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Media Release: Toddlers in Hessequa are taught proper hand washing techniques by EHPs

Media Release: Toddlers in Hessequa are taught proper hand washing techniques by EHPs

For Immediate Release
13 November 2023

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) in the Hessequa region recently conducted a practical health and hygiene awareness session with toddlers about handwashing techniques and recycling. GRDM Portfolio Councillor Jobieth Hoogbaard, supported by Alderlady Nompumelelo Ndayi, donated mattresses to the Sunbeam Childcare Facility in Melkhoutfontein, Still Bay. The same créche where the EHPs conducted their health and hygiene awareness session.

Councillors of the GRDM with the mattresses donated to the school.

During the morning’s activities, both councillors participated in handwashing activities, and the children enjoyed the demonstrations. This kind gesture by the GRDM councillors was greatly appreciated by the personnel. They indicated that the donation was much needed and reiterated the importance of rest for children during the school day.

In a brief interaction with the facility’s staff, Cllr Hoogbaard expressed his appreciation for the outstanding work they do to develop the children. He said he hoped to extend the program to other facilities in the area as early childhood development is such an important stage in a child’s life. During this time their full cognitive, emotional, social and physical growth is developed.

Featured image caption: Councillors Hoogbaard and Ndayi washed their hands with the toddlers and joined in the fun.


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.


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).


05 September 2023 Media Release:  Environmental Health Practitioners of the Klein Karoo supports ECD Centres with health and hygiene education

Media Release:  Environmental Health Practitioners of the Klein Karoo supports ECD Centres with health and hygiene education

For Immediate Release
5 September 2023

The Municipal Health Services section of the Klein Karoo region engaged with members of the Klein Karoo Early Childhood Development (ECD) Forum to discuss current health legislation applicable to childcare facilities in terms of the National environmental health norms and standards for premises and acceptable monitoring standards for environmental health practitioners (24 December 2015) and GRDM Municipal Health By-Laws of 10 December 2018 promulgated under the National Health Act, (Act 61 of 2003).

Health and hygiene education provided by EHPs is essential for preventing disease, improving health, and influencing lifelong behavioural change among children. Education on health and hygiene plays a significant role in supporting the holistic development of children. According to the World Health Organisation, providing children with adequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene is one of the most effective ways to survive. By improving key hygiene behaviours, such as ensuring safe drinking water, proper hand hygiene, and effective sanitation, EHPs believe that promoting health and hygiene improvement is a comprehensive way to prevent childhood diseases like diarrhoea.

The EHPs conducted Health and Hygiene education sessions at créches in Oudtshoorn and Kannaland on 29 August 2023, with an emphasis on:

– the importance of handwashing;

– correct handwashing methods;

– a clean environment; and

– personal hygiene.

EHPs remain committed to educating the public and remain steadfast in their belief that prevention is better than cure.

Did you know?

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) are appointed in terms of the National Health Act (Act 61 of 2003) and registered as such in terms of the Health Professions Act (Act 56 of 1974)? In order to ensure compliance with this act, EHPs have the authority to enter any premises, excluding private dwellings. EHPs may enter Early Childhood Development (ECD) premises for the purpose of conducting inspections, conducting environmental health investigations, and also providing health education to pre-schools, child care centres so that environmental health can be strengthened.


Die Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit (TDM) se Omgewingsgesondheidspraktisyns wat werksaam is in die Klein-Karoo-streek (Oudtshoorn en omliggende areas), het onlangs met die Klein-Karoo Vroeë Kinderontwikkeling Forum-lede vergader, om die huidige gesondheidswetgewing van toepassing op kindersorgfasiliteite te bespreek. Hierdie samekoms was belangrik vir bespreking van huidige wetgewing soos van toepassing op kindersorgfasiliteite in terme van die TDM se Munisipale Gesondheidsverordeninge van 10 Desember 2018 en Aanvaarbare Moniteringstandaarde vir Omgewingsgesondheidspraktisyns (24 Desember 2015) gepromulgeer onder die Nasionale Gesondheidswet (Wet 61 van 2003).

Die Omgewingsgesondheidspraktisyns het op 29 Augustus 2023, Gesondheid- en Higiëne opvoedingsessies by kleuterskole in Oudtshoorn en Kannaland aangebied, met die klem op:

– die belangrikheid van handewas;

– die korrekte handewasmetodes;

– ‘n skoon omgewing; en

– persoonlike higiëne.

Die Omgewingsgesondheidspraktisyns bly daartoe verbind om die publiek op te voed en standvastig in hul oortuiging dat voorkoming beter is as genesing.


Featured image caption: EHP Ikanya Hendricks demonstrates the correct hand-washing method to learners at Excelsior Primary School in Calitzdorp.

19 July 2023 Media Release: Garden Route DM rolls out various activities before and on Mandela Day

Media Release: Garden Route DM rolls out various activities before and on Mandela Day

For Immediate Release
19 July 2023

While the world celebrates the life of an icon, the late President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, employees of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) also followed his example to reach out to vulnerable community members throughout the region.

GRDM kicked off their activities on 17 July by hosting a pre-Madiba Day blood donation drive at its head office in George in collaboration with the Western Cape Blood Service. The GRDM also invited the public to donate blood, which resulted in just over 50 blood donations being made.

The Oudtshoorn Municipal Health Office donated nutritious and delicious ‘food socks’ to two families in the Buffelsdrift rural area of Oudtshoorn. Food socks contain pasta, rice, flavourings, stock powders, herbs, spices, dehydrated vegetables, pulses, beans, and soy products. GRDM officials bought the socks. The donation will provide food for eight beneficiaries for a week. The two families extended their appreciation to the GRDM officials for providing them with food.

The Oudtshoorn Municipal Health Office donated ‘food socks’ to families in Buffelsdrift.

Planning and Economic Development Department officials, comprised of the EPWP, Tourism and Local Economic Development, and Human Settlements sections, took Madiba Day activities to a new level when they rolled out the following activities at Kusile Baby Care in Thembalethu. In the morning, they divided themselves into different groups. The first group painted the outside walls of the school building with a primer. After that, others begin painting the building with a beautiful topcoat colour. Other officials, who are much more handy with a hammer and nails, installed PVC ceilings. Some of the female colleagues spent time reading and feeding toddlers and newborns. While others prepared a ‘braai’ lunch for the children and their educators. The daycare center also received a coat from officials.
GRDM Planning and Economic Development officials installing PVC ceilings and feeding toddlers at Kusile Baby Care in Thembalethu.

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) of Garden Route District Municipality’s Wilderness region celebrated Mandela Day with 60 children from Klipdrift Primary School. The EHPs painted a classroom and supplied colourful tires to improve the playground area. EHPs also shared slices of cake and snack parcels with each child, while they also played games and shared the importance of giving back to others.
EHP officials of GRDM shared cake with children from Klipdrift Primary School and improved their playground.

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Firefighters proved that they can do more than fight wildfires and protect communities. They made sandwiches and distributed them with cool drinks to homeless people in George’s Shoprite parking lot.

GRDM Firefighters sharing sandwiches and cool drinks with homeless people in George.

Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Office of the Municipal Manager, donated 51 pairs of shoes and funds to Mzoxolo Primary School. The shoe donations sprout from the Walk a Child to School campaign and included more staff donations too. The school is already collecting small donations from learners on Fridays to buy shoes for those who are in need. Principal Raymond Eagan thanked the GRDM for the shoe donations and funding. He said: “Our school is home to 1554 bright minds and 42 dedicated teachers.” Learners are mainly from Borchards, Thembalethu, Maraiskamp, Parkdene, and Lawaaikamp. The Principal also said the school’s name, Mzoxola, means “a beacon for peace,” and it was established in 1994 by Naledi Pandor.

Officials of the Office of the Municipal Manager GRDM donated 51 pair of shoes and funds to Mzoxolo Primary School in Lawaaikamp.


14 July 2023 Media Release: Informal Food Traders receive Training: Mossel Bay

Media Release: Informal Food Traders receive Training: Mossel Bay

For Immediate Release
14 July 2023

Informal food trading is more prevalent in developing countries, particularly South African communities as it provides opportunities to earn income as an alternative to unemployment.

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) plays an essential role in this regard by performing functions as listed in the SCHEDULE OF THE SCOPE OF PROFESSIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH (GOVERNMENT NOTICE R888 OF 26 APRIL 1991).

Regulation governing general hygiene requirements for food premises, the transport of food and related matters is Regulation 638 of 22 June 2018, promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972) is used by Environmental Health Practitioners to ensure compliance of food premises within the Garden Route District Municipality(GRDM). This includes formal food premises and informal food stalls.

In the Mossel Bay Municipal Area, particularly in the Kwanonqaba and Asla Park, street trade has increased, especially over weekends (Friday afternoon until Sunday).

David Maloka, an Environmental Health Practitioner, is busy training informal food vendors on hygiene requirements.

On Friday, 24 June 2023 and Saturday, 25 June 2023, EHPs from the GRDM visited informal food stalls. A total of eight (8) informal food traders were visited.  Since a majority of the food stalls in this area sell meat and/or meat products, the purpose of the visits was to determine compliance with Regulation 638 and Regulation 1072 of 17 September 2004 promulgated under the Meat Safety Act, 2000(40 of 2000).

During the visit topics like Personal Hygiene, Effective Waste Management, and hygiene of the premises were covered. Among the shortcomings of informal food-traders’ is a lack of infrastructure, poor waste management, poor general cleanliness, failure to comply with personal protective equipment, and exposure to ambient air pollution. Informed food traders appreciated the technical skills training, recommendations, and advice.

Featured Image Caption:  Traders were advised to keep a container of water and soap on hand for hand washing.


14 June 2023 Media Release: GRDM Regional Waste Management Facility construction to start before July 2023

Media Release GRDM Regional Waste Management Facility construction to start before July 2023

For Immediate Release
14 June 2023

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) yesterday, 13 June 2023, held its official site handover meeting with Tefla Group (Pty) Ltd for the regional waste management facility. Before the commencement of this site establishment and construction of the facility, it was required to obtain the Construction Work Permit from the Department of Employment and Labour.

The Department of Employment and Labour fast-tracked the application process, which typically takes 30 days, after they received the application on 26 May 2023 and provided the approval on 8 June 2023.

Currently, Bitou-, Knysna-, George-, and Mossel Bay municipalities use the PetroSA landfill in Mossel Bay. PetroSA previously granted an extension of the current waste disposal contracts with the different municipalities for an additional twelve (12) months, which will end on 29 February 2024, when the site is expected to reach full capacity. By this time, an operational waste cell must be available at the newly constructed Regional Waste Management Facility for domestic waste disposal.

During the engagement, GRDM Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, said: “Today is a huge milestone achieved for GRDM, and we look forward to seeing Tefla Group carry this forward.  Finally handing over the site, is something I never thought would happen in my time at GRDM. However, when I leave, I will be able to say that there is a large facility on the N2 that services four local municipalities.” Stratu thanked the Community Services Department and other role players who steered the project to this point, and he wished the contractors and project managers’ good luck in bringing the project to completion on time.

The Regional Waste Management Facility Management Project is a crucial initiative aimed at improving waste management practices within the region. Site establishment will now proceed for the next three weeks, which will be followed by the commencement of construction.

The estimated project timeline, taking into account local weather patterns, as well as the need to import most materials from Germany, is as follows:

Description Due Date
Contractor on Site June 2023
Completion of Phase 1 February 2024
Estimated completion of project March 2025
Operations & Maintenance Tender Award August 2023


24 October 2022 Media Statement: Garden Route District Municipality’s role in the Rooikat Recycling Project

Media Statement: Garden Route District Municipality’s role in the Rooikat Recycling Project

For Immediate Release
24 October 2022

In terms of Section 36 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act 39 of 2004) the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is charged with implementing the atmospheric emission licencing system. In accordance with the Air Quality Act, the GRDM is responsible for performing the licensing function of a licensing authority.

The Rooikat recycling PTY Ltd applied for an atmospheric emission licence on the South Africa Atmospheric Emission and Licencing portal (SAAELIP) and went through an Environmental impact assessment process. This process involved, amongst others, public participation, and specialist studies (air quality impact assessment).

After consideration, the integrated Environmental Authorisation (Waste Licence) was granted after which the GRDM also granted the Provisional Atmospheric emission licence (PAEL). Both these authorisations were appealed and both appeals were rejected by the applicable appeal authorities. Please find below the granting letter issued to Rooikat as well as the appeal outcome letter from the Municipal Manager of the GRDM, Mr Monde Stratu.

PAEL Granting letter

Reason for appeal decision


12 September 2022 Media Release: GRDM faced with another tragic loss – Adri Miles passes away

GRDM faced with another tragic loss – Adri Miles passes away

For immediate release
12 September 2022

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) family has suffered yet another tragic loss after one of its dear colleagues, Adri Miles, passed away at the age of 37 during the early hours of 7 September 2022.

Adri was a mother of two who started her GRDM career in October 2007 as a temporary employee in the Social Development section. She was later permanently appointed at GRDM Community Services as an Administrative Assistant for Municipal Health Services on 1 June 2010. This was as a result of her excellent work ethic and dedication to her job.

Tributes have already been poured in from friends, colleagues and family. Her love for singing, dedication to her religious beliefs and her winning smile and warm character, are some of the character traits she will be remembered for.  Her colleague and ‘bosom-buddy’ at work for more than ten years, Lee-ann Eksteen remembers Adri as her confidant and sister. “She taught me a lot, especially not to give up easily and to trust in God for everything. ‘His eye is on the sparrow’, was one of the songs we often sang with passion and enthusiasm – ‘uit volle bors’! My heart will always smile when I recall those special memories. I will always feel pain knowing that she is no longer with us, but the thought that she is truly free, gives me comfort”.

“Fly high, my friend, until we meet again!” – Lee-Ann Eksteen.

Melanie Wilson, Adri’s first supervisor at the then Eden District Municipality, recalls working with her as a young, passionate and dedicated twenty-year-old ‘girl’, who began her journey at the Social Development Section of Community Services in 2007.   “She was a beautiful, vibrant and powerful young woman.  Our connection with her, was instant and when I moved over to Tourism and Economic Development, it was a heart-breaking time for both of us.”

Melanie further said: “She was full of life, love and light.  She was not ashamed to display and demonstrate her love for God. Without a doubt a God-fearing woman. My heart is broken by Adri’s passing. The legacy and memories that she leaves behind will live in my heart forever,” Melanie concluded. On a lighter note, Wilson also referred to their fellow colleague Johannes Jaftha and Adri who always opened all their programs by singing the National Anthem in perfect harmony.

As GRDM family, we send our deepest sympathies to our late colleague’s family, husband, and their two children, whom she treasured so much and who have brought her so much love and joy.

Her voice has surely become silent, but her memories will always live on in our hearts.

Let’s take comfort in the words of one of her favorited songs:  His eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, And long for heaven, heaven and home,
When, when Jesus is my portion, My constant Friend is He;

Oh, oh-oh, his eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watched, watched it over me.

27 August 2022 Media Release: The GRDM salutes a true public servant

Media Release:  The GRDM salutes a true public servant

For immediate release
27 August 2022

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) announces with great sadness the passing of Georg Hendriksz on 23 August 2022. He was a beloved, hardworking and dedicated colleague who started his career at the then Klein Karoo Divisional Council in Oudtshoorn in 1984.

The 63-year-old Georg Hendriksz worked for the GRDM Municipal Health Services in Oudtshoorn for 39 years as an Environmental Health Practitioner.

As a true servant of the public, Hendriksz is remembered by his colleagues as a humble individual who made a significant impact on the lives of many people. “We will forever be grateful for the work he did at the GRDM’s Municipal Health Section. As colleagues, we will truly miss him. ‘May his soul rest in peace,’ said his long-time colleague Desmond Paulse.