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Municipal Health

3 May 2024 Media Release: Ensuring Access to Safe Water: The Vital Role of Environmental Health Practitioners

Media Release: Ensuring Access to Safe Water: The Vital Role of Environmental Health Practitioners

3 May 2024

The Constitution of South Africa states that: “Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient water “(Section 27 (1) (b).

Water that is unsafe for consumption poses a serious health risk. Those at greatest risk of water borne diseases are infants, the elderly, immune compromised individuals, and those living in settlements without basic water supply and sanitation services.

This is why water quality monitoring is important and encompasses a range of actions by Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP), aimed at ensuring the safety and purity of water sources accessible to communities. These actions include the following:

  • Collecting water samples for laboratory analysis.
  • Conducting field test on public water supply sources.
  • Conducting inspections as part of Municipal Health surveillance programmes.

The role of the EHP: Water Quality Monitoring of Water tanker trucks: 

  • Water trucking refers to the bulk transport of water from the source to a storage facility near a distribution point. During the acute and stabilisation phases of an emergency, these trucks may be used to provide short-term transport of water to communal water points.
  • The water transported in tanker trucks to various identified sites within a community should be considered as originating from a non-water service authority source, as it is no longer within the closed reticulation pipe system.

Water is distributed through various methods, including:

  • Transportation by water trucks.
  • The filling of private and communal water tanks.
  • The filling of reservoirs affected by compromised reticulation system.

The role of the EHP:

  • Sampling the water source (tanker truck/tank) and the water provider’s source to verify compliance with SANS 241:2015 Specifications for drinking water.
  • Ensuring the driver maintains a logbook to keep record of when the water was sourced and where the water was sourced from.
  • Each logbook should also record the truck cleaning schedule.
  • Documenting pertinent details of the tanker trucks, including registration and vehicle description.
  • Providing health and hygiene education to the community, including the cleaning of tanks and ensuring clean containers are used for the collection of the water.
  • Ensuring tanker trucks are easily cleanable, equipped with lockable covers, and have screened air vents to prevent contamination from animals and insects.
  • The EHP must conduct daily visits to healthcare centres including the local clinics to monitor whether any water-related disease outbreaks have occurred and conduct related investigations to ensure the possible source of pollution.

Through these duties, EHPs play a critical role in safeguarding public health and ensuring the provision of safe and clean water to communities.

For inquiries and further information, please contact the respective individuals in charge:

Region Person in Charge Contact Number Address
Klein Karoo Region & Kannaland Region Desmond Paulse, Manager: Municipal Health (Klein Karoo) Tel: 044 272 2241, Cell: 083 678 6530 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn
Mossel Bay Monique Anthony, Acting Chief Tel: 044 693 0006, Cell: 061 445 1932 C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay

Featured image caption: Garden Route District Municipality EHP, Linden Herwels, ensuring water trucks comply with prescribed procedures.

END

19 April 2024 Media Release: Stakeholders Unite for Spaza Shop Blitz Initiative in Mossel Bay

Media Release: Stakeholders Unite for Spaza Shop Blitz Initiative in Mossel Bay

For Immediate Release
19 April 2024

On Thursday, 11 April 2024, a joint Spaza Shop Blitz Operation was conducted in Asla Park, Mossel Bay.

Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP), along with Mossel Bay Municipality’s Law Enforcement, Department of Home Affairs, Border Patrol, and South African Police Service (SAPS), participated in the operations to visit spaza shops in the area.

The following items were inspected during these visits to determine whether shops met 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.
  • The general hygiene of the premises.
  • Labelling of Foodstuffs.

Also, the team inspected the shops for expired products and removed those that did not comply. Six (6) shops were visited and inspected.   After completing the inspections, GRDM sent a letter to those premises that did not comply with the requirements.  Spaza shop owners were given clear instructions regarding their shortfalls in the letter.  Complying with all requirements contribute to the health and safety of the communities that shops sell products to.

This combined operation will now be a weekly exercise.

Above are some pictures that show some of the physical inspections that took place during the operation.

Featured Image Caption: Various stakeholders involved in the Spaza Shop Blitz.

For more information please contact the following GRDM sub-office:

Mossel Bay

Acting Chief Municipal Health

Tel: 044 693 0006, cell: 061 445 1932

C/O Sampson & Marlin Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay.

ENDS

26 March 2024 Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners from GRDM conduct health inspections at KKNK in Oudtshoorn

Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners from GRDM conduct health inspections at KKNK in Oudtshoorn

For immediate release
26 March 2024

This year the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) takes place in Oudtshoorn for the 28th time. The festival started on 23 March and will conclude on 31 March 2024.

Since the Municipal Health Services function is defined in the National Health Act, 2003 and includes the following Key Performance Areas such as Food Control, Solid Waste Management, Health Surveillance of Premises etc., the Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) commenced with inspections at the festival’s food stalls for compliance in terms of Regulation No. 638 of 22 June 2018.

During inspections the EHPs also provide food hygiene education to food handlers. By doing so, their efforts ensure that all food during storage, handling and preparation at food stalls are safe, wholesome, as well as fit for human consumption and conform to the applicable quality and safety requirements.

Currently, the team also carry out inspections and monitor public toilets, wastewater disposal systems, refuse disposal and removal, as well as ensuring that regulations relating to the smoking in public places and certain outdoor public places, are adhered to.

What are these Hygiene Guidelines for Food Stalls?

  1. Every food stall owner must be in possession of a Certificate of Acceptability in terms of R638 OF 22 June 2018.
  2. The COA must at all times be available at the food stall and also visible to the public.
  3. People working on the premises must be properly trained in food hygiene.
  4. Suitable protective clothing, which includes a full length apron and head covering, must be worn by all food handlers.
  5. Proper facilities must be provided for the storage of perishable foodstuffs at temperatures under 5°C for cold food and above 65° for warm food.
  6. All working surfaces must be made of smooth, dust free, non-absorbent and washable material.
  7. Cover and protect all foodstuffs from contamination by dust and insects.
  8. Smoking in food stall is prohibited.
  9. Keep a bucket or bowl with water, soap and preferable paper towels at hand for the wash and drying of hands.
  10. A dustbin with a tight lid must be available for use at all times.
  11. Animals may not be allowed in the food stall.
  12. If the natural ground surface of the premises is dusty, it must be covered with a dustproof, washable ground sheet.
  13. All pre packed food must be properly labeled. (Foodstuffs and Cosmetic and Disinfected Act, 1972) (Act no 54 of 1972). Provision must be made for the collection and storage of waste water until disposal thereof.
  14. The stall / premises where food is handled must at all times be kept clean and in a hygiene condition.

For more information or to report complaints relating to the festival or in general, contact the following GRDM offices:

Desmond Paulse, Manager: Municipal Health (Klein Karoo)
Klein Karoo Region & Kannaland Region
Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn
Tel: 044 272 2241 / Cell: 083 678 6530

Johan Compion, Senior Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services
Mission Street, Industrial Area, George
044-803 1525 / Cell: 082 803 5161

Caption: Environmental Health Practitioner from the GRDM Klein Karoo Municipal Health Office, Johan Smith, during an inspection performed at the KKNK. 

ENDS

25 March 2024 Media Release: Prohibition of Animals at Food Premises

Media Release: Prohibition of Animals at Food Premises

25 March 2024

The food trading sector is responsible for adherence to Food Safety Management Procedures at all times.

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) from the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), are represented within each local town and are responsible for enforcing legislation pertaining to, amongst others – food premises.

According to Johan Compion, GRDM Senior Manager: Municipal Health and Environmental Services: “Food premises refer to any premises where food is being manufactured, processed, produced, packed, prepared, kept, offered, transported, stored, or displayed for sale or for serving to the public in any serving area”.

The current Regulation Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises, the Transport of Food and related matters is known as Regulation 638 of 22 June 2018, promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972). In terms of duties of a person in charge of food premises, Regulation 638 states the following in article 10:
“10. A person in charge of food premises shall ensure that-
(10) an animal, subject to the provisions of any law, is not kept or permitted in a room or area where food is handled, except that –

(a) a guide or service dog accompanying a person with a disability may be permitted in the sales or serving area of the food premises.
(b) fish, molluscs, or crustaceans may be kept alive until prepared for consumption.”

No animal (including any domestic pet), is allowed at any food premises or any area where food is being served to the public, with the exemption of the above scenario.

Regulation R638 also states that a person in charge of food premises must ensure that-

“10(1)(a) he or she is suitably qualified or otherwise adequately trained in the principles and practices of food safety and hygiene, as appropriate, and that the training is accredited or conducted by an inspector, where applicable.”

It remains the responsibility of all food premises owners/managers to empower themselves with knowledge, in terms of their legal obligation regarding all relevant legislation and the requirements contained within the Act, to ensure general compliance of the food trading property which they manage/operate or own.

Offences: Any person who contravenes a provision of these regulations, or allows such a contravention to take place, shall be guilty of an offence and liable for a penalty as provided for under Section 18 of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act of 1972):
1. On the first conviction R400.00.
2. On the second conviction R800.00.
3. On the third conviction R2 000.00.

The GRDM is currently reviewing the enforcement of fines in the greater Garden Route and will implement these structures as soon as the processes are completed.

This includes all premises wanting to apply for exemptions in terms of Regulation 638 of 22 June 2018, promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972).

For more information or report any issue elated to this article, contact the following GRDM offices within the Garden Route:

Johan Compion – Senior Manager: Municipal Health, Solid Waste Management & Air Quality Control
E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za
Tel: 082 803 5161

Klein Karoo and Kannaland Region
Desmond Paulse – Manager: Municipal Health Klein Karoo
Cell: 083 678 6530

Langeberg (Mossel Bay)
Acting Chief: Municipal Health, Mossel Bay
Cell: 083 630 6108

George (Outeniqua)
Emmy Douglas – Chief: Municipal Health George (Outeniqua)
Cell: 078 457 2824

George (Wilderness)
Acting Chief: Municipal Health George (Wilderness)
Tel: 044 803 1522

Lakes (Knysna)
James McCarthy – Chief: Municipal Health Knysna
Cell: 082 805 9417

Lakes (Bitou)
Gawie Vos – Chief: Municipal Health Bitou
Cell: 083 557 1522

Langeberg (Hessequa)
Haemish Herwels – Chief: Municipal Health Hessequa
Cell: 083 678 6545

ENDS

Feature image: Shutterstock.

20 March 2024 Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners protect public health through rigorous sampling

Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners protect public health through rigorous sampling

For Immediate Release
20 March 2024

An extensive sampling program is continuously rolled out across various Garden Route district. The region is divided into several focus areas which include the Klein Karoo, Lakes (Knysna), Lakes (Plettenberg Bay), George (Outeniqua), George (Wilderness), Langeberg (Mossel Bay), and Langeberg (Hessequa).

According to Johan Compion, GRDM Senior Manager: Municipal Health and Environmental Services, “sampling is central to our mission to ensure the protection of public health , compliance with current legislation and the identification of potential contaminants in the products our communities consumes”.

Food and water can become contaminated at various stages, from production to distribution. The GRDM’s sampling approach enables the precise identification of harmful bacteria, viruses, chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants.

Public Health Protection

Sampling efforts have the potential to identify food and water contaminants, pathogens, or toxins. EHPs are proactive in sampling various sources to detect hazards, initiate timely measures to mitigate risks and prevent possible outbreaks of foodborne illnesses or waterborne diseases.

Monthly routine bacteriological and chemical water testing are done at established sampling points, complemented by additional sampling in response to complaints or known spillages. Similarly, bacteriological food samples are collected monthly from various locations to verify hygienic standards in storage and preparation. Chemical food samples are evaluated quarterly to confirm the accuracy of product labels.

GRDM EHPs capture sampling data on the institution’s data management system where they can draw reports and monitor compliance. Furthermore the sampling data is available on our Municipal Health Dashboard where they can track the areas of non-compliance as well as historical data to identify any trends of concern.. The historical data also assists EHPs with investigations to determine possible causes and to remedy them as soon as possible to ensure the water or food are compliant to legislated standards.

Collaborative Laboratory Analysis

Chemical and bacteriological water and food samples are analysed by an accredited laboratory for bacteriological samples and the Forensic Chemical Laboratory do all the GRDM’s chemical food samples.

Johan Compion – Senior Manager: Municipal Health, Solid Waste Management & Air Quality Control
E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za
Tel: 082 803 5161

Klein Karoo and Kannaland Region
Desmond Paulse – Manager: Municipal Health Klein Karoo
Tel: 044 272 2241 / Cell: 083 678 6530
94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

Langeberg (Mossel Bay)
Acting Chief: Municipal Health Mossel Bay
Tel: 044 693 0006 /Cell: 083 630 6108
C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay

George (Outeniqua)
Emmy Douglas – Chief: Municipal Health George (Outeniqua)
Tel: 044 803 1537 / Cell: 078 457 2824
Mission Street, Industrial Area, George, 6530

George (Wilderness)
Acting Chief: Municipal Health George (Wilderness)
Tel: 044 803 1522
Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

Lakes (Knysna)
James McCarthy – Chief: Municipal Health Knysna
Tel: 044 382 7214 / Cell: 082 805 9417
26A Queen Street, Knysna

Lakes (Bitou)
Gawie Vos – Chief: Municipal Health Bitou
Tel: 044 501 1600 / Cell: 083 557 1522
7 Gibb Street, Plettenberg Bay

Langeberg (Hessequa)
Haemish Herwels – Chief: Municipal Health Hessequa
Tel: 028 713 2438 / Cell: 083 678 6545
23 Michell Street, Riversdale, 6670

Feature Image: Water Sampling being done by an Environmental Health Practitioner at the Kaaimans River mouth

ENDS

 

18 March 2024 Media Release: GRDM Municipal Health Services continue to fulfill its role in Knysna and Bitou during March 2024

Media Release: GRDM Municipal Health Services continue to fulfill its role in Knysna and Bitou during March 2024

For immediate release
18 March 2024

During the month of March 2024, Environmental Health Practitioners from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) continued to fulfill their roll in the respective communities they serve.  Some of the activities in Knysna and Bitou areas included a visit, together with GRDM councillors, to Annie’s Daycare Centre in Rheenendal, a training session at The Crags Bread and Brew restaurant in Bitou, and an awareness session at the Paradise Manor Frail Care Centre in Knysna.

Knysna: GRDM donates mattresses to Annie’s Day Care in Rheenendal and educate children regarding proper hand washing techniques

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, Ald. Nompumelelo Ndayi, recently visited Annie’s Day Care centre in Rheenendal near Knysna. Accompanying Cllr Ndayi, were GRDM and Local Ward Councillor, Cllr Hilton Stroebel, as well as officials from the GRDM’s Knysna Municipal Health Services Section.

This crèche opened its doors in 2020, to assist in the need for Early Childhood Development services in the Rheenendal area. In their quest to address these needs, Cllrs Ndayi and Stroebel handed over 18 mattresses to the principal of the crèche after Cllr Stroebel extended a warm welcome to all present who witnessed the proceedings that would ultimately contribute to a healthier and more comfortable learning environment for the children of the facility.

During her address, Ndayi said: “Since the crèche was registered, the facility grew rapidly which resulted in the crèche eventually not having sufficient mattresses for all the children. The principal approached the ward councillor for a possible donation – thank you for approaching us,” she added.

The event was concluded with the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners led by Lindon Herwels, demonstrating proper hand washing techniques to learners with their caretakers present.

Principal and owner of the crèche, Ms Anne Barends, extended words of appreciation to the GRDM, particularly Ald. Ndayi and Cllr Stroebel for the generous donation to the facility, as well as Linden Herwels for educating the children about proper hand washing techniques.

Bitou: GRDM’s EHPs conducts Health and Hygiene training at Food Premises

Regulation R638 of 2018, under Act 52 of 1972, outlines comprehensive guidelines for food safety and hygiene practices. Together with the guideline, the Regulation also mandates that all food handlers undergo formal training in Health and Hygiene practices.

Garden Route District Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) responsible for the Bitou region, recently conducted a training session at one of the restaurants in the area, The Crags Bread and Brew.

The training covered essential topics such as the 5 Keys to Safer Foods, which include hygiene, separating raw and cooked foods, cooking food thoroughly, keeping food at safe temperatures, and using safe water and raw materials.

Moreover, R638 specifies structural requirements for food premises to ensure safe handling and preparation of food. These requirements encompass adequate ventilation, lighting, and drainage systems, as well as provisions for waste disposal and pest control. Additionally, the regulation mandates proper storage facilities, sanitation measures, and equipment maintenance to prevent contamination and ensure food safety.

In summary, Regulation R638 of 2018 underscores the importance of training food handlers in health and hygiene practices, adhering to the 5 Keys to Safer Foods, and maintaining appropriate structural standards in food premises to safeguard public health and promote food safety.

EHPs from GRDM therefore encourages all food premises in the Bitou region to comply with these requirements stipulated in the Regulations to ensure the best possible service to the communities it serve.

Knysna: EHPs from Garden Route District Municipality conduct Health and Hygiene Session at Frail Care Centre

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) from Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM’s) Municipal Health Services section in Knysna recently conducted and presented a Health and Hygiene education session to the staff of Paradise Manor Frail Care Centre.

The following information was presented to the staff, including food safety covering the five (5) keys to safer food; the prevention of food borne illnesses; all food handlers and Care Takers partook in the session and water quality (The premises is situated in a rural area and the treatment of water to ensure it complies with SANS 241:2015, formed part of the training). The session also included talks about safe storage and disposal of medical waste on the premises.

The owner, manager, caretakers, maintenance staff, as well as food handlers attended and participated in the session.

Feature Image: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners, Linden Herwels, demonstrating proper hand washing techniques to a learner during their visit to Annie’s Daycare Centre.

ENDS

09 February 2024 Media Release: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners Conducted Health Education at Kuyasa Clinic, Zone 9, Thembalethu.

Media Release: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners Conducted Health Education at Kuyasa Clinic, Zone 9, Thembalethu.

For immediate release
09 February 2024

At the end of January 2024, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP), Yonwaba Sifo and Ivy Mamegwa visited Kuyasa Clinic located in Zone 9, Thembalethu. The purpose of the visit was to inform and educate clinic visitors about Typhoid fever.

According to Ivy Mamegwa, “Typhoid fever is one of the notifiable medical conditions in South Africa. It is caused by Salmonella Typhi. The disease is spread through faecal oral contamination and can be transmitted from person to person by direct contact or through ingestion of contaminated food or water. The importance of hand-washing was also emphasized”.

During the presentation, more than 50 patients were reached.  To those present, the GRDM EHPs demonstrated effective and correct hand washing techniques. They also taught the public what typhoid fever is, the causative agent, its symptoms, and how to prevent it. Common symptoms of Typhoid fever include: Headache, abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea etc.

The three most effective methods of preventing typhoid are:

  • Adherence to strict hand washing with soap and water after using the toilet and before handling food;
  • Provision of safe water; and
  • Adequate sanitation.

EHP Yonwaba Sifo said: “Typhoid fever patients should practice strict hand hygiene and should not prepare food until they have been proven to be infection-free”.

                                 Caption: EHPs  busy demonstrating the proper techniques of hand-washing.

-END-

29 January 2024 Media Release: Cholera:  A disease nobody should die from

Media Release: Cholera:  A disease nobody should die from

For immediate release
29 January 2024

As of 15 January 2024, the Cholera outbreak has affected various countries in Eastern and Southern Africa with more than 200 000 positive cases and 3000 deaths reported. Since the start of the outbreak in Zimbabwe during February 2023, more than eighteen thousand (18 000) cases were reported, with seventy-one (71) confirmed deaths and more than three hundred (300) suspected deaths.

South Africa is on high alert after two cases of cholera were reported in the Limpopo province. Both are suspected to be imported cases.

What is Cholera?

Cholera is a diarrhoeal infection/disease caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae. The disease can cause large outbreaks and epidemics. An epidemic is a sudden outbreak of disease that affects a large number of people in a particular region, community, or population in a short period.

Cholera outbreaks are usually associated with unsafe water sources, and poor sanitation and hygiene infrastructures, thus affecting those living in informal settlements or in displacement camps.

Symptoms of Cholera

The infection is usually mild or without symptoms, but it can be severe and life-threatening. In severe cases, an infected person will experience severe symptoms, which include:

  • profuse watery diarrhoea, sometimes described as “rice-water stools”
  • vomiting
  • thirst
  • leg cramps
  • restlessness or irritability
  • An infected person can also develop severe dehydration which, if left untreated can lead to kidney failure, shock, coma, and ultimately death. During this period, the stools contain large amounts of the bacterium which increase the risk of transmission.

How is Cholera transmitted?

The mode of transmission for cholera is usually water contaminated with human faeces from an infected person, which can either have a direct route (drinking contaminated water) or an indirect route (eating contaminated food).

Important to remember:

  • Water can be contaminated at the source, during storage or use.
  • Food products can be contaminated when washed or rinsed off in contaminated water or fertilised with human faeces.
  • The bacteria can also be transmitted by soiled hands to water or food. Person-to-person spread is not common but can happen in rare cases.
  • Fish, especially shellfish harvested from contaminated water sources and eaten raw or not cooked properly, can also pose a serious risk.

What is the incubation period?

The incubation period refers to the period from when a person ingests water/food contaminated with the cholera bacterium to when they first become ill.

The incubation period for cholera ranges from a few hours to 5 days (usually 2 – 3 days). The incubation period of cholera is short, therefore any delays in implementing relevant control measures, as well as the provision of proper water and sanitation services can result in explosive outbreaks.

How to prevent Cholera

The most important aspects to minimise and prevent the spread of cholera are as follows.

  • Use safe water for drinking and household purposes.
  • Wash hands on a regular basis using soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect toilets before use. If there is no access to toilet facilities, do not defecate close to or in water sources and bury your faeces.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables with safe water, but if not possible, peel it.
  • Do not eat raw seafood sourced from contaminated water sources.

As part of the Cholera Prevention and Control Programme, Garden Route District Municipality is constantly conducting Moore pad sampling of the water sources across the district. Furthermore, health and hygiene education programmes will be conducted in the various regions.  Public awareness is also paramount in minimising the spread and the prevention and control of communicable diseases; therefore, it is important that the organisation utilises its local media platforms to educate the public regarding diseases such as cholera.

Did you know?

  • A Moore pad is multiple layers of surgical gauze connected to a piece of string or wire to allow the pad to be fixed in a flowing stream of sewage or water. The pad is left in the water stream for a period of 24-72 hours to “filter” microorganisms. Thereafter, the pad is immersed in double strength alkaline-peptone broth and submitted to the laboratory for analysis.

The following methods can be used to treat the water that we use on a daily basis for drinking and household purposes, by:

Boiling the water?

  1. Filter the water using a clean cloth or towel if it was collected from a river or stream. This is to remove soil, leaves or any other large particles from the water.
  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil for at least 1 – 3 minutes. Boiling kills the pathogens in the water.
  3. Allow the water to cool down and store in containers with close fitting lids.

Disinfect water using household bleach

Important: When using household bleach make sure that it has a sodium hypochlorite concentration of at least 6% – 8.25% (See the label of the product for details).

  1. Use a clean bottle or container to disinfect the water.
  2. Filter the water, by using a clean cloth or towel to remove any visible dirt or particles.
  3. Use the following measuring instructions for the addition of bleach to water.

[5ml bleach to 20 litres of water] – 5ml of bleach = 100 drops (using a medicine dropper)

Therefore: 20 drops to 4litre water

                   10 drops to 2litre water

  1. Mix the water well and let it stand for 30 minutes (Water should have a slight chlorine smell, if not add the same amount of bleach to the water and let it stand for 2 hours.

For more information or report any related symptoms, contact the following GRDM offices within the Garden Route:

Region Person in Charge Contact Number Address
Klein Karoo Region & Kannaland Region Desmond Paulse
Manager: Municipal Health (Klein Karoo)
Tel: 044 272 2241 / Cell: 083 678 6530 Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn
Mossel Bay Monique Anthony
Acting Chief Municipal Health
Tell: 044 693 0006 /
Cell: 061 445 1932
C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay.
George Outeniqua Emmy Douglas
Chief: Municipal Health (Outeniqua)
Tel: 044 803 1501 / Cell: 078 457 2824 Mission Street, Industrial Area, George, 6530
George

Wilderness

Khanyisa Shoto
Acting Chief: Municipal Health
Tel: 044 803 1599 / Cell:071 883 6335 Mission Street, Industrial Area, George, 6530
Knysna Region James McCarthy
Chief: Knysna
Tel: 044 382 7214 /
Cell: 082 805 9417
26A Queen Street, Knysna

 

Bitou Region Gawie Vos
Chief: Lakes (Bitou)
Tell: 044 501 1600 / Cell: 083 557 1522 4 Virginia Street, Plettenberg Bay, 6600
Hessequa Region Haemish Herwels Chief: Hessequa Tel: 028 713 2438 / Cell: 083 678 6545 24 Michell Street, Riversdale, 6670
Johan Compion
Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services
E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za
Tel: 044 803 1300 / Cell: 082 803 5161

ENDS

22 January 2024 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality provides ongoing support to the Kannaland Municipal area

Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality provides ongoing support to the Kannaland Municipal area

For Immediate Release
22 January 2024

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) continues to deliver a comprehensive list of services to the Kannaland municipal area. For example, from October to December 2023, the following services were rendered – inspection of food premises, health surveillance of premises, water sampling, advice in terms of the upgrading of the Zoar Sewage Pump Station and Oxidation ponds, air quality monitoring and disaster management support.

111 Inspection at Food Premises: A total of 111 inspections were conducted by GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) across various food establishments, including restaurants, informal food traders, dairy farms, supermarkets, soup kitchens, butcheries, spaza shops, and others.

457 Health Surveillance of Premises: GRDM EHPs conducted 457 inspections at locations including waste facilities, water treatment plants, illegal dump sites, old age homes, childcare facilities, and more to ensure compliance with health and safety standards.

34 Water Samples taken: EHPs took an additional 34 water samples, encompassing drinking water, river water, and final sewage effluent.

Routine Water Quality Sampling: EHPs routinely assessed water reticulation systems and wastewater treatment works, ensuring compliance with national standards and addressing non-compliance promptly to protect public health and the environment.

Zoar Sewage Pump Station and Oxidation Ponds: GRDM assisted with the upgrading of the Zoar sewage infrastructure, significantly reducing pollution in the Nels River.

Air quality monitoring of Ladismith Waste Water Treatment Works: Following an offensive odour complaint, GRDM’s Air Quality unit initiated an investigation leading to several interventions.

Calitzdorp Water Treatment Works: GRDM assisted in identifying and rectifying non-compliance issues at the Calitzdorp water treatment plant, which led to improved drinking water quality.

Disaster Management Interventions for Water Crisis: In response to the current water crisis in Calitzdorp as well as rural areas provided with water from the Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply Scheme (KKRWSS)  the GRDM Disaster Management Services provided 28 X 5500L water tanks to ensure accessible potable water for communities in these water-stressed areas. This was reported earlier in December 2023.  

ENDS

11 January 2024 Media Statement: Garden Route District Municipality successfully defends Atmospheric Emission Licence Decision in Court

Media Statement: Garden Route District Municipality successfully defends Atmospheric Emission Licence Decision in Court

For immediate release
11 January 2024

During 2021, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Air Quality unit received an application for an Atmospheric Emission Licence (AEL) from Rooikat Recycling (Pty) Ltd for a proposed waste-to-energy pilot plant in Great Brak River, Mossel Bay district. The granting of the licence was also subjected to Environmental Authorisation (EA), with the competent authority being the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning: Waste Directorate. The Environmental Authorisation and atmospheric emissions licencing processes ran concurrently. Two public participation processes were conducted, one for the EA and one for the AEL process. Sharples was appointed by the Applicant (Rooikat Recycling (Pty) Ltd to facilitate the applications as well as the public participation process, as required by legislation.

The Rooikat (PTY) Ltd Recycling Plant in Great Brak River.

From the onset, the application drew a lot of public attention. Several Great Brak River residents were concerned about the effect of the facility on their health and well-being.

The decision to grant the licence was based on various factors as guided by Section 39 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act 39 of 2004).  The effect of the facility on the health and well-being of the residents were, amongst others, guided through an air quality impact report done by Lethabo Air Quality Specialists. This study indicated the emissions to be negligible and within the minimum emission limits of the specific licence categories and not exceeding the South African Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The Department granted Environmental Authorisation to Rooikat Recycling (Pty) Ltd after which the GRDM granted the Provisional Atmospheric Emissions Licence. Both these authorisations were, however, suspended due to two appeals lodged, one appeal by the Great Brak River Ratepayers Association.  The appeals were rejected by the Western Cape MEC and the GRDM Municipal Manager (the respective appeal authorities).

The issuing of the Provisional Atmospheric Emission Licence to Rooikat Recycling (Pty) Ltd then took effect.

A resident of Great Brak River, Mr Evert de Lange (refer to Mossel Bay Advertiser article of 29 July 2022 (Munisipaliteite en Wes-Kaap MEC voor hof gedaag oor Rooikat) then lodged a case, case 254/22, on 12 July 2022 at the High Court in George against, amongst others, the Garden Route District Municipality (First Respondent). There were multiple complaints, but in essence his complaint was that the GRDM did not follow due process in terms of Public Participation.

Stadler and Swart was appointed to represent the GRDM with its defence.

The Municipality’s issuing of the AEL to Rooikat was an administrative decision.  Although not articulated as such in the Plaintiffs Particulars of Claim (POC), the Plaintiff’s challenge to the public participation process leading to the AEL is, in substance, a review under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (PAJA).

Section 7(1) of PAJA requires reviews of administrative action to be instituted within 180 calendar days.  Here the Plaintiff did not exercise internal remedies before instituting PAJA application and the lapse of time between the Municipality’s appeal decision and the date of summons exceeded 180 days.

Section 38(2) makes section 24 of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) applicable to applications for atmospheric emissions licenses.  Similarly, section 24(1A)(c) of NEMA places the sole responsibility for the public participation process on the applicant.

The Plaintiff’s averments that the Municipality failed in a duty to conduct the public participation process, is also legally unsustainable.  The Municipality plays no role in the public participation process; it evaluates the process as part of an atmospheric emissions license application.

On 28 November 2023 in the High Court of South Africa, Eastern circuit, local division, George, Honourable Judge Erasmus ordered that:

  1. The Plaintiff withdraws its claim against the Defendants.

  2. That the Plaintiff pays the First Defendant`s (GRDM) cost on a party-to-party scale, either taxed or as agreed.

  3. Third Defendant (MEC) did not seek an order for cost.

This order closes the Rooikat case. The ruling was in essence based on the fact that the Judge had insurmountable problems with Mr De Lange`s locus standi. The case should not have been referred to the court as Mr de Lange did not exhaust the internal remedies to address his concerns. That is: did not partake in the public participation process, did not object or appeal within these processes and, also, did not use the PAJA process within the 180 days.

It is also important to note that the Air Quality unit followed all the correct procedures to deal with the application.

District Manager for Air Quality Control at GRDM, Dr Johann Schoeman, highlighted: “The project is operational –  all start-up tests have been concluded and an official commission date was determined and communicated to the Air Quality unit in terms of its Provisional Atmospheric Emissions Licence”.

Schoeman further stated that “a continuous emissions monitoring system is recording their emissions, and the monitoring reports are submitted to the Air Quality unit. There are no exceedances at this stage. All relevant conditions are being complied with. Complaints in the Great Brak River area are not attributed to the Rooikat Recycling project and the conclusion is that the Rooikat Recycling Project does not have a detrimental impact on the environmental and the health of the receptors”.

ENDS