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12 December 2023 Media Release: Two more awards for the GRDM Communications Team

Media Release: Two more awards for the GRDM Communications Team

For Immediate Release
12 December 2023

The Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Communication Team has won two of the South African Local Government Association’s (SALGA) National Communicators Forum Awards. The one for the “Most Innovative Communications Team” and the second for the “Most Proactive and Responsive Communication Team” at a district municipal level. Previously, the GRDM Communicators also won the SALGA “Most Updated Social Media Platforms” award. The SALGA award ceremony took place in Durban at the ICC on 11 December 2023. The team was up against stiff competition with 43 other district municipalities across South Africa participating.

GRDM’s team consists of five Communicators: Herman Pieters (Communication Mgr.), Marillia Veldkornet (Snr. Communicator), Marlene Nqumse (Snr. Communicator), Vuyolwethu Notyeke (Multimedia Communicator) and Xola Makinana (Intern). Three (3) members, Herman, Marlene and Marillia, have already been working together for over 13 years.

During an Ordinary Council meeting on 12 December, Alderman Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor and Council also congratulated the team on their wins: “Well done and indeed and keep up the good work”. GRDM Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, was also pleasantly surprised with the awards, which come at a time when the municipality also achieved its third consecutive Clean Audit.

According to SALGA, “This is a team that has shown innovative solutions on various platforms to create awareness, keep communities informed and encouraged citizens to take part in municipal activities to ensure that the local government agenda is achieved”. Also in the second category, SALGA says: “This award is for a communications team that is always proactively promoting local government and serving communities, this refers to a team that actively engages with communities on various platforms, create awareness on municipal services and profiles service delivery programmes and events.”

GRDM Communicators recently launched a podcast channel and also partnered with “All Things Vuma Garden Route” to promote the region. According to Pieters, many municipalities already utilise AI to make better decisions, faster and smarter. The GRDM team also utilises AI to generate artwork for educational purposes. “We work hand in glove with our institution’s Health Education Committee to produce images from text prompts. These images are then repurposed to tell stories to children through posters, booklets, and more,” says Pieters.

The GRDM Communications team forms part of a municipality which was also recently achieved the following:

  • Clean Audit for a third consecutive year;
  • Toughest Firefighter Alive South Africa;
  • Developed the first-ever municipal health dashboard in South Africa;
  • Most simplified Integrated Development Plan in the Western Cape.

In line with the GRDM’s vision of being the leading, enabling, and inclusive district, characterised by equitable and sustainable development, high quality of life, and equal opportunities for all, the GRDM Communication Team has demonstrated its dedication to innovation and excellence.


15 September 2020 Media Release: GRDM nominated as an ECO-LOGIC AWARDS finalist

Media Release: GRDM nominated as an ECO-LOGIC AWARDS finalist

For immediate release
15 September 2020

It is with great pride that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) wishes to announce that the Municipality was nominated as a finalist for the 2020 Eco-logic Awards under the “District Municipality” category which will take place virtually on Monday, 21 September 2020. This day coincides with World Peace Day.

The Eco-logic Awards, hosted by Enviropaedia are annually awarded across 12 categories, which highlight ecologically beneficial products, services and people who are taking effective action and making a positive contribution to protect and preserve the environment. GRDM is one of three finalists chosen under the “District Municipality Award” category, for its initiative “Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) – Ensuring Participative and Collaborative District-Wide Environmental Monitoring, Coordination and Adaptation”.

GREF was launched in 2018 and is led by the GRDM’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaption Section.  Its key aim is to establish a more coordinated approach to environmental management. The purpose of the GREF initiative is to ensure adaptive environmental management through the principles of community and stakeholder participation, collaboration, as well as the combined coordination of projects, programmes and initiatives within the district.  The initiative furthermore strives to increase engagement and knowledge for better decision making, the initiation of pro-active risk planning within an uncertain future, and to increase resource sharing for focused and dynamic environmental actions.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum focuses on fundraising through the preparation of professional funding proposals and related administration.  This is achieved through participative, collaborative, and adaptive district-wide projects, programmes or initiative monitoring and implementation. Through these interventions that aim to change the nature of our economy, and improved sustainable environment is possible.

Employees Awarded Long Service Certificates

Long Service Certificates were awarded to various employees of Garden Route District today, 13 December 2019, during an Ordinary Council meeting. Some, but not all of the following employees, were able to attend the award ceremony.

Here are a few of of the employees who received recognition for being employed from to 10 to 40 years.

Eden DM nominated as one of the top 5 finalist for Eco Logic Biodiversity Awards

This year, Eden DM was one of the top 5 finalists for the prestigious Eco-Logic Biodiversity Award. The municipality has received a Certificate of Merit for its Local Action for Biodiversity: Wetlands South Africa (LAB: Wetlands SA) Project.  The award ceremony took place on 5 June 2018, World Environment Day, in Tshwane. The LAB: Wetlands SA project aims to protect wetlands in the Eden District and ensures that these valuable assets provide critical services such as flood attenuation, water storage and water purification, whilst increasing the municipality’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, preventing natural disasters, and preserving vital habitat for local flora and fauna.

The ICLEI’s LAB: Wetlands South Africa Project contributed significantly to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and served as an inspirational and practical example for others. The project continually enhances the awareness of wetlands as well as the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision-making. It has improved the capacity of district municipalities to prioritise and effectively manage wetlands and biodiversity. The Eden DM has fully supported and benefitted from this project. Its participation within the project, highlighted the challenges experienced with wetland management within the district, which resulted in the development of two essential documents – the Eden District Wetlands Report and the Eden District Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan. These documents were co-developed by both ICLEI and Eden DM as part of the LAB project. The Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan provide for key implementation strategies within the district as well as its incorporation within the Eden DM Spatial Development Framework and Integrated Development Plans. This will facilitate dynamic and focused wetland management and protection initiatives within the district.

Other nominated finalists for the coveted Biodiversity Award included the ‘Bearded Vulture Breeding Programme’, the ‘Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project’, the ‘Cape Town Environmental Education Trust – Nature Care Fund’ and the ‘Lifescanner Lab-In-A-Box’ project.

“The Eco-Logic Awards provide recognition for the best eco-champions of South Africa,” says David Parry-Davies, publisher of Enviropaedia and founder of the Eco-Logic Awards.

The Eden District Wetlands Report can be download from the ICLEI website:

Another Greenest District Municipality award the District

21 October 2016 marked another victorious day for Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) and in particular, the Department: Community Services when they won the Western Cape Greenest District Municipality Award, for the fourth consecutive time and on top of that received R130 000.00 prize money. This announcement was made during a prestigious event which was hosted by the Western Cape Department Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, at the Devondale Golf and Wine Estate, in Stellenbosch. The awards were handed over by the Provincial Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Mr Anton Bredell.

During the press conference (fltr) : Mr Johan Gie (District Waste Management Officer), Mr Clive Africa (Executive Manager: Community Services), Cllr Memory Booysen (Eden DM Executive Mayor), Mr Godfrey Louw (Municipal Manager) and Mr Johan Compion (Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services) with the awards won at the annual Greenest Local Municipality Awards ceremony.

Mr Clive Africa, Executive Manager of Community Services and his team, worked hard to keep the Eden district “green”. Excellence in service delivery has once again been achieved, exactly as the Eden DM vision reads: “Eden, a future empowered through excellence”.

During a press conference held to announce Eden DM’s achievements, Municipal Manager, Mr Godfrey Louw, congratulated all role-players for a job well done.  He elaborated that excellence is one of the municipality’s seven (7) values and in cohesion with Eden DM vision; this achievement portrays a true testimony of service delivery outcomes, par excellence.

“Today, I consider myself as one of the most fortunate Mayors in South Africa, who took over a ‘well-run machine’, after the 2016 elections,” said Eden DM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen.  “A municipality who received a clean-audit in the 2015/16 financial year; a municipality who won the South African Toughest Firefighter Alive Championships and now this past week, received the Western Cape Greenest District Municipality Award, for the fourth consecutive time.” Furthermore, Cllr Booysen extended his congratulations to the other municipalities in the district who also received awards.  In conclusion he mentioned that in order to ‘stay up there’, as Executive Mayor he will make sure that management and officials receive the political support in order to promote service delivery.

From the four (4) District Municipalities who participated in the 2016 competition, Eden DM won the Greenest District Municipality Award, which included the following categories:
•    Waste Management;
•    Water Management & Conservation;
•    Climate Change Response;
•    Coastal Management; and
•    Air Quality Management.

In addition to this, the district also won awards for the “Clean Fires Campaign and the “Innovation Award” for the Enviro Health Application that is currently being used by Eden DM Municipal Health officials.

Hessequa Municipality won the following B-municipal categories and the overall Greenest Local Municipality:
•    Climate Change Response
•    Biodiversity Management
•    Coastal Management
•    Leadership and Compliance

In a very humble manner Mr Africa explained:  “This award is a beautiful collaboration of love, labour and service. It would not have been achieved without strong team work. Mr Godfrey Louw, the Eden DM Municipal Manager, our Councillors, officials from Supply Chain and Corporate-/Strategic Services, including Administration Staff and Cleaners, all played a vital role in our success. This is proof that our vision of ‘Excellence’ has once more been achieved through focusing our energy towards service delivery to the valuable people of the Eden district”. The profound leadership of Mr Johan Compion must be acknowledged, as well as the dedication, passion and commitment of Dr Johan Schoeman, Mr Morton Hubbe, Mr Johan Gie and Mr Vernon Gibbs-Halls. Eden DM also won the award for innovation for the implementation of a Cell Phone App to improve service delivery and its efforts to inform communities about fire safety with the Eden Clean Fires Campaign.