Author: Marlene Nqumse

22 September 2023 Impact Based Weather Advisory: Western Cape and Namaqua: Wet & Windy

Impact Based Weather Advisory: Western Cape and Namaqua: Wet & Windy

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued a weather advisory valid from Sunday, 24 September 2023 to Monday, 25 September 2023.

Areas affected by wet and windy conditions include Oudtshoorn, George, Hessequa, Knysna, Kannaland and Mossel Bay.

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

21 September 2023 Internship Available: 1 x Garden Route Skills Mecca Technician

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), with its Head Office situated in George, serves the people in the Southern Cape and Little Karoo. GRDM seeks to achieve the integrated, sustainable and equitable, social and economic development of its area as a whole by: ensuring integrated development planning; promoting bulk infrastructure development; and building the capacity of local municipalities in its area to perform their functions and exercise their powers where such capacity is lacking; promoting the equitable distribution of resources between local municipalities in its area, to ensure appropriate levels of municipal services.


GRDM invites unemployed youth currently residing within the Garden Route District municipal area to apply for an opportunity to become a  Garden Route Skills Mecca Technician. A position is currently vacant in the Kannaland municipal area.

Municipality Town Total Interns available
Kannaland Municipality Ladismith 1

Click here to download the GRSM Technician Advert (Kannaland) 

21 September 2023 Media Release:  Build-up to World Environmental Health Day underway – Recycle and Re-Use Plastic Outreach at Diepkloof Kleuterskool and Sandenenzwe Crèche

Media Release:  Build-up to World Environmental Health Day underway – Recycle and Re-Use Plastic Outreach at Diepkloof Kleuterskool and Sandenenzwe Crèche

For Immediate Release
21 September 2023

With this year’s theme for the World Environmental Health Day being “Global Environmental Public Health: Standing up to Protect Everyone’s Health Each and Every Day,” Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) from all over the district have taken proactive steps to kick off awareness initiatives as early as possible.

Recognising the urgency of safeguarding our environment and the health of all individuals, a recycle and re-use plastic outreach session was conducted by EHPs from the George Municipal Health office on 19 and 20 September 2023 with learners of Diepkloof Kleuterskool and Sandanenzwe Crèche.

The outreach aimed to teach children sustainable methods of recycling and reusing plastic waste. To demonstrate to the children how recycled items can be reused, the EHPs created art and crafts using plastic bags and bottles they received from the school.

“This is the way we protect everyone’s health even when we are not present. Our goal is to reduce the plastic waste ending up at illegal dumping sites in our communities and at landfills,” said Nonkosi Somwahla, EHP from the GRDM George office.

Educators and toddlers were captivated by the way EHP conveyed their message. Also with all the interesting things they made out of plastic.

Featured image caption: Environmental Health Practitioners, Cllr Ndayi, the Community Services Portfolio Chairperson, and the educators and toddlers of Sandanenzwe Crèche who participated in the World Environment Day build-up activities.


18 September 2023 Media Release: Future water security in the Southern Cape must include innovation and best practice

Media Release: Future water security in the Southern Cape must include innovation and best practice

For Immediate Release
18 September 2023

“Water scarcity, changes in rainfall patterns, climate change, potentially restrictive water license regulations and proposed water quotas with far reaching impacts are all reasons why farmers and other water users are pushing the limits in terms of building new storage dams or enlarging existing ones or channelling water courses, often doing so without obtaining the necessary official permission required, and in the process expose themselves to costly litigation,” says Cobus Meiring of the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI).

Globally agriculture is a major water user and so is mining, industry and human consumption which is rapidly on the increase and posing a complex water demand issue as urbanization world- wide accelerates along with changes in climate.

From an environmental perspective, ultimately ecosystems suffer the most as run- off water is dammed up for storage leaving rivers and streams starved of sufficient supply despite of legally determined minimum reserve flows to ensure their essential ecological survival, having dire impacts on estuaries, aquatic and marine life.

Technology plays a vital role in reducing water consumption on all fronts, and even if difficult to quantify exactly how much collectively it does make a huge difference as farmers invest in advanced irrigation technology, new generation taps and plumbing devices in new developments and permanent water restrictions in towns and cities across the board.

The impact of invasive alien plants in high value catchments is measureable and account for substantial water loss making their constant eradication and control vital. In addition, the prevention of water evaporation on a significant scale holds a key factor in stabilizing water levels in reservoirs globally, and although thus far not utilized on a grand scale, it is an exciting prospect to cover open water surfaces to suppress rapid evaporation rates as heat and drought waves takes effect.

Water management plans for industry designed to regulate, recycle and minimize water use, technology inventions in irrigation and public participation campaigns to reduce water use in cities all make a difference, and is bound to play a bigger role as water demand surges.

In recent times South African water conservation entities have developed floating panels designed for covering large reservoirs over life time periods and no doubt will become a standardized if not essential contributor to water management and preservation systems in years to come. Given the fact that water users dependent on storage dams require no EIA nor permission from water management entities to cover storage dam surfaces, it may well be an additional solution for water stressed entities globally.

Based in the Garden Route, the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) is a public platform for land owners and land managers focussing on invasive alien plant eradication, environmental management and water stewardship.

Feature Picture: Southern Cape coastal plateau

Caption: The Southern Cape coastal plateau is heavily farmed and dependent on vast volumes of water. Whilst the rate of urbanization in the Garden Route increasingly make demands on the same resource as agriculture, water demand managers must focus on enforced water restrictions, advanced technology options and improved water use management plans

13 September 2023 Media Release: Plans for Skills Centres in Knysna and George progressing

Media Release: Plans for Skills Centres in Knynsa and George progressing

For Immediate Release
13 September 2023

At the recent Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) highly successful Skills Mecca Skills Summit held on 13 July 2023 in Knysna, an innovative item on the programme allowed external stakeholders to present ideas on how to improve socio-economic circumstances for the unemployed, especially the youth, in their communities.  Two such proposals focused on skills centres in Knysna and George, although all local municipalities in the Graden Route expressed similar needs.

In Knysna two more meetings were held and with excellent collaborative leadership from the Knysna Business Chamber, the Knysna Municipality and the South Cape TVET College, the process is well underway. At least two very suitable sites with existing buildings that could easily be converted into classrooms and workshops could be home to skills centres.  A formal process has now started for the stakeholders to move towards long-term agreements subject to approvals from the various governance structures.

In George a similar positive approach was adopted with significant collaborative leadership between the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), the George Municipality, Mr Michiel Burger , the Bonnievale 418 Trust and Jakes Gerwel Teknies Skool in Bonnievale, considered the model collaborative school in South Africa. A highlight was a site visit to the Jakes Gerwel School on Tuesday 12 September 2023, by the various role players. This process will now be led into a task team, co-led by the George Municipality and WCED to also move towards more formal processes.

The excellent leadership at local and district municipal level and the cooperation-collaboration from other stakeholders are proving to be a significant force in moving these process forward. These initiatives are set to benefit the unemployed and youth in general. The Garden Route Skills Mecca team will continue to support both processes administratively and where necessary, explore extending partnerships to support these two processes.

Feature image caption: Home-based care practitioners with Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu (front) and other municipal representatives at the Garden Route Skills Summit.