Category: <span>Economic Development</span>

30 November 2022 Media Release: GRDM De Hoek Mountain Resort transitioning to a green accommodation facility

Media Release: GRDM De Hoek Mountain Resort transitioning to a green accommodation facility

For Immediate Release
29 November 2022

As part of its strategic objectives, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is keeping to its promise of being a leading district in pursuing green energy. In 2017, GRDM installed a 150kwh solar system on its parking lot at its George head-office. Now the municipality has done it again at their resort situated 35 km outside Oudtshoorn, De Hoek Mountain Resort.

On 25 November 2022, the GRDM Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, the GRDM Municipal Council and officials launched this initiative with stakeholders to celebrate this event.

Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, during his address said that with the summits that GRDM hosted over the past few years, this event is a result of one of the summits, the Green Energy Summit. The Summit contributes to the municipality’s Growth and Development goals. Through these initiatives, Stratu said: “We look at what is it that we can do as an entity to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and to produce energy, so that we can reduce our municipal bills of our own properties and buildings”. Adding to these words, Stratu added: “we have to ensure that our facilities (resorts and buildings) are gradually taken off the grid of ESKOM, so that we can reach a point where we are independent and to sell back to ESKOM the electricity that we produce from our own sources”. Stratu also used the opportunity to extend words of appreciation to Passmore Dongi, Project Manager at GRDM and the Unit, for the efforts that they have put into this project.

During an emotional speech, Passmore Dongi, GRDM’s Project Manager responsible for renewable energy, praised the Municipal Manager and his management team, as well as the Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen and Council for their support with the implementation of the project. He also emphasised the importance of ideas and the potential they have to become reality. He noted: “You can only do something when you dream.” Therefore, “dream as many times as you can,” he said.

Dongi explained that De Hoek Mountain Resort’s current electricity bill amounts to R45 000,00 per month. However, in two years’ time, GRDM might only be spending R5 000,00 and the solar system would have already paid for itself. “What we ultimately want to see is a district that is energy-secure,” he said. Dongi added that most of these projects cannot be achieved by GRDM on its own. He thanked the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for the funding made available for the Energy Master Plan that will direct the GRDM in going forward in terms of Green Energy projects. “The idea is to reduce energy consumption by 80 to 90% at the resort,” he explained.

Menno Sulsters, Director and Project Manager at SEM Solutions, said that it had been a long road, but a worthwhile journey. In technical terms, he explained how the small-scale embedded generation system operates. In conclusion he said: “During this summer period, the system will generate extra energy that will be sold back to the Oudtshoorn Municipality”.

Alderman Booysen during his keynote address, stated: “We are giving strategic leadership, often on behalf of other municipalities, and at other times for ourselves, so that GRDM continues to be unique”. In addition, Mayor Booysen noted that GRDM has made many promises since 2016, and has “given hope to the people of the Garden Route.” He also touched on the significance of district municipalities and referred to the ongoing debate over their existence. “Every time these debates come up,” he said: “I would say to my colleagues, ‘you may think what you want; while district municipalities still exist, we as GRDM are striving to be different’”.

In addition he said: “The people of the Garden Route need the GRDM and the GRDM has shown that it works for the people of the Garden Route. Adding to the words of Dongi, he said: “Even if we dream, we must wake up to implement the dream and this is exactly what the GRDM has proven all along”.

Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, in his final remarks, Mayor Booysen encouraged all Councillors present with the following words: “This GRDM Council, your legacy must stand. We must reach a stage that no matter who comes next, they must not be able to dismantle what we have done. Whoever comes next must continue this journey and the GRDM must remain standing”.

Deputy Executive Mayor, Ald. Gert van Niekerk extended words of appreciation to all stakeholders, councillors and officials present to witness the launch of this ground-breaking project. In closing he said: “It was an honour and privilege to be part of this historic occasion”. He praised and congratulated the Municipal Manager and the GRDM team who had the vision to implement this project.

The ground-mounted, grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system was installed, along with a grid-connected battery system, as a pilot installation that will demonstrate how a resort can save up to 90% on energy costs. A detailed study informed the decision, yielding that the optimum solar PV capacity is 45kWp together with a 160kWh/24kW battery system. With this system, the facility can be powered by solar energy while also charging the batteries, as it generates power during the day.

In the case of fully charged batteries, excess PV power is exported to Oudtshoorn Municipality’s grid, and De Hoek Mountain Resort is reimbursed. A grid-tied battery storage system will discharge and release energy into De Hoek’s electrical reticulation at night, ensuring that no electricity will be exported to maximize self-consumption during the day.

In total, three (3) tables of locally produced mounting structures were installed on concrete foundations, each holding 28, 28, and 26 PV modules respectively of 550Wp each. The Solar PV modules are also locally assembled, meeting the Department of Trade Industry and Competition’s local content requirements.

Now that De Hoek Mountain Resort is powered by renewable energy, it can boast of providing environmentally friendly holiday accommodation.

GRDM will continue to make all its buildings and properties eco-friendly.

Feature Image: Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, in front of the Solar System structures at the De Hoek Mountain Resort.

ENDS

19 October 2022 Media Release: Garden Route domestic tourism trip attended by Journalists and Bloggers

Media Release: Garden Route domestic tourism trip attended by Journalists and Bloggers

19 October 2022
For immediate release

Early this year, the Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Wesgro) entered into a three-year partnership agreement with Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) to accelerate the region’s economic growth, investment, trade and tourism. Clear targets and deliverables were set out in this agreement.  In order to increase domestic demand along the Garden Route & Klein Karoo, a familiarisation trip was organised with business and media delegations from Gauteng and Western Cape. The focus of this trip/educational was mainly on family and budget friendly packaging that is on offer in our region.

The trip consisted of 15 participants, including tour operators offering family-friendly packages, media representatives (print and online) focusing on family-friendly experiences, Wesgro representatives, and GR&KK representatives. The five-day trip took place across the entire Garden Route & Klein Karoo region

The initiatives are in line with the Growth and Development Strategy and Garden Route Economy Recovery Plan to boost the Garden Route economy.

Itinerary summary and highlights of the GR&KK Famtrip

Day one, the group met each other for the first time as they arrived at George Airport from their different flights with the tour operator – Tours 4 SA receiving the group. The drive to Garden Route Game Route was indeed pleasant with inviting weather and the group commenting on the diverse landscape witnessed enroute.

GRDM’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, and a delegation from Council welcomed the group with a networking lunch at Albertina’s Garden Route Game Lodge, highlighting the region’s beauty and splendour.

Day two, was utilised to explore the Garden Route Game Lodge property and to engage with management. The purpose of the trip was to promote the region as a tourism destination.

The group enjoyed the Western Cape Butterfly Sanctuary in Ruiterbos, which was officially opened in November 2021 and is the first and only butterfly sanctuary in the region.

On the third day, the group experienced the Karoo in its true essence in Oudtshoorn, from an ostrich farm safari to visiting the Cango Caves. A highlight of any trip to Oudtshoorn is this experience. The evening ended with an amazing night game drive at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge. This was an experience of the nocturnal side of wildlife, with many animal sightings and a coffee break under the stars while on the game drive which ended the night on a high note.

Day four, saw the group once again experiencing why many visitors to the Garden Route & Klein Karoo enjoy self-drives through the region Guests travelled from Oudtshoorn to Plettenberg Bay to visit the SAASA sanctuaries (Jukani and Birds of Eden). Feedback from the guests was that it felt like an ‘Amazon’ experience as they navigated through the world’s largest free flight aviary and bird sanctuary.

Day five offered a taste of adventure that included zip lining, climbing and hanging from ropes at the Timberlake organic village between Sedgefield and Wilderness at Acrobranch. This wasfollowed by a boat ride in the Wilderness National Park.

As the group left George after a closing lunch at Redberry Farm, they felt invigorated on the one side, but also sad that they had to bid farewell to the beautiful Garden Route and Klein Karoo.

According to Mrs Amagene Koeberg, GRDM Tourism Coordinator, “continuous engagements are still underway with the group as they publish their experiences and share it with their various audiences through different platforms, as some of the participants have already shared TikTok videos, images, videos and some of the tour operators already engaging with our products/services to include the offerings into their packages. These platforms are being monitored and more statistics and reach will be relayed over a period of time as content gets released, “she said.

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3 August 2022 Media Release: Informal Traders Conference for informal businesses hosted in the Garden Route

Media Release: Informal Traders Conference for informal businesses hosted in the Garden Route

For immediate release
3 August 2022

On Wednesday, 26 July 2022, Informal Traders and Businesses from the Garden Route district were inspired by various stakeholders who collaboratively hosted the first ever Garden Route Informal Leadership Conference, at the Conville Community Hall in George.

The event was hosted by the South African Informal Traders Alliance (SAITA) alongside the Informal Economy Development Forum (IEDF). This engagement brought together National and Informal Economy leaders from various sectors in the Garden Route district, Captains of Industry and National Government Departments, as well as representatives from the municipalities in the district.

The conference addressed the financial, marketing, research and development, governance as well as innovation needs of the Informal Economy in the Garden Route district. Its aim, therefore, was to showcase Informal Business leaders of the Garden Route and to promote and highlight the role the sector plays in the economic development of the country. It furthermore aimed to bring together governments, development institutions, investors, academics, and the private sector institutions with interest in the informal economy; to discuss best practices in the sector and lastly to unify Government, Corporate and the Informal Economy through advocacy; playing a leading role at being the catalyst for innovation and transformation whilst ensuring equal opportunity and dignity are protected.

During her address, the President of SAITA, Rosheda Muller, introduced the organisation and explained the role and activities of the SAITA in the informal economy of South Africa. The movement is dedicated to the advancement and development of the informal business economy of South Africa and therefore pledged to place the informal sector in a position in which it is able to negotiate on an equal footing with all spheres of government and business. The reason for their existence, therefore, is to, inter alia, inform and uplift, grow and develop, as well as to represent and speak for the previously voiceless. 

The organisation also identifies opportunities from which members can benefit from and they aim create conditions conducive to growth in a hostile business environment. With this Muller emphasised: “The informal business sector has awoken from a slumber in which it dwelled in an erroneously self-perceived acceptance of irrelevance and insignificance. This perception, Muller said: “Is corrected by SAITA and that it resulted in informal workers that are now aware of their importance, and the roles they perform in job creation and poverty alleviation”. SAITA also assists municipalities in regulating and controlling the Informal Traders within their areas of jurisdiction. Also, the organisation harness the potential of individual traders, and via their R204 programme, they facilitate the formalisation of the Informal Sector.

During his address at the event, Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Ald. Memory Booysen, referred to how the municipality is one of the most progressive districts in supporting small businesses within its area of jurisdiction. Mayor Booysen highlighted that the number of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the Garden Route district which GRDM supports, increases every year. Mayor Booysen also focused his speech on how well districts in other countries perform which impacts their respective economies significantly. For this reason, Mayor Booysen said to all small business representatives present: “As Government, we should not tell you what to do, because that is the reason why our economy is slow, instead we must listen to you”. Mayor Booysen also mentioned the aspect of by-laws and the utilisation of by-laws to boost the economic activities of small businesses. 

“As municipalities, we should make the by-laws work for you. You know why you operate your businesses in specific areas e.g. streets, because the street activity might attract more customers to your business. Therefore, these by-laws must be addressed to formalise your business operations at areas most beneficial to you”. 

Adding to this, Mayor Booysen said that town planners also play a vital role. “Business must consult us and we have to consult the town planners on what needs to be done – the process must work for you as business owners and more so, it must boost the economy of the district”. 

Yolanda van Dyk from the IEDF, during her remarks at the event, said that training is one of the biggest change agents within the economy and one of the driving forces to develop business owners and their workers. She further encouraged informal traders present to take advantage of opportunities provided to them. 

“The IEDF represents six (6) million informal businesses, for the purpose to build talent, create leaders and grow the economy.

With all the plans the organisation has in store for the informal sector such as the upcoming launch of the very first IEDF College where informal traders will be trained, she encouraged Government departments to route their budgets through this structure. To the corporate businesses, she said: “Bring your training budgets and let us train everyone in the Informal Sector”.

Deputy Chairperson of IEDF, John Volkwyn, also spoke about education and the potential it has to grow a business so that these businesses can hold the government accountable. He reiterated that the “Informal Sector must use their skills set to take ownership, accountability and responsibility”.

Economic and Tourism Manager at GRDM, Melanie Wilson, shared words of appreciation with SAITA, IEDF and all stakeholders present, for bringing the event to the Garden Route. She said: “On your own you are nothing, but as a group you can go far” when she referred to the saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together”. Adding to the words of Mayor Booysen, she said: “The next step from here is to have a conversation with other stakeholders, that also play a role in supporting the informal business sector of the Garden Route”.

ENDS

11 July 2022 Media Release: Partnership between GRDM, Wesgro, SATSA, FEDHASA and Local Tourism Offices – Destination Marketing Organisation Launch

Media Release: Partnership between GRDM, Wesgro, SATSA, FEDHASA and Local Tourism Offices – Destination Marketing Organisation Launch

For immediate release
11 July 2022

This morning, the Garden Route District Municipality launched a partnership with Wesgro, SATSA, and FEDHASA, as well as Local Tourism Offices in the Garden Route. In line with the mandate and mission of the parties to collaborate for purposes of tourism promotion of the Garden Route & Klein Karoo, the Destination Garden Route & Klein Karoo project has been initiated.

The purpose of the project is to collaborate for the purposes of tourism promotion of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region in a manner that embodies strategic cohesiveness and the efficient utilisation of resources between the stakeholders. The stakeholders have all recognised the need for a coordinated approach when implementing the Project and to this end have committed themselves to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding.

The areas of collaboration include but are not limited to marketing and promotion, events, strategic initiatives (including cruise and air route development), and tourism, with the purpose of conducting joint marketing and development initiatives, as amended from time to time by the Steering Committee.

With the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region being a beautiful asset of the Western Cape, the Garden Route brand will now be promoted to the domestic and international traveler in a joint approach, supported by Government, together with the private sector that will participate and do all the right things to showcase this region as a whole.

The partnership was officially launched this morning at the King George Hotel, in George. The launch coincided with the establishment of the Sustainable Tourism Cluster workshop, as per the Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy and the 7 priority clusters that were identified.

Feature Photo:
FLTR: Corleen Barnard, Tourism Manager: Oudtshoorn & De Rust; Joan Shaw – Tourism Manager: George, Wilderness & Uniondale; Alderman Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor; Monika Leul, Chief Marketing Officer at Wesgro; Melanie Wilson, GRDM Manager for Economic Development & Tourism and Lusanda Menze, Executive Manager for Planning & Economic Development at GRDM.

ENDS

6 July 2022 Media Release: Calitzdorp Hot Springs to host a Music, Arts, and Food Gathering with a purpose

Media Release: Calitzdorp Hot Springs to host a Music, Arts, and Food Gathering with a purpose

6 July 2022
For Immediate Release

Echo Outdoor Gatherings is no stranger to the regional electronic music scene and for years they have hosted events of the highest quality.

After holding their flagship event – Elements of Life – successfully at De Hoek Mountain Resort near Cango Caves for the past five years, Daniel Mentz (event organizer), branched out to Calitzdorp Hot Springs in March with another exciting festival: Valley Of Dreams. The three-day event turned out to be a huge success, which was sold out completely, with people trekking from across the country to attend. According to David, the event attracted nearly 600 festival-goers, which was also a much-needed boost for business and tourism. Festival-goers venture out into the area during an event to explore and some opt to stay for longer as they usually travel from all over the country to attend such festivals.

“Our festival-goers want to make the best of their stay and frequently talk about what they were up to when venturing out to explore the area,” said Mentz.

This July, Echo Outdoor Gatherings will return to Calitzdorp Hot Springs with an even bigger event called ‘Elements of Fire’.

From Friday, 29 July to Sunday, 31 July festival-goers can look forward to a weekend that promises to be a visual and sonic experience like no other. Food stalls will sell falafels, breakfasts, steaks, and freshly pressed juice. Vegan and vegetarian options will also be made available.

Various craft stalls will sell items like dream catchers, leather works, jewellery, clothing brands, and macrame. There will also be two fire shows every night.

Winter Warmer Drive

Echo Outdoor Gatherings wanted to say thank you to the community of Calitzdorp for their warm welcome and decided to give back. This is why they are currently running a food and blanket drive for Friends Of Calitzdorp Animals (FOCA).

FOCA was launched six years ago when the founding member helped some friends to look after stray animals. Today they feed 250 dogs, 70 cats and facilitate up to 30 sterilisations a month. FOC are also constantly building kennels and continues to educate the local residents on animal welfare.

‘The amount of neglect FOCA witnesses every day is horrifying, to say the least,” said Mentz.

To supplement the Winter Warmer Drive, Echo Outdoor Gatherings and Feel Good Entertainment will donate 10% of the bar proceedings for the weekend to FOCA.

Garden Route District Municipality is proud to host the Echo Outdoor Gatherings events as Daniel takes pride in what he does. Every event is carefully planned and those attending must adhere to strict rules.

“Family is at the core of Echo Outdoor Gatherings and will always be,” said Mentz

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13 June 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release
13 June 2022

The fifth quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum was held virtually on in May 2022 and focused on renewable energy strategies for the Garden Route.

This follows a fruitful engagement Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) had with the Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority  (EWSETA) on Tuesday, 17 May 2022.  During the engagement, EWSETA expressed its desire to support renewable energy projects in the Garden Route, which is in line with its support of Just Energy Transition (JET),  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and the work done in South Africa by The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

EWSETA has a significant demand-based focus, and it is important for them to determine what the needs are of employers and businesses. They receive a limited skills levy income and need to partner with other agencies to address this challenge. This is why they’ve agreed soon enter into a memorandum of understanding with GRDM.

During his opening remarks, the GRSM Forum chairperson, Ald. De Vries remarked that renewable energy is gaining momentum as countries around the world are increasingly understanding the benefits it offers.

During the forum, Mr. Warrick Pierce, Technical Leader on Energy Systems Modeling at the Energy Centre of CSIR, presented the Draft Municipal Electricity Master Plan for the GRDM. The Draft document was funded by GIZ and co-funded by the CSIR and is considered to be a mini Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Mr. Pierce noted that the plan looks at different possible energy futures and the employment opportunities it may hold. Furthermore, the plan’s focus is twofold as it looks at each municipality individually in the region and the Garden Route as a whole to achieve optimisation.

To draft plan addresses issues of future demand usage and that municipalities need to know their customers – their past behaviors towards energy and how this is changing in terms of self-generation.  There seems to be clear indication that Solar PV is the priority option for the Garden Route to consider. The Draft Energy Master Plan will be tabled to the GRDM Council this month for adoption and a media release about it will be issued.

The final presentation was done by Kirsten Freimann, from GIZ, who is the Head of Project: Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E), which is a new 3-year program that started in June.

The program aims to address two major concerns identified by GIZ, which are the economic recession and the high youth unemployment rate plaguing South Africa. With the help of the Swiss Development Agency, The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Government was able to raise €10.5 million for the project.

CPDE4E strives to improve the employability of the youth by unlocking employment potentials by supporting entrepreneurship and SME development in township economies, as well as (ecologic) industrial parks.

The transition from learning to earning will be done by matching soft skills with entrepreneurship training with specific measures in place for girls and women.

Demand-driven TVET/ skills development will improve delivery capacities, through lecturers, in-company mentors, short skills programs, new occupational profiles, and curricula development. It is anticipated that it will strengthen private sector involvement in agile training interventions. This could lead to job creation and meeting demands.

13 June 2022 Opportunities For Unemployed Youth in the Western Cape

Opportunities For Unemployed Youth in the Western Cape

13 June 2022

The Western Cape Government has several opportunities for unemployed youth in the province. Please find all the details below, or visit the following link for more information.

Please contact the designated persons on each advertisement/application should you have any queries. Garden Route District Municipality will not be able to answer any queries regarding the adverts.

West Coast

Overberg

Garden Route

City of Cape Town

City of Cape Town (1)

Central Karoo

Cape Winelands

15 March 2022 Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route

Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route

15 March 2022
For immediate release

 

The second keynote speaker at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca for 2022 was Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape. He outlined NYDA’s skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.

NYDA is a South African-based agency established primarily to address challenges faced by the nation’s youth. The youth development agency was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 54 of 2008) to be a single, unitary structure addressing youth development issues at the National, Provincial and Local Government levels. The Agency should be seen within the broad context of South Africa’s development dynamics.

During Manyama’s presentation, he outlined their economic participation goal, which is to enhance the contribution of young people to the economy through targeted and integrated programs.

He added that programs created by the NYDA aims to facilitate and provide employment opportunities for the youth and to include them in the economy.

The implementation of this goal is at the following strategic objectives:

  • To provide socio-economic empowerment interventions and support for young people in South Africa
  • To provide increased universal access to young people

NYDA runs several economic programs that include:

  • Grant funding R1 000.00 to R10 000.00
  • Business Consultancy Services
  • Sales Pitch and BBBEE Training
  • Business Management Training
  • Mentorship
  • Market Linkages

On youth with disabilities, Manyama had the following to say: “Young people with disabilities are not homogenous as there are different disabilities that require different interventions. The sector representing youth with disabilities proposes the establishment of a disability unit at the NYDA to undertake to facilitate all programs aimed at transforming the lives of youth with disabilities.”

He concluded his presentation by stressing the importance of eradicating discrimination and stigmas against people with disabilities and increasing economic opportunities for them.

Access to education is limited and inadequate and this needs to be addressed. Integration of people with disabilities will also need to be addressed as there is a tendency of lumping them together despite their different needs.

15 March 2022 Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

15 March 2022
For immediate release

Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was invited to speak at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum of 2022 and his focus was on the growth and development strategy of the department for the Garden Route. He opened his comprehensive presentation with the following quote by Allan Savory:

“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is impossible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy”.  

To put this quote into perspective, Lamberts shared one of the Department’s recent success stories: A farm in Herald was in a dilapidated state due to a lack of interest in purposing the land. A businessman who was passionate about farming bought it, and spent the next five (5) years turning it into a viable business that now produces honeybush and proteas. He is the first black commercial farmer to produce honeybush in the Southern Cape. It is because the Department assisted him that his business was able to create sixteen (16) permanent jobs, with opportunities for an additional twenty (20) seasonal workers.

Before this, in Waboomskraal, the Department assisted another farmer, who became the first black farmer in the area to produce proteas and hops.

Lamberts noted: “When all spheres of government work together in an integrated fashion, these are the type of results we will see”. 

Lamberts listed the activities and services the Department provides to farmers and all other stakeholders as the following:

  • Independent agricultural advice and information
  • Supporting Livestock farmers – Development program. Livestock Forum
  • Performance testing/annual evaluation/ID limitations and opportunities
  • Investigating and implementing new hardy breeds and crossbreeding
  • Investigations in lowering inset cost through conservation agriculture – cover crops
  • Investigations into pasture species for marginal lands
  • Crop production advice and information
  • Niche crops/markets
  • Training

The type of training that is provided includes evidence-based and practice-based farmers’ capacity building. This is done through farmers’ days, demonstrations, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interactions. Since 2018, the department trained 820 beneficiaries and this ranged from vegetable training to farm implement operation training.

The Department has a memorandum of understanding with GRDM and vacant land has been identified that the municipality owns which is conducive for agricultural development opportunities. The Department is researching the potential of commodity processing facilities in the Garden Route, which will be a source of immediate job creation – a game-changer for job creation in the region.

The Department furthermore envisions the building of Agri-Business Platforms for clients where potential products can be processed ready for consumption. Through Conservation/Regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to rehabilitate and look after their own soil to turn it into organic matter that fertilizes with very few chemicals. Trials on livestock projects have yielded very positive results to date, and the global view is that going regenerative holds many financial and ecological benefits.

Agritourism needs to be promoted as it holds several untapped opportunities for the tourism sector. There is a need to compile tour packages to visit farms and processing facilities for both local and international tourism. The Roads Department has a role to play as well, as it must ensure easy access through regular road maintenance and upgrades.

The Department is in the process of revisiting mechanization which would allow for a central point that offers services such as ploughing, for example, as well as repair and maintenance services on farm implements.

Lamberts concluded his presentation by saying that we can be very proud of our district and that the Department is very excited to continue its work in the area.

14 March 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture

14 March 2022
For Immediate Release

The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 was held on 25 February 2022 and was attended by delegates in person and online via Microsoft Teams. This setting provides Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.

The forum was chaired by Ald. Stephen de Vries briefly explained the role of the GRSM in relation to the National Skills Development Plan. He alluded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate where he stressed the importance of skills development to support economic growth as part of the economic recovery plan. The GRSM aligns itself with the National Development Plan 2030 vision to improve access to occupations in high demand and priority skills in supporting economic growth, job creation, and social development.

We want to contribute to the vision of an educated and skilled workforce for South Africa.

The forum hosted two keynote speakers. The first was Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture who outlined, in detail, the department’s growth and development strategy.

The second keynote speaker, Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape – presented on matters of skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.

Dr. Florus Prinsloo (Skill Mecca Co-ordinator, GRDM) officially launched the GRSM website, which has been in development since last year.

The aim of the website is to serve as a central point of communication and to close the gap between service providers, investors, and candidates with learning opportunities needs.

There is still work that needs to be done which, once completed, will see the ‘partnership’ page going live. Once this happens, service providers will be able to register and list learning opportunities, which will then be communicated by GRDM’s Communication unit. A process has been established to vet all applicants before registration to ensure that the highest standards are always met.

ENDS