Category: <span>Executive Mayor</span>

25 December 2022 𝗠𝗘𝗥𝗥𝗬 𝗖𝗛𝗥𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗠𝗔𝗦!

𝗠𝗘𝗥𝗥𝗬 𝗖𝗛𝗥𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗠𝗔𝗦! 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗬 𝗦𝗔𝗙𝗘

Garden Route District Municipality Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen wishes all Garden Routers and tourists in our region a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

“This year, 2022, has been memorable but also experienced with mixed emotions, small-scale celebrations, and some challenges. However, what is important for me to say during this time is thank you. You chose our region as the place to enjoy your festivities, and I am sure that you’ve experienced the impressive variety of attractions on offer here. Please make the same choice next year by revisiting us. On that note, let’s welcome 2023 with renewed energy!”

𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘆 𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱,
𝗔𝗹𝗱. 𝗠𝗲𝗺𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝘆𝘀𝗲𝗻
𝗘𝘅𝗲𝗰𝘂𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝘆𝗼𝗿 – 𝗚𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗻 𝗥𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁 𝗠𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆

#GardenRouteDM

05 December 2022 WELCOME TO THE GARDEN ROUTE AND KLEIN KAROO, SOUTH AFRICA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL AREA

WELCOME TO THE GARDEN ROUTE AND KLEIN KAROO, SOUTH AFRICA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL AREA

My warmest welcome goes out to all visitors to our region. Here you will find seven (7) municipalities with their respective local tourism offices keeping our region on the map. Areas are known as Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland. Each town has a myriad of unique offerings.

I’m honoured to boast that 19 of the 51 Blue Flag beaches in the country are located in our region this year. This means that we have the most Blue Flag beaches out of any other municipal area in South Africa! Our region’s beaches comply with strict standards of excellence in safety, cleanliness, amenities, environmental information, and management.

Let’s take a closer look at some of our areas. Zooming in on Hessequa, we see that all six (6) of its beaches have received Blue flag status. Additionally, they offer off-the-beaten-track experiences like Big 5 Game drives, forest glamping, fynbos gin, award-winning olive oil, cheese, wine, and aloe products.

Knysna is the most deserving winner of the KFM Best of the Cape Award known as the ‘Dorpie van die Jaar’. It is also the 19th most-loved destination around the world according to the 2021 Tourism Sentiment Index!

Plettenberg Bay has been nominated as a Whale Heritage Site and extensive work is being done by all stakeholders public and private with regard to their Marine and Ocean Economy.

Taking a glance at George, which is the central entry point to the region and boasts of the world’s top signature golf courses – it is indeed a golfers’ paradise!

With over 1100 meters of over-the-ocean zipline in the “Iconic Mossel Bay”, you’ll have plenty of time to take in the scenery. Zipline over the ocean at speeds of up to 80km/h and enjoy unparalleled views of the cliffs, ocean, and sea life. On the other side of the long stretch of mountain ranges, you’ll find the Klein Karoo which offers the largest cave system in Africa – the Cango Caves. Calitzdorp, located next to Oudtshoorn is also known as the port capital of South Africa – for good reason.

Our region is safe and offers wonderful forests along the coast with well-maintained boardwalks through thick forests, across gentle streams. Annually I also encourage visitors to also seek the little adventures offered by our region. One example is our region’s rich coffee culture, which offers a unique social setting and interaction between connoisseurs.

We promise you that tourism activities are right on your doorstep in this region.

To learn more about what we have on offer visit our official regional tourism website at www.visitgardenrouteandkleinkaroo.com

Finally, while enjoying your time with us, you need to be tolerant while travelling. Please obey speed limits; road rules; do not text or call while driving; do not drink and drive, and always wear a seatbelt. Save our 24/7 emergency call centre number if you find yourself in a troubling situation – 044 805 5071.

See you on the beautifully, diverse Garden Route and Klein Karoo!

Alderman Memory Booysen

Executive Mayor

Garden Route District Municipality

01 December 2022 Mayor’s World Aids Day Message  – Alderman Memory Booysen

Mayor’s World Aids Day Message  – Alderman Memory Booysen

01 December 2022

Globally, HIV and AIDS have been an epidemic for decades. My message today is to encourage our nation, especially our Garden Routers, to commit themselves, unite in the fight against HIV, show support for those living with HIV and remember those who have lost their lives to the disease.

As Garden Route District Municipality, we want to remind you that you can reduce the risk of getting HIV by:

  • Practising abstinence – while you are waiting for the “right’ partner or until you’re ready for a sexual relationship;
  • Use condoms;
  • Ensure that your partner who lives with HIV is taking his or her treatment;
  • Using PrEP, a medicine blocking HIV from infecting oneself;
  • Never sharing needles but rather using sterile needles and syringes for all injections, and lastly;
  • Regularly getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections.

In honour of World Aids Day, let’s not forget that HIV remains a reality and that we must continue to fight prejudice, stigma, and discrimination.  It is important to change our attitude and understand that people living with HIV and taking ARVs, are suppressing the virus and preventing its spread.

So, I want to end by emphasizing that World AIDS Day remains as relevant today, as it has always been. HIV has not ‘died’ away. We must continue to create awareness about it, end stigma and discrimination, and do our part to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.

-End-

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

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

For Immediate Release
29 November 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS

4 November 2022 Media Release: State-of-the-Art Regional Fire Station expected by June 2023

Media Release: State-of-the-Art Regional Fire Station expected by June 2023

For immediate release
4 November 2022

Wednesday, 2 November 2022, marked a major milestone for the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) when the first sod was turned for its regional fire station, which will be built on erven 22494 & 22495 (5 877 m2) in the Tamsui Industria area in George. Construction of the R11, 6 million fire station will commence on 15 November 2022 if the weather conditions permits. Of the grand total, R3 million was provided by the Western Cape Department of Local Government and George Municipality donated two properties, to be consolidated as one, as well as waived the development charges for the properties.

This historic event was attended by the region’s Executive Mayors, Municipal Managers, Chief Fire Officers, representatives of the principle agent which will oversee the construction process, representatives from the construction firm appointed to construct the facility, stakeholders in integrated fire management throughout the District, representatives from the Western Cape Department of Local Government (WCDLG) Disaster Management and Fire & Rescue Services , and most importantly, the 40 GRDM firefighters which will receive a lasting home from which operations will be based from. The facility will also have a specially incorporated component which will make provision for housing a specialised wildland firefighting ground crew.

During his address, Monde Stratu Municipal Manager referred to the day as the culmination of a very lengthy process, given the difficulties of engaging in supply chain processes and raising capital. He extended a word of gratitude to the George Municipality for availing the land for the long-awaited fire station, and for waiving the property’s service fees. “This is a demonstration that whatever happens in cooperative governments or societies, we have a responsibility to work together.”

Furthermore, Stratu thanked the WCDLG for contributing 3 million rand to assist GRDM towards the project. In his conclusion, he stated that the gathering served as a symbolic event where all stakeholders came together to witness and celebrate a regional fire station which will belong to the region.

Clive Africa, Executive Manager of the GRDM Community Services under which the Fire Services reside, provided an overview of the history, background and origin of the GRDM fire services, which were established by volunteers in 1987. Initially, there were 14 fire fighters who managed the entire Garden Route District in terms of Firefighting and Disaster Management.

In his opening remarks, Alderman Leon van Wyk, Mayor of George Municipality, expressed his gratitude to his Council for approving the decision to avail the land to GRDM. He referred to MM Stratu’s comments about the waiving of the development charges and explained that in his opinion, the development charges are a type of debate that all municipalities are grappling with – a contentious and complex matter.

According to Ald. van Wyk, the George Municipal Council has adopted a policy previously known as capital contributions that has escalated due to the revised land use legislation that was passed recently.  In accordance with legal advice to his Council, site-specific development charges should be investigated and municipalities had to develop a structure within those development charges to fund future infrastructure replacement costs. In closing, Alderman Van Wyk referred to the challenges of climate change in the world. He stated that according to scientists, the Garden Route is susceptible to wind damage and all the risks that come with it.

Colin Deiner, WCDLG Chief Director:  Disaster Management, informed the audience about the Western Cape Fire Service Capacity Building Grants offered by the Disaster Management Fire & Rescue Services.  He gave an overview of their origins and how grants are allocated each year.

Deiner explained that they assessed the number of trained firefighter’s municipalities have; as without the right people and the right training, it is of no use. He continues to explain, that in 2014, only 14% of firefighters in the Western Province were trained to the required level, but just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this number had gone up to 95%.  He mentioned the possibility of putting together a Garden Route District flood task-force. The idea would be to place an equipment cache in the Garden Route, in an attempt to train people from across the province and if a flood situation occurs in the Garden Route or another province needs assistance, help can be offered by trained people from across the province.

During his keynote address, Executive Mayor for GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen commended the Executive Mayor of Hessequa Municipality with the following words: “Mayor Riddles, you are my hero. You are one of the few mayors who annually allocate funds for your fire department. Whether it is a hazmat vehicle, a LDV skid unit, or a ladder, there is always something in there for your fire department. This is something I admire about you, and I want to follow suit.”

He encouraged the ‘men and women’ in Disaster Management and Fire Services to continue to protect lives and property.  “Continue to be the toughest fire fighters in the Western Cape and in South Africa.”

During the vote of thanks, GRDM’s Deputy Executive Mayor, Advocate Gert van Niekerk said: “We are all part of history today; and in the years to come, we will be able to come here and tell whoever is here at the station that we were here on this historic day.”

He further said that the example set between the GRDM and its allies, the George Municipality and Provincial Government to ensure the success of this project, is a true road to follow in future joint-ventures to serve in the best interest of not only George, but the broader Garden Route District.  This is an example of what can be accomplished when a true commitment is shown between entities to work together.

According to Deon Stoffels, GRDM Chief Fire Officer, the long-awaited fire station is essential to the GRDM Fire Services in fulfilling its statutory mandate and diverse set of functions.  For the GRDM to have its own fire station is a considerable upgrade for the institution, especially one built according to required National Regulations and Standards for fire station buildings. The proposed state of the art fire station facility will be furnished with overhead automotive roll-up doors, a traditional firefighter sliding pole, a backup electricity generator, firefighters sleeping quarters and a fully equipped gym.  The facility will also be an investment in Council infrastructure and its asset base. “From the onset we also wanted to go the extra mile to provide firefighting staff with several additional features because they spend the majority of their days here, with the intent of ensuring their physical and mental well-being.”

-End-

20 October 2022 Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor wishes the matric class of 2022 the best of luck!

Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor wishes the matric class of 2022 the best of luck!

20 October 2022
For immediate release

I am Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality.

We know it’s that time of the year when our matriculants have to write their final exams. We want to wish them all the best. And for those who have not started studying yet, the time is now!

We would also like to ask the parents to please bear with the kids and to create a conducive environment at home so that the kids can study under relaxed and quiet circumstances.  The mere fact that matriculants have reached this time of the year throughout the pandemic, is a good sign that this is a resilient district.

I also want to say that we are aware that there are a lot of youth that have already finished matric and who are frustrated because they do not have work or are still sitting at home. But, on behalf of the Mayors of the Garden Route, we are in contact and we are negotiating with our Provincial Government as well to see how we can hold hands and come up with projects that can assist the youth.  We would also like to include the business community so that going forward we know that we have a roll-out that will change the youth’s future and the future of the Garden Route.

– End-

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

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

19 October 2022
For immediate release

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

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

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

Itinerary summary and highlights of the GR&KK Famtrip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-End-

21 December 2021 Media Release: AVBOB George donated R31 500 to GRDM

Media Release: AVBOB George donated R31 500 to GRDM

21 December 2021

For Immediate Release

Today, 21 December 2021, AVBOB George branch donated R31 500 to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) for humanitarian purposes. The GRDM will donate this money to SA Harvest  (previously known as Garden Route Food Pantry), the GRDM’s partner that promotes food safety and security in the Garden Route. AVBOB also donated 5000 x 1ℓ distilled water were also donated.

The handover ceremony was attended by the Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen, Cllr Gert van Niekerk (GRDM Deputy Executive Mayor), Deon Stoffels, (GRDM) Acting Fire Chief, Chris Botha (AVBOB Area Manager, South Cape: George) and Julian Hendricks (AVBOB District Manager).

Alderman Booysen thanked AVBOB for their generous donation and ongoing support during a brief informal gathering. AVBOB also donated R500 000.00 during 2018 to a disaster fund of the GRDM to assist those who suffered losses during wildfires. “Today, we witnessed a continuation of a relationship that started even before 2018, and this also demonstrates that big things can happen when the public sector is trusted,” Booysen said.  He further explained that the water received will also be used “during incidents where residents lost their homes or when portions of towns in the district are without water”.

Deputy Executive Mayor van Niekerk also extended a word of gratitude to the management of AVBOB and said, “As we observe the impact the covid-19 pandemic had on the economy in our district, which resulted in unemployment and poverty, we are genuinely grateful towards AVBOB for this donation. I can assure you that this donation will help our municipality’s efforts to promote food security in the Garden Route”.

With Christmas only four (4) days away, GRDM embraces the holiday spirit of giving and helping others in need through strategically partnering with companies to support vulnerable communities.

15 December 2021 Media Release: WELCOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE GARDEN ROUTE

15 December 2021

WELCOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE GARDEN ROUTE

This is our second year of living through an unprecedented time. However, as Garden Routers, I continue to believe that we will bounce back from this situation as we are a resilient district.

South Africa, including the Garden Route District’s Tourism Sector, remains the backbone of our country’s economy; this is why we need people to visit us from all over the world. Support of our regional tourism sector is imperative because it advances prosperity, drives inclusive and sustainable development.

Last year, I also encouraged you to seek the little adventures the Garden Route offers, indulge yourself, take a break, and support our businesses. This year, my plea is the same. Please support our local businesses. Explore the region and the many tourist activities that are right on your doorstep; in turn, you will be contributing to the growth of the tourism sector. We depend on tourism for jobs and livelihoods. Thank you to the businesses that remain conscious of the current economic climate and provide budget-friendly tourism packages. This clever approach will attract more visitors to our region.

Before visiting us or when you arrive here, you will be able to find a myriad of activities to do in our region. A few that come to mind, include iconic sightseeing spots, fun-filled days and unmissable events, in particular this December. To see what I am talking about, visit our regional tourism website, https://buff.ly/3o7Tqtx.

While enjoying your time with us, you have to exercise caution and be tolerant while travelling. Please obey speed limits; road rules; do not text or call while driving; do not drink and drive, and always wear a seatbelt. Save our 24/7 emergency call centre number if you find yourself in a troubling situation – 044 805 5071. As we head into the festive season we’d like to keep the Covid-19 infection rates low, so please, adhere to the Covid- 19 protocols and regulations. Remember to wear your mask, wash your hands, sanitize, avoid large crowds, and keep your social distance – hang outside with friends and family!.

Thank you for all the efforts to keep safe and move forward. See you in the Garden Route!

Alderman Memory Booysen

Executive Mayor

Garden Route District Municipality

02 December 2021 Media Release: WELCOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE GARDEN ROUTE

2 December 2021

WELCOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE GARDEN ROUTE

This is our second year of living through an unprecedented time. However, as Garden Routers, I continue to believe that we will bounce back from this situation as we are a resilient district.

South Africa, including the Garden Route District’s Tourism Sector, remains the backbone of our country’s economy; this is why we need people to visit us from all over the world. Support of our regional tourism sector is imperative because it advances prosperity, drives inclusive and sustainable development.

Last year, I also encouraged you to seek the little adventures the Garden Route offers, indulge yourself, take a break, and support our businesses. This year, my plea is the same. Please support our local businesses. Explore the region and the many tourist activities that are right on your doorstep; in turn, you will be contributing to the growth of the tourism sector. We depend on tourism for jobs and livelihoods. Thank you to the businesses that remain conscious of the current economic climate and provide budget-friendly tourism packages. This clever approach will attract more visitors to our region.

Before visiting us or when you arrive here, you will be able to find a myriad of activities to do in our region. A few that come to mind, include iconic sightseeing spots, fun-filled days and unmissable events, in particular this December. To see what I am talking about, visit our regional tourism website, www.visitgardenrouteandkleinkaroo.com.

While enjoying your time with us, you have to exercise caution and be tolerant while travelling. Please obey speed limits; road rules; do not text or call while driving; do not drink and drive, and always wear a seatbelt. Save our 24/7 emergency call centre number if you find yourself in a troubling situation – 044 805 5071. As we head into the festive season we’d like to keep the Covid-19 infection rates low, so please, adhere to the Covid- 19 protocols and regulations. Remember to wear your mask, wash your hands, sanitize, avoid large crowds, and keep your social distance – hang outside with friends and family!.

Thank you for all the efforts to keep safe and move forward. See you in the Garden Route!

Alderman Memory Booysen
Executive Mayor
Garden Route District Municipality