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.
Media Release: GRDM SMME Development Programme benefits SMMEs of the Garden Route
For immediate release
19 October 2020
Representatives from small businesses in the Garden Route, on 14 October 2020 received essential business products from the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Ald. Memory Booysen. This handover formed part of the GRDM Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) Development Programme.
The objectives of the initiative are to assist small businesses with equipment, stock and other necessities to strengthen, improve and expand their businesses to create more employment opportunities within the Garden Route district. A total of R400 000 was made available in the 2019/2020 financial year for this project. As of now, this initiative will assist these businesses that have been challenged in various ways – even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of the weakened economy. The SMME sector is also the cornerstone of the economy and is a key priority of the GRDM. SMMEs support and restore the economy in line with the municipality’s Economic Recovery Plan. The Plan is therefore one of the interventions of the municipality to revive its economy.
To qualify as a beneficiary, businesses had to be in operation for at least one year within the boundaries of the Garden Route district.
During his keynote address, Executive Mayor of GRDM expressed a word a gratitude to the GRDM Council, Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, and the Economic Development team for their continued efforts to ensure that SMMEs from the District are sought after. Although Alderman Booysen admitted that the COVID-19 lockdown has turned everything upside down, it also presented many opportunities to the GRDM. He said: “COVID-19 has given us an opportunity in terms of what we can do and it made us realise what we are not doing. During this time we realised as Government, what we are not doing so well when holding hands with the informal sector. We focus a lot on big businesses, and COVID-19 has shown us that we have to reach out now more than ever to the informal sector”.
Alderman Booysen said to the entrepreneurs present: “The President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and the Premier of the Western Cape, Mr Alan Winde, are all looking for innovation and for us to turn the economy around is to be innovative – we thus have to walk the talk with you as small businesses. When we walk with you, we would be fully informed about your operations. When you would need help, we would be able to open up more doors for you,” Mayor Booysen added.
After Alderman Booysen highlighted that the GRDM has embarked on some big developments, he further encouraged all entrepreneurs to be ready with their products when these developments fall in place. “For us to beat what the lockdown has caused to the economy of the Garden Route,” he said: “We need to create jobs and more jobs. We must stop thinking that we only have to stand in queues to apply for jobs, “what we need is to create entrepreneurs and jobs”.
While addressing the entrepreneurs at the event, Mr Quinton Coetzee, Regional Manager of Seda, said, “Business entrepreneurs sometimes feel alone, but you need to understand that you are part of the bigger team”. He further said that with the support of partners it becomes easier to stay in business and to keep the doors of the business open. While elaborating on their role in the partnership to assist SMMEs becoming successful exporters of their products, he said, “We looked at the needs of the entrepreneurs and how to fill those gaps. Mr Coetzee stated: “For the past twelve months we trained the entrepreneurs in exporting and pricing, and now these entrepreneurs are in a position to price their products correctly. Training, information and access to information are therefore critical in the success of any business,” he emphasised. Mr Alex Qunta, Provincial Manager of Seda, thanked the leadership of GRDM, Mayor Booysen and Mr Stratu for the municipality’s relationship with Seda. To the SMMEs, Mr Qunta said: “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done, one being yesterday and the other day is called “tomorrow”. He added: “Today is the right day to love, believe in yourself and mostly live your idea and passion”.
Words of appreciation from Beneficiaries
Two of the entrepreneurs Hendrik Tiemie from Hendrik’s Wire Art and Ms Sherrelle Swartbooi from Pure Niqua (Pty) used the platform to share special words of gratitude to the all stakeholders involved.
Mr Tiemie said: “I thank our Heavenly Father for making these contributions possible”. He also thanked the GRDM Team, Mayor Booysen, the GRDM Council and Economic Development team for investing into his business and for their support. He also expressed his appreciation to the relevant Seda business advisor, for her assistance in support of his business. To his fellow SMMEs he said: “Do not give up; stand firm and you will eventually see the results – you will indeed see it was all worth it”.
When addressing the audience, Ms Swartbooi highlighted, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once gave birth to a decision that traveled from the mind, through the heart and into the world to be nurtured by sacrifices, hard work, by innovation, by mistakes, small and large wings, determination and triumph. On behalf of all SMMEs she said: “Thank you to GRDM for this initiative and for assisting our businesses during these difficult times. You have made our dreams a reality and also if you don’t build on your dreams, someone will hire you to build their dreams. Always dream and build your own dreams,” she added.
Municipal Manager, Mr Stratu, in his closing remarks, said that this event came at an opportune time, while the country is facing an economic crisis. After sharing his views with all present and saying that our main role is to ensure that we create an environment for business to thrive, he also conveyed a special word of thanks to all stakeholders for making the event possible and for giving entrepreneurs of the Garden Route another opportunity for their businesses to succeed.
The event was directed by Mr Lusanda Menze, GRDM Executive Manager for Planning and Economic Development and successfully organised by the Economic Development Unit of GRDM in collaboration with the Seda and the Department of Agriculture.
Each Executive Mayor’s presentation was approximately 10 minutes long and focused on the following:
Financing and concessions district municipalities offer to Tourism SMMEs, including cooperatives;
Non-Financial Development Programmes;
Partnership initiatives with other spheres of government including other development institutions;
Donor funding to support Tourism SMMEs and Cooperatives;
Partnership Initiatives established with private sector including civil society and institutions of higher learning;
Policy response initiated in response of COVID-19;
Action Plans to reset the Tourism Industry post COVID-19; and
The Way-forward/Policy Recommendations.
During his presentation on behalf of the Garden Route district, Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Alderman Memory Booysen, gave a concise overview of the district and its diverse characteristics relating to the Tourism industry which is a coastal, inland and rural region. He further elaborated: “We are home to a port in Mossel Bay which is under-utilised. The port requires official port-of-entry status, as well as expansion. The district also has a regional airport in George, which is currently pursuing international status. If this is approved it will lead to its expansion, especially with the recent oil and gas discovery in Mossel Bay. He furthermore referred to the quality of the beaches within the district, saying that most of the coastal municipalities boast with pristine beaches that have blue flag status. Also, with the region that is very well known for tourism events and taking into consideration all these factors, he said that the Garden Route is the preferred Tourism destination.
When referring to GRDM earmarked as one of the “district development model” municipalities, Mayor Booysen emphasised that the GRDM looks forward to building partnerships with other spheres of Government, including the sharing of resources and intellectual property for this model to work.
He furthermore mentioned the District’s relationships with stakeholders, referring to the engagement platform with the Premier of the Western Cape and said: “The Premier provides access to all five district mayors to participate in the Extended Cabinet meeting. These meetings are also represented by cluster leaders, such as Safety, Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery, Tourism etc., to keep all municipalities aligned with the vision of the Western Cape Provincial Government.
Alderman Booysen raised his concerns regarding the district’s support to businesses. With regard to Small, Medium, Macro Enterprises (SMMEs). He further elaborated that the cost-containment regulations prohibit the municipality from providing the best possible support to SMMEs, as well as processes that are delayed as a result of red tape. “Some processes have to be directed to other spheres of Governments for their approvals or to be concluded,” he emphasised. With reference to support programmes for spaza shops and general dealers, Alderman Booysen said that GRDM have been working with the banks (Nedbank, Standard Bank) and SEDA for the successful roll-out of this programme in the district. Support with regards to items and equipment is also provided to SMME’s to assist them in keeping their businesses open and expanding it.
Alderman Booysen made mention of a Webishop that was held in collaboration with all local municipalities on 12 August 2020. This WebiShop aimed to address several topics relevant to re-imagining the Garden Route in an innovative and creative way post the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown period. It also provided a platform for representatives from various think tanks, based locally and internationally, to share how they do things differently in a streamlined way to enable a “next” normal. Presenters logged in from as far as the United Kingdom and Finland to share their ideas.
The themes and topics discussed provided a perfect baseline from which to begin with a process of re-imagining the Garden Route. He said: “More sector specific workshops are envisaged to take place between September and October 2020 and by the end of October, a final economic recovery plan would be ready as a result of these engagements,” Mayor Booysen added. Furthermore, a memorandum of understanding with tertiary institutions in the region is in place to allow these institutions to assist the Garden Route with the turnaround of the economy.
GRDM furthermore embarked on many other campaigns, such as the launching of the Business support campaign. To assist businesses to recover, remain open and keep their current employees post-COVID-19.
September is also Tourism month, with a specific focus on boosting tourism and rural development. These role players are critical and play a major role towards the development of rural communities through measures that could alleviate poverty, create jobs and stimulate the economy. The impact of COVID-19 on the Tourism sector was devastating, causing most businesses not to operate for months. This resulted in many communities to losing their income streams.
Garden Routers were invited to participate in a campaign which aimed to boost the visibility of small businesses on social media. This could be done by posting a positive review of a business you often support to your personal profile on social media using the hashtags (#gardenrouteandme and #myfavouritebusiness), Mayor Booysen explained.
As COVID-19 was the key element of the presentation, Mayor Booysen further spoke about how GRDM is dealing with COVID-19 through various partnerships. He elaborated that safety kits and masks were distributed in collaboration with local municipalities and the Department Economic Development and Tourism to SMME’s in hotspot areas, to ensure client and employee safety and that the district made provision for isolation facilities in the areas of Mossel Bay to accommodate more than 200 beds. GRDM also made two of its resorts available in preparation of any eventuality that might occur in relation to COVID-19. Due to partnerships with clusters and discussions with the business chambers in the region, Mayor Booysen highlighted and said that these chambers did surveys regarding the impact of the COVID-19 within various sectors such as construction, tourism etc. He said: “These Chambers came back with reports that indicated that the district have to go into overdrive for the economy to be revived”.
The Garden Route is home to many world-class golf courses, Mayor Booysen confirmed that all these golf courses qualify to be part of the world calendar. Adding to this he said: “Mr Ernie Els who is a world renowned golf champion, engaged with GRDM regarding a plan to attract golfers and the golf community around the world to the district through the hosting of a golf tournament. “However, as District Municipality we are still constrained with the cost containment regulations”.
All inputs made by the Executive Mayors will be compiled into a report in preparation of recommendations that will be presented to the National Council of Provinces for consideration.
Media Release: Award-winning Cinematographer William Collinson’s quirky new film ‘Mr Johnson’ starts its festival journey at GRIFF
For Immediate Rlease 14 September 2020
Director and award-winning cinematographer, William Collinson (Double Echo, Last Broken Darkness), offers a new take on ageism in his latest film, Mr Johnson. The film will have its world premiere at this year’s Garden Route International Film Festival (21 September – 11 October 2020).
When David Johnson awakes from a 47-year coma at the age of 73, he has a hard time dealing with his aged body and the fact that he has missed out on more than half his life. As he slowly steps into this strange new world, his youthful exuberance is undimmed and, with a little prodding, he tackles life and love with the energy and passion of a man half his age. However, like many other people of his age, he also wrestles with issues of loneliness and alienation.
“The film has some interesting twists and despite the fact that it is a drama, the main character is very quirky and this adds a lot of comedy to the story. Also, although in many ways, loneliness is a theme, Mr Johnson finds company in unique and strange places”, says Collinson. “There are few films that deal with ageism and, though shown only in subtle ways, Mr Johnson highlights how some old people become invisible in society.”
Collinson has earned his place as one of South Africa’s most sought-after young cinematographers and has lensed some of the most critically acclaimed films of the past few years. His work on the soapie, Skeem Saam and the feature films Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee and Skemerson were all nominated for Best Cinematography at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs). He received Best Cinematography Award nominations at the Kyknet Silwerskerm Film Festival for lensing the Afrikaans feature films, Seun and Dis Koue Kos, Skat.
The film stars Paul Slabolepszy (Apprenticeship of a Mahatma, Saturday Night at the Palace) and Jana Cilliers (Die Boekklub, Die Leeftyd van Orgidee), with Frank Rautenbach (The Bang Bang Club), Sisanda Henna (Griekwastad), Graham Hopkins (Eye in the Sky), Jailoshini Naidoo (Keeping Up with the Kandasamys), Carla Classen (Stroomop), Drikus Volschenk (Dis Ek, Anna), Antony Coleman (Blood Diamond), Heike Brunner (Knysna), Clayton Boyd (The Entity), Marinus Gubitz (Onortodoks), and Mila Guy (Wonderlus).
Mr Johnson was shot on location in Johannesburg and was produced by Azania Productions, the team behind the box office hit Broken Promises Forever and the recent sleeper hit Blessers.
On Tuesday (26 May 2020) I visited businesses in Dunoon, one of the Covid-19 hotspots in the Western Cape, to see how these businesses were implementing the necessary safety measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 and hear from them the challenges they face in ensuring customers maintain these safety measures. [Watch video of Minister’s visit to Dunoon]
This visit was part of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s operational plan to support the Western Cape government’s targeted Hotspot Strategy which focuses the entire provincial government’s impact on geographical areas where the virus is spreading, in order to slow it down and protect vulnerable people.
The department’s role in the Hotspot Strategy is specifically to assist businesses in slowing the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace, and to ensure economic recovery in the hotspot areas.
In addition to the work already done to support businesses in the Western Cape since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, we will also do the following to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace in hotspot areas:
Provide businesses in hotspot areas, especially those that are high-risk, with health guidelines and materials that display information on safety measures in the workplace,
Monitor the compliance of businesses in implementing safety measures in the hotspot areas through reporting mechanisms that allow the public to report non-compliance such as an online form,
Assist businesses to access the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by connecting them with suppliers through our PPE marketplace, and
Identify and resolve systemic issues making it a challenge for businesses to implement the necessary safety measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.
As part of our economic recovery plan for the hotspots, we will also be zoning in on businesses in these areas to ensure they access the support we’ve put in place to adapt and survive during this crisis such as:
our SupportFinder tool which helps businesses navigate and apply for the available financial relief packages,
our Tech Volunteers Programme which connects businesses who want to become more digital with industry experts for free two-hour advisory consultations, and
our #GoDigitalWC webinars which brings leading experts in digital technology and business transformation to present ideas and advice for SMMEs on how they can adapt and innovate during Covid-19.
The more businesses that are able to operate safely during the Alert Levels, the sooner we can get people working again, and the sooner we will move towards an economic recovery in the Western Cape.
To avoid a return to tighter restrictions it is imperative that every employer and employee in a business that is operating now, or which opens under the new alert levels, plays by the rules, and implements the necessary health and safety measures as instructed by national government to avoid further negative impacts on their respective sector.
Some of the key safety measures that we’re asking all businesses to implement include the following:
Develop a workplace safety plan before they re-open and implement any necessary changes to the workplace in advance of re-opening
Include details in the safety plan on how these businesses will implement hygiene and social distancing measures; how they will screen employees on arrival each day, how they will assist employees to quarantine or isolate, and how they will assist with contact tracing if employees test positive.
Identify and explore ways of protecting employees that are at risk, such as those who are over 60 years and / or who suffer from underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer, either by enabling them to work from home where possible, changing the nature of their work, isolating their area of work or placing them on paid special leave if the other options are unavailable
Consider allowing all employees who can work from home to do so
Implement staggered and non-interacting shift work, and / or divide teams into smaller units to reduce the spread of infections and to minimise impacts on business operations should infections occur
Stagger working hours for employees and provide transport for employees where possible to help reduce congestion on public transport and reduce exposure to infection of employees. Where workers are using public transport, advise and encourage safe practices for using public transport
Spread out and closely monitor all communal break areas such as canteens and smoke break areas to ensure maintenance of safe practices.
Get employees to share their knowledge with their families and friends and encourage good practices outside of the workplace.
For assistance in understanding the regulations, guidance on workplace safety or help navigating the financial relief packages email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently our lives and specifically our businesses have been affected and disrupted by droughts, crime, energy issues / load shedding and now the Corona COVID -19 virus.
We wish to gather information from you as business owners and leaders as to the impact the disruptions are having on your business. Hence the survey is designed to gather a high-level insight into the impact on businesses and measures taken to ensure sustainable business operations. Read more…
Please click on the link below to complete the survey.