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Author: Debra Sauer

Mayoral letter 2 – December 2020

Following the departure of two senior officials in the past week, we will shortly move forward to implement remedial measures to improve and correct management practices to effect a positive impact on standards of service delivery.

Over the past few years the Council has been dealing with allegations of financial misconduct and forensic investigations. These incidents are indicative of the challenges encountered in ensuring that effective governance is maintained. Successful local government requires a fine balance between legislation, available budgets, service delivery needs, governance, management and the execution of projects and services. Any disruption of this balance ideally needs to be avoided.

We have encountered such a disruption of the fine balance during the recent decline in refuse collection standards where many residents have expressed their displeasure. We are grateful to the managers who have stepped in to restore service delivery standards. While some administrative processes are still receiving attention, steady progress is being made to restore service standards.

We are heartened by some sage, understanding and encouraging comments expressed by residents who appreciate the complexity of issues that are being dealt with in the municipal space at present. It is so important to remain positive and express hope as we deal with the above issues and those below.

During 2020 we have encountered both the weak economy and the Covid-19 pandemic. We are now experiencing a spike of active positive cases in George and in the Garden Route. As of Monday 7 December the Municipality has 48 staff members in isolation with a total of 159 persons (1 in 9 of the staff complement) who have already experienced the virus (with 4 deaths to date). This should provide some context to the trials being faced. Within the health sector, the George Hospital staff complement is being overwhelmed. As we enter the holiday season, we need to appeal to all our citizens to take extra care in observing the critical health protocols of wearing masks, washing hands, maintaining social distancing, avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated spaces, staying home when feeling sick.

The gross financial effects of Covid-19 on the Municipality is such that the equivalent of one month’s Revenue has either been lost or may not be recovered. An exercise to contain Expenditure has been underway for the past few months as we need to match Expenditure to expected Revenue levels. This remains an ongoing challenge.

Our economy has been adversely affected impacting on both our business and individual customers. We are extremely grateful to our customers who have managed to continue to pay their accounts thereby assisting the Municipality to maintain financial stability since the commencement of the pandemic.

We wish all our residents and visitors a wonderful and safe Festive Season.

Mayoral letter 1 – November 2020

Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk, Part One of a regular letter to the citizens of George – the Mayoral Perspective


The George Municipality Council has experienced complex challenges during 2020 ranging from allegations of maladministration, to the sluggish economic conditions made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, the resultant decline in service delivery standards and the turnaround underway to once again place George on a trajectory of clean government and governance.

In September 2019, three forensic investigations were launched into the allegations of maladministration at George by the Western Cape Government (“WCG”). They related to the “War on Waste” (“WoW”), the “construction of Nelson Mandela Boulevard” (“NMB”) and the appointments made in relation to the “Expanded Public Works Programme” (“EPWP”). A fourth investigation into certain Appointments is currently underway.

Shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown period commenced, the WoW report was tabled in Council with a recommendation that an independent disciplinary investigation into the actions of the implicated managers be undertaken. This report will be tabled before Council shortly. A separate investigation by the Priority Crimes Investigation Unit has resulted in the implicated officials appearing in Court to face criminal charges.  At the end of October 2020, Council referred the NMB and EPWP investigation reports for disciplinary investigations by external professional firms as required by the Municipal Systems Act.

These investigations have no doubt been unsettling for the Administration and had an impact on the normal high standards of service delivery expected by George citizens. There are many dedicated, honest and loyal officials who have assisted in the efforts to restore clean administration. They have been granted the space to implement the necessary changes within the Community Services Directorate to effect a gradual improvement in the refuse collection service and the clearing of illegally dumped refuse.

During the past seven months, the Municipality has also had to manage the fall-out caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in the periodic closure of offices, staff being infected and sadly some staff members losing their lives. Over 137 soup kitchens were operated daily at the peak of the pandemic to provide thousands of servings per day to vulnerable members of our communities.

The negative financial effects of Covid-19 have resulted in a reduction in the payment of service accounts, sundry revenue, lower sales of bus tickets, and additional expenditure incurred to combat Covid-19.  The debtors collection rate has reduced from a consistent 96% to an average of 91% per month since March 2020.

The impact on our economy and customer base and how the municipality will be dealing with these complex issues during the economic recovery phase will be dealt with in series of letters to the public of George from


SEDA invites female entrepreneurs to a webinar

Are you a female entrepreneur trading locally or internationally?
Are you ready to become part of an international network with over 3
million women in markets across the world?
Seda in partnership with DSBD (Department of Small Business
Development) and ITC (International Trade Centre) would like to invite
you to the SheTrades Awareness webinar, targeting the following
provinces: (Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Western Cape)
25th March 2021 • 11:00 – 12:30 • Zoom – online
Register in advance for this webinar:

Come join this phenomenal and unique platform which allows women
owned businesses to connect with diverse businesses, learn various
news business skills through free e-learning materials, participate in
exhibitions and stay up to date with ITC’s SheTrades news and activities.

Support available to help businesses stay open and keep operating safely  



Date: 03 March 2021

Release: immediately

Support available to help businesses stay open and keep operating safely 


With the move to Alert Level 1 this week we appeal to all employers and employees to please continue to adhere to the critical safety measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.


Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have worked hard to help businesses in the Western Cape to open safely, and most recently the Department of Economic Development and Tourism have secured the services of an occupational health & safety (OHS) agency to assist businesses at no cost.


Through our engagements with businesses, we have heard how many are struggling to implement the necessary workplace safety protocols and so the OHS support is available to assist businesses to ensure compliance. This includes assistance such as completing Covid-19 risk assessments, developing risk mitigation plans and implementing relevant sector-specific Covid-19 health and safety measures.


Businesses that are in need of this support may contact the OHS service provider Afro Centric Fast Pulse Employee Benefit Solutions directly at (Please note that this support is only available until 23 March 2021)


Working together we can ensure that businesses remain open and more people get back to work so we can save jobs and save the economy in the Western Cape.


Our workplace safety programme team have responded to over 4 200 complaints by customers and employees of non-compliance by businesses in the Western Cape. Where we can assist and advise businesses to implement these necessary safety measures, we have done so, but where there are serious violations of the safety measures these are reported to the Department of Employment and Labour with a request for immediate action which may include temporary closure of the business.


Employers and employees are also encouraged to make use of the valuable Covid-19 workplace safety resources which can be found on the Western Cape government’s website:

The move to Alert Level 1 is a welcome relief for businesses across the Western Cape who have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and provides an opportunity to breathe new life into the economy. We will continue to work hard to support businesses and save jobs, focusing with urgency on the rebuilding of our economy in the Western Cape.

More than R355-million spent on preventing illegal land invasions


2 March 2021


It is incomprehensible that during the current financial year, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements, has already spent more than R 355 million to prevent illegal land invasions and the illegal occupation of completed units. Between July 2020 and 28 February 2021, there were 1 014 attempts of illegal land invasions across the province, with the majority being in the Cape Metro.

This means, with the exclusion of the bulk services, approximately 2 150 Breaking New Ground (BNG)/free housing units could’ve been built.

It is deeply concerning that those encouraging these illegal land invasions are blatantly disregarding the impact this has on the most vulnerable, which they claim to represent. Knowing that it takes in excess of 1 500 days for a brand-new human settlements project to be completed to the point of handover to beneficiaries, we have put a plan in place to avoid all unnecessary delays on our side.

This process includes working smartly to obtain all the relevant and required statutory approvals, which amongst others consist of town planning, environmental impact studies, land surveying, engineering services and indeed the process of building the units.

We’re constantly seeing how projects are delayed due to these invasions. In fact, the delivery of housing opportunities can be delayed by 3 months to 5 years, and in rare instances even longer. Having the elderly, individuals living with medically certified disabilities, those who’ve been on the Housing Demand Database (HDD) for 15 years and longer and backyard dwellers, wait even longer due to these illegal invasions is unacceptable and uncalled for.

To further ensure that no land that is earmarked for human settlement development is lost, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was developed by the provincial department to assist municipalities across the province which might be experiencing illegal invasions. This SOP, which is still to be finalised with the municipalities, seeks to ensure that there is a coordinated approach between the provincial department and municipalities to rapidly respond to illegal land invasion attempts to either prevent the invasion or remove the illegal occupiers lawfully.

It is also critical that we receive assistance from our citizenry to avoid these illegal invasions. The more the various stakeholders, including the different spheres of government and especially our national law enforcement agencies, work together, the more we can ensure that these illegal invasions are prevented – and where they might’ve occurred, the illegal invaders can swiftly be removed in accordance with the law.

We can only start addressing the housing backlog, which is currently at almost 600 000 in the Western Cape, if we all work together to end this criminal behaviour.

Those with a genuine housing need must ensure that they are registered on the housing demand database and if they are, to verify and update their details. In addition to this, they should also engage the relevant structures such as Project Steering Committees (PSC’s) and Ward Councillors to receive factual information, and not allow devious community leaders to mislead them.

This will only lead to disappointment at the hands of dubious individuals who do not have their best interests at heart. These individuals seek to disrupt and break our communities down by offering false promises and inaccurate information. Government has no such vested interest – we are there to uplift and serve you.

As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.

GO GEORGE sets learners on their way to safe bus travel

GO GEORGE sets learners on their way to safe bus travel

Issued: 22 Feb 2021


The 2021 school year has commenced at last with all learners returning to school last week. With most schools rotating attendance, the usual increase of bus passengers was not as noticeable this year, but GO GEORGE was ready to welcome the young passengers back on board, focusing on route planning for the new commuters and Covid safety for all.

GO GEORGE communication champions were positioned at all bus stops close to schools, handing out and explaining school-specific route maps. New GO GEORGE superhero, The Sanitiser, provided lots of fun and laughter sanitising the learners’ hands with a toy water pistol while the importance of hand sanitising was reinforced by handing out pocket-sized bottles with sanitiser.

Any individuals, schools or businesses needing more information about using the bus service are welcome to phone the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044 for assistance, or to request a visit from the communications team.


The GO GEORGE champions handed out and explained each school’s specific route map for learners travelling to the school from different areas in of town.



GO GEORGE berei leerders voor vir veiligheid op bus

Uitgereik: 22 Februarie 2021


Die 2021-skooljaar het uiteindelik begin met alle leerders wat verlede week teruggekeer het skool toe. Met die meeste skole wat bywoning roteer, was die gewone toename in buspassasiers nie vanjaar so merkbaar nie, maar GO GEORGE was gereed om die jong passasiers weer aan boord te verwelkom, met die fokus op roetebeplanning vir die nuwe pendelaars, en Covid-veiligheid vir almal.

GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes is by alle bushaltes naby skole geplaas om skool-spesifieke roetekaarte uit te deel en toe te lig. Die nuwe GO GEORGE-superheld, The Sanitiser, het vir baie pret gesorg met sy ontsmetting van die leerders se hande met sy speelgoed-waterpistool terwyl die belangrikheid van handreiniging versterk is deur sakgrootte botteltjies met handreiniger uit te deel.

Enige individue, skole of sakeondernemings wat meer inligting oor die gebruik van die busdiens benodig, is welkom om die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044 te skakel vir hulp, of om ‘n besoek van die kommunikasiespan aan te vra.


Die GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes het elke skool se spesifieke roetekaart uitgedeel en verduidelik aan leerders wat uit verskillende gebiede in die dorp bus ry skool toe.



Public Notification: Recent power outages explained



During a 24-hour period this week, seven cable faults were experienced on 5 11kv cables.  The cables mostly fed the CBD, Denneoord and Bergsig areas.

The bulk of the residents in these areas were able to be re-energised using alternative feeders, but unfortunately 13 small transformers had to remain off until repairs were completed to at least one of the 11 kv underground cables.


A preliminary investigation and fault analysis indicated that there were no network abnormalities or negligence that could have caused the cable faults.

Further investigations are still being performed to give us an indication as to why so many cable faults occurred in such a short time.  The latest series of load shedding by ESKOM has not been ruled out as a possible cause.


The network remains vulnerable until such time as all the cables have been repaired and the system is switched back to normal. The first outage occurred at 03h13 on the 15th February and the last consumers were restored at 02h51 today 16th February.


George Municipality apologizes for this unforeseen occurrence and regrets any inconvenience caused.

George Municipal Court committed to service despite stringent Covid regulations

George Municipal Court committed to service despite stringent Covid regulations

Although the Covid-19 pandemic hit all services hard especially during the stringent lockdown period in 2020,  the George Municipal Court has dealt with 45122  municipal traffic cases opening in 2017, excluding cases from the Provincial Traffic Department.


Adv Johann Van Schalkwyk, Head: Legal and Compliance Services, George Municipality said the court is served by a magistrate Amanda Joubert,  stenographer Michael Krige, prosecutor Sikolele Magxwalisa, an interpreter Adrian Kraai, clerk of the court Angelique Felix and an administrative clerk Andiswa Dakada.  The main purpose of the Court is to prosecute and adjudicate traffic related offences received from both the Provincial and Municipal Traffic Departments, which were committed within the jurisdiction of the Municipality and to ensure compliance with the National Building Regulations and Municipal By-Laws.

The Municipal Court is achieving its objective of providing a better service to the community and ensuring compliance with legislation and by-laws. Van Schalkwyk said the court is functioning well and fulfils its role to deliver a service to the residents of George.

The public is reminded that the municipal court located at George Civic Centre, currently operates under strict Covid-19 protocols. The entrance to the building is at the front of the George Civic Centre (facing York Street). Members of the public can make appointments to see the Prosecutor of the court, Sikolele Magxwalisa. The public can send the prosecutor an email on or phone the clerk of the court on 044 801 9400.

Caption: MunCourt3 – A posed scene of the Courtroom when in session.

George Libraries celebrate World Read-Aloud Day

 George Libraries celebrate World Read-Aloud Day.

George Library joined the rest of the world by being part of World Read-aloud day on Wednesday,  February 3rd, in order to develop and foster a love for reading and books.

Rachel Williams, Manager: George Libraries said they linked up with Nali’Bal i(which means “here’s the story”) to escape into a world of fun and laughter by means of a story written by Sihle Nontshokweni and  illustrated by Magriet Brink and Leo Daly: Fly, everyone, fly! Janine Pierre Carolus, librarian at George Library, is the library story-reader this  year. Librarians Garelene Muller from George library, Angelina Figeland from Waboomskraal library and Jeanetta Rhode from Conville Library also read stories aloud to indicate the importance of literature and reading. All the video clips  can be found on the George Municipality Youtube account

According to Mrs Williams, this campaign advocates for access to literacy and diverse stories as the aim, is celebrated on the first Wednesday of February each year. She said World Read-Aloud Day is an inspiring programme that unlocks the potential of young ones through literacy. George Library Service took part in this event by means of a virtual programme as well as radioslots on Eden FM and Heartbeat FM. Malibongwe Luyenge and library assistant at Blanco Library, Gene Carolus , spoke about the campaign on radio and read stories aloud for the radio listeners.

Williams said we must encourage one another to become passionate about reading, writing and storytelling and root these habits into our daily lives. Staff members read to small groups of children and in some instances even had one-on-one sessions with youngsters during this annual reading campaign. In adherence to Covid-19 protocols, no events were held inside the libraries. All events took place in outside spaces.

She said the value of Reading Aloud is that It is a fun activity that allows children to escape into another world, it stimulates and enhance good listening and communication skills and it exposes children to new words and thoughts, which develop cognitive and language skills.

Williams says the value of World Read Aloud Day is the exposure of  children to different cultures and languages as the story by Nali’Bali is written in all official languages. The emphasis of the day is put on the importance of books, literature and reading .



Read aloud 1: Audrenay Meiring from Pacaltsdorp Primary School reads aloud on World Read Aloud Day.

Jayden Erasmus from Waboomskraal Primary School reads aloud on World Read Aloud Day. Jayden’s recording can be found on the George Municipality’s Youtube channel –


George Municipality and Business Partners take hands to upgrade Netball courts in communities

George Municipality and Business Partners take hands to upgrade Netball courts in communities
George Municipality’s Sport Development section is pleased to announce that through the efforts of K1 Quarry, a business partner in George, that helps with social upliftment projects, funds were approved for the upgrading of the Pacaltsdorp and Rosemoor Sport grounds and in particular the Netball courts.
According to Granville Campher, Manager: Sport Development at George Municipality, the funds will be used to fence the netball courts. New gates and new fencing will be erected at Pacaltsdorp as well. Campher said this good news comes in time for the Netball World Cup that was awarded to South Africa for 2023. The facilities at the Sport Grounds serve most schools in the vicinity. He said the individual fencing of the different netball courts make a huge difference, since more games can be played at once without players moving into some of the other courts.
Campher said an application for funding for the upgrade of Pacaltsdorp and Rosemoor Sport Grounds netball facilities was submitted via JK Consulting for consideration by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy as part of Lezmin (2021)t/a K1 Quarry’s statutory responsibility project that forms part of the conditions of their mining license.
In line with the Integrated Development Plan of the George Municipality on sporting development, discussions were held in September 2020 with the various stakeholders, including the Portfolio Councillor for Community Services, Cllr Sean Snyman, Eden Netball federation and Ward Councillors of the different Wards directly impacted by this project. Campher said at this meeting it was decided that Pacaltsdorp and Rosemoor Sports Grounds needed upgrading. The project will commence in early 2021.
Cllr Snyman said it is fantastic to see how the private sector and the Municipality are taking hands to create sustainable projects. “I am looking forward to more projects of this kind,” Snyman remarked.
Caption: Cllr Sean Snyman (Portfolio Councillor for Community Services) second from left and Desmond Jaftha from K1 Quarry with the memorandum of understanding regarding the upgrading of the Rosemoor and Pacaltsdorp netball fields. On the far left is Granville Campher, Manager: Sport Development and Leveinia Botha, Sports Development Officer.

GO GEORGE keeping the Covid-safety message alive

GO GEORGE keeping the Covid-safety message alive

Issued on 16 Feb 2021


With an essential service such as the GO GEORGE bus service officially classified as a high-risk area for the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the constant refreshing of safety messages to promote awareness and compliance to regulations is critical.

“There’s always the risk that people may become complacent when a situation lingers on as is the case with the pandemic,” says James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager. “For this reason, our communications team is constantly coming up with new creative ideas and innovative forms of communication to reach as many of our passengers as possible, and with a message that they can identify with.”

Audio and visual messaging

Apart from regular newspaper and radio advertisements and social media reminders to adhere to the regulations, voice recordings are played over loudspeakers at the Transport Hub during peak times, and Covid-safety messages have been added to the digital board inside the bus. With passengers spending some time daily at the bus shelters, vinyl panels carrying the message have also been applied there, where everybody can see it. By including both audio and visual messaging, the bus service reiterates its commitment to make this important message accessible to people with different categories of special needs.

Champions “walking reminders”

The communication champions have two sets of eye-catching outfits with Covid messaging to wear when they are on duty.

“It sometimes just takes someone with a bright-yellow sash like a beauty queen to remind you to pull up your mask over your nose as well!” says Robb.

Targeting learners

With schools starting this week, communication champions are at the bus stops near schools to hand out flyers with relevant safety measures when travelling by bus. A colourful superhero named The Sanitiser will make his debut as part of the communications team, sanitising the learners’ hands in a playful manner with a toy water pistol filled with sanitising liquid. To make the message stick, small bottles of GO GEORGE-branded hand sanitiser are also handed out.

For any information about the bus service, the public is invited to phone the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044, seven days a week.


1. Tyron Jeyi, newly appointed Community Liaison Officer in the communications team, points to the on-board digital messaging board where information such as the next stop on the route is displayed. Important Covid-safety messages relating to behaviour on the bus have now been added to the list.

  1. Communication champions Zanele Gosa (left) and Janell Gelant display examples of the apparel with Covid-safety reminders which they wear when engaging with passengers.


GO GEORGE hou Covid-veiligheidsboodskap lewe

Uitgereik op 15 Februarie 2021


Met ‘n noodsaaklike diens soos die GO GEORGE-busdiens wat amptelik as ‘n hoë-risikogebied vir die verspreiding van die Covid-19-virus geklassifiseer is, is die konstante verfrissing van veiligheidsboodskappe om bewustheid en nakoming van regulasies te bevorder uiters belangrik.

“Daar is altyd die risiko dat mense te gerus kan raak wanneer ‘n situasie voortsleep soos wat met die pandemie die geval is,” sê James Robb, GO GEORGE-bestuurder. “Om hierdie rede kom ons kommunikasiespan voortdurend met nuwe kreatiewe idees en innoverende vorms van kommunikasie vorendag om soveel as moontlik van ons passasiers te bereik, en met ‘n boodskap waarmee hulle kan identifiseer.”

Oudio- en visuele boodskappe

Benewens gereelde koerant- en radio advertensies en sosiale-media-aanmanings om aan die regulasies te voldoen, word stemopnames gedurende spitstye oor luidsprekers by die Vervoerkern (Transport Hub) gespeel, en is Covid-veiligheidsboodskappe op die digitale inligtingsbord in die bus bygevoeg. Met passasiers wat daagliks ‘n taamlike tydjie by die busskuilings deurdring, is vinielpanele wat die boodskap oordra ook daar aangebring, waar almal dit kan sien. Deur beide klank- en visuele boodskappe in te sluit, bevestig die busdiens sy verbintenis om hierdie belangrike boodskap toeganklik te maak vir mense met verskillende kategorieë van spesiale behoeftes.

“Wandelende aanmaners”

Die passasiersdiensbeamptes het twee stelle opvallende uitrustings met Covid-boodskappe om te dra wanneer hulle aan diens is.

“Dit neem soms net iemand met ‘n heldergeel band skuins oor die lyf – soos ‘n skoonheidskoningin – om jou te herinner om jou masker oor jou neus ook op te trek!” sê Robb.

Leerders geteiken

Met skole wat vandeesweek begin, is passasiersdiensbeamptes by die bushaltes naby skole om pamflette met relevante veiligheidsmaatreëls wat op die busse geld, uit te deel. ‘n Kleurvolle superheld genaamd “The Sanitiser” maak hierdie week sy debuut as deel van die kommunikasiespan en ontsmet die leerders se hande op ‘n speelse wyse met ‘n speelgoedwaterpistool vol handreiniger. Om die boodskap te laat vassteek, word klein botteltjies handreiniger ook uitgedeel.

Vir enige inligting oor die busdiens word die publiek genooi om die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044 te skakel, sewe dae per week.


1. Tyron Jeyi, pas aangestelde gemeenskapskakelbeampte in die kommunikasiespan, beduie na die digitale inligtingsbord in die bus waar inligting soos die volgende bushalte op die roete vertoon word. Belangrike Covid-veiligheidsboodskappe wat met gedrag op die bus verband hou, is nou by die lys gevoeg.

  1. Passasiersdiensbeamptes Zanele Gosa (links) en Janell Gelant vertoon voorbeelde van die klere met Covid-veiligheidsboodskappe wat hulle dra wanneer hulle met die publiek skakel.


Indigent Awareness Campaign during February 2021

Indigent Awareness Campaign during February 2021


Caption: All people who qualify for indigent relief please follow the instructions to apply for this service as well as people who have been negatively impacted during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The George Municipality Finance Directorate is currently conducting an Indigent Awareness Campaign to make needy households and especially people that were negatively impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, aware of the indigent relieve assistance the organisation have available. Residents who cannot afford the basic services of the Municipality and qualify for the indigent relieve and households that have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic ,can inquire about financial relief at the finance hall at the municipality main building, area offices or the contact the numbers given.


Mr Henry Mitchell, Deputy Director: Financial Operations at the George Municipality said that the George Municipality`s foundation is grounded in social regeneration guided by the principles of Batho Pele, among other values. He said it is against this background that social packages form a key part of services rendered to our communities and the Indigent relief programme is part of these services. George Municipality is leading the way in making sure that it keeps improving on delivering much-needed services to its indigent communities.

The records from the Indigent Register as at 31 January 2021, reflects approximately 14 562 households that benefit from the indigent package offered, which is in line with the approved Indigent Policy for the current financial year 2020/2021. The indigent register was updated in 2020 to ensure that indigent and child-headed households are registered, and due to Covid-19 Pandemic further severely affected beneficiaries are expected to register for these benefits.

For this reason,  the Credit Control Division is currently conducting an Indigent Awareness Campaign in George and surrounding areas of Uniondale and Haarlem to assist struggling individuals, people with special needs, pensioners, unemployed and more, so that they could continue to receive their basic municipal services.  The indigent campaign will run from 01 February to 18 February 2021.

People who qualify are asked to please update their registration when any circumstances change and if the individual has not  done so in the past three years. It is very important that the indigents office has the correct cellphone number and if it changes, to please let them know. Once an individual has registered as an indigent, the subsidy will be applied to the residents municipal account and electricity tokens uploaded to their prepaid number every month. All indigent households must pay for any extra water and electricity that are used that is not included in the support.  Please take noet, if a house is worth more than R150 000, you will be billed for property tax.

You can apply for indigent support if you are the registered owner of the residential property or married to such an owner, if you are the occupier of the residential property or married to such an occupier (the main person living there). You can also apply if you are a backyard dweller or spouse of such a dweller (no more than two backyard structures on the property). You qualify for indigent if you are a pensioner (drawing a pension after retirement, a guardian of minors (one or more children under the age of 18), reside in a retirement centre or old age home or  live in a centre for the disabled and/or physically challenged. Places of public worship in an indigent community and registered creches in such communities may also apply.


To qualify for the programme, you must be a South African citizen with a valid identification document, have a total household income of less than R4000 a month, be a registered owner, occupier or backyard dweller on a property used for residential purposes, must be a fulltime occupant (live there permanently) and not own more than one property. Centres or institutions where the disabled and/or physically challenged are being cared for, with more than 50% of the membership (disabled persons) registered as indigent or places of public worship, categorised as such on the municipality’s valuation roll, in a poor community with more than 50% of its congregation registered as indigent.  If a creche is registered with the national Department of Social Development (DSD), Sassa and the municipality’s Community Development section, and with more than 50% of the membership (parents of registered children at the creche) registered as indigent it may qualify for indigent relieve.


To apply, you must please fill in an official form at the finance hall of the municipality main building (access from parking lot via Victoria or Progress Streets) or at a municipal area office in your community or email or and ask for an indigent support application form, fill it in and send it back together with the below-mentioned documents or click to download the form, fill it in and send it back together with the below-mentioned documents to or


Applicants are asked to bring with them or submit the following documents, a copy of your ID document, if you earn a salary, bring a salary slip that is not older than three months, bank statements from the last three months,  your municipal account or a prepaid electricity token from the place where you live. If you are unemployed, bring an affidavit (a stamped letter) stating that you are currently unemployed. If you receive a Sassa grant, bring a letter with from Sassa confirming your grant as well as your Sassa card.

The registered indigent subsidy in the George municipal area includes:

1.Urban residential properties: 6 kilolitres free water, 70kWh units free electricity, no charges for basic water, refuse removal and sewerage disposal, no rates and taxes of property valued below R150 000.

  1. Rural residential properties: 6 kilolitres water per month delivered to rainwater tanks of rural households in times of drought and 50kWh free electricity units dispensed by Eskom to households who are connected to the Eskom supply grid.
  2. Retirement centres and old age homes: indigent subsidy is credited to the monthly municipal account of the relevant property and will not exceed the total monthly municipal account.
  3. Places of worship in indigent areas: indigent subsidy is credited to the monthly municipal account of the relevant property and will not exceed the total monthly municipal account.
  4. Creches in indigent areas: indigent subsidy is credited to the monthly municipal account of the relevant property and will not exceed the total monthly municipal account.
  5. Centres or institutions for the disabled: indigent subsidy is credited to the monthly municipal account of the relevant property and will not exceed the total monthly municipal account.


Households not qualifying for Indigent Support because they earn more than R4000 per month or that do not qualify because of other criteria, can apply for a percentage rebate (discount) on property rates by downloading the form, filling it in and sending it to along with the above-mentioned documentation.

Rebates are determined annually as part of the budget process and updated in the annual tariffs list, and are usually 40% on property rates for a household income of R0-R7000 and 20% on property rates for household incomes of R7000-R8000.

For more information please contact Lydia Geja on  044 801 9362 or Heather Erasmus on 044 801 9184 or email

GO GEORGE – Be safe on the bus to school this year


Issued: Mon 8 Feb 2021



With the new academic year starting next week, parents’ transport schedules will be taking on the regular frenzy of dropping-off and picking up their children at school. Parents of learners who make use of the GO GEORGE bus service to get to school, are encouraged to help their children get equipped in time.


It is important to get a GO GEORGE Smart Card and load enough trips before schools start, and not to wait until they have no trips left before topping up again. The Smart Card should be treated with the same care as any bank card or cash; if it gets lost, trips on the card cannot be refunded or transferred to a new card.

School route maps

This year, GO GEORGE communication champions may not be able to visit all schools as usual at the beginning of the school year, due to Covid-19 safety restrictions.  They will, however, be present at the bus stops near schools during the first few weeks of the school term to inform learners about the different routes to school. Unique maps depicting the different options available to school and back home have been created for each school and will be discussed with the learners. These maps can also be downloaded from the website

Learners are advised to discuss boarding time with the champions and the best routes to use to avoid full buses during peak time. Champions will also remind learners about important Covid-19 safety regulations. This will be done in a novel manner, with the assistance of The Sanitiser – a superhero character who will make sure that the young passengers do not forget to wear their masks correctly and to regularly sanitise their hands.


Covid-19 safety


GO GEORGE Manager, James Robb, calls upon parents to also help imprint the importance of adherence to the Covid-19 safety regulations on their children when using the bus service.


“Public transport remains a high-risk environment for the spreading of the virus. We are doing everything in our power to contribute to passengers’ safety when using our buses. But we need all our passengers, learners included, to take responsibility for their own health and safety by adhering to the basic safety measures,” he said.


“Please make sure that your child is equipped with a proper mask covering both the mouth and nose, and that they keep the masks on, even when chatting to friends on the bus. We supply sanitiser on the buses – passengers should sanitise their hands when they enter and when they leave the bus.”


For more information on the best routes to the various schools in town, phone the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044, send an email to or visit


Keenan Myners demonstrates how masks should be worn, covering the mouth as well as the nose. It is of utmost importance that passengers should keep their masks on during the entire bus trip – all protection is compromised when the mask is taken off to chat to co-passengers.



Uitgereik: Maandag 8 Februarie 2021



Met die nuwe akademiese jaar wat volgende week afskop, begin ouers se uitdaging met dol vervoerskedules om hul kinders by die skool af te laai en op te tel. Ouers van leerders wat van die GO GEORGE-busdiens gebruik maak om by die skool uit te kom, word aangemoedig om hul kinders te help om betyds alles hiervoor gereed te kry.


Dit is belangrik om ‘n GO GEORGE Slimkaart te kry en genoeg ritte te laai voordat skole begin, en nie te wag totdat leerders geen ritte oor het voordat hulle weer herlaai nie. Die Slimkaart moet met dieselfde sorg as enige bankkaart of kontant hanteer word; as dit wegraak, kan ritte op die kaart nie terugbetaal of na ‘n nuwe kaart oorgedra word nie.




Go GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes sal weens Covid-19-veiligheidsbeperkings nie aan die begin van die skooljaar alle skole soos gewoonlik kan besoek nie. Hulle sal egter gedurende die eerste paar weke van die skoolkwartaal by die bushaltes naby skole wees om leerders in te lig oor die verskillende roetes skool toe. Unieke kaarte wat die verskillende opsies skool toe en terug huis toe uitbeeld, is vir elke skool geskep en sal met die leerders bespreek word. Hierdie kaarte kan ook afgelaai word vanaf die webwerf Leerders word aangeraai om die beste opklimtyd en roetes om vol busse gedurende spitstyd te vermy met die passasiersdiensbeamptes te bespreek.


Die beamptes sal leerders ook herinner aan belangrike Covid-19-veiligheidsregulasies. ‘n Superheldkarakter genaamd The Sanitiser sal op vermaaklike wyse seker maak dat die jong passasiers nie vergeet om hul maskers korrek te dra en gereeld hul hande te ontsmet nie.




GO GEORGE-bestuurder, James Robb, doen ‘n beroep op ouers om ook te help om die belangrikheid van nakoming van die Covid-19-veiligheidsregulasies by hul kinders in te skerp wanneer hulle die busdiens gebruik.


“Openbare vervoer bly ‘n hoë-risiko omgewing vir die verspreiding van die virus en ons doen alles in ons vermoë om by te dra tot passasiers se veiligheid wanneer hulle ons busse gebruik. Maar ons het nodig dat al ons passasiers, leerders ingesluit, verantwoordelikheid vir hul eie gesondheid en veiligheid neem deur aan die basiese veiligheidsmaatreëls te voldoen,” het hy gesê.


“Maak asseblief seker dat jou kind toegerus is met ‘n behoorlike masker wat die mond sowel as die neus bedek, en dat hulle die maskers aanhou, selfs wanneer hulle met vriende op die bus gesels. Ons verskaf handreiniger op die busse – passasiers moet asseblief hul hande ontsmet wanneer hulle opklim en weer wanneer hulle die bus verlaat.”


Vir meer inligting oor die beste roetes na die onderskeie skole in die dorp, skakel gerus die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044, stuur ‘n e-pos aan of besoek


Keenan Myners demonstreer hoe maskers gedra moet word sodat die mond sowel as die neus bedek word. Dit is van uiterste belang dat passasiers hul maskers tydens die hele busrit aanhou – alle beskerming is daarmee heen wanneer die masker afgehaal word om met medepassasiers te gesels.

Three arrested for damaging GO GEORGE buses


Issued: 3 Feb 2021

Damage to municipal property is serious; it is a criminal offence and will lead to a criminal record


Three men were arrested by the Pacaltsdorp police last week after stoning a GO GEORGE bus in Delville Park, damaging its back window and resulting in temporary service suspension of the Pacaltsdorp community route. This was one of three incidents of stone throwing at buses on Friday.

Vandalism to GO GEORGE buses and infrastructure has been a major challenge ever since the bus service rolled out and became even worse since the installation of bus shelters with operational information applied on the inside. These, as well as broken glass panels, are being replaced constantly at huge cost to the Municipality.

James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager, says people don’t understand the consequences of this kind of behaviour. “We need everybody to realise that malicious damage to municipal property is a very serious matter; it is a criminal offence and will lead to a criminal record when convicted. The same goes for people throwing stones at the buses – we have had three such incidents last week and five during January alone. Last year, 18 incidents of stone throwing and damage to buses were reported.

“Moreover – instances of vandalism, including stone-throwing, puts the lives of passengers and bus drivers at risk, and inconveniences passengers waiting at shelters, unnecessarily enduring harsh weather conditions (wind and rain) due to shelter damage. These senseless acts of vandalism are costing a fortune to keep replacing and repairing, and for no good reason. In the case of damaged buses, we need to take those vehicles out of service to repair, sometimes for several days, causing delays and capacity problems with fewer buses on route.”

According to Dr Michele Gratz, Acting Municipal Manager, the three men were apprehended by the Municipality’s Rapid Response Unit within minutes after receiving the call and were handed over to the Police. “The Municipality has a zero-tolerance approach to criminality and will work closely with the SAPS to address these matters. Vandals must be warned that every effort will be made to ensure their arrest and successful prosecution.

“We call upon the George community to take hands and help protect GO GEORGE vehicles and municipal infrastructure.  Please report any acts of vandalism and especially help prevent such acts,” she said.

Members of the public are requested to report people tampering with, painting or damaging GO GEORGE infrastructure or buses, while it is taking place and with as much information as possible, by phoning George Municipality Law Enforcement on 044 801 6350 or 044 801 6300 (after hours), or the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044.


Vandalism stone throwing:

Replacing broken bus windows is a very costly exercise and takes buses out of service while being repaired. This puts pressure on the system and schedule, impacting service to passengers.



Drie in hegtenis geneem vir beskadiging van  GO GEORGE-BUSSE

Uitgereik: 3 Feb 2021

Skade aan munisipale eiendom is ernstig; dit is ‘n kriminele oortreding en sal lei tot ‘n kriminele rekord.


Drie mans is verlede week deur die Pacaltsdorp-polisie in hegtenis geneem nadat hulle ‘n GO GEORGE-bus in Delvillepark met klippe gegooi het, die agterste venster beskadig het en tydelike opskorting van die Pacaltsdorp-gemeenskapsroete tot gevolg gehad het. Hierdie was een van drie voorvalle van klipgooiery na busse Vrydag.

Vandalisering van GO GEORGE-busse en -infrastruktuur is ‘n groot uitdaging sedert die busdiens ontplooi is en is selfs erger sedert die installering van busskuilings met operasionele inligting wat aan die binnekant aangebring word. Dit, asook gebreekte glaspanele, word voortdurend teen groot koste aan die munisipaliteit vervang.

James Robb, GO GEORGE-bestuurder, sê mense verstaan nie die gevolge van hierdie soort gedrag nie. “Ons het almal nodig om te besef dat kwaadwillige skade aan munisipale eiendom ‘n baie ernstige saak is; dit is ‘n kriminele oortreding en sal lei tot ‘n kriminele rekord wanneer iemand skuldig bevind word. Dieselfde geld vir mense wat klippe na die busse gooi – ons het verlede week drie sulke voorvalle gehad en vyf gedurende Januarie alleen. Verlede jaar is 18 voorvalle van klipgooiery en skade aan busse aangemeld.

“Voorts plaas voorvalle van vandalisme, insluitend klipgooiery, die lewens van passasiers en busbestuurders in gevaar, en verontrief dit passasiers wat weens beskadigde skuilings onaangename weersomstandighede soos wind en reën moet verduur terwyl hulle vir ‘n bus wag. Hierdie sinnelose dade van vandalisme kos ‘n fortuin om aan te hou vervang en herstel. In die geval van beskadigde busse moet ons daardie voertuie uit diens haal om te herstel, soms vir etlike dae, wat vertragings en kapasiteitsprobleme met minder busse op die roete veroorsaak.”

Volgens dr. Michele Gratz, waarnemende munisipale bestuurder, is die drie mans binne minute nadat hulle die oproep ontvang het, deur die munisipaliteit se vinnige-reaksie-eenheid aangekeer en aan die polisie oorhandig. “Die munisipaliteit het ‘n zero-verdraagsaamheidsbenadering tot misdaad en sal nou met die SAPD saamwerk om hierdie sake die hoof te bied. Vandale word gewaarsku dat alles moontlik gedoen sal word om hul inhegtenisneming en suksesvolle vervolging te verseker.

“Ons doen ‘n beroep op die George-gemeenskap om hande te vat en te help om GO GEORGE-voertuie en munisipale infrastruktuur te beskerm.  Meld asseblief enige dade van vandalisme aan en help veral om sulke dade te voorkom,” het sy gesê.

Lede van die publiek word versoek om mense aan te meld wat aan infrastruktuur of busse peuter, dit verf of beskadig, terwyl dit plaasvind en met soveel inligting as moontlik, deur George-munisipaliteit se Wetstoepassingsafdeling by 044 801 6350 of 044 801 6300 (na-ure) te skakel, of die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044.


Vandalism stone throwing:

Die vervanging van gebreekte busvensters is ‘n baie duur oefening en neem busse uit diens terwyl dit herstel word. Dit plaas druk op die stelsel en skedule, wat ‘n impak op diens aan passasiers het.



Garden Route Health platform update

25 January 2021


The Garden Route District has shown a 43% decline in new COVID-19 cases the past 7 days compared to 7-14 days previously as well as a decline in hospitalisations.


“We are optimistic about the decline in numbers but remain vigilant in order to contain any cluster outbreaks through responding as early as possible. We have to maintain our momentum of surveillance and monitoring as a Department but also rely on the community to keep up with the protective behaviours (wearing a mask at all times in public, avoiding crowded spaces, avoiding spaces with poor ventilation and maintaining social distancing) that has brought about the gains which we now see”, said District Director of Health Mr Zee Brickles.


Sub-district Total Active Recovered Died
Hessequa 1 806 239 1 483 84
Mossel Bay 7 041 347 6 498 196
George 11 322 549 10 400 373
Knysna 4 680 163 4 363 154
Bitou 2 624 119 2 402 103
Kannaland 768 109 631 28
Oudtshoorn 3 687 286 3 179 222
TOTAL 31 928 1 812 28 956 1 160



Increasing our protection through vaccination


It is estimated that 1 000 000 vaccines will be made available for all frontline workers in South Africa in January, including those in the public and private sector, care workers, community health workers, etc. A further 500 000 vaccines will be made available in South Africa in February.


The roll-out will be executed in a phased approach, with the first phase targeting healthcare workers. The second phase will target essential workers, people in congregate settings, persons older than 60 years, and persons older than 18 years with comorbidities. The third phase is envisioned to target people older than 18 years who has not been vaccinated during the first two phases.


Western Cape Government will play a stewardship role. Administration of these vaccines forms part of the vaccine roll-out strategy. The Department is working on this strategy, including the logistics thereof, with the input of private sector roleplayers. More engagements on the finer details of this plan will be made available once finalised. This is a massive operation that requires a multi-sectoral approach and the support of public, private and all parts of civil society.


Western Cape Government App has 3 900 downloads



25 January 2021


Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says the number of downloads of the WCG App, demonstrates how residents from this province have taken to adopting technology to access services in the public sector.


Since the launch of the WCG App, in March 2020, there have been 3 900 downloads and 429 housing applications.


This App ensures our citizens can easily access information on government housing assistance, register for the first time or update their details on the Housing Demand Database (HDD).


Amongst others, this means residents are no longer required to visit their local housing office to be assisted, instead assistance is but a few clicks away. Further to this, it also ensures protection against the spread of covid-19, as residents have complete remote access.


Minister Simmers said: “This app shows our commitment to one of our key drivers, which is the radical implementation of innovative solutions for our citizens. Utilising technology optimally, allows us to offer more options to our residents, while also ensuring a significant push towards getting our people into houses.


I’d like to encourage more residents to download our WCG app, as it is available on both the Android and iOS platforms. The registration process is also straightforward and easy to follow.


As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe, and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.”

Festive season over – only 7 black bags per household will be collected

The public must please note as from the 11th of January 2021 the service with regards to the removal of black refuse bags returns to only 7 black bags allowed.

During the season between 1 December 2020 and 11 January 2021 the Municipality collected all black bags as a courtesy to consumers. Now we revert back to only 7 black bags per week per household.

Blue and green bag pick-up services continue inhouse this week with the help of temporarily reallocated staff while distribution of replacement blue and green bags is expected to commence next week (25 January 2021). If you are using black bags at the moment for your recycling and garden waste, please help us by identifying black bags containing recyclable and green waste with blue or green string, stickers or papers.


Black bags continue to be distributed once a quarter, with the next pack of 26 black bags to be delivered towards the end of March 2021.

We remind citizens that bags must be placed outside on the curb by 7am on collection day.


The Community Services Administration, 82 Meade Street, is open to the public on weekdays 7.45am-4.30pm unless otherwise indicated as per temporary Covid-19 measures.

One person is allowed in the foyer at any given time, but no public allowed into the administration offices for any reason. Please contact the specific person via telephone or email as listed below to arrange for online meetings if necessary.

Reception/all departments: 044 802 2900 or

Office of the Director: 044 802 2904 and

Parks and Recreation complaints: 044 802 2921 and

Uncollected BLACK bags 044 802 2900/20/27 or /

Uncollected GREEN and BLUE bags: 044 802 2900/ /

Environmental Health: /

Transfer Station:

Landfill Site and Transfer Station, Airport Road, open to public weekdays 7am-6pm and Saturdays 7am-1pm. Covid-19 protocols in place, bring your own pen to sign in for extra safety.

Please report illegal dump sites to 044 802 2900 or or The municipality appeals to communities to remain safe and to not dump waste, which is illegal and can be hazardous to their health.

No fireworks permitted anywhere in George

Issued – 15 December 2020
The George Municipality reminds residents and visitors that fireworks, fire crackers, flares, paper lanterns and other such paraphernalia are considered a major fire risk and are not allowed in public or private spaces in the municipal area.
The George Fire Chief, Neels Barnard,said George Municipality Public Safety and Nuisance bylaws, overall fire safety and disaster management regulations, and sometimes dry and hot conditions of the Western Cape fire season were all reasons why fireworks remained banned in the municipal area.
The selling of fireworks is also illegal, and no such permits have been issued or will be issued by the George Municipality. The illegal trading, possession and/or setting off of fireworks carry fines of R300 and fireworks will be confiscated. Such activities can be reported on the numbers below.
While the current municipal bylaw mentions application for a permit for professional pyrotechnic shows, the George Fire Department reiterates that no such permits have been issued for years and are extremely unlikely to be issued in the foreseeable future.
The George Municipal Disaster Centre stressed that there had not been designated sites for fireworks in the George municipal area for years and was unlikely to be reinstated, despite public tradition to ‘self-designate’ certain areas such as beaches, parks and streets.
Paper lanterns hold duel concern. In addition to the risk of blowing and dropping out of sight and catching fire in vegetation or on flammable material before it is extinguished, paper lanterns also waste resources when rescue services are incorrectly alerted to an ‘emergency flare’.
The public must please understand that any kind of spark or heat holds a threat – while fireworks, flares and lanterns are being highlighted, the appeal is for responsible, fire-aware action throughout. Please exercise extreme caution always, make fires only in protected and designated areas, and dispose of cigarette butts safely.
Please report illegal trade and setting off of fireworks in George to Law Enforcement at 044 801 6350 or after hours at 044 801 6300.
Please report illegal, irresponsible and unsafe fires to the Fire Department on 044 801 6300.
FIRE EMERGENCIES: 044 801 6311

Junior City Council announces new Exco for 2021

Issued by George Municipality on 14 December 2020
The George Junior City Council had their election of the new executive committee for 2021 recently and the event was attended by the George Executive Deputy Mayor, Cllr Charlotte Clarke.
The function was held at the Outeniqua Bowling Club recently (2 November) and was also attended by the parents/family of the Junior City Councillors.
Cllr Clarke was the guest speaker at the event. She thanked the JCC members for their time and commitment and the exemplary manner in which they conducted themselves during the year.
Cllr Liz Stroebel, the Mayoral Representative who oversees the Junior City Council on behalf of the Mayor of George, introduced the new executive committee amidst great excitement.
Ludolph Pedro from York High School was appointed Junior Mayor, while Aine Ferreira from Outeniqua High school was appointed Deputy Mayor. The Speaker of the JCC is Mickhaya Kroon from York High School and the Deputy Speaker is Lindy Prinsloo from Glenwood House School. Brenco de Kock from George High School was appointed Municipal Manager.
Cllr Stroebel wished them well for 2021 and said she has been very impressed with the leadership quality of the executive committee since 2017. She said the voting process have always been a true reflection of a healthy democracy. She has no voting right and only has an oversight role.
She also congratulated each and every Junior City Councillor on their appointment for two years (first year as juniors and second year as seniors) and thanked them for their hard work and diligence. She said the JCC are true ambassadors as youth leaders of the City of George.
The highlight of 2020 for the JCC was a visit on 13th June to LOVE GEORGE, a non-profit organisation, that provided dry food parcels to more than 130 churches to re-distribute to people in need.
The executive committee of the JCC also attended the George Annual Old Car Show.
Despite Covid-19, the JCC undertook the following projects (out of their own pockets), making of masks for the George Provincial Hospital, Kretzenshoop Primary School in Blanco and for Phambili Refuge in Rosemoor for battered women and their children. They conducted a beach clean-up and the Junior Mayor attended a Women Awareness event at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM).They were involved with events at Môreson children’s home, making of Echo bricks, at Odin Animal Shelter, meals on Wheels and the Junior Mayor, Inile du Toit delivered a speech during Women’s Month at the GRDM which was televised.


Deputy Mayor: Deputy Executive Mayor of George, Cllr Charlotte Clarke (middle right) and Cllr Liz Stroebel (middle left) at the election of the new George Junior City Council executive. From left are, Lindy Prinsloo, (Glenwood House School – Deputy Speaker 2021), Abigail Minnies, (Glenwood House School) – Deputy Speaker 2020, Mickhaya Kroon, (York High School) – Speaker 2021,

Jalaser Bosman, (York High School)– Speaker 2020. Inilé du Toit, (Glenwood House School) – Mayor 2020, Cllr Stroebel, Cllr Clarke, Ludolph Pedro, (York High School)– Mayor 2021, Caitlin Potgieter, (Outeniqua High School) – Deputy Mayor 2020, Aine Ferreira, (Outeniqua High School) – Deputy Mayor 2021, Haydn Wentzel, (York High School) – Municipal Manager 2020, Brenco de Kock, (George High School)– Municipal Manager 2021.

EPWP urban food gardens project gets new life

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, new air was breathed into the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) urban food gardens project with the help of local rugby hero, Zane Kirchner’s NGO, Bookz and Bootz, and other stakeholders, to create sustainable food security for locals.
Cllr Dirk Wessels, Portfolio Councillor for Finance and Strategic Services, said it was decided to start up the project again, after budget constraints halted it earlier. He said the Municipality cannot ignore the major impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on everyone with job losses, people going hungry during this period and much more challenges. Wessels said the project aims to create food security and instil a sense of pride within the local communities. “These gardens can benefit the community greatly and we ask the community to take part and support the initiative”.
Wessels said the project could not be possible without the involvement of the Western Cape department of Agriculture and the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA), the Expanded Public Works Project and NGO’s like Bookz and Bootz.
Kirchner, a retired Springbok, who is currently back in George, started the NGO to provide opportunities for students. His wife, Tasneem, who is also involved in the NGO, said since the Covid-19 outbreak, they have decided to extend the span of the NGO and get involved in food security. They are both very excited to be part of the initiative.
Meanwhile, the EPWP department made money available for the salaries of eight food garden coordinators. The coordinators will work in different Wards in the George Municipal area including, Touwsranten (Ward 4), Rosedale (Ward 14), Uniondale (Ward 25) and Haarlem (Ward 24), Parkdene (Ward 8), Rosemoor (Ward 6), Thembalethu (Ward 13), Borchards (Ward 20) and Blanco (Ward 1).
The coordinators will work five days a week.
Des Carolus from the Worker Collection Point oversees the project. He says the coordinators is expected to start ten new gardens per month as part of the project. The previous food gardens will also be re-entered into the project.
According to Carolus gardeners will receive different seeds or
seedlings during each planting season.
The training of the coordinators/gardeners started on Monday November 2nd in partnership with the Skills Development Section of the Department of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.
The trainees were split into groups. While the one group did theory the other group received practical training. The training facility at the Worker Collection Point and the Rosemoor Civic centre were used. The one week training session covered soil preparation and nutrition.
For more information regarding the project please contact Des Carolus or Amy Kearns on 044 801 9173.
1: Some of the gardeners receive practical training at the George Municipal Workers’ Collection Point Training facility.
In front are Cydwill Mtuze and Leroy Muller. In the second row are, Angelique Masouw, Christelene Solomons and Mandine Boesak.
In the third row are, Anadin Bans, Sandra Joubert, Angelena Pato and Mary-Anne Witbooi.
At the back are Cllr Dirk Wessels, Petrus Moller, Pumza Mabuto, Zane Kirchner, Amy Kleynhans, Andrew Fluks, Owen Filies and Des Carolus.