Category: <span>Community Services</span>

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.

26 July 2022 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality’s role in managing of human remains

Media Release: Garden Route DM’s role in managing of human remains

For Immediate Release
25 July 2022

The disposal of the dead, also known as the management of human remains, is one of the nine municipal health functions performed by Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) assigned to local governments under the National Health Act 2003 (Act no. 61 of 2003).

According to the National Health Act, handling of human remains, transportation, and funeral undertakers’ facilities must all be inspected and monitored at least twice a year. However, ongoing monitoring is also required. Environmental health inspections include identifying, monitoring, and assessing health risks, nuisances, and hazards at funeral homes. Where necessary, corrective and preventative actions are implemented.

The main functions of EHPs in the management of human remains is as follows:

  • EHPs ensure that funeral homes are operating under current certificates. Upon confirmation that the facility complies with environmental health regulations, a certificate of competency is issued.
  • EHPs further ensure that handling, collection, storage, and disposal of waste, including health care risk waste, comply with SANS 10248, Norms and Standards for waste management.
  • Conduct risk assessment to identify potential health hazards from the preparation and storage of human remains.
  • Provide health education and awareness on proper hygiene practices as well as water and sanitation practices.
  • Ensures that the funeral undertaker premises have a pest control plan and that pest control services are performed at least once a month.
  • In case of non-compliant after an inspection, the relevant EHP will liaise with the owner of the funeral undertaker.
  • After each inspection, the EHPs ensure that the inspection report indicates the condition of the premises and relevant health recommendations are provided to the owner or person in charge.
  • EHPs ensure that a database of all premises in their area used for handling, preparing, and storing human remains is maintained.
  • EHPs must ensure that all facilities and equipment used in connection with the handling, preparation, storage, preservation, and transportation of human remains adhere to the regulation relating to the management of human remains, in accordance with National Health Act 61 of 2003.

For any further information, please contact us at the respective regional offices within the Garden Route District Municipality:

Klein Karoo Region

Mr. Desmond Paulse

Tel: +27(0)44 272 2241

Cell: +27(0)83 678 6530

Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

Kanaland Region

Mr. George Hendriksz

Tel: +27(0)44 272 2241

Cell: +27(0)82 907 3492

Address: 15 Regent Street, Oudtshoorn

Mossel Bay

Mr. Sam Bendle

Tel:  +27(0)44 693 0006

Cell: +27(0)83 630 6108

Address C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay.

George Outeniqua

Ms. Emmy Douglas

Tel: +27(0)44 803 1501

Cell: +27(0)78 457 2824

Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George, 6530

George Wilderness

Mr. Pieter Raath

Tel: +27(0)44 803 1501

Cell: +27(0)83 644 8858

Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

Knysna Region

Mr. James McCarthy

Tel: +27(0)44 382 7214

Cell: +27(0)82 805 9417

Address: 26A Queen Street, Knysna

Bitou Region

Mr. Gawie Vos

Tel: +27(0)44 501 1600

Cell: +27(0)83 557 1522

Address: 7 Gibb Street, Plettenberg Bay

Hessequa Region

Mr. Haemish Herwels

Tel: +27(0)28 713 2438

Cell: +27(0)83 678 6545

Address: 23 Michell Street, Riversdale, 6670

 

Mr. Johan Compion

Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services

Cell: +27(0)82 803 5161

E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za

Tel: 044 803 1300

 

22 June 2022 Media Release: Garden Route District sources smoke detectors for Qolweni and Bossiesgif

Media Release: Garden Route District sources smoke detectors for Qolweni and Bossiesgif

For Immediate Release
22 June 2022

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in conjunction with Bitou Municipality, and Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) employees, installed 1 368 smoke detectors in Qolweni and Bossiesgif informal settlements in March 2022.  The intervention came after shack fires destroyed several informal structures and claimed the lives of three (3) Garden Routers in 2021. During incidents, 13 informal structures were destroyed, leaving 50 people homeless. Many residents are temporarily displaced during structural fires or do not have the means to rebuild their lives.

Lee-Ann Joubert (GRDM Disaster Management Officer), Bongani Kraya (EPWP) en Morné Zietsman (GRDM Disaster Management intern) all worked together to ensure the smoke detector installations happened according to plan.

Cllr Nompumelelo Ndayi, GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, said: “I am grateful for the intervention that was initiated by the GRDM’s Disaster Management Centre and for the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre who donated the smoke detectors, as well as for Bitou Municipality’s assistance during the installation of the devices. I have already been informed of these early warning devices have saved several lives in Qolweni and Bossiesgif”.

The smoke detector installation project created temporary jobs for eight (8) EPWP individuals from Bitou who received comprehensive training on installing and testing the devices after concluding each task. The installation followed a phased approach to cover high-risk dwellings.

According to Lee-Ann Joubert, GRDM Disaster Management Officer: “Each installation had to be done according to a strict procedure, requiring the address, person’s name and surname and contact details to be provided. EPWP officials also recorded the ID numbers and contact details of those who stayed at dwellings without addresses.”

Community members were informed of the installations by means of loud hailing over weekends. Similar interventions will be rolled out to the rest of the region in all high-risk areas identified through a GRDM Disaster Risk Assessment. According to District’s risk assessment, Smutsville in Sedgefield, Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay and Thembalethu in George, are in dire need of similar interventions. This will cost the GRDM Council R1 695 000 and include 4 500 smoke detection devices (including installation costs). The estimated cost per smoke detector is between R350 and R400 each and all installed devices in Qolweni and Bossiesgif were funded by the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre.

Through this risk reduction initiative, the most vulnerable communities are notified by a loud and timely alarm, allowing everyone to escape safely. During the installation, each household will continue to receive fire-wise education material too.

Feature image: EPWP workers who installed the smoke detector devices at dwellings in Bossiesgif and Qolweni.

ENDS

29 March 2022 Media release: Wowee for WoW! Champions

Media release: Wowee for WoW! Champions

For immediate release
29 March 2022

A number of Health staff from across the Garden Route received recognition during an award ceremony in Cape Town recently for promoting wellness within their communities as part of the Western Cape on Wellness (WoW!) initiative.

WoW! is a healthy lifestyles-promoting partnership programme of the Western Cape Government and its valued partners. The overarching purpose of WoW! is to promote health, reduce health inequalities and strengthen social inclusiveness/connectedness by co-creating enabling environments for sustained healthy lifestyle choices throughout our life course. The programme was implemented in 2017 and wellness champions were identified and trained to promote wellness within their facilities and communities.

The winners were as follow:

Bronze: The KwaNokuthula WOW Wellness Club

WoW champions:  Thamsanqa Happiness Magwebu, Masixole Blouw and Nonkoliso Zandile from Kwanokuhtula clinic in Plettenberg Bay.

The KwaNokuthula WOW Wellness Club started with exercises for staff. Fitness instructors visited the clinic on a regular basis during lunchtime for all to participate in aerobic exercise. The club started the Adolescent Youth Friendly Services (AYFS) group and Safe Play Streets which included many activities within communities to include children.

Silver: Hessequa for the programme “Restore total wellness”

WoW! Champions: Dina-Marie Dwyer (lead champion) and Chanel Louw (co-champion)

Projects included funding and distributing gifts for Nurses Day 2021, running a healthy lifestyle competition with a twist and starting a food garden.

Their main focus however was the emotional and mental wellness of staff. They’ve established an onsite wellness clinic via the Employee Health and Wellness Programme for staff to be able to attend sessions.

Silver: Jolly Gymmers programme in Riversdale

WoW! Champions: Chanel Louw

The Jolly Gymmers currently consist of 26 group members of which 18 members are committed and consistent. They focus on physical activities, i.e. exercise session three times per week from 17:00-18:00 and participate in community events like fun walks and the CANSA relay for life. They also participate in continuous healthy eating/lifestyle challenges as motivation and encouragement to live healthy. These challenges focus on eating healthier, drinking water and getting enough sleep. Many of the ladies are diagnosed with chronic diseases of life and through the group activities, they aim to decrease uncontrolled vitals and reach a level of consistent good health.

‘The Jolly Gymmers are a bunch of dynamic adults with beautiful souls and vibrant personalities. You can’t but be enriched after spending time with this group’, said Chanel.

Silver: Bridgeton Elderly Wow! Group

WoW! Champions: Eshida May and Mariam Darries

The Bridgton Elderly WoW! Club was established three years ago.

Mrs Miriam Darries is the coordinator for the Elderly Crime Prevention Desk. In conjunction with SAPS and other role players, the elderly meet once a week.

Different activities are enjoyed such as needlework, knitting, food gardens, etc.

Reaching out to other elderly people is done daily and largely focuses on abuse, negligence in the care of the elderly as well as the exploitation of SASSA grants. This club offers support to the elderly as well as meals twice a week. The Department of Health visits the club monthly. A focus on health, observations as well a healthy lifestyle are emphasized. Exercises are done monthly with the elderly.

Gold: Swartberg Senior Club in Dysselsdorp. This team also won the innovation award.

WoW! Champions: Caria Booysen, Brigette Dysel and Christa Harmse

What started in 2018 as a program designed to support the seniors group at Swartberg in Dysselsdorp through activities including healthy eating, talks/advice/information sharing, exercise, food gardening, sugar challenge campaign, salt reduction campaign, has grown to where they now serve 72 regular members on a weekly basis. The Swartberg Senior Club is proudly supported by the Department of Health, local churches, local NGOs, schools and share the honours with relevant stakeholders and supporters.

Well done to all the clubs and keep up the good work!

Caption: The Bridgeton Elderly WoW! Club.

END

Nadia Ferreira

Principal Communications Officer

Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts

Western Cape Government Health

Tel: 044 813 1831

Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za

Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

30 June 2021 Media Release:  “We are two weeks ahead of schedule” – upgrades at Calitzdorp Spa

Media Release:  “We are two weeks ahead of schedule” – upgrades at Calitzdorp Spa

For immediate release
30 June 2021

After almost a month of hard work, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) owned Calitzdorp Spa is gradually transforming into a new magical mountain retreat, reclaiming its rightful space in the magnificent mountain vistas of the Klein Karoo. Construction work, which was planned to be executed a number of phases, is currently well on track. “We are at least two weeks ahead of schedule,” Medron Bussack, Acting Manager for Calitzdorp Spa.

The roofs of the swimming pool chalets and mountain chalets have already been repaired. As of now, the reception area and main building’s roofs are being replaced with new steel-based, light roof thatch tiles. The contractors also replaced the roofs’ hip and ridge flashings with treated timber battens and related accessories. Amongst the work done has been a new face of the resorts Roman bath. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions of the Spa, the ‘mineral-rich hot spring bath’ is known for its healing and curative properties. The windows in the Roman bathing room were also replaced.

The next phases will commence as soon as funding becomes available in the new financial year, beginning on 1 July 2021.  These phases will mainly focus on more repairs and upgrades of the mountain chalets, as well as the ablution facilities at the four (4) camping sites and the four (4) pool lapas.

With the construction works currently underway, the GRDM wants to assure the public that the resort is still in full operation and looks forward to welcoming visitors to the resort!

 

28 January 2021 Media Release: GRDM delegation led by Executive Mayor visits Garden Route Food Pantry 

Media Release: GRDM delegation led by Executive Mayor visits Garden Route Food Pantry 

For immediate release
28 January 2021

Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Alderman Memory Booysen, and officials visited the Garden Route Food Pantry in George to view the progress made so far before the facility’s launch in February this year.

The Food Pantry is owned by the Non-Governmental Organisation, Eden Community Hope Outreach (ECHO), and is operated in collaboration with GRDM and local municipalities in the district with the purpose of alleviating hunger.

During the visit, Carl van Blerk, Managing Director of ECHO, spoke about the progress made so far and what has been achieved thus far. He said:  “We are working together with Government (Municipalities) and private sector companies and do this hand in hand.

Executive Mayor of GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen (middle) and Managing Director of the Garden Route Food Pantry, Carl van Blerk (left) with Clive Africa, GRDM Executive Manager for Community Services (right) during discussions at the Garden Route Food Pantry.
Executive Mayor of GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen (right), Managing Director of the Garden Route Food Pantry, Carl van Blerk (left) and Siphiwe Dladla, GRDM Chief of Staff in the Office of the Mayor (middle), during the visit.

“The idea is to get all local municipalities in the Garden Route involved in the Food Pantry to assist with the running cost of the facility”. He added that private sector businesses already donate essential food items to struggling communities through the NGO, while many other businesses also pledged their support to the initiative – discussions are ongoing with all those interested in bringing a positive change to people who need aid,” he added.

Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, said: “We have to lead by the example and this initiative is what we need for this district. It can only be successful if it is run in partnership will all businesses and community members,” he added.

Mayor Booysen highlighted: “This is the first joint initiative of its kind in the Western Cape, therefore we will prove to everyone that this type of strategic partnership is not only important, but much needed to restore the well-being of our friends, families and neighbours. Through this initiative, we hope that other municipalities throughout South Africa will duplicate our approach to assist struggling communities,” Booysen concluded.

The Garden Route District Municipal Council in May 2020 resolved that an investigation needed to be conducted into the joint initiative of a district foodbank. Following meetings with relevant stakeholders in the district, it was resolved that one strategy for the District should be formulated, with clear objectives and targets to address poverty and hunger within the Garden Route district.  Due to the urgency of the current situation, exacerbated by the knock-on effects of the current Covid-19 pandemic,  the Eden Lions Club secured funding for the establishment of a District Food Pantry. In September last year, the GRDM Council indicated their interest in joining the initiative and made a decision to share the operational costs with all local municipalities in the Garden Route. However, according to Clive Africa, GRDM Executive Manager for Community Services who was also present during the visit, the National Covid-19 fund will stop by the end of January, which will have a negative impact on food security within the Garden Route district.

Planning to get the facility ready for the launch are now underway, while engagements with local municipalities not yet forming part of the initiative, continue. The private sector businesses in the Garden Route involved is one of the cornerstones of this initiative and will ensure the successful roll-out of it in the fight against hunger within the district.

Feature Photo:  The GRDM delegation with the Garden Route Food Pantry team in front of the Kevin van Niekerk mural, depicting the entire Garden Route inside the Food Pantry.

END

iStock.com/j_aija

Media Release: COVID-19 braille guidelines distributed to public

Media Release: COVID-19 braille guidelines distributed to public

For Immediate Release
26 March 2020

Earlier today, 26 March 2020, a call-to-action was communicated to the public to notify Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), should anyone require a COVID-19 Braille Guideline document. Mr Carl de Campos, a SQL Database Administrator from George, was the first to request one. Just over an hour after the request, Mr Deon Van Wyk (GRDM Deputy Fire Chief), delivered the document to de Campos at his home. Upon receiving the document, de Campos said: “I’d like to thank Garden Route District Municipality for organising this guideline and thinking of the blind, I sincerely appreciate it”. Mr de Campos also shared details of other people in the district who needs the COVID-19 guidelines.

Deliveries of those guidelines will take place today or tomorrow by Essential Workers.
Mr Clive Africa (GRDM Executive Manager: Community Services), is currently on his way to Knysna to deliver another copy of the guideline to a person whose son is visually impaired.

Mr Carl de Campos receives his COVID-19 Braille guideline document.

 

The document, includes the following content:

Overview of the disease

Infectious Agent; Clinical Description; Reservoirs; Incubation Period; Mode of Transmission; Signs and Symptoms

Case Definitions

Suspected Case;Confirmed Case

Prevention and Control

Precautionary measures to general public; Advise all contacts & home care; When and how to wash our hands; Washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself and your family against diseases and/or illnesses; Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way; Guideline for cleaning and disinfection in your home; Points to Remember.

ENDS

Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
E-mail: communications@gardenroute.gov.za