Category: <span>Speaker</span>

2022 Women’s Day message from the GRDM Speaker, Ald. Georlene Wolmarans

Good Morning residents of the Garden Route region

Today, I am honoured to greet my fellow women on this Women’s Day. A day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in social, cultural, and political fields.  A day when we recognise the value and importance of women in our lives and around the world.

I want to encourage women to always strive to be themselves; to live their lives as they feel comfortable; and to take time for themselves, as women are often the backbone of their families who put others before themselves.

Over the years, women have contributed massively to the lives of their families,  sometimes under difficult and unfair circumstances. However, they still manage to juggle through life while accomplishing their individual and professional goals.

As Speaker van die Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit kan ek met selfvertroue noem dat hierdie munisipaliteit altyd daarna sal strewe, om die kwessies waarmee vroue te kampe kom, op te probeer los en bewusheid oor geslagsgelykheid te vermeerder.

The world is moving towards gender equality and it is moving towards a balance between both men and women.

I would like to encourage women and victims of gender-based violence to be courageous, to stand up, to show strength, and to make their voices heard, as doing so helping them take control and provide motivation for those who have lost their voices and dignity.

‘Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo’  – YES –  When You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock…

Happy Women’s Day!!!

Both parties in agreement when electing New Speaker

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is delighted to announce that the Acting Speaker, Cllr Barend (Barnie) Groenewald was unanimously elected as the new Speaker during a Council meeting held on 27 June 2019.
The position became vacant following the recent resignation of Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies as Speaker of Council and her inauguration as a member of the National Assembly.
Cllr Barnie Groenewald previously acted in the position of Speaker before the appointment of Cllr Bouw-Spies and was once again re-elected as Acting Speaker during a Council meeting on 28 May 2019.
Cllr Ivan Mangaliso, spokesperson of the ANC, during the Council meeting, congratulated the newly elected Speaker on his appointment and emphasised that his party regards Groenewald fit for the position and believe that he will bring and keep the ‘house’ in order.
GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, referred to the occurrence where both sides of the house nominated and agreed in placing their trust in Cllr Groenewald, as an unusual event. “Our side of the ‘house’ welcome you as the new Speaker; we acknowledge your competence and the manner in which you have managed the house in the past. We believe that you will take us to higher levels,” Mayor Booysen said.
The leader of the PBI (Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners), Cllr Virgil Gericke, commented by congratulating Cllr Groenewald and advised him to “always act just and fair, and try to look for the right thing to do”.
During his first address, Speaker Groenewald said: “I would like to thank you for the opportunity. I will serve my Councillors diligently and continue to stay humble. My objective is to make you all happy councillors, to remove your frustrations and assist you where I can,” Speaker Groenewald added.
He concluded by saying that he will always allow his Christian principles and the following words to guide him in performing his work: “In everything you think, say or do, ask yourself – is this true, is it fair for concern, will it build better friendships and understanding, and lastly, will it be of benefit to all”.

Acting Speaker elected by GRDM Council

Cllr Barend Groenewald, has been elected by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council on 28 May 2019, to act as Speaker. Both sides of the house nominated Cllr Groenewald for the position. This move comes after the previous Speaker of GRDM, Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies, submitted her resignation as Speaker on 8 May 2019. She is now a member of the National Assembly.

During Cllr Groenewald’s first address to Council, he said: “I will, at all times, act in a way that is acceptable to Council.” Cllr Groenewald previously acted in the position of Speaker before Cllr Bouw-Spies was appointed and he is well-known to Councillors for the humble and dignified manner in which he conducts proceedings of Council.|

Councillor Eleanore Bouw-Spies was Speaker from 13 December 2018 till 8 May 2019. During a short interview with her, she said: “It is a dream come true and indeed the top of the iceberg for any politician to represent voters at a level where:

  • laws are passed,
  • oversight of the executive and organs of state provided,
  • facilitation of public participation takes place
  • Promoting and overseeing cooperative governance; and
  • participating in international, regional and continental bodies.”


Speaker Bouw-Spies donates R10 000 to CANSA Relay

Garden Route DM Speaker donates R10 000.00 to ‘CANSA Relay for Life’

Only a few months in her new position as the Speaker of Garden Route District Municipality, and Councillor Eleanore Bouw-Spies has already committed R10 000.00 to the CANSA Relay for Life, which is taking place on 23 February 2019 in George. “Although I inhereted this budget, and have little left to work with, I felt the need to direct some of the funds to a worthy cause like this. We all know someone who has either passed away or been affected by Cancer and this ‘Relay for Life’ initiative serves the purpose of raising funds for research and awareness about Cancer,” Cllr Bouw-Spies said.

The Chairperson of CANSA Relay for Life, Lorraine Verhagen (left) visited the Garden Route District Municipality Offices to officially receive a cheque of R10 000.00, donated by Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies on behalf of her office and the rest of the municipality.

Last year, Speaker Bouw-Spies lost one of her cousins to cancer, and at this moment in her life, one of her close friends are affected by the illness. She said that she has seen how cancer causes a huge financial burden on those affected and on top of that, carries with it many other problems which affect the emotional and physical well-being of people. She firmly believes that we as a people should keep on providing support to those affected by Cancer by being by their side step of their journey.

Tomorrow Cllr Bouw-Spies will address the CANSA Relay for Life participants and organisers at the Carpe Diem School in George at 17:40. Garden Route District Municipality has entered two relay teams, consisting of ten employees each.

Entry fee for adults: R30 p/p, children, R20 p/p.