Category: <span>Intergovernmental Relations</span>

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.

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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

1 July 2022 Media Release: The South African Police Service and Garden Route District Municipality host Anti-Crime Summit

Media Release: The South African Police Service and Garden Route District Municipality host Anti-Crime Summit

For immediate release
1 July 2022

From Wednesday, 29 June to Thursday, 30 June 2022, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in collaboration with Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) hosted an Anti-Crime Summit at the Mossel Bay Civic Hall in Mossel Bay with other departments, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and other role players within the Security and Safety Cluster.

The Summit brought together approximately one-hundred and eighty (180) significant stakeholders to discuss the issue of crime and the impact it has on the communities of the Garden Route district. For this reason, the GRDM   contributed an amount of R30 000 to the event. Other stakeholders involved in the Summit, included: The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, Home Affairs, the Department of Health and the National Prosecuting Authority.

On day one, presentations on the aspect of crime within the district for the 2021/2022 financial year were delivered, where it was revealed that some categories of crime have increased and some decreased. Presentations regarding the value chain in crime prevention were furthermore made by all departments present. Crime hotspots were identified and an analysis of solutions proposed by delegates to address these hotspot areas, were also discussed.

The Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Mayor at GRDM, Siphiwe Dladla, specifically focused his speech on the functionality of Community Safety Forums in the district. Dladla clarified the roles between the District Municipality and Local Municipalities with regard to these forums. He said: “The District Municipality is responsible for the coordination of the Safety Initiative Project, with a Project Coordinator that has to be appointed”. To this he added: “The District Municipality is furthermore responsible for reporting their progress to the Department of Community Safety and this should be done on a quarterly basis”. The District is also responsible to ensure that local safety forums and mediation teams are established. With regard to the status of the GRDM’s Safety Plan, Dladla confirmed that the Municipality has a Safety Plan that was developed in 2019. “The Plan was last reviewed in March 2022 and circulated to all stakeholders involved”.

Dladla encouraged all stakeholders to participate in the forums within their respective municipal areas. He also highlighted that municipal officials responsible for coordination are encouraged to work hand in hand with all relevant stakeholders. In conclusion he said: “The Forum is also encouraged to mobilise communities to participate in the forums and for that, GRDM is available to assist any Forum”.

Brigadier Johanna Crafford, from SAPS shared the Department’s vision for this financial year (2022/2023) and extended a special word of appreciation to all government departments and stakeholders who ensured representation at this crucial annual event.

ENDS

13 June 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release
13 June 2022

The fifth quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum was held virtually on in May 2022 and focused on renewable energy strategies for the Garden Route.

This follows a fruitful engagement Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) had with the Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority  (EWSETA) on Tuesday, 17 May 2022.  During the engagement, EWSETA expressed its desire to support renewable energy projects in the Garden Route, which is in line with its support of Just Energy Transition (JET),  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and the work done in South Africa by The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

EWSETA has a significant demand-based focus, and it is important for them to determine what the needs are of employers and businesses. They receive a limited skills levy income and need to partner with other agencies to address this challenge. This is why they’ve agreed soon enter into a memorandum of understanding with GRDM.

During his opening remarks, the GRSM Forum chairperson, Ald. De Vries remarked that renewable energy is gaining momentum as countries around the world are increasingly understanding the benefits it offers.

During the forum, Mr. Warrick Pierce, Technical Leader on Energy Systems Modeling at the Energy Centre of CSIR, presented the Draft Municipal Electricity Master Plan for the GRDM. The Draft document was funded by GIZ and co-funded by the CSIR and is considered to be a mini Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Mr. Pierce noted that the plan looks at different possible energy futures and the employment opportunities it may hold. Furthermore, the plan’s focus is twofold as it looks at each municipality individually in the region and the Garden Route as a whole to achieve optimisation.

To draft plan addresses issues of future demand usage and that municipalities need to know their customers – their past behaviors towards energy and how this is changing in terms of self-generation.  There seems to be clear indication that Solar PV is the priority option for the Garden Route to consider. The Draft Energy Master Plan will be tabled to the GRDM Council this month for adoption and a media release about it will be issued.

The final presentation was done by Kirsten Freimann, from GIZ, who is the Head of Project: Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E), which is a new 3-year program that started in June.

The program aims to address two major concerns identified by GIZ, which are the economic recession and the high youth unemployment rate plaguing South Africa. With the help of the Swiss Development Agency, The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Government was able to raise €10.5 million for the project.

CPDE4E strives to improve the employability of the youth by unlocking employment potentials by supporting entrepreneurship and SME development in township economies, as well as (ecologic) industrial parks.

The transition from learning to earning will be done by matching soft skills with entrepreneurship training with specific measures in place for girls and women.

Demand-driven TVET/ skills development will improve delivery capacities, through lecturers, in-company mentors, short skills programs, new occupational profiles, and curricula development. It is anticipated that it will strengthen private sector involvement in agile training interventions. This could lead to job creation and meeting demands.

10 June 2022 IDP Summary now available for public viewing

10 June 2022: IDP Summary now available for public viewing

Garden Route District Municipality has produced its first-ever summary of its IDP that stretches over the 2022 to 2027 period.

The IDP of Garden Route District Municipality provides an overall framework for development. It aims to coordinate the work of local and other spheres of government in a coherent plan to improve the quality of life for all the people living in the Garden Route. It takes into account the existing conditions and problems and resources available for development. The plan looks at economic and social development for the Garden Route as a whole. The District IDP includes a framework for how land should be used, what infrastructure and services are needed and how the environment should be protected, amongst others

Access the summary of GRDM’s IDP here:
IDP Summary

The documents contain the following sections:
1. Five-year strategic direction
2. Political leadership
3. Executive management team
4. Demographic profile of the region
5. Access to basic services
6. Functions
7. Projects
8. Roads Services 2022/2023 Projects
9. Infrastructure investment projects in the Garden Route District Municipality for MTREF period 2022/23-2024/25
10. Medium-term revenue and expenditure framework
11. Capital budget
12. Status of sector plans.

Here is a video that explains what an IDP is:

11 May 2022 Notice: Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works: Public hearings on the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill

To:

  • All Mayors, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape
  • All Speakers, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape
  • All Municipal Managers, Municipalities of the Province of the Western Cape

STANDING COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS: PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE BILL [B 5–2021]

The Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works will be facilitating public hearings on the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill as indicated below.

The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the planning, declaration, design, construction, maintenance, control, management, regulation, upgrading and rehabilitation of roads, railway lines and related transport infrastructure in the Western Cape; and for matters connected therewith.

It would sincerely be appreciated if you would extend this invitation to all your Councillors in order for them to inform their ward committee members and the wider public accordingly. It would also be appreciated if you could forward this notification to any other person or institution that, in your opinion, may have an interest in the Bill. See attached advertisement.

Therefore, you are hereby cordially invited to submit written submissions as well as requests to make verbal presentations on such written submissions to the Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works for the attention of the Procedural Officer Mr Johan Coetzee at email: jcoetzee@wcpp.gov.za.

Interested persons and organisations who intend to submit an oral submission may do so by WhatsApp as a voice note (cell phone number 064 763 9034). Should you wish to appear before the Committee to make oral presentations you can direct your request to Mr Johan Coetzee (Tel: 021 487 1717, e-mail: jcoetzee@wcpp.gov.za or on the WhatsApp), which must include full contact details (name, email address and contact number), to the Procedural Officer.

Copies of the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill will be available on request and an electronic version of the Bill is available on the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s website (www.wcpp.gov.za).

Yours sincerely,

MR D AMERICA, MPP
CHAIRPERSON: STANDING COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS

For more information, download the following documents:

Issued: Western Cape Provincial Parliament

ENDS

28 April 2022 For Public Comment: 2022-2027 Draft District IDP/Budget & PMS Process Plan and District Section 27 Framework

For Public Comment: 2022-2027 Draft District IDP/Budget & PMS Process Plan and District Section 27 Framework

Notice 50/2022

Notice is hereby given that the 2022-2027 Draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP)/Budget/ Performance Management System (PMS) Process Plan and District Framework have been tabled to Council in terms of Section 27, 28 and 29  of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act (Act 32 of 2000) and the Municipal Finance Management Act (Act 56 of 2003) by the Garden Route District Municipal Council, at a Council meeting held on 26 April 2022.

These documents 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, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Bitou. The  documents will also be available on the municipal website at www.gardenroute.gov.za.

All comments and inputs must be directed to “The Municipal Manager, Garden Route District Municipality, 54 York Street, George 6530” or to  rekords@gardenroute.gov.za.

Written comments and inputs regarding the above documents must reach the Office of the Municipal Manager on/or before 20 May 2022.

For any further enquiries, please contact:
Mrs M James (IDP Unit: Garden Route District Municipality) at telephone number: 044 803 1431.

M G Stratu
Municipal Manager
Garden Route District Municipality

04 March 2022 Media Release: GRDM Firefighters educate Garden Routers about wildfires in Summer seasons

Media Release: GRDM Firefighters educate Garden Routers about wildfires in Summer seasons

For immediate release
04 March 2022

 The Garden Route is historically a fire-prone district with many areas which are a high risk to fire.  

During the hot and dry Summer season, wildfires are more prevalent and are difficult to control. Wildfires happen mostly outside urban areas that also have the potential to spread out of control. These types of fires also have the potential to kill people and destroy property. 

Most wildfires are started by people, compared to a lesser amount which is started by natural occurrences such as lightning. 

GRDM Disaster Management official with a member of the Melkhoutfontein community member during a Fire Awareness Campaign.

When it comes to fire safety awareness, one of the most important methods is identifying potential fire threats and ensuring that a well-thought-out fire safety plan is in place as soon as a fire occurs. 

The Fire & Rescue Service and Disaster Management teams from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) continuously place a lot of efforts on preventative measures in the form of awareness and education. They especially do this in and around rural and remote areas and within high-risk areas on the urban perimeters.  Areas in George such as Hoekwil/Touwsranten and Wilderness Heights recently received educational visits from the GRDM firefighters.

Members from the Garden Route District Disaster Management Centre furthermore collaborated with Hessequa Fire and Rescue Unit to conduct a Fire Awareness Campaign at the Melkhoutfontein “Kerksegronde” community. The aim was to teach the community to be fire safe and prevent undesirable structural and veld fires, also to raise awareness of the dangers of fires. The community was encouraged to take responsibility for reducing fire risks and its potential impacts. Emergency contact details were also distributed. 

To date the fire season has been relatively busy, as well as around the Western Cape.

To illustrate further (in the pictures) are interventions undertaken by the GRDM firefighters during the past ‘non-fire season’ in different areas within the Garden Route district where the team created awareness about fire safety.

ENDS

25 February 2022 Media release: Busy month for Health


Media release: Busy month for Health

February was a busy month on the health calendar.   Health teams have been out in full force across the district  to educate and provide guidance on family planning (pregnancy education week), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV first round) and Sexually Transmittable Disease (STI and condom month).

Pregnancy Education Week

Using protection during sexual activities will not only reduces the risk of unplanned pregnancies, but also prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS.

Health teams took to the streets of Pacaltsdorp to promote the use of family planning.

Teenage pregnancy, the use of emergency contraceptives, early bookings, and access to prenatal care was the focus of this year’s Pregnancy Education Week from 12 – 19 February.

Between April 2019 to December 2021, 3922 teenage pregnancies were recorded at public hospitals in the Garden Route District. This is 14% of the total deliveries for the district.

The Department has various support programs in place to assist pregnant teenagers who have social challenges as part of the First 1000 Days plan, where a child’s health is most vulnerable during the first 1 000 days of its life and the mother’s mental health is important for a healthy pregnancy and birth. This period, from conception until a child’s 2nd birthday, offers a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous futures.

Another form of support as part of the First 1000 Days program for young mothers is the MomConnect mobile platform which has three main objectives:

  • To register each pregnancy at a government health facility.
  • To send stage-based, personalised SMSes to each mom in the registry.
  • To allow women to engage with the health system through help desk tools and services.

 Human Papilloma virus (HPV)

 The first round of this year’s campaign takes place from 14 February 2022 until 31 March 2022

HPV is the virus that causes cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among women after breast cancer. Over 99% of all cervical cancers are caused by persistent infection of high-risk types of HPV.  The vaccination protects girls from being infected by HPV and reduces the risk of developing HPV related cervical cancer later in life. The younger your daughter is, the better her body’s immune system can respond to the vaccine, resulting in the production of protective antibodies against the virus. The provincial campaign at public and special schools is only targeted at Grade 5 girls over 9 years of age. Please remember to send the signed consent form to school. If your daughter is attending a private school and you would like her to be vaccinated, you need to contact a private health care facility and have the vaccination done privately          

STI and Condom Month

Sexually Transmitted Infections are infections caused by germs that are passed from one person to another mainly during unprotected sex. Most symptoms are easily noticed and can be treated if reported early to the sister at the clinic.

How will I know if I have an STI?

You may have an STI if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Discharge from the penis, burning or pain when passing urine.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge, smelly, itching, burning or painful urination.
  • Mild to severe lower abdominal pain, sometimes fever, with or without vaginal discharge.
  • Sore(s) or blisters on the genitals with or without painful swelling in the groin.
  • Sores, itching of glands, penis pain.
  • Scrotal swelling, with or without pain.

We urge the public to make use of the services we provide to better their health and that of their community.

For more information visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/health

Feature photo: School Health teams visited Franken Primary School as part of the HPV campaign. From left: Mona Fortuin, Henrunesha Blouw, Elvina Jaftha and Jennifer Bielh.

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

16 February 2022 Media Release: Healthcare support for teenage pregnancies

Media Release: Healthcare support for teenage pregnancies

For immediate release
16 February 2022

Teenage pregnancy, the use of emergency contraceptives, early bookings, and access to prenatal care is the focus of this year’s Pregnancy Education Week which is highlighted from 12 – 19 February.

Between April 2019 to December 2021, 3922 teenage pregnancies were recorded at public hospitals in the Garden Route District. This is 14% of the total deliveries for the district.

Sr Claudine Potts (Midwife at George Hospital) expresses her concern on the increasing number of teenage pregnancies amongst young girls between the ages of 12 and 19.

‘Mothers-to-be should visit their local clinic (preferably before 20 weeks) to seek medical care, book an antenatal visit and gather information. Mothers should also find out if there are any antenatal classes in your area at your closets clinic or hospital. The most important message to all pregnant mothers is to have a support system or partner throughout the duration of the pregnancy’, she said.

‘There are also various contraceptive methods available at healthcare facilities to avoid unplanned pregnancies. One is emergency contraception available at all healthcare facilities. Emergency contraception must be taken within 72 hours after sexual intercourse to avoid an unplanned pregnancy’, she said.

‘As a midwife, the highlight of my work is sending home a healthy baby and giving moms-to-be the best possible experience during pregnancy and labour’.

The Department has various support programs in place to assist pregnant teenagers who have social challenges as part of the First 1000 Days plan, where a child’s health is most vulnerable during the first 1 000 days of its life and the mother’s mental health is important for a healthy pregnancy and birth. This period, from conception until a child’s 2nd birthday, offers a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous futures.

Another form of support as part of the First 1000 Days program for young mothers is the MomConnect mobile platform which has three main objectives:

  • To register each pregnancy at a government health facility.
  • To send stage-based, personalised SMSes to each mom in the registry.
  • To allow women to engage with the health system through help desk tools and services.

How To Register for MomConnect:

  • Ask someone at a public health care facility to confirm that you are pregnant.
  • Dial *134*550# from your cellphone to register.
  • Answer a few simple questions about your pregnancy.
  • You will then be registered – welcome to the family!
  • Pregnancy is registered in the national database.
  • The user receives weekly SMS messages to inform them of their pregnancy and baby health (up to when the child is one year old).

Young mothers are encouraged to take the first steps by booking early for antenatal pregnancy care with trained and professional midwives. Adhere to their appointments and ask the necessary questions about their pregnancy to feel empowered and aware of their health status and the health status of the unborn baby.

Caption:  Sr Claudine Potts with soon-to-be mother Grace Khedama, who is in her final trimester of pregnancy.

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

ENDS