Category: <span>Local Government News</span>

29 June 2022 Media Release: GRDM acknowledges Health and Safety Representatives for their dedicated and loyal service

Media Release: GRDM acknowledges Safety Representatives for their dedicated and loyal service

For immediate release
29 June 2022

Last week Friday, 24 June 2022, the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section was in the spotlight when recognising OHS representatives for their outstanding service rendered to the employer (GRDM). OHS representatives have maintained a consistent, dedicated and compliant-centric approach in the workplace.

The recognition event took place at the George Civic Hall. Approximately 200 employees braved the chilly weather conditions to receive their certificates and witness the proceedings of the event. These representatives are stationed at the head office of GRDM and all satellite offices situated across the Garden Route district.

According to Loyiso Shoto, Human Resources Practitioner for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) at GRDM, an employer must appoint competent employees to undertake certain work assignments in the organisation as per OHS Act. It was for this reason that the OHS section nominated employees from various departments within the organisation to be appointed as OHS representatives.

Representatives include: Health and Safety Representatives, First Aiders and Fire Wardens.

  • Health & Safety Representatives:

OHS Act, Section 17 (2)Every employer who has more than 20 employees in his employment at any workplace shall, within four months after the commencement of this Act or after commencing business, or from such time the number of employees exceeds 20, as the case may be, designate in writing for a specified period health and safety representatives of such workplace, or for different sections thereof.

  • First Aider:

General Safety Regulations 3 (2)Where more than 10 employees are employed at a workplace, the employer of such employees shall take steps to ensure that for every group of up to 50 employees at the workplace or in case of a shop or office as contemplated in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1993 for every group of up to 100 employees, at least one person is readily available during normal working hours, who is in possession of a valid certificate of competence in first aid.

  • Fire Wardens:

Construction Regulations 29 (h)A contractor must in addition to compliance with the Environmental Regulations for Workplaces, 1987, ensure that –

(h) the fire equipment contemplated in paragraph (g) is inspected by a competent person, who has been appointed in writing for that purpose, in the manner indicated by the manufacturer thereof;

(i)  a sufficient number of workers are trained in the use of fire-extinguishing equipment;

Portfolio Chairperson for Corporate Services, Ald. Iona Kritzinger, during her welcoming address to the representatives, councillors and officials who attended the event, praised the Corporate Services Department, under the leadership of Trix Holtzhausen, for their dedication to ensure the respective disciplines are represented across the organisation. To the representatives she highlighted:

“You fulfil this role because you care about your colleagues, you care about the organisation and the health and safety of all of us – we are thankful and appreciate your services to the organisation”.

The GRDM Chairperson for Occupational Health and Safety, Cllr Virgill Gericke, shared words of appreciation to all safety representatives at the event and provided a backround about the OHS function within the municipality and the operations of the OHS Committee.  “The committee originates from legislation and was instituted exclusively to ensure that people are safe in the workplace and that they enjoy the privileges and rights of safety and security in the workplace.”

After raising his concerns about other organisations that do not have OHS structures and safety representatives in place, he praised the GRDM for being organised and for having and keeping the OHS function under control. “When you walk into the buildings of the GRDM, it is evident that from the entrance to the exit, that all aspects of OHS are under control and organised when it comes to the safety and security of our personnel”. Adding to this he highlighted: “This is only possible, because we have committed and dedicated personnel who make sure that these functions are performed”. Recalling one day when one of the areas of Pacaltsdorp had no water, he said:

“The moment the Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu was informed about the water issue, he activated trucks within five (5) minutes and soon water was delivered to the area”.

Executive Mayor, Memory Booysen, who handed the certificates over to the top achievers, said: “There are certain sectors within the municipal environment that you hear and see and they are just there having a presence”. He assured them that they have not been forgotten. “The only time you come to mind is when an incident occurs or when a disaster strikes. This is an indication of how important you are to this organisation and to the communities”. Mayor Booysen further made mention of a few examples of incidents that happened in South Africa that furthermore reminded him of the importance of OHS representatives. One such example was the fire that broke out at the Parliament building. When he referred to these incidents he said: “When people in power remember you, they want to through you under the bus, because somebody needs to be blamed”. He continued by saying that when there is a fire, there are numerous questions on what the cause of the fire was and whether safety measures were in place, “only then you are remembered – and that needs to stop!” he said.

Reflecting on these incidents and the OHS representative’s role, Mayor Booysen highlighted and said: “I look at you with different eyes. You might at times feel neglected and feel that you are not noticed, but indeed we do see you and we hear you. Our challenge from today onwards is the question on what we can do better to make sure that you are not just seen and heard of, but that you are also respected”. When he reminded all about one of the worst pandemics the world faced, he said:

“We had a choice to get up or not to get up in the morning, but when the pawpaw hit the fan, you were sent into the high-risk areas. You had to confront Covid-19 face-to-face. You were exposed to the areas that posed a risk, you had to sanitise the buildings – you had to respond. And today, we are here; we sadly lost some of our friends and colleagues, you were not in despair. And for that, we do see you, we hear you, we respect you and we are going to walk the walk with you”.

Wouter Jacobs, Coordinator of Disaster Management, gave an overview of the Covid-19 cases in the district with only two (2) cases of patients that were reported to be in hospital.

Francois Vryburg, Operations Director at SD Recruitment, thanked the GRDM for their partnership for the next three (3) years. He said: “We will assist the GRDM to achieve their vision by ensuring that all employees are healthy and the working environments is safe”.

Nontobeko Klaas, Manager for Human Resources delivered the vote of thanks to particularly the health and safety representatives and said: “It might look as we recognising you only once in a while, but today it is proof or confirmation of our appreciation to you for the excellent job that you have done so far”.

The event was organised by OHS Practitioner, Mr Loyiso Shoto and the programme was directed by Ms Trix Holtshauzen, Executive Manager for Corporate Services responsible for Occupational Health and Safety at GRDM.

ENDS

The Occupational Health and Safety Representatives at Garden Route District Municipality with the certificates issued to them.

28 June 2022 Media Release: 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗲 (𝗘𝗣𝗪𝗣) and SASSETA visits GRDM

Media Release: 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗲 (𝗘𝗣𝗪𝗣) and SASSETA visits GRDM

28 June 2022
For Immediate Release 

An Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) delegation consisting of national and provincial officials visited the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on 13 and 14 June 2022. The aim of the two-day visit was to learn more about the Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) model and to investigate the possibility of replicating the Skills Mecca concept in other parts of the country.

On the first day, representatives from GRSM and the GRDM EPWP section accompanied the delegation on several site visits to training centres in the area that support the GRSM. Delegates visited Cheeba Africa, African Skills and François Ferreira Academy where they were given thorough insights of each facility and the type of training provided.  Through several Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) grants and EPWP programmes, learners have successfully completed courses at the training centres visited by delegates and have been able to enter the job market.

The second day was reserved for engagement.  Lusanda Menze (GRDM Executive Manager:: Planning and Economic Development) gave an overview of GRDM and its Growth and Development Strategy and Dr Florus Prinsloo (GRSM Coordinator) gave a comprehensive overview of the GRSM model.

Tsholofelo Pooe from National EPWP presented on the their EPWP Training Framework and possible linkages to the Garden Route Skills Mecca.

MOU between GRSM and SASSETA discussed.

Joining the delegation on the second day, were Chris Mudau and Thamsanqa Mdontswa from the Safety and Security SETA (SASSETA). After listening to the presentations given by GRDM and GRSM, they presented on the SETA’s mandate, Skills Development Levy (SDL) breakdown, and strategic scope amongst other topics.

SASSETA’s sub-sections and constituencies include:

  • Policing
  • Corrections
  • Justice
  • Defence
  • Intelligence Activities
  • Legal Services
  • Private Security and Investigation Activities

There are 17 SDL contributors in the Garden Route, which comprises law firms and security companies.  It is for this reason that SASSETA and GRDM will enter into talks to establish an MOU that will see closer cooperation with GRSM.

The two-day delegation visit was concluded with a visit to Calitzdorp Hot Springs where a Security Training Centre has been established through formal partnership between BM Skills Development (who is a SASSETA Accredited Training Provider) and the GRDM.

ends

 

 

28 June 2022 Media Statement: Auditor General clarifies ambiguous reporting

Media Statement: Auditor General clarifies ambiguous reporting

For Immediate Release
28 June 2022

The Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) recently directed a letter to Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, to clarify the ambiguous reporting done on 15 June 2022 during a media briefing session. The AG, during the session, tabled a report outlining the 2020/21 Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) audit outcomes of local government.

The AGSA, in its letter to GRDM, stated:

“The GRDM has achieved a clean audit outcome due to the adequacy of the action plans that were instituted to address prior year findings and we commend the municipality on this achievement.”

“We would like to further clarify that:

  • the statement by the Auditor-General, during the tabling press conference, was in relation to municipalities residing within the boundaries of the district and not to the GRDM itself, hence the reference to auditees that had obtained a qualified and unqualified audit outcome, and
  • the paragraph included in the provincial overview of the general report was in reference to the fact that the GRDM had not obtained a clean audit outcome in the prior year (2019-20) and therefore did not sustain/extend their clean audit outcome from the prior year, unlike the other Western Cape district municipalities.”

The GRDM issued a media release about its Clean Audit position in December last year – Media Release: Garden Route DM celebrates Clean Audit and commits to retain it

GRDM remains committed to ensuring that it has all preventative and detective controls in place to ensure good governance continues to be embedded in our organisational culture for years to come. The audit outcome was, therefore, a result of a concerted effort by all officials to ensure that good governance and sound financial management remain at the heart of what we do at the Municipality,” said Monde Stratu.

A copy of the letter is included below:

ENDS

 

27 June 2022 Media Release: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners and stakeholders perform collaborative Spaza Blitz in areas of Knysna

GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners and stakeholders perform collaborative Spaza Blitz in areas of Knysna

For immediate release
27 June 2022

On 8 June 2022, a joint Spaza Blitz operation was conducted in the Nekkies area, located in Knysna. The Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs), together with Knysna Municipality’s Law Enforcement and the South African Police Service (SAPS) formed part of the operations to visit spaza shops in the area.

During the visits to the respective premises, the following were inspected to the determine whether shops complied with the legislative requirements:

  • A valid Certificate of Acceptability In terms of Regulation 638 promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectant Act,1972 (Act 54 of 1972);
  • Business License for food premises;
  • Adherence of applicable COVID protocols;
  • The general hygiene of the premises; and
  • Labeling of foodstuffs.

The team also inspected the shops for any expired products that might have been on the shelves.

A total of twelve (12) shops were visited and inspected of which four (4) did not comply to the requirements. After completion of the operations, GRDM  issued a letter to all the premises that were visited during the day, as well as to the Knysna Municipality in terms of legislative compliance that have to be adhered to. The letter contained clear directives for contravening Spaza Shop owners relating to their shortfalls. Complying to all requirements contribute to the health and safety of the communities that shops sell products to.

More blitz operations are planned for the Greater Knysna during July 2022.

Members of the public are encouraged to report any complaints, relating to the above-mentioned requirements to the Municipal Health Services Section at the Municipality’s office at 24 A Queen Street, Knysna or contact the Knysna office at: 044- 382 7214.

Feature Image: An official from the Knysna Municipality’s Law Enforcement Services during the Joint Spaza Shop Blitz operation that was recently performed in areas of Knysna.

ENDS

23 June 2022 Media Release: Latest COVID – 19 regulations Vol 684 published 22 June 2022, in the Government Gazette No 11447

Media Release:  Latest COVID – 19 regulations Vol 684 published 22 June 2022, in the Government Gazette No 11447

For Immediate Release
23 June 2022

The above-mentioned regulations Repeals Regulations 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions made in terms of sections 90(1)(j), (k) and (w) of the National Health Act, 2003 (Act 61of 2003) and promulgated on 4 May 2022 under Government Notice 2060 in their entirety.

Regulation 16A – Wearing of face masks to contain the spread of COVID-19 – Repealed

Regulation 16B – Regulation of gatherings to contain the spread of COVID-19 – Repealed

Regulation 16C – Regulation of persons entering the country to contain the spread of COVID-19 – Repealed

Read more:  Government Gazette No 11447

23 June 2022 Public Notice: GRDM 2022/2023 Top Layer Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) approved

Public Notice: GRDM 2022/2023 Top Layer Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) approved

Members of the public,

Please be informed that the Top Layer Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) for the 2022/2023 financial year was approved on 22 June 2022.

For more information, contact the Manager: Performance Management, Ms Ilse Saaiman, at:

Tel: 044-803 1300 / E-mail: pms@gardenroute.gov.za.

22 June 2022 Media Release: First phase of the Regional Waste Management Facility scheduled to conclude by 30 June 2023

Media Release: First phase of the Regional Waste Management Facility scheduled to conclude by 30 June 2023

For Immediate Release
22 June 2022

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) appointed Zutari (Pty) Ltd to design and draft tender documentation and contract supervision for the Garden Route Regional Waste Management facility and associated infrastructure on Farm 419 in Mossel Bay. The design drawings and report have already been submitted on 6 May 2022 to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) for statutory approval.

COST OF THE NEW SITE

The final cost of the site can only be determined once the loan tender, construction tender and the operations & maintenance tender have been concluded.  The loan tender will require funding institutions to provide 10-, 15- and 20-year loan funding options.  The costs will include the construction of the landfill and associated infrastructure, the loan repayment and associated interest rates, operation costs including plant and equipment, rehabilitation costs etc.

WHAT WILL THE SITE INCLUDE?

The Regional Waste Management Facility will include a domestic waste cell (Class B) and a separate hazardous waste cell (Class A) to accommodate hazardous waste with low and medium hazard ratings. Other infrastructure includes roads, stormwater pipelines, a leachate storage dams, a stormwater dam for contaminated liquids, offices, a laboratory, weighbridges, a workshop, and security infrastructure. Provision has also been made to accommodate a waste tyre recycling facility by means of a 3-hectare portion of land for long-term lease to the Waste Bureau. The domestic waste Cell 1, as well as the hazardous waste cell, will both have a lifespan of approximately 20 – 25 years.

HOW FAR HAS THE PROJECT PROGRESSED?

An Environmental Impact Assessment was concluded in 2012 and GRDM received Environmental Authorisation.  A Waste Management Licence was issued by DFFE in 2014.  A section 78 investigation in terms of the Municipal Systems Act, concluded to provide the Regional Waste Management Services by means of a Public-Private Partnership.  A Private Partner was appointed to construct the facility and operate it for a period of ten years, however, withdrew from the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) at the final stages of the process on 29 September 2020.

GRDM then concluded to no longer pursue the PPP process and opted to rather make use of loan funding to construct the facility and to outsource the operations and maintenance to a reputable service provider.

The Geotechnical and Geohydrological Investigations required to finalise the designs of the facility have been concluded and the design drawings and design report have been finalised & submitted to DFFE on 06 May 2022 for approval which is required prior to commencement of construction.

The loan tender was advertised on 15 May 2022 and closed on 21 June 2022.  The construction tender specifications are being finalised & scheduled to be advertised in July 2022.  The operations & maintenance tender will also run concurrently to the construction tender process.

Phase 1 of the construction of the facility is currently scheduled to be concluded by 30 June 2023, at which time waste disposal can commence.

ENDS

22 June 2022 Media Release: Chairperson appointed to the GRDM APAC

Media Release: Chairperson appointed to the GRDM APAC

For Immediate Release
22 June 2022

Today, during an Ordinary Council meeting, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council approved the proposed appointment of Alewijn Dippenaar as the new Chairperson of the Audit and Performance Audit Committee (APAC). The previous Chairperson, Dr Adele Potgieter’s role came to an end on 30 March 2022 after she formed part of APAC since 1 November 2012.

Dippenaar has a special interest in auditing, performance management, and relevant fields of legislation and training. He has in the past served as an APAC member for Swartland Municipality for 10 years, 6 years for Mossel Bay, George, Kannaland and for the GRDM years ago. He is also currently the Chairperson of Oudtshoorn and Prins Albert Municipalities’ APAC. These are only some of the leadership and other key roles he has fulfilled to date in the Local Government sphere.

Council also today resolved to appoint Christo Lamprecht as a member of APAC for a period of three years. Lamprecht is a registered Chartered Accountant (SA) and has vast experience in internal audit and accounting fields. He also served as APAC Member, APAC delegate to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) and Risk Management Committee (RMC) Chairperson at George Municipality for the period 2018 – 2021.

Council also requested the administration to re-advertise for a 5th member in the APAC to ensure there is a fair balance between race and gender on the Committee.

According to Pamela Lufele, GRDM Chief Audit Executive: “In accordance to Section 166 of the MFMA relating to the constitution of Audit Committees as well as the execution of their duties, it is integral that the Committee possess different skill sets in order to efficiently and effectively perform their function. I am proud to state that the formation of GRDM’s APAC has skills relating to Performance Management, Risk Management, IDP, Policy formulation, Finance, Internal Audit and Legal to name a few. This provides the end-user departments confidence that the oversight provided by the committee will be of value and enhance the processes of GRDM and bring the successes of the municipality to even greater heights.”

The full list of the four (4) current APAC members include the following:

Alewijn Dippenaar (Chairperson), Suren Maharaj (member), Lindiwe Mtunzi (member) and Christo Lamprecht (member).

Section 166(4)(a) of the Municipal Finance Management Act states: “An audit committee must consist of at least three persons with appropriate experience, of whom the majority may not be in the employ of the municipality or municipal entity”.

The GRDM APAC Charter requires its members to collectively possess the following skills and experience to efficiently fulfil their duties:

  • Private and public sector experience;
  • An understanding of service delivery priorities;
  • Good governance and/or financial management experience;
  • An understanding of the role of GRDM’s council and councillors;
  • Familiarity with risk management practices;
  • An understanding of internal controls;
  • An understanding of major accounting practices and frameworks (ISO 9001) and public sector reporting requirements;
  • Familiarity with legislation applicable to municipalities;
  • And understanding of the roles and responsibilities of internal and external auditors;
  • An understanding of the treatment of allegations and investigations;
  • An understanding of the performance management system; and
  • At least one member must have expertise in performance management.

Feature image: The GRDM Council approved two appointments today, that of the Chairperson and a new member to APAC.

ENDS

22 June 2022 Impact Based Weather Warning for Disruptive Rain: 23/06/2022 – 24/06/2022

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued an Impact Based Weather Warning for Disruptive Rain valid from Thursday, 23 June 2022 (6:00) to Friday, 24 June 2022 (00:00), as follows:

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

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

22 June 2022 Media Release: Garden Route District sources smoke detectors for Qolweni and Bossiesgif

Media Release: Garden Route District sources smoke detectors for Qolweni and Bossiesgif

For Immediate Release
22 June 2022

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in conjunction with Bitou Municipality, and Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) employees, installed 1 368 smoke detectors in Qolweni and Bossiesgif informal settlements in March 2022.  The intervention came after shack fires destroyed several informal structures and claimed the lives of three (3) Garden Routers in 2021. During incidents, 13 informal structures were destroyed, leaving 50 people homeless. Many residents are temporarily displaced during structural fires or do not have the means to rebuild their lives.

Lee-Ann Joubert (GRDM Disaster Management Officer), Bongani Kraya (EPWP) en Morné Zietsman (GRDM Disaster Management intern) all worked together to ensure the smoke detector installations happened according to plan.

Cllr Nompumelelo Ndayi, GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, said: “I am grateful for the intervention that was initiated by the GRDM’s Disaster Management Centre and for the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre who donated the smoke detectors, as well as for Bitou Municipality’s assistance during the installation of the devices. I have already been informed of these early warning devices have saved several lives in Qolweni and Bossiesgif”.

The smoke detector installation project created temporary jobs for eight (8) EPWP individuals from Bitou who received comprehensive training on installing and testing the devices after concluding each task. The installation followed a phased approach to cover high-risk dwellings.

According to Lee-Ann Joubert, GRDM Disaster Management Officer: “Each installation had to be done according to a strict procedure, requiring the address, person’s name and surname and contact details to be provided. EPWP officials also recorded the ID numbers and contact details of those who stayed at dwellings without addresses.”

Community members were informed of the installations by means of loud hailing over weekends. Similar interventions will be rolled out to the rest of the region in all high-risk areas identified through a GRDM Disaster Risk Assessment. According to District’s risk assessment, Smutsville in Sedgefield, Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay and Thembalethu in George, are in dire need of similar interventions. This will cost the GRDM Council R1 695 000 and include 4 500 smoke detection devices (including installation costs). The estimated cost per smoke detector is between R350 and R400 each and all installed devices in Qolweni and Bossiesgif were funded by the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre.

Through this risk reduction initiative, the most vulnerable communities are notified by a loud and timely alarm, allowing everyone to escape safely. During the installation, each household will continue to receive fire-wise education material too.

Feature image: EPWP workers who installed the smoke detector devices at dwellings in Bossiesgif and Qolweni.

ENDS