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04 December 2023 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality paid tribute Alwin Fuller’s life at a special Memorial Service

Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality paid tribute Alwin Fuller’s life at a special Memorial Service

For immediate release
4 December 2023

On 29 November 2023, Councillors, Management and Staff from the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) paid tribute to the life of Alwin Fuller during a special Memorial Service, after his passing on 25 November 2023 at the age of 38.

The Council Chamber was left in a sombre atmosphere when his wife, children and family members walked through the guard of honour formed by the GRDM Firefighters to attend the service. Messages of support were delivered by his colleagues. Pastor Kevin van Wyk delivered a touching biblical message for all present and affected by Alwin’s passing.

GRDM Executive Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gert van Nierkerk, issued a certificate of appreciation to Mrs. Lorna Fuller for the dedicated services rendered by her husband to the organisation.

Fuller was appointed on 1 September 2022 in the Planning and Economic Development Department and was in tenure of the organisation until he took his last breath.  He fulfilled the role of Project Administrator for Projects and Bulk Infrastructure and became intricately involved with Energy projects driven by the organisation.

When comforting all present in his welcoming address, Portfolio Chairperson of Planning and Economic Development, Cllr Jobieth Hoogbaard, stated: “This time of year is usually a period for family to spend more time with one another and having family reunions”.  Adding to these words, Hoogbaard encouraged all to use the sudden passing of Alwin as an opportunity to learn how precious time on earth is. “We need to also make time throughout the year to enjoy and create precious moments with others.”

Described by a few colleagues as a passionate and dedicated official, many also felt that his other side portrayed more humour and others described him as a person who frequently challenged red tape that stood in the way of projects. Almost all officials alluded to the fact that Alwin wanted to get things done. Passmore Dongi, his former manager, during his virtual message, reiterated Alwin’s stubbornness for the better good of the organisation. Dongi said: “I liked his stubbornness because I don’t like a colleague working so closely with me that portrays the same characteristics as I have – because of these different characteristics we made a great team”, he said. He also highlighted that Alwin left behind a huge legacy with key projects he spearheaded. One such project is the Energy Efficient program where GRDM received an Energy Efficient Certificate as the 1st District Municipality in the Western Cape and in the country.

Integrated Development Planning colleague of Alwin, Ayakha Magxotwa, while directing the programme, shared memorable tales about his experiences and moments with Alwin. He remembers and experienced Alwin also in a more personal manner.

Executive Deputy Mayor, Ald. Gert van Niekerk summed Alwin up as a shy, reserved person. He said: “Alwin played a crucial role within the Infrastructure, Projects and Resorts Management Units of the Planning and Economic Development Department. Alwin also worked closely with Communications to ensure awareness was created about Green Energy”. In closing his speech Ald. van Niekerk said that in the face of loss, “let us celebrate the life of a man that left us too soon; but left behind a legacy. We are all fortunate that God borrowed Alwin to us”. In concluding Alwin’s journey with the organisation, Ald. van Niekerk handed over a token of appreciation to Alwin’s wife, Mrs Lorna Fuller at the event, for the dedicated and loyal service her husband rendered to the organisation.

Through his message of comfort, Pastor Kevin van Wyk urged all present to “reflect on potential obstacles hindering our path to achieving goals”. Pastor van Wyk made an example about a person receiving a gift leaving it unopen.  He said: “By leaving the gift unopen, has the same meaning as not receiving the gift”. He encouraged the family and officials to, much like Alwin, stand firm in preserving the essence of what he represented, resisting any attempts to diminish his legacy”.

 Pastor van Wyk also emphasised the importance of embracing love and accepting the invitations extended to us. “The time for acceptance is now,” he said. “We must ensure that the love bestowed upon us is received wholeheartedly. In times of turmoil, he compared God to an anchor, a steadfast presence amid life’s unpredictable winds. Him resonating with Alwin’s life, as he also grew up in the area where Alwin was born, during the event multiple times requested all present to put their hands together in celebration of Alwin’s life. He said: “This creates energy which is also symbolic to the role fulfilled by Alwin in this organisation. He said: “Every time we clap our hands let us remember Alwin in the energy we create”.

Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, extended a special vote of thanks, specifically to the family of Alwin you borrowed their husband to the organisation. Mr Stratu said that Alwin was well-aware of what his mandate He understood the vision of the organisation and his role within his Department,  because he took his mandate seriously.”

To the staff, Mr Stratu shared words of appreciation to all GRDM colleagues who worked closely with Alwin and who spoke fondly about “our brother” during the service. “I am also thankful to those colleagues that made his life bearable within the institution. Thank you for your humanity in which you interacted with Alwin and that you treated him with dignity”. To these words, Stratu emphasised: “Thank you for your interaction with Alwin, we are grateful for the demeanour that you treated him with dignity. Evidence is showing us that life is too short, for that we must love each other.”

“We come from different homes, families, homes, coming with different agendas etc, but after all we are all children of God and in God’s eyes, we are all equal. Love each other and appreciate one another. ”

Alwin was laid to rest from the VGK Church in Rosemoore, George, on Saturday, 2 December 2023 at 9:00.

Rest in Peace Alwin Fuller – Garden Route District Municipality’s Council and Staff will miss you dearly.


30 November 2022 Media Release: GRDM De Hoek Mountain Resort transitioning to a green accommodation facility

Media Release: GRDM De Hoek Mountain Resort transitioning to a green accommodation facility

For Immediate Release
29 November 2022

As part of its strategic objectives, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is keeping to its promise of being a leading district in pursuing green energy. In 2017, GRDM installed a 150kwh solar system on its parking lot at its George head-office. Now the municipality has done it again at their resort situated 35 km outside Oudtshoorn, De Hoek Mountain Resort.

On 25 November 2022, the GRDM Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, the GRDM Municipal Council and officials launched this initiative with stakeholders to celebrate this event.

Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, during his address said that with the summits that GRDM hosted over the past few years, this event is a result of one of the summits, the Green Energy Summit. The Summit contributes to the municipality’s Growth and Development goals. Through these initiatives, Stratu said: “We look at what is it that we can do as an entity to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and to produce energy, so that we can reduce our municipal bills of our own properties and buildings”. Adding to these words, Stratu added: “we have to ensure that our facilities (resorts and buildings) are gradually taken off the grid of ESKOM, so that we can reach a point where we are independent and to sell back to ESKOM the electricity that we produce from our own sources”. Stratu also used the opportunity to extend words of appreciation to Passmore Dongi, Project Manager at GRDM and the Unit, for the efforts that they have put into this project.

During an emotional speech, Passmore Dongi, GRDM’s Project Manager responsible for renewable energy, praised the Municipal Manager and his management team, as well as the Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen and Council for their support with the implementation of the project. He also emphasised the importance of ideas and the potential they have to become reality. He noted: “You can only do something when you dream.” Therefore, “dream as many times as you can,” he said.

Dongi explained that De Hoek Mountain Resort’s current electricity bill amounts to R45 000,00 per month. However, in two years’ time, GRDM might only be spending R5 000,00 and the solar system would have already paid for itself. “What we ultimately want to see is a district that is energy-secure,” he said. Dongi added that most of these projects cannot be achieved by GRDM on its own. He thanked the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for the funding made available for the Energy Master Plan that will direct the GRDM in going forward in terms of Green Energy projects. “The idea is to reduce energy consumption by 80 to 90% at the resort,” he explained.

Menno Sulsters, Director and Project Manager at SEM Solutions, said that it had been a long road, but a worthwhile journey. In technical terms, he explained how the small-scale embedded generation system operates. In conclusion he said: “During this summer period, the system will generate extra energy that will be sold back to the Oudtshoorn Municipality”.

Alderman Booysen during his keynote address, stated: “We are giving strategic leadership, often on behalf of other municipalities, and at other times for ourselves, so that GRDM continues to be unique”. In addition, Mayor Booysen noted that GRDM has made many promises since 2016, and has “given hope to the people of the Garden Route.” He also touched on the significance of district municipalities and referred to the ongoing debate over their existence. “Every time these debates come up,” he said: “I would say to my colleagues, ‘you may think what you want; while district municipalities still exist, we as GRDM are striving to be different’”.

In addition he said: “The people of the Garden Route need the GRDM and the GRDM has shown that it works for the people of the Garden Route. Adding to the words of Dongi, he said: “Even if we dream, we must wake up to implement the dream and this is exactly what the GRDM has proven all along”.

Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, in his final remarks, Mayor Booysen encouraged all Councillors present with the following words: “This GRDM Council, your legacy must stand. We must reach a stage that no matter who comes next, they must not be able to dismantle what we have done. Whoever comes next must continue this journey and the GRDM must remain standing”.

Deputy Executive Mayor, Ald. Gert van Niekerk extended words of appreciation to all stakeholders, councillors and officials present to witness the launch of this ground-breaking project. In closing he said: “It was an honour and privilege to be part of this historic occasion”. He praised and congratulated the Municipal Manager and the GRDM team who had the vision to implement this project.

The ground-mounted, grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system was installed, along with a grid-connected battery system, as a pilot installation that will demonstrate how a resort can save up to 90% on energy costs. A detailed study informed the decision, yielding that the optimum solar PV capacity is 45kWp together with a 160kWh/24kW battery system. With this system, the facility can be powered by solar energy while also charging the batteries, as it generates power during the day.

In the case of fully charged batteries, excess PV power is exported to Oudtshoorn Municipality’s grid, and De Hoek Mountain Resort is reimbursed. A grid-tied battery storage system will discharge and release energy into De Hoek’s electrical reticulation at night, ensuring that no electricity will be exported to maximize self-consumption during the day.

In total, three (3) tables of locally produced mounting structures were installed on concrete foundations, each holding 28, 28, and 26 PV modules respectively of 550Wp each. The Solar PV modules are also locally assembled, meeting the Department of Trade Industry and Competition’s local content requirements.

Now that De Hoek Mountain Resort is powered by renewable energy, it can boast of providing environmentally friendly holiday accommodation.

GRDM will continue to make all its buildings and properties eco-friendly.

Feature Image: Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, in front of the Solar System structures at the De Hoek Mountain Resort.


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

Media Release: Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and SASSETA visit 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.




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

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Focuses on Renewable Energy

For Immediate Release
13 June 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 March 2022 Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route

Media Release: NYDA Focusses on Youth Development In The Garden Route

15 March 2022
For immediate release


The second keynote speaker at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca for 2022 was Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape. He outlined NYDA’s skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.

NYDA is a South African-based agency established primarily to address challenges faced by the nation’s youth. The youth development agency was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 54 of 2008) to be a single, unitary structure addressing youth development issues at the National, Provincial and Local Government levels. The Agency should be seen within the broad context of South Africa’s development dynamics.

During Manyama’s presentation, he outlined their economic participation goal, which is to enhance the contribution of young people to the economy through targeted and integrated programs.

He added that programs created by the NYDA aims to facilitate and provide employment opportunities for the youth and to include them in the economy.

The implementation of this goal is at the following strategic objectives:

  • To provide socio-economic empowerment interventions and support for young people in South Africa
  • To provide increased universal access to young people

NYDA runs several economic programs that include:

  • Grant funding R1 000.00 to R10 000.00
  • Business Consultancy Services
  • Sales Pitch and BBBEE Training
  • Business Management Training
  • Mentorship
  • Market Linkages

On youth with disabilities, Manyama had the following to say: “Young people with disabilities are not homogenous as there are different disabilities that require different interventions. The sector representing youth with disabilities proposes the establishment of a disability unit at the NYDA to undertake to facilitate all programs aimed at transforming the lives of youth with disabilities.”

He concluded his presentation by stressing the importance of eradicating discrimination and stigmas against people with disabilities and increasing economic opportunities for them.

Access to education is limited and inadequate and this needs to be addressed. Integration of people with disabilities will also need to be addressed as there is a tendency of lumping them together despite their different needs.

15 March 2022 Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

Media Release: Growth And Development Of The Agricultural Sector In The Garden Route

15 March 2022
For immediate release

Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was invited to speak at the first Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum of 2022 and his focus was on the growth and development strategy of the department for the Garden Route. He opened his comprehensive presentation with the following quote by Allan Savory:

“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is impossible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy”.  

To put this quote into perspective, Lamberts shared one of the Department’s recent success stories: A farm in Herald was in a dilapidated state due to a lack of interest in purposing the land. A businessman who was passionate about farming bought it, and spent the next five (5) years turning it into a viable business that now produces honeybush and proteas. He is the first black commercial farmer to produce honeybush in the Southern Cape. It is because the Department assisted him that his business was able to create sixteen (16) permanent jobs, with opportunities for an additional twenty (20) seasonal workers.

Before this, in Waboomskraal, the Department assisted another farmer, who became the first black farmer in the area to produce proteas and hops.

Lamberts noted: “When all spheres of government work together in an integrated fashion, these are the type of results we will see”. 

Lamberts listed the activities and services the Department provides to farmers and all other stakeholders as the following:

  • Independent agricultural advice and information
  • Supporting Livestock farmers – Development program. Livestock Forum
  • Performance testing/annual evaluation/ID limitations and opportunities
  • Investigating and implementing new hardy breeds and crossbreeding
  • Investigations in lowering inset cost through conservation agriculture – cover crops
  • Investigations into pasture species for marginal lands
  • Crop production advice and information
  • Niche crops/markets
  • Training

The type of training that is provided includes evidence-based and practice-based farmers’ capacity building. This is done through farmers’ days, demonstrations, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interactions. Since 2018, the department trained 820 beneficiaries and this ranged from vegetable training to farm implement operation training.

The Department has a memorandum of understanding with GRDM and vacant land has been identified that the municipality owns which is conducive for agricultural development opportunities. The Department is researching the potential of commodity processing facilities in the Garden Route, which will be a source of immediate job creation – a game-changer for job creation in the region.

The Department furthermore envisions the building of Agri-Business Platforms for clients where potential products can be processed ready for consumption. Through Conservation/Regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to rehabilitate and look after their own soil to turn it into organic matter that fertilizes with very few chemicals. Trials on livestock projects have yielded very positive results to date, and the global view is that going regenerative holds many financial and ecological benefits.

Agritourism needs to be promoted as it holds several untapped opportunities for the tourism sector. There is a need to compile tour packages to visit farms and processing facilities for both local and international tourism. The Roads Department has a role to play as well, as it must ensure easy access through regular road maintenance and upgrades.

The Department is in the process of revisiting mechanization which would allow for a central point that offers services such as ploughing, for example, as well as repair and maintenance services on farm implements.

Lamberts concluded his presentation by saying that we can be very proud of our district and that the Department is very excited to continue its work in the area.

14 March 2022 Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture

Media Release: Garden Route Skills Mecca Forum Focuses On Youth Development And Agriculture

14 March 2022
For Immediate Release

The first quarterly Garden Route Skills Mecca (GRSM) Forum for 2022 was held on 25 February 2022 and was attended by delegates in person and online via Microsoft Teams. This setting provides Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and its stakeholders a chance to collectively work towards achieving Skills Summit resolutions.

The forum was chaired by Ald. Stephen de Vries briefly explained the role of the GRSM in relation to the National Skills Development Plan. He alluded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate where he stressed the importance of skills development to support economic growth as part of the economic recovery plan. The GRSM aligns itself with the National Development Plan 2030 vision to improve access to occupations in high demand and priority skills in supporting economic growth, job creation, and social development.

We want to contribute to the vision of an educated and skilled workforce for South Africa.

The forum hosted two keynote speakers. The first was Clyde Lamberts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture who outlined, in detail, the department’s growth and development strategy.

The second keynote speaker, Tshepo Manyama – Regional Manager of National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Western Cape – presented on matters of skills development plans, opportunities, and needs that support youth development in the Garden Route.

Dr. Florus Prinsloo (Skill Mecca Co-ordinator, GRDM) officially launched the GRSM website, which has been in development since last year.

The aim of the website is to serve as a central point of communication and to close the gap between service providers, investors, and candidates with learning opportunities needs.

There is still work that needs to be done which, once completed, will see the ‘partnership’ page going live. Once this happens, service providers will be able to register and list learning opportunities, which will then be communicated by GRDM’s Communication unit. A process has been established to vet all applicants before registration to ensure that the highest standards are always met.


8 December 2021 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality mourns the tragic loss of another employee

Garden Route District Municipality mourns the tragic loss of another employee

For Immediate Release
8 December 2021

On Monday, 6 December 2021, when management and staff arrived at the respective offices of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), they learned about the tragic passing of their colleague, William Jonas.

William sadly passed away on Sunday, 5 December 2021 at the age of 44 after he was a victim of a brutal attack in George, a few days prior to landing up in the Intensive Care Unit. He leaves behind his wife and children, as well as many friends and colleagues.

According to a Human Resources official from GRDM, Lynn Marajh, the late William was appointed on 3 June 2016 on an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) contract. His contract would have come to end during January 2022.

The late William will be remembered for his reserved and level-headed personality. Although he was employed at the EPWP Unit, he was known to almost the entire organisation, as his worked spanned across the entire region alongside the Maintenance Unit. Those who worked close to him such as Mario Appels, Superintendent at GRDM, remembers the late William as an enthusiastic, hardworking and goal driven individual – always respectful. “Being the reserved person he was, he had a fine eye for details around him. Apart from being his quiet self, he was also funny and knew how to make his colleagues laugh,” said Medron Bussak, Administrative Assistant: Resorts.  On a more personal level, William knew what his responsibilities as a family man were – “he loved his family,” Medron said. His music taste for the old school genre was symbolic to the type of characteristics he embodied.

“At GRDM we will always remember William as a helpful person who had a great passion for his work.”

The municipality will on Monday, 13 December 2021, host a memorial service to celebrate William’s life and to share a moment with his family, to bid him farewell.

“Rest in peace William, you will be dearly missed.”

The link to follow the proceeding via our Youtube channel will be published in due course.

Feature Photo: William Jonas, with the Executive Mayor, Memory Booysen (middle) and his team members (fltr) Wayne Cronje, Irvin Siljeur and Sheldon Flemming earlier this year at an event that was hosted by GRDM at the Rosemoor Stadium in George.


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.


Public Notice: Proposed Long-Term Lease of a Portion of Erf 419 Mossel Bay to Ikusasa Processing Engineer

Public Notice: Proposed Long-Term Lease of a Portion of Erf 419 Mossel Bay to Ikusasa Processing Engineer

Notice 59/2019

Notice is hereby given in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act (No 56 of 2003), read with the Municipal Asset Transfer Regulations (R878 of 2008), the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (No 3 of 2000), as well as the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act (No. 32 of 2000), that the Council of the Garden Route District Municipality, in terms of Resolution H.4 intends to enter into a long-term lease agreement (50 years) with Ikusasa Processing Engineering Consultants, to construct a chemical manufacturing plant on a portion of erf 419, Mossel Bay. This plant, as proposed, will have the capabilities to manufacture products for various sectors such as Agriculture, Water Treatment, Textiles and Roads, with the ability to expand its product range in the future. The Applicant will also be responsible for all the costs, which includes the sub-division costs of the property. The property is, in terms of the provisions of section 14 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act 56 of 2003), not required for the purposes of providing minimum basic municipal services.

Any comments and/or objections to the proposed long-term lease, with your reasons for such objection(s), must be submitted in writing and addressed to: The Municipal Manager, Garden Route District Municipality, P O Box 12, George, 6530, by no later than Friday, 14 June 2019.  Any comments and/or objections which are received after the abovementioned closing date, will not be taken into consideration.

Any enquiries may be directed to Mr L Menze, Planning & Economic Development, at telephone number (044) 803 1398 or per email to This notice is also available on the website of the Municipality at

M G Stratu
Municipal Manager
Garden Route District Municipality