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Address by Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, at the Council Meeting today


Thank you Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker,


I’m still tired of last night’s by-elections – this region once again proved itself that we can work together.

Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate all the winners of last night – all the different political parties. We will still work together – there were no incidents of which I am aware of, therefore very well done to all the politicians.


Last Friday we had a visit by the National Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkize, and also the Western Cape MEC of Health, Honorable Nomafrench Mbombo and all the relevant role-players, partners, stakeholders and front-line people – all joined under one roof and all eyes are on us as the Garden Route as to what will be the next step in terms of addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is evident that the numbers are still increasing and we are therefore pleading with the people, that all of this is in our own hands – we can only confront this if we stick to the basics and that we are not going to get tired in alerting people on what we are supposed to do. To reflect on that meeting, our gratitude of GRDM, on behalf of all the local municipalities, all the frontline people dealing with this pandemic – we know you do the best that you can. We are very fortunate in the sense that we do have the facilities in the Western Cape, in particularly the Garden Route.

The challenge is that the facilities will be strained if the numbers continue to grow and then we will exhaust our human resources such as medical doctors, nurses, to name a few. We are sincerely asking the people to take that into account – their behaviour will determine the outcome of the Garden Route. The President of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa, will make an announcement what will be the next step for the Garden Route. We’ve managed to put together a broader Joint Task Team initiative, which includes a broader spectrum – medical doctors, fire fighters, law enforcement officers, the South African Police Service, the Department of Labour, etc.

Again, out of this initiative, we have now embarked on spot-checks where we visit premises – I must say out of those spot-checks, we’ve already closed down some businesses in George and Hessequa, because they were found to be non-compliant. We are strictly monitoring the regulations as well. To all the business people out there and everybody else, we will be visiting business premises for inspections to see if people indeed comply.

The next focus will be on businesses in the hospitality industry and recreation spaces. We will unfortunately have to close any business down should they not comply. We are sick and tired of people not taking this pandemic seriously. We as GRDM, will be issuing more than 1 000 Covid-19 kits to be distributed to informal businesses.


Also, as a reminder to the people of the Garden Route, we did embark on a project in relation to fighting illegal dumping – it is a battle that we’re still engaging in. As soon as we have cleared certain areas, people go and dump again – it is a matter of education. People must not think that if we clear an illegal dumpsite, that it is regarded as a collecting point. These behaviours lead to comorbidities – we will start acting against offenders. We therefore encourage all communities in the Garden Route to also put ears and eyes in the streets, to identify the culprits and deal with them accordingly. To date, we have already cleared 100 cubic meters of waste. We realise there is still plenty to be done, but the roll-out of the project will continue with skips that were placed at illegal dumping hotspots.


This is also the last Council meeting for 2020 and on that note; I would like to wish all the councillors, officials and all our stakeholders, a Merry Christmas and a BETTER 2021. This year, 2020, has been tough on all of us. I also know because of the pandemic, meetings will still continue virtually – please be on standby if this happens.

I thank you.

8 December 2020 Save the date: Memorial Service of the late Councillor Mputumi Putco Mapitiza

Save the date: Memorial Service of the late Councillor Mputumi Putco Mapitiza

On Tuesday, 8 December 2020, Councillors and Staff of Garden Route District Municipality will be celebrating the life of our late Councillor, Cllr Mputumi Putco Mapitiza, during a virtual Memorial Service that will be hosted from the Council Chambers of the Municipality in George.

Cllr Mapitiza sadly passed away on 3 December 2020.

Members of the public are invited to join the Memorial Service through the Municipality’s Zoom platform on:

The Service will also be live-streamed on the Municipality’s Youtube channel at:

Rest in Peace Mputumi Putco Mapitiza.

3 December 2020 Media Release: Garden Route DM loses Councillor to COVID-19

Media Release: Garden Route DM loses Councillor to COVID-19

For immediate release
3 December 2020

It is with great sadness that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) announces the passing of Councillor Putco Mphuthumi Mapitiza, an ANC (African National Congress) Councillor from Plettenberg Bay who has succumbed to COVID-19.

The late Councillor Mapitiza was directly elected as councillor to serve on the Garden Route District Municipal Council. He also served on numerous committees, including the Property and Asset Management Committee, the Workplace and Restructuring Committee and the Strategic Services Committee.  Mapitiza is described by councillors who worked alongside him as a true leader; an outstanding servant of the people; a prolific commissar and a revolutionary who loved life.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, recalled meeting the late Putco Mapitiza in 1989 while participating in boxing, whereafter they became inspiring partners, practising and attending tournaments together. Booysen said on a ‘lighter note’, “He (Mapitiza) was lucky, he retired undefeated in boxing”.  Alderman Booysen remembered recruiting Putco into youth politics in 1994-1995 with the help of the present ANC Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, Mr Lulama Mvimbi, whereafter the three of them became political associates.  After ‘graduating’ into fulltime politics and years later, Booysen (who later joined the Democratic Alliance) and Mapitiza both became councillors at the GRDM.  “We will all remember Putco and especially me, as somebody who had no grey areas in his personality.  What you saw was what you got, and one either agreed or disagreed with him. He was not a pretender in terms of expressing his political ideologies. I do believe that his passing is a great loss to the Garden Route as a whole. I am saddened that in this instance I am not just losing a friend or a former sports partner, but a brother too – MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE,” Alderman Booysen concluded.

GRDM’s ANC Chief Whip and long-time “comrade’’ of the late Mapitiza, Alderman Pieter Van der Hoven, remembers him as a visionary, a shepherd and a sober thinker, at the forefront of technology, who was loved by all who dealt with him. “The value Comrade Putco added to the ANC, as well as being a community leader, remains incomparable. As a councillor, he was dedicated, strategic and directional with a reasoned judgement. He was highly respected and had an unsurpassed sense of humour.  Putco’s death is a huge shock and loss to the greater organisation in the region and the community,” Van der Hoven said.

Alderman Virgil Gericke, President of the Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners (PBI) and fellow councillor at GRDM, furthermore described Mapitiza as a present gentleman, a true cadre loyal to the course of freedom and justice.

The late Councillor Putco Mphuthumi Mapitiza served as the former ANC Regional Secretary in the Southern Cape, as well as Ex Officio on the Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC.

As we enter the festive season and with the second wave of COVID-19 in ‘full bloom’, the GRDM wants to call on the public to continue adhering to safe and hygienic behaviours, to stay vigilant and always wear a mask in public, to avoid large gatherings and continue practising social distancing.


27 July 2020 Speech by Mayor Booysen at an Ordinary Council Meeting of Garden Route DM

Thank you Alderman Speaker and once again, good morning to all Councillors present, those in Council Chambers and those who are working from home.

Alderman Speaker, in my culture they say that one builds a relationship by giving a handshake to another or by having eye-to-eye contact. I am now making eye contact with Councillor Wilbert Harris. I would like to relay to him that he is warmly welcomed as a member of our council. We have worked together on other platforms and are not strangers to one another, hence I will relay as Councillor Gericke did, when he congratulated our new Alderladies – let’s continue to do what we are elected to do. I am convinced that you will be able to efficiently do what you were elected to do.

Alderman Speaker, I must remind the people of the Garden Route that we are taking a lot of strain under COVID-19. Our region is still a hotspot and now one of the fastest growing in terms of rising active cases. This has been calculated in terms of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 in our area. We unfortunately keep peaking on a daily basis.

Once again, my plea to Garden Routers is to please abide by what we have been asked to do. We must wear our masks when we go out in public, we must wash our hands frequently for 20 seconds or longer, we must exercise social distancing, and we must look after ourselves when making use of public transport. It is in every individual’s hands to collectively beat this virus together

Alderman Speaker, you did allude to some of our own colleagues who are infected, some are Councillors too. Our prayers are with them and we support them in everything they do. We hope and pray that those in quarantine do not become infectious.

Alderman Speaker, also on another sad note, there was a horrible accident in Plettenberg Bay over the past weekend and I am not going to mention names, because I was not given permission to do so. What I can say is that the lady who died was a personal assistant of mine when I was Mayor for Bitou Municipality. My heartfelt condolences go out to the friends, family and colleagues of the deceased. On behalf of the Garden Route District Municipality, our prayers go out to them – may the Lord give them strength over this time.

Alderman Speaker, we also buried our former Integrated Development Manager the past weekend in Molteno, one of the last items he prepared for today’s meeting. I want to say that those of us who had been to Mr Cekiso’s funeral followed all necessary protocols and safety measures on the day. We did not even get out of our vehicles at the cemetery or anything. Apart from us being sanitised our clothes and the area around us were disinfected.

Thank you Alderman Speaker.

27 July 2020 Media Release: Alderlady status conferred upon two (2) additional Councillors of the Garden Route District Municipality

Media Release: Alderlady status conferred upon two (2) additional Councillors of the Garden Route District Municipality

For Immediate Release
27 July 2020

Alderlady status conferred upon two (2) additional Councillors of the Garden Route District Municipality. They include Alderladies Jennifer Harnick & Iona Kritzinger.

The bestowment of Alderman or Alderlady statuses occurs upon the commencement of a councillor’s term as Executive Mayor, Executive Deputy Mayor or Speaker of Council. Furthermore, any Councillor who obtains a minimum of ten (10) points on the following scale, also qualifies for the conferment: One (1) point for every year of service as a Councillor at one or more municipalities and it need not be continuous; and one (1) additional point for every year of service as a member of the Mayoral Committee.

Aldermen/Alderladies also receive the following privileges:

  • provision of a special parking space in the municipal parking area on prior arrangement;
  • provision of agendas even after retirement in electronic format if so required;
  • Alderman/Alderlady is kept on municipal invitation lists; and
  • reserving of special seats at Council Meetings should a member so wish; issuing of an Honorary certificate.