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Economic Development

22 February 2024 Opportunity: The National Business Initiative (NBI)

Opportunity: The National Business Initiative (NBI)

14 February 2024

The National Business Initiative (NBI) wishes to appoint a professional that will provide Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying services to support the establishment of skills and enterprise development hubs (Installation, Repair and Maintenance Hubs) across various locations across the country. In the initial stages, the PM/QS will work as part of a team of consultants, to deliver concept and viability stages. At the point of handover
during stage 3, their role will shift to act as a client representative and to oversee the work of the professionals appointed to deliver stages 3-6.

The National Business Initiative (NBI) is the Project Executing Agency; for the establishment of 7 IRM Hubs across South Africa.

IRM hubs are multi-functional industrial facilities that act as interfaces between supply and demand of labour. They support all facets of job creation throughout the value chain in different kinds of installation, repair and maintenance businesses. The IRM hub is a public institution (facility) that serves entrepreneurs and SMMEs from the local community: It provides workspaces, technology, business development support and skills training to existing enterprises and start-ups. The hub also serves as a public institution (facility) that supports the delivery of short skills programmes to enable unemployed youth to access employment opportunities in entry level technical roles in installation, repair and maintenance. The IRM hub builds networks of the business community and acts as facilitator for SMMEs to access business opportunities.

Infrastructure-wise, the hubs will consist of a set of workshop spaces for different user groups, a maker space, meeting and training rooms and an entrance area that foresees a hall for multiple purposes as well as a space for selected businesses to open up the hub towards the community.

It is envisaged that the construction programme will be completed in 2028 as such the contract period will be from the 15 th March 2024 until programme completion. Resource allocation will however not be full-time during the project duration. This will be reviewed annually.

We are anticipating that the successful professional will be contracted for at least 10 days per month.

Please provide your response via email to and copy no later than the 1st March 2024, indicating your availability and kindly provide the following for consideration:
• CV with relevant supporting documents.
• Evidence of having completed similar work.
• Proof of registration with the SACPCMP.
• A daily professional fee rate for the Provision of the aforementioned services

Click here to read more.

Issued: National Business Initiative (NBI)

04 December 2023 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality paid tribute Alwin Fuller’s life at a special Memorial Service

Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality paid tribute Alwin Fuller’s life at a special Memorial Service

For immediate release
4 December 2023

On 29 November 2023, Councillors, Management and Staff from the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) paid tribute to the life of Alwin Fuller during a special Memorial Service, after his passing on 25 November 2023 at the age of 38.

The Council Chamber was left in a sombre atmosphere when his wife, children and family members walked through the guard of honour formed by the GRDM Firefighters to attend the service. Messages of support were delivered by his colleagues. Pastor Kevin van Wyk delivered a touching biblical message for all present and affected by Alwin’s passing.

GRDM Executive Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gert van Nierkerk, issued a certificate of appreciation to Mrs. Lorna Fuller for the dedicated services rendered by her husband to the organisation.

Fuller was appointed on 1 September 2022 in the Planning and Economic Development Department and was in tenure of the organisation until he took his last breath.  He fulfilled the role of Project Administrator for Projects and Bulk Infrastructure and became intricately involved with Energy projects driven by the organisation.

When comforting all present in his welcoming address, Portfolio Chairperson of Planning and Economic Development, Cllr Jobieth Hoogbaard, stated: “This time of year is usually a period for family to spend more time with one another and having family reunions”.  Adding to these words, Hoogbaard encouraged all to use the sudden passing of Alwin as an opportunity to learn how precious time on earth is. “We need to also make time throughout the year to enjoy and create precious moments with others.”

Described by a few colleagues as a passionate and dedicated official, many also felt that his other side portrayed more humour and others described him as a person who frequently challenged red tape that stood in the way of projects. Almost all officials alluded to the fact that Alwin wanted to get things done. Passmore Dongi, his former manager, during his virtual message, reiterated Alwin’s stubbornness for the better good of the organisation. Dongi said: “I liked his stubbornness because I don’t like a colleague working so closely with me that portrays the same characteristics as I have – because of these different characteristics we made a great team”, he said. He also highlighted that Alwin left behind a huge legacy with key projects he spearheaded. One such project is the Energy Efficient program where GRDM received an Energy Efficient Certificate as the 1st District Municipality in the Western Cape and in the country.

Integrated Development Planning colleague of Alwin, Ayakha Magxotwa, while directing the programme, shared memorable tales about his experiences and moments with Alwin. He remembers and experienced Alwin also in a more personal manner.

Executive Deputy Mayor, Ald. Gert van Niekerk summed Alwin up as a shy, reserved person. He said: “Alwin played a crucial role within the Infrastructure, Projects and Resorts Management Units of the Planning and Economic Development Department. Alwin also worked closely with Communications to ensure awareness was created about Green Energy”. In closing his speech Ald. van Niekerk said that in the face of loss, “let us celebrate the life of a man that left us too soon; but left behind a legacy. We are all fortunate that God borrowed Alwin to us”. In concluding Alwin’s journey with the organisation, Ald. van Niekerk handed over a token of appreciation to Alwin’s wife, Mrs Lorna Fuller at the event, for the dedicated and loyal service her husband rendered to the organisation.

Through his message of comfort, Pastor Kevin van Wyk urged all present to “reflect on potential obstacles hindering our path to achieving goals”. Pastor van Wyk made an example about a person receiving a gift leaving it unopen.  He said: “By leaving the gift unopen, has the same meaning as not receiving the gift”. He encouraged the family and officials to, much like Alwin, stand firm in preserving the essence of what he represented, resisting any attempts to diminish his legacy”.

 Pastor van Wyk also emphasised the importance of embracing love and accepting the invitations extended to us. “The time for acceptance is now,” he said. “We must ensure that the love bestowed upon us is received wholeheartedly. In times of turmoil, he compared God to an anchor, a steadfast presence amid life’s unpredictable winds. Him resonating with Alwin’s life, as he also grew up in the area where Alwin was born, during the event multiple times requested all present to put their hands together in celebration of Alwin’s life. He said: “This creates energy which is also symbolic to the role fulfilled by Alwin in this organisation. He said: “Every time we clap our hands let us remember Alwin in the energy we create”.

Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, extended a special vote of thanks, specifically to the family of Alwin you borrowed their husband to the organisation. Mr Stratu said that Alwin was well-aware of what his mandate He understood the vision of the organisation and his role within his Department,  because he took his mandate seriously.”

To the staff, Mr Stratu shared words of appreciation to all GRDM colleagues who worked closely with Alwin and who spoke fondly about “our brother” during the service. “I am also thankful to those colleagues that made his life bearable within the institution. Thank you for your humanity in which you interacted with Alwin and that you treated him with dignity”. To these words, Stratu emphasised: “Thank you for your interaction with Alwin, we are grateful for the demeanour that you treated him with dignity. Evidence is showing us that life is too short, for that we must love each other.”

“We come from different homes, families, homes, coming with different agendas etc, but after all we are all children of God and in God’s eyes, we are all equal. Love each other and appreciate one another. ”

Alwin was laid to rest from the VGK Church in Rosemoore, George, on Saturday, 2 December 2023 at 9:00.

Rest in Peace Alwin Fuller – Garden Route District Municipality’s Council and Staff will miss you dearly.


30 August 2023 Media Release: Nominate Exceptional SMMEs for SATSA Tourism Business Incubator (new slots open)

Media Release: Nominate Exceptional SMMEs for SATSA Tourism Business Incubator (new slots open)

For Immediate Release
30 August 2023

As reported back by Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Frost, at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), the impact of our Tourism Business Incubator has echoed throughout our industry, inspiring change, and exemplifying the potential within every Small, Medium and Micro Entrepreneurs (SMME).

We are proud of our achievements, our collaborations with key associations like Association of South African Travel Agency (ASATA) and Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA), the incubation of 32 black owned SMMEs, and our support from well-known members including City Lodge Hotel Group, Europcar, New Frontiers, and more.

SATSA’s Tourism Business Incubator, a Non-Profit Company established to help SATSA members and stakeholders implement enterprise and supplier development, shares the mission with others like Anglo American Zimele, to foster growth beyond boundaries.

Now we’re looking ahead to year two of the project, and with ten places having become available, we invite you to play an essential part in this journey by nominating deserving small businesses (with 51% or more black ownership) for our incubation program. Nominees should have a turnover of less than R50 million and be operating for at least one year. Your nominations can elevate these entrepreneurs, contributing to our entire industry’s prosperity.

To nominate an SMME (or yourself-if you meet the requirements), please send the following details to Hannelie Du Toit ( before close of business 1 September 2023:

  1. Business Name
  2. Owner’s Name
  3. Type of business (this can be any type of business within the tourism value chain including services such as laundry, etc.)
  4. Email Address
  5. Mobile Contact Number

For more information, contact Akash Singh ( from Sigma International.

Issued by: The SATSA Team


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

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

For Immediate Release
19 July 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


27 June 2023 Registration for GRIFF now Open!!




  • Industry program includes Broadcasters, Industry Professionals/Film Tourism and Network Functions
  • 30 Films featured in competition from over 20 countries
  • Delegate Pass R200 (See details for other ticked events)
  • Now Gold Status recognition in its 5th year, GRIFF continues to evolve.
  • Proudly supported by NFVF, Wesgro & Mossel Bay Tourism
  • Email: for more information
  • Industry Program to be announced @grifffilmfest

Direct flights to George or just 31/2hrs from Cape Town

For more information, visit the website:  WWW.GRIFF.CO.ZA


GRIFF is a festival for filmmakers, creative expression, education, new technology and media. The GRIFF festival supports emerging and established filmmakers, encourages community participation and learning through innovation. “Experience is everything” remains our mantra with an added online feel “Get your GRIFF on”

26 June 2023 SMME Booster Fund (the Fund) open for Applications

SMME Booster Fund (the Fund) open for Applications

The SMME Booster Fund (the Fund) is a fund that will provide financial support to organisations that implement business development support projects and/or programmes aimed at growing and developing SMMEs. The Fund will focus on projects and/or programmes that support high-growth, Western Cape-based SMMEs. The Fund utilises a co-funding implementation model which encourages collaboration and partnerships.

Business development support includes aspects of support such as training, mentoring, coaching, financial planning, assisting with compliance, providing financial assistance, facilitating access to finance, providing technical support in the form of equipment, specialised software and licensing etc. The financial support from the SMME Booster Fund will focus only on the technical support aspect of the project and/or programme. The rollout of the other aspects such as training, mentoring, coaching, access to market interventions etc. will be funded by the organisation applying for funding. The support provided by the Fund will thus enable the selected organisations to enhance their projects and programmes with an added element of technical support.

The Fund will support projects and programmes that focus on the following categories:

Category 1:  Export Development
Category 2:  Women-owned Business
Category 3:  Youth-owned Businesses
Category 4:  Township-based Businesses

The selection of beneficiaries for the Fund will be initiated through this call for proposals. The proposals received will undergo a pre-qualification check, an evaluation, and an adjudication phase. The proposals will be evaluated and adjudicated against pre-determined criteria.

Click on the link to access the following forms:  SMME Booster Fund Application Guide 2023  and Call for Proposals 2023

To apply please click on the following link:

For more information.  Please contact: or 021 4839112

For assistance on how to navigate the online application system, please click on the following link:  SMME Booster 2023 Online Application Platform Guide

Closing Date: 11 July 2023

Issued: Department of Economic Development and Tourism

21 June 2023 Media Release: The GRDM sources R1 million for Garden Route Agro-processing Support Project

Media Release: The GRDM source R1 million for Garden Route Agro-processing Support Project

For immediate release
21 June 2023

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has been able to source R1 million funding, after a project proposal was submitted for an Agri-processing project. This initiative forms part of the GRDM’s Joint District and Metro Approach (JDMA).

As part of the JDMA approach, a growth and development strategy was developed, which requires specific clusters (groups of experts), to drive projects. This specific project forms part of the Resilient Agriculture Cluster. The funding, which was applied for through the GRDM, was provided by the Western Cape Department of Local Government.

Representatives from GRDM and the WCG Department of Agriculture with experienced facilitators from Elsenburg during the fact-finding mission.

One of the conditions of the grant is for a steering committee to drive the implementation of the project. Key stakeholders of the project include the Department of Agriculture, CASIDRA, Oudtshoorn Municipality, Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), the Department of Local Government and the GRDM.

A multi-purpose processing unit to support the value chain for indigenous products, such as honeybush, within the Garden Route district will be constructed through the project.

This project is prompted by a dire need for more processing facilities in the region. “Communities that are mostly wild harvesters are dependent on a few processors within the Southern and Eastern Cape for processing of the tea, with no value adding opportunities existing for these communities,” said Natalie Arries, Senior District Economic Development Officer for GRDM. “The project aims to provide one processing facility located on the Nooitgedacht Farm (Oudtshoorn) property which is owned by the GRDM, she added”.

Earlier this year, GRDM and the WCG Department of Agriculture embarked on a fact-finding mission to learn from the experienced facilitators at Elsenburg, and to discuss an implementation approach with the Agricultural Research Council.

The success of the project will ensure that emerging farmers process tea of high quality, which will be exported to local and international markets.

Feature Image: The name ‘honeybush’ is derived from the sweet, honey-like scent of the plant when in full bloom with its yellow flowers.


17 May 2023 Media Release: Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism Office elevates the region at the 2023 Africa Indaba Show

Media Release: Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism Office elevates the region at the 2023 Africa Indaba Show

For Immediate Release
17 May 2023

Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism (GR&KK) Regional Tourism Office (RTO) of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), recently attended the 3 day Africa Travel Indaba 2023 held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban. In accordance with the GRDM Tourism and the Growth and Development Strategies, GRDM must market / sell the region.

Tourism marketing and development Unit is responsible for coordinating regional tourism initiatives and promotes and develops tourism throughout the region, while working closely with eight (8) Local Tourism Offices (LTO).  With a focus on selling and promoting the region’s vast potential, GR&KK also aims to attract global attention and foster economic growth in the district.

GR&KK tourism representatives who attended the 2023 Africa Indaba Show last week in Durban. FLTR: Joan Shaw – Tourism Manager from George/Wilderness/Uniondale Tourism, Denver Johnson – GRDM Tourism Officer and Thozeka Sikali from Visit Knysna.

From 09 May – 11 May 2023, preceded by a Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) on 08 May 2023, the Africa Indaba Show aimed to provide a platform for thought leadership, knowledge sharing, and market insight. BONDay is developed in collaboration with global tourism organisations, continental experts, and industry associations.

During the trade show, African tourism exhibitors showcased their offerings to international and local buyers, destination marketing companies and leisure tourism service providers. The event allowed travel trade professionals to meet face-to-face with some of the most influential buyers on the continent, and gain a deeper understanding of Africa’s excellence and endless potential. As a result of these opportunities and quality connections, Africa will be able to shape its future.

According to GRDM representatives, several new and existing connections were made over the course of the three days, as the GRDM delegation engaged with various domestic and international buyers interested in learning about our area, re-visiting or expanding their tourism offerings by integrating the Garden Route & Klein Karoo into their existing packages.

The following top four tourism offerings were most popular under the tourism buyers

  • Educational trips to familiarize tour/travel agents of existing and new products/offerings in the Garden Route & Klein Karoo
  • High-end luxury travel (5 Star)
  • Incentive travel (Golfing, wine routes, craft beer and gin experiences)
  • Camping and caravan offerings in the Garden Route & Klein Karoo – most interest from the domestic market

The Western Cape stand was hosted by Wesgro, with the GR&KK Regional Tourism Office also forming part of it to promote the region along with Visit Knysna, George, Wilderness and Uniondale Tourism LTOs.

Africa’s Travel Indaba is an iconic African leisure trade show, owned by South African Tourism, with the specific objective of creating market access for our vast array of African leisure tourism products.

Learn more about each local tourism office by accessing their websites via the GR&KK website here:


16 May 2023 Opportunities: Construction Management Systems Training for Grades 5-8 Women-owned Businesses

Construction Management Systems Training for Grades 5-8 Women-owned Businesses

The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) calls on women-owned contractors with 51% shares, registered in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 within General Building and Civil Engineering classes of works, to apply for Construction Management System (CMS) training. Construction Management System enables a business to implement a framework of processes and procedures to control its construction risks, improve performance and deliver better client value. In the long term, the CIDB will add the CMS standard as criteria for grading on the Register of Contractors.

CMS includes:

  • Health and Safety Management.
  • Quality Management; and
  • Environmental Management (covering air, water, land, and waste).

The CMS training programme is for the business owner or the contractor’s representative. The representative must be a permanent employee. Training will last 12 months and consists of two modules that will be presented at a workshop over five days of classroom sessions, implementing the CMS in the contractor’s organisation with support and a resources website. Prospective applicants will be required to undergo a pre-qualifying selection test.

Selection of successful applicants will be based on the following criteria:

  • Active CIDB registration in grades 5 to 8 GB and CE.
  • 51% women-owned company.
  • The participants must be competent to attend an NQF 5-level training course.

Interested and qualifying contractors will only contribute 10% (R2 300,00) towards training, and the 90% will be covered by CIDB through the B.U.I.L.D Fund.

Click here to download the application forms:
CIDB CMS Application Form 2023

The Application Form can also be downloaded from CIDB website.

Applications can be emailed, hand-delivered or posted to the following addresses:
Physical address: 01 Gordon Hood Road, Centurion, Pretoria, South Africa
Postal address: PO Box 2107, Brooklyn Square, 0075

04 April 2023 Media Release: GRDM once again supports SMMEs in the district through their 2022/2023 budget

Media Release: GRDM once again supports SMMEs in the district through their 2022/2023 budget

For Immediate Release
4 April 2023

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) took a decision five years ago ‘to put their money where their mouths are’ by supporting and investing tangibly in Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the district.

On Thursday, 30 March 2023, sixteen (16) Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the Garden Route district received much needed equipment/products as part of the GRDM SMME support program. These products will enhance their businesses and assist them to grow their businesses, which will benefit the economy.

Last year, sixty-three (63) businesses responded to the call for proposals, and the following applications were received: Bitou – 5 applicants, Knysna – 12 applicants, George – 25 applicants, Oudtshoorn – 4 applicants, Kannaland – 0 applicants, Mossel Bay – 2 applicants and Hessequa – 5 applicants.

During his welcoming address at the event, GRDM Councillor Cobus Meiring, acknowledged all 16 companies that succeeded in this rigorous application process. He highlighted: “The GRDM invested a substantial amount of R350 000 in this project for this financial year and as a Municipality, we would like to do more”. Adding to these words Cobus said that the development of SMMEs in the Garden Route is invaluable”. “We are relying on these businesses to enable themselves to make a living and to go somewhere in life”.

Dr Keith du Plessis, Chief Executive Officer of Casidra, said that small businesses have been challenged in various ways over the past few years and with the economy that is staggering, “we all know that small business are the heart of the economy”.

Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen (right), and CEO of Casidra, Dr Keith du Plessis (left), during and after signing a Partnership Agreement that signifies a long term collaborative partnership between GRDM and Casidra towards the implementation of the Garden Route Growth & Development Strategy. 

Over the past 3 years, sixty-six (66) SMMEs benefitted from the programme to the total value of more than R1.6 million. Dr du Plessis highlighted: “These figures are an indication that GRDM is serious about SMME development. Well done with the excellent initiative – I hope this programme will continue to grow from strength to strength – we would like to keep on partnering with this progressive and excellent Municipality”. He also thanked his colleagues from Casidra that made the delivery of the programme possible.

Municipal Manager of GRDM, Monde Stratu, shared a congratulatory message with all beneficiaries and spoke about the importance of the business sector’s participation in the municipality’s public participation processes. Stratu reiterated that with regards to budget allocations in support of small businesses in the area, the municipality is now getting into the phase of engaging with the public. He said: “We expect from representatives and individuals in this sector to interact with the document and see what is allocated to them and what it is that must be done”. Adding to this, he stressed: “When we send documents out for public comments, we do not receive any feedback and for that reason, we believe that people are happy”. When those that did not respond, give feedback to GRDM after the budget has been approved, it makes it difficult for the municipality”. He urged all present and said: “It is your time to scrutinize the budgets of all the municipalities in the Garden Route and see what has been catered for SMMEs”.

Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen and CEO of Casidra, Dr Keith du Plessis hand over the products to all SMMEs as beneficiaries of the GRDM 2022/2023 SMMEs Development Programme.

Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, during his keynote address stated that in this critical time with difficult economic circumstances, “it gives me joy that this event is a deliberate decision taken by GRDM together with the partners, Casidra and other the stakeholders. We told ourselves that ‘even if we have money, even if we don’t have money, with the little we have we will make provision to support our SMMEs’”.

Alderman Booysen also congratulated Casidra for receiving clean audits over 33 consecutive years. He said: “There is a belief in this country that when we talk about clean audits, people will tell you that “clean audits do not put food on the table”.

When addressing the SMMEs, Mayor Booysen stressed that South Africa must understand that not everyone will be employed by Government. Therefor “you as SMMs, must create employment – you will employ your neighbours, people who have passed Grade 12, people with skills, you as SMMEs will employ them and not just Government. Government must lay this foundation so that you your businesses can thrive” he added.

Mayor Booysen also spoke about the matter on how law enforcement, sometimes, remove small businesses from the pavements. He also shared his concerns that sometimes those business products also get destroyed in the process. He explained: “There is a reason for Aunt Sannie that sells vetkoek at a specific area. There are feet – people come and go”. And as Government, he said that “we regard this as the breaking of by-laws”.  Mayor Booysen advised that if a business is functioning well at a specific area which does not carry the approval of the specific municipality, the situation and business need to be assessed. It is therefore important for municipalities to revisit their by-laws to legalise business operations at an area of choice of the SMME”. In closing his speech Mayor Booysen said: “If we give you money, that money must take you to your dream, but not everything that you need for your business is money, connections and ideas also generate money”.

A SMME representative, Vuyokasi Melenie, shared a special vote of thanks to stakeholders and sketched a scenario to all present on how the programme contributed to their businesses. When Government closed businesses operations down because of the pandemic, it was a lot for small businesses – it came with a lot a strain and a lot of stress whereby staff lost their jobs.

Melanie Wilson, Manager for Economic Development and Tourism, who concluded her tenure at GRDM the next day (Friday, 31 March 2023) delivered the closing remarks at the event. She expressed her appreciation towards Mayor Booysen for his passion, energy, support and commitment towards SMMEs. She also thanked all Councillors who were present and to the Executive Manager responsible for Economic Development, Lusanda Menze she said: “Thank you for allowing us the freedom to do what we as team must do”.

The beneficiaries of the programme received a message from Wilson to carry their businesses for a lifetime, when she said: “May you get the feet, the clients and that your businesses will grow and excel. May your business not only grow for yourself and that you will not only provide for yourself, but that you will create generational wealth for your children and your communities. Continue with what you are doing and with your hard work, you will see the results in your lifetime,” she concluded.

Stakeholder representatives at the event were (FLTR): Lusanda Menze (GRDM), Clyde Lamberts (Department of Agriculture), Warren Marcus (Casidra), Melanie Wilson and Ald. Memory Booysen (GRDM), Dr Keith du Plessis (Casidra), Natalie Raubenheimer (GRDM) Paul Hoffman (WCEDP), as well as Johannes Jafta, Richard Dyantyi and Amagene Koeberg (GRDM).

Wilson furthermore expressed a special word of gratitude to the District Economic Development team and extended a special word of thanks to Johannes Jafta, Officer of Economic Development at GRDM, for his passion and energy and his skills to drive this programme.

Did you know?

  1. The stakeholders involved in the GRDM SMME Development Programme of 2022/2023, included Small Enterprises Development Agency (Seda) LED Managers from Local Municipalities in the Garden Route, Cassidra, the Department of Agriculture, WCEDP and DEDAT.
  2. Casidra renders project management service to Departments within the Western Cape Government (WCG), local authorities, businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) community-based organisations (CBO’s), academic institutions, other governmental agencies and international assistance institutions. As the Provincial Government Enterprise for the Western Cape Government, development projects are planned and implemented by Casidra. Its proven ability and skills, ground level involvement in communities, proven track record and sound financial record-keeping, reporting and auditing make Casidra the preferred service provider.