Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality donates mattresses to Kleine Handjies Crèche in Uniondale
For immediate release 27 January 2023
An Early Childhood Development (ECD) facility is required to create a suitable and comfortable environment for all toddlers enrolled at it. A safe sleeping area for toddlers is an integral part of a suitable environment. To ensure that these spaces are comfortable enough to provide a healthy sleeping routine, items such as mattresses are regarded as essential items for a toddler.
Caretakers and toddlers from the “Klein Handjies Crèche” in Uniondale were pleasantly surprised, last week Friday, when they received a visit from Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) officials who donated twenty (20) mattresses to the crèche.
Crèche principal, Chanell Jumat, extended words of appreciation and gratitude to the GRDM Chief Fire Officer, Deon Stoffels and Senior Firefighter and Acting Station Officer: Fire Safety & Training, Devonia Cupido, who delivered the items. She admitted that the daycare facility had many needs, of which mattresses were one of them. “We are extremely thankful for the GRDM who reached out to us, especially our toddlers. We want each child to enjoy a safe and comfortable environment where they receive the care they deserve”. Adding to these words, Jumat said: “There are times when I feel that we are the forgotten ECD facility, as we have many needs that still need to be addressed and today, I am thankful for these essentials,” she said.
The GRDM officials also used the opportunity and offered a refresher session to the toddlers and caretakers about the importance of fire safety and important tips related to it.
“Kleine Handjies Crèche” was established in 2018 and currently accommodates fifty (50) toddlers of the Uniondale area. Although the facility has the capacity to accommodate ninety (90) toddlers, a long list of needs still need to be addressed. This includes daily meals, toiletries, stationary, tables and chairs for the toddlers to have the ideal and suitable environment where they can be prepared for the next phase of their education.
If you would like to donate to this crèche, contact Chanell Jumat at 066 3381 748.
Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality supports Thembalethu Neighbourhood Watch
For immediate ielease 18 November 2022
On Tuesday, 15 November 2022, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), as the ‘parent holder’ of the Transfer Payment Agreement Grant between the Western Cape Department of Community Safety and local municipalities in the district, handed over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Thembalethu Neighbourhood Watch. Items included torches, batons and two-way radios.
GRDM was approached by the Thembalethu Area Based Team (ABT), formed by various community structures in Thembalethu, who requested assistance due to the high crime rate in the area for the neighbourhood watch. A request for PPE was received later during a Neighbourhood Watch and Community Forum (CPF) Indaba held.
Advocate van Niekerk, the Executive Mayor of GRDM, handed over the 90 batons, 20 two-way radios, and 20 torches to the Chairperson’s of the different sectors within the Thembalethu Neighbourhood Watch. The items valued at twenty thousand rand (R20 000). In his remarks, Advocate van Niekerk, GRDM Deputy Executive Mayor for GRDM, thanked the members of the Thembalethu Neighbourhood Watch for their commitment and willingness to stand out and take the lead. “To sit at home and point fingers, to complain, to ‘moan and groan’, is always the easy route, but the most difficult part is to wake-up in the early hours and to go out on patrol and to make sure your neighbourhood is safe – that makes you heroes,” Van Niekerk said.
Representatives from the Western Cape Department of Community Safety, the Deputy Executive Mayor of the GRDM, Advocate Gert Van Niekerk, members of the GRDM Mayoral Committee, the Executive Members of the Thembalethu CPF, the chairpersons and secretaries of the three sectors of Thembalethu Neighbourhood Watch and the South African Police Service were in attendance.
Media Release: GRDM Councillors and officials visit premises and establishments in the Hessequa area
For immediate release 30 August 2022
On Monday, 22 Augustus 2022, a Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) delegation visited various premises and sites within the Hessequa region (Heidelberg and Slangrivier) to establish shortcomings, evaluate standards of municipal health services delivered, as well as to hand over sanitary towels to learners. Community Services Portfolio Committee members, Ald. Nompumelelo Ndayi, Cllrs Jobieth Hoogbaard and Cobus Meiring, Executive Manager, Clive Africa for Community Services, Manager for Municipal Health and Environmental Management, Johan Compion, and officials from the Hessequa Region formed part of the delegation.
Municipal Health Services as defined in the National Health Act, 2003 includes the following Key Performance Areas of which these visits are applicable to: Water Quality Monitoring, Food Control, Solid Waste Management, Health Surveillance of Premises, Supervision and Prevention of Contagious Diseases (excluding Immunization), Vector Control, Environmental Pollution Control, Disposal of Human Remains and the Safe handling of Chemical Substances.
The team visited three (3) crèches, a soup kitchen, a high school, a spaza shop and an illegal dumping site. By visiting these facilities/premises Councillors were afforded the opportunity to understand how the interventions of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) assist these establishments to comply with relevant By-Laws and/or legislation. Ongoing monitoring and health and hygiene education by the EHPs enable them to implement measures to address the gaps in line with the Key Performance Areas for Municipal Health Services.
During the visits, Haemish Herwels, Chief: Municipal Health for the Hessequa region, and Marchelles Hurling, Environmental Health Practitioner, explained the inspection procedures and the issues of importance.
Child care facilities – Herwels reiterated the importance of allowable floor space, which dictate the number of children that can be accommodated at childcare premises. According to the relevant norms and standards, 1.5 m² must be available for each child. Furthermore he explained that the compliance to the prescribed number of toddlers and proper ventilation can minimize the spread of diseases within the classroom setting.
When visiting another crèche in the area it was observed that space was a real challenge. Crèche principle, Petro Joseph, informed the delegation that due to the number of toddlers currently registered at the facility she is in the process of expanding the facility to ensure, not only compliance to the GRDM By-laws, but also promoting the health and safety of all their toddlers.
Herwels also explained that EHPs visit these facilities on a regular basis to evaluate the hygiene standards of classrooms, bathrooms, outside play areas and the kitchens of those facilities who prepare meals for the toddlers
Visit to Slangrivier High School – Visiting Slangrivier High School was the highlight of the event when Cllr Ndayi and the team handed over two hundred (200) packs of sanitary towels to learners. When she took the items into acceptance, Raymondi Saayman admitted that not having these items makes it difficult for learners to attend school, which has a detrimental impact on their overall academic performance. She extended a messages of appreciation to the Garden Route team for the generous donation. With August being Women’s month Ald. Ndayi, said “While we are celebrating Women’s Month, we hope that these products will help restore the dignity of our female learners, as they will be our leaders of tomorrow”.
Illegal Dumping – The team visited certain sites along Eikeweg where illegal dumping has become a major problem. Herwels explained that the EHP’s conduct regular inspections of formal and informal settlements to monitor illegal dumping, as part of Waste Management which is listed as a key performance area, as these sites if not managed, create favourable conditions for the breeding of flies and rodents which can contribute to the spread of diseases. When illegal dumping is brought under their attention, it is immediately communicated to the Hessequa Municipality. Furthermore Herwels mentioned that currently they have a good relationship with the Hessequa Municipality, as such that when issues are communicated it is addressed immediately.
Spaza Shops – Spaza shops, over the years have become the life-line of informal economic development which has become significant in our communities across the country. These shops are mostly situated in residential areas and customers therefore do not have to travel far to purchase essential goods, especially in case of emergencies.
Although it has its benefits of easy access, these shops must comply with all the requirements as stipulated in the Regulations Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises and the Transport of Food and Related Matters R 638 of 22 June 2018, to ensure that customers enjoy a convenient, but mostly a healthy shopping experience. Regular inspections are conducted by the EHPs to ensure compliance with the regulation and food samples are taken from time to time to monitor the bacteriological and chemical quality of products. One such spaza-shop is Corner Shop, situated in Heidelberg. When the Garden Route delegation entered the shop, they immediately observed the neatness of the shop with food products that were labelled properly. Marcelles Hurling, the EHP responsible for Heidelberg and Witsand areas, gave an overview of how the inspections are conducted and the intervention taken to ensure compliance to the Regulation. He furthermore explained that constant hygiene and food safety training have an enormous influence on the tidiness of Spaza shops, of which Corner shop is a good example.
Soup Kitchens – A touching moment was to see how Aunt Catherine, together with her assistants prepared a hearty meal for the vulnerable members in her community. When arriving at the soup kitchen, adults and kids were already queuing to receive their warm soup. Cat’s Kitchen provides meals to almost 100 people per day, three days a week. Catherine said: “We started very small, and at a point I was able to register the soup kitchen and from there onwards, various people came on board including councillors and family members, who helped me to be able to provide these meals”. Adding to this, she said: “We are grateful to the group Unspoken for their assistance with the capturing of the beneficiaries’ names when they collect their meals. With this we can determine who the most vulnerable is in the community”.
Ablution facilities– The team furthermore visited Donald Square, an informal settlement in Heidelberg. According to Herwels, EHPs conduct regular inspections in the area, to evaluate the structural requirements of toilet facilities and the hygiene aspects thereof. A major aspect that is also monitored is the issue of illegal dumping.
While addressing the team, in closing, Cllr Ndayi, said: “For the current GRDM Community Services Portfolio Committee it was our first visit to the premises where our Municipal Health Service perform their duties and it has been an inspiring experience to see how thankful these establishments’ representatives were towards GRDM”. Adding to this she highlighted: “Being accompanied by my colleagues Cllrs Meiring and Hoogbaard, as well as the Head of the Department and the team who work closely with these establishments, showed their true commitment and passion for the communities of the Garden Route”.
Feature Photo: Before leaving Cat’s Soup Kitchen in Slangrivier fo their next stop, Aunt Catherine insisted that each member of the GRDM delegation enjoys a warm cup of soup.
Media Release: 32 Small Businesses benefitted from the Garden Route District Municipality’s SMME Support and Development Programme For immediate release 31 May 2022
As small businesses are the backbone of the economy, the government has introduced various forms of relief to help Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A good example of this is when the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council resolved, four years ago ‘to put their money where their mouths are’ by supporting and investing tangibly in SMME’s of the Garden Route. With a mentorship process funded by the GRDM, specific business needs were identified through one-on-one business assessments.
This resulted in the GRDM Economic Development and Tourism Departments SMME Support and Development Programme being introduced during the 2019/20 financial year (1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020). This Programme was initiated and is coordinated by the GRDM Economic Development and Tourism Department. Other stakeholders, such as the Department of Agriculture (DoA); Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT); Small Enterprises Development Agency (Seda), the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) and local municipalities in the district played a critical role in driving this.
In the past year, the GRDM Council allocated R682 000.00 from its budget to assist SMMEs in the district to grow their businesses. Small businesses were invited to submit proposals as part of the selection process. An advertisement was placed in the regional newspapers, social media and the municipal website.
An Adjudication Committee, representing various stakeholders, reviewed the all the business proposals received and made recommendations. These recommendations were subsequently approved, which led to a formal handover ceremony.
Thirty-two (32) SMMEs from across the Garden Route received much-needed equipment from the GRDM stakeholder partnership on Thursday, 26 May 2022. The GRDM Deputy Executive Mayor, Adv. Gert van Niekerk, members of the GRDM Mayoral Committee, Local Economic Development (LED) managers of the local municipalities in the district, and various stakeholders attended the ceremony.
The program was officially opened by Ald. Iona Kritzinger, GRDM Portfolio Chairperson of Corporate Services. With a special welcome to the thirty-two beneficiaries, she expressed her hopes that the equipment they received would add value to their businesses and help them to thrive.
Ald. Rosina Ruiters, GRDM Portfolio Chairperson of Planning and Economic Development Services, presented a brief overview of the SMME Support and Development Programme. She announced that the GRDM Council has invested R 2.1 million in the programme over the years and has supported 65 small businesses in the process.
The program director of the event and the Acting Executive Manager of the Planning and Economic Development Department, Ms Melanie Wilson, commended the small business owners for their endurance and strength; and encouraged them with a quote from the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Ms Wilson rendered a special word of acknowledgement and appreciation to the partners involved by saying, “As government we cannot function on our own; we need partnerships to be successful. With this project we’ve realized that in order to change the lives of our people and to make an impact, we need to build partnerships.” Wilson stated. GRDM signed an agreement with Casidra to execute the procurement process of the items on behalf of the District, which was exceptionally well managed.
A message of support for the partnership was delivered by Mr David Nefdt, Acting CEO of Casidra. He explained that Casidra believes that entrepreneurship is the only way to ensure that people have jobs, that there is food on the table, and to address the challenges in our communities. “There are not enough businesses that can create jobs, so the only way is to start new ones. Casidra wants to be part of this dream of establishing local businesses in the Garden Route District,” he said.
Mr Nefdt gave a brief overview of Casidra’s mandate and function and said that according to his understanding, government needs to do more to foster an environment for entrepreneurs to flourish by making it easier for small businesses to survive. He challenged the small businesses present with the following words, “You need to innovate unity; look at the cracks in your community and see if you can come up with something that can address the needs of people in your community. Let us all create an environment that encourages businesses to grow and be creative and innovative in addressing the needs of all people,” Nefdt concluded.
The keynote address was delivered by Ald. Gert van Niekerk, who explained the various aspects on how the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in business closures, job losses, and declining business profits. Accordingly, the GRDM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Economic Development & Tourism and SEDA with the objective of supporting SMME development in the Garden Route and thus make a crucial impact.
Van Niekerk explained that by initiating and implementing the SMME Support and Development Programme, the Council believes that the assistance granted to the thirty-two (32) SMMEs will make a significant contribution to the sustainability and expansion of their businesses. “We hope that you will continue to create jobs and that your businesses will grow. We salute you!” Cllr van Niekerk concluded.
Two (2) beneficiary SMME’s, Ms Tabita Williams from Ludify Suppliers and Ms Siphesihle Bobo from Sihle Fitness Academy, gave an overview of their respective businesses and thanked the GRDM and partners for firstly believing in them, and secondly for providing equipment and support to SMME’s in the district.
During the vote of thanks, EPWP Manager for the GRDM, Mr Richard Dyantyi, thanked the GRDM Council for their commitment to small businesses in the district. Dyantyi further thanked Casidra as a ‘driving partner’ as well as the other stakeholders involved and the GRDM Team for their commitment in making the programme a success.
At the end of the formalities, the Project Manager of the Programme, Mr Johannes Jafta, together with the GRDM Mayoral Committee, handed over equipment and material to the thirty-two (32) SMMEs.
Upon receiving the equipment, the SMMEs are required to sign a contract in which they agree not to sell the equipment donated to them. As part of the monitoring and evaluation process, GRDM officials will be required to regularly access the premises of all beneficiaries to view the equipment and assess each business’s growth.
Media Release: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
For immediate release
21 February 2022
A thought, or rather a WhatsApp message between two women, eager to make a difference, turned into the beginning of a life-changing movement. A drive resulted in 700 pairs of school shoes being donated to fourteen (14) principals at the launch of the Walk-a-Child-to-School program on Wednesday, 9 February 2022.
On 25 February 2021, Ms Queeny Diko, Vodacom Cluster Specialist for Eden Country, contacted Ms Nomonde Makhubalo, Marketing and Sales Manager of Eden FM Radio Station (Eden FM), to share her idea of establishing a school project initiative in collaboration with Eden FM. She wanted to place empty boxes in all Vodacom stores in George where people could donate school shoes. Eden FM would participate by promoting the project and creating awareness on the community radio station. Several days later, Mr Errol Jafta from the George Museum also approached Ms Makhubalo with more or less the same idea of collecting stationery and school clothes for children.
Following a thorough deliberation and brainstorming between the various parties, and taking into consideration the expected goals and objectives of the initiative, Ms Makhubalo quickly realised, “This project has more potential than meets the eye.” she said. Her enthusiasm led her to approach the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) to join in on the life-changing movement of donating school shoes to underprivileged children.
Through this collaboration between Eden FM, GRDM, Vodacom and George Museum, the shoes are donated and aid children to walk to school in comfort. This initiative also puts smiles on each recipient’s face by restoring their HOPE, PRIDE and DIGNITY.
In March 2021, the Walk-a-Child-to-School project was ‘born’ and officially launched in April 2021. As soon as the project commenced, businesses and community members in George generously opened their hearts and donated money and shoes. Within three (3) months, almost 500 pairs of shoes were donated. This demonstrated the power of collective action and people working together,” Ms Nomonde Makhubalo said.
During the first handover ceremony attended by GRDM Councillors, business owners, principals, and learners, Mr Morne Pietersen, Station Manager of Eden FM, made the following remarks. “Children are honest and pure, and with all the horrible things happening in the world, we need to protect and nurture them because they are our most precious gifts. Working with children is wonderful, but seeing them suffer is difficult, and through this initiative, we hope to ease some of their sufferings,” Pietersen said.
Later, Queeny Diko elaborated on Vodacom’s ‘further together’ tagline. “In my opinion, our company’s tagline emphasises the importance of collaboration and partnerships among businesses, corporate companies, radio stations, and municipalities for reaching a common goal. The Walk-a-Child-to-School Project is very dear to my company because we support our communities and try to encourage and enable children to attend schools,” Diko said.
Additionally, Ms Diko presented a surprise to the learners, principals, and parents present, encouraging them to register on the Vodacom E-school platform, which will enable learners to access free, unlimited, quality online educational content from grades R to 12. She explained that only adults and legal guardians could register learners on the platform. “By registering as many learners on the E-school platform, we are running a competition for all 14 beneficiary schools here today to win two Lenovo laptops. As Vodacom Eastern Region, we say let’s go further together, and when we work together, we can achieve more,” she concluded.
Mr Errol Jafta, the representative of the George Museum, expressed his gratitude to his partner for allowing them to be involved.”Listening to all the speakers here today makes me feel sad. When I started working at the museum, I realised that our children have no idea what a museum is. My vision is to change our people’s mindset by demonstrating to them what a museum is all about by going into the community. As we serve the leaders of tomorrow, let’s be humble and use our resources to advance projects like this.”
GRDM Executive Mayor Alderman Memory Booysen opened his address with the statement, “This initiative is bigger than all of us. I can see this in the next few months, and I can see it in the next thirty years.“ Booysen referred to the MC’s introductory words, which stated that everyone needs a giant to lift them up in life. However, he said that it came to his mind that some giants are not necessarily big, but there are small giants as David of the bible, who was a small man, but who became a giant. “I want to say to the two ladies who started this initiative, sometimes giants become kings, and for a king to be a proper king, you need a queen, and this is what you are.”
He continued his speech by saying that having school shoes can determine whether a learner go all the way to grade 12. “We must not take what is happening here for granted, ladies and gentlemen; this is just the beginning. We also need to teach our children what role they can play to ensure that they look after the planet they live on.”
During the handover of the shoes, the principles present expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the valuable and much-needed donations they received. Principals agreed that shoes are symbolic of pride and give confidence to the young learners knowing that they can walk to school in comfort. Mr Mann, the principal from St.Lukes EK Primary school in Brandwacht outside Mossel Bay, thanked the sponsors and said that most parents in their area rely heavily on social grants, and these school shoes will be a great relief to learners. “We know seasons change, winter is approaching, and our children are dependent on school shoes.
The principal of the Diepkloof Primary school, Mr Bernard Schoeman, also expressed his appreciation and said that gestures like these make lives easier for children and make them feel cared for. Another principle said putting food on the table is a massive challenge for many parents and households; therefore, buying school shoes is, in many cases, impossible.
The GRDM Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, thanked the pioneers of the wonderful project, emphasising that what started as a thought is growing into what it is becoming. He thanked the George Museum representative, reminding the audience that even among the bad news we hear daily, some men have lost their fatherhood and become monsters. However, we still have fathers taking pride in raising children. Mr Stratu thanked the principals and learners for taking time out of their busy schedules, travelling from far. He concluded that as GRDM, we are very proud of being associated with this initiative.
The schools that benefited from the first Walk-a-Child-to-School Project were: Crags Primary School, Chris Nissan Primary School, Diepkloof Primary School, Garden Route Primary School, St Konraad Primary School, Rheenendal Primary School, Slangriver Primary School, Zoar EK Primary School, St Lukes Brandwac Primary School, Tyholorha Primary School, De Rust Primary School KwaNokuthula Primary School, Amalienstein Primary School and
The Programme Director ended the event saying that what happened today is only the beginning and that he trusts that this project will explode, with more sponsors becoming involved, distributing thousands of pairs of schools in the future to children in need because there is nothing that must keep a child back to perform and be the best. Our country is alive with possibilities, and today is one of these events which put a stamp of approval that South Africa is indeed alive with possibilities – UNLESS WE EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN, WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
GRDM Executive Mayor and stakeholders motivate matric students to achieve success
For immediate release 10 December 2021
It was a stirring evening for matric students from Rosemoor, Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp in George on 7 December 2021. They received a special visit from the Executive Mayor from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and George Municipality as motivation for them to achieve success.
These students attend evening classes driven by Indigo, a non-profit organisation based in Pacaltsdorp (George) to study towards obtaining their matric certificates. Since August this year, the night school has been running for people who need to complete their matric qualification.
The project has now been expanded to the areas of Rosemoor and Thembalethu to reach all those who have the vision to build a promising future for themselves. GRDM Executive Mayor earlier this year also got involved in the project by ensuring that R15 000 was donated to the school.
According to Myrtle Sacuenda (chairperson of Indigo), the funds were used to procure stationery for the participants. During the visit, the representatives handed the stationery packs over to the students in Rosemoor where the first visit took place.
During his address to the participants in the presence of the educators, Executive Mayor of GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen, shared his background with a specific focus on his school years and the challenges he faced as a learner. He mentioned that those challenges never stopped him from achieving many successes. “I got second chances too; that is why GRDM did not hesitate to reach out to Indigo,” said Booysen. He added: “You must demonstrate perseverance”. He also emphasised that the future of South Africa is education. Adding to this he said: “I, therefore, take my hat off to the teachers – we must appreciate our teachers because when you plan to enter any career or profession in life, you have to go through a teacher”.
Mayor Booysen also had a message for the teachers: “Be careful what you say to the learners. We do not always understand what words can do to our learners. Suppose an educator says something to a learner once per week. In that case, learners will probably start to believe what is said to them and then, sadly, those learners would want to drop out of school”.
In closing, Mayor Booysen praised the students, teachers and Indigo with the following words: “What you are doing with this initiative and what South Africa needs to succeed, is for every single person or individual to be able to help him or herself. He concluded: “By helping yourself, you are helping South Africa”.
Georgina Arries also inspired students by telling her story of when she matriculated, which she was able to do by pushing through life’s challenges working during the day and attending night school.
Myrtle Sacuenda, Chairperson and Project Manager of Indigo, also extended a word of appreciation to project coordinator at Indigo, Julian Folding, as well as the team and also the motivational speakers, including: Malcolm Damons (Western Cape Department of Education), Pastor Vernon Arries, Georgina Arries (retired nurse, George Hospital), Cllr Jayze Jantjies, as well as Errol Jaftha (Jaftha Foundation), for their thoughtful and inspiring messages to the matric students.
Feature Image: Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality, Alderman Memory Booysen during his motivational address to the matric students of Rosemoor.
Media Release: GRDM EHPs donate essentials in celebration of Mandela Day
For immediate release 22 July 2021
Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) from the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) based in the Klein-Karoo and Mossel Bay recently visited and donated essentials to two establishments in Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, respectively.
The Mossel Bay team, according to Shandré Abrahams, Employee Assistance Practitioner at GRDM, visited the Creating Effective Families (CEF) establishment in Mossel Bay. CEF is an organisation that caters for the abused mothers and children where temporary shelter for these individuals from abused relationships are provided for. The team donated toiletries, clothes, baby goodies and other essentials to the facility.
On Monday, 19 July 2021, the Klein Karoo Municipal Health Section based in Oudtshoorn donated gift packs to toddlers of the Rin-Tin-Tin Crèche in Kruisrivier, in Calitzdorp. Each packet contained a face cloth, soap bar, toothpaste, toothbrush, chips and a sweet.
The principal of the crèche, Inge Ewerts, expressed her appreciation towards the GRDM officials for showing commitment towards caring for the community, primarily due to the basic necessity needs that exist within the community.
Members of the community appreciated the gesture and extended a word of appreciation to both teams, who prioritised them as beneficiaries of their initiatives. The officials contributed from their personal funds to make a success of this outreach.
The Human Resources Unit of GRDM are planning further Mandela Day activities towards the end of this month. The entire GRDM also participated in the Walk-A-Child to School campaign which ended at the end of June 2021. Donations will be distributed to various less fortunate schools within the next two weeks if the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
Feature Photo: The Mossel Bay team (fltr) including Neo-lay Britz, Jenay van Niekerk, Analize Fuzani, Monique Anthony, Marlene Losper, Rinay Cloete, Delmarie Lewis and Sam Bendle, with the essentials donated to the Creating Effective Families facility in Mossel Bay
Media Release: Donations to vulnerable communities welcomed
For immediate release 7 September 2020
News Release: Donations to vulnerable communities welcomed
Recently the Indigo Fruit Farm in Heidelberg (Hessequa) donated two containers of naartjies respectively to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Disaster Management Centre for distribution to vulnerable communities.
The first donation was made in July and the second donation later in August 2020. Approximately 1 360 packets of naartjies, 4 100 (kg) kilograms were collected by the GRDM team from the farm.
Mr Frank Oosthuizen, Manager at Indigo Fruit, said: “Our donation came at a time when vulnerable communities in the Garden Route needed it the most and we could therefore reach out to these households. We are grateful to the Garden Route District Disaster Management Centre who indicated that they would be able to distribute the fruit to the local municipalities for distribution in their respective municipal areas”.
Mr Gerhard Otto, Manager of Disaster Management at GRDM, extended a word of appreciation to the Indigo Farm for their generous donation to the communities of the district.
Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality acknowledges local humanitarians on World Humanitarian Day
For Immediate Release 19 August 2020
World Humanitarian Day is held every year on 19 August to acknowledge aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to come together and provide support to people affected by crises around the world.
This year, World Humanitarian Day comes as the world continues to recover from COVID-19 pandemic. According to the United Nations (South Africa) aid workers are overcoming unprecedented access obstacles to assist people in humanitarian crises around the world.
Providing the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic affects the livelihoods of people throughout the globe, the Garden Route District Municipality acknowledges that fighting the spread of the virus is not possible without the help of heroes. These heroes either provide healthcare to infected patients, provide meals and/or essentials to the vulnerable. These role players include:
environmental health practitioners;
government organisations; and
the media who creates awareness of the dangers and risks of the COVID-19 virus within our communities, to name a few.
Food security heroes in the Garden Route
One such hero is Ms Magdalene Moos from Concordia (part of the Knysna Municipal area), who operates as one of 64 soup kitchens that, with the help of donors, reach out to the vulnerable members of society in her area of service. Ms Moos went as far as to create her own vegetable garden to ensure the sustainability of the initiative. She said: “We reached a point where we now feed a total of 1500 persons per week and the highest number of persons reached so far were 401 per day. Meals are also directly delivered to the elderly in the area to spare them the inconvenience of waiting in queues”. She also emphasised: “We cannot only feed kids and the elderly; we feed any person that reach our doorstep who needs a meal. “None of this is possible without donations that we continuously receive from donators such as Ms Sharon Dreyer, Ms Sam Loerie, Mr Johan Gerber and the Knysna Rotary Club, as well as Maxwell 20, an organisation who donates nutritious porridge that we serve to the kids on a daily basis.”
In the Klein-Karoo is Mr Jaco Matthee, a community volunteer who runs his own soup kitchen and delivers food hampers to vulnerable residents of the Oudtshoorn area. With this initiative he reaches residents of Bridgton and also donates food hampers to the Family and Marriage Society of South Africa (FAMSA) organisation in the area with donations received from Cape Karoo International. Mr Matthee said: “With this initiative we are able to provide soup to 400 persons per week and donate food hampers to 10 households per week”. Adding to this, he said: “Not all of us are in a position to provide for our families during this difficult time. There are many people struggling to make ends meet, but we must start within our immediate surroundings; starting with our neighbours. “If we all contribute to others, we can make our society a better place,” he said. Working in the hospitality industry, Mr Matthee said, “it is important that we help our communities, as it is these communities that keep our businesses open with their support, therefore it is important that business plough back to them”.
In the area of Bitou, the Sinethemba Soup Kitchen is also an unsung hero for the residents of Kwanokuthula, where they feed 150 residents from phases 3, 4 and 5 of Ward 6 per day. Ms Phumeza Ndukwana, said: “We are a team of five who work full-time to ensure that vulnerable members of our community are fed for 4 days per week (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays)”. She added: “People arrive at our facility in numbers which is an indication that our communities are struggling”. The soup kitchen provides meals to children and adults, including elderly and those with disabilities. They ensure that all safety protocols are adhered to when serving their community. “One must have the passion for the community to be in this position and not expect something in return; however we need people that are reliable to make sure that the service is running effectively,” she concluded. Ms Ndukwana also gave recognition to Ms Shirley Redman from Bitou who continuously donates various food products, vegetables and other essentials to ensure that they continue to help the needy of Kwanokuthula.
All these efforts and initiatives, despite the odds, make a difference in the lives of many. It is due to this that the country has lost less lives than predicted. While honouring these heroes, the GRDM also pays tribute to the lives of all health workers and other essentials workers who have lost their lives while rendering an essential service during these pressing times. May each soul rest in peace.
Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality celebrates Mandela Day and donates essential items to the vulnerable
For Immediate Release
18 July 2020
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 in George.
Employees from the Corporate Services Department at GRDM did their bit by contributing towards buying essential food hampers for households who are struggling under the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. The items were donated to the beneficiaries on Friday, a day before the celebration of Madiba’s birthday.
Ms Shandré Abrahams, GRDM Employee Wellness Practitioner, who drives this annual programme, said: “This is a very difficult time in the lives of many South Africans and it’s amazing to see employees reaching in their pockets to continue to do their bit to support the residents of the Garden Route”.
In previous years officials based at all the Municipal Health offices across the district also participated in this initiative, however due to their added COVID-19 responsibilities of creating awareness, monitoring additional hygiene compliance measures and contact tracing activities, they were unable to partake in this years’ programme. However, the GRDM Municipal Health office in George plans to hand out masks to the community of Thembalethu in George after news broke that this area was recently declared as the COVID-19 hotspot in the region and George. The Environmental Health Practitioners continue to create awareness about the virus and the danger thereof to members of the community and continuously urge them to adhere to the relevant regulations.
Through this initiative, it is fulfilling to observe how every single donation can make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. It never matters how big or small selfless acts or donations are, what matters is the intention and compassion of a person to bring about change during a time when the world is on its knees.
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” -Nelson Mandela