Category: <span>Intergovernmental Relations</span>

16 January 2023 Media Release: A Catalyst for Positive Change in Senior Management – ILGM to play a central role

Media Release: A Catalyst for Positive Change in Senior Management – ILGM to play a central role 

For immediate release
16 January 2023

On Thursday, 12 January 2023, senior managers from the local municipalities in the Garden Route convened to discuss the resolutions taken at the Institute of Local Government Management (ILGM) Annual Conference in December last year.

Garden Route District Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, chaired the ILGM meeting hosted at the Council Chambers of Garden Route District Municipality.

In attendance were senior managers from the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), led (chaired) by the Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, as well as senior managers from the local municipalities in the Garden Route and several middle managers.

The IGLM is a voluntary institution that was initially established for senior managers that was over the years organised by the LG sector, although the body has not been active to its optimum for the last few years,” Stratu said. The ILGM is an Institute that is focused on the needs of the Senior Managers as they are excluded from the Bargaining Council that on a regular basis determine benefits of employees.

The purpose of the meeting was to introduce senior managers from the respective municipalities to all in attendance, as well as to discuss the way forward to revive the operations of the district structure in relation to the ILGM.  Stratu furthermore explained that the meeting emanates from a meeting that was held for municipal managers of the province that took place in Cape Town during December last year.  At the meeting it was agreed that Municipal Managers must go back to their respective organisations and encourage managers to join the ILGM to become members of the institute and to organise the district chapters of the institute, with the district Municipal Manager tasked to champion the process.

Additionally, Stratu said that at the National Conference of the ILGM in Bloemfontein last year, a key resolution was approved to establish a union for senior managers. He said that the process is now at an advanced stage.  The union will specifically focus on the interests and benefits of the managers, as they are not represented at any other structure. He encouraged all municipal managers and senior managers that were present to encourage managers at their respective municipalities to join the institute so that “we can start coordinating various activities in the district and province”.

Local municipalities are now tasked to make submissions of a representatives to serve on the Union to GRDM, before Monday, 16 January 2023 (today).

Did you know?

Members of the Institute are represented by Municipal Managers and Senior Managers that are employed within Local Government. Members are given a platform for the pursuit of mutual professional interests. The principal object of the Institute is therefore to promote the common interest of its members holding managerial positions in local government by enhancing their managerial skills. A national meeting is held once per annum, but regional meetings are held as often as local leaderships may deem it necessary.

The institute runs a variety of programmes aimed at achieving its strategic objectives. These programmes range from Workshops, Seminars and Conferences to International Manager Exchange Programs. Some of the programs are run in collaboration and co-operation with companies from the Private Sector as well as with the national Department of Provincial and Local Government.

ENDS

28 November 2022 Media Release: GRDM and stakeholders launch 16 Days of Activism Campaign against Gender-Based-Violence in Thembalethu

Media Release: GRDM and stakeholders launch 16 Days of Activism Campaign against gender-based-violence in Thembalethu

For immediate release
28 November 2022

Representatives from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and local municipalities in the district, as well as Sector departments and Civil Society on Wednesday, 23 November 2022, launched a joint campaign to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (GBV). Approximately 150 stakeholders and members of the community attended the event.

The objectives of the programme were to encourage the community to speak out on abuse and violence, as well as to promote a safer and more caring society. With various challenges experienced in society, awareness of the negative effects of abuse on women, children, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups will be created through the programme’s initiatives. The programme ultimately encourages a society that is free of violence and abuse.

The program’s stakeholders continuously create strategic intervention mechanisms to achieve this ideal of a violence-free society. Some of those interventions include:

  • initiatives that are in line with the programme such as sport events with specific focus on women and children as victims of GBV;
  • women gala events in collaboration with other stakeholders;
  • radio youth dialogues to discuss the topic of GBV;
  • health screening drives;
  • murals that will be painted on sport fields depicting essential telephone numbers to report GBV;
  • night vigils, marches for violence against GBV;
  • information sessions at churches;
  • health screening for women and men and educational talks with men in an effort to change their behaviour;
  • radio broadcasts about the topic of GBV and community safety programmes for men, to name a few.

At the event, stakeholders were furthermore required to mainstream the campaign within other programmes targeting, especially, vulnerable groups. Through these programmes support will be provided to victims of abuse and violence; substance abuse with more focus on youth, will be denounced; and women, men, youth and older people in the discourse will be actively engaged in combating violence at work, at home and in communities. Most importantly, perpetrators of abuse and violence will be challenged to change their behaviours.

In his address, Nkosiyabo Lose, Project Coordinator at GRDM said: “With the national 16 Days of Activism Campaign that will commence on 25th of November, as Garden Route District Municipality, we will endorse all programmes that the local municipalities will roll out in support of the campaign”. Lose further added and said: “It is very sad to see what is happening to our sisters, mothers, and daughters. And, as a district municipality, we want to make sure that one day we will win this battle. We fought against the injustices in the country and therefore we will win this battle of GBV against women and children. Let us soldier on, let us commit and let us make sure that we fight and succeed in the battle against GBV”.

Municipal representatives from Mossel Bay (top, left) George (top, right) and Bitou (bottom, left) provided information on their initiatives in line with the campaign and Councillor of George Municipality and former Portfolio Chairperson of Community Services at GRDM, Cllr Khayalethu Lose (bottom, right), delivered the vote of thanks.

Social Worker at the Department of Correctional, Ms Witness Sefala, during her address, explained their Departments’ Victim Offender-Dialogue program. She explained that the purpose of the programme is to provide a platform for dialogue, for victims to voice their trauma and to restore their dignity. The program is voluntary and “we encourage offenders to take responsibility for their offences as well as admit they have committed the crime”. Added to this she said: “As Correctional Services, we have all the resources and capacity, but with corrections being a societal responsibility, we still need the community to work with us”.

Vuyokazi Gcelushe, Social Worker at Ithemba Lobomi, stated: “All of us need to run this race. It is not an individual fight; it is a fight for us all”. Furthermore, she added, “Let us move away from normalising domestic violence, whether it is violence against a child or violence against a parent. Let’s not keep it to ourselves, let’s be a society that is curious, and stop saying, “It’s not my problem, it’s my neighbor’s”. We are therefore committing ourselves to supporting this programme,” she said.

Stakeholder representatives addressing the audience in support of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign launch.

A Professional Nurse at the Department of Health, Sr Pauline Ewerts, during her message of support, urged all present by saying that “when people talk to you about their issues, listen to them and support them”. Due to her past experiences with GBV, she said, “I also know what it is like to be in that vulnerable position, but because I told my story to somebody, I was helped, I could continue my studies, and today I have a heart for people”. She encouraged stakeholders present to encourage their audiences to speak out and accept help.

Stakeholder representatives and attendance during the candle light ceremony in support of the fight against GBV.

Apostle Jackson Moyikwa from the Word of Faith Church, who handled the candle ceremony and facilitated the signing of the pledge, raised a few issues relating to GBV. He said: “There are many women that are in abusive relationships, and they come to church and look pretty, but they are being abused. However, ‘due to religion, they do not open up,’ he said. “It is time that you open up and talk about the issue”. In addition, Jackson mentioned the issue of the young girls that he often saw in front of taverns in the evening. He asked: “Why are these young girls outside at night, and more so in front of taverns?”

All stakeholders at the event, such as the South African Police Service, the National Prosecuting Agency (Thuthuzela Care Centre situated at the George Hospital), the Department of Education and the Non-Governmental Organisations, as well as the municipalities present also signed the pledge of their support towards the campaign and in the fight against GBV.

Stakeholders signing the pledge against GBV during the event.

The event was closed with Councillor of George Municipality and former Portfolio Chairperson of Community Services at GRDM, Cllr Khayalethu Lose, as he shared words of appreciation to all stakeholders who participated in the program and to all attendees for their time as they listened to these critical issues that relate to this human rights violation, GBV in society.

The programme was coordinated by GRDM’s Nkosiyabo Lose (left) and the event was directed by Doc Skosana, a representative from the Department of Correctional Services (right).

ENDS

 

11 November 2022 Public Notice: IDP/BUDGET AND PMS REPRESENTATIVE FORUM MEETING

NOTICE NO 125/2022

IDP/BUDGET AND PMS REPRESENTATIVE FORUM MEETING

In terms of section 16 (1) (a) (i) and 17 (1) (a) – (e) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No 32 of 2000, a notice is hereby given that Garden Route District Municipality will hold its IDP/Budget and Performance Representative Forum meeting in order to encourage and create conditions for the local community to participate in the affairs of the municipality.

The meeting is scheduled as follows:
Date:   24 November 2022
Time:  9:00

The session will be broadcasted live on Eden FM and the Garden Route District’s Facebook page.

The Garden Route Communities, Councilors, Ward Committees, Community Development Workers, Faith Based Organisations, Community Based Organisations, Intergovernmental Forums, Farmers associations, Business Communities and Rate Payers Associations who wish to take part in the IDP/Budget and PMS Representative Forum meeting are welcome to attend.

RSVP’s to be forwarded to Nontokozo@gardenroute.gov.za.

For further enquiries, please contact:  Ms M James (IDP Unit), Tel no: 044 803 1431.

Click on the link to download the full advert Notice: IDP & Budget & PMS Rep Forum

MG STRATU

MUNICIPAL MANAGER

GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY

21 September 2022 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality celebrates Public Service Month through Service Delivery presentations

Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality celebrates Public Service Month through Service Delivery presentations

For Immediate Release
21 September 2022

In line with the country’s Public Service Month campaign, the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Corporate Services Department in collaboration with internal departments, are rolling out various activities to promote service delivery standards to the municipality’s external and internal audiences.

Recently, the municipality launched its e-recruitment systems and last week, on 16 September 2022, the GRDM Disaster Management and Fire Services representatives presented their operations to staff through a virtual platform hosted from the municipality’s Council Chambers.

Disaster Management Services

Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager for Disaster Management, during his presentation explained that Disaster Management is a continuous and integrated multiple-sectorial, multi-disciplinary process of planning and implementation of measures aimed at:

  • preventing or reducing the risk of disasters;
  • mitigating the severity of consequences of disasters;
  • emergency preparedness;
  • rapid and effective response to disasters and they are also responsible for post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation of such disasters.

Disaster Management (DM) is a legislative mandate, Act 57 of 2002 as amended by Act 16 of 2015. In line with legislation, the function thus has to provide for an integrated and co-ordinated disaster management policy that focuses on:

  • preventing or reducing the risk of disasters
  • mitigating the severity of disasters
  • emergency preparedness; and
  • post disaster recovery and rehabilitation.

The Act furthermore provides for the establishment and functioning of national, provincial and municipal disaster management centres.

DM: Emergency Call Centre

Explaining the Garden Route’s Risk profile, Otto listed the following risks which the Garden Route district is prone to, namely veldt fires, various types of drought, flood disasters, landslides; epidemics, spills, to name a few. To ensure that all these disasters are properly coordinated, proper lines of communication have to be in place.

The Garden Route Emergency Call Centre with a staff component of seven, is the first line of communication for incidents that need to be reported to the District Disaster Management Centre.  Otto also boasted the capacity and competence of the centre as a fully operational Disaster Management Centre receiving ± 20 000 EMS calls and approximately 5 000 fire and municipal calls per month.

DM: Assistance provided to local municipalities

Otto furthermore explained how the Disaster Management team also assisted local municipality’s Disaster Management Units with the development of their ward based risk assessments as well as local disaster management plans and in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, the team assisted local municipalities to declare disasters in their respective areas.

In 2017 they played a significant role in the coordination of all activities required due to the Knysna fires, as well as the fires that broke out in George in the following year.  Lastly, the team spear headed the District Covid-19 Command platform established after the national declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2022. The team coordinated the Covid-19 operations from the Municipal Joint Operation Centre that is located in the Garden Route municipal building in York Street George.

“Part of mitigating the effects of the disasters, Otto explained that Early Warning Systems have been put in place in order to communicate any severe weather early warnings to the public.  These include the municipality’s social media networks and e-mails to all Local Municipalities and response agencies/ role-players as well as ward councillors.

DM: Projects rolled out since 2017

Otto further explained that the Unit rolled out various projects since 2017, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the format of some of the projects changed to virtual engagements. These projects include the GRDM Volunteers Corps establishment, Rural Settlement Database, the Greenbook implementation, as well as CityRap implementation. He further explained that quite a number of accomplishments were made. “We have completed the mapping of priority wetlands and river ecosystems, we have established a District Food Pantry and reviewed and updated the Garden Route Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for 2022.  Adding to this Otto said that the team is currently busy with the revision and the updating of the Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme 2021. “We started with the clearing of invasive Alien Vegetation and we have reviewed and updated the Garden Route Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2022, to name a few. Much more are planned to be rolled out and implemented for the current Council term”, he said.

However, Otto admitted that there a still several challenges that still needs to be addressed, such as climate change, strategic water management planning, structured and integrated invasive plant and predator animal eradication, delivery equitable service to all populations groups, address poverty through job creation, etc.

In closing off his presentation Otto said that GRDM Disaster Management plans to: “Build the capacity at local authority level to pro-actively plan and implement mitigation as well as adaptation strategies and disaster risk reduction actions. This will limit the exposure to and the possible impact of future disastrous events”. Further to this he highlighted that the Centre envisages to build on the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) momentum, created with the Flanders funded project to attract further DRR funding from other possible sources i.e. Nedbank, SANTAM, etc.

GRDM Fire Services

Before introducing Deon Stoffels to all present, Trix Holtzhausen, GRDM Executive Manager for Corporate Services, congratulated him as the newly and permanently appointed Chief Fire Officer of the GRDM.

When starting his presentation, Stoffels clarified the role of the GRDM Fire Services and said that the District Municipality is responsible for veld, mountain chemical fires, which include hazardous materials spills and leakages. He further explained that there are certain components of the Disaster Management Strategy that is integrated and therefore in many instances implementable by the Fire Services Unit.

Stoffels said: “The GRDM Fire Services is a designated Fire Brigade Service that is established in terms of the Fire Brigade Services Act (99 and 1987 as amended).  The Service primarily focus on preventing the outbreak or spread of fires; fighting and extinguishing fires; the protection of life or property against a fire or other threatening danger; rescuing of life or property from a fire or other danger and any other function connected with these,” he said.

Their vision and mission, ultimately is to provide an efficient, cost effective, unprejudiced and equitable Fire Services to all citizens and visitors within the Garden Route District” he highlighted.

Together with this, Stoffels also emphasised the importance of creating awareness and educating the communities about the dangers of fire. He said: “GRDM Fire Service creates awareness of the dangers associated with fire in all communities and we furthermore educate Garden Routers, visitors and personnel alike to reduce the threats of fire”.

“We pride ourselves for informing, educating and creating awareness to rural, remote and particularly young children, as they naturally take the message home.’’ Adding to these, Stoffels said: “Developing and training personnel, ensuring that our assets and resources are managed and maintained, and our response time to attend to incidents are kept at the shortest possible time”.  The team furthermore record and document all emergencies and incidents that they attend to in an attempt to do further research and learn from it.

GRDM Fire Services has a staff component of forty-one (41) staff members/officers which are stationed at the main Fire base in George, as well as the Hessequa station based in Riversdale and the Kannaland station based in Ladismith.

Apart from fighting the usual fires, another new phenomenon was added to the team’s list of firefighting in 2020, when they had to fight a peat/underground fire for the first time in the Bergfontein, Albertinia area, for six weeks. He explained: “This is a phenomenon that is happening all over the world, but not often in South-Africa. When wetlands are compromised, it develops into a peatland,” he said. And, although it was a new experience for their team, Stoffels said that they all learnt immensely about the aspects relating to this type of fire as well as to how crucial a wetland and / or peatland are within the ecosystem. “In the past we would deem a fire to be halted at this particular point, but we now know that at all cost to prevent fires from burning here,” he said.

By continuing to deliver this service to the best of their ability, it cannot not be done in isolation. He said: “We are grateful to have good working relations with all our local municipalities, the South Cape Fire Protection Association, the Department of Forestry’s Fisheries & the Environment, the South African National Parks, Cape Nature, MTO Forestry, PG Bison Forestry, the Provincial Department: Directorate Fire Services and Working of Fire and we look forward to future collaborative fire services efforts to protect the people, properties and assets of the Garden Route district”.

The event was coordinated by the Corporate Services Executive Manager, Trix Holtzhausen in collaboration with the Community Services Department, under leadership of the Executive Manager, Clive Africa, who also attended the event. The next Public Service Month activity is planned to take place on Friday, 23 September 2022.

Did you know?

  • September marks Public Service Month in South Africa. Public Service Month (PSM) is an integrated strategic national event in the calendar of the Department of Public Service and Administration. The Public Service Month serves as a reminder of what it means to serve communities and to also look at the impact the government has, especially around issues of service delivery.
  • That GRDM Disaster Management Services continuously conduct First Aid training to members of the public as part of their annual awareness programme and is aimed at capacitating employed and unemployed Garden Routers to be able to save lives in any kind of emergency. The municipality has been providing First Aid Level 3 training since 2008 and to this point has trained more than 1700 community members. Each session takes place over a period of a week once per month and is facilitated by the GRDM Disaster Management officials at the municipality’s Head Office in George.
  • That the GRDM Fire Services, on a regular basis educate the communities about fire safety. These continuous initiatives form part of the GRDM Fire Services’ Fire Prevention and Fire Safety functions. Whilst the focus is placed on rural communities, businesses and schools within the residential areas are also assisted upon request.

1 September 2022 Media Release: GRDM celebrates Public Service, Heritage and Tourism months – All in one

Media Release: GRDM celebrates Public Service, Heritage and Tourism months – All in one

Heritage Month

In celebration of Heritage Month, the Garden Route District Municipality (GDRDM) Councillors and employees will tomorrow celebrate its significance on the South African (SA) calendar by dressing up in South African colours including any South African attire, SA Sports gear, even local sports gear, national flag colours, to name a few.

The institution will be posting few images of how the staff embraced the celebration leading up to the Heritage Day that will be celebrated on 24 September 2022.

Public Service Month

Did you know? September marks Public Service Month in South Africa. Public Service Month (PSM) is an integrated strategic national event in the calendar of the Department of Public Service and Administration.

September marks Public Service Month (PSM) in our country. The integrated government wide programme will encompass:

  • Public Service Month
  • Heritage Day
  • Tourism Month
  • Police – Commemoration Day

The Public Service Month serves as a reminder of what it means to serve communities and to also look at the impact the government has, especially around issues of service delivery. As part of the Public Service Month, public servants are expected to:

  • Roll up their sleeves and spring-clean their service delivery points;

  • Visit schools, hospitals, police stations and courts, talk to citizens, mediate the delivery of services and getting things done;

  • Unblock the bottlenecks and red-tape in the delivery of services;

  • Ensure the systems and infrastructure are working and use public resources efficiently to the benefit of the citizens; and

  • Recommit themselves to belong, to care and to serve the people.

Enjoy and let’s recommit to serving our communities.

Tourism Month

Tourism Month is celebrated annually in September, and provides a heightened month-long focus on the importance of the sector to the South African economy. It features themed activities that are aligned to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day celebrations.

This global observance day by The United Nations World Tourism Organisation aims to foster awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution that the sector can make towards reaching the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan encourages South Africans to travel domestically to sustain jobs and boost tourism.

The Department Tourism developed the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan with the tourism sector and it contains a set of interventions to protect and rejuvenate supply, reignite demand and strengthen enabling capability to support the sector’s recovery.

And, did you know that the Garden Route & Klein Karoo is one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring stretches of land in South Africa, if not the world?

For more information about these sceneries, events and activities that our area has to offer, go to:
http://www.visitgardenrouteandkleinkaroo.com/

Visit/like our Facebook page and view all activities of this month.

Source: South African Government

ENDS

24 August 2022 Notice: Public Participation for the Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme – Date for comments extendeds

NOTICE OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FOR THE GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

The Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme was reviewed and updated, in terms of Section 48 of the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Act (Act No 24 of 2008). As per the provisions of the ICM Act, any amendments that are made to the existing Coastal Management Programme must be subject to the public participation requirements in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Municipal Systems Act, prior to being Gazetted.

Notice is hereby given that the Draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme will be available for review and comment from 20 June 2022 to 23 September 2022. The draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme will be available for viewing at the following Places:

1) Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George;
2) Mossel Bay Public Library, 99 Marsh Street, Mossel Bay;
3) Hessequa Public Library (Gouritsmond Library), 9 Kerk Street, Gouritz;
4) Albertinia Public Library, 2 Horne Street, Albertinia;
5) Still Bay Public Library, Main Road, Still Bay West;
6) Riversdale Public Library, Van Den Berg Street, Riversdale;
7) Hessequa Municipal Office, Mitchell Street, Riversdale;
8) Plettenberg Bay Public Library; Saringa Way, New Horizons, Plettenberg Bay;
9) Knysna Public Library, Memorial Square, 2 Main Street, Knysna;
10) George Public Library, Corner Caledon and Courtenay Streets, Camphersdrift, George, and;
11) Garden Route District Municipality website: www.gardenroute.gov.za/documents/

The District Municipality hereby invites comments from interested and affected parties on the draft reviewed Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme. Any comments and inputs submitted will be considered during the finalisation of the draft document for final approval and Gazetting.

Written submissions may be directed to the Municipal Manager using the following address:
Garden Route District Municipality, Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, 54 York Street, George or Private Bag 12, George, 6530 or via email to info@gardenroute.gov.za on or before 23 September 2022.
Any person who is unable to write can submit their input verbally to the Council’s offices where they will be assisted by a staff member to put their comments in writing. Enquiries can be directed to Dr Nina Viljoen at 044 803 1318 or e-mail nina@gardenroute.gov.za.

M Stratu
MUNICIPAL MANAGER
GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY

Click here to download the Draft Garden Route District Coastal Management Programme.
Click here to download the official Notice.

5 August 2022 Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor welcomes newly appointed District Commissioner of SAPS to the Garden Route district

Media Release: GRDM Executive Mayor welcomes newly appointed District Commissioner of SAPS to the Garden Route district

For immediate release
5 August 2022

On Wednesday, 03 August 2022, the Garden Route District Commissioner, Major-General Norman Modishana and his management had a meet-and-greet session with the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Ald. Memory Booysen, his Mayoral Committee, Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, as well the Senior Management of GRDM. The Provincial Commander of the Hawks, Major-General Mathipa Makgato and his delegation including Brigadier Mushavhaduvha Ramovha accompanied the District Commissioner and both unpacked their mandate and plans to fight/prevent and investigate crime.

From left are: Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager: Disaster Management, Ald Gert van Niekerk, GRDM Executive Deputy Mayor, Major-General Mathipa Makgato, Provincial Commander of the Hawks, GRDM Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen and SAPS Garden Route District Commissioner, Major-General Norman Modishana, during the walk-through at the GRDM Disaster Management Centre. – Photo: SAPS

While addressing the delegation, Municipal Manager of GRDM, Monde Stratu extended a warm welcome to Major-General Modishana to the area and said that the GRDM will support SAPS to prevent and combat crime in the area. He said: “Whenever it is necessary, we will also avail the resources of GRDM to SAPS, including the Disaster Management Centre which is one of the best Disaster Management Centres in the Western Cape Province to assists SAPS in fighting crimes”. He also mentioned a few concerns daily experienced in communities. One being the issue of the operating of liquor outlets in the area and he specifically mentioned about the by-laws in relation to the operation and access times of liquor outlets, including access to liquor by the youth. Adding to these Stratu emphasised that these are some of the major issues that is continuously raised by communities.

In return, Major-General Modishana, who was appointed on 1 June 2022, gave a brief resume of his career and expressed his desire to maintain and improve partnership policing with the GRDM. “Policing is multi-disciplinary approach which everyone has to bring their part to ensure that everything is taking place in the interest of the organisation,” he said. He further admitted that the district has challenges and said: “I hope that as we will be dealing with those challenges, that we will manage them. Adding to this he said: “We must not lose sight and continue to go forward, because when the community looks at us as government structures, we want them to have confidence in us, so that they feel free and safe at the same time”. The issue of the country-wide pandemic, gender-based violence (GBV), was also discussed and the various forms of crimes that relate to it, such as rapes, assaults, murders to name a few. “As a district, we are taking GBV seriously and it will be dealt with to a level where it can be managed and minimised. I look forward to working with all our stakeholders of SAPS,” he highlighted.

Major-General Makgato explained the roles and responsibilities aligned with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks, as enshrined in legislation. He mentioned that their role is two-fold; not only to investigate but also to educate. He urged the Municipal Manager and his senior management team to assist and cooperate with the DPCI, whether with investigation or awareness campaigns that will be rolled out in the near future. “There are certain expectations from the community and from government at large and our mandate is to investigate the national priority offences which deal with serious investigations, including corruption, commercial and organised crime investigations.” He further said that “we have all those competencies that have been established, although we are still doing our best to capacitate them.

Makgato also said that one of the responsibilities of DPCI, is not only to arrest, but also to educate. “By educating through awareness campaigns, we should be able to sensitise our people, because some will do it knowingly and some will say ‘we did not know’”. With regards to the support needed from stakeholders such as GRDM to roll out programmes, Makgato said: “We want the buy-in from the District Municipality, so when we begin with awareness campaigns, we would need your assistance”.  To Mayor Booysen he said: “I am grateful for the opportunity that you have provided to us and that you commit yourself to serve the people of the District without any favour, I am appealing to my office that is here, reach out and cooperate”.

Mayor Booysen thanked Major-General Modishana and Major-General Makgato and the SAPS delegation for their visit to the GRDM offices. He also extended a warm welcome to the District Commissioner after being appointed to serve the Garden Route. Mayor Booysen emphasised that communities, many times, do not understand the difference between SAPS and the Judiciary and the link between the two departments, but we appreciate the idea of the awareness campaigns planned for the area and as GRDM we would greatly assist. We are looking forward to strengthen the relationships with our stakeholders going forward,” he concluded.

Executive Deputy Mayor, Ald Gert van Niekerk thanked the delegation for their visit to the GRDM offices. He said: “Fighting crime was a function of SAPS for ages, but as a district municipality, we will assist. We need each other to serve our community, but preventing and the combatting of crime is none other than good service delivery; so let us maintain this course, let us keep our door open and let us do it”.

Representatives from Garden Route District Municipality, the Hawks and SAPS during the meet-and-greet session.

After the formal discussions, Gerhard Otto, Manager for Disaster Management at GRDM led a walk-through of the municipality’s Disaster Management Centre which was built approximately 15 years ago. Various emergency services link up with SAPS from the Disaster Management Centre, especially when there are disasters in the region and the Joint Operations Centre is activated.

ENDS

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

19 July 2022 Media Release: A healthy life for all

19 July 2022

 Media Release: A healthy life for all

It was with great excitement that the Sonskynhoekie Senior Club members from Blanco received their Western Cape on Wellness (WoW!) starter kit. The kit contains portable equipment for members to do basic health screening (e.g. scale, blood pressure monitor and tape measure) and to encourage indoor and outdoor physical activities (e.g. exercise matts, skipping ropes and weights). The group also received a WoW! branded banner for use at group events to increase visibility and create awareness.

All 40 members have been part of the WoW! initiative since March this year.

‘My first visit was in March to introduce the concept and from there we have had great interactive sessions with the club members,’ said WoW! champion Claudel Draai.

The club has been in existence for 21 years and meets 3 times a week. Claudel and other health staff visit the club once or twice a month and concentrate on physical activities, information sessions and health screenings. ‘During our first session we did baseline screenings (weight, heights, blood pressure, blood pressure etc.) and issued each member with a Wellness passport. This enables members to measure Personal Health Indicators (‘know their numbers’), set personal healthy lifestyle goals, identify actual or potential barriers to change, and record and track personal progress. It also emphasises the responsibility of group members in promoting, protecting and managing their health,’ said Claudel.

‘The presentations are great, and we do appreciate the new ideas to help us manage our chronic conditions. WoW! also encourages us to live a healthier lifestyle with balanced meals, being active within our individual capacity and keeping our brains active,’ said club member Pam van Wyk.

The group also enjoyed talks on nutrition by a dietician and an informative session on World Elderly Abuse Day.

WoW! is a healthy lifestyle-promoting partnership platform coordinated by the Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Health and Wellness and working together with a range of valued partners from government, community organisations and groups, private companies and academic institutions. Interested people and organisations are encouraged to join WoW!. The aim is together to co-create a culture of wellness in the Western Cape. Promoting healthy lifestyles is a major priority for WCG to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – diseases of lifestyle.

Feature Photo:  Sonskynhoekie seniors club received their WoW! kit.

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

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