPWP teams during the Cleanup operation in Thembalethu.

Did you know?

  • BLUE/CLEAR bags are used for non-soiled recyclable materials, including plastic, paper, cardboard, glass etc.
  • GREEN bags are for green waste, including organic kitchen waste such as fruit and vegetable peels, as well as garden waste, including grass cuttings, leaves etc. No soil is allowed in green bags.
  • BLACK bags are for ‘wet’ waste, things that cannot be recycled.

How do you recycle?

  • PAPER that CAN be recycled: office paper, newspaper and magazines, cardboard (boxes flattened), brown paper bags, take away containers (food removed and rinsed), milk and juice cartons (rinsed and flattened) and books (hard covers removed).
  • PAPER that CANNOT be recycled: napkins, tissue paper, paper towels, wax paper, laminated or waxy paper, punch confetti, carbon paper and stickers.
  • METAL that CAN be recycled: cooldrink and beer cans, food tins (rinsed clean), metal lids of glass, jars, aluminium cans, rusty cans can be recycled and recycled batteries (taken to correct depot).
  • METAL that CANNOT be recycled: batteries, motor oil cans, paint and aerosol cans, and tinfoil.
  • GLASS that CAN be recycled: all colours of glass bottles and jars, beer and wine bottles (rinsed).
  • GLASS that CANNOT be recycled: mirrors and windows, ceramic, crystal, drinking glasses and light bulbs.
  • PLASTIC that CAN be recycled: all plastics numbers 1-7 (rinsed), grocery and retail plastic bags (clean) and milk sachets.
  • PLASTIC that CANNOT be recycled: cling wrap, and polystyrene (is recyclable but no facility on Garden Route for now).

ENDS

18 September 2023 Invitation to Tender/Quotation Submission – Construction of New Regional Waste Management Facility and associated Infrastructure

Project: The Construction of a New Regional Waste Management Facility and associated Infrastructure

Contract Number: GRDM/24/21-22

For attention: Interested Local SMMEs in the Garden Route

The Contractor wishes to invite all interested SMMEs in the Garden Route District For the Following Packages:
1. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/FENCE-01 – Supply and Erect new Temporary Fence 3.92 km
2. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/FENCE-02 – Supply and Erect new PetroSA internal security fence – 5.328 km
3. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/SECURITY-03 – Security Services
4. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/TRAINING-04 – Training
5. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/TRAINING-05 – Cut and stockpile material (Supply all plant required, Excavators, FEL, Tipper trucks and Dumpers)
6. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/TRAINING-06 – Remove topsoil and stockpile
7. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/TRAINING-07 – Laboratory Testing Services
8. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/TRAINING-08 – Supply of Diesel
9. GRDM/TEFLA/21-22/TRAINING-08 – Supply of Plant (yellow machines)

  • Briefing Session: Compulsory

Tender Briefing Session
Date: 22nd September 2023

Time: 11h00
Venue: Site Camp, Next to Gourikwa Landfill (PetroSA), Mossel Bay NB!

Tender documents will be issued during the tender briefing as per the attendance register.

Click here to open the Official Advert

14 September 2023 Media Release: GRDM Fire Services Public Education Interventions continue

Media Release: GRDM Fire Services Public Education Interventions continue

For immediate release
14 September 2023

The GRDM Fire Services visited various primary schools within our district over the months of August and September 2023.

Fire safety awareness and education interventions facilitated at schools play a crucial role in ensuring that whilst learners are in the learning environment, they are also exposed to information and educated on Fire Safety prevention at school, at home and outside in the environment.

Educators are also learning with the students. They all become aware of prevention and what actions to take within their immediate environment and share the message with family and friends at home. It is a three-step process, which includes Awareness, Prevention and how to deal with fire ignition and/or occurrence and/or how to escape and protect themselves in any specific situation, as well as alerting  the Fire Brigade Services about the incident.

Prioritising schools and in particular Primary Schools, is viewed as the most effective target audience in this regard.

Schools that were visited are as follows;

  • Avontuur Primary & Haarlem Primary – 03 August 2023
  • Herold Primary  – 10 August 2023
  • Geelhoutboom Primary – 29 August 2023
  • Hoogekraal Primary – 30 August 2023
  • Franken Primary – 5 September 2023
  • Diepkloof Primary – 7 September 2023

Some of the key learnings that students gained from fire safety education include:

Understanding Fire Basics:

  • The basic science of fire, including how it starts, spreads, and the elements necessary for combustion.

Unwanted Fire Prevention:

  • Common causes of fires, such as electrical faults, open flames, and flammable materials.
  • The importance of fire prevention measures, including proper storage of flammable materials, not overloading electrical outlets, and safe handling of ignition sources such as candles, stoves, etc., other appliances, e.g., gas heaters, electric heaters, leaving candles and cooking unattended.

Cautions with Matches and Lighters:

  • Not to play with matches or lighters and to immediately hand over to an adult if they find them.
  • Learning to recognise the early signs of a fire, such as the smell of smoke or the sound of a smoke detector.
  • Vegetation Fires: leaving ‘outside’ fires unattended that has the potential of starting vegetation fires, the dangers of starting vegetation fires, as well as how to make and confine fires in designated areas.

Dangers of Smoke(Carbon Monoxide Awareness)

  • The dangers of smoke, carbon monoxide inhalation, and in particular the dangers of ‘boma’ fires within the home.

Fire Safety Equipment:

  • Familiarisation with fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers, fire blankets and smoke alarms, as well as other measures that can be used, i.e., sand.
  • How to use a fire extinguisher properly and understanding its limitations.
  • Actions to take: Stop, Drop, and Roll.
  • Teaching the “stop, drop, and roll” technique in case of clothing catching fire.

Calling of Emergency number:

  • How to call emergency services in their immediate areas to report a fire.
  • Emphasising the importance of providing accurate information and remaining calm during the call and moving to designated safe places.

Fire safety education in schools not only imparts important life-saving knowledge but also instils a sense of responsibility and preparedness in learners and educators alike. It empowers them to take correct action in the event of a fire and to promote fire safe practices within their immediate communities.

Information supplied: Heinrich Leslie, GRDM Acting  Station Officer: Fire Services

ENDS

14 September 2023 Impact Based Weather Warnings and Advisory: Damaging Wings, Damaging Waves & Wet and Cold Conditions

Impact Based Weather Warnings and Advisory: Damaging Wings, Damaging Waves & Wet and Cold Conditions

The Cape Town Office has issued severe weather warnings for Damaging Winds, Damaging Waves and an Advisory for Very Cold, Wet and Windy conditions valid from Friday, 15 September to Sunday, 17 September 2023.

Areas affected by the damaging waves include Bitou, George, Hessequa, Knysna and Mossel Bay.Areas affected by the damaging winds include Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland.Oudtshoorn will be affected by the very cold, wet and windy conditions.

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

6 September 2023 Public Notice: Five (5) x 100 KVA Emergency Back-up Diesel powered Generators on order for the Garden Route District Municipality

Public Notice: Five (5) x 100 KVA Emergency Back-up Diesel powered Generators on order for the Garden Route District Municipality

After obtaining approval form both Provincial Treasury, as well as the Council of the Garden Route District Municipality for the rollover of the Emergency Municipal Loadshedding Relief Grant the Garden Route District Municipality could finally place an order to the successful bidder, AK Electrical Consultants, to supply and deliver five mobile 100 KVA diesel powered generators, to be used as back-up units during the current energy crisis.

These units will be placed at Garden Route District Municipal offices in the district to be available to assist as back-up power units in case of emergencies.

MG Stratu
Municipal Manager
54 York Street
PO Box 12
GEORGE
6530
Tel:   044 803 1300
Notice number: 122/2023

Click here to download the Official Notice

 

12 September 2023 Media Release: Addressing the complex challenges faced by children with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Media Release: Addressing the complex challenges faced by children with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

For immediate release
12 September 2023

International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)Awareness Day is commemorated annually on 9 September to create awareness among women and communities on the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This day also aims to shed light on the challenges and difficulties for both the mom and the child diagnosed with FASD.  The theme this year was  ‘beyond all limits’. We want to encourage individuals and the community at large to go ‘beyond all limits’ in supporting, caring for and loving those affected.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy results in a number of neurological, physical and mental conditions. ‘A child with foetal alcohol syndrome often presents with coordination difficulties, hyperactivity, poor judgement, poor impulse control, delayed gross motor development, sensory hypersensitivity and low frustration toleration,’ said Michelle Jenkins (occupational therapist, George Hospital).

Staff Nurse, Dornay Ceasar  said that these children are usually seen for assessment and then referred to the patient’s nearest clinic for further follow-up. The Inclusive Education Team may become involved to assist with school placement if indicated. Encounters with children who have been diagnosed with FASD can be extremely challenging as they tend to display extreme emotions of playfulness and happiness or extreme emotions of irritation and anger. Anne-Marie Syfers (nurse, George Hospital) said that when caring for children diagnosed with FASD and other underlying conditions associated with FASD, it is important that you are patient and interact with them on their level.

At George Hospital, through therapy both occupational and physiotherapy aims to improve fine and gross motor control through activities such as playing, building, climbing etc, and addresses the sensory sensitivity depending on the main areas of concerns that the parents of children with FASD and schools are reporting.

‘It is essential that the parents form part of the therapeutic team as these children are dependent on good carry over of exercises addressed in an OT or PT session into the home environment. Therapy unfortunately cannot “cure”; instead it helps address challenges faced and can assist the family in developing coping strategies,’ Michelle added.

It can be difficult for moms to admit that they have consumed alcohol during pregnancy. Sr Syfers and Staff Nurse Ceasar provide these moms with emotional support and refer them to the social worker or occupational therapists at George Hospital where the mom and child can undergo treatment and develop coping strategies.

Remember: No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. FASD causes permanent damage, but it is 100% preventable.

Photo caption: From left, Sr Anne-Marie Syfers and SN Dornay Ceasar in the Paediatric Ward. They go above and beyond to care for their little patients.

ENDS