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Illegal Dumping

08 December 2023 Media Release: GRDM and partners conduct Clean-up, Education and Awareness campaign in Mossel Bay

Media Release: GRDM and partners conduct Clean-up, Education and Awareness campaign in Mossel Bay 

For immediate release
08 December 2023

The Waste Management Section of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in collaboration with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment’s Local Government Support Section, CapeNature, Mossel Bay Municipality, Henque Waste, Transnet, Nestle and Aquelle, conducted a Clean-up Campaign in Ward 15 of Mossel Bay.

Children from Ward 15 in Mossel Bay, formed part of the Clean-up operation in their area.

The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness about illegal dumping and the ‘Adopt a Spot Program’ for community vegetable gardens and the need for their conservation.

One of the most pressing issues facing our communities is Illegal dumping, particularly understanding how recycling waste works. The campaign encourages members of the community to take part in the clean-up campaign and to not dump waste illegally.  Community members were encouraged to continue with their efforts to keep their spaces clean and they were informed about the importance of community gardens as part of the Program.

The clean-up campaign was conducted after the education and awareness session. A special message of appreciation was extended to all the organisations that were involved to ensure a clean environment for those living in visiting the area.

Did you know?

  • Dumped waste may contain harmful or even toxic substances, which may have health effects such as asthma or respiratory infections on humans.
  • The illegally dumped items might include needles that may be contaminated with HIV or Hepatitis. This is a big concern, especially for children who often pick up items while playing. This threatens their health since they may become infected with these life-threatening diseases.
  • Illegal dumping sites may also be favourable breeding conditions for Ecoli, which may also spread diseases to communities.
  • If there is significant unlawful dumping in certain areas, the chances for the spread of diseases increase dramatically.

Feature image: Representatives from GRDM, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment’s Local Government Support Section, CapeNature, Mossel Bay Municipality, Henque Waste, Transnet, Nestle and Aquelle, with members of the community, during the Clean-up Campaign in Ward 15 of Mossel Bay. 


04 September 2023 Media Release: Sod-Turning Event marks a milestone for Regional Waste Management Facility

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.

Listen to all the speeches here:

Welcoming remarks

Background of the project

Message of Support by Standard Bank

Message of Support by Zutari (PTY) LTD

Message of Support by Tefla (PTY) LTD

Message of Support by Mossel Bay Municipality

Message of Support by Knysna Municipality

Message of Support by Bitou Municipality

Commitment to Service Delivery

Closing Remarks and Vote of Thanks

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.


10 February 2023 Save the Date: Garden Route District Municipality to embark on an Illegal Dumping Campaign

Save the Date: Garden Route District Municipality to embark on an Illegal Dumping Campaign

Illegal dumping is a serious environmental and public health concern. This habit leads to pollution of air, water and soil, and can also attract pests and create unsanitary conditions. In addition, it can also decrease property values and negatively impact the overall aesthetic of an area. Raising awareness about the negative impacts of illegal dumping can help to reduce the incidence of this behaviour and promote more responsible disposal of waste.

Environmental Health Practitioners from Garden Route municipalities together with stakeholders will this week embark on a campaign to educate communities on the health effects of illegal dumping.

Members of the public are invited to follow us on social media from Monday, 13 February 2023 or tune into Eden FM (Monday, 13 February 2023 from 7:40) to learn more about the negative impact of illegal dumping on the environment. Various slots will also be used by local municipalities throughout the week to speak about illegal dumping.

Let’s be the change within our communities and let’s curb illegal dumping together”.

30 August 2022 Media Release: GRDM Councillors and officials visit establishments in the Hessequa area

Media Release: GRDM Councillors and officials visit premises and establishments in the Hessequa area

For immediate release
30 August 2022

On Monday, 22 Augustus 2022, a Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) delegation visited various premises and sites within the Hessequa region (Heidelberg and Slangrivier) to establish shortcomings,  evaluate standards of municipal health services delivered, as well as to hand over sanitary towels to learners. Community Services Portfolio Committee members, Ald. Nompumelelo Ndayi, Cllrs Jobieth Hoogbaard and Cobus Meiring, Executive Manager, Clive Africa for Community Services, Manager for Municipal Health and Environmental Management, Johan Compion, and officials from the Hessequa Region formed part of the delegation.

Municipal Health Services as defined in the National Health Act, 2003 includes the following Key Performance Areas of which these visits are applicable to: Water Quality Monitoring, Food Control, Solid Waste Management, Health Surveillance of Premises, Supervision and Prevention of Contagious Diseases (excluding Immunization), Vector Control, Environmental Pollution Control, Disposal of Human Remains and the Safe handling of Chemical Substances.

The team visited three (3) crèches, a soup kitchen, a high school, a spaza shop and an illegal dumping site. By visiting these facilities/premises Councillors were afforded the opportunity to understand how the interventions of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) assist these establishments to comply with relevant By-Laws and/or legislation. Ongoing monitoring and health and hygiene education by the EHPs enable them to implement measures to address the gaps in line with the Key Performance Areas for Municipal Health Services.

During the visits, Haemish Herwels, Chief: Municipal Health for the Hessequa region,  and Marchelles Hurling, Environmental Health Practitioner, explained the inspection procedures and the issues of importance.

Child care facilities – Herwels reiterated the importance of allowable floor space, which dictate the number of children that can be accommodated at childcare premises. According to the relevant norms and standards, 1.5 m² must be available for each child.  Furthermore he explained that the compliance to the prescribed number of toddlers and proper ventilation can minimize the spread of diseases within the classroom setting.

When visiting another crèche in the area it was observed that space was a real challenge. Crèche principle, Petro Joseph, informed the delegation that due to the number of toddlers currently registered at the facility she is in the process of expanding the facility to ensure, not only compliance to the GRDM By-laws, but also promoting the health and safety of all their toddlers.

Herwels also explained that EHPs visit these facilities on a regular basis to evaluate the hygiene standards of classrooms, bathrooms, outside play areas and the kitchens of those facilities who prepare meals for the toddlers

Visit to Slangrivier High School – Visiting Slangrivier High School was the highlight of the event when Cllr Ndayi and the team handed over two hundred (200) packs of sanitary towels to learners. When she took the items into acceptance, Raymondi Saayman admitted that not having these items makes it difficult for learners to attend school, which has a detrimental impact on their overall academic performance. She extended a messages of appreciation to the Garden Route team for the generous donation. With August being Women’s month Ald. Ndayi, said “While we are celebrating Women’s Month, we hope that these products will help restore the dignity of our female learners, as they will be our leaders of tomorrow”.

Illegal Dumping – The team visited certain sites along Eikeweg where illegal dumping has become a major problem. Herwels explained that the EHP’s conduct regular inspections of formal and informal settlements to monitor illegal dumping, as part of Waste Management which is listed as a key performance area,  as these sites if not managed, create favourable conditions for the breeding of flies and rodents which can contribute to the spread of diseases. When illegal dumping is brought under their attention, it is immediately communicated to the Hessequa Municipality. Furthermore Herwels mentioned that currently they have a good relationship with the Hessequa Municipality, as such that when issues are communicated it is addressed immediately.

Spaza Shops Spaza shops, over the years have become the life-line of informal economic development which has become significant in our communities across the country. These shops are mostly situated in residential areas and customers therefore do not have to travel far to purchase essential goods, especially in case of emergencies.

Although it has its benefits of easy access, these shops must comply with all the requirements as stipulated in the Regulations Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises and the Transport of Food and Related Matters R 638 of 22 June 2018, to ensure that customers enjoy a convenient, but mostly a healthy shopping experience. Regular inspections are conducted by the EHPs to ensure compliance with the regulation and food samples are taken from time to time to monitor the bacteriological and chemical quality of products. One such spaza-shop is Corner Shop, situated in Heidelberg. When the Garden Route delegation entered the shop, they immediately observed the neatness of the shop with food products that were labelled properly. Marcelles Hurling, the EHP responsible for Heidelberg and Witsand areas, gave an overview of how the inspections are conducted and the intervention taken to ensure compliance to the Regulation. He furthermore explained that constant hygiene and food safety training have an enormous influence on the tidiness of Spaza shops, of which Corner shop is a good example.

Soup Kitchens – A touching moment was to see how Aunt Catherine, together with her assistants prepared a hearty meal for the vulnerable members in her community.  When arriving at the soup kitchen, adults and kids were already queuing to receive their warm soup. Cat’s Kitchen provides meals to almost 100 people per day, three days a week. Catherine said: “We started very small, and at a point I was able to register the soup kitchen and from there onwards, various people came on board including councillors and family members, who helped me to be able to provide these meals”. Adding to this, she said: “We are grateful to the group Unspoken for their assistance with the capturing of the beneficiaries’ names when they collect their meals. With this we can determine who the most vulnerable is in the community”.

Ablution facilities – The team furthermore visited Donald Square, an informal settlement in Heidelberg.  According to Herwels, EHPs conduct regular inspections  in the area, to evaluate the structural requirements of toilet facilities and the hygiene aspects thereof.  A major aspect that is also monitored is the issue of illegal dumping.

While addressing the team, in closing, Cllr Ndayi, said: “For the current GRDM Community Services Portfolio Committee it was our first visit to the premises where our Municipal Health Service perform their duties and it has been an inspiring experience to see how thankful these establishments’ representatives were towards GRDM”. Adding to this she highlighted: “Being accompanied by my colleagues Cllrs Meiring and Hoogbaard, as well as the Head of the Department and the team who work closely with these establishments, showed their true commitment and passion for the communities of the Garden Route”.

Feature Photo: Before leaving Cat’s Soup Kitchen in Slangrivier fo their next stop, Aunt Catherine insisted that each member of the GRDM delegation enjoys a warm cup of soup. 


27 October 2021 Media Release: We are controlling alien invasive species on all our properties

Media Release:  We are controlling alien invasive species on all our properties

For Immediate Release
27 October 2021

Section 76 of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004) requires that all “Organs of State in all spheres of Government”, develop an “Invasive Species Monitoring, Control and Eradication Plan” for land under their control. These plans have to cover all listed invasive species in Section 70(1) of the Act.

According to Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, “the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has complied with the required mandatory legislation to take responsibility for eradicating alien species on its properties to adhere to the above”.  Booysen stated that during 2019 Council already appointed a service provider to compile an Invasive Monitoring Control and Eradication Plan as outlined in the two sets of legislation that regulate the declaration and control of Invasive Alien Species in South Africa.

These include the :

  • Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (43 of 1983, CARA); and
  • the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004, NEMBA).

GRDM, in 2019, submitted the Invasive Monitoring Control and Eradication Plan to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) for approval. After numerous engagements, including inspection of Council’s properties based on the submitted plan, on 05 August 2021, the GRDM received approval for the Plan. Following this, the GRDM Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Section was mandated to monitor and evaluate properties bi-monthly as part of a monitoring and management control plan.  This approach was established to mitigate the risks on Council properties and adhere to NEMBA. Therefore, the progress and status of the Council properties regarding invasive species control is regularly tabled in Council.

Other recommendations from the GRDM Council regarding the management and monitoring of invasive and alien species includes:

  • creating fire breaks on Council’s properties; and
  • regular clearing and the erection of fencing at all Council properties to avoid sanction as outlined by section 102 of the Act (NEMBA).

Some of Council’s properties are located on the coastal lines with where there is a vast range of biodiversity species. However, easy accessibility to these properties contributes to illegal dumping, which poses a high risk to the threatened species. Numerous cleanup actions were conducted and are continuously planned for these properties.

With the current GRDM Council that approved Invasive Species Monitoring, Control and Eradication Plan, as well as all the control plans with specified timeframes, it is evident that future invasion by alien species is and will be managed and reduced.  An aggressive approach will be taken to implement proposed solutions and controls, pending the budget available within the 2021/22 financial year.

GRDM Invasive Species Monitoring, Control and Eradication Plan


24 November 2020 Media Release: Municipalities place skips in Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp

Media Release: Municipalities place skips in Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp

For Immediate Release
24 November 2020

Illegal dumping sites remain a problem for all seven (7) local municipalities in the Garden Route. As part of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and George Municipality (GM) illegal dumping response, Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp have been earmarked for additional assistance. As of now, nine (9) x 6m³ waste skips have been placed at illegal dumping hotspots. This includes seven (7) for Thembalethu and two (2) for Pacaltsdorp. These waste skips are being hired for the interim until George Municipality has concluded the procurement process of their own waste skips to be placed in and around illegal dumping hotspots in George.

Members of the public are urged to make proper use of the waste skips for disposing their household waste. The skips are meant to be used for refuse that cannot be stored until the weekly refuse removal days of GM.

According to Johan Compion, Manager: Municipal Health and Environmental Services for GRDM, “The placement and proper management of skips could also provide a solution to illegal dumping.  We are hopeful that a notable change will be visible as this pilot project continues, in addition, we await survey data being collected at the moment to provide more insights into the issue.”

Skips are free for everyone to use, but at the same time the public has to keep in mind that once skips are removed from hotspot areas, it does not mean that illegal dumping is permitted. General assumptions by GRDM about illegal dumping is that it takes place more frequently in informal or poorer communities because people can’t afford the transport or removal of waste to waste transfer stations.

The process of ensuring that skips are frequently emptied involves skip contractors. These small business owners are responsible for transporting waste skips to the George Waste Transfer Station. After emptying each skip, the containers are returned to the hotspots where they were collected. The help of 30 EPWP workers is evermore important as they assist municipalities to clear areas inaccessible to machinery. These same EPWP workers also tasked to assist the public, especially the elderly and children, to dispose of waste into the skips.

Twelve (12) Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) participants are still on the ground working with the JCBs to clear illegal dump sites. Thirty six (36) educators are also doing door-to-door education and awareness as well as a survey to determine the causal factors of illegal dumping; and the community requirements; or possible solutions to prevent issues in future. Twenty four (24) educators are working in Thembalethu and 12 in Pacaltsdorp. Each person, who moves in a group of six (6), is easily identifiable by a high visibility vest and identification cards.

Garden Route District Municipality wants to remind the public that Illegal dumping is a danger to your health and that of your children and animals – let’s put an end to illegal dumping and report perpetrators to our local municipalities.

Caption: A skip used for dumping waste at a spot in Nelson Mandela Boulevard.


12 November 2020 Media Release: Awareness about the dangers of illegal dumping continues

Media Release: Awareness about the dangers of illegal dumping continues

For Immediate Release
12 November 2020

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and George Municipality recently started weekly clean-up activities in the illegal dumping and Covid-19 hotspots in Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp areas in George. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has already been signed to cement both institution’s agreement to achieve a certain set of goals over a 4-month period with the option of extending clean-up it. The MoA, provides specifics in terms of how the project will continue and how funding of R2.47 million injected into the project by GRDM will be utilised.

One of the frequently found items at illegal dumping sites – face masks.

Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers and educators have been appointed to be the change-makers tasked to bring about a clean, green and a safe George. During their initial discussions, both municipalities identified the need for educators to interact and share valuable information with communities about illegal dumping, refuse removal and communication about waste management. Thirty six (36) educators are already doing door-to-door education and awareness as well as a survey to determine the causal factors of illegal dumping; and the community requirements; or possible solutions to prevent issues in future. Twenty four (24) educators have been assigned to Thembalethu and 12 to Pacaltsdorp. Each person, who moves in a group of six (6), is easily identifiable by a high visibility vest.

Educators received training on 10 November and the eager group commenced work on 11 November. The educators use masks and hand sanitisers in order to ensure that all health protocols are adhered to during their daily walkabouts, which is expected to continue for a 4-month period.

Executive Mayor for GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen and the Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services at GRDM, Cllr Khayalethu Lose, and other leaders decided that the regional waste management office needs a joint approach to confront the illegal dumping phenomena. “We can only solve illegal dumping if municipalities get the buy-in from the public and their support for the project,” said Alderman Booysen. He further stated that, “GRDM and all the local municipalities wishes to remind the public that illegal dumping is a crime – we cannot let this continue and ruin our beautiful Garden Route. What about our future, that of our kids and our environment?”

The waste management unit, communicators and environmental health practitioners from GRDM work closely with George Municipality and have weekly planning sessions to address challenges. Morton Hubbe, GRDM Manager: Waste Management, said: “By having educators on a grassroots level we hope to gain a better understanding about public perceptions relating to waste management, current service delivery gaps and general issues in some wards”.

GRDM wishes to remind the public that illegal dumping of waste is dangerous and a health hazard. Waste should be collected in refuse bags and placed for collection on waste removal days. The communities are also urged to participate in the survey in order for municipalities to determine what needs to be done to assist the communities to prevent illegal dumping.


Caption for feature image: Two of the 36 educators raising awareness about illegal dumping and conducting surveys in Pacaltsdorp.

8 October 2020 Media Statement: Municipal communicators make shocking discoveries at illegal dump site

Media Statement: Municipal communicators make shocking discoveries at illegal dump site

For Immediate Release
8 October 2020

Municipal communicators from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently visited an illegal dump site in Pacaltsdorp to photograph the progress made by contractors tasked to clean sites. With shock, communicators noted a countless number of items, including toxic, sharp and dangerous ones, as well as foul smelling water – leaving one communicator almost vomiting from the stench. “The scariest part is that there were kids playing in the same area, metres from the dangerous field of waste and water,” said one communicator.

The GRDM, in collaboration with George Municipality are hard at work trying to clear illegal dump sites in the George area, including Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp. GRDM has committed R2.47 million to the project. George Municipality earlier announced that they will contribute R500 000.00 to curb illegal dumping. JCB backhoe loaders are utilised to clear sites and 35 Expanded Public Works Participant (EPWP) waste pickers work alongside these trucks to collect smaller items. More activities are lined up to take place over the next few months, including a survey to find out why people illegally discard of waste; and door-to-door awareness about the impact of illegal dumping , etc.

The question many Garden Routers is asking is – do we all want the areas cleaned or have many of us decided that a clean and safe environment is not important? The GRDM stumbled upon concerns raised on Facebook by a government employee who said that an illegal dumpsite was cleaned by the municipalities (Garden Route District and George), but moments later someone dumped their waste there again. Others commented on her post by saying that municipalities should plant trees at the sites, however this suggestion was said not to work because some community members might remove the trees. Another person said that the municipalities cleaned an area on a Monday, but by Tuesday the area was dirty again.

GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) monitor the areas each day after a clean-up was conducted. EHPs are already aware that water at illegal dumping sites are toxic, but a decision was made to take water samples which will be analysed. Test results will indicate how dangerous these sites are  (backed by scientific evidence).

The public are urged to remind their friends, family and neighbours that the illegal dumping of waste is dangerous and that it poses a health hazard. Waste should be collected in refuse bags and placed for collection on waste removal days. Builders’ rubble and waste not suitable for bags must be dropped at the municipal refuse site on the R102 (airport road).

Communities can provide names, vehicle registration details or addresses of alleged illegal dumpers and make a statement in this regard by contacting Law Enforcement at 044 801 6350 or George Municipality states that a person doesn’t need a photograph of the perpetrator, but that it would strengthen the case for a warning or fine to be issued.

Members of the public are also welcome to report illegal dumpsites to 044 802 2900.

Illegal dumping remains an offence and carries a R1000 fine.



29 September 2020 Media Release: Resource management is key to Eastern Cape survival

Media Release: Resource management is key to Eastern Cape survival

For Immediate Release
29 September 2020

“The inevitable advent of Day Zero, combined with renewed load shedding, COVID-19 impacts and political and policy uncertainty, will no doubt impact upon regional socio-economic prospects. An urgent effort is required to collectively plan around resource management and water security, in particular, for the Gamtoos Valley and the Eastern Cape as a whole,” says Rienette Colesky, Chief Executive Officer of the Gamtoos Irrigation Board (GIB) in an interview with Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

The interview is part of an ongoing climate change debate and interview series, facilitated by the Forum to examine the correlation between some of the nett-effects experienced during COVID-19 and those enforced by climate change. In the interview,  Meiring asked Colesky about the relevance and sustainability of resource management in the Eastern Cape.

Farming activities in the Gamtoos Valley: Gamtoos farmers are adapting to the “new normal” exerted by a changing climate. (Photo: Cobus Meiring)

Says Meiring: “The geographical borders of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) extend close to where the regional footprint of the GIB and the Sarah Baartman District Municipality starts. There are many shared similarities that the respective regions have in common in terms of environmental management, including climate change, in particular, drought and changes in rainfall patterns.”

Meiring wanted to know from Colesky what the GIB’s main concerns about climate change and resource management are in going forward.

Says Colesky: “The Gamtoos River community and its socio-economic survival is almost exclusively agro-centric and dependent on what the natural environment gives us. Resource management – water resource management in particular – is vital, not only for the Gamtoos and Kouga region, but it is essential for the Eastern Cape economy and the communities it supports. Water (management) is also a forex generator – it is a critical component of the entire agricultural produce export value chain and forex markets and therefore contributes to the South African economy as a whole.”

Asks Meiring: “The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has now reached Day Zero. Given the extremely vulnerable status of the Kouga dam level, what are your sentiments on the immediate future of the regional water security situation, and the prospects for the farming community that is almost exclusively dependent on water from the Kouga dam, catchment and supply system?”

Says Colesky: “We are basically in uncharted waters with regards to water security and the impact thereof will have a harsh and tangible influence on both the short, medium and long-term prospects of agricultural productivity in the Gamtoos Valley.”

“Compounding the socio-economic situation, over the past few decades we have seen a significant influx of people from destitute Eastern Cape communities into the Gamtoos region in search of work. The influx generates ever-increasing demands on sparse resources, and, as COVID-19 highlighted, poses new economic and social challenges, impacting both directly and indirectly on our mandate and management resources.”

“Over and above our mandated environmental management issues, GIB has taken on a significant number of state-subsidised relief efforts aimed at poverty relief, mostly centralised around environmental rehabilitation work in wetland systems, invasive alien plant management and infrastructure maintenance and improvement.”

Continues Colesky: “We know that the interior and western parts of the GRDM also suffer from almost perpetual drought, and the Gamtoos farming community most certainly is feeling the same pressure, having to resort to adaptive measures to reduce water use, whilst maintaining as high as possible quality production levels.”

“Despite the restrictions imposed on us by nature in the form of a changing climate, especially in terms of severely reduced rainfall in our vital catchments, our farmers’ ability to adapt to the new normal in order to survive has been remarkable thus far.”

Concludes Colesky: “We are deeply concerned about the water security situation in the region as well as what is happening in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, as we are socially and economically closely interlinked and co-dependent on the same resources.”

“An urgent and  collective effort in terms of planning around resource management, and water security in particular, from regional, provincial and national levels are required, without which a prosperous future for the Eastern Cape, as a whole, will not be sustainable.”

Caption: Cover image – A noticeable influx of people from destitute Eastern Cape communities is contributing to socio-economic sustainability concerns in the Gamtoos Valley. (Photo: Cobus Meiring)


1. Rienette Colesky, CEO of the Gamtoos Irrigation Board (GIB)
Tel: 042 007 0382; Cell: 083 703 0428

2. Cobus Meiring: Chair of the Garden Route Environmental Forum Secretariat
Cell: 083 626 7619