Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Provincial & National

05 April 2024 Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Works, George

Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Project

05 April 2024

The Gwaing project is still in its construction phase.  The progress of the project currently stands at 70% works completed, after a few rain delays were experienced in the last two weeks.

The main focus areas at this stage remains the processing of the layer works. Material is still being carted in from the approved source, with the cement stabilisation process scheduled to start as early as next week. The drainage network on the entire section of the road has been improved, with minor concrete structures currently being constructed for erosion control.

The intended final completion date is set for 18 September 2024.


20 February 2024 Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Works, George

Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Project

20 February 2024

The Gwaing project is still in its construction phase with 65% works completed.

The main focus areas currently are the processing of the layer works, where the team will soon commence with the stabilisation process of the first lane, as material is currently being carted into the site from the approved source. Various other activities are still in process such as the improvement of the drainage network by means of laying new stormwater pipe crossings, which are nearing its completion.

The final completion date set for 18 September 2024.


1 November 2023 Public Notice: Stop-Go Controls – Brenton-on-Sea and Barrington Roads

Public Notice: Stop-Go Controls: On Brenton-on-Sea and Barrington Roads

1 November 2023

Stop-go controls will be implemented along sections of the Brenton-on-sea Road and Barrington Road between:
November 2023 and 14 December 2023

We urge the public to be patient during this time

Lane closures are required for the purposes of undertaking repair work to the roads. Two-way traffic will be maintained by means of a stop-go system which should cause a delay of between 10 minutes and 20 minutes per trip. The public will be kept informed timeously if there are any changes in the traffic accommodation such as temporary road closures.

The safety and convenience to the travelling public are of utmost importance and every effort will be made to ensure that all temporary road signs, cones, flag people and speed controls are maintained and are effective, and that courtesy is extended to the public at all times. The Contractor is required to make use of approved methods to control the movement of his equipment and vehicles so as not to constitute a hazard on public roads.

The Public, when using the affected roads, is requested to be patient, exercise caution, to travel at reduced speed, obey the permanent and the construction related temporary traffic signage and heed the guidance of the stop-go operators and flag people. This is for the safety of all.

The Western Cape Government is working hard to maintain our roads. Please drive carefully during this period of construction. Let us work together to ensure that our roads are safe. BETTER TOGETHER.

Traffic Safety: 071 852 1209

Issued: Western Cape Government

20 October 2023 Media Release: Low Risk of Human Infection related to Avian Influenza Outbreak in South Africa

Media Release: Low Risk of Human Infection Related to Avian Influenza Outbreak in South Africa

Date Issued: Friday, 13 October 2023

Low Risk of Human Infection Related to Avian Influenza Outbreak in South Africa. A number of poultry farms in South Africa are experiencing outbreaks of avian influenza. Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral infection that affects poultry and wild birds.

Currently, two different strains are causing avian influenza outbreaks in South Africa, these are influenza A(H5N1) and influenza A(H7N6).

According to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRD), the current influenza A(H5N1) outbreaks have been ongoing since April 2023 and to date, 10 outbreaks in poultry (Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal) and 39 outbreaks in non-poultry birds (Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West provinces) have been reported. The influenza A(H7N6) outbreaks have been ongoing since June 2023, and to date, 50 outbreaks to date have been reported in poultry farms (Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu-Natal provinces) and non-poultry birds in Gauteng.

Internationally, sporadic cases of influenza A(H5N1) infection have been reported in humans, related to outbreaks in birds but infection in humans remains very rare. Globally, only 8 cases of influenza A(H5N1) in humans have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2023, despite large outbreaks in poultry and wild birds across the globe. These cases have been linked to close contact with infected birds (handling, culling, slaughtering or processing). Current circulating strains of avian influenza have not been shown to transmit from person to person. The risk of transmission of influenza A(H5N1) and influenza A(H7N6) from infected birds to humans is extremely low.

In the uncommon instance where avian influenza is transmitted to humans, the most common route of transmission of avian influenza is airborne, through aerosolisation of virus particles from live birds or during the culling process. Poultry products including commercially available eggs, and fresh and frozen chickens are safe to consume. Any persons with known or suspected close contact with dead or sick birds (especially birds with confirmed A(H5N1) or A(H7N6) infection) and who presents with upper or lower respiratory tract symptoms (cough, runny nose, scratchy throat, or pneumonia) and/or conjunctivitis should be investigated. This should include the collection of respiratory samples (detailed below) and testing for avian influenza. All exposed individuals should be monitored for 14 days for respiratory symptoms and encouraged to seek care as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. Clusters of three or more cases of severe respiratory illness (hospitalisation or death) which are epidemiologically linked should also be investigated even if there is no documented bird or poultry exposure.

Clinicians who suspect avian influenza infection in their patients should contact the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) doctor on to discuss the case before a sample is collected. Nasal or nasopharyngeal swab/s (preferably a flocked swab) should be collected from the patient. The swab/s are placed in viral or universal transport media (VTM,UTM). If two swabs are collected they can be placed in the same tube of VTM/UTM. Samples may be stored in the fridge (2-8°C) until submitted in a cooler box with ice packs to (NICD) for testing (preferably within 72 hours of collection). Please complete the case investigation form and laboratory request form in the link below to accompany the sample.

Persons who are in contact with live or dead birds, especially those in the poultry industry are advised to wear personal protective equipment including safety goggles, gloves, boot covers, disposable aprons/clothing (fluid resistant), disposable head covers and masks (N95) capable of preventing inhalation of aerosolised virus particles. Handwashing with disinfectant soap after contact with poultry or birds is essential.

The public health response remains; prevention of avian influenza at source (biosecurity at farms, good hygiene and vaccination of poultry in some situations), rapid detection, reporting and response to animal outbreaks and strengthening of surveillance in animals and humans (including collaborations with animal and human health sectors). In addition, laboratory confirmation of the strains involved (PCR and sequencing) and sharing of genetic
sequencing data is important.

The following resources are available on the NICD webpage

  1. Avian influenza guidance:
  2. Standard operating procedures for the collection of nasal swabs:
  3. Avian influenza case investigation forms:
  4. Avian influenza screening and case definitions:
  5. Avian influenza frequently asked questions

DALRD is providing veterinary support including diagnostics, surveillance and control measures. Farmers who suspect infection in their poultry/ birds should notify the local provincial Veterinary office or Extension officer who will visit the farm, investigate the incident and collect samples from the birds to rule out the disease.



For enquiries contact:

Issued by: National Institute for Communicable Diseases


12 September 2023 Media Release: Addressing the complex challenges faced by children with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Media Release: Addressing the complex challenges faced by children with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

For immediate release
12 September 2023

International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)Awareness Day is commemorated annually on 9 September to create awareness among women and communities on the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This day also aims to shed light on the challenges and difficulties for both the mom and the child diagnosed with FASD.  The theme this year was  ‘beyond all limits’. We want to encourage individuals and the community at large to go ‘beyond all limits’ in supporting, caring for and loving those affected.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy results in a number of neurological, physical and mental conditions. ‘A child with foetal alcohol syndrome often presents with coordination difficulties, hyperactivity, poor judgement, poor impulse control, delayed gross motor development, sensory hypersensitivity and low frustration toleration,’ said Michelle Jenkins (occupational therapist, George Hospital).

Staff Nurse, Dornay Ceasar  said that these children are usually seen for assessment and then referred to the patient’s nearest clinic for further follow-up. The Inclusive Education Team may become involved to assist with school placement if indicated. Encounters with children who have been diagnosed with FASD can be extremely challenging as they tend to display extreme emotions of playfulness and happiness or extreme emotions of irritation and anger. Anne-Marie Syfers (nurse, George Hospital) said that when caring for children diagnosed with FASD and other underlying conditions associated with FASD, it is important that you are patient and interact with them on their level.

At George Hospital, through therapy both occupational and physiotherapy aims to improve fine and gross motor control through activities such as playing, building, climbing etc, and addresses the sensory sensitivity depending on the main areas of concerns that the parents of children with FASD and schools are reporting.

‘It is essential that the parents form part of the therapeutic team as these children are dependent on good carry over of exercises addressed in an OT or PT session into the home environment. Therapy unfortunately cannot “cure”; instead it helps address challenges faced and can assist the family in developing coping strategies,’ Michelle added.

It can be difficult for moms to admit that they have consumed alcohol during pregnancy. Sr Syfers and Staff Nurse Ceasar provide these moms with emotional support and refer them to the social worker or occupational therapists at George Hospital where the mom and child can undergo treatment and develop coping strategies.

Remember: No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. FASD causes permanent damage, but it is 100% preventable.

Photo caption: From left, Sr Anne-Marie Syfers and SN Dornay Ceasar in the Paediatric Ward. They go above and beyond to care for their little patients.


12 May 2023 Media Release: GRDM empowers employees on Labour related matters that could be experienced in the workplace

Media Release: GRDM empowers employees on Labour related matters that could be experienced in the workplace

For immediate release
12 May 2023

From Tuesday, 9 to 11 May 2023, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) held awareness sessions with employees about Violence and Harassment in the Workplace. The sessions also included labour-related issues. The session was presented by the Western Cape Department of Local Government (DLG) and the Commission of Gender Equality (CGE) and organised by the municipality’s Employee Wellness office.

The Violence and Awareness Session presented to the Garden Route District Municipality staff at the Municipality’s Roads Department.

GRDM officials were equipped with the necessary knowledge and understanding to address and prevent incidents as it is unpacked in the Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the workplace, that came into effect on 18 March 2022.

Violence and Harassment

In-depth presentations were delivered by Mr Gorha Adonisi (DLG) and Mr Leonard Macakiti (CGE), providing valuable insights into the various forms of violence and harassment, its impact on individuals and organisations, and the legal frameworks in place for protection, as well as changes to the Employment Equity Act (EEA). The members that were present actively engaged in the session, seizing the opportunity to ask questions and clarify doubts.

Various topics were being touched on such as harassment – the different types of harassment, Interpersonal Conflict, Factors to establish, as well as the Nature and Extend of the Conduct.

The discussions covered a range of important subjects, including the:

  • guiding principles regarding the prevention, elimination, and handling of harassment
  • the formulation of effective harassment policies; and
  • the proper procedures for reporting incidents of harassment.

The responsibilities of employers were emphasised, particularly in cases that were formally reported, with the focus on implementing disciplinary measures and maintaining confidentiality while ensuring appropriate support and guidance for all parties involved.

Representatives from Local Government Department, Commission Gender Equality and Garden Route District Municipality with staff during the Violence and Harassment Sessions.

Human Trafficking

Prudence Ramnath (DLG) explained that trafficking manifests in various forms, such as individuals being forced into street peddling or begging, the illegal trade of body parts and organs for rituals known as “muti”, the illegal adoption of children, and the disturbing practice of forced marriages (known as “ukuthwala”).

“South African victims are recruited and exploited both within the country and across international borders, with South Africa often serving as a transit point for other African nations,” Ramnath stated.

Identifying trafficked victims involves recognising certain indicators, including physical abuse, the presence of a controlling older person accompanying the victim, a lack of identification or difficulties in effective communication, and potential health issues experienced by the victims, as well as struggling with unfamiliar laws and customs of the country or region. These circumstances ultimately favor the trafficker as the victim becomes highly vulnerable to exploitation, while the trafficker may exploit their “exotic” status to maximise profits.

Participating in the human trafficking cycle has unfortunately become increasingly accessible in today’s world.

According to Prudence Ramnath, it often starts with enticing offers that seem too good to be true, such as employment opportunities that specifically target job seekers, particularly young individuals who have recently completed their education. False job advertisements on social media platforms play a significant role in attracting people, promising lucrative salaries even for those without prior experience.

Ramnath warned that once someone becomes a victim of trafficking, they are likely to vanish within the system, and their children may also disappear. She urged staff to remain vigilant and familiarise themselves with their communities. “It’s crucial to recognise that traffickers often integrate themselves into our neighborhoods, residing among us,” she said. Ramnath also emphasised that human trafficking is an organised crime, highlighting the organised nature of these operations. In the case of the illegal trade of human organs, she stressed that victims are abducted solely for the purpose of harvesting and selling their organs on the black market, allowing traffickers to profit immensely from this illegal trade.

Did you know?

  • “Human trafficking is the buying and selling of people for the purpose of exploitation”- Prudence Ramnath (DLG).
  • Statistics indicate that approximately 40.3 million people are enslaved worldwide, with 250,000 individuals falling victim to modern-day slavery in South Africa alone.


23 March 2023 Media Release: We Can Beat It


A frail yet friendly Danwill Stefaan (29) shares his journey with tuberculosis (TB). He is thin and needs assistance to walk. One of the first things he says after sitting down is: ‘You should have seen what I looked like when I came here.’ Photos of him a month ago shows a seriously ill man, unable to walk or talk.

Danwill Stefaan

‘There is always hope. I am living proof,’ he said. Danwill is from Borcherds in George and came to Harry Comay Hospital in a very bad state after contracting TB of the brain. He is one of 1 393 patients on TB treatment in the Garden Route district.

“I was tired all the time and coughed for about three weeks. The ambulance came to pick me up and I was referred to Harry Comay Hospital,” he said. He takes his medication every day as prescribed and says he is lucky not to have too many side-effects from the medication.

Another story of bravery and determination is that of Linzay de Vos (31) who is from Hillside in Beaufort West. She has also been at Harry Comay Hospital for little over a month. “It has been a difficult journey, being away from my three children, but I do this for them and myself. I want to get better and return to them as a healthy mother,” she said.

Her symptoms included fatigue, sweating at night and coughing. “I thought it was TB and went to my local clinic. After tests we found it was multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB and I was referred here.”

Linzay is very thin but says she has picked up 3 kg since starting her treatment. She is also part of a group that walks and does exercise in the fresh air.

We talk about her treatment plan, and the topic of pills always come up as treatment might include a lot of pills, some that might have side-effects.

“It is your responsibility and your health – even if you struggle with the pills, there is a way to manage that,” she said.

These are two of many successes of patients that have successfully completed their TB treatment. Although not always easy, it is possible. We are proud of you!

“TB is treatable, and we can stop it if everyone tests early and starts and completes treatment”, said Dr Lindè Marais from Harry Comay Hospital.

As we commemorate World TB Day on 24 March we salute those who are currently fighting for recovery, those that protect others by opening windows and covering their coughs and sneezes and those who want better health for themselves and their communities by going for TB testing.


  • Anyone can get TB.
  • You can get free TB testing at your nearest clinic.
  • TB treatment is free from clinics.
  • Take your TB treatment as prescribed by your health worker.
  • Protect others by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, open windows and let sunlight come through your house.
  • Soon after you start your treatment you are not an infectious risk to your family and friends.

Feature Image: Linzay de Vos


07 March 2023 Media Release: Your breast milk is a lifeline to a small baby

Media Release: Your breast milk is a lifeline to a small baby

For immediate release
07 March 2023

Donating breast milk is one of the greatest acts of generosity and kindness. It is an expression of standing in solidarity with other moms who don’t have enough breast milk to feed their babies and for those moms who simply can’t produce any breast milk.

March 1 to 7 is Human Milk Banking Week and is dedicated to imploring breastfeeding women to donate their breast milk.

Breast milk plays an important role in the health journey of the new-born, especially premature babies, and as part of the First Thousand Days Initiative it is important that all babies reap the benefits of breast milk.

Beaudine Kennedy (28) gave birth to her premature baby girl, Mileah Kennedy, with a weight of 850 g at George Hospital. Mom Beaudine has been struggling to produce her own milk and the little she can produce is mixed with donor breast milk to feed her baby. It has been an emotional journey for Beaudine knowing her baby is receiving milk from another mom. ‘It is something I struggled to come to terms with. I am her mom and I should be able to breastfeed her,’ she added. With the emotional and physical support from the staff at George Hospital, Beaudine soon realised that there are many benefits to providing her baby with donor breast milk. These benefits include a healthy digestive system, protects her baby from diseases and infections and healthier weight as she grows.

The amount of donor milk received at George Hospital monthly varies. ‘There are times when we have a specific donor who donates for three months providing our unit with a lot of milk, and then there are times that we have to request for moms to donate milk either from moms in our Neonatal Unit, staff or the public,’ said Sr Thomas.

According to nurse Joseline Thomas (George Hospital, Neonatal Unit) ± 50 babies are born prematurely every month and are admitted to their unit.

Babies born with a weight below 1 kg receive 0.1 ml of milk every 4 to 6 hours, and babies who weigh more than 1 kg receive 50 ml of milk every 3 hours or 12 ml every two hours, all dependent on the weight, health, and age of the baby.

Moms who would like to freely share their love and donate breast milk, can contact George Hospital and arrange a time to come in, get tested for HIV or any other underlying conditions, and give consent in order to donate. This involves a process of screening, and donor milk is tested and pasteurized to ensure donor milk is safe for medical use. ‘For first-time donors, it is standard procedure for moms to come in and get tested. After their breast milk has been tested and they qualify to become one of our donors, they get a donor number,’ Sr Thomas added. By donating breast milk to families who need it the most, you are making a difference in the lives of others and making an immeasurable difference in the lives of infants and children.

‘I am extremely grateful and proud that other moms are helping my baby. I’m really thankful to you because you are saving my baby’s life and many other infants’ too,’ mom Beaudine said.

Photo Caption: Baby Mileah and Mom Beaudine Kennedy are thankful to breast milk donor moms.


19 July 2022 Media Release: A healthy life for all

19 July 2022

 Media Release: A healthy life for all

It was with great excitement that the Sonskynhoekie Senior Club members from Blanco received their Western Cape on Wellness (WoW!) starter kit. The kit contains portable equipment for members to do basic health screening (e.g. scale, blood pressure monitor and tape measure) and to encourage indoor and outdoor physical activities (e.g. exercise matts, skipping ropes and weights). The group also received a WoW! branded banner for use at group events to increase visibility and create awareness.

All 40 members have been part of the WoW! initiative since March this year.

‘My first visit was in March to introduce the concept and from there we have had great interactive sessions with the club members,’ said WoW! champion Claudel Draai.

The club has been in existence for 21 years and meets 3 times a week. Claudel and other health staff visit the club once or twice a month and concentrate on physical activities, information sessions and health screenings. ‘During our first session we did baseline screenings (weight, heights, blood pressure, blood pressure etc.) and issued each member with a Wellness passport. This enables members to measure Personal Health Indicators (‘know their numbers’), set personal healthy lifestyle goals, identify actual or potential barriers to change, and record and track personal progress. It also emphasises the responsibility of group members in promoting, protecting and managing their health,’ said Claudel.

‘The presentations are great, and we do appreciate the new ideas to help us manage our chronic conditions. WoW! also encourages us to live a healthier lifestyle with balanced meals, being active within our individual capacity and keeping our brains active,’ said club member Pam van Wyk.

The group also enjoyed talks on nutrition by a dietician and an informative session on World Elderly Abuse Day.

WoW! is a healthy lifestyle-promoting partnership platform coordinated by the Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Health and Wellness and working together with a range of valued partners from government, community organisations and groups, private companies and academic institutions. Interested people and organisations are encouraged to join WoW!. The aim is together to co-create a culture of wellness in the Western Cape. Promoting healthy lifestyles is a major priority for WCG to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – diseases of lifestyle.

Feature Photo:  Sonskynhoekie seniors club received their WoW! kit.


Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 044 813 1831

1 July 2022 Media Release: The South African Police Service and Garden Route District Municipality host Anti-Crime Summit

Media Release: The South African Police Service and Garden Route District Municipality host Anti-Crime Summit

For immediate release
1 July 2022

From Wednesday, 29 June to Thursday, 30 June 2022, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in collaboration with Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) hosted an Anti-Crime Summit at the Mossel Bay Civic Hall in Mossel Bay with other departments, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and other role players within the Security and Safety Cluster.

The Summit brought together approximately one-hundred and eighty (180) significant stakeholders to discuss the issue of crime and the impact it has on the communities of the Garden Route district. For this reason, the GRDM   contributed an amount of R30 000 to the event. Other stakeholders involved in the Summit, included: The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, Home Affairs, the Department of Health and the National Prosecuting Authority.

On day one, presentations on the aspect of crime within the district for the 2021/2022 financial year were delivered, where it was revealed that some categories of crime have increased and some decreased. Presentations regarding the value chain in crime prevention were furthermore made by all departments present. Crime hotspots were identified and an analysis of solutions proposed by delegates to address these hotspot areas, were also discussed.

The Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Mayor at GRDM, Siphiwe Dladla, specifically focused his speech on the functionality of Community Safety Forums in the district. Dladla clarified the roles between the District Municipality and Local Municipalities with regard to these forums. He said: “The District Municipality is responsible for the coordination of the Safety Initiative Project, with a Project Coordinator that has to be appointed”. To this he added: “The District Municipality is furthermore responsible for reporting their progress to the Department of Community Safety and this should be done on a quarterly basis”. The District is also responsible to ensure that local safety forums and mediation teams are established. With regard to the status of the GRDM’s Safety Plan, Dladla confirmed that the Municipality has a Safety Plan that was developed in 2019. “The Plan was last reviewed in March 2022 and circulated to all stakeholders involved”.

Dladla encouraged all stakeholders to participate in the forums within their respective municipal areas. He also highlighted that municipal officials responsible for coordination are encouraged to work hand in hand with all relevant stakeholders. In conclusion he said: “The Forum is also encouraged to mobilise communities to participate in the forums and for that, GRDM is available to assist any Forum”.

Brigadier Johanna Crafford, from SAPS shared the Department’s vision for this financial year (2022/2023) and extended a special word of appreciation to all government departments and stakeholders who ensured representation at this crucial annual event.