Category: <span>Garden Route</span>

9 December 2022 Media Release: GRDM Integrated Human Settlements Strategic Plan to be enhanced

Media Release: GRDM Integrated Human Settlements Strategic Plan to be enhanced

For Immediate Release
9 December 2022

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) held its annual Integrated Human Settlements Strategic Plan Review Workshop at the Pine Lodge Conference Centre in George on 10 and 11 November 2022. Several municipalities in the district, internal stakeholders consisting of councillors, senior management from the various internal directorates and external stakeholders consisting of representatives from the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements, government agencies in the form of Social Housing Regulatory Authority and Housing Development Agency attended this two-day workshop. Own Haven, GRDM’s development and long-term management partner, also joined the work session on day two.

Alderman Jerome Lambaatjeen, Portfolio Chairperson of Strategic Services, opened the session and welcomed attendees, followed by GRDM Municipal Manager Monde Stratu, who opened his remarks with a quote from Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” Stratu encouraged those present to plan properly in order to fulfil and accomplish Local Government’s objectives and purpose as outlined in Section 51 of the Constitution of South Africa. To change the past, attendees need to make a deliberate effort, he said, leaving them with some food for thought.

Joel Mkunqwana, GRDM Manager: Human Settlements, presented the current Human Settlement Strategic Plan, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.  He outlined the purpose of the workshop which is to determine whether substantive changes have been made in relation to the National Legislative and Programme context in order to consider the impact of these changes; to ensure that the Strategic Plan remains relevant to such changes as well as aligned with its administration.  In his remarks, he praised the Municipal Manager for his contribution and words of encouragement to planners, noting that he has set the bar high for them to reach.  As he closed, he stated that in the human settlement industry, a long-term approach and synergy are the keys to being most effective and making an impact.

Shehaam Sims, co-manager of the GRDM Human Settlement Section, delivered a comprehensive presentation titled, Pursuing an Enabling Environment for Affordable Housing Delivery. In her reflection, she reviewed all the foundational work that has been done so far, including the feasibility study being undertaken; all the applications that had been submitted to all the relevant bodies; the decisions that had been taken; the alignments made with the appropriate authorities; and the information shared on the various platforms. She outlined what has been achieved so far using the GRDM’s vision of becoming the leading, enabling, and inclusive district, characterized by equitable and sustainable development, high quality of life, and equal opportunity for all, as foundation.

This was followed by best practice and useful benchmark presentations by representatives from the Mossel Bay Municipality, GRDM IDP Section, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements, the Housing Development Agency and GRDM Communication & Graphic Design Section. Topics under discussion and related impacts included:

  • Long term financial modelling and targeted use of municipal and state land for long term delivery;
  • Implementation of the Typology driven approach and model;
  • Incentives Framework: Comparative Income/Cost implications across the district context;
  • Human Settlements as one of the significant Chapters of the Integrated Development Planning (IDP) and Municipal Spatial Development Framework (MSDF);
  • Spatial Justice as define and advocate by the MSDF;
  • Latest on the strategic acquisition and leveraging of Municipal and State Land/Properties; and
  • Effective communication and consultative conduits.

The GRDM Social Housing Partners presented comparative social housing products on day two, highlighting the challenges and opportunities and useful lessons learned.  Representatives were very interactive and robust in their interaction throughout the two-day sessions, willing to learn from each other.  The questions and proceedings were documented and used to refine and update the current GRDM Human Settlements Strategic Plan, which will be reviewed annually in accordance with the Municipal IDP and MSDF.

Presentations made on day one and two can be accessed here:

https://www.gardenroute.gov.za/garden-route-annual-review-integrated-human-settlements-strategic-plan-workshop/

UPDATE ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE GRDM SOCIAL HOUSING PROJECT:

The first project that the Human Settlements department hopes to pursue, is at Erf 26823, Omega Street in George, for the potential development of Social Rental Housing. Social Rental Housing targets people whose monthly income is between R1850 and R22 000.

A service provider has been procured through the supply chain management process to conduct a feasibility study on the site. The service provider was appointed on 1 August 2022. Numerous activities have been conducted to determine whether the site and its infrastructure can support such development.

The soil conditions have been tested. Currently we await capacity confirmation of water, electricity and sanitation for a 4 storey walk up building, with units varying in arrangement from 1 bedroom to 3 bedrooms with communal areas and requisite parking areas.

A final feasibility report is scheduled to be available by the end of January 2023.

In the event the feasibility report declares the project feasible, the site will be handed over to the Social Housing partner who will prepare a concept plan for approval, followed by other required plans.

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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

2 December 2022 Media Release: LGSETA conducts another due diligence visit at GRDM

LGSETA conducts another due diligence visit at GRDM

For immediate release
2 December 2022

As part of the Due Diligence process, a Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA) delegation led by Mr E Saeke, Manager in the Office of the CEO, and Ms J September, Provincial Coordinator, visited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on Wednesday, 30 November 2022. The meeting follows GRDM’s application for a Discretionary Grant (DG) when the funding window for the period from 09 October 2022 to 01 November 2022 opened.

The Garden Route Skills Mecca Team supported the Training Team at the GRDM and coordinated the needs of the Skills Development Teams across all eight municipalities (including GRDM) and submitted a combined application for the following projects during the window:

  • Fire Fighter training
  • Water Reticulation
  • Water Purification
  • Minimum Competency Training
  • Bursaries for Unemployed Youth (18.2)
  • Bursaries for Employed Officials (18.1)
  • Artisan Training (Plumbing, Electrical, Bricklaying and Carpentry)

The Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Coordinator, Dr Florus Prinsloo said: “The above combined collaborative approach demonstrates that the District Development Model is being implemented pragmatically within the Garden Route for the benefit of all residents”.

The meeting was chaired by Trix Holtzhausen, Executive Manager of Services, who thanked LGSETA for considering GRDM for these projects. “We would like to thank LGSETA for their past and ongoing support, as well as assure you that these projects will greatly contribute to alleviating poverty within our district.”

After careful evaluation and consideration, LGSETA selected the following projects for the due diligence visits:

  • Fire Fighter training
  • Water Training
  • Artisan Training (Plumbing, Electrical, Bricklaying and Carpentry)

These projects amount to R30 million and will benefit employed and unemployed youth.

Dr Florus Prinsloo, gave a brief overview of the Garden Route Skills Mecca and introduced the Garden Route Skills Mecca Technicians who assist with the drafting of LGSETA proposals.

GRDM Skills Development Coordinator Reginald Salmon and Senior Training Officer Angeline Naidoo presented the different proposals. As Skills Development Facilitators, both officials act as a link between the LGSETA and the Municipality.

Fire Chief Deon Stoffels also attended the meeting with Brian Afrikaner, who facilitates training at the fire service. Stoffels thanked LGSETA for considering GRDM for Firefighter training and explained that GRDM recently received accreditation from the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). ” LGSETA’s Fire Training will be the first of its kind in the district, and it will serve as a pilot project to prepare GRDM for more significant projects in the future,” he concluded

Several sites and training facilities in the George area were visited by LGSETA delegates.

After the formal presentations, the delegates from LGSETA were accompanied to by the Training Section and GRSM Technicians to the various sites and training facilities within the George area. The following areas were visited:

  • Outeniqua Water Works in Pacaltsdorp
  • African Skills Village in Thembalethu
  • Garden Route District Municipality Fire

Did you know:

What is Seta discretionary grant?

Discretionary grants are paid out at the discretion of SETA management for skills development projects linked to scarce and critical skills (sector priority occupations). Funding for discretionary grants is focused on Professional, Vocational, Technical and Academic Learning (PIVOTAL).

What is due diligence?

Due diligence takes place when the LGSETA initially approves a project and then needs to check if the municipality will be able to deliver the training. Training venues, training facilities where participants will be trained, and accreditation of the service provider are all checked.

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24 November 2022 Public Notice: PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION STATEMENT REGARDING THE RAISING OF EXTERNAL LOAN FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF GRDM REGIONAL WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY OVER THE 2022/23 – 2024/25 MTREF PERIOD

24 November 2022

PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION STATEMENT REGARDING THE RAISING OF EXTERNAL LOAN FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF GRDM REGIONAL WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY OVER THE 2022/23 – 2024/25 MTREF PERIOD

PURPOSE

To make public an information statement setting out particulars of the proposed debt, including the amount of the proposed debt; the purposes for which the debt is to be incurred and the particulars of any security to be provided for the financing of the construction of the GRDM Regional Waste Management Facility capital project as per Council’s approved 2022/23 – 2024/25 Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework (MTREF) Capital Budget.

To invite the public to submit written comments or representations to council in respect of the proposed debt.

Click and download the full advert.

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.

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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.

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13 October 2022 Media Release:  GRDM Disaster Management Section developed a GreenBook to plan for future climate change

Media Release:  GRDM Disaster Management Section developed a GreenBook to plan for future climate change

13 October 2022
For immediate release

As part of International Disaster Risk Reduction Day (IDRR), the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) focused on Climate Change adaptation. According to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, new risks will be prevented, and existing risks will be reduced. The document outlines seven targets and four priorities for action, including:

  • Understanding disaster risk;
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
  • Investing in disaster reduction for resilience; and
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

According to Gerhard Otto, GRDM Head of Disaster Management: “As part of a partnership with Santam and CSIR, GRDM recently launched a Greenbook, which is an open-access tool to support municipalities in planning climate resilient communities”.

“GRDM forms part of a national climate change adaptation initiative that has been launched in three provinces in South Africa,” said Otto.

The purpose of the Greenbook is to encourage resilient, sustainable, and liveable settlements by incorporating climate change adaptation into municipal development planning. The Greenbook provides an overview of current and likely future trends to the year 2050, related to settlement dynamics, climate hazards, and impacts that climate change will have on South African towns and cities. The tool is capable of linking every settlement risk profile to customizable adaptation actions also known as risk reduction initiatives that can be integrated into local strategies, programs and projects.

Furthermore, the GRDM recently updated its Disaster Risk Assessment and is able to use the tool to identify areas in need of urgent intervention. Not only does the tool provide an extensive overview of priority risks (current and future trends), it also provides disaster risk reduction initiatives recommendations to be considered and their likely impacts if implemented correctly.

In order to achieve the seven targets and the four priorities outlined in the Sendai Framework, the Greenbook has been launched. You can access it at http://greenbook.co.za/ .

All local municipalities in the region will be trained to incorporate climate change adaptation and promote climate resilient communities into their future development planning processes.

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27 August 2022 Media Release: The GRDM salutes a true public servant

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.

The 63-year-old Georg Hendriksz worked for the GRDM Municipal Health Services in Oudtshoorn for 39 years as an Environmental Health Practitioner.

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.

26 July 2022 Media Release: HealthNET Pilot Project Garden Route improves access to care

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.

Jannie Israel with Clarence Stefaas (middle) and Colin Claasen (right).

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.

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 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

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