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
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.
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
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.
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 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.
Media Release: Garden Route Business Advisory Forum Established
For Immediate Release 9 March 2022
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Knysna Municipality, Business Chambers and business forums in the region today, 8 March 2022, connected in Knysna to establish a quarterly Garden Route Business Advisory Forum. The forum will serve to promote an inclusive business environment. Being a first of its kind in the Western Cape at a district level, the GRDM Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen also plans to form task teams to promote critical sectors like Tourism, Agriculture, and Construction.
At the first engagement, Cllr Levael Davis, Knysna Municipality Executive Mayor, said: “The Garden Route is filled with a kaleidoscope of opportunities. He shared that Knysna Municipality understands the value the GRDM adds and the importance of the platform’s establishment. “I think it is the right time for this, and we, as the Knysna Municipality, are in full support of this platform, and we know the rest of the region will follow suit.”
Deputy Executive Mayor, Adv. Gert van Niekerk was also present at the engagement with the Mayoral Committee Members, as well as Portfolio Committee members of GRDM.
During Booysen’s overview of the advisory forum, he explained that the forum was established as envisaged in the Garden Route Economic Recovery Plan. This recovery plan is widely consulted, with both government and private sector playing an active role, and subsequently, adopted by the GRDM Council on 30 March 2021. Booysen also touched on his past experiences where investors frequently asked questions that only the business chambers representatives would have had answers to. “The GRDM does not plan to engage with international investors without business chamber representatives being present. This platform will also help us to establish which business would be the best suited for the type of investor we are planning to engage with.
“Today is a new beginning – the first steps of the ‘marathon’,” said Booysen.
He urged all political parties present at the engagement not to play dirty politics and to work with businesses to promote the region.
Paul Hoffman presented the proposed structure for GRAF, and how it fits into the structure adopted by the Garden Route to drive the implementation of the Garden Route Growth & Development Strategy and Recovery Plan. Chambers, Associations and other business Forums will form part of GRAF at an advisory and strategic level, while individual businesses and sector bodies will be more involved at the implementation level of the Strategy, and will be integrated into the 7 Priority Clusters, namely Tourism, Agriculture, Wellbeing and Resilience, Energy Transition, Water Security, Circular Economy, and a Connected Economy. Hoffman further reiterated that it is not the intention to duplicate existing structures but to be complementary to the current business structures at both a regional, as well as a local municipal level. Knowledge sharing and best practices will be key components of such an engagement, and the engagements will be driven by a “Private Sector driven – Government supported” approach.
Ald. Virgil Gericke, one of the GRDM Proportional RepresentativeCouncillors, was also at the event and said that he fully supports the Mayor in the establishment of this forum. He asked that no one stands in the way of this forum’s agenda. “The issue of transformation is critical,” said Gericke. He also emphasized the relaxation of bylaws to make it easier for businesses to thrive – currently, bylaws are not as inclusive as they should be. “The reduction of red-tape and excessively complicated administrative procedures must become a thing of the past.” Gericke said that he personally experienced startup capital as one of the biggest hurdles when he started a small business. “Many are left with loans at a high-interest rate,” he said. It is no secret that small businesses face widespread challenges with a limited cash flow when they are getting on their feet.
The forum provides a “unique opportunity for businesses to position themselves as part of the decision making processes,” said Rachel Wall, Chairperson of the Stillbay Business Chamber. She is also in full support of the advisory forum but requested for more local municipality representatives to form part of future engagements.
A member of the George Small Business Forum, Basil Myners, urged all stakeholders at the forum to help educate small businesses by mentoring them and sharing information. “I have recently registered six co-operatives in Friemersheim to boost agriculture in the area.” Cooperatives are people-centred enterprises that are owned, controlled and run by and for their members to reach common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations.
Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager: Planning and Economic Development and the current Acting Municipal Manager of GRDM, in wrapping up the session, said: “It is fitting to say this is the start of many more engagements we will have with the business sector.” He assured those present that he fully supported the newly established organized platform and sees the GRDM fulfilling its coordination role. However, he indicated that the business fraternity will need to take the leading role.
“The GRDM Mayor has planted the seed, and it is now up to us to water it so that it can grow.”
“We are building an enabling environment for business to grow,” Menze concluded.
Pictured at shortly after the first regional Business Advisory Forum – Ald. Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor (wearing chain) and Knysna Executive Mayor, Cllr Levael Davis (back-right), with stakeholders from various business forums and chambers in the region, as well as municipal representatives.
MEDIA RELEASE: LOCAL PRODUCED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO BE SHOWCASED BY SMALL BUSINESSES AT A POP-MARKET IN GEORGE, GARDEN ROUTE MALL, 10-13 MARCH 2022
For Immediate Release
4 March 2022
Small Enterprise Development Agencies (Seda) in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, and Tourism (DEDAT), and Garden Route District Municipality will provide 30 SMMEs in the Garden Route District an opportunity to showcase their products at a Pop – Up Market in George, Garden Route Mall from 10-13 March 2022. Alex T Qunta, Seda Western Cape Provincial Manager believes that this programme will respond and address one of the key challenges that hamper the growth of small businesses in South Africa, which is access to the market.
Advocate Gert Van Niekerk, Executive Deputy Mayor of the Garden Route District is expected to do a walk-about on Thursday, 10 March 2022 from 13:00. The Deputy Mayor will be joined by Seda Provincial leadership and the Portfolio Committee for Economic Development of the District Municipality.
List of businesses who will exhibit at the mall include:
Hair Care Products
Insomniac Party Bus:
Party Bus Events
Formal Hats and Clothing
Clothing and Clothing Printing Services
Litch & Titchi (Pty) Ltd:
Hand & Body cream manufacturing
Cosmetics & soap shop
Home Décor & Furnature manufacturing
Elsies Handmade Products (Pty) Ltd:
Karootjie (Pty) Ltd:
Knitted clothing items
Western Cape Honey Bush Co-operative Ltd:
Nelton Willemse t/a Nelton Art:
Barely There Gems:
In the Gap Clothing:
Lumarco Food Distributors:
Garlic Food Items
Picnic blankets and cooler bags
Rise Coffee Co:
Silk Screen Stencils:
Silk Screen Stencils
90s Urban Store:
Amanda Barendse t/a Keiko:
Manufacturing of play dough
Aweh Arts Gifts and Crafts (Pty) LTD:
Crafts and Soap
Kaukou (Pty) LTD:
Couture By Austin:
Lethemba Art and Crafts:
Arts and Crafts
Kairos Foods and Services:
Ouma Barbie se Stoepkombuis:
Issued by Seda Market Unit
For media inquiries, please contact Mr. Sibongile Somdaka, Seda Western Cape Provincial Marketing & Stakeholder Relations Specialist on 072 573 2193.
Save The Date: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum to Be Held on 25 February
For Immediate Release
14 February 2022
The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 will be held on 25 February 2022 from 09:00-12:00 virtually. This setting gives Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.
Media Release: Garden Route Coastal Resorts Perform Exceptionally Well Over the Festive Season
For Immediate Release 12 January 2022
The 2020 festive season was very bleak for most of South Africa and other countries. Tight lockdown restrictions, which included the beaches being closed, as well as longer curfews and a ban on the sale of alcohol, placed a damper on everyone’s holiday spirit. In 2020, people had no choice but to cancel their holiday plans. However, the recent festive season was a stark contrast compared to a year ago because restrictions were almost completely lifted. Holiday-goers flocked in their thousands to the Garden Route.
Like many other resorts, Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) coastal resorts benefited from this. Victoria Bay and Swartvlei Caravan Parks reported a bumper holiday season, which started with a visit from the Berg-en Toerklub (BTK) from Stellenbosch University in early December. The group started their journey at Swartvlei Caravan Park, stayed there for one night and then hiked to Victoria Bay Caravan Park along the coast. There they enjoyed another braai, swimming and a well-deserved night’s rest.
As for the rest of the season, Marelize Claassen, Resort Manager, reported that Victoria Bay was at full capacity since early December. According to her, bookings are now decreasing slowly.
Swartvlei bookings increased from 12 December and reached capacity between 18 December 2021 and 2 January 2022. Holidaymakers are now heading home to tackle the new year.
It was a very busy season, and it was as if people waited two years to have this holiday – Marelize Claassen
On behalf of GRDM and its coastal resorts, the Municipality would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support and looks forward to seeing return visitors throughout the year.
Media release: The world is your oyster, and nothing can keep you back!
For Immediate Release
17 June 2021
”You determine your future, and you have now been equipped with the necessary skills in the culinary arts. So, decide to choose prosperity to enrich your lives and build on the stepping stones provided to you through this programme.” With these words, Alderlady Georlene Wolmarans, a Councillor at Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), encouraged students during their Cater Care graduation ceremony.
On Friday, 10 June 2021, 20 students who attended the Francois Ferreira Academy (FFA) Cater Care programme received recognition for triumphantly completing a three (3) month-long training programme. This year’s Cater Care programme officially kicked off on 01 March 2021.
With many opportunities offered by the hospitality and tourism industry in the region, the GRDM, in collaboration with the Francois Ferreira Academy, identified a skills development programme to help youth step into the job market. This programme aims to train previously disadvantaged youth in the hospitality field. The district’s hospitality sector needs are incrementally addressed through this initiative, with more youth becoming upskilled to expedite economic growth in the area.
During the graduation ceremony, Chef Francois Ferreira, founder and Principal of the Academy, refers to the current intake of students as the most energetic group they trained to date. He said: “This is the first group in the Cater Care Food handler programme whom we’ve received calls from all the Executive Chefs from the various restaurants; commending them on their attitudes and good work ethic”. He further elaborated that most Executive Chefs indicated that they would like to employ these students down the line. “You made us proud,” Chef Ferreira concluded.
The GRDM Tourism Unit is responsible for coordinating funding alongside the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Unit, which arranges learners’ stipends. The Francois Ferreira Academy is the appointed service provider who provides the training for these students and also ensures that students are placed in hospitality establishments to gain practical work experience whilst attending the course.
Alderlady Wolmarans concluded her speech by encouraging students with a quote from the late President of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. “To the youth of today, I also have a wish to make – be the scriptwriters of your destiny and feature yourselves as stars that showed the way towards a brighter future.”
Media Release: Garden Route Investment Prospectus formulated to attract domestic and foreign investment
For immediate release
25 January 2021
On Friday, 22 January 2021 the Garden Route Investment Prospectus was tabled and adopted by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council during an Ordinary Council meeting. This investment guide is the official regional publication which highlights many of the investment opportunities for the region.
According to Mr Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager for Planning and Economic Development, “the prospectus was developed and compiled during 2020 financial year and contains regional catalytic investment opportunities of all seven local municipalities, as well as opportunities relating to the GRDM”.
“The investment prospectus situates opportunity zones on several levels and provides an economic context for such zones,” said Menze.
The overarching objectives of this prospectus are to attract national and international investors to the Garden Route by:
displaying the vast range of investment opportunities available in the region;
providing insights into the region’s investment friendly climate; and
not only attracting new investments but also to expand existing investments in the Garden Route.
Local municipalities, business chambers, government agencies, private sector stakeholders amongst others, were consulted in the process of compiling the document and identifying the most promising investment opportunities. WESGRO, the Western Cape’s Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, remains a partner in the roll-out of the process to attract investment and will work alongside stakeholders to promote the region’s opportunities.
The high-quality print catalogue is available digitally, while 200 printed copies are currently available for distribution. The GRDM is approaching growth and development in a holistic nature looking at all sectors of the economy. It is also important to view the linkages that would promote widespread socio-economic growth. Therefore, GRDM is looking at achieving the following:
to attraction both outward and inward investment;
investment in both hard and soft infrastructure;
making the business environment more conducive to business;
involve a participatory approach to local economic development;
involve Public Private Partnerships (PPP) wherever possible; and
move towards community-based local economic development
Local economic development is one of the key focus areas for the GRDM and by realising its strategic importance, sustainable and inclusive growth will be possible.