Media Release: The GRDM salutes a true public servant
For immediate release 27 August 2022
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) announces with great sadness the passing of Georg Hendriksz on 23 August 2022. He was a beloved, hardworking and dedicated colleague who started his career at the then Klein Karoo Divisional Council in Oudtshoorn in 1984.
As a true servant of the public, Hendriksz is remembered by his colleagues as a humble individual who made a significant impact on the lives of many people. “We will forever be grateful for the work he did at the GRDM’s Municipal Health Section. As colleagues, we will truly miss him. ‘May his soul rest in peace,’ said his long-time colleague Desmond Paulse.
Media Release: HealthNET Pilot Project Garden Route improves access to care
For Immediate Release 26 July 2022
George Hospital and Western Cape Emergency Medical Services (EMS) introduced an exciting and new six-month project for patients from the Garden Route who need access to specialist investigations/treatments at tertiary healthcare facilities in Cape Town.
The HealthNET pilot project commenced on 11 July 2022 when an additional HealthNET vehicle started transporting patients between Garden Route and Cape Town hospitals, improving access to specialised care.
“Our rural location poses many challenges for our patients to access specialised services at our tertiary hospitals. Patient centred care remains a cornerstone of our service redesign and as such the addition of transport capacity to safely transport our patients from across the Garden Route to tertiary healthcare services in the Metro goes a long way in achieving our vision to provide the right care at the right time in the right place,” says District Director for Health, Mr Zee Brickles.
HealthNET in Garden Route currently has two buses that transport 20 patients each, four days a week providing 200 patients a week with the opportunity to seek treatment at a tertiary healthcare facility in Cape Town and being transported safely back home on the same day.
“There has already been a noticeable impact on the length of time patients wait for discharge from Cape Town hospitals back to the Garden Route, which is encouraging,” says Michael Vonk, CEO of George Hospital. The outcome regarding discharges and waiting times of patients will be measured through data on the HealthNet system. “There is more than enough capacity to transport patients and access to planned transport should not be an obstacle for any patient to access specialist investigations and treatments,” says Vonk.
Fernando Erasmus, HealthNET manager for EMS, and all Emergency Care Officers pride themselves in the service they deliver. In fact, they are so serious about good service delivery that they provide compliment and complaint forms for patients in their vehicles and encourage patients to comment on driver behaviour in order to maintain a quality service. “We are very excited and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that this project will be fruitful and a success”, adds Erasmus.
Before the new addition of the HealthNET bus, complaints were lodged stating that there was a lack of transport for patients in the Garden Route to travel to Cape Town. “Now with the new addition, there has been a huge improvement. Patients can get to their appointments in Cape Town on time and on the correct date to get the treatment they need,” says Erasmus.
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.
‘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.
The Cape Town Weather Office has issued an Impact Based Weather Warning for Western Cape and Namaqua for Damaging Waves valid from Tuesday, 12 July 2022 (12:00) to Thursday, 14 July 2022 (00:00), as follows:
(High likelihood of Minor Impacts)
M_Bitou, M_Cape Agulhas, M_Cape Agulhas, M_City of Cape Town, M_George, M_Hessequa, M_Knysna, M_Mossel Bay, M_Overstrand, M_Saldanha Bay, M_Swartland, M_Table Bay
12/07/22 – 12h00
14/07/22 – 00h00
Discussion: High energy waves with periods of between 15 and 16 seconds will result in significant south-westerly waves of 4.5 to 5.5m between Saldanha Bay and Cape Agulhas tomorrow spreading to Plettenberg Bay from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday, these conditions may result in difficulty in navigation at sea.
Impact: Difficulty in navigation at sea for small vessels and personal water crafts (e.g. kayaks) is possible, small vessels at risk of taking on water and capsizing in locality as well as localised disruptions of small harbours and ports for a short period of time.
Instruction: Small vessels are advised to seek shelter in harbours, bays or inlets.
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”
Report any weather related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044-805 5071.
Media Release: Calitzdorp Hot Springs to host a Music, Arts, and Food Gathering with a purpose
6 July 2022 For Immediate Release
Echo Outdoor Gatherings is no stranger to the regional electronic music scene and for years they have hosted events of the highest quality.
After holding their flagship event – Elements of Life – successfully at De Hoek Mountain Resort near Cango Caves for the past five years, Daniel Mentz (event organizer), branched out to Calitzdorp Hot Springs in March with another exciting festival: Valley Of Dreams. The three-day event turned out to be a huge success, which was sold out completely, with people trekking from across the country to attend. According to David, the event attracted nearly 600 festival-goers, which was also a much-needed boost for business and tourism. Festival-goers venture out into the area during an event to explore and some opt to stay for longer as they usually travel from all over the country to attend such festivals.
“Our festival-goers want to make the best of their stay and frequently talk about what they were up to when venturing out to explore the area,” said Mentz.
This July, Echo Outdoor Gatherings will return to Calitzdorp Hot Springs with an even bigger event called ‘Elements of Fire’.
From Friday, 29 July to Sunday, 31 July festival-goers can look forward to a weekend that promises to be a visual and sonic experience like no other. Food stalls will sell falafels, breakfasts, steaks, and freshly pressed juice. Vegan and vegetarian options will also be made available.
Various craft stalls will sell items like dream catchers, leather works, jewellery, clothing brands, and macrame. There will also be two fire shows every night.
Winter Warmer Drive
Echo Outdoor Gatherings wanted to say thank you to the community of Calitzdorp for their warm welcome and decided to give back. This is why they are currently running a food and blanket drive for Friends Of Calitzdorp Animals (FOCA).
FOCA was launched six years ago when the founding member helped some friends to look after stray animals. Today they feed 250 dogs, 70 cats and facilitate up to 30 sterilisations a month. FOC are also constantly building kennels and continues to educate the local residents on animal welfare.
‘The amount of neglect FOCA witnesses every day is horrifying, to say the least,” said Mentz.
To supplement the Winter Warmer Drive, Echo Outdoor Gatherings and Feel Good Entertainment will donate 10% of the bar proceedings for the weekend to FOCA.
Garden Route District Municipality is proud to host the Echo Outdoor Gatherings events as Daniel takes pride in what he does. Every event is carefully planned and those attending must adhere to strict rules.
“Family is at the core of Echo Outdoor Gatherings and will always be,” said Mentz
Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality launches electronic job application platform
For immediate release 01 July 2022
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is pleased to announce that, as of 1 July 2022, it will introduce its own E-recruitment system. The aim of the system is to make it convenient for applicants to apply for a vacant position at the municipality.
This paperless online job application system will allow applicants to apply for a vacancy without having to complete an application form, make copies of their Curriculum Vitaes (CV) and relevant qualifications every time they apply for a vacancy. GRDM’s vision is to be a leading, enabling, and inclusive district. With this in mind, this system will provide a platform where job vacancies can be advertised, viewed, and applied for online, enhancing the recruitment and selection process by increasing responses.
When a candidate registers and creates a profile on the E-recruitment system, it is mandatory to upload their CV and qualifications, which is stored on the system and can be updated at any time. This makes the application process for a vacancy flow more efficiently.
Why an E-recruitment system?
E-recruitment will improve the efficiency of filling vacancies because of semi-automated digitisation processes;
The system stores a backup file of all the applicant information; and
A move from paper to an electronic system improves auditing processes.
What does this system mean for the public?
To apply for a vacancy, a person can use any computer or visit a Thusong centre or library in his area;
No more traveling to the post office or the GRDM offices to submit a completed application;
No more emailed applications because, once applying for a position, the system will automatically send an email informing an applicant that they’ve applied and successfully uploaded their application; and
Candidates will be able to track how far along the vacancy process is on the e-recruitment system.
How does the application process work?
The vacancy will be advertised on several platforms, clearly marked that only online applications will be accepted;
Applicants will be reminded to register and create their profiles on the system;
Others who are already registered are welcome to apply for a vacancy;
Once registered, one can apply for any vacancy by selecting the vacancy and filling out the mandatory fields; and
The recruitment process will be fast and accurate since there will be no manual capturing of information.
When will the system be officially active?
The system will be live from Friday, 01 July 2022.
One vacancy will be advertised on the E-recruitment system as a trial run to monitor and evaluate public response.
In the beginning, only vacancies on T10 and above will be advertised on the system.
After two months an evaluation will be done to see how effective the system was.
After that, the system will be fully implemented for vacancies below T9.
Please note, currently the system is not mobile-friendly; it is only functional on a computer for now, but it will be compatible with a cell phone during the next phase or the system enhancement.
How to access the system?
Brows to http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/apply-for-work/ and it will take applicants to the landing page to start their registration process. This page also gives applications the option to update their profiles or to apply for a vacancy.
GRDM calls upon the public to start registering and creating their profiles on the e-recruitment system. If anyone doesn’t have access to a computer, the GRDM encourages those to visit any of the Thusong centres or libraries in their respective areas where they can register and create their profiles.
Who should I contact if I need assistance with the system?
Ms Amanda Booysen – GRDM Human Resources Representative – 044-803 1389 / 078 450 7950
Ms Margaret Powell – GRDM IT Representative – 044 803 1409
Click on the link below to view a short training video that will help you to understand how the Garden Route District Municipality E-recruitment system works and how to apply for vacancies.
Media Release: Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and SASSETA visit GRDM
28 June 2022 For Immediate Release
An Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) delegation consisting of national and provincial officials visited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on 13 and 14 June 2022. The aim of the two-day visit was to learn more about the Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) model and to investigate the possibility of replicating the Skills Mecca concept in other parts of the country.
On the first day, representatives from GRSM and the GRDM EPWP section accompanied the delegation on several site visits to training centres in the area that support the GRSM. Delegates visited Cheeba Africa, African Skills and François Ferreira Academy where they were given thorough insights of each facility and the type of training provided. Through several Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) grants and EPWP programmes, learners have successfully completed courses at the training centres visited by delegates and have been able to enter the job market.
The second day was reserved for engagement. Lusanda Menze (GRDM Executive Manager:: Planning and Economic Development) gave an overview of GRDM and its Growth and Development Strategy and Dr Florus Prinsloo (GRSM Coordinator) gave a comprehensive overview of the GRSM model.
Tsholofelo Pooe from National EPWP presented on the their EPWP Training Framework and possible linkages to the Garden Route Skills Mecca.
MOU between GRSM and SASSETA discussed.
Joining the delegation on the second day, were Chris Mudau and Thamsanqa Mdontswa from the Safety and Security SETA (SASSETA). After listening to the presentations given by GRDM and GRSM, they presented on the SETA’s mandate, Skills Development Levy (SDL) breakdown, and strategic scope amongst other topics.
SASSETA’s sub-sections and constituencies include:
Private Security and Investigation Activities
There are 17 SDL contributors in the Garden Route, which comprises law firms and security companies. It is for this reason that SASSETA and GRDM will enter into talks to establish an MOU that will see closer cooperation with GRSM.
The two-day delegation visit was concluded with a visit to Calitzdorp Hot Springs where a Security Training Centre has been established through formal partnership between BM Skills Development (who is a SASSETA Accredited Training Provider) and the GRDM.
Media Release: World Day to combat desertification and drought: Blossom’s Emergency Pipeline Project
For Immediate Release 17 June 2022
The Greater Oudtshoorn region continues to be plagued by ongoing droughts, and alternatives have had to be found to ensure water security for the region. Since 2018, the water supply from the Raubenheimer dam was under severe pressure as the amount of water available from the dam, exceeded the amount that could be relied upon with a 98% degree of assurance. The future and ongoing supply of water in the Oudtshoorn area is severely constrained and drastic measures had to be planned to address the situation urgently.
Furthermore, the Vermaaks Rriver boreholes near Dysseldorp are used to maximum capacity and the Huis River, which supplies De Rust with water, is unreliable during the summer months, which holds negative implications for the Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply System (KKRWSS).
The Blossom’s Emergency Pipeline is a project that was started in 2001 to investigate and develop alternative and additional water supplies for the Oudtshoorn area. Nine deep, and three monitoring boreholes were drilled in the Blossom’s wellfield, which were monitored and tested for 13 years. The test was completed in 2014, and it was concluded that the boreholes yield enough groundwater to supplement the water supply from the Raubenheimer Dam. It was determined that 60l/s (5Ml/day) can be supplied from 5 existing boreholes within the C1 Blossoms wellfield. The test also found that the impact on the environment would be minimal.
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) approved a license for the total yield of 8 million m3/a for the ultimate full development of the Blossoms wellfield and gave the nod for the construction to commence. Originally, the project was intended as a medium to long-term bulk water augmentation intervention but given the current water crisis in the Oudtshoorn area, it will be implemented soon.
Funding for the current phases of the project, which started in February 2022, comes from the Municipal Disaster Relief Grant, which allocated a total of R47 million. To date, more than R150 million was spent, which was co-funded by DWS and Oudtshoorn Local Municipality. The current phase of the project is expected to be completed by March 2023.
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.