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

6 July 2020 Media Release: Your Public Testing Questions Answered

Media Release: Your Public Testing Questions Answered

For Immediate Release
6 July 2020


Western Cape Government Health has seen an increase in people accessing testing sites in the George subdistrict. Please see below for answers to the frequently asked questions.

I think I have Covid-19, what should I do?

If you have flu symptoms, such as fever, body ache, dry cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing, or a loss of taste or smell, you might have Coronavirus. You must be screened by answering specific questions about your health before you can go for testing. You can use the self-screening tool on our website,, call our provincial hotline on 021 928 4102, or call your local facility. After completing the screening, you will be referred for testing if necessary.

Which are the public testing sites in George?

Testing Site Operating hours Tel nr
George Triage and Testing site 07:00 – 17:00 Monday to Sunday 044 802 4420
Themablethu Clinic 07:30 – 16:00 Monday to Friday 044 814 1501
Conville Clinic 07:30 – 16:00 Monday to Friday 044 875 8070 / 044 814 1050
Touwsranten Clinic 07:30 – 16:00 Monday to Friday 044 850 1366
Blanco Clinic 07:30 – 16:00 Monday to Friday 044 814 1190
Pacaltsdorp Clinic 07:30 – 16:00 Monday to Friday 044 814 1200

Who can visit the testing site at George Hospital?

George Hospital has a Triage and Testing Site which is open to all members of the public who would like to be screened and tested if needed. The unit is on the hospital grounds and clearly indicated with signage. We would like to remind you that George Hospital’s Emergency Unit is for emergencies only and not for Covid-19 screening and testing. Only persons with medical emergencies should visit the emergency unit.

How long will I have to wait for my test results?

Tests results take between 3 – 5 days. In some cases it may take longer. You must isolate while you wait for your test results.

How will my test results be communicated to me?

You will receive a SMS from NHLS (National Health Laboratory Service) with your test result (positive or negative) to the contact number you provided.

Should I visit a health facility for my test results?

You should not visit any health facility to ask for test results. If you are positive, going to a facility for your test result will endanger the lives of other people. NHLS will communicate your test result to you.

Can I get a printed copy of my results from the clinic?

No, printed results will not be supplied by health facilities.

I have received my positive test result, now what?

Should you have received your positive result, you will be contacted by the contact tracing team for further instructions.

Do I need to retest after 14 days?

No follow-up testing is required or done at any of our facilities.

When you have been diagnosed with Covid -19, has had mild symptoms only, and has been in isolation for 14 days, you are considered recovered and may return to work. (This also applies to a person who self-isolates for 14 days after the onset of Covid-19 symptoms without testing). Public health facilities will not re-test anyone after 14 days of isolation. We have received numerous requests from private companies to retest their staff or to issue them with a letter to confirm that they don’t have Covid-19 anymore. The re-test will not be done, but Western Cape Government Health can issue a letter to confirm that a person is fit for work after this above period of isolation. Contact your nearest clinic for this. Testing in the public sector is free of charge. However, you will only be tested if you have been screened and meet the criteria for testing.

How can I protect myself from getting Covid-19?

Always remember the 5 golden rules of hygiene: Social distancing (keep 1.5 m away from others) and always wear a mask when in public, cough or sneeze in your elbow or a tissue, stay home if you are sick, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, and do not touch your face.

Where can I get more information?

Valuable information regarding Covid-19 is available at



Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health

6 July 2020 Media Release: Red Dot Taxi Service now serving the Garden Route

Media Release: Red Dot Taxi Service now serving the Garden Route

For Immediate Release
6 July 2020

The first Red Dot Taxi Service was rolled out to the Garden Route District in June 2020. The Service is a partnership between the minibus taxi industry and the Western Cape Government. Red Dot uses dedicated minibus taxis to provide critical transport services to COVID-19 positive people or those who were in close contact with a COVID-19 person who need transport to a quarantine and isolation facility. The service is called “Red Dot” because of easily recognisable red branding stickers on the vehicles.

One of the Red Dot Taxis leaving the George Hospital to drop off a patient.

Mr James Robb, Cluster lead for Transport at the Garden Route Command Centre and Manager: George Integrated Public Transport Network at Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, said, “It is important for drivers to be protected while transporting people; hence the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works installed a protective screen between drivers and patients.” The Department is responsible for implementing and monitoring the service, which consists of a fleet of dedicated minibuses. “Minibuses also have a tracker and hand sanitising dispenser installed along with guidance informing riders to wear face coverings throughout the journey,” said Robb.

According to Gerhard Otto, Chairperson for the GRDM Command Centre, “strict health and safety protocols are in place, including cleaning and sanitisation of vehicles after every trip, appropriate personal protective equipment, and a limit of 50% capacity”.

“The implementation of Red Dot in the District is further enabled by the Garden Route District Disaster Management Centre, which is providing a co-ordination function between stakeholders,” said Otto.

Umanyano Travel Services currently provides the service. The company is contracted by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works.  Umanyano, was formed by SANTACO Western Cape, which represents the minibus taxi industry in the Province.

4 July 2020 Media Release: Garden Route Health Platform Update

Media Release: Garden Route Health Platform Update

For Immediate Release
4 July 2020


 As Covid-19 cases are increasing in the Garden Route, more people are being referred to Isolation and Quarantine facilities. PetroSA West Camp is currently the only active facility in the Garden Route where patients, who are not able to do so at home,  are able to isolate and quarantine. We have had many happy patients returning from this facility.


Garden Route cases and recoveries per subdistrict.

Bitou 78 cases; 28 recoveries
Knysna 215 cases; 102 recoveries
George 736 cases; 255 recoveries
Hessequa 32 cases; 18 recoveries
Kannaland 14 cases; 3 recoveries
Mossel Bay 263 cases; 87 recoveries
Oudsthoorn 89 cases; 30 recoveries

The Garden Route has recorded 34 Covid-19 deaths.

Hessequa 1
Mossel Bay 5
George 17
Knysna 6
Bitou 3
Oudtshoorn 2


There are currently 37 patients admitted in public and private hospitals with 9 in ICU.

Community Testing and Screening

The approach to active Covid-19 case finding within the rural areas remain that of community testing and screening with a focus on people > 55 years, the vulnerable and those of high risk (people with co-morbidities). To date 127 165 people have been screened and 678 referred for testing.

Isolation and quarantine

Isolation facilities are for patients with mild to moderate symptoms where they can recover from Covid-19 (usually 14 days) and quarantine facilities are for those awaiting test results. These facilities are safe and comfortable and you will receive free transport, meals, and a laundry service. People who cannot isolate or quarantine safely at home, can be referred to a isolation or quarantine facility.

PetroSA (West Camp) is currently the only activated isolation and quarantine facility in the Garden Route. More facilities will be announced, if and when the need arises or capacity is exceeded at PetroSA. We currently have 76 people at West Camp.

Primary Healthcare                                                                                                                                            

Although we urge patients to only visit their nearest clinic for essential services we remind parents and caregivers that services such as immunisations are still rendered. It is important to attend all your confirmed appointments. Services such as women’s health(family planning, antenatal and post-natal care), child health(immunisations) and TB, are still rendered. Stable chronic care patients must collect their chronic medicine at the chronic off-sites. “should you require guidance or advice around your current treatment or scheduled appointment, please contact your clinic/hospital.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Town Clinic,Plettenberg Bay
Tel: 044 5333846

3 July 2020 Media Release: COVID-19 Business Safety: Compliance Complaint Form

Media Release: COVID-19 Business Safety: Compliance Complaint Form

For Immediate Release
3 July 2020

Businesses are expected to put measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the public and their employees.

If you notice that a company or business is not doing what they should be doing, please complete the form at this web address:

The purpose of this complaint form is to notify the Western Cape government of a risk to public health. Submitting fake or fraudulent complaints will have a negative impact on our ability to help those who need it and on our ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Abusing this complaint form and spreading fake or fraudulent news is illegal and will result in serious action being taken against you. All personal information provided here will be kept confidential. Any information that is passed on to others to investigate your complaint will be kept anonymous. Western Cape Government will investigate each complaint and work to resolve your complaint as a matter of urgency. Those lodging complaints will only be contacted if necessary to acquire more information.

Those who would like to follow up on a complaint need to submit their query again using the same form.

3 July 2020 Media Release: More food items collected from the Western Cape Department of Social Development to help homeless shelters

Media Release: More food items collected from the Western Cape Department of Social Development to help homeless shelters

For Immediate Release
3 July 2020

More food items collected from the Western Cape Department of Social Development to help homeless shelters

Two Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) officials, Ms Tippie Bouwer and Mr Wouter Jacobs, were tasked this week to collect food items from the Department of Social Development (DSD) in Cape Town. The items will be shared with temporary homeless shelters in the Garden Route District.

Items collected from DSD in Cape Town.

Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen, once again welcomed the third donation of its kind and extended his appreciation and thanks to DSD for continuously assisting all municipal areas within the Garden Route with not only essential food items, but also psychosocial support. “As the rate of infections climb an all-government approach becomes more important and essential to successfully combating the pandemic,” said Booysen. The DSD offers an array of programmes that provides specialized psycho-social support. These programmes include, amongst other; care and support to families programme, the child care and protection programme, the victim empowerment programme, substance abuse programme, the disability programme, as well as in the current social relief of distress programme.

Mr Otto, GRDM Manager, Disaster Management and Chairperson of the Command Centre, acted swiftly after he was alerted about a that food at shelters might run out of food in the near future. According to Otto, “the items will be shared with homeless shelters along the Garden Route coastal towns”.

“This is the second time that the GRDM drove to Cape Town to collect food items to assist homeless community members,” said Otto. Food relief items include porridge, beef soup, chicken soup, juice, pasta, mince, chicken casserole and pilchards.

Currently, the number of homeless people sheltered in the region stands at 273 Hessequa stands at 19, Mossel Bay at 82, George at 55, Bitou at 40 and Oudtshoorn (including Kannaland) at 12.

Kitchens where food are prepared for the homeless continue to adhere to the Certificates of Acceptability issued by GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners. Visits by EHPs to the shelters also happen on a frequent basis.

2 July 2020 Media Release: Extension of SLA between Vesta Technical Services (PTY) Ltd, Business Engineering (PTY) Ltd, Payday Software Systems (PTY) Ltd and Ubertech CC and Garden Route District Municipality for 24 months

Media Release: Extension of SLA between Vesta Technical Services (PTY) Ltd, Business Engineering (PTY) Ltd, Payday Software Systems (PTY) Ltd and Ubertech CC and Garden Route District Municipality for 24 months

For Immediate Release
02 July 2020

Council has appointed service providers for all financial and transactional related systems during 2017/2018, using National Treasury transversal tender RT25/2016 for a 3 year period to provide financial and related transactional services to council. On 30 June 2020, the Garden Route District Municipal Council discussed and approved the extension for 24 months starting 01 July 2020 – 30 June 2022 of the Service Level Agreement between Vesta Technical Services (PTY) Ltd, Business Engineering (PTY) Ltd, Payday Software Systems (PTY) Ltd and Ubertech CC and GRDM, having due regards for the requirements as per section 116 of the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003.

Vesta Technical Services (PTY) Ltd, Business Engineering (PTY) Ltd, Payday Software Systems (PTY) Ltd and Ubertech CC is willing to continue to render the contracted insurance services to Garden Route District Municipality for the 12 month extension period.

In terms of Section 116 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, Act 56 of 2003, a contract of agreement procured through the Supply Chain Management policy, may be amended by the parties, but only after the local community has been given reasonable notice of the intention to amend the contract or agreement.

The local community is henceforth invited to provide comments, if any, to Mr Monde Stratu, Municipal Manager, Garden Route District Municipality, via e-mail: before 11 July 2020.

For any information about the above, contact the Post title, Name Surname via e-mail:, telephone: 044 803 1300

2 July 2020 Notice: Revised 2019/2020 Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) – 2nd submission

Members of the public,

Please be informed that the Revised Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) – 2nd submission for the 2019/2020 financial year was approved by Council on 30 June 2020.

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

Tel: 044-803 1300 / E-mail:

2 July 2020 Media Release: Adhere to COVID-19 quarantine and isolation rules to limit the spread

Media Release: Adhere to COVID-19 quarantine and isolation rules to limit the spread

For Immediate Release
2 July 2020

The rate of community-based transmissions are on the rise. Provincial Government and Garden Route District Municipalities appeal to Garden Routers who have tested positive for COVID-19, or who have been identified as a close contact by the Department of Health to behave responsibly in order to limit the spread to others. The Garden Route has seen an increase of 197% of COVID-19 positive tests over the past 7 days.

The GRDM calls on residents who test positive for COVID-19 or suspect that they may have been exposed to the virus to please do their part in limiting further transmission.

Apart from health and hygiene protocols in place to avoid healthy persons from getting sick, there are also strict protocols set out for persons who contracted COVID-19. According to Mr Johan Compion, GRDM Manager: Municipal Health and Environmental Services, “GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) conduct routine visits to those in self – quarantine or self – isolation to ensure that they adhere to the regulated COVID-19 protocols.” “

“There is an obligation on persons who have been exposed to the virus to ensure that they behave in a manner that limits the risk to those around them,” said Compion.

Mr Gerhard Otto, Chairperson of the Garden Route Command Centre and Head of Disaster Management at GRDM, said: “If a person who tested positive for COVID-19 is found in the public, he or she can be prosecuted for attempt to murder”.

“During April 2020, a 52-year-old salon owner in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, was charged with attempted murder for intentionally spreading the coronavirus after he exposed 27 people to the virus following his refusal to isolate after testing positive,” said Otto. “The Police arrested the man, who was escorted to hospital for treatment while under detention. If convicted, he could face 10 years or more in jail.”

Persons are required to go into quarantine if they have no symptoms, but had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Isolation is required where a person is not feeling well with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If someone is unable to go into self- quarantine or isolation, the person will be referred to the official government sponsored PetroSA West Campus facility that has been equipped to provide persons placed in quarantine or isolation with the full basket of services i.e. food, health services, laundry services etc.


‘Much of the awareness by local municipalities is on the behaviour required to avoid transmission or to limit the spread of COVID-19 when out in public. This is done by making use of radio, loud hailing, social media, WhatsApp groups, Municipal apps, the distribution of newsletters, flyers and posters.

District and Local municipal communicators urge the general public to please:

  • Avoid contact with other people as much as Do not receive visitors. Open windows and doors. If in same room as others, keep at least 1.5 – 2 meters apart.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at work (phones, counters, table, doorknobs, bathroom surfaces).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve/elbow (not your hands) when coughing/sneezing. Immediately discard used tissues and wash your hands.
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more at a time. Do this especially before handling food/after using toilet or coughing/sneezing. Avoid touching face, eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding – after using these, wash them well.
  • Continue to wear a face mask when leaving home.

Any person who requires assistance with accessing such a facility should contact the Provincial Hotline on 021 928 4102.

Garden Routers are also reminded that, in line with the new risk-stratified strategy adopted in the Western Cape, only persons who are deemed high risk are being tested.

This includes

  • persons with known co-morbidities and those older than 55, as they are more likely to develop complications that require hospitalisation
  • healthcare workers
  • persons admitted to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms to ensure that we are able to manage appropriately

Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality

30 June 2020 Speech by Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen – Garden Route DM Council Meeting

Thank you very much for this opportunity.  I’m going to firstly deal with what we are busy with on a daily basis, which is known as the COVID-19 pandemic.  We’re reaching our peak as the Garden Route District.  We must do what we’ve been asked to do – to keep our social distance, to wear masks in public, and now parents in our region also need to face the fact that within a week schools will open for more learners. This means that there might be an increase in COVID-19 infection rates, but rest assured,  schools have put the required measures in place to ensure the safety of learners.

We’re also aware that some of us have lost loved ones – our heartfelt condolences go out to all those affected.  Also, the economy and the lockdown regulations have unfortunately had an impact on the economy.  We appreciate that the economy has been opened a little bit.  But, in our case, we’re disappointed that the George Airport has not been given the thumbs-up to become fully operational.  A lot of people from Johannesburg commute here on a weekly basis, and some businesses transport goods here too.  That National Government, however, did not give the go-ahead for the George Airport to be opened to ensure that our economy gets back on its feet again.  This is unfortunate whilst we deal with COVID-19.

Another pressing matter is gender-based violence which continues to plague our people on a daily basis.  We, as men, really need to occupy our rightful place to protect our women and children.  The Garden Route District Men’s Parliament is back in full swing to deal with the issues at hand.  Also want to say thank you to “Love George” – also on board to deal with this matter and with many other humanitarian matters.  We’ve also had discussions with Love George and requested that they spread its wings to assist the entire Garden Route and perhaps rename themselves to “Love Garden Route”.

Thank you.

30 June 2020 Media Release: Alderman/Alderlady status conferred upon seven (7) Councillors of the Garden Route District Municipality

Media Release: Alderman/Alderlady status conferred upon seven (7) Councillors of the Garden Route District Municipality

For Immediate Release
30 June 2020

Municipal Honours was bestowed on seven (7) Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Councillors, who are now officially recognised as Alderman Memory Booysen (Executive Mayor), Alderman Barend Groenewald (Speaker), Alderlady Rosina Ruiters (Deputy Executive Mayor), Alderman Stephen De Vries, Alderlady Georlene Wolmarans, Alderman Virgil Gericke and Alderman Pieter Van Der Hoven.

This was the number of Councillors who met the minimum criteria of 10 points J set out in section 5(10)(a) of a GRDM policy approved by Council on 27 May 2020. The conferment ceremony took place at a council meeting today, 30 June 2020 in view of the GRDM Council – some at the Council Chambers, others via Zoom.

The bestowment of Alderman or Alderlady statuses occurs upon the commencement of a Councillor’s term as Executive Mayor, Executive Deputy Mayor or Speaker of Council. Furthermore, any Councillor who obtains a minimum of ten (10) points on the following scale, also qualifies for the conferment: One (1) point for every year of service as a Councillor at one or more municipalities and it need not be continuous; and one (1) additional point for every year of service as a member of the Mayoral Committee.

Aldermen/Alderladies also receive the following privileges:

  • provision of a special parking space in the municipal parking area on prior arrangement;
  • provision of agendas even after retirement in electronic format if so required;
  • Alderman/Alderlady is kept on municipal invitation lists; and
  • reserving of special seats at Council Meetings should a member so wish; issuing of an Honorary certificate.

The conferment of Councillors to Alderman or Alderlady has not happened at GRDM over the past 10 years, which is a highlight for the 2016/2021 term of Council.

Feature image caption: Executive Mayor Memory Booysen (left) receives his certificate confirming his conferment of Alderman status by Speaker Barend Groenewald (right).