Media Release: By Minister Anroux Marais: Work experience opportunities for Youth
For immediate release 11 January 2024
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, through its Youth and After School Programme Office, is calling for unemployed youth, aged 18-25, to apply to be part of the YearBeyond youth service programme for 2024.
Applications for the education programmes are now open for youth living in the Western and Eastern Cape who meet the criteria. All the education programmes require a matric certificate, and some require minimum marks for Language or Maths.
The YearBeyond programme offers young people the opportunity to get a year of hands-on working experience and build their work readiness competencies, while also giving back to their communities. Commonly known as YeBoneers, successful applicates will be placed either at a school or community hub where they will assist learners and parents.
The Eastern Cape programme is run with funding from the National Government and facilitated by the Western Cape YearBeyond team. The opportunity to provide youth in the Eastern Cape with this experience is an important part of skills development beyond the Western Cape.
The success of the programme is evident as seen from the feedback received from previous years. A total of 96% of participants believe the experience helped them to get to know themselves better and 95% feel the programmed prepared them better for the world of work and study. Encouragingly, between 75% and 78% of Yeboneers have progressed to becoming economically active in the world of employment or study, or a combination of the two, upon finishing the programme.
Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, said: “I encourage our young people to apply for this opportunity. It is a great programme for our youth which equips them with skills for entering the world of work or study. We want to give our youth a hand up to become successful and active members of society who contribute not only to the economy, but also serve their communities.”
Applications and further information on the education streams are now open via the website: https://www.yearbeyond.org/apply. Applications close on 18 February 2024.
Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality comes to the rescue of Kannaland communities
For immediate release 20 December 2023
Earlier this month, the Garden Route Disaster Centre was informed that some of the people supplied with water from the Klein Karoo Rural Water Scheme (KKRWSS) have been without domestic water supply for more than a week. In addition, complaints of bad water quality provided by the Water Services Authority in Calitzdorp, were also received.
The first delivery of 17 water tanks to Calitzdorp, the remaining 11 tanks should be delivered before Xmas.
In order to assess the situation, as well as to identify the root cause of these complaints, an emergency meeting with officials of the Kannaland Municipality and some of the water users were convened. The meeting took place at the Calitzdorp Library Hall on Wednesday the 6th of December 2023.
At this meeting, challenges in terms of the main water supply from the Nels Dam to the Calitzdorp Water Purification Works, the variable water quality received at the Water Purification Works, as well as the quantity of water available for supply to the KKRWSS, were discussed.
A few short and medium term solutions were discussed for consideration by the Kannaland Municipality as the responsible authority, to ensure the provision of water to both Calitzdorp, as well as the rural Kannaland communities that receive water from the KKRWSS.
Gerhard Otto, Manager for Disaster Management at GRDM said: “As an interim stopgap measure, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) donated 28 x 5500 liter water tanks to the Kannaland Municipality to be erected in the areas mostly affected by interruptions in water supply, to ensure a sustainable source of good quality water supply for domestic use in the affected areas”.
INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (IDP)/BUDGET AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (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 (GRDM) will hold its IDP/Budget and PMS 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: 23 November 2023 Time: 9:30
The session will be broadcast live on Eden FM and the Garden Route District Municipality’s Facebook page.
The Garden Route Communities, Councillors, 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.
For further enquiries, please contact Ms Mercy James (IDP Unit) at tel no: 044 803 1431.
Media Release: Hundreds of Garden Routers welcome 2023 Rugby World Champion Manie Libbok in George
For immediate release 10 November 2023
Manie Libbok, 2023 Rugby World Cup winner, received a hero’s welcome by Garden Routers when he arrived at the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Head-Office in George on Wednesday, 8 November 2023.
The first citizen of the Garden Route, Ald. Memory Booysen, could not wait to welcome Libbok to the district. Libbok is also a former Kwagga – a learner from Outeniqua High School in George. He was also a member of South Western District (SWD) Eagles Rugby Team before he was selected as a member of the Stormers. Subsequently, the Bok-squad became the next journey of his professional career.
Young and old long awaited to meet the star who is a role-model to especially children, who love rugby. Before Mayor Booysen handed over a Certificate of Honour to the rugby legend, he unexpectedly received a signed jersey from the man of the moment himself. Mayor Booysen also, originally from the Eastern Cape like Libbok, cheered the hero more than he could deliver a normal speech. Libbok was born in Humansdorp and Mayor Booysen in Hankey.
It was an ecstatic moment when Mayor Booysen called his biggest fans to the front; a relative of Libbok, Anita Jansen, and Springbok supporter Lee-Ann Eksteen, who wore a shirt with Libbok’s name on the back. Both are employees of GRDM. Tait said: “It is an honour for me to meet Manie and it is also the first time to see a Springbok in person”. Before both rejoined the crowd, Libbok embraced his Aunt Nita and Eksteen and started to brace himself for the huge task ahead – hundreds of shirts waited to be signed. Kids also brought their rugby balls to be signed and now hundreds of Springbok shirts of residents of the Garden Route reflect the signature of Libbok!
Mayor Booysen further said: “We are not just proudly Garden Routers, but we are proudly South Africans, we are not just proudly South Africans, we are proud Springbok supporters”. To Manie Mayor Booysen said: “Manie you are a hero. Not just for one reason, but for two reasons, three reasons; we are the fourth time World Champions!” Mayor Booysen further stated: “On behalf of the Garden Route, the Mayors in the district and more than 700 000 people, you have put us on the map – you have put us on top of the world! Because of Manie, the Springboks and their technical team, we are one of the best-known countries in the world…”.
When taking the crowd through memory lane of highlights regarding Libbok’s performance during the World Cup, especially the test match against Scotland, GRDM Deputy Executive Mayor, Ald. Gert van Niekerk reiterated what his drop-kick to Kurt-Lee Arendse meant for the team and the country. He said: “Manie, you almost gave me a heart-attack. Out of nowhere, this kick-pass came to a flying Kurtley Arendse….Manie you made my day that day – it still gives me goosebumps every time I think about that moment”, Ald. Van Niekerk said. The “no-look” drop-kick resulted in a try for the Boks.
The GRDM hereby would like to extend words of sincere appreciation to all who attended this short-notice memorable welcome of Libbok to the district, the South African Police Service, Provincial Traffic Services, George Municipality’s Traffic Services, Mike Roczynski for transporting Libbok, as well as Eden FM Radio station and various media outlets who distributed supportive messages to members of the public.
While Libbok met his fans and signed t-shirts, Mayor Booysen in his media interview said: “It is indeed a pleasure for us and for me as District Mayor to host Manie Libbok as a son of the soil. This is an opportunity for the youngsters to look up to and meet the heroic person”.
In closing Mayor Booysen said: “Libbok is not just a hero, but a World Champion – today is an an indication that these kids will follow suit!”
Media Release: GRDM Roads team praised for excellent work on major projects
For immediate release 07 November 2023
Over the last few months, the Garden Route district experienced severe weather conditions which left a few roads in a poor state for use by road users. Some roads were closed due to the severity of the damage and other roads were repaired and are in use again. These roads are managed and maintained by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Roads Services Department, as agent of the Western Cape Department of Infrastructure.
In support of Transport Month that was celebrated across the country in October last month and due to the progress of the repair work by GRDM Roads Services, councillors, management and staff, last week, 30 October 2023, visited two sites to view the progress made. One of the roads is the Saasveld road, where an armco failure on the Madiba Road occurred that collapsed the road to 8 metres deep. The road is now completed and fully repaired. The team further visited the Gwaiing road (DR1618), situated near the George airport to witness the road works of the upgrade project.
Visit to Saasveld Road
During the visit to the Saasveld Road, GRDM Manager for Maintenance, Construction and Mechanical Services, Japie Strydom, explained that the steel pipe that was constructed during the 1950s failed because steel on its own was not successful. GRDM in 2021 then constructed a new pipe with a combination of concrete and steel. Strydom further explained that the road serves as detour for the national road and is frequently used by students, tourists and cyclists. During construction, the detour was via the N2 and Wilderness to Saasveld, leading to NMU. This is a 20km longer road to travel compared to the Madiba Drive route. The GRDM is now keeping the road safe for the students at Nelson Mandela University. For this reason, “students would not need to use the Wilderness Road anymore, when they need to get into town,” Strydom said. Brand new guardrails were also installed. This project cost was R5.6 million.
Strydom further explained that future projects similar to this project, which is 0.6, 1.2, 2.9 and 3 km in distance from this project, as well as a site in Wilderness, are still in design phase and said: “It is envisaged that those projects will commence in August/September next year”. He concluded by echoing the words of the Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu who said: “As a collective, we are stronger”. In addition he said: “We don’t do this just for us and to make it safer, but we are doing this for the future”.
GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Roads, Ald. Petru Terblanche, praised the Roads team and said: “Every one of you are winners, leaders, the first on the road as well as the last one on the road”. With these words he commended the team for their dedication in realising the objectives of their road construction projects. Terblanche furthermore summed up a few challenges experienced by GRDM, such as a lack of gravel. Consequently, after discussions with the MEC of Infrastructure in the Western Cape, he said that the total of borrow pits increased from three to 13 borrow pits. Terblanche also complimented the team for managing and handling the yellow fleet well. When he referred to the neatness and the overall condition of the vehicles, he highlighted: “I feel proud of the team when I see our machines and vehicles on the road and because of your excellence I’m am very proud to be part of GRDM’s Roads Services Department”.
Visit to Gwaiing Road Project
On arrival at the Gwaiing Road, Strydom and the GRDM Senior Roads Engineering Technician, Chesney Roelf, explained the type of upgrade work that has been done so far. Strydom said: “Proper drainage has been put in, as well as proper layer works and a permanent bitumen road surface. These will change the traffic flow on the road”, he explained. In total 4km of the road will be upgraded with the cost of R16.5 million per kilometer.
The project also created learning and skills development opportunities for final cutters. In explaining his statement, he said: “Across the world there are only a few final cutters that can work with a grader that is capable of cutting a road surface to a final level, to proceed with construction”. Additionally, Strydom also mentioned that 44 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers were appointed to assist on the project of which 24 already underwent accredited NQF training funded by the Trisano program. One (1) EPWP has now been permanently appointed by the GRDM Roads Department. This is evident that apart from creating a new road, Strydom said “we are also creating opportunities for people to develop themselves”.
Monde Stratu, during the visit, praised the team for their excellent work ethic and dedication. Stratu used the South African rugby team who was crowned at the 2023 World Cup champions as an example when he said that results can only be achieved by team members that work together as one.
In closing, Cllr Jobieth Hoogbaard, GRDM’s Portfolio Chairperson for Property Management and Development, shared his words of appreciation to the Roads Department and their Executive Manager John Daniels, Ald. Terblanche and the Municipal Manager for continuously delivering outstanding work and for allowing them as councillors to witness roads projects that bring significant improvement to the lives of those affected by the road damages.
The project with an overall project cost of R69 million has a duration of 18 months and the road is envisaged to be opened by mid-year to the end of next year.
Feature Photo: GRDM Councillors, Management and staff during the site visits to Saaveld and Gwaiing roads.
Public Notice: Stop-Go Controls: On Brenton-on-Sea and Barrington Roads
1 November 2023
Stop-go controls will be implemented along sections of the Brenton-on-sea Road and Barrington Road between: November 2023 and 14 December 2023
We urge the public to be patient during this time
Lane closures are required for the purposes of undertaking repair work to the roads. Two-way traffic will be maintained by means of a stop-go system which should cause a delay of between 10 minutes and 20 minutes per trip. The public will be kept informed timeously if there are any changes in the traffic accommodation such as temporary road closures.
The safety and convenience to the travelling public are of utmost importance and every effort will be made to ensure that all temporary road signs, cones, flag people and speed controls are maintained and are effective, and that courtesy is extended to the public at all times. The Contractor is required to make use of approved methods to control the movement of his equipment and vehicles so as not to constitute a hazard on public roads.
The Public, when using the affected roads, is requested to be patient, exercise caution, to travel at reduced speed, obey the permanent and the construction related temporary traffic signage and heed the guidance of the stop-go operators and flag people. This is for the safety of all.
The Western Cape Government is working hard to maintain our roads. Please drive carefully during this period of construction. Let us work together to ensure that our roads are safe. BETTER TOGETHER.
Media Release: Discussions on creating hope with urgency
For Immediate Release 16 October 2023
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Integrated Development Planning, Intergovernmental Relations and Public Participation Unit reactivated the Citizen Interface Programme on 11 October 2023 in partnership with the Department of Local Government. This was a full-day interactive session at the GRDM offices in George.
The programme aims to give hope to neglected communities with urgency, through bridging the gap between government and citizens in deep rural areas where communities feel forgotten. The Citizen Interface Programme will focus on the lack of opportunities in some of the former District Management Areas (DMAs), Old church settlements, and other spaces. This programme follows a whole of society approach which is also aligned with the Joint District and Metro Approach.
During the engagement, the current Citizen Interface Programme was reviewed, and the different programmes and activities that could be used to restart and assist the Citizen Interface program was identified.
Among the stakeholders who attended the engagement were officials from the Western Cape Department of Health, Social Development, Government Communication and Information System, and local municipalities in the district.
Participants from different sectors engaged in interactive discussion to find ways to restart the Citizen Interface Programme.
Media Release: GRDM Firefighters assist Overstrand Municipality with water provision for its residents.
For immediate release 5 October 2023
Last week, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Fire and Rescue Services responded to a request to assist the Overstrand Municipality with water provision in Hermanus and surrounding areas.
After impacts of severe rains that hit the western part of the Western Cape on the weekend of 25 September 2023, many water systems were severely impacted, so much so that multiple towns were left without drinking water for an extended period of time.
On Thursday afternoon, 28 September 2023, two (2) firefighters from the GRDM Fire Services left the Garden Route with a fire truck that carried 5500 litres of water to assist Overstrand. GRDM’s Martino Jacobs and Petrus Jordaan further assisted by delivering water to various residential areas, carting water from Standford to Hermanus for a four-day period.
Chief Fire Officer, Deon Stoffels, indicated: “It was a humble and proud experience for the GRDM firefighters to assist a neighbouring district and towns with residents that were in real need of an essential commodity. As usual GRDM is proud to be of assistance in times of crisis,” he concluded.
Media Release: Sod-Turning event marks a milestone for Regional Waste Management Facility
For Immediate Release 04 September 2023
In a significant step towards more sustainable waste management practices, the official sod-turning ceremony for the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Regional Waste Management Facility was held on Friday, 1 September 2023. The journey to this milestone began back in 2006 when investigations and processes for establishing the Regional Landfill Site commenced.
Sharing in this historic and groundbreaking occasion, were Executive Mayors and Municipal Managers and across the district, the GRDM Mayoral Committee Members and officials, representatives from National and Provincial Government, as well as engineering consultants and stakeholders from Standard Bank, Tefla and Zutari.
During his address, Municipal Manager of GRDM, Monde Stratu, gave a thorough background about the project. He explained: “Local municipalities have reached a point where their waste management sites have become exhausted, which is why this regional waste management facility is being constructed”. Further to this he said: “It was a blessing in disguise that the initial model did not realise as it saved GRDM millions of rands.
Stratu particularly commended the GRDM officials who have been driving the project to this point. “The resilience and commitment of all involved are paying off. And today, it is time to celebrate – despite what happened, we are still delivering on our promises,” Stratu emphasised.
In his remarks at the event, the Head of Public Sector- SA at Standard Bank, Timothy Mtlatla, spoke passionately about Standard Bank’s support to GRDM’s commitment towards green energy. He said: “Our institution remains focused on its purpose; our commitment is a profound purpose and is underscored by the meaningful impact to the community. We are serving the sector that serves us”. Adding to these words, Mtlatla highlighted that the event is a remarkable example and testament of good working relations. And for this reason, he said: “With this initiative, we foresee a future that is cleaner and healthier for all communities we serve”. Representatives from Tefla and Zutari also delivered their messages of commitment to the project.
Executive Mayors and Deputy Mayors from the local municipalities that were present, also shared words of support on behalf of their respective municipalities. Deputy Mayor of Mossel Bay, Cllr Cliffie Bayman, referred to this day as a significant step that is taken towards more sustainable waste management and environmental practices in a changing world of climatic changes and the now more common outbreaks of communicable diseases. With these words, he added that this event deserved to be on the 1 September, as it is the 1st day of Spring. He highlighted that “this is a season for new beginnings and the reason in which our environment shows the fruit of hard work – work that we have put in during the winter months”. Bayman in addition reiterated that Mossel Bay Municipality will take accountability with the GRDM to ensure that the objective of the facility is reached. In conclusion he said that Mossel Bay is a proud partner in full support of the project and therefore they are eager to see many benefits such as employment deriving from the facility.
Knysna Executive Mayor, Cllr Aubrey Tswenga, in his congratulatory speech to GRDM and participating municipalities, said: “Thank you for making the Regional Waste Management Facility a reality”. Tswenga, however, mentioned that more work still lies ahead to educate communities about waste management. “As municipalities,” he said that “we need to educate our communities to reduce waste to landfills. Further to this he urged the GRDM on behalf of Knysna, to continue to roll-out a regional educational programme to extend the lifespan of the facility.
Bitou’s Deputy Executive Mayor, Cllr Mavis Basukwe, during her words of support, said: “Bitou took a decision to participate in the project fully understanding the implications and consequences we would face from our communities and ratepayers”. As a result of showing leadership and the fact that Bitou fitted the cost implication in their budget over the years, she emphasised that “it is indeed pleasing to see the site is now finally under construction”. She thanked all participating municipalities and said that without them, the project would not have been feasible for Bitou alone and would have left Bitou in a serious predicament.
Executive Mayor of GRDM, in his keynote address extended warm words of gratitude to the service provider and consulting engineer, Tefla and Zutari, as well as to Standard Bank and participating municipalities for this legacy project. In unpacking his statement, Mayor Booysen added: “After today it won’t only be a legacy project anymore, but also a catalytic project, meaning that this project is a catalyst of what is coming”.
Mayor Booysen further referred to the realities of working together as stakeholders and said: “It is not easy for different municipalities to work today, as there are many aspects that can hamper initiatives such as this project. However, he commended Mossel Bay Municipality, especially Municipal Manager Collin Puren, for setting the tone on how government can work together and how intergovernmental relations should be executed. To the Deputy Executive Mayor of Mossel Bay, Cllr Bayman he said: “You went as far as advising us,” to safeguard a less complicated process. Given the background of the project, Mayor Booysen urged councillors, professionals, and ward councillors to be decisive when decisions are made. “When we are decisive,” he said: “The ratepayers would back us up, because they would then understand what they are paying for and not making their own assumptions”. He elaborated that whenever a proposal is on the table, councillors would ask “how the project is going to affect the rates and taxes”. He advised: “It is our duty as politicians to go and explain to the taxpayers and ratepayers why we are doing what we do and why are we making the decisions in terms of what it will cost them”.
An Inaugural Site Meeting and Commencement of Works took place on the 13th of June 2023, which saw the official handover of the site to the appointed contractor, Tefla Group (Pty) Ltd. Over the following weeks, the site was established, benchmarks were verified by a surveyor on July 11, and the refurbishment of an existing farmhouse, set to become the site offices, is nearing completion. Clear and grub operations, excavations and material stockpiling is underway on the access roads and on Cell 1A.
The Regional Waste Management Facility, once complete, will include a domestic waste cell (Class B) and a separate hazardous waste cell (Class A) to accommodate low and medium-hazard-rated hazardous waste. Other infrastructure elements encompass roads, stormwater pipelines, leachate storage dams, contaminated stormwater dams, offices, laboratories, weighbridges, workshops, and security infrastructure. The project also includes a 3-hectare portion that will be used for a waste tyre recycling facility. Both the Domestic Waste Cell 1 and the Hazardous Waste Cell will have a lifespan of approximately of 20 – 25 years.
The project’s timeline are as follows:
Construction Tender Closure (concluded) – October 25, 2022
Finalization of Debt Agreement (concluded) – July 2023
Contractor on Site (concluded) – July 2023
Operations & Maintenance Tender Award – October / November 2023
Completion of Phase 1 – February 2024
Estimated Completion of Project – March 2025
The sod-turning event heralds the beginning of a cleaner and healthier future for the Garden Route region.
Feature Image: Sharing in this historic and groundbreaking occasion, were Executive Mayors and Municipal Managers and across the district, the GRDM Mayoral Committee Members and officials, representatives from National and Provincial Government, as well as engineering consultants and stakeholders from Standard Bank, Tefla and Zutari.
PUBLIC NOTICE: IDP/BUDGET/ PMS TIME SCHEDULE & 2022/2023 DRAFT UNAUDITED ANNUAL REPORT – Notice 66/2023
Open for Comments
Notice is hereby given that the 2024/2025 IDP Budget & PMS Time Schedule has been adopted in terms of Section 21 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (Act 56 of 2003) by the Garden Route District Municipal Council, at a Council meeting held on 30 August 2023.
Furthermore, the 2022/2023 Draft Unaudited Annual Report has been noted by Council in terms of Circular 63 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, Act 56 of 2003. The Unaudited Draft Annual Report for the 2022/2023 financial year is open for comments. Comments must be lodged in writing to The Municipal Manager, PO Box 12, George, 6530 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org before /or on 2 October 2023.
The document will be available for public inspection during office hours at the IDP unit, Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George as well as at all the satellite offices of the Garden Route District Municipality: Riversdale, Mosselbay, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Bitou as well as the municipal website www.gardenroute.gov.za.
Persons who are unable to read or write are encouraged to contact the Garden Route District Municipality during ordinary office hours, where they will be assisted to formulate their written comments or objection. For any further enquiries, please contact: Ms M James (IDP Unit: Garden Route District Municipality) at telephone number: 044 803 1431.
M G Stratu
Garden Route District Municipality