Update 3 on the Construction of the GRDM Regional Waste Management Facility
14 February 2024
Bulk earthworks, including the final shaping of Cell 1A and excavation of the leachate and contaminated water dams, are in progress. The road box cut has been completed for the entire access road of 3.8km and the contractor has commenced with the road layer works.
The excavation of the subsoil drainage trenches in Cell 1A is in progress and all the required materials for the installation of the subsoil drainage is on site. The completion of the subsoil drainage will be followed by the installation of the various liners as legislatively required to prevent any underground water or environmental pollution. The clear & grub and removal of topsoil on Cell 1B (adjacent to Cell 1A) is also in progress.
There have been several delays in the construction process to date, however, all avenues to expedite the project is currently being pursued and a revised programme is to be submitted to Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) by 16 February 2024.
There are currently various activities taking place at the Regional Waste Management Facility in Mossel Bay.
Media Release: Natural splendour awaits tourists to the Garden Route
For immediate release 9 November 2023
“Following an extremely wet winter the Southern Cape is showcasing is natural beauty, and tourists planning to visit the region during the festive season, will not be disappointed,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).
Following many years of drought and hardship the Klein Karoo environment is also finally recovering and with summer in full swing, the region is flourishing with vegetation, ample grazing and dams filled to the brim. The Outeniqua mountains and the regional coastline still bear the scars of relentless rain and storms during the winter months, but nature is resilient and bound to recover.
The Garden Route is blessed with several custodians of its natural splendour, and with large areas protected and under mandated and private conservation management, the region will always retain much of its marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
Pro-active actions and initiatives by regional conservation entities such as the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR), the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR), the Table Mountain Fund (TMF), SANParks, WWF and Cape Nature collectively recognize the importance of conserving the global significance of the Southern Cape biodiversity. In addition to these recognized conservation entities there are numerous conservancies, governmental and environmental management forums and private and public nature reserves present and active in all parts of the region.
A changing climate will bring new challenges to the Southern Cape environment, and with almost unpredictable rainfall patterns new challenges are looming for the environment and the communities dependent on its resilience.
In addition, invasive alien plants dominate large parts of the Southern Cape’s environmentally sensitive mountain catchments, rivers and wetlands, and landowners are fighting an uphill battle in eradication and control of fast- spreading wattles, pine, Rooikrans and a myriad of lesser known invasive species which all pose a significant threat in terms of the destruction of biodiversity, water security and the ever-present danger of wild fire disaster as the summer heat is bound to dry out vegetation in the coming months.
In celebration of regional conservation efforts, GREF is hosting its annual Key-Stakeholder Report-back Event on 13 December in Wilderness, allowing regional environmental and conservation entities to showcase their programmes and initiatives.
The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a public platform for environmental and conservation management entities in the Southern Cape.
GRDM Executive Mayor wishes the Class of 2023 all the best!
For Immediate Release
30 October 2023
“Hard work and planning put together ensures success. Make sure you are well-prepared, believe in yourself, and stay focused. You can achieve remarkable results if you remember all the hard work you’ve put in. Having faith in yourself will help you ace the exam because you are the one who studied, the one who knows how tough it is. Stay calm and balanced, you’ve got this!”
As you prepare for your exams, remember to check your pen, take your ID card, and don’t forget your watch. It’s time to pen down all your thoughts on that paper. But keep in mind, this is not only a final exam, but the beginning of a journey filled with numerous tests.
I want to thank all parents, teachers, and communities for the love, care, and understanding shown to our learners. Also for being pillars of strength to our learners and for creating a healthy and productive environment for them. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is as true today as it was in the past.
Over the past 12 years, you’ve been equipped with values and principles that will make you responsible members of society. Don’t step back if hurdles come in your life; instead defeat it with your confidence and talent Rise above your circumstances, become a leader, and be the change you want to see.
Media Release: Sod-Turning event marks a milestone for Regional Waste Management Facility
For Immediate Release 04 September 2023
In a significant step towards more sustainable waste management practices, the official sod-turning ceremony for the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Regional Waste Management Facility was held on Friday, 1 September 2023. The journey to this milestone began back in 2006 when investigations and processes for establishing the Regional Landfill Site commenced.
Sharing in this historic and groundbreaking occasion, were Executive Mayors and Municipal Managers and across the district, the GRDM Mayoral Committee Members and officials, representatives from National and Provincial Government, as well as engineering consultants and stakeholders from Standard Bank, Tefla and Zutari.
During his address, Municipal Manager of GRDM, Monde Stratu, gave a thorough background about the project. He explained: “Local municipalities have reached a point where their waste management sites have become exhausted, which is why this regional waste management facility is being constructed”. Further to this he said: “It was a blessing in disguise that the initial model did not realise as it saved GRDM millions of rands.
Stratu particularly commended the GRDM officials who have been driving the project to this point. “The resilience and commitment of all involved are paying off. And today, it is time to celebrate – despite what happened, we are still delivering on our promises,” Stratu emphasised.
In his remarks at the event, the Head of Public Sector- SA at Standard Bank, Timothy Mtlatla, spoke passionately about Standard Bank’s support to GRDM’s commitment towards green energy. He said: “Our institution remains focused on its purpose; our commitment is a profound purpose and is underscored by the meaningful impact to the community. We are serving the sector that serves us”. Adding to these words, Mtlatla highlighted that the event is a remarkable example and testament of good working relations. And for this reason, he said: “With this initiative, we foresee a future that is cleaner and healthier for all communities we serve”. Representatives from Tefla and Zutari also delivered their messages of commitment to the project.
Executive Mayors and Deputy Mayors from the local municipalities that were present, also shared words of support on behalf of their respective municipalities. Deputy Mayor of Mossel Bay, Cllr Cliffie Bayman, referred to this day as a significant step that is taken towards more sustainable waste management and environmental practices in a changing world of climatic changes and the now more common outbreaks of communicable diseases. With these words, he added that this event deserved to be on the 1 September, as it is the 1st day of Spring. He highlighted that “this is a season for new beginnings and the reason in which our environment shows the fruit of hard work – work that we have put in during the winter months”. Bayman in addition reiterated that Mossel Bay Municipality will take accountability with the GRDM to ensure that the objective of the facility is reached. In conclusion he said that Mossel Bay is a proud partner in full support of the project and therefore they are eager to see many benefits such as employment deriving from the facility.
Knysna Executive Mayor, Cllr Aubrey Tswenga, in his congratulatory speech to GRDM and participating municipalities, said: “Thank you for making the Regional Waste Management Facility a reality”. Tswenga, however, mentioned that more work still lies ahead to educate communities about waste management. “As municipalities,” he said that “we need to educate our communities to reduce waste to landfills. Further to this he urged the GRDM on behalf of Knysna, to continue to roll-out a regional educational programme to extend the lifespan of the facility.
Bitou’s Deputy Executive Mayor, Cllr Mavis Basukwe, during her words of support, said: “Bitou took a decision to participate in the project fully understanding the implications and consequences we would face from our communities and ratepayers”. As a result of showing leadership and the fact that Bitou fitted the cost implication in their budget over the years, she emphasised that “it is indeed pleasing to see the site is now finally under construction”. She thanked all participating municipalities and said that without them, the project would not have been feasible for Bitou alone and would have left Bitou in a serious predicament.
Executive Mayor of GRDM, in his keynote address extended warm words of gratitude to the service provider and consulting engineer, Tefla and Zutari, as well as to Standard Bank and participating municipalities for this legacy project. In unpacking his statement, Mayor Booysen added: “After today it won’t only be a legacy project anymore, but also a catalytic project, meaning that this project is a catalyst of what is coming”.
Mayor Booysen further referred to the realities of working together as stakeholders and said: “It is not easy for different municipalities to work today, as there are many aspects that can hamper initiatives such as this project. However, he commended Mossel Bay Municipality, especially Municipal Manager Collin Puren, for setting the tone on how government can work together and how intergovernmental relations should be executed. To the Deputy Executive Mayor of Mossel Bay, Cllr Bayman he said: “You went as far as advising us,” to safeguard a less complicated process. Given the background of the project, Mayor Booysen urged councillors, professionals, and ward councillors to be decisive when decisions are made. “When we are decisive,” he said: “The ratepayers would back us up, because they would then understand what they are paying for and not making their own assumptions”. He elaborated that whenever a proposal is on the table, councillors would ask “how the project is going to affect the rates and taxes”. He advised: “It is our duty as politicians to go and explain to the taxpayers and ratepayers why we are doing what we do and why are we making the decisions in terms of what it will cost them”.
An Inaugural Site Meeting and Commencement of Works took place on the 13th of June 2023, which saw the official handover of the site to the appointed contractor, Tefla Group (Pty) Ltd. Over the following weeks, the site was established, benchmarks were verified by a surveyor on July 11, and the refurbishment of an existing farmhouse, set to become the site offices, is nearing completion. Clear and grub operations, excavations and material stockpiling is underway on the access roads and on Cell 1A.
The Regional Waste Management Facility, once complete, will include a domestic waste cell (Class B) and a separate hazardous waste cell (Class A) to accommodate low and medium-hazard-rated hazardous waste. Other infrastructure elements encompass roads, stormwater pipelines, leachate storage dams, contaminated stormwater dams, offices, laboratories, weighbridges, workshops, and security infrastructure. The project also includes a 3-hectare portion that will be used for a waste tyre recycling facility. Both the Domestic Waste Cell 1 and the Hazardous Waste Cell will have a lifespan of approximately of 20 – 25 years.
The project’s timeline are as follows:
Construction Tender Closure (concluded) – October 25, 2022
Finalization of Debt Agreement (concluded) – July 2023
Contractor on Site (concluded) – July 2023
Operations & Maintenance Tender Award – October / November 2023
Completion of Phase 1 – February 2024
Estimated Completion of Project – March 2025
The sod-turning event heralds the beginning of a cleaner and healthier future for the Garden Route region.
Feature Image: Sharing in this historic and groundbreaking occasion, were Executive Mayors and Municipal Managers and across the district, the GRDM Mayoral Committee Members and officials, representatives from National and Provincial Government, as well as engineering consultants and stakeholders from Standard Bank, Tefla and Zutari.
Media Release: Executive Mayor Alderman Memory Booysen Supports Local Learners’ Netball Dreams
For Immediate Release 26 August 2023
In a heartwarming display of community support and commitment to youth development, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, has generously donated funds to two promising learners from Bitou, Asanda Brakfesi and Lakheni Xuba. The beneficiaries, form part of the Eden Development Netball Team, and are ready to represent the region in the upcoming Western Cape Netball Festival.
Lakheni Xuba, a student at Plettenberg Bay Secondary School, and Asanda Brakfesi, who attends Murray High School, was selected to join their peers from George and Mossel Bay. The team, comprising two players from Plettenberg Bay, will be joined by six (6) additional athletes from Mossel Bay and two from George.
Ald. Booysen expressed his excitement at meeting Asanda and Lakheni in person today, during a brief gathering where they were introduced with Mrs. Rosie Mandeka, who will accompany the girls. The Executive Mayor congratulated the young athletes on their well-deserved selection for the Eden Development Netball Team and wished them the best of luck for this weekends Western Cape Development Netball Tournament scheduled to take place in Cape Town.
“I am incredibly proud of the talent exhibited by Asanda Brakfesi and Lakheni Xuba,” said Alderman Booysen. “Supporting their journey in the Eden Netball Team is not only a testament to their hard work, but also a demonstration of our commitment to nurturing local talent and enabling our youth to excel in sports.”
The GRDM remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering a culture of excellence, empowerment, and inclusivity among its youth.
Media Release: Multi-stakeholder anti-litter clean-up campaign continues
For Immediate Release 28 July 2023
Recently, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) kicked off its anti-litter campaign aimed at educating people about proper waste disposal techniques, using waste as a resource, and the pollution effects litter brings to the Garden Route District. Raising awareness at taxi ranks, schools, informal settlements, public facilities, malls, and shopping centres form part of the campaign.
On Tuesday 25 July 2023, the GRDM Waste Management Section conducted an awareness campaign at the Asla Clinic in Mossel Bay in collaboration with the Environmental Officers of Mossel Bay Municipality’s Pollution and Waste Management section.
Community members were educated about the severe negative consequences of illegal dumping on both the environment and human health. Topics covered included the disposal of hazardous materials, garbage and pollutants in unauthorised locations as well as the effects of contaminated soils and water sources on animal and human life. There was a lot of interaction during the session, and community members received stickers with contact information for reporting illegal dumping.
On Thursday 27 July 2023, the GRDM Waste Management Section hosted a workshop with twenty-four (24) waste pickers (Expanded Public Works Program Workers and offenders from Community Correction) to educate them on the different waste streams that can be recycled. During the training, pickers were taught that waste could be a resource for someone else as well as a treasure. It was also clarified that every citizen has the right to live in a clean, healthy, and safe environment. The fact that it is a human right, but also a responsibility, was emphasized.
Stakeholders in the workshop included Mossel Bay Municipality, Henque Waste, and Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) – Local Government Support. Similar workshops continue to be rolled out in other towns of the Garden Route district.
The following pictures were taken during the two awareness sessions hosted by the GRDM Waste Management Section the past week.
Featured Image Caption: The workshop was attended by waste pickers from Mossel Bay
Save the Date: Notice of Council Meeting, 26 July 2023 at 10:00
Notice is hereby given that a COUNCIL MEETING of the Garden Route District Municipality will be held at the CA Robertson Council Chambers and via Zoom, 54 York Street, George, on 26 July 2023 at 10:00.
Media Release GRDM Regional Waste Management Facility construction to start before July 2023
For Immediate Release 14 June 2023
Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) yesterday, 13 June 2023, held its official site handover meeting with Tefla Group (Pty) Ltd for the regional waste management facility. Before the commencement of this site establishment and construction of the facility, it was required to obtain the Construction Work Permit from the Department of Employment and Labour.
The Department of Employment and Labour fast-tracked the application process, which typically takes 30 days, after they received the application on 26 May 2023 and provided the approval on 8 June 2023.
Currently, Bitou-, Knysna-, George-, and Mossel Bay municipalities use the PetroSA landfill in Mossel Bay. PetroSA previously granted an extension of the current waste disposal contracts with the different municipalities for an additional twelve (12) months, which will end on 29 February 2024, when the site is expected to reach full capacity. By this time, an operational waste cell must be available at the newly constructed Regional Waste Management Facility for domestic waste disposal.
During the engagement, GRDM Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, said: “Today is a huge milestone achieved for GRDM, and we look forward to seeing Tefla Group carry this forward. Finally handing over the site, is something I never thought would happen in my time at GRDM. However, when I leave, I will be able to say that there is a large facility on the N2 that services four local municipalities.” Stratu thanked the Community Services Department and other role players who steered the project to this point, and he wished the contractors and project managers’ good luck in bringing the project to completion on time.
The Regional Waste Management Facility Management Project is a crucial initiative aimed at improving waste management practices within the region. Site establishment will now proceed for the next three weeks, which will be followed by the commencement of construction.
The estimated project timeline, taking into account local weather patterns, as well as the need to import most materials from Germany, is as follows:
Impact-Based Severe Weather Warning: Level 2 for Damaging Waves
The Cape Town Weather Office has issued an Impact Based Warning for damaging waves valid from 25 to 26 May 2023.
Areas in the Garden Route district that will be affected by damaging waves include Bitou, George, Hessequa, Knysna and Mossel Bay.
“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 weather-related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044 805 5071.