Category: <span>Empowerment</span>

26 July 2022 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality’s role in managing of human remains

Media Release: Garden Route DM’s role in managing of human remains

For Immediate Release
25 July 2022

The disposal of the dead, also known as the management of human remains, is one of the nine municipal health functions performed by Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) assigned to local governments under the National Health Act 2003 (Act no. 61 of 2003).

According to the National Health Act, handling of human remains, transportation, and funeral undertakers’ facilities must all be inspected and monitored at least twice a year. However, ongoing monitoring is also required. Environmental health inspections include identifying, monitoring, and assessing health risks, nuisances, and hazards at funeral homes. Where necessary, corrective and preventative actions are implemented.

The main functions of EHPs in the management of human remains is as follows:

  • EHPs ensure that funeral homes are operating under current certificates. Upon confirmation that the facility complies with environmental health regulations, a certificate of competency is issued.
  • EHPs further ensure that handling, collection, storage, and disposal of waste, including health care risk waste, comply with SANS 10248, Norms and Standards for waste management.
  • Conduct risk assessment to identify potential health hazards from the preparation and storage of human remains.
  • Provide health education and awareness on proper hygiene practices as well as water and sanitation practices.
  • Ensures that the funeral undertaker premises have a pest control plan and that pest control services are performed at least once a month.
  • In case of non-compliant after an inspection, the relevant EHP will liaise with the owner of the funeral undertaker.
  • After each inspection, the EHPs ensure that the inspection report indicates the condition of the premises and relevant health recommendations are provided to the owner or person in charge.
  • EHPs ensure that a database of all premises in their area used for handling, preparing, and storing human remains is maintained.
  • EHPs must ensure that all facilities and equipment used in connection with the handling, preparation, storage, preservation, and transportation of human remains adhere to the regulation relating to the management of human remains, in accordance with National Health Act 61 of 2003.

For any further information, please contact us at the respective regional offices within the Garden Route District Municipality:

Klein Karoo Region

Mr. Desmond Paulse

Tel: +27(0)44 272 2241

Cell: +27(0)83 678 6530

Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

Kanaland Region

Mr. George Hendriksz

Tel: +27(0)44 272 2241

Cell: +27(0)82 907 3492

Address: 15 Regent Street, Oudtshoorn

Mossel Bay

Mr. Sam Bendle

Tel:  +27(0)44 693 0006

Cell: +27(0)83 630 6108

Address C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay.

George Outeniqua

Ms. Emmy Douglas

Tel: +27(0)44 803 1501

Cell: +27(0)78 457 2824

Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George, 6530

George Wilderness

Mr. Pieter Raath

Tel: +27(0)44 803 1501

Cell: +27(0)83 644 8858

Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

Knysna Region

Mr. James McCarthy

Tel: +27(0)44 382 7214

Cell: +27(0)82 805 9417

Address: 26A Queen Street, Knysna

Bitou Region

Mr. Gawie Vos

Tel: +27(0)44 501 1600

Cell: +27(0)83 557 1522

Address: 7 Gibb Street, Plettenberg Bay

Hessequa Region

Mr. Haemish Herwels

Tel: +27(0)28 713 2438

Cell: +27(0)83 678 6545

Address: 23 Michell Street, Riversdale, 6670

 

Mr. Johan Compion

Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services

Cell: +27(0)82 803 5161

E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za

Tel: 044 803 1300

 

12 July 2022 Media Release: Blanco health outreach to youth

Media Release: Blanco health outreach to youth

For immediate release
12 July 2022

Community health workers (CHWs)from Blanco had an outreach to youth in Golden Valley in June to raise awareness on sexual and reproductive health. CHWs informed the groups of youth they met on the range of contraceptives methods available and to use contraceptives in addition to condoms every time during sexual intercourse to protect them from unwanted pregnancies and sexual transmitted infections, including HIV. They also touched on voluntary male medical circumcision to prevent the acquisition of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Information packages were shared and the CHWs referred youngsters to the Blanco health facility for contraception.

‘It was good to hear that the young boys knew what medical male circumcision was and where to go for the services,’ said health promoter, Claudel Draai.

The CHWs also discussed the dangers of cigarettes, dagga and hookah pipes with the youngsters. ‘We can only inform them of the dangers of using any form of drugs and hope that they will make an informed decision regarding their health.’

Emphasis was specifically on the importance of visiting the nearest healthcare facility when not feeling well and to go for sexual reproductive health services when needed.

Western Cape Government Health and Wellness invites youth to make use of our services through their local clinic.

‘We welcome youth to Blanco clinic to make use of the services on offer. These include family planning, HIV and AIDS and TB screening and testing, mental health services, substance abuse and health promotion. We have a dedicated time slot from 14:00 to 16:00 for youth, but you are welcome to visit us throughout the day,’ said operational manager, Barinda van der Merwe.

END

Nadia Ferreira

Principal Communications Officer

Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts

Western Cape Government Health

Tel: 044 813 1831

Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za

Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

16 June 2022 Today is Youth Day – Let’s all lead by example

Today is Youth Day – Let’s all lead by example
16 June 2022

16 June 1976 was a very dark day for South Africa as many students lost their lives during an uprising against the Apartheid Government who issued a directive that Afrikaans should become the medium of instruction in schools. Students marched peacefully to protest and demonstrate against the Government’s directive but were met with force by heavily armed police, causing the uprising that ended tragically.

Those who lost their lives that day did not do so in vain as they helped to expose the brutality of the Apartheid Government, which received more international revulsion afterward. There are many lessons that 16 June 1976 has taught us, one of which is to lead by example. In other words, show, don’t tell.

Many children and students have already lost hope because of the COVID pandemic, not returning to school, and falling victim to drugs and alcohol abuse. It is up to the entire country to assist Government, NGOs, and parents to turn issues around and break the vicious cycle of hopelessness.

Leading by example can be many things and encouragement is one of them.

Maybe you are someone who fell into the same trap and managed to get out of it. If so, why not share your experiences with someone you know are in need of your positive message? Explain to them the challenges you faced but that it was not impossible. Show them the positive results your actions yielded and if you can, commit yourself to walk a journey with them.

Even if you have not had the unfortunate experience of staying away from school, you can help through encouragement and being there for others.

Remember, this is not something you have to do on your own. Ask your parents, teachers, community and religious leaders for advice.

Follow the example of those who stood together on 16 June 1976 and help rebuild a legacy of a prosperous South Africa.

 

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.

26 April 2022 Media Release: Best of luck Emile Conrad! Keep our flag high!

Media Release:  Best of luck Emile Conrad! Keep our flag high!

 For Immediate Release
26 April 2022

Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Senior Firefighter and multiple winner of the “Sout African Toughest Firefighter Alive Competition,” Emile Conrad, will tomorrow, 27 April 2022, depart to Lisbon, Portugal. There he will compete in the 14th edition of the World Firefighters Games, which will take place from 30 April to 7 May 2022.

Emilie Conrad, a well-known name in the firefighting community in South Africa. He has in the past won the “Men’s Individual” category of the SA Toughest Firefighter Alive Competition on multiple occasions since his first attempt in 2011.

The World Firefighters Games, which are being held every two years in a different country, brings together firefighters from all over the globe. These include full-time, part-time, volunteer structural firefighters, bush firefighters, aviation fire services, and military emergency response personnel.  The event includes more than 50 different sports and challenges, including archery, rugby sevens, windsurfing, poker, swimming, athletics, and softball, with the “Toughest Firefighter Alive” being the crowning achievement.

Emile Conrad will be part of a team of twenty (20) firefighters, eighteen (18) from the Western Cape and two (2) from the Eastern Cape who will compete under the banner of the Western Cape Firefighters Association. These men and women will be representing South Africa as well as their respective municipalities during the competition.

In response to a question regarding the competition, Conrad responded enthusiastically, “I’m very overwhelmed and thankful for everything that God has done in my life. In addition, I would like to thank my friends and Charnaud Protective Wear, who not only provided me with the best fire fighting gear, but also made this trip to Lisbon, Portugal possible.  I cannot wait for ‘Game Day!’”

The GRDM management and staff would like to wish Emile Conrad a safe journey and the best of luck in the competition.

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

Save The Date: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum to Be Held on 25 February

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.

Tshepo Manyama, Regional Manager of National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape, will be the keynote speaker. He will talk on matters of skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route. Joining Manyama will be Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. Lamberts will focus on similar matters, but with a focus on the resilient Agriculture sector of the Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy. The chairperson of the Education and Training Committee of GRDM will chair the session.

Stakeholders who wish to attend the webinar can register here.

2 November 2020 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality welcomes 30 interns for workplace experience

Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality welcomes 30 interns for workplace experience

For Immediate Release
2 November 2020

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently welcomed thirty (30) interns from various sectors for an internship programme at its Head-Office in George. This, after the Department of Western Cape Department of Local Government created an opportunity for interns to be placed at various municipalities for a period of six months from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 in the 2020/2021 financial year.

The Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) required each municipality to do a Skills Audit of all the qualifications of their staff members. The information obtained was then collated onto the GAPSKILSS Programme which is an online national system. In order to reach the desired outcomes, the DPLG approached the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) to fund the interns, as a means to assist the Department with the entire process. DEDAT then granted municipalities the funds to appoint interns. The funds were transferred to all municipalities who participate in the programme, such as the GRDM.

All municipalities who take part in the programme have to adhere to certain requirements. Two of the requirements are that the municipality have to indicate the need or number of interns needed within the municipality and that they must fund four to five of the interns that they accommodate. The rest of the interns will be funded by the DEDAT.
With the GRDM who accommodates 30 interns, these interns will be able to require the necessary skills and gain workplace experience within their specialised fields. This will allow them to be job-ready and will enable them to start building their careers. Also, the initiative further aims to assist households within rural areas financially.

Interns from various sectors welcomed to the Garden Route District Municipality on the 1st of October 2020.

Strict measures are in place and proper monitoring are done to ensure that the desired outcomes are reached. Currently the interns are tasked with meaningful work activities and proof thereof must be provided together with an attendance register that have to be signed by each participant on a daily basis.

ENDS

8 October 2020 Media Release: October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Media Release: October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

For Immediate Release
8 October 2020

Annually, October marks “Breast Cancer Awareness month”, an opportunity to place focus on women reducing their cancer risk and to raise awareness. This month also serves to show support for people affected by the disease.

According to studies, early detection remains the cornerstone of controlling cancer. This means, early and adequate diagnosis can lead to effective treatment, resulting in a good chance to cure breast cancer. It is therefore imperative for women to empower themselves with the knowledge to lower their cancer and health risks and to be able to recognise warning signs early.

In South Africa, breast cancer is known to be one of the most common cancers among women of all races. All women are at risk, particularly women with a family history of breast cancer. However, it is also known that about 90% of patients survive after diagnosis when breast cancer is detected at the early stages.

South Africans are lucky to have an organisation like CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) involved in efforts at lowering cancer risks and to provide an integrated service to all people affected by cancer. CANSA continuously supplies the public with information and support. They are committed to offering day-to-day help, including emotional support to patients. In addition, they strive to ensure that cancer survivors and their loved ones don’t have to face cancer alone.

In support of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, women are encouraged to go for annual medical check-ups and cancer screening; and to familiarise themselves with the early warning signs and symptoms of cancer. It is also important for women to check their breasts regularly and to visit health care practitioners if changes are noticed. Awareness of risk factors can help women reduce their personal cancer risk.

Warning signs of breast cancer.

The following are common breast cancer signs and symptoms which include:

  • a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit – you might feel the lump but not see it;
  • a change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling;
  • a change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed;
  • a change to the nipple, for example, it has become pulled in (inverted);
  • rash or crusting around the nipple;
  • any unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple; and
  • changes in the size or shape of the breast.
Warning signs of male breast cancer.

Women must develop the habit of regularly checking their breasts, including the upper chest areas and armpits. It’s simple using the TLC technique (Touch Look Check).

  • Touch your breasts: can you feel anything unusual?
  • Look for changes: does anything look different?
  • Check any changes with your GP

Always remember, awareness of the symptoms and early detection can result in early diagnosis, resulting in improved treatment outcomes. It is in a woman’s nature to generally put others first – BUT, women need to realise that they too have the right to prioritise their own health.