Category: <span>Garden Route</span>

3 September 2021 Media Release: Tourism for inclusive growth

Media Release: Tourism for inclusive growth

For Immediate Release
03 September 2021

Tourism Month features themed activities aligned to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day Celebrations that take place annually on 27 September. The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is “Tourism for inclusive growth.”

Annually, Tourism Month provides a heightened month-long focus on the importance of the tourism sector and the enormous contribution the tourism industry makes to provincial and national economic growth as well as job creation in South Africa. “This year, we align our efforts with the national and provincial government to emphasize the importance of domestic tourism and inclusive growth. The tourism industry has been severely affected by the Covid–19 pandemic, and in Tourism Month, we want to shift our focus to the recovery of the sector and to build back better. We believe that promoting our beautiful region and its diverse offerings to the domestic market could increase visitors/domestic tourists to the area, contribute towards employment in the sector, and contribute to the growth of the tourism sector within the district,” said Ms Amagene Koeberg, Tourism Coordinator for Garden Route District Municipality.

This year’s theme is all about tourism for all, and it is about the rural women and the innovative youth; it is for the villages, towns and the less-visited part of our country. “This theme is about the cultural diversity of our offerings and the travel tastes of the millennials. Importantly, growth is about the broad-based benefits and support for small enterprises that continue to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tharage, Director-General of the Department of Tourism at the Golden Gate National Park outside of Clarens at the launch of Tourism Month.

Tourism Month in SA aims to encourage South Africans to travel domestically to understand better the affordable, exciting and world-class attractions available on their own doorstep.  It also serves as an opportunity to promote domestic tourism and create a culture of travel amongst South Africans.

Initiatives such as the; SHO’T LEFT TRAVEL WEEK 6 -12 September 2021 will present great travel deals, with airlines, hotel groups, tour operators and tourist attractions offering discounts of up to 50%. These deals must be bought during this week but can be redeemed at any other time, depending on the partner’s terms and conditions. This presents an opportunity for South Africans to tour and experience their own country.

As the country begins to open up again during COVID19, the appetite for domestic travel must be re-ignited, and South Africans should be encouraged to travel their country.

By visiting the website: South Africans can access great holiday deals. Some of these deals feature Garden Route & Klein Karoo tourism partners.  By visiting our regional tourism website’s events page at you can be enticed by the various events/festivals hosted in our local towns during Tourism Month and beyond, suitable to please any and every tourist with the array of diversity we have to offer.



On Monday, 30 August 2021, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, concluded his outreach to the Garden Route with a visit to the Informal settlements in Sedgefield and Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay. These visits were to ascertain how the Informal Settlements Support Programme has improved these living standards of the informal dwellers.

Minister Simmers met with key stakeholders, which included the Ward Councilor, the Community Leadership and the appointed NGO, to discuss current the state of the projects as well as future plans.

Minister Simmers said: “It is pleasing to note that the ISSP is making a significant difference in the lives of our people. It remains the priority of the Western Cape Government to ensure our people live in safer and improved conditions, as this will go a long way in restoring our people’s dignity. I’m also delighted to note the good working relationship between the community leaders and the Ward Councillor, as this helps to remove any and all hindrances from projects.”

Through the ISSP, the Department has erected 104 new toilets and taps, as well as upgraded 74 toilets in Sedgefield. The ISSP provides individuals with a service stand with access to running water, sanitation and electricity services. The beneficiaries of the UISP are eligible to apply to build a house on their stand, through one of the government’s other housing subsidies, applicable to qualifying criterion.

“As the Western Cape Government we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open society,” added Simmers.

Media Enquiries: Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

021 483 3397 (o) / 082 721 3362 (m)


Mr. Nathan Adriaanse

Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations

Tel: 021 483-2868 / Cell: 083 263 1720

30 August 2021 Media Release: Newly appointed MEC of Transport and Public Works visits the Garden Route District

30 August 2021

For immediate release

Newly appointed MEC of Transport and Public Works visits the Garden Route District

This morning, the newly appointed Western Cape Government Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, MEC Daylin Michell, visited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and region, to conduct an introductory meeting with all the Executive Mayors and Municipal Managers in the district.

During his opening remarks, a confident MEC Michell assured local municipal representatives that service delivery to citizens is not new, although he might be new to the position. He also said that the concerns raised during the meeting might not be unique.  His department will try and find solutions in the system to best address emerging and old challenges.  He further mentioned that his visit to the Garden Route District would not be from something new but that today’s process aimed to kick off his predecessors and continue in that fashion.

The GRDM Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, introduced the discussions by explaining that the GRDM has the biggest road network compared to other district municipalities in the Western Cape.  Alderman Booysen further explained how roads in other districts, especially the West Coast, are used as economic networks for farmers getting their harvest to airports and harbours in Cape Town and that those critical roads are tar.  He stated that he believes that there should be no difference in the Garden Route District. Alderman Booysen concluded by requesting that the upcoming Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the Western Cape Government Transport and Public Works and the GRDM address the previous years’ learning curves.

Afterwards, the different local municipal representatives raised their areas’ concerns and welcomed the visit of the Minister of Transport and Public Works.

As part of his visit, MEC Michell and his delegation, joined by Alderman Booysen and some of the other Executive Mayors, visited several sites in the George Municipal area.


17 August 2021 Media Release:  New Quarantine and Isolation facility to relieve pressure in the Garden Route

Media Release:  New Quarantine and Isolation facility to relieve pressure in the Garden Route

For Immediate Release
17 August 2021

On Wednesday, 4 August 2021, a new Quarantine & Isolation facility has been open at the Gateway Lodge, 6km outside of George.

The Gateway Lodge site and PetroSA sites are the designated quarantine and isolations facilities in the Garden Route district. In terms of proximity, people from George, Knysna, Bitou and Oudtshoorn will first be accommodated at Gateway Lodge, which has a 28-bed capacity; if this site becomes full, those in quarantine and isolation, will be moved to PetroSA. People from Mossel Bay, Hessequa and Kannaland will be accommodated at the PetroSA facility which has a 150-bed capacity.

Both these sites are operational seven days a week and accept persons between 09h00 and 17h00 daily. The process for any public member requiring either quarantines or isolation facilities is to contact the local Provincial Department of Health sub-district health representative, who will assess the request and make the necessary arrangements.

It is important to note that if a person tested positive for coronavirus, they need to isolate. And if you have symptoms or have come into close contact with someone who has coronavirus, they are required to be in quarantine. If you can isolate or quarantine safely at home, do so, but if it is not possible, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the local Provincial Department of Health sub-district health representative.

Contact details:

Knysna/Bitou subdistrict:

Contact number:  044 302 8405 /

Kannaland subdistrict:

Contact number: 028 551 1010 /

Oudtshoorn subdistrict:

Contact number: 044 203 7207 /

George subdistrict:

Contact number: 044 814 1124/5 /

Mossel Bay subdistrict:

Contact number: 044 604 6194 /

Hessequa subdistrict:

Contact number: 028 713 8640 /

11 July 2021 Weather Alert: Impact Based Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua: Damaging Winds, Damaging Waves and Disruptive Snow

Weather Alert: Impact Based Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua: Damaging Winds, Damaging Waves and Disruptive Snow

Please find included the Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape

Legal notice:
“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.”

Hazard Alert Level Affected Municipalities Valid from (SAST) Valid to (SAST)
Damaging Winds Yellow(L2) Beaufort West, Hantam, Karoo Hoogland, Laingsburg, Bitou, Cape Agulhas, Cape Agulhas, City of Cape town, George, Hessequa, Knysna, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay, Swartland, Table Bay, Prince Albert 12/07/21 00h00 13/07/21 00h00

Discussion: Northwesterly winds associated with the cold front, will reach average speeds of 55-60km/h gusting up to 65-70km/h over the Namakwa District and the Western Cape eastern interior from mid-morning through into early Tuesday morning. Over the offshore areas between Cape Columbine and Cape Agulhas, These wind northwesterly winds (55-60km/h gusting 70km/h) are expected from Monday morning, becoming west to southwesterly and spreading to Plettenberg Bay in the afternoon, persisting into Tuesday afternoon.

Impact: Localised damage to formal and informal settlements is possible. Fallen trees may affect properties and road travel. High sided vehicles may be at risk of falling over as result of strong crosswinds (particularly on N1, N2, N7, R321, R43). Strong north-westerly winds over the eastern parts of the province may fuel runaway fires. Offshore: difficulty in navigation for small vessels and personal water craft can be expected. Disruption of beachfront activities is possible as well as danger to rock anglers.

Instruction: Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines. Ensure that all temporary structures are well anchored. Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.

Hazard Alert Level Affected Municipalities Valid from (SAST) Valid to (SAST)
Damaging Waves Yellow(L2) Bergrivier, Bitou, Cape Agulhas, Cape Agulhas, Cederberg, City of Cape town, George, Hessequa, M_Kamiesberg, Knysna, Matzikama, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay, Swartland, Table Bay 12/07/21 00h00 13/07/21 00h00

Discussion: The cold front is expected to affect the Western Cape on Monday. South-westerly swell with wave heights between 4.5-6.0m and wave periods of 16 seconds are expected along the south and southwest coastline behind the cold front persisting into Tuesday afternoon. The area of concern is between Hondeklip Bay and Cape Agulhas from Monday morning, and through to Plettenberg Bay in the afternoon.

Impact: Difficulty in navigation at sea for small vessels and person water craft (e.g. kayaks) can be expected. This may lead to vessels taking on water and capsizing in locality. Disruption to beach front activities is likely.

Instruction: Be aware of large unpredictable waves along the coast. Small vessels are advised to seek shelter in harbours, bays or inlets.

Hazard Alert Level Affected Municipalities Valid from (SAST) Valid to (SAST)
Disruptive Snow Yellow(L4) Breede Valley, Cederberg, George, Hantam, Karoo Hoogland, Oudtshoorn, Witzenberg 12/07/21 00h00 13/07/21 00h00

Discussion: Forecasts indicate a spread of 05-10cm with some parts receiving 15cm of snow over the mountains of the Cape Winelands and the West Coast District (Cederberg mountain range), as well as the southern high ground in the Hantam and Karoo Hoogland municipalities (N. Cape) from Monday afternoon. The snowfall will spread to the Garden Route mountain ranges during Monday evening, persisting into Tuesday afternoon with significant impacts expected in the Outeniqua and Swartberg mountains.

Cape Town Weather Office
2nd Floor: Oval Office Park
Cape Town Int airport
Freight Road
Cape Town

7 July 2021 Media Alert: Memorial Service of the late GRDM Fire Chief on 8 July at 10:00am

Media Alert: Memorial Service of the late GRDM Fire Chief on 8 July at 10:00am

Garden Route District Municipality will host a memorial service for the late Fire Chief Freddy Thaver on Thursday, 8 July 2021 at 10:00am.

You can join the proceedings via the following channels:



Youtube link:


30 June 2021 Media Release:  “We are two weeks ahead of schedule” – upgrades at Calitzdorp Spa

Media Release:  “We are two weeks ahead of schedule” – upgrades at Calitzdorp Spa

For immediate release
30 June 2021

After almost a month of hard work, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) owned Calitzdorp Spa is gradually transforming into a new magical mountain retreat, reclaiming its rightful space in the magnificent mountain vistas of the Klein Karoo. Construction work, which was planned to be executed a number of phases, is currently well on track. “We are at least two weeks ahead of schedule,” Medron Bussack, Acting Manager for Calitzdorp Spa.

The roofs of the swimming pool chalets and mountain chalets have already been repaired. As of now, the reception area and main building’s roofs are being replaced with new steel-based, light roof thatch tiles. The contractors also replaced the roofs’ hip and ridge flashings with treated timber battens and related accessories. Amongst the work done has been a new face of the resorts Roman bath. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions of the Spa, the ‘mineral-rich hot spring bath’ is known for its healing and curative properties. The windows in the Roman bathing room were also replaced.

The next phases will commence as soon as funding becomes available in the new financial year, beginning on 1 July 2021.  These phases will mainly focus on more repairs and upgrades of the mountain chalets, as well as the ablution facilities at the four (4) camping sites and the four (4) pool lapas.

With the construction works currently underway, the GRDM wants to assure the public that the resort is still in full operation and looks forward to welcoming visitors to the resort!


28 June 2021 Media Alert: Western Cape Human Settlements budget heads to Garden Route

Media Alert: Western Cape Human Settlements budget heads to Garden Route

For Immediate Release
28 June 2021

Dear Editors & Members of the Public

Kindly note the reminder below. Also, note due to the adjusted alert level 4 as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 27 June 2021, all Municipal Council engagements will now be virtual.

Further to this, the planned Qolweni site visit and Slangrivier title deed handover have been postponed until further notice. Minister Tertuis Simmers and the team from the Provincial Department of Human Settlements will also no longer be based at the Garden Route District Municipal Chambers.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.



28 June 2021

Today, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers will commence with his Ministerial outreach to the municipalities across the Garden Route District. Along with presenting the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements’ budget for the 2021/22 financial year, various other critical human settlements matters will also be discussed.

Joined by his senior executive officials, Minister Simmers will meet with full Municipal Councils. A virtual meeting with the Kannaland Municipality will kick-off the engagements.

On Tuesday, 29 June 2021, virtual engagements will occur with the Oudtshoorn and Knysna Municipalities.

On Wednesday, 30 June 2021, virtual engagements will occur with the George and Mossel Bay Municipalities.

On Thursday, 1 July 2021, a virtual engagement will occur with the Hessequa Municipality.

Citizens and the media across the Garden Route District can follow the different proceedings live on Minister Simmers’ Facebook page,

Media Enquiries:

Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

021 483 3397 (o)

082 721 3362 (m)


Nathan Adriaanse

Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations

Tell: 021 483 2868

Mobile: 083 2631720


25 June 2021 Media Release: Increased vaccine allocation to Rural areas

Media Release: release: Increased vaccine allocation to Rural areas

For Immediate Release
25 June 2021

Increased vaccine allocation to Rural areas

The Garden Route district will receive a larger vaccine allocation as from next week.  The increased vaccine allocation will address the slow roll-out experienced to date, due to limited vaccine supply from National Government.

With the increased allocation of vaccines we will be able to open more appointment slots at our vaccination sites and therefore vaccinate more people. We understand the frustration and anxiety experienced at large to be vaccinated,  especially with increasing COVID-19 cases in our District.

“We are pleased to confirm that the Garden Route district is earmarked to receive an additional 7948 doses on top of the confirmed 12 157 that we expect to receive for the week 28 June – 2 July. This is significantly more vaccines compared to our allocation for the past 2 weeks”, said District Director, Mr Zee Brickles.

Updated testing criteria

We have revised our testing criteria and the following categories will be eligible for COVID-19 testing.

All those with coronavirus symptoms AND at least 1 of the following:

  • Needing hospital admission.
  • At high risk of severe disease (age > 45 years, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, cancer, tuberculosis, HIV).
  • clusters in group settings such as old age/care homes, hospitals, schools, workplaces, hostels, prisons, etc.
  • health care workers.

Hospital Visitations

Allowing patients to be visited by their loved ones during their stay in hospital is an essential part of their recovery and wellness. Having an escort present during a visit to an emergency unit and an outpatient clinic, is reassuring for many patients and essential for other patients such as young children. Similarly, the pain and anxiety of labour can be eased by having a partner present. Despite the benefits of having visitors and escorts, the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 infection during the high prevalence of a third wave, outweighs the benefits of having loved ones present, and hence visitors and escorts have to be severely restricted.

Western Cape Government Health can confirm that the visitation policy at public hospitals was amended on 21 June to accommodate the changes in alert levels in the Covid-19 pandemic in the province. The restrictions on visitors and escorts, are aimed at ensuring that our patients, families, visitors and staff are protected against transmission during the third wave. Depending on the nature of the service of particular facilities, specific arrangements have been put in place. Should you or a family member need to visit a hospital, please establish which specific arrangements are in place at that facility. We urge the public to please respect these new arrangements. Although we know it is challenging for many visitors and patients we must be responsible and protect one another.

Keep your bubbles small

Now is not the time to socially interact with people outside of your immediate family bubble (those living in the same household). The more interactions you and your immediate family members have outside of your immediate family bubble, the greater the risk of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others. If you have to meet someone do so outdoors or indoors where there is good ventilation. Remember to always wear your mask when in public.

Vaccination sites 28 June – 2 July.

SUB-DISTRICT Town Dates 28 – 2 July
Knysna sub-district Knysna CDC 30, 1, 2
Knysna sub-district Knysna Town Hall 30, 1, 2
Knysna sub-district Sedgefield Clinic 1, 2
Knysna sub-district Keurhoek Satellite Clinic 2
Bitou sub-district Plettenberg Bay Clinic 29,30 1, 2
Bitou sub-district Kranshoek clinic 01-Jul
Bitou sub-district Kwanokuthula CDC 30, 2
Bitou sub-district Crags Clinic 29
George sub-district Harry Comay TB Hospital 28 June – 2 July
George sub-district Thembalethu CDC (Sandkraal road) 28 June – 2 July
George sub-district George Central Clinic 28 June – 2 July
George sub-district Uniondale Hospital 28 June – 2 July
George sub-district George & Herald Mobile Routes 28 June – 2 July
George sub-district Touwsranten Clinic 2
George sub-district Pacaltsdorp Clinic 1,2
Hessequa sub-district Riversdale Civic Centre 29 June – 2 July
Hessequa sub-district Heidelberg Duivenhoks Hall 29, 30, 2
Hessequa sub-district Albertinia Theronsville Hall 1 , 2
Hessequa sub-district Melkhoutfontein Satellite Clinic 30
Hessequa sub-district Still Bay Civic Centre 29, 1 , 2
Hessequa sub-district Slangrivier Satellite Clinic 2
Hessequa sub-district Witsand de Duine Hall 30
Hessequa sub-district Gouritsmond Hall 30
Kannaland sub-district Ladismith DRC Church Hall 29
Kannaland sub-district Zoar Sports Club 30
Kannaland sub-district Calitzdorp DRC Church Hall 1, 2
Mossel Bay sub-district Alma CDC 29, 30, 1, 2
Mossel Bay sub-district Wolwedans Community Hall 30, 2
Mossel Bay sub-district Friemersheim outreach 1
Mossel Bay sub-district Mossel Bay Town Hall 29, 30
Mossel Bay sub-district Rheebok outreach 30
Mossel Bay sub-district Bosbou & Brandwag outreach 29
Mossel Bay sub-district D’Almeida Community Hall 29, 30
Oudtshoorn sub-district Toekomsrust Community Hall 29 June – 2 July
Oudtshoorn sub-district Dysselsdorp Clinic 29
Oudtshoorn sub-district De Rust (Blommenek) Clinic 1




Nadia Ferreira

Principal Communications Officer

Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts

Western Cape Government Health



14 June 2021 Media Release: Garden Route COVID Update

Media Release: Garden Route COVID Update

For Immediate Release
14 June 2021

The Garden Route District had a 110% increase in new cases over the last 7 days compared to 7-14 days ago.

All sub-districts had large increases except for Oudtshoorn with a minimal increase and Kannaland which remained unchanged.

The new cases are widespread with some household clusters. It is important that we all play our part in curbing the spread. All situations are being actively monitored.

Stats as of 14 June 2021.

Sub-district TOTAL Active Recovered Deaths
Bitou 2868 43 2 724 101
George 12513 279 11 779 455
Hessequa 2037 40 1 889 108
Kannaland 917 8 863 46
Knysna 4948 55 4 735 158
Mossel Bay 7900 282 7 406 212
Oudtshoorn 4239 69 3 872 298
Sub-total 35422 776 33 268 1 378

Vaccine roll-out

A total of 20 653 vaccines have been administered since the start of the vaccine program. This includes healthcare workers, old age homes and public sites.

The Department received a lesser allocation of vaccines this week from the national government, which has impacted the number of people we will be able to vaccinate this week.

We are however still planning to open more sites after which more appointment slots will become available, and hence more system generated SMSs will be sent to assign registered people to specific sites with available appointment slots.

We have noted a lot of queries regarding the appointment system. Appointments for vaccinations are automatically scheduled by the National Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). The system checks in a sequential manner who registered first in a specific area, and assigns appointments to them based on available slots at sites close to that area. If you would like to confirm your registration or make changes to your details please visit You can also access this link on our website,

What to bring with you when going for your vaccination

Please remember to bring along your ID, passport, or asylum document when coming for your vaccine.

If you belong to a medical aid, please take your medical aid card or details with you.

At the vaccination site, there will be signage directing you where to go. You will be screened according to COVID-19 protocol.

Once inside, your details will be confirmed. The health workers at the vaccination station will ask you for consent, will explain what they are going to do, and will ask if you have any allergies or medical conditions. This is an important part of the process.

After your vaccination, you will be asked to wait in the observation room for 15 to 30 minutes so that staff can make sure you do not experience any severe allergic reactions. If you received the first jab of a 2-dose vaccine, you will get a follow-up appointment via SMS. You will also receive a proof of vaccination card.

The following sites in the Garden Route District will administer vaccinations on the following days for week 14 – 18 June.

Mossel Bay D’Almeida Community Hall PUBLIC 14, 15
Mossel Bay Alma CDC PUBLIC 14, 15, 17 ,18
Mossel Bay Wolwedans Community Hall PUBLIC 18
Mossel Bay Mossel Bay Town Hall PUBLIC 15
Bitou Plettenberg Bay Town Clinic PUBLIC 17
Bitou Kwanokuthula CDC PUBLIC 18
George Harry Comay TB Hospital PUBLIC 14,15, 17, 18
George Thembalethu CDC PUBLIC 14,15, 17, 18
George George Central Clinic PUBLIC 14,15, 17, 18
George Uniondale Hospital PUBLIC 15, 17, 18
George Pacaltsdorp Clinic PUBLIC 17,18
Hessequa Riversdale Civic Centre PUBLIC 15, 17 ,18
Hessequa Witsand de Duine Hall PUBLIC 15,
Hessequa Heidelberg Duivenhoks Hall PUBLIC 15, 18
Hessequa Albertinia Theronsville Hall PUBLIC 17,18
Hessequa Stilbaai Civic Centre PUBLIC 15, 17, 18
Hessequa Slangrivier Satellite Clinic PUBLIC 18
Kannaland Ladismith DRC Church Hall PUBLIC 15
Kannaland Calitzdorp DRC Church Hall PUBLIC 17
Knysna Knysna Town Hall PUBLIC 18
Knysna Sedgefield Clinic PUBLIC 17
Oudtshoorn Oudtshoorn Hospital PUBLIC 17, 18
Oudtshoorn Dysselsdorp Clinic PUBLIC 15
Oudtshoorn De Rust(Blommenek) Clinic PUBLIC 17

Please remember that we prioritise those who are registered and have received their appointment.  No active sites on the 16th which is a public holiday.




Nadia Ferreira

Principal Communications Officer

Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts

Western Cape Government Health

Town Clinic,Plettenberg Bay

Tel: 044 813 1831