In terms of section 16 (1) (a) (i) and 17 (1) (a) – (e) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No 32 of 2000, a notice is hereby given that Garden Route District Municipality will hold its IDP/Budget and Performance Representative Forum meeting in order to encourage and create conditions for the local community to participate in the affairs of the municipality.
The meeting is scheduled as follows: Date: 24 November 2022 Time: 9:00
The session will be broadcasted live on Eden FM and the Garden Route District’s Facebook page.
The Garden Route Communities, Councilors, Ward Committees, Community Development Workers, Faith Based Organisations, Community Based Organisations, Intergovernmental Forums, Farmers associations, Business Communities and Rate Payers Associations who wish to take part in the IDP/Budget and PMS Representative Forum meeting are welcome to attend.
Media Release: State-of-the-Art Regional Fire Station expected by June 2023
For immediate release 4 November 2022
Wednesday, 2 November 2022, marked a major milestone for the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) when the first sod was turned for its regional fire station, which will be built on erven 22494 & 22495 (5 877 m2) in the Tamsui Industria area in George. Construction of the R11, 6 million fire station will commence on 15 November 2022 if the weather conditions permits. Of the grand total, R3 million was provided by the Western Cape Department of Local Government and George Municipality donated two properties, to be consolidated as one, as well as waived the development charges for the properties.
This historic event was attended by the region’s Executive Mayors, Municipal Managers, Chief Fire Officers, representatives of the principle agent which will oversee the construction process, representatives from the construction firm appointed to construct the facility, stakeholders in integrated fire management throughout the District, representatives from the Western Cape Department of Local Government (WCDLG) Disaster Management and Fire & Rescue Services , and most importantly, the 40 GRDM firefighters which will receive a lasting home from which operations will be based from. The facility will also have a specially incorporated component which will make provision for housing a specialised wildland firefighting ground crew.
During his address, Monde Stratu Municipal Manager referred to the day as the culmination of a very lengthy process, given the difficulties of engaging in supply chain processes and raising capital. He extended a word of gratitude to the George Municipality for availing the land for the long-awaited fire station, and for waiving the property’s service fees. “This is a demonstration that whatever happens in cooperative governments or societies, we have a responsibility to work together.”
Furthermore, Stratu thanked the WCDLG for contributing 3 million rand to assist GRDM towards the project. In his conclusion, he stated that the gathering served as a symbolic event where all stakeholders came together to witness and celebrate a regional fire station which will belong to the region.
Clive Africa, Executive Manager of the GRDM Community Services under which the Fire Services reside, provided an overview of the history, background and origin of the GRDM fire services, which were established by volunteers in 1987. Initially, there were 14 fire fighters who managed the entire Garden Route District in terms of Firefighting and Disaster Management.
In his opening remarks, Alderman Leon van Wyk, Mayor of George Municipality, expressed his gratitude to his Council for approving the decision to avail the land to GRDM. He referred to MM Stratu’s comments about the waiving of the development charges and explained that in his opinion, the development charges are a type of debate that all municipalities are grappling with – a contentious and complex matter.
According to Ald. van Wyk, the George Municipal Council has adopted a policy previously known as capital contributions that has escalated due to the revised land use legislation that was passed recently. In accordance with legal advice to his Council, site-specific development charges should be investigated and municipalities had to develop a structure within those development charges to fund future infrastructure replacement costs. In closing, Alderman Van Wyk referred to the challenges of climate change in the world. He stated that according to scientists, the Garden Route is susceptible to wind damage and all the risks that come with it.
Colin Deiner, WCDLG Chief Director: Disaster Management, informed the audience about the Western Cape Fire Service Capacity Building Grants offered by the Disaster Management Fire & Rescue Services. He gave an overview of their origins and how grants are allocated each year.
Deiner explained that they assessed the number of trained firefighter’s municipalities have; as without the right people and the right training, it is of no use. He continues to explain, that in 2014, only 14% of firefighters in the Western Province were trained to the required level, but just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this number had gone up to 95%. He mentioned the possibility of putting together a Garden Route District flood task-force. The idea would be to place an equipment cache in the Garden Route, in an attempt to train people from across the province and if a flood situation occurs in the Garden Route or another province needs assistance, help can be offered by trained people from across the province.
During his keynote address, Executive Mayor for GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen commended the Executive Mayor of Hessequa Municipality with the following words: “Mayor Riddles, you are my hero. You are one of the few mayors who annually allocate funds for your fire department. Whether it is a hazmat vehicle, a LDV skid unit, or a ladder, there is always something in there for your fire department. This is something I admire about you, and I want to follow suit.”
He encouraged the ‘men and women’ in Disaster Management and Fire Services to continue to protect lives and property. “Continue to be the toughest fire fighters in the Western Cape and in South Africa.”
During the vote of thanks, GRDM’s Deputy Executive Mayor, Advocate Gert van Niekerk said: “We are all part of history today; and in the years to come, we will be able to come here and tell whoever is here at the station that we were here on this historic day.”
He further said that the example set between the GRDM and its allies, the George Municipality and Provincial Government to ensure the success of this project, is a true road to follow in future joint-ventures to serve in the best interest of not only George, but the broader Garden Route District. This is an example of what can be accomplished when a true commitment is shown between entities to work together.
According to Deon Stoffels, GRDM Chief Fire Officer, the long-awaited fire station is essential to the GRDM Fire Services in fulfilling its statutory mandate and diverse set of functions. For the GRDM to have its own fire station is a considerable upgrade for the institution, especially one built according to required National Regulations and Standards for fire station buildings. The proposed state of the art fire station facility will be furnished with overhead automotive roll-up doors, a traditional firefighter sliding pole, a backup electricity generator, firefighters sleeping quarters and a fully equipped gym. The facility will also be an investment in Council infrastructure and its asset base. “From the onset we also wanted to go the extra mile to provide firefighting staff with several additional features because they spend the majority of their days here, with the intent of ensuring their physical and mental well-being.”
Media Release: CALITZDORP NATURAL HOT SPRINGS RESORT
For Immediate Release
4 November 2022
Discover a relaxing resort with natural hot springs
Calitzdorp Hot Springs is nestled on the slopes of the Swart- and Rooiberg Mountains in the Klein Karoo – 25km from Calitzdorp and 45km from Oudtshoorn. It is an all-year-round breakaway holiday destination for families, groups, couples, solitude seekers and nature lovers who wish to temporarily escape the hustle and bustle of city life. There is also nothing more tranquil than relaxing in Calitzdorp Hot Springs nestled in the Klein-Karoo. You can relax your tense muscles and ease your stress by swimming in a hot spring pool.
Upgrades over the past two years
Several improvements have been made to the accommodation facility over the last two years. Among the most significant changes were the name change the resort underwent from Calitzdorp Spa to Calitzdorp Hot Springs in June 2022, referencing the resort’s unique selling point – it’s hot springs. The roofs of the swimming pool, mountain chalets, reception area, and main buildings were also upgraded and replaced with steel-based Harvey tiles. The service provider who installed it did a sterling job. Be sure to visit the company’s Facebook page to see how they transform many other properties around Africa: www.facebook.com/BunduDakke.Western.Cape
Over the past months the accommodation facility has gradually started to reclaim its position as an ideal breakaway retreat, reclaiming its rightful position in the magnificent Klein Karoo mountains. The four (4) campsites, pool lapas, ablution facilities, day visitor camping area, braai stands and cold swimming pools have also been upgraded.
Five (5) new secluded campsites have been introduced which provide a unique experience that is synonymous with wild camping in the Karoo.
Roman Bath also has a new face
One of the resort’s most popular amenities is its Roman Bath area, which has been completely revamped. Both the bath and the outdoor hot spring pools are heated directly from the earth, where the ‘natural hot spring’ water temperature is around 50 degrees Celsius. Many guests who have visited the resort have mentioned relief from symptoms such as sprains, high blood pressure, bruises, and rheumatic pain, because of the healing waters offered. The Roman Bath’s windows and interior, including the floor tiles, were replaced. Several pots with indoor plants and décor were added to give it a soft and relaxing atmosphere.
Activities & entertainment offered
Calitzdorp Hot Springs is a safe and secure resort, offering several new activities for overnight guests, from family fun to something for everyone. While some children enjoy playing on the jungle gyms, others can explore the green lawns playing volleyball, ride their bicycles across the vast plains or play a game of giant chess or table tennis.
Apart from the two cold-water pools and one hot spring pool for overnight guests, there is also a tennis court. The Hot Springs is also home to dozens of springboks, mountain tortoises, and tame colourful peacocks who roam undisturbed terrain. For the nature lover, there are three hiking trails on the premises, including the Springbok Hiking Trail (3.2 km), the Tortoise Trail (800 m) and the Fish Eagle Trail (1.3 km), each of which are relatively easy to walk, run or explore with a mountain bike.
It is a bird watcher’s paradise at our resort with over 72 species observed by bird watchers. Guests can enjoy early morning sights and sounds of lovely bird calls in a roofed birdwatching spot.
Activities outside the Hot Springs
The accommodation facility is surrounded by several farms that offer wine tasting, in particular, fortified wines. Locals and travellers exploring Calitzdorp, and also enjoy fruit-picking and purchasing locally produced dried fruits.
Next to Calitzdorp Hot Springs is the Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve where the Cape Mountain Zebra can be seen. The many scenic passes such as the Swartberg Pass that leads to the enchanting town of Prince Albert and the mountainous Seweweeks Poort, is probably the most picturesque 18 km stretch of gravel road anywhere in South Africa. It consists of easy gradients, multiple river crossings and stunning geology.
Hosting music festivals and movie nights
In the past year, Calitzdorp Hot Springs twice hosted the Echo Outdoor Gathering festival. On both occasions, more than 500 people from across the country attended the three-day event. Guests shared positive and encouraging reviews about the resort, and the organisers said they definitely plan to return. These events promote healthy family life, promote district resources, generate income, and increase visitor flow in the region.
We intend to add more activities to our offering and give our clients unique experiences through movie nights. This will be offered from 2023.
Future upgrades and enhancements
Passmore Dongi, the Manager: Projects, properties, facilities and resorts, said the resort will soon go green. “At Calitzdorp Hot Springs, we are going green through the introduction of renewable energy. GRDM has already implemented this successfully at one of its resorts (Dehoek Mountain Resort). As a result of the success of that project, we want to expand to our other resorts to become the leading resort in the country with climate-smart resorts that reduce carbon footprints.”
Media Release: Take action during Breast Cancer Awareness month
For Immediate Release
20 October 2022
Annually, October marks “Breast Cancer Awareness month”. In this month, awareness about breast cancer risks and signs are shared with the public and support is offered to those suffering from this illness.
According to studies, early detection remains key to controlling cancer. This means, early and adequate diagnosis can lead to effective treatment, resulting in an excellent chance to cure breast cancer. Therefore, women must empower themselves with the knowledge to lower their health risks. Furthermore, they should be able to address the warning signs of cancer as quickly as possible.
In South Africa, breast cancer is known to be one of the most common cancers among women of all races. All women are at risk, particularly women with a family history of breast cancer. Approximately 90% of patients survive breast cancer after diagnosis during early detection, but this should be 100% – a whole of society approach is required for this to be achieved.
South Africans are lucky to have an organisation like CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) involved in lowering cancer risks and providing an integrated service to all people affected by cancer. CANSA continuously supplies the public with information and support. They are committed to offering day-to-day help, including emotional support to the patients. Their mission is also to ensure that cancer survivors and loved ones aren’t alone in the fight against cancer.
In support of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, women are encouraged to go for annual medical check-ups and cancer screening; and familiarise themselves with the early warning signs and symptoms of cancer. It is also crucial for women to regularly check their breasts and visit health care practitioners if changes are noticed. Awareness of risk factors can help women reduce their cancer risk.
The following are common breast cancer signs and symptoms, which include:
a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit – you might feel the lump but not see it;
a change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling;
a change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed;
a change to the nipple, for example, it has become pulled in (inverted);
rash or crusting around the nipple;
any unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple; and
changes in the size or shape of the breast.
Women must develop the habit of regularly checking their breasts, including the upper chest areas and armpits. The TLC technique (Touch Look Check) makes it easy.
Touch your breasts: can you feel anything unusual?
Look for changes: does anything look different?
Check any changes with your GP
Remember, early detection and awareness can result in an earlier diagnosis, resulting in better treatment outcomes. It is in the nature of a woman to put others first – however, women must realize they too have the right to prioritize their own health.
Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor wishes the matric class of 2022 the best of luck!
20 October 2022 For immediate release
I am Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality.
We know it’s that time of the year when our matriculants have to write their final exams. We want to wish them all the best. And for those who have not started studying yet, the time is now!
We would also like to ask the parents to please bear with the kids and to create a conducive environment at home so that the kids can study under relaxed and quiet circumstances. The mere fact that matriculants have reached this time of the year throughout the pandemic, is a good sign that this is a resilient district.
I also want to say that we are aware that there are a lot of youth that have already finished matric and who are frustrated because they do not have work or are still sitting at home. But, on behalf of the Mayors of the Garden Route, we are in contact and we are negotiating with our Provincial Government as well to see how we can hold hands and come up with projects that can assist the youth. We would also like to include the business community so that going forward we know that we have a roll-out that will change the youth’s future and the future of the Garden Route.
Media Release: Garden Route domestic tourism trip attended by Journalists and Bloggers
19 October 2022 For immediate release
Early this year, the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Wesgro) entered into a three-year partnership agreement with Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) to accelerate the region’s economic growth, investment, trade and tourism. Clear targets and deliverables were set out in this agreement. In order to increase domestic demand along the Garden Route & Klein Karoo, a familiarisation trip was organised with business and media delegations from Gauteng and Western Cape. The focus of this trip/educational was mainly on family and budget friendly packaging that is on offer in our region.
The trip consisted of 15 participants, including tour operators offering family-friendly packages, media representatives (print and online) focusing on family-friendly experiences, Wesgro representatives, and GR&KK representatives. The five-day trip took place across the entire Garden Route & Klein Karoo region
The initiatives are in line with the Growth and Development Strategy and Garden Route Economy Recovery Plan to boost the Garden Route economy.
Itinerary summary and highlights of the GR&KK Famtrip
Day one, the group met each other for the first time as they arrived at George Airport from their different flights with the tour operator – Tours 4 SA receiving the group. The drive to Garden Route Game Route was indeed pleasant with inviting weather and the group commenting on the diverse landscape witnessed enroute.
GRDM’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, and a delegation from Council welcomed the group with a networking lunch at Albertina’s Garden Route Game Lodge, highlighting the region’s beauty and splendour.
Day two, was utilised to explore the Garden Route Game Lodge property and to engage with management. The purpose of the trip was to promote the region as a tourism destination.
The group enjoyed the Western Cape Butterfly Sanctuary in Ruiterbos, which was officially opened in November 2021 and is the first and only butterfly sanctuary in the region.
On the third day, the group experienced the Karoo in its true essence in Oudtshoorn, from an ostrich farm safari to visiting the Cango Caves. A highlight of any trip to Oudtshoorn is this experience. The evening ended with an amazing night game drive at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge. This was an experience of the nocturnal side of wildlife, with many animal sightings and a coffee break under the stars while on the game drive which ended the night on a high note.
Day four, saw the group once again experiencing why many visitors to the Garden Route & Klein Karoo enjoy self-drives through the region Guests travelled from Oudtshoorn to Plettenberg Bay to visit the SAASA sanctuaries (Jukani and Birds of Eden). Feedback from the guests was that it felt like an ‘Amazon’ experience as they navigated through the world’s largest free flight aviary and bird sanctuary.
Day five offered a taste of adventure that included zip lining, climbing and hanging from ropes at the Timberlake organic village between Sedgefield and Wilderness at Acrobranch. This wasfollowed by a boat ride in the Wilderness National Park.
As the group left George after a closing lunch at Redberry Farm, they felt invigorated on the one side, but also sad that they had to bid farewell to the beautiful Garden Route and Klein Karoo.
According to Mrs Amagene Koeberg, GRDM Tourism Coordinator, “continuous engagements are still underway with the group as they publish their experiences and share it with their various audiences through different platforms, as some of the participants have already shared TikTok videos, images, videos and some of the tour operators already engaging with our products/services to include the offerings into their packages. These platforms are being monitored and more statistics and reach will be relayed over a period of time as content gets released, “she said.