Category: <span>Local Economic Development</span>

6 September 2021 Media Release: Garden Route DM commits an additional R 2.5 million towards export hub

Media Release: Garden Route DM commits an additional R 2.5 million towards export hub

For Immediate Release
6 September 2021

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) reaffirmed its commitment recently for developing the Klein Karoo economy when Council approved R2 520 000.00 towards laying a pipeline from borehole fields near Calitzdorp. This project also forms part of the Joint District Metro Approach (JDMA), which was endorsed on the same day, with this funding approval in August 2021.

Alderman Memory Booysen showing “thumbs-up” to the project during his visit to one of the sites where borehole activities were underway in March 2021.

According to Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for GRDM, “the project will see an Agri Village established in the future, with 600 homes for community members – they’ll have the rights to their own titles too”. “It is projected that 1 800 permanent jobs and 2 000 seasonal jobs will be created through this initiative. Furthermore, this initiative will promote Agri-Tourism, as there are planned events and programmes linked to this activity to bring people into the Karoo” said Booysen.

GRDM initially funded R600 000 to carry out a water study in the area, which turned out to be successful. From this, the Municipality received two desalination plants for reverse osmosis, capable of cleaning 60 000ℓ of water per hour. After laying pipelines, the project will be ready to increase its ‘slice of the cake’ in the export market. Offtake agreements are already in place with SAPEX EXPORTS.

Primary exports will be pomegranates, and even though this type of export business from Southern Africa is a minuscule industry, there is scope for this market to grow exponentially. Currently, only 1% of world pomegranate production is exported from South Africa because exports only started a few years ago. At the moment, the total plantings in Southern Africa are less than 1000ha. “At least 10% of this hectarage will be reserved for previously disadvantaged groups (BEE) farmers,” Ald. Booysen said.

This creates an ample opportunity for exports from the Southern Hemisphere to markets in the Northern Hemisphere in their off-season, and to the Far East because there is no production there.

Feature image: Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for Garden Route District Municipality with his Mayoral Committee members and municipal employees at Celebratio, a company that successfully grows and exports pomegranates.


SMME Support and Development Programme – Call for Business Proposals

SMME Support and Development Programme
Call for Business Proposals

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is embarking on a Small-, Medium- and Micro Enterprise (SMME) Programme to help dynamic and committed entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. A broad scope of non-financial assistance will be provided, including compulsory business development interventions and training.

Only serious applicants with a workable business concept or business profile should apply.


Applicants MUST complete an application form (obtained from either the District Economic Development Office, 54 York Street, George, 6530 or email with the following IMPORTANT supporting documents attached:

  • Company Profile/ Business Proposal or Business Plan;
  • Six (6) months Profit and Loss Summary or (recent Financial statements, if available);
  • Business registration document.


  • Must be a registered business operating for ±2 years;
  • Must have a viable business idea/proposal with clear directions/deliverables;
  • Must be available to present to a selected panel and attend the compulsory business development interventions and training identified by the panel;
  • SARS registered;
  • 100% South African owned;
  • Formally registered for ±2 years or incorporated, e.g. with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC); and must be in operation for the mentioned period;
  • Operating and residing within the Garden Route;
  • It is classified as a micro or small enterprise in terms of the National Small Enterprises Act.

All applications must be in an envelope, stated “2021/2022 SMME Support and Development Programme – Garden Route District Municipality” and be dropped off at 54 York Street, George, 6530 or at any Garden Route DM Offices for attention Mr Johannes Jafta or emailed to Enterprises that benefitted from the previous programme (2019/2020 and 2020/2021) will not be considered. NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED. Please provide us with a detailed outline of your business proposal, together with all required proof. If you don’t adhere to the set criteria, your application will be unsuccessful. Only shortlisted enterprises will be contacted to present their business concept to the adjudication panel virtually or in person. Only the top business concepts concerning the set criteria will be selected.

Closing date: Friday, 10 September 2021 by 13h00.

All enquiries can be directed to the Garden Route District Municipality Economic Development Office at

30 August 2021 Notification: Cater Care (Food Handler) Training Programme

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), through its 3-month Cater Care (Food Handler) Training Programme, aims to train previously disadvantaged individuals and unemployed youth in the hospitality sector. This programme serves as a stepping stone to Garden Routers who are interested in developing culinary skills and strengthening the local hospitality industry. Each student will be given an opportunity to gain a theoretical understanding of food handling and be allowed to gain practical experience at a business too.

This year the course takes place from September 2021 till December 2021.


Must be a SA Citizen; Aged 18-30; Unemployed; School Qualification Grade 10 to Grade 12; Must have a bank account; Must have a Tax number; Eager to shape a career in the hospitality industry; Reside in the Garden Route DM area.


Prospective learners must apply in person at the Francois Ferreira Academy by completing an application form.

All applicants must bring their CV, certified ID Copy, and school results. Certification of documents must not be older than 3 months. Letter from the bank confirming their account. Must have a contact cell phone number plus an alternative number.

Address: Francois Ferreira Academy, Mount View Resort, 1 York Street, George. Office hours: 08:00 – 16:30 (Mon-Thu); 08:00-15:00 (Fri). Contact Ms Veronica Mekile if you have any questions or e-mail or call 044 884 0765.


*All successful candidates are responsible for their own accommodation arrangements and transport and only serious and committed applicants will be considered for this opportunity.

12 June 2021 Media Release: The world is your oyster, and nothing can keep you back!

Media release: The world is your oyster, and nothing can keep you back!

For Immediate Release
17 June 2021

”You determine your future, and you have now been equipped with the necessary skills in the culinary arts. So, decide to choose prosperity to enrich your lives and build on the stepping stones provided to you through this programme.”  With these words, Alderlady Georlene Wolmarans, a Councillor at Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), encouraged students during their Cater Care graduation ceremony.

On Friday, 10 June 2021, 20 students who attended the Francois Ferreira Academy (FFA) Cater Care programme received recognition for triumphantly completing a three (3) month-long training programme. This year’s Cater Care programme officially kicked off on 01 March 2021.

With many opportunities offered by the hospitality and tourism industry in the region, the GRDM, in collaboration with the Francois Ferreira Academy, identified a skills development programme to help youth step into the job market.  This programme aims to train previously disadvantaged youth in the hospitality field. The district’s hospitality sector needs are incrementally addressed through this initiative, with more youth becoming upskilled to expedite economic growth in the area.

During the graduation ceremony, Chef Francois Ferreira, founder and Principal of the Academy, refers to the current intake of students as the most energetic group they trained to date.  He said: “This is the first group in the Cater Care Food handler programme whom we’ve received calls from all the Executive Chefs from the various restaurants; commending them on their attitudes and good work ethic”.  He further elaborated that most Executive Chefs indicated that they would like to employ these students down the line. “You made us proud,” Chef Ferreira concluded.

The GRDM Tourism Unit is responsible for coordinating funding alongside the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Unit, which arranges learners’ stipends. The Francois Ferreira Academy is the appointed service provider who provides the training for these students and also ensures that students are placed in hospitality establishments to gain practical work experience whilst attending the course.

Alderlady Wolmarans concluded her speech by encouraging students with a quote from the late President of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. “To the youth of today, I also have a wish to make – be the scriptwriters of your destiny and feature yourselves as stars that showed the way towards a brighter future.”

3 May 2021 Media Release: Garden Route DM: Nineteen (19) youth being up-skilled for Food Handling

Media Release: Garden Route DM: Nineteen (19) youth being up-skilled for Food Handling

For Immediate Release
3 May 2021

Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor, and Ald. Rosina Ruiters, Deputy Executive Mayor for GRDM, recently visited nineteen (19) Cater Care students at the Francois Ferreira Academy (FFA) in George. Between the ages of 18 and 35, these students are currently busy studying a 3-month Food Handler Qualification (level 2). GRDM’s goal with this Programme is to address the high unemployment rate of South Africa and the Garden Route.

Ald. Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor (wearing a chain) and Ald. Rosina Ruiters, Deputy Executive Mayor (left of Ald. Booysen) with Cllr Rowan Spies (member of the Education, Training and Development Committee) with students and representatives from the Francois Ferreira Academy.

Alderman Memory Booysen also has a history of working in the hospitality industry and said: “The hospitality industry remains one of the key drivers of the Garden Route economy, and we will continue to fund these types of training initiatives to complement the industry”.

He further added: “The proof is in the pudding – we have supported the up-skilling of 82 youth since starting at this Council in 2016.”

“More than R1 million has been spent since 2016 on the Cater Care Programme,” Booysen said.

The Quality Council for Trades & Occupations (QCTO) accredited SAQA Course (110644) consists of the following subjects:

  1. Introduction to Professional Cookery
  2. Personal Safety
  3. Workplace Safety
  4. Food Safety
  5. Numeracy and Units of Measurement
  6. Preparation Methods
  7. Production Methods

In addition to the seven (7) modules, each student will be allowed the opportunity to gain in-service training at a restaurant or hotel for ten (10) days. After that, students will officially graduate by the end of May 2021.

Feature Image Caption: Ald. Memory Booysen is shown how to safely handle a knife when cutting vegetables. With him is Mr Lwandile Green (left), Ms Siyamthanda Mahe (2nd from right) and Chef Jean-Marie Basson from Francois Ferreira Academy.

Editor’s note:

  • The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is a Quality Council established in 2010 in terms of the Skills Development Act (Act 97 of 1998) as amended in 2008.
  • The Department f Higher Education and Training (DHET) oversees this part of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • The QCTO is one of three Quality Councils (QCs) responsible for a part of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). 


19 April 2021 Weather Alert: Weather forecast

Weather Alert: Weather forecast 19 April 2021

Rain: There is 60% chance of light rain along the south-coast from today morning, spreading to the adjacent interior and the Central Karoo District from this afternoon. The rainfall is expected to be cleared by the mid-morning tomorrow along the western parts of the south coast, but remaining everywhere else until in the afternoon. Light rain is also expected on Wednesday morning along with the eastern parts of the south-coast, spreading throughout the south-coast by the evening until the early hours of Thursday morning. No significant weather expected from Thursday afternoon until Saturday afternoon. A weak cold front approaching the Western Cape Province is expected to make landfall on Saturday evening, resulting in light rain over the south-western parts of the province, spreading to the south-coast by Sunday morning while clearing from the west, remaining only along with the extreme eastern parts of the south-coast by the evening.

Winds: are expected to be strong easterly to south-easterly over the Cape Metropole and along with the south-western coastal areas today until tomorrow in the afternoon. A Yellow level 1 warning for WINDS has been issued with possible impacts such as possible runaway fires over these areas and other possible impacts. Otherwise, light to moderate southerly to south-easterly winds are expected throughout the province for the most part of the week.

Temperatures: are expected to be cool to warm along the coastal areas, but warm to hot over the interior.

Coastal winds:  Winds are expected to be moderate to strong easterly to south-easterly for the most part of the week, moderating along the West-Coast by tomorrow afternoon where it becomes south-westerly, spreading to the south-coast by Friday afternoon.

Sea state: Mostly 2.0 to 3.0m wave heights, reaching 4.0 to 5.0m along the south-western coastline from Sunday afternoon, mostly south-westerly swells but easterly along the south-coast.

Most recent spring tide date: 12 April 2021

Issued by the South African Weather Service.

Report any severe weather-related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at telephone number 044 805 5071.

30 March 2021 Media Release: 2021–2040 Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy approved by Council

Media Release: 2021–2040 Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy approved by Council

For Immediate Release
30 March 2021

The Garden Route, similar to other parts of South Africa, continues to illustrate stark contrasts of spatial and economic circumstances. In fact, the haves and the have nots are still living worlds apart, although in many instances, spatially less than a kilometre away from one another. It is for this reason that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) spearheaded the process of changing, not only the trajectory of the Garden Route economy, but also to build prosperity with equity. At the centre of this vision is a finalised and approved long-term strategy known as the Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy (GDS). This key document has been successfully developed in collaboration with the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP) and was finalised today when the GRDM Council approved it.

According to Executive Manager for Planning and Economic Development at GRDM, Lusanda Menze, “COVID-19 delayed many of the consultative engagements, but this was expected in the formulation of the strategy because such a strategic document has to be consistent with internal resources and external environments”.

“The first stakeholder workshops took place on 29 and 30 October 2019, while the draft Garden Route GDS was presented to all Garden Route Local Government Mayors and Municipal Managers on 11 February 2021,” he said.

Executive Mayor, Ald. Booysen elaborated, the Garden Route GDS encompasses a few objectives, including: “A shared 20-year vision for the regional economy stretching until 2040; how to do things differently; developing a common economic agenda to improve the economic development and system relating to it.”

“What makes this strategy different is that it is intended to be a ‘living strategy’ and a ‘risk-driven strategy’”. Ald. Booysen explained: “By the descriptions we mean that the implementation, monitoring and evaluation forms part of our collective ongoing learning and ability to adapt, while at the same time the Garden Route GDS requires a collective approach in order to efficiently navigate through challenges and changes.”

The strategy is shaped by the profile and regional priorities of the district, which are divided into themes such as; water secure future, circular economy, resilient agriculture, sustainable tourism, support for well-being and resilience, sustainable local energy transition and a connected economy.  The document is further grounded in several core-principles such as being people-centred; valuing cultures; preserving ecological heritage; approaching change collaboratively; recognising uncertainties of innovation and responsiveness; being conscious of sustainable and resilient factors directly impacting the region; good governance; being mindful of constraints; and open to a changing yet interconnected and interdependent region.

The GDS for the Garden Route articulates the region’s development path. This Garden Route GDS would not have been possible without broad consultation, which greatly assisted the GRDM to build a collective and shared strategy for the Region/District. It is an aspirational strategy, which would need to align to the GRDM five-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP) going forward. This means that the Garden Route GDS frames the IDP and ventures the GRDM’s long-term ambitions, strategies and overarching decisions that will bring to effect that change the region wants to see by 2040.

Access the Garden Route District Growth and Development Strategy here.
Access the Garden Route Investment Prospectus here.


9 March 2021 Media Release: Thembalethu Bridge upgrade will boost Southern Cape economy

MEDIA RELEASE: Thembalethu Bridge upgrade will boost Southern Cape economy
Issued on behalf of SANRAL and George Municipality, Tuesday 9 March 2021

Western Cape, 9 March 2021 – With road infrastructure being prioritised in South Africa’s economic recovery plan in a post-COVID environment, the upgrade of the Thembalethu Bridge in George, bodes well for the Southern Cape economy. This project is a collaborative venture between SANRAL and the George Local Municipality, with the Department Transport having provided R82,127 million towards the funding of the project. SANRAL is the Implementing Agent working closely with the George Municipality.

The total construction period is between 24 and 30 months, which should create project participation opportunities for SMMEs as well as both direct and indirect jobs for the local community.

The scope of works involves the widening of the Thembalethu Bridge across the N2 from a single carriageway to accommodate two lanes in each direction, with additional turning lanes as well as extra space for pedestrians and cyclists.

“A new bridge will be constructed on the Western side. Once completed, the existing bridge will be raised and stitched to the new bridge, to ensure that the upgraded structure complies with the minimum bridge clearance of 5.2 metres,” explained Petronella Theron, SANRAL Project Manager.

Detailed design works are currently being finalised and the tender for a contractor will be out by June 2021. Taking the procurement processes into account, the contractor should be appointed by November 2021.

All SANRAL projects are guided by a 14-point plan that sets the tone for project liaison, sub-contracting and labour sourcing, as well as a commitment to its transformation policy that seeks to prioritise economic empowerment of black businesses in South Africa.

“With 30% of the project value being committed to targeted enterprises for subcontracting, there are huge opportunities for start-ups and emerging SMMEs to benefit from project participation,” said Thembinkosi Mosobela, SANRAL Stakeholder Coordinator in the Western Region.

A process of engagement with relevant stakeholders is already underway and SANRAL, together with the George Local Municipality will explore opportunities to provide training and development of SMMEs in the road construction sector, to ensure that they are equipped, capacitated and ready to tender for work packages that become available on this project.

“These information-sharing and training sessions are of cardinal importance to ensure we broaden the scope of economic opportunities to businesses in the surrounding communities. Our transformation objectives are particularly aligned to facilitate the participation of persons with disabilities, women-owned business as well as youth-owned operations,” continued Mosobela.

– Ends –

Issued on behalf of SANRAL by FTI Consulting. For assistance please contact Melany Kühn on 078 8877 004. For editorial content or additional information contact:


Chantèl Edwards-Klose

Manager: Communications & IGR

Office of the Municipal Manager

Office:044 801 9160

Cell:082 350 2420


22 February 2021 Media Release: PPE donated to Garden Route municipalities by SALGA-UN Development Programme

Media Release: PPE donated to Garden Route municipalities by SALGA-UN Development Programme

For Immediate Release
22 February 2021

South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) donated a total of R750 000 worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) toolkits to Local Municipalities in the Garden Route on 22 February 2021. The session was facilitated by the Garden Route District Municipality.

During the PPE handover ceremony, Local Economic Development (LED) Managers and representatives from five (5) of the (7) local municipalities (Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou, Greater Oudtshoorn and Kannaland) in the Garden Route were in attendance. Each toolkit contains facemasks, hand sanitisers, face shields and awareness material. Toolkits will be distributed by the respective municipal LED managers to Informal Traders and Spaza Shops.

The breakdown of the number of toolkits per municipality is as follows: George, Knysna, Mossel Bay, Bitou and Hessequa will receive 50 face shields each, while Kannaland will receive 20 and Oudtshoorn 30. Each municipality will receive 200 x 1 Litre hand sanitisers as well as the same number of face masks.

GRDM Executive Mayor thanked SALGA for the intervention also shared that the GRDM and its local municipalities are fortunate to receive the first batch of PPE toolkits from SALGA in the Western Cape. “It is a very huge task that lies ahead of local municipalities to ensure that the PPE toolkits land up at the correct recipients – Informal Traders and Spaza Shops.” He also said that the “the world is in dire need of PPE at the moment”.

The SALGA Provincial Executive Committee Member, Dr Annelie Rabie, said: “This initiative is currently being rolled out throughout South Africa and is meant to keep smaller informal food traders safe during this pandemic.” She highlighted that small businesses are all facing difficult times, “they do not all have backup plans, live from hand-to-mouth, and therefore find it difficult to purchase all the required PPE materials to keep safe”.

“As we stand here today, it is true that the whole of South Africa is responding to the challenges posed by COVID-19,” Dr Rabie said. She stressed that revenue at local municipalities is already an ongoing problem, which is why this type of funding by the UNDP, can help communities, which in essence, fills the gaps where Local Government do not necessarily have the funding to do it.

Each municipality today completed an “acknowledgement of receipt” form and will also be responsible for capturing details of each recipient and communicate the details to SALGA.

During 2020, the UNDP and SALGA launched a Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) development assistance programme to assist up-and-coming local manufacturers of fabric facemasks. The idea was to strengthen South Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these donations received on 22 February 2021 included products manufactured by SMMEs from that initiative.

Caption of feature image at the top of this article: SALGA, GRDM and Local Municipal representatives (front, fltr): Shanon Louw (Mossel Bay), Sandy Esau (Mossel Bay), Dr Annelie Rabie (PEC: SALGA), Ald. Memory Booysen (GRDM Executive Mayor), Cllr Grant Riddles (Hessequa Executive Mayor), Joan Shaw (George Municipality Acting Deputy Director: Strategic Services), Nkosinathi September (SALGA Senior Advisor: Financial Resilience), Mvuleni Mposelwa (Knysna Municipality). Back (fltr): Greg Baartman (Oudtshoorn Municipality), Lesley Jacobs (Bitou Municipality), Lerato Tshefu (Hessequa Municipality) and Brandon Du Plessis (George Municipality).


Save the Date: WebiPanel: Panel discussion on “The Role of Associations and Chambers in post-COVID-19 economic recovery – a local and international perspective

Save the Date: WebiPanel: Panel discussion on “The Role of Associations and Chambers in post-COVID-19 economic recovery – a local and international perspective

This WebiPanel is scheduled for 17 February 2021 at 09:00 to 11:30 (SA time) and will take place via a virtual Zoom meeting.

Those interested to listen and learn from industry experts are required to register in advance for this webinar by clicking here:

Traditional business membership organisations (chambers of commerce and business associations) were already facing a crisis of relevance in the 21st century knowledge and sharing economy. Chambers of all sizes from across the globe are facing similar challenges and are in a continuous struggle to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges and further disrupted all industries. But, despite all, there is also an opportunity for businesses and individuals to serve and represent the business community in its hour of greatest need. Also, to help drive the Garden Route Economic Recovery Plan which is so critical to a prosperous period that must be revitalised. Governments the world over and in the Garden Route, specifically require the inputs of the business fraternity to strike the best balance between appropriate restrictions to protect public health and the imperative of economic activity that underpins sustainable livelihoods.

Given the circumstances facing many businesses and the private sector as the life-line of economies around the globe, the role of business membership organisations has never been as essential. But, with the question of relevance on the line coming into the crisis, it begs the question of whether such organisations can rise to the occasion. Join the panel of international and local experts to learn how you as a business association or chamber, can re-imagine your organisation in a world where the same is now different.