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Press Release Archive

Mayor’s newsletter for George Herald of 6 October 2022

On behalf of our Mayoral Committee (Mayco) and Councillor team, I want to recognise, praise and thank all our hard-working municipal employees for their determination, dedication and commitment to the tasks that they undertake daily and often over weekends as well. We would not have come so far over the past 21 months without the team effort of the directors and their supporting staff who are so ably led by Dr Michele Gratz as municipal manager.

Our objective has been to tackle the refurbishment and expansion of infrastructure while improving the standards of service delivery. This has been a focused effort with huge pressures on individuals to constantly drive the changes that are needed to implement state-of-the-art practices. To achieve this, you need new ideas and a work ethic that is diligence and performance-driven. New and existing employees have seized opportunities to introduce data-driven methodology and productivity. As councillors, we applaud and thank the team for the ongoing work efforts week by week that are being undertaken. We, therefore, take note and appreciate that throughout the organisation from the maintenance, technical, cleaning and refuse teams through to the administrative, professional and management teams that there is pride in the work being done.

The reference to infrastructure links to a recent SA Property Owners Association (SAPOA) conference held in Cape Town. During a panel discussion, it was stated that local government competence, maintenance of infrastructure and corruption were the three biggest challenges facing infrastructure in South Africa. Their survey covering the 15 largest metropolitan and intermediate cities (George comes in at no.19) revealed that the state of municipal infrastructure including roads had worsened over the past 5 years for all the cities except for Cape Town. Property developers viewed future projects and investments in the Western Cape positively whereas they foresee significant declines in investment in the Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Free State followed by the other Provinces due to the failure to adequately provide for the maintenance and bulk infrastructure timeously.

This survey reinforces the efforts that we are undertaking in George to position ourselves as attractive for investment and employment.

We applaud a recent Business Chamber event where the formation of a group of companies was announced that results from the collaboration between investors and operators of training academies.

I have been approached by a young businessman who is keen to collaborate with contemporaries in the under-40 age group. Secondly, it has been suggested that we should inspire our restaurateurs to “up their game” in terms of meal and service offerings to coincide with the forthcoming holiday season. We plan to shortly engage on both these projects. As always comments and suggestions are welcome at:




On Wednesday, 28 September 2022, the Executive Mayor of George, Ald Leon van Wyk wrote to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to petition against Eskom’s proposed electricity tariff increase of 32% in the 2023/2024 financial year.

The letter to NERSA is as follows:
As Executive Mayor of George Municipality, I am writing to you on behalf of the citizens of George, to appeal to you not to grant Eskom’s application to increase the price of electricity by 32% in the 2023/2024 financial year,” his letter read to NERSA.

“In my letter addressed to you earlier this year on the question of Eskom’s increases for 2022/23, I stated that our citizens are not able to afford increases at a level above the inflation rate. It is unfair, unaffordable, and unjustified to expect citizens to pay increases substantially above the inflation rate.

Across the country, we are already burdened with high food and fuel prices. The recent hefty interest rate hike adds to the high cost of living making it even more difficult for citizens to make ends meet. Moreover, the requested increase will further cripple businesses financially that are already struggling to operate profitably, and to sustain and create jobs. It will destroy the hope of economic recovery in South Africa and add to our burden of poverty.

On behalf of George Municipality, I am therefore objecting in the strongest possible terms to any increase in the price of electricity that is above an inflation increase. We, accordingly, appeal to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to reject the proposal.

The price of electricity has risen by more than 500% over the past 16 years, far exceeding inflation over that time. Over this period in which electricity has become steadily more expensive, the security of our electricity supply has progressively become more unreliable. This year is already the worst year of load-shedding on record. The Stage 6 load-shedding we have experienced in the last short period destroyed R4,2 billion in value from our South African economy each day.

It is unacceptable that Eskom is trying to shield itself from the commercial consequences of years’ worth of mismanagement and poor maintenance of its infrastructure by drastically raising its prices at the time that it is least able to supply electricity to the country. Consumers correctly do not understand the logic of Eskom requesting a 32% increase when it is unable to reliably supply electricity. It would therefore be an unspeakable injustice to burden struggling South Africans even further by making them Eskom’s financial scapegoat.

It is now the time, however, that Eskom undertakes the drastic measures needed to reduce the bloated salary bill, stop the mismanagement, inflated tenders, corruption, etc. and recover the outstanding debt not being paid by defaulters. The municipalities that are up to date with their Eskom account are burdened with huge increases because of the many municipalities that have huge outstanding debt owing to Eskom.

We have not seen meaningful progress on any of these aspects, and yet Eskom is still willing to make ordinary South Africans pay for its lack of action. NERSA must reject this application and insist that the remedial action be implemented.

At George Municipality we have committed ourselves to work tirelessly to bring down the cost of electricity for our citizens through the procurement of our own generated electricity from cheaper sources than Eskom. Our Council has approved the necessary funding for these projects to source up to 15% of our daily off-take from Eskom within the next three years.

Our Municipality is fully aware of the challenges facing Eskom and is working with all stakeholders to find acceptable solutions for businesses and domestic consumers. There are large commercial undertakings and hospitals (as examples), that operate on a 24-hour basis, that are being drastically affected by the ongoing load-shedding. They look to the Municipality in an endeavour to find solutions that will enable them to stay in business. An increase of 32% would send the wrong message to all electricity consumers.

NERSA should rather endeavour to work with the private sector and those Municipalities capable of procuring alternative sources of electricity by only permitting inflation-based tariff increases to ensure that there is a focus on bringing additional electricity online over the next three to four years to assist with the supply constraints faced by Eskom.

I trust that this letter will receive your urgent attention and ensure that Eskom’s application for a price increase is limited to the increase in the consumer price index.



“George Municipality is ready!” So cheered a group of George Municipality’s jubilant officials who will participate in this weekend’s Garden Route Sport and Recreation Day which will take place on Friday 30 September 2022 at Riversdale.

In a special address by the Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Leon van Wyk on Tuesday afternoon at the George Municipality’s Banquet Hall, the executive mayor wished the officials success in their participation in these games, formerly known as Better Together Games.

More than just over 80 employees of the George Municipality are set to participate in this year’s Garden Route Sport and Recreation Day. In a programme that was released to the participants, indications are that the Western Cape Minister of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, MEC Anroux Marais deliver a keynote address to officially open the sport and recreation day.

The Garden Route Sport and Recreation Day is an annual sports event that is hosted by Sport and Recreation Services of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport involving government officials in the various districts of the province as well as in the metropole to try their hand at soccer, mini-cricket, volleyball, tug of war, chess, athletics and many other codes at the Better Together Games (BTG) for government officials.

The George Municipality has always been part of the Better Together Games since its inception in 2007 and successfully brought back gold, silver and bronze medallions and gone through to the final games. The George Municipality has last attended the finals known as the Corporate Games in 2019 and won gold in both Rugby cricket and dominoes.

“Did you exercise, are you fit?” Ald van Wyk quipped. “Go and make us proud, and please be cautious and we do not want to hear of any injuries, go out there and enjoy yourselves,” he said. In response to the mayor’s message, the group of officials shouted with joy said, “We are ready!”, assuring the Executive Mayor and the city of George that they will make the city proud.


Tourism Destination strategy workshop – 21 October 2022



Date Issued: 27 September 2022

Issued by:      George Municipality

Status:            For immediate release


The Tourism section of George Municipality invites all stakeholders to attend an important workshop on Tuesday, 21 October 2022 about the Draft Tourism Destination Plan and Marketing Strategy.


The Draft Tourism Destination Plan and Marketing Strategy was approved by Council; now the Tourism section seeks feedback from tourism stakeholders based in George Municipality to discuss and finalise the plans.


During the workshop, the Tourism section will provide an overview of the documents and stakeholders will be able to ask questions. The budget will also be presented and discussed. The attendees will break into groups to discuss the Key Performance Indicators and this information will be fed back to the overall group.


Ideally, the Tourism section wants to fill a table per sub-category, to get insights from the entire industry:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Activities and Experiences
  • Events
  • Accommodation (non-hotel)
  • Transport / Tour Operators / Ground Handling
  • General tourism stakeholders and associations


Parties who register for the workshop will be sent a copy of the approved draft strategies to read in preparation for the session.


DATE:             Friday, 21 October 2022

TIME:             From 09:00 – 13:00

VENUE:          Banquet Hall at the George Civic Centre

ENQUIRIES:  Sharon House – 044 801 9295 or


“This is the perfect opportunity for industry stakeholders to give their inputs and make suggestions to improve the overall objectives of the plans, that will work concurrently with the Integrated Development Plan cycle of George Municipality,” says Tourism Manager, Joan Shaw.


Please RSVP via email to by Friday, 14 October 2022.

George Municipality and other government stakeholders set the example by cleaning up the environment for World Cleanup Day

Media Release: George Municipality and other government stakeholders set the example by cleaning up the environment for World Cleanup Day
Issued by George Municipality 22 September 2022 for immediate release

George Mayor, Councillor and the Municipality’s Cleansing team together with other government stakeholders removed 250 bags of rubbish from four dumping sites and areas in the communities as part of a Cleanup Project from 20-21 September 2022 in celebration of World Cleanup Day.

The George Municipal EPWP workers, officials from the Environmental Department, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development EPWP workers, Garden Route District Municipality and former offenders from the Department of Correctional Services joined to clean up our communities in Thembalethu, Lawaaikamp, Zone 9, Rosedale and Parkdene along the N2 highway.

According to Janine Fernold from the Environmental department, five members of the public joined in on the project. She said although we would want to see more people get involved in ensuring we live in a clean environment; we are grateful for the few who assisted. An education/awareness campaign also formed part of the project. Officials distributed pamphlets from door to door to inform and educate the public on the ills of illegal dumping and involved schools as well.

World Cleanup Day unites millions of volunteers, governments and organisations in 191 countries to tackle the global waste problem and build up a new and sustainable world.


The municipality needs your help to combat illegal dumping:

  1. Please spread the news in your community that dumping of waste is dangerous and a health hazard. Waste should be collected in refuse bags and placed for collection on waste removal days. Builders rubble and waste not suitable for bags must be dropped at the municipal refuse site on the R102 (airport road).
  2. If you can provide names, vehicle registration details or addresses of alleged perpetrators and are willing to make a statement in this regard, please report it to Law Enforcement at 044 801 6350 or You don’t need a photograph of the perpetrator, but it will strengthen the case for a warning or fine to be issued.
  3. If you notice dumped waste, please report for collection to 044 802 2900.



Mayor Leon van Wyk, Councillors, George Municipality, Garden Route District Municipality officials and other stakeholders during a cleanup in Lawaaikamp.





The Municipal Manager of the George Municipality, Dr Michele Gratz commended the municipality’s Chief Audit, Jean-Pierre Rossouw for his re-election as the Chairperson of the Western Cape Local Government Chief Audit Executive (CAE) Forum recently.

 “We are proud to have an official of Mr Rossouw’s calibre and we wish him well with the task ahead of him for the new term,” said Dr Gratz.

Rossouw shared the news of his re-election on his LinkedIn account on Tuesday, 18 September 2022: “I’m truly honoured to have been re-elected as the Chairperson of the Western Cape Local Government Chief Audit Executive (CAE) Forum for a second term. I’m looking forward to continuing to add value to the municipal internal audit environment,” Rossouw said.

“Today we held yet another successful CAE Forum. Attendees included delegates from National Treasury, Western Cape Provincial Treasury, the IIASA, invited guests and presenters, as well the CAEs and CROs from municipalities throughout the Western Cape Province. Covering topics such as the NT FMCMM; AC induction and training; IIASA Feedback; Importance of MFMA Circular 65.”  

“We also had a very interesting knowledge-sharing session on the practical implementation of Agile auditing. I am thoroughly enjoying my role as Chairperson of such a vibrant forum,” he concluded.



As South Africans, we have learnt to be resilient and shown the ability to adapt to circumstances. The recent experiences of enduring Stages 5 and 6 of load shedding require us all to make adaptations to how we manage our lives. I was recently privileged to attend an Energy Summit where the Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter spoke about the power station fleet that had been operated at maximum capacity for too long. This means that maintenance needs to be undertaken to avoid complete breakdowns. New generating capacity will have to be built over the next 15 years.

On an ongoing basis the municipality is examining a range of projects to mitigate the risks in supplying electricity to our customer base:

  • We have installed 25 generators at our critical installations ranging from water and waste-water treatment works, and critical pump stations to buildings. These generators need to be constantly re-fuelled with diesel as we attempt to keep operations going under conditions where Eskom is unable to provide electricity for up to eight hours per day.
  • We are concerned about key businesses and installations that are large employers, energy-intensive users or who need to operate 24/7. We are searching for solutions that can assist them.
  • We are progressing with plans to implement renewable energy plants that will reduce bulk purchases from Eskom to avoid implementation of some load shedding stages.

Our customers can assist in this adaptation process by “shifting their loads” to reduce the maximum electricity capacity that they use through an awareness of not operating too many high-capacity appliances at the same time. The objective is to reduce peaks experienced in the early morning and evening. Success in this adaptation will strengthen our negotiations with Eskom to start avoiding painful load shedding Stages.

We have recently undertaken road-building activity on some of our Provincial roads and Go George routes. We receive grants equivalent to 80% of the project cost on provincial roads that requires spending within defined timelines. Fortunately, the Langenhoven Road and Market Street projects are approaching completion. Work will shortly also be undertaken on York Street. We appreciate how our citizens have adapted their travel routines to ensure the completion of these projects.

Communication is currently underway to appeal to our citizens living close to the forest and mountains to provide advice on co-existence with baboons who periodically enter living areas in search of food. The 2018 George Fire severely damaged their habitat and food sources. Scientific advice is that humans make small adaptations to their routines to improve co-existence.

We express our gratitude to our citizens for their patience in dealing with the adaptations they have been making as we work together building a well-run city.

Ald Leon van Wyk

Executive Mayor of George



Five officials from the George Municipality received training in creative filmmaking on the 13th and 14th of September 2022 at the George Tourism office to enhance local tourism marketing strategies. Local filmmaking experts conducted the training as part of a service level agreement with the Garden Route Film Commission.

According to the George Tourism manager, Joan Shaw, the objective of the training which is intended for Municipal staff is to have a better understanding of the film industry, and what is required, as film productions are a target market for Tourism and Economic Development. “As part of the tourism marketing strategy, we want to empower staff that work with social media and projects, and general photography, which requires filming skills to improve the quality of their shoots.  We also encourage creativity and keeping up with trends in this fast-paced industry to keep relevant and get noticed,” Shaw said.

Three of the five trainees were officials from the Tourism office and two from the office of the municipal manager and the communication department, and they all never had experience in filmmaking. One of the trainees, Aphiwe Jack from the office of the municipal manager, said: “The film training was highly informative and fun at the same time. I learnt about the different types of gadgets being used in the film industry, from cameras, lenses, and stabilizers to lights and video editing software. Our team was amazing, thanks to all of them for making it such a wonderful experience for me, and finally, a huge thanks to the facilitators for such a splendid job showing us all the hard work it takes to become professionals in the film industry,” Jack added.

The training was conducted by Letitia Cunningham (Director Garden Route Film Commission), Megan Cunningham a multi-creative and a youth developer and Calvin Claassen an independent content creator and designer in the film industry. To add lustre to the training which included the outdoor taking of video shots, Pamela Pelser, a line dance choreographer from Step Together Line Dance School introduced a few dance moves to the trainees who responded fluently, and smoothly to the movements.



From left: Megan Cunningham (Facilitator), Letitia Cunningham (Facilitator), Lindi Harley (Tourism Officer – Membership), Aphiwe Jack (receptionist – office of the Municipal Manager), Luthando Ndende (Tourism Intern), Heloine America (Tourism Officer), Joan Shaw (Tourism Manager), Ntobeko Mangqwengqwe (Senior Communication & Intergovernmental Relations Officer), and in front Calvin Claassen (Facilitator).

GO GEORGE passenger satisfaction survey to start soon


Issued 16 Sep 2022


A GO GEORGE passenger satisfaction survey will be conducted from 26 September until 21 October 2022 at GO GEORGE bus stops on the current network of routes.

The survey forms part of the 2022 George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN) Macro-, Transport- and Socio-Economic Study (MTSES). The results will be compared with previous studies to determine the overall socio-economic impact of the GO GEORGE bus service in three main areas, namely macro-economic, transport economic, and socio-economic impact.

According to Morné Lakay, Acting Manager of GO GEORGE, feedback from passengers remains core to the planning and fine-tuning of the system. “With intricate data at our disposal, it is possible for us to plan and implement, but we need to know whether we are meeting our communities’ needs and whether the bus service is indeed improving quality of life and access to economic opportunities. That is what the George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN) is all about and why we kindly request passengers to spare a few minutes when approached by a surveyor. Participating passengers will remain anonymous,” Lakay said.

The data acquired through the survey will form part of continuous reviewing and improvement of the bus service and inform amendments where needed and possible.

Independent, trained surveyors with appropriate identification cards will conduct the survey using an App on a cell phone. More information can be obtained from the GO GEORGE Call Centre at 0800 044 044.


Brendon Barends spared a few minutes to answer GO GEORGE surveyor, Larouchelle Kleinbooi’s questions.




Uitgereik 16 Sep 2022

‘n GO GEORGE-passasierspeiling sal van 26 September tot 21 Oktober 2022 by GO GEORGE-bushaltes op die huidige netwerk van roetes gedoen word.

Die peiling vorm deel van die 2022 George Geïntegreerde Openbarevervoernetwerk Makro-, Vervoer- en Sosio-ekonomiese Studie. Die resultate sal vergelyk word met vorige studies om die algehele sosio-ekonomiese impak van die GO GEORGE-busdiens in drie hoofareas te bepaal, naamlik makro-ekonomiese, vervoer-ekonomiese en sosio-ekonomiese impak.

Volgens Morné Lakay, waarnemende bestuurder van GO GEORGE, bly terugvoering van passasiers die kern van die beplanning en verfyning van die stelsel. “Met ingewikkelde data tot ons beskikking, is dit vir ons moontlik om te beplan en te implementeer, maar ons moet weet of ons aan ons gemeenskappe se behoeftes voldoen en of die busdiens inderdaad lewensgehalte en toegang tot ekonomiese geleenthede verbeter. Dit is waaroor GO GEORGE gaan en waarom ons passasiers vriendelik versoek om vir ons ‘n paar minute te gee wanneer hulle deur ‘n onderhoudvoerder genader word. Deelnemende passasiers sal anoniem bly,” het Lakay gesê.

Die data wat deur die opname verkry word, sal deel vorm van deurlopende hersiening en verbetering van die busdiens en wysigings rig waar nodig en moontlik.

Onafhanklike, opgeleide onderhoudvoerders met toepaslike identifikasiekaarte sal die opname met behulp van ‘n toepassing op ‘n selfoon uitvoer. Meer inligting kan verkry word by die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044.


Brendon Barends het ‘n paar minute afgestaan om GO GEORGE-onderhoudvoerder, Larouchelle Kleinbooi, se vrae te beantwoord.


Back up generation for our sewer pumpstations

George Municipality manages and maintains a water and sewer infrastructure consisting of 116 sewer pump stations and 28 water pumpstations. Ongoing loadshedding implemented by ESKOM over the past few years has raised concerns with regard to maintaining the supply of potable water and sewer services.

The public often forget that during loadshedding the municipal sewer pumpstations and water treatment works are put under immense pressure and traditional storage capacities are not adequate to compensate for extended loadshedding.  In a bid to ensure the provision of adequate potable (drinking) water and to reduce water pollution, 13 large-scale generators have been installed at our most critical installations including high risk identified sewer pumpstations as well as at the Old and New Water Treatment Works that treats raw water received from the Garden Route Dam into potable (drinking) water.

The tender process for the purchase and installation of two (2) 1100kVA generators to be installed at the Garden Route Dam raw water pumpstation have recently closed and are being evaluated. This installation will mean that during loadshedding or any other power outage, raw water can continue to be pumped to the Water Treatment Works for processing for drinking water supply.

Executive Mayor Ald Van Wyk noted that these generators need to be constantly re-fuelled with diesel as the municipality attempts to keep operations going under conditions where Eskom is unable to provide electricity for up to eight hours per day. A recent Energy Summit hosted provided insight into the state of Eskom. “I was recently privileged to attend an Energy Summit where the Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter spoke about the power station fleet that had been operated at maximum capacity for too long. This means that maintenance needs to be undertaken to avoid complete breakdowns. New generating capacity will have to be built over the next 15 years,” said Ald Van Wyk.

The purchase and installation costs of such large-scale generators is high, and these are not just ordered off the shelf. To date the municipality has installed generators at our sewer pump stations at a cost of approximately R13 million. The generators are diesel operated and have weather and vandal proof covers for protection. All of the backup generation is equipped with anti-vandalism and anti-theft devices and each is linked to the municipal telemetry and SCADA system for remote monitoring purposes.


Friday, 16 September 2022


The National Library of South Africa (NLSA), in conjunction with the Department of Correctional Services and George Municipality is proud to host the 12th Funda Mzantsi Championship (FMC).

FMC is a reading competition for book clubs with the objective of stimulating and encouraging a reading culture among South Africans. The Championship has been held on an annual basis from 2010 until 2019.  In 2020, the Competition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2021, FMC was hosted in a hybrid format.  This year, FMC will be held in George, in the Western Cape Province from 3 to 7 October 2022.

In preparation for the Competition, book clubs are required to read selected books from a specific list, including titles from the NLSA’s Reprint of South African Classics project.  Furthermore, participants are assessed in four categories – impromptu reading, debating, spelling bee and book reviewing in all official South African languages.  The much-acclaimed book “The Yearning” by Mohale Mashigo is expected to be reviewed by participants in this year’s competition.

The National Library of South Africa takes pride in contributing toward Outcome 14 of the National Development Plan which deals with Nation Building and Social Cohesion. Through the Funda Mzantsi Championship, the NLSA brings together minds – both young and old, breaking the racial, gender and social status boundaries, in pursuit of a common goal.

The NLSA’s Executive Director responsible for Core Programmes will officiate the opening ceremony on 3 October and the National Librarian and CEO, Mr Kepi Madumo will grace the closing ceremony on 5 October 2022.

Members of the media are invited to cover the Championship as follows:


Day 1

3 October





Impromptu Reading, Spelling-Bee, Debate and Book Review


Opening Ceremony

English Eden Church

4 October

09H-00-16H00 Impromptu Reading, Spelling-Bee, Debate and Book Review English Eden Church


Day 3 and 4

5 and 6 October

08H30-16H00 Impromptu Reading, Spelling-Bee, Debate and Book Review Sesotho



Eden Church
Day 3 and 4

5 and 6 October

08H30-16H00 Impromptu Reading, Spelling-Bee, Debate and Book Review Afrikaans





Conville Community Hall
Day 3 and 4

5 to 6 October

08H30-16H00 Impromptu Reading, Spelling-Bee, Debate and Book Review IsiXhosa




Thembalethu Community Hall


Day 5

7 October

08H30-12H00 Closing ceremony and announcement of winners Eden Church



Issued by the National Library of South Africa

Notes to the Editor

The National Library of South Africa (NLSA) is the custodian and provider of the nation’s key knowledge resources. The NLSA is mandated by the National Library of South Africa Act to collect and preserve published documents and to make them accessible, thereby ensuring that knowledge is preserved for posterity and that information is available to all.


#GeorgeTourism #GettoknowGeorge

Us ‘Georgiette’s’ are the envy of many South Africans, especially those far from the sea, sitting in long daily traffic commutes – we won’t say who! We get to live in one of the top destinations in South Africa, surrounded by abundant beauty yet with all our creature comforts within proximity, and plenty to do and see! Each month the tourism section of George Municipality, which represents the tourism offices for George, Wilderness and Uniondale, will be sharing snippets to help you get to know more about all that is available to you and your visiting friends and family.

What’s happening in George, Wilderness and Uniondale? Here are a selection of events taking place during the rest of September. View the full events calendar at

16-17 September 2022: Thousand Sensations Craft Liquor Food & Music Festival at Woodfield’s Estate in George
This annual event takes place on the Map of Africa and calls to craft enthusiasts! Not the knitting type, mind you, but the liquor type. The festival village is set in a natural amphitheatre and there are a variety of craft beer and other types of craft liquor stalls, as well as food vendors, a tented area and a large live music stage with headline artist, Andra. Festival goers can taste and buy the crafts available which include beer, whiskey, gin, brandy, rum, and more. Set in an incredible natural setting, situated on grasslands between natural, pine and eucalyptus forest and with magnificent mountain and sea views, this festival promises too not only be fun but also beautiful. Make sure to organise responsible transport arrangements.  Get more information via Facebook.

23-25 September 2022: The Heritage Festival at the George Showgrounds
A new festival on George’s calendar, this is a music and dance festival celebrating South Africa’s diverse arts and heritage.  There are a multitude of South African performers in genres such as local Jazz, Boere Musiek, Mbaqanga, Khoi Music, reggae, Afrikaans pop, folk, blues, Xhosa/Tswana/Sotho traditional music and even more.  Delicious South African style food will be on sale, featuring bobotie, braai, mala-mogodu (aka tripe) and other interesting fare.  The event includes an art exhibition and children’s activities.  Attendees are encouraged to dress according to their cultural heritage.

24-25 September: GTR Endurance Lap Race at the George Riding Club
The GTR Endurance Lap Race is a timed 3km cross country route that is repeated in laps at the George Riding Club.  The event village will keep the energy up with live local artists and DJ’s on stage while you run.  There are solo and team entries and runners can enter either the 1 hour, 6-hour, 12-hour or 24-hour categories.  The 12 and 24-hour team entries include camping at the George Riding Club.  Learn more via Facebook.

25 September:  Lions CCPP Group Karoo to Coast from Uniondale to Knysna
This beautiful yet challenging journey consists of a 100km solo mountain bike race, which starts in Uniondale and crosses the magnificent Prince Alfred’s Pass in to Knysna.  This year’s event is already sold out, but friends and family of riders can support them at the start or finish line.

30 September-1 October: Uniondale Landbouskou at the Uniondale Showgrounds
The highlight of this event is the exciting South African Saddle Horse and Cape Boerperd show presented by the East Cape Agricultural Show Association. Visitors can look forward to competitions in various categories of horse gaits. In addition, there will be a merino show, boerbok show and a youth show where youngsters can showcase their self-bred livestock. Take part in wine-tastings, and enjoy the entertainment provided by the Bottomless Coffee band.   See more on Facebook.

Local Markets
Hinenni Community Market
Every Wednesday from 08:30-15:00 | 63 Bo-Langvlei Road, Rondevlei, Wilderness

Outeniqua Family Market
Every Saturday from 08:00-14:00 | N2, George

Sunday Funday Market
Every Sunday 10:00-15:00 | Milkwood Village, Beacon Street, Wilderness

Do you know that George has a website dedicated to our trails?  Go to for detailed information about available routes, distances and difficulties in not only mountain biking but also trail running, hiking and paddling.

The following excerpts have been taken from our latest blog, ‘Popular mountain biking trails to try’.

The Montagu Pass provides a whole different challenge. Start at the Engen garage in Heather Park and ride on until you reach the turn off to the pass. As you climb the pass, you’ll get up close with spectacular mountain scenery and fynbos panoramas. The elevation gain is approximately 862 meters. Once you’ve crossed the pass, you’ll find yourself in Herold, a tiny hamlet dating from the 19th century. Rest for a while at the Over the Mountain Tea Garden before returning to George. The route covers approximately 33 kilometres.

A popular trail taking mountain bikers through the pastoral farmlands of George is the Dairyland Route. This one start and ends at the famous Redberry Farm, the perfect place to relax and recharge with great food and something to drink after two hours of cycling.  The route comprises of 27 kilometres of mostly gravel road through dairy farms. Beautiful Outeniqua Mountain views can be enjoyed as the trail is not too taxing with little climbing.

Read the full post at

Want to know more about what you can see and do and where you can stay in George, Wilderness and Uniondale? Contact George Tourism:

044 801 9295


Cable theft causes extended power outages again

Extended power outages on Monday early evening, 12 September in George affected a wide area including the George CBD, George Industrial area, parts of Thembalethu, Pacaltsdorp, Groeneweide Park, Herold’s Bay, Bos en Dal, George South and Delville Park. The duration of the outage was between 19h00 – 21h00 with certain areas being restored quicker than others.

On being alerted to repeat tripping of one of our 66Kv lines,  a municipal electrician went out to do a thorough investigation of the situation and discovered that the 66KV line had been damaged with parts of the line missing or  lying on the ground. The cost of damage and theft  to electrical infrastructure is estimated at R1.1 million. A case of damage to, and theft of electrical infrastructure was opened on 13 September 2022 at the Conville Police Station.

As a temporary measure and in order to restore power to the affected areas, the line (located between the N2 and Tamsui Substation) was secured  and municipal Law Enforcement officials together with a private security service provider kept guard to ensure no further damage or theft could take place.  The 66Kv line is currently in the process of being repaired and it is expected to take up to 5 days before the line is fully functional.

Executive Mayor Ald Van Wyk condemned the theft and vandalism to essential municipal electrical infrastructure. “George Municipality cannot overemphasize the danger of stealing or tampering with energised cables. We strongly warn the public to refrain from stealing municipal property, as it is not only cause huge losses paid from taxpayer’s money,   but also poses severe danger to the lives of those tampering with energised cables,” he said.

The reward for information leading to successful prosecution
George Municipality will pay a reward of R2500 to any person who offers information on vandalism and theft incidents, and which information leads to the successful conviction of the perpetrator in a court of law.  The paying of a reward is legal in terms of the MFMA (Municipal Finance Management Act) and is seen as a necessary step to combat the expenditure on the repair of vandalized and stolen infrastructure. These assets are managed by the municipality on behalf of the public and it is George Municipality’s request to all our residents to assist us in looking after and protecting these assets.

The public can contact the Anti-fraud toll-free number 0860 044 044 or report vandalism and theft verbally, by email, or any municipal or SAPS telephone numbers. The member of public reporting will have to supply their name and contact details as their testimony may be required for the successful conviction of the perpetrators. The identity of those helping will be protected.

George Municipality calls on the community to please assist us in eradicating theft and vandalism, to allow the municipality to improve service delivery levels and continue to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Report Illegal connections to 044 801 9222 or after hours on 044 801 6300. Report to 0860 044 044 with details to be eligible for the reward.

Road Resealed in excellent time – putting grant funding to good use

George motorists will be thrilled to see that the resealing of CJ Langenhoven Road  between Davidson Road (Provincial Hospital) has been completed, a full month earlier than the predicted mid-October. This is a testament to our Civil Engineering Department who undertook the remedial project at short notice after receiving a significant portion of the Provincial budget in the form of Grant Funding
(80%)with the proviso that the spending is completed before the end of December 2022.

CJ Langenhoven Road and York Street are both Proclaimed Roads within the Municipal Road Network, and the budget and maintenance of these roads is provided for by the Western Cape Government: Transport and Public Works who is the Road Authority of both Roads. CJ Langenhoven Street opened to traffic today and will be followed shortly by the opening later this afternoon of the Market/York Street intersection allowing for bi-directional traffic flow, another roads upgrade project which is progressing well despite initial delays.

Alderman Leon Van Wyk paid a visit to view the completed CJ Langenhoven Street together with Acting Director for Civil Engineering Services, Lionel Daniels. CJ Langenhoven Street is not only part of the main arterial network giving visitors access to the CBD and many tourist attractions, but also part of the GO GEORGE route.

Investment in road infrastructure contributes to growth and productivity
Our roads make a critical contribution to economic development and growth and, in turn,  bring about all-important social development. “A well-planned and well-maintained road network is vitally important for development in that they provide access to employment, social, health and education services.  George Municipality’s investment in road infrastructure directly contributes to growth and productivity in that roads are a critical component of the production process of many goods and services, “ said Director for Human Settlements, Planning and Development, Ms Lauren Waring.

Access to main tourist attractions
Joan Shaw, Tourism Manager for George is thrilled that both roads CJ Langenhoven and York Street which are exceptionally important tourism routes are being updated. “The two roads form part of the main arterial network giving visitors access to not only many tourist attractions, but to the hub of the city of George  – that is the home of many regional facilities including  the George Airport, George Provincial Hospital and the Medi-Clinic, Home Affairs Offices, the Garden Route District Municipality, to name a few.  York street also houses many of the banks and foreign exchange facilities.

These roads also give access to many of the main tourist attractions such as the George Golf Course, Fancourt Hotel and Estate, Red Berry Farm, Herold’s Bay, Gwaing River mouth, the historical hub of the city centre, and many other first-class accommodation establishments, restaurants, and attractions, including unique shops. It is vital that such these and other routes, are in tip-top condition for the upcoming festive season, along with the rest of our facilities”, said Ms Shaw.

York Street closes this week for resealing
York Street will close later this week for the milling and removal of existing bituminous layers as well as milling and removal of existing gravel base layers that will be followed by the placing of new bituminous base layers and surface layers. The anticipated completion date is currently projected by end of mid-January 2023 for the entire project, but the entire inbound lane will be completed before December 2022. Site inspections in this regard have already been undertaken with Provincial Roads officials.

The works include the  rehabilitation of York Street Northbound lanes with the  approximately 1000m section in question,  located between Nelson Mandela Boulevard in the south and Courtenay Street in the north. The George Civil Engineering Department will simultaneously address any storm water and kerb repairs that are needed.

George Municipality apologises for the inconvenience and appeals to road users to be patient and exercise caution during the project. Please look out for and adhere to temporary road signage and roadworks personnel.   There will be height differences between the two lanes while milling and asphalt construction work is in progress. Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians must exercise extreme caution, especially during wet conditions and when visibility is poor and at night. Vehicles with low profile tyres and motorcyclists must take extra care.



George Municipality takes delivery of vehicles worth close to R8 million

*George Municipality takes delivery of vehicles worth close to R8 million*

*Issued by George Municipality 13 September 2022 for immediate release*

George Municipality Electrotechnical Services, Community Services and Civil Engineering Services have taken delivery of new vehicles worth close to R8 million including two tractor load backhoe’s, a FTR 850 Compactor, fitted with auto lubrication system for the hydraulics and moving parts (Compactor Bin) , prevents excessive wear and reduces downtime by ensuring all moving parts are lubricated, as well as 4×4 blue coloured tractors.

Mayor Leon van Wyk and officials inspected the vehicles and were all very impressed with the new equipment that will make officials jobs a bit easier. The vehicles were all bought out of the 2022/23 budget.

The tractor load backhoe will be used for excavation and the cleaning of illegal dumping,  tractors will be used in grass cutting and gravel roads with a brand-new compactor for refuse removal. The bakkies will be used for lighter duties and are replacing older bakkies.


_*Fleets1: Mayor Leon van Wyk with the lighter duty bakkies bought for the Community Services Directorate. To his left is Cllr Jean Safers (Portfolio Councillor for Community Services: Environmental Services) and to the right is Allen Paulse, Director: Community Services.*_


_*Fleets2: Allen Paulse, Director: Community Services, Mayor Leon van Wyk and Cllr Jean Safers (Portfolio Councillor for Community Services: Environmental Services) having a jolly good time being lifted in one of the very sturdy tractor load backhoe’s.*_


_*Fleets3: Mayor Leon van Wyk, Bongani Mandla, Director: Electrotechnical Services and Busisiwe Salmani from Fleet Services at a tractor load backhoe.*_


_*Fleets4, 5,6:  Allen Paulse, Cllr Jean Safers, Mayor van Wyk with the out of the ordinary blue in colour tractors from Landini. Normally, most heavy duty vehicles are painted yellow, initially because of safety and visibility on the road but companies are bringing in more colours into play.*_


_*Fleets7: Mayor van Wyk sitting in one of the tractor load backhoe’s with

Jacques Lawrence from Electrotechnical Services, Allen Paulse, Director of Community Services and Cllr Jean Safers, Portfolio Councillor for Community Services: Environmental Services.*_

Tourism Department puts George “On the Map”

To celebrate Tourism month, George Tourism is putting every tourism business in George, Wilderness and Uniondale on the map  – the Google Map this is – literally!

In the first Tourism Month post-pandemic, George Tourism made a strategic decision to invest in upgrading access to our destination’s tourism service providers.   One means to this end is to ensure that every tourism business that is registered with the local Tourism Office, is successfully uploaded onto Google Maps.

Joan Shaw, Tourism Manager said, “Although we have long encouraged our products to do this, the area remained sorely under-represented on this platform, so we have tackled the issue head-on and tasked an intern in our office, Chulezwa Vena, to upload listed activities, restaurants, and accommodation onto Google Maps.”

The accommodation service provider then also links directly to registered with the site)  and Google Maps displays the listed price of the accommodation establishment, making it quick and easy to book your accommodation online.  In the past month, more than 500 products have been uploaded to Google Maps, making a huge impact on the platform.

If your business is not registered with the local tourism office, please register this Tourism Month, and be a part of the action to improve visibility of tourism products in the destination.

To register, call Lindi Harley on 044 877 0045 or e-mail

Making Market Street Accessible for all

Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk and Ricus Fivaz, Municipal Project Manager show off the newly refurbished sidewalk along Market Street.


The upgrade of Market Street established in 1836, extends from York Street to Hope Street and includes a full rebuild and upgrade of the full road reserve and the asphalting of the pedestrian walkways that include the paving of the furniture zone. (The furniture zone is the area for all street furniture (benches), streetlights, waste bins etc. and acts as a buffer between the roadway and the pedestrian sidewalk.) Of the five (5) phases, three will be completed by end of September 2022 and the latter two phases,  are progressing well with completion set for February 2023.

Additional grant funding was gazetted in March 2022 and savings elsewhere on the GIPTN overall 2021/22 budget allowed for phases 4 and 5 of the Market Street upgrade to proceed to construction earlier than planned. An important requirement of the GIPTN funding agreement with the Municipality is that all road upgrades on GO GEORGE bus routes must be upgraded in terms of Universal Accessibility(UA) as well. What this means is that any individual (whose mobility, communicative ability, or understanding is reduced) should be able to access and use a pedestrian walkway, a bus stop and so on,  freely and independently.

George Municipality has made huge strides in drafting the necessary UA design criteria and is currently one of few that have produced a design criteria document. Retrofitting a street such as Market Street in terms of UA is not an easy task with provision having to be made for both property and street universal accessibility access, while maintaining the longitudinal slope along Market Street’s walkways.  The science of universal accessibility is not exact due to the variability of existing roads that must be adapted to, and a number of lessons learnt during the construction of Market Street will be carried forward to future road projects.

Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk visited Market Street recently following an ad hoc inspection undertaken by UA specialists to assess the implementation of UA along Market Street. “These improvements for universal accessibility allow for wider pavements and will go a long way in ensuring mobility and access for all users; those making use of wheelchairs and people with other disabilities. Although this has been a challenging project that included the repositioning of streetlight poles to allow for universal access compliance, these challenges have been adequately managed by our highly skilled civil engineering services department.  This is a world class improvement along one of the most important and most used stretches/sections of road for our Go George bus services. These improvements are most welcome and will go a long way in servicing all residents,” said Ald Van Wyk.

The UA specialists noted that significant progress has been made by the Municipality and solutions were provided for any shortcomings which were identified during the inspection.  Further regular inspections are planned to ensure that the ongoing construction achieves the maximum level of UA compliance given the complex urban environment that is being upgraded.


Mayor’s Newsletter for George Herald of 8 September 2022

In the past week, we had the privilege of hosting a visit by Premier Alan Winde and members of his Cabinet to George. During the engagement, there was recognition of the work that is ongoing to maintain and improve infrastructure while also visiting a few of the tourism-focused businesses ahead of this month being Tourism Month. During our discussions, attention was also given to the sharing and gathering of data that is so essential to interpreting trends that would influence growth and employment. We also raised matters that could be of mutual benefit to the Province and George.

Even though the visit had this focus, we remain ever mindful of the importance of ensuring that our citizens remain safe, that a caring environment is fostered and how citizens, civil society and businesses can assist in making the city a better place for all.

I have recently written about how the municipality is spending more of its budget to ensure that the safety of our citizens is improved. As mentioned, we will be increasing our complement of law enforcement officers and the size of our CCTV camera network beyond the current plus 600 cameras. There is no doubt that citizens should become more safety conscious and alert at home and in moving about.

Neighbourhood watches should be supported, and it would be a great benefit if additional cameras can be sourced by neighbourhoods and the business sector to complement those already in the municipal network. In this way, there will be greater surveillance over more parts of the city.

The tough economic and social conditions also contribute to many homeless and destitute persons on our streets. Even though this is not a municipal function, we are concerned about the wellbeing of these citizens. We are appreciative of the work that is being done within civil society to assist these persons and encourage further assistance.

The municipality has also been approached by citizens and businesses who are keen to play a role in improving the lives of George citizens. Some of their ideas range from education, the environment, sport to business.

We welcome discussion on these ideas and proposals as some could be turned into opportunities or possibly form part of the corporate social responsibility framework approved by council. The latter framework enables the corporate sector to benefit communities and society through projects that will simultaneously meet social responsibilities.

We would therefore like to encourage discussion of these ideas covering the above broad range of categories from safety, caring, social improvements to the facilitation of more opportunities that will be to the benefit of George. Suggestions can be sent to and will be channeled to the appropriate Directorate for further interaction.


Ald. Leon van Wyk

Executive Mayor of George





On Friday, 2 September 2022, the Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Leon van Wyk accompanied by the Portfolio Councillor for Electrotechnical Services Cllr Nosicelo Mbete, the Director of Electrotechnical Services in the George Municipality Bongani Mandla, and the Electrotechnical Services team visited an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) installations on traffic intersections to mark the completion of the UPS installation programme.

As of 29 August 2022, 57 intersections with traffic lights have been installed with UPS units in George. The remaining intersections will be installed once the current road construction has been completed.

The first phase comprised installations of UPS units in the 40 major road intersections with traffic lights that were completed in the previous financial year (2021/2022), ending in June 2022. The second phase included 17 more intersections that were covered and were completed at the end of August 2022.

These units, which are eco-friendly and energy-saving, automatically kick in and operate the traffic lights should the electricity supply be interrupted for any reason with an average duration of 4 hours, before the battery needs recharging. This means that traffic intersections in George are free from Eskom’s load shedding and unplanned power outages for the durability of the batteries, thereby allowing seamless traffic flow.



The Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) Blue Drop programme which was established to encourage continued progress and to acknowledge excellence in drinking water services management in South Africa is in the loom, and the George Municipality is ready to partake in this year’s programme that is set to start in September 2022.

The Blue Drop and Green Drop Certification Programmes are forms of Incentive-based Regulation (IBR) pioneered by the South African Water Sector since 2008. legislation, Water Services Act; Act 108 of 1997, Section 82 d, e & f. The programme seeks to focus on Improvement in Performance, Compliance and Efficiency.

George Municipality’s state of readiness for the upcoming Blue Drop Certification Programme

According to the Deputy Director for Water and Sanitation in the Civil Engineering Services Department in the George Municipality, Deon de Jager, the Blue Drop Certification is intended to monitor the drinking water quality supplied to consumers countrywide. “Both water quality and administrative aspects are combined in this certification with the emphasis being on the administrative aspects instead of water quality and George has put all the ducks in the row to be evaluated.”


“The first-round assessments for the upcoming Blue Drop evaluations are scheduled for September 2022.  After the first-round evaluations, the DWS will, if necessary, allow the George Municipality to implement and report on corrective measures to be implemented, to enable the Municipality to correct and submit the required information,” de Jager added.

De Jager confirmed that the draft water safety plans have been completed. He also said that the water treatment process audits are underway, and the George Municipality is assisted by IX Engineers and Chris Swartz consultants.  “All relevant personnel reporting to DWS have been registered on the IRIS reporting system.  The George Municipal Water Treatment and Laboratory sections are working around the clock to ensure that we comply with all legislative requirements as set out by the DWS.  Furthermore, the George Municipality is in the process of performing process audits on all its raw and potable water pump stations, towers, and storage reservoirs.”

Green Drop Certification – Updating its wastewater risk abatement plans and wastewater treatment process audits underway for George

Green Drop Certification is awarded to wastewater systems that obtain scores of 90% when compared against the criteria set for wastewater management. This assisted Water Services Authorities to strive for improvement in their management of wastewater as part of the incentive-based regulation approach.  Green Drop Certification is awarded to wastewater systems that obtain scores of above 90% when compared against the criteria set for wastewater management, while a system that achieved less than 31% is regarded as a dysfunctional system which would require appropriate interventions.

The next Green Drop Evaluations is scheduled for 2023 (dates to be confirmed by the DWS). In the meantime, the George Municipality is in the process of updating its wastewater risk abatement plans and wastewater treatment process audits.  Furthermore, the George Municipality appointed an external professional services provider to evaluate all sewer pump stations within the George Municipal area.  All of this contributes to the evaluation criteria.


What is a No Drop Programme?

The Department of Water and Sanitation developed the No Drop Programme to draw attention to and encourage progress in water use efficiency and water loss / Non-revenue Water management in the South African municipal sector.  No Drop Certification means that a municipality is accomplished in its water conservation and water demand management practice and receives public accolade and acknowledgement of its excellence in water supply management against a set of strict criteria.  The No Drop has been developed in a similar framework to the Blue Drop (drinking water quality) and Green Drop (wastewater management) in 2013, followed by a partial rollout to all non-metro municipalities in 2014 and a full rollout to all 8 metropolitan municipalities in 2014/15.  The No Drop evaluations form part of the Blue Drop evaluations.