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Press Release Archive

Three Temporary Camp Sites designated at Gwaing River Mouth and Beach

George Municipality is pleased to advise that three temporary camping sites (as per graphic attached A, B and C) have been identified for overnight camping at Gwaing River Mouth and Beach from 15  December to 3 January 2024.

This is in addition to the current Caravan Camp site which has twenty stands and the Gwaing Day Camp which allows for ten braai spots but no overnight camping.
Council noted the requirements for additional camping sites at this popular site during the festive season and approved the concession at the Ordinary Council of 30 November 2023.

Prospective campers are expected to pay a deposit to secure their booking on a first come first served basis. The temporary camp sites which allow a maximum of six persons per site, do not have access to electricity, and only the public amenities at the beach area are available to the temporary beach camp sites. Gwaiing River Mouth and Beach falls under the Outeniqua Sensitive Coastal Area and for that reason no additional vegetation can be cleared and each individual tent site will not extend past 30 m2. Campers wishing to use the beach camp sites must adhere to the conditions of the Gwaing Green Coast Award and note that littering and excessive noise is not allowed.

For bookings please contact Celeste Africa via email or 044 802 1622 for an application form.
Cost: R182.85 (50% discount of normal R365.70). Full amount to be paid as soon as invoices are processed.

George Municipality Enhances Community Safety with High Mast Light Installations

In the photo, the Portfolio Cllr for Electrotechnical Services Nosicelo Mbete and Mayor Leon van Wyk are switching one of the  high mast lights

In a concerted effort to address safety concerns and combat criminal activities, the George Municipality has successfully installed 30 high mast lights in strategic locations over the past six months. These installations, situated in Thembalethu, Lawaaikamp, Parkdene, and Borchers, aim to improve lighting in high-density areas with historically low to no lighting, ultimately contributing to enhanced community safety.

The Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Leon van Wyk commended the Municipal Electrotechnical Services for the installation of the high mast lights saying that the installation of these high mast lights is expected to yield several benefits, including crime prevention and improved Security.

“The enhanced lighting will act as a deterrent to criminal activities, providing communities with increased visibility and the ability to monitor cable theft and vandalism of municipal resources and property.” Mayor van Wyk said. “Adequate lighting significantly reduces safety risks associated with nighttime activities. The high mast lights, with an effective radius of approximately 50 to 60 meters, will contribute to the overall security of the communities.”

The distribution of the high mast lights is as follows:
• Thembalethu: 18 high mast lights distributed across various wards.
• Parkdene: 5 high mast lights.
• Lawaaikamp: 4 high mast lights.
• Borchards: 3 high mast lights.

Mayor Leon van Wyk says the installation of these high mast lights is expected to increase safety

According to the acting director for Electrotechnical Services, Kobus Wilken, this initiative was made possible through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and a portion came from the George Municipal’s own funding. “The Municipality submitted funding requests to address the critical need for improved lighting and successfully secured approval from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) for the installation of the 30 high mast lights. The MIG allocated a total of R17 million, supplemented by an additional R2 million from municipal funding,” Wilken said.

The Portfolio Councillor of the Electrotechnical Services and Fleet, Councillor Nosicelo Mbete urged the public to preserve these important assets. “While celebrating this significant milestone, the Municipality urges the community to play an active role in safeguarding this essential infrastructure against theft and vandalism. The success of these installations relies on the collective effort of residents to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of the high mast lights,” Cllr Mbete said.

The Municipality is confident that these installations will contribute to a safer environment and provide residents with the assurance of well-lit public spaces.


Progress Update on Thembalethu 66kV Substation Construction

Aerial view of Thembalethu Substation

In response to the growing demand for electricity and to enhance reliability in Thembalethu, the construction of the new 66/11 kV 40 MVA electrical substation in the area is well underway. This project, currently one of the largest in the Southern Cape, signifies a major milestone in the City of George’s bulk infrastructure development.

Reacting to the progress made so far, Alderman Leon Van Wyk, Executive Mayor of George, expressed the significance of this initiative. “The construction of the Thembalethu 66kV Substation is a crucial step in ensuring improved electrical supply reliability and providing adequate capacity to support the area’s growth. It is a demonstration of our commitment to facilitating growth and service delivery, attracting investment from both the state and businesses,” Mayor Van Wyk said.

Construction Update

Despite some initial delays, construction progress remains on track, with the project expected to be completed within three years. Key milestones include the completion of the substation building and the installation of most electrical equipment. The 11 kV switchgear panel is in place, and two 66/11 kV, 20 MVA power transformers, along with switchgear and other essential equipment, have been successfully installed. Ongoing work involves the installation of electrical and control cabling.

The substation is adopting the latest, state-of-the-art technology, including an IEC61850 protocol protection scheme for enhanced control and protection within the substation. The DNP3 VER 2 protocol is being utilized for communication between the substation and the control centre, ensuring efficiency with reduced ‘overheads.’ Fibre optic cables are being used extensively for control and protection communication, minimizing the reliance on copper cables. This advanced network enables remote monitoring of alarms, CCTV security, and control of the substation.

The benefits of the New 66KV substation

The acting director of the George Municipality’s Electrotechnical Services Kobus Wilken highlighted the expected benefits of the new substation upon completion at the end of 2023. “The Thembalethu 66kV Substation will not only cater to the immediate needs of the area but will also allow for future expansion. It will provide reliable electricity, additional job opportunities, and improve the overall capacity for growth in Thembalethu and surrounding areas.”

“The load on the adjacent 66 kV substations and electrical networks in Pacaltsdorp and George Industria will be reduced once the new substation takes up the load. This will prolong the available capacity at these substations and electrical networks and provide alternate capacity during system faults. The ring supply to Thembalethu substation will also provide a ring feed and firm supply to SS Protea, the 66 kV substation in Pacaltsdorp and to SS Glenwood, the 66 kV substation that supplies the entire Eastern area of George, including the Garden Route Mall,” Wilken added.

The final cost of the substation, including all associated consultant fees and 15% VAT, is expected to be approximately R77 900,000.00.


The need for a 66kV substation in Thembalethu was identified over 20 years ago, and the current project builds upon the foundation laid by the Ballots Bay 11kV substation. High demand necessitated the expansion of the electrical supply capacity, leading to the establishment of the new Thembalethu 66/11 kV substation. The completion of the initial phase in 2014/15 laid the groundwork for the current project, connecting SS Protea in Pacaltsdorp to Thembalethu and energizing it at 11 kV.

Mayor Van Wyk acknowledged the collaborative efforts and planning involved, saying, “The Thembalethu 66kV Substation is proof of the long-term vision and commitment of the municipality to address the evolving energy needs of our community. This strategic infrastructure investment sets the stage for sustained electrification and growth for years to come.”

Delivery process and installation of transformers on the plinths in Thembalethu



Mayor’s Newsletter for George Herald of 23 November 2023

During the Voters’ Registration Weekend, it was noticeable that citizens have become more aware of their civic role to ensure that they are correctly registered as voters to participate in the 2024 National/Provincial Elections. Citizens who have moved to George from elsewhere in the country have been positive about our efforts to provide a high standard of service delivery when compared to municipalities outside of the Western Cape.

In engaging citizens, passionate persons spoke about potential dream projects that can lead to a further improvement in living circumstances in George. These projects will require inter alia champions, project teams, benefactors, roles by government and corporates to collaborate to bring these dreams to fruition. Four of these projects are centred around health, education and the environment.

One of our senior citizens would like to see the development of a dedicated children’s hospital facility in George that would be able to offer a comprehensive range of specialist paediatric services similar to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town possibly as an extension of the George Hospital. The biggest need would initially be to secure benefactors for the erection and equipping of such a facility.

The next dream relates to the development of a school of skills that would provide practical schooling for learners focussed and centred on economic sectors requiring the skills learnt. A few years ago, farmers in the Bonnievale district decided to collaborate with the Department of Education in building such a school that focussed on skills that could be utilised for the agricultural sector. The collaboration entailed the donation of building materials and/or labour to build the school with the private sector partnership contributing 60% and the Western Cape Government 40% to the overall costs. The success of this project has resulted in the second such school being constructed in Struisbaai. A potential donor of land has come forward in George with a similar dream for a school of skills to be erected here. Preliminary discussions are already taking place about such a project.

The Garden Route Botanical Gardens is celebrating their 25th anniversary. The trustees have been developing their dream expansion plan to enlarge the footprint of the Gardens. This environmental project provides for development phases to expand the green lung of George thereby protecting the habitat of the rich flora and fauna that already exists in the Gardens and surrounds. Such an expansion will also benefit tourism.

In other engagements, citizens spoke about the importance of growing trees either to provide fruit along the rivers and streams that flow through George’s living areas or along streets.

Potential project champions or benefactors who may be interested are welcome to communicate using the address.

Alderman Leon van Wyk
Executive Mayor

George Lights Festival to dazzle Georgians at the Kaptein Dikkop Amphitheatre

Georgians and visitors can look forward to the George Lights Festival to dazzle them for the second consecutive year at Kaptein Dikkop Amphitheatre in Pacaltsdorp.


George Municipality and the Pacaltsdorp Minister’s Fraternal are pleased to jointly announce that the George Lights Festival is scheduled to take place on Sunday, December 10th. The Mayor of George, Ald Van Wyk will formally switch on the Christmas lights at the annual festival that ushers in the holiday season and is enjoyable for both locals and tourists. There will be stalls where attendees of the festival can purchase food and various trinkets.

Cllr Dirk Wessels, Portfolio Councillor of Finance and Strategic Services, said the decision to have the George Lights Festival at the Kaptein Dikkop Amphitheatre was a strategic decision to establish the amphitheatre as one of George’s landmarks by focusing local and visitors’ attention to this area and for the festival to act as an economic driver to the benefit of Pacaltsdorp and its residents. . “It’s the second year that the George Lights Festival is being held at this venue. Unfortunately, we had bad weather last year and we hope for better this year,” Wessels said.  He said that all  stakeholders have held continuous meetings throughout the year and “we are excited to have a collaboration with all involved. All stakeholders were involved with creating a programme for the day to ensure a successful lights festival with a true Christmas theme.”

Lauren Waring, Director: Human Settlements, Planning and Development, said the festival offers an opportunity for the community of George to come together to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. “George Municipality thanks the Pacaltsdorp Minister’s Fraternal for collaborating with the municipality in hosting this event.

The Kaptein Dikkop Amphitheatre in Pacaltsdorp was built to honour the memory of Chief Dikkop, who was the leader of the Khoi – Khoi, the first inhabitants of Hoogekraal – now known as Pacaltsdorp.”

The amphitheatre is used for community gatherings like the monthly Pacaltsdorp Market Day, and now, the annual George Lights Festival.

Seats are limited, so be sure to get there early. If you have any enquiries, regarding the festival or the booking of stalls or vendors please contact Special Programmes & Project Coordinator for Community Development in the George Municipality, Khanyisile Fortuin or Veronique Ferndale on 044 802 2000.

Traders are invited to trade at the event and showcase their products and services to the festival goers. The application form for stalls at the George Lights Festival is available under application forms at the following link:

The closing date for submissions is 24 November 2023.



Officials from George Municipality, Garden Route District Municipality Health Department, Pacaltsdorp Neighbourhood Watch, Pacaltsdorp Minister’s Fraternal at their last in-loco meeting at the Kaptein Dikkop Amphitheatre.

George Municipality Launches 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

In commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, George Municipality is set to launch a series of impactful events in a Summit that will take place on 24 November 2023 in Uniondale. The summit is aimed at sensitising the community about the impact gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) has on the community and victims.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign is a United Nations campaign, which is held annually from 25 November, an International Day for No Violence Against Women, to 10 December, an International Human Rights Day. Other key commemorative days observed annually during these 16 days include World Aids Day on 1 December and the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on 3 December.

This year marks the 25th anniversary since South Africa initiated the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign. The 16 Days campaign focuses on raising awareness of the devastating impact that GBVF has on women and children, and the social fabric of our society.

The launch of the 16 Days of Activism
According to the George Municipality’s Social Development Services, the different stakeholders will during the launch each get an opportunity to inform the community of their role and the impact they made on minimising/eradicating gender-based violence (GBV). Another highlight during the summit features a GBV victim who will share her story and the effect GBV had on herself and her children. The launch takes place on Friday, 24 November 2023 between 10:00 and 14:00.

March & Programme
The launch is preceded by a March that will take place on Thursday, 23 November 2023 between 10:00 and 14:00 by the Haarlem Community Members of Haarlem and surrounding farms. The aim is to march to raise awareness about gender-based violence against women and children. There will be education and awareness programmes in the Community Hall to educate and sensitize the community.

Educational Programme
On Monday, 27 November 2023 between 10:00 and 13:00, the George Municipality in partnership with Huis Outeniqua will host an Educational Programme at Huis Outeniqua. The programme, which entails education, motivation and life skills is aimed to educate and sensitise juveniles about abuse and their role in society. To teach them life skills and better possibilities for when they are released back into society.

Family Dialogue
A partnership between the George Municipality, South African Police Service (SAPS), Department of Social Development (DSD) and Spiritual Dest which seeks to build healthy relationships between children and parents will host a family dialogue in Uniondale on Monday, 4 December 2023 between 10:00 and 14:00. This dialogue is intended to strengthen the relationship between parents and their Children, and for parents to have a better understanding of the challenges the young girls and boys face daily. Also, to document the outcomes and do referrals’ where needed.

Information Awareness Session
On Tuesday, 5 December 2023 between 10:00 and 13:00, the George Municipality and the Gender Forum members will host an information and awareness session in one of the schools in George. The name of the school will be confirmed later. The Information session aims to sensitize the pupils about the issues surrounding them, peer pressure, teenage pregnancy, HIV/Aids infection rate under youth and bullying.

GBVF Conville Awareness session
The last event of the 16 Days of Activism series is the GBVF Conville Awareness Session which will take place on Wednesday, 6 December 2023 between 10:010 and 14:00, in the Conville Community Hall. This event is targeted at the Community members to Sensitize the community about GBVF matters. The organisers of this event are the George Municipality and the Gender Forum members; they aim to promote an understanding of the GBVF Pandemic that has been a monster in our communities and provide a support role to the victims and survivors.

For more enquiries about the programme, please contact Ejustley Boshoff, Gender & Disability Co-ordinator, Community Development at 044 801 1778.





George Municipality Advances Feasibility Study for Renewable Energy Projects

On the photo is a solar plant in one of the George Municipality’s facilities

In response to South Africa’s energy crisis, George Municipality is taking proactive steps by implementing photovoltaic (PV) plants, endorsed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), as the most feasible solution. The Municipality aims to further enhance energy resilience and reduce demand through ongoing initiatives.

Alderman Leon van Wyk, the Executive Mayor of George, recently addressed Western Cape Premier Alan Windi’s Digicon which focuses on energy. During the Digicon on Thursday, 16 November 2023, Mayor Van Wyk provided insights into the progressive approach George Municipality is taking in its renewable energy initiatives.

“In the initial phase of our renewable energy efforts,” Mayor Van Wyk said, “we are completing our 1-megawatt (MW) Solar PV Plant and a Solar PV Plant for the Gwaiing Wastewater Treatment Works.” He outlined the upcoming phases, saying, “Our next endeavour is a 9-megawatt Solar PV Installation, requiring the addition of a 20MVA substation, transformers, and switchgear equipment. Technical aspects are being addressed to align with our commitment to sustainable energy solutions.”

The George Municipality has so far installed or is in the process of installing the following PV plants in George:
• 400-kilowatt peak (kWp) PV at the Outeniqua wastewater treatment facility
• 500 kWp at the PV Gwaing Wastewater treatment facility
• 400 kWp PV plant at the Denneoord New Water Works facility
• 20 kWp PV + 40-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery storage for the Electrotechnical Services building
• 4 kWp PV + 10 kWh battery storage for the Tourism building
• 1 kWp PV + 5 kWh battery storage for Schaapkop substation
• 1 MWp solar farm (ERF464 – Municipal land)

According to the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), a project goes through various phases before implementation. It starts with inception, concept, and viability, followed by a design phase which is then procured, and construction commences. Due to funding and process constraints, the Municipality has decided to proceed with the inception, concept and viability stages of various specific projects. This would then pave the road for project implementation.
This includes:
• Large Scale Solar Farm
• Utility-scale Batteries
• Possible Wind Turbines
• Hydro Generation
• Hydrogen Gas Turbines

This study will provide an implementation plan based on the various technologies. The Municipality plans to appoint specialists for the study and conclude it before the end of the financial year.

Looking forward, Mayor Van Wyk shared plans for an additional 30 MW Solar PV and a 100MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BES) to address load-shedding challenges and enhance energy resilience. Acknowledging funding challenges, Mayor Van Wyk noted, “We’ve applied to the National Treasury for support through the Budget Facility for Infrastructure, unfortunately not approved due to current financial constraints. Exploring alternatives, we are considering private sector funding, potentially through an Independent Power Producer (IPP) model.”

He concluded by addressing legislative hurdles, stating that the current Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) restrictions pose challenges in implementing long-term contracts of more than three years needed for such projects. Ongoing collaboration with Provincial Treasury and Western Cape Provincial Government aims to explore amendments to the MFMA, facilitating the realization of large-scale electricity provision projects.”

Mayor Van Wyk emphasized the municipality’s commitment to finding sustainable solutions to the current electricity crisis, contributing to both local and national energy resilience.

George Municipality hosting the 2023 Global Entrepreneurship Week – another first for the city

In the photo above, addressing the attendees at the Global Entrepreneurship Network at the George Civic Centre are from left, Ald Leon van Wyk, George Executive Mayor, Cllr Dirk Wessels, Portfolio Councillor for Finance and Strategic Services, Quinton Coetzee, Branch Manager: SEDA in Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts and Dr Kosie Haarhoff, Deputy Director: Strategic Services at George Municipality.

 For the first time in the history of George, George Municipality and other stakeholders are part of 208 countries that hosted a Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEW) Week from 13 – 17 November which provides local entrepreneurs and businesses as far as Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon and Zimbabwe a platform to network and gain invaluable knowledge about trade and the business world.

The event is taking place in the George Civic Centre.

According to Dr Kosie Haarhoff, Deputy Director: Strategic Growth and Economic Development at George Municipality, Global Entrepreneurship Week is an annual flagship initiative of the Global Entrepreneurship Network that aims to foster innovation, empower aspiring entrepreneurs, and facilitate collaboration on a global scale. Seeing the importance of entrepreneurship to global economic advancement and human welfare, in 2008, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation created Global Entrepreneurship Week. Since then, it has grown from a series of events happening only in the U.S. and U.K. to expanding to over 165 countries. Global Entrepreneurship Week empowers entrepreneurs in every county and community around the world- especially those individuals who face structural barriers.

During this year’s programme, participants from diverse backgrounds and industries gather to exchange ideas, learn from seasoned mentors, and engage in hands-on workshops designed to refine their entrepreneurial skills. The event is co-hosted by George Municipality, SUFF (Southern Youth Film Festival) Academy and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development.

Haarhoff said George Municipality is one of the leading municipalities when it comes to the development of entrepreneurs and innovation. The focus of GEW 2023 is to include entrepreneurs who are disabled. Some of the sessions are dedicated to these participants. South Africa celebrates National Disability Rights Awareness Month annually between 3 November and 3 December.

He said, that now, more than ever, George needs innovative thinkers and problem solvers to address complex challenges. By nurturing and developing entrepreneurs, we are not only fostering economic growth but also driving innovation, creating jobs, and paving the way for sustainable development. Entrepreneurs play a pivotal role in shaping the future of industries and driving positive change in communities, Haarhoff said.

The GEW programme addresses topics like red tape reduction, financial literacy, entrepreneurial training aimed towards the youth as well as forex trading.

George Executive Mayor, Ald Leon van Wyk, had the pleasure of welcoming the attendees from as far as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana and Cameroon to Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023 on behalf of the George Municipality.

Van Wyk said this week is dedicated to honoring the trailblazers and risk-takers who are building the businesses of the future and generating jobs for our community.

Ald van Wyk said we are extremely honoured to host the Global Entrepreneurship Network Week in George at the same time as hundreds of other countries globally are hosting the same event. “We are so excited to have more than 300 entrepreneurs attending this event to learn, network and understand the entrepreneurial spirit. Some came here to gather information on how to access funds for their ventures and businesses and some young entrepreneurs might want to gain knowledge on how to export their product.

“This platform opens all those opportunities and is a meeting place where people can network, share ideas and ultimately help our George economy. At the end of the day, we need businesses to grow, as well as startup businesses to provide income and provide goods and services to fellow citizens. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our emerging businesses,” Van Wyk concluded.

Cllr Dirk Wessels, Portfolio Councillor for Finance and Strategic Services said the hosting of the event is a strategic move from Economic Development in the Municipality to engage with up-and-coming entrepreneurs and identify marketplaces where we can promote products from George and the Garden Route. “We have a wealth of entrepreneurs in George and surrounds that are already conducting highly profitable domestic and international trade. Thus, it was crucial to include foreign traders in addition to other regional participants in order to provide our young and aspiring entrepreneurs with a platform. Entrepreneurs will gain a thorough understanding of how to get their products into the market, particularly on a global scale, by utilising this networking platform,” Wessels said.

Follow the link for video:



An attendee at the event asks a question about financial assistance especially to get a business registered at an afternoon network session with George Mayor, Ald Leon van Wyk.

Attendees put more questions to the panel.

Attendees put more questions to the panel.

Municipal Pipeline Replacement Programme Explained

Pipe bursts are unfortunately a common occurrence for a number of reasons and can occur due to pressure changes in the network, degradation of pipe due to aging materials, changes in soil conditions, manufacturing defects and poor installation. Once the water network is disturbed, pressure changes can expose further weak areas in the pipe network creating a cascade of failures which are unpredictable.

An analysis of the George water pipe network is updated annually, and end of life pipelines were identified, formalised and presented in a Pipeline Replacement Programme. Apart from the network analysis, George Municipality keeps data on pipe bursts and ongoing maintenance and replacement work is prioritised based on existing data of pipe bursts, the Pipeline Replacement Programme and the available budget.

George Municipality has approximately 920 km of pipeline and due to changing technologies and materials, some of the historic water supply network is not up to standard in terms of pipe diameters, which requires special fittings in the event of pipeline failures. It is not possible to simply replace the entire George Municipality’s water pipe network due to logistical and budget constraints. The estimated cost to replace the identified priority (immediate replacement) pipelines is R 181 642 000 and the estimated cost to replace aging pipelines (number of years left in terms of design specifications) is R 500 000 000 over a twenty-year period.

In the previous Financial Year, the Municipality has spent R62 832 964 (Water Distribution Capital Expenditure 2022/23) on replacing water pipelines, stabilising the water distribution and supply network, and ensuring service delivery for the citizens of George.

The George Municipal Civil Engineering Services departments deals with on average 400 service requests per week ranging from pipe bursts, mainline leaks and no water. Seventy cases of priority work (pipe bursts, mainline leaks and no water) were attended to from 22 September to 25 September 2023 exacerbated by the storm surges that severely damaged the water and sewer infrastructure in Herold’s Bay resulting in repairs costed at over R1 million (excluding road, generator and retaining wall repairs). Teams spent 13 days including after-hours and weekends working to restore water/water pressure to the area.

A major bulk supply pipeline supplying water to the Kraaibosch and Groenkloof areas failed in September 2023 and repairs were complicated by the pipeline being constructed from GRP which required fittings not kept in stock by the municipality. Water was restored completely within two days.

George Municipality relies on citizens to alert us when there are problems with the water supply, and we thank those citizens who provided information and insight to the problems experienced.

FAULT REPORTS: Water leaks, pipe bursts, sewerage: 044 801 9262/6
SWITCHBOARD: 044 801 9111 (7.45am-4.30pm)
GENERAL PUBLIC QUERIES (not emergency related):

Mayor’s Newsletter for George Herald of 9 November 2023

Early on Sunday 5 November, the Go George bus service into Thembalethu was launched with the first bus departing along Nelson Mandela Boulevard at 05h20 on the route through the industrial area to Blanco.

It has taken many years of negotiation to reach this momentous occasion that will now provide residents of Thembalethu with the opportunity to take bus trips according to a scheduled timetable. After the rolling out of the first route, additional routes will follow to provide easy access to destinations such as the provincial hospital, the CBD and the Garden Route Mall. Passenger usage will increase as passengers become familiar with travelling by bus to their destinations. It is expected that Thembalethu commuters will increase the number of Go George passengers by at least 60%. Throughout the world, public transport provides citizens with the access and mobility to commute to work and for other activities thereby reducing traffic congestion. George citizens can now join in this experience.

One of the major challenges for municipalities continues to be the management of data. This requires transitioning from the current methodologies to smart city systems and technology. We are progressively tackling data analysis through the introduction of the necessary technology so that we can better understand, interpret and manage the data. As each of the projects are embarked upon, there are technical and learning hurdles to be overcome. One such project is the utilisation of geographic information systems whereby the technology enables users to identify the land uses and services applicable to all the land within the municipal area.

We have recently celebrated the unveiling of the Leentjiesklip statue that resulted from an initiative of the Wilderness community who identified that touristic value could be added through the legend of how Leentjiesklip beach was named. This project came to fruition as a result of the Adopt-a-Spot Policy that has been approved by Council to enable communities to take responsibility for specific sites. Through this policy, community groups can make an application to the Municipality to be granted permission to beautify and protect portions of municipal land that may otherwise not be cared for regularly. An example would be the planting and care of gardens on spots where illegal dumping could occur.

We have recently received requests from sporting bodies and the Planet Youth project seeking support and assistance in various forms. These requests provide opportunities for the corporate sector to fulfil social responsibility commitments through small projects whereby they can assist with training, the provision of sporting wear or activity programmes for the youth who may not have access to the necessary funding. Interested parties are welcome to contact me to discuss such opportunities on the email address.

George Municipality’s Community Development treats vulnerable youth to an educational excursion

In the above photograph, a youth group from Pacaltsdorp Drug Support busy cleaning Wilderness beach and lagoon area.

George Municipality Community Development section and the Pacaltsdorp Drug Support community organisation treated the youth that is part of the organisation’s aftercare centre on an educational excursion around George that was done over a few days. As part of the educational trip, the group visited the George Train Museum, George Museum and George Botanical Gardens.

The aftercare youngsters visited Sanparks and participated in numerous activities such as canoeing and trail walking. Sanparks officials spoke to the youngsters about the importance of trees, plants, and nature preservation.

On the second day of the excursion, they had an open programme at New Dawn Park Sports Field where each of them brought a friend along. Different stakeholders attended like the George Fire Brigade that held demonstrations on Fire Safety and more.The group also had a cleanup operation and picked up litter along the Wilderness Lagoon and Wilderness Beach.


The Community Project sub-section of George Municipality and Pacaltsdorp Drug Support held an educational programme for their aftercare learners. As part of the educational trip, the group visited the George Train Museum, George Museum and George Botanical Gardens.

The group at the George Botanical Gardens.

George Municipality Celebrates Khomanani Day

In the photograph are at the back officials from the George Municipality, Khanyisile Fortuin, Special Events and Vulnerable Population Coordinator, Willbedine Jordaan, Acting HIV and AIDS Coordinator and Veronique Ferndale Nutritional Centres Coordinator with some of the beneficiaries that received hampers and blankets on the day.

The Community Development HIV and Aids subsection celebrated Khomanani Day at Pacaltsdorp Community Hall recently by hosting a formal informative event and gifted some of the most vulnerable members of the community with food parcels and blankets.

Khomanani Day is a national social mobilization campaign focusing on the impact of HIV/AIDS promoting community action, partnership, and awareness. This day is annually celebrated on the 26th of October, supporting, and caring for those affected and infected with HIV/AIDS, with the theme “Spread Love and Solidarity to Build Stronger Communities”.

Motivational speaker, Ruzanne van Beulen, spoke to the community members attending on how to live a healthy lifestyle while going through whatever circumstances you are facing in life. A drama group, consisting of youngsters from Parkdene, demonstrated how to have compassion and how to treat your fellow human being living with a disease like HIV and AIDS.

The George Municipality HIV and Aids subsection gifted vulnerable members of the community with 50 food parcels and 70 blankets, including children.

Thembalethu welcomes GO GEORGE with open arms

This photo was taken at 05:00 on Sunday with Thembalethu’s first bus right in the front, ready for its first trip on the new route.

“I’ll be saving R800 per month by using the bus service from now on.”
“I started early, in the dark, to walk over the bridge to catch a bus. Now I can catch the bus one block from my home!”
“I bought Smart Cards for my children – they don’t have to walk to school in Borcherds anymore!”
“It’s so nice to be transported right into Thembalethu after a day’s hard work…”

These were the comments from passengers who travelled between Thembalethu and Blanco on Monday after GO GEORGE rolled out the first route to this community on Sunday. A total of 1954 passengers boarded buses on Route 18A on this first weekday.

Residents in Thembalethu queued with great anticipation to try out the new route. According to Morné Lakay, Acting Manager of GO GEORGE, it is becoming clear that a huge percentage of the passengers have already been bus users who previously joined the network of routes by either travelling into town by minibus taxi or walking over the N2 bridge to catch a bus in Parkdene.

“Usually, replacing an informal method of public transport with a more formal, scheduled public transport system has its own unique challenges in every community, but many Thembalethu people know the ropes and can even advise or guide their friends and neighbours to use the bus service,” he said.

“Of course, our communication champions are available and ready to help at the Smart Card kiosk and at the bus stops to support the first-timers. New passengers who feel uncertain are most welcome to ask for support on a first trip by phoning our Call Centre and making arrangements,” he added.

More information regarding the use of the system and trip planning can be obtained by phoning the Call Centre toll-free on 0800 044 044, sending an email to, or visiting or the GO GEORGE Facebook page.


The bus terminus at the Jonga circle in Thembalethu is spacious and accommodates several buses waiting to depart. The buses make their turnaround to town at this circle.


These passengers queueing at the Ngcakani bus stop early on Sunday morning can claim that they were some of the first passengers boarding a GO GEORGE bus inside Thembalethu.


Luxolo Mbelu, Ayanda Nongxaza and Hlumelo Maso all work at Fancourt and can now take the R18A bus straight to their workplace.

The first route rolled out to Thembalethu travels along Nelson Mandela Boulevard to Blanco and back.




Revolutionizing Water Rescue for a Safer Season

In a remarkable leap forward for water rescue operations during the busy festive season in George, the addition of inflatable devices delivered by drones promises to be a game-changer. This innovative technology has the potential to save lives and significantly enhance emergency response efforts, particularly when dealing with swimmers in distress.

The concept is simple yet ingenious: outfit a standard drone with a “payload release” mechanism capable of delivering a self-inflatable floating device (weighing approximately 0.7kg) to a swimmer in distress. This mechanism is seamlessly attached to the drone as an add-on feature. The payload, in this case, consists of a self-inflatable floating device that, on deployment, automatically inflates in the water, providing immediate buoyancy to keep the swimmer afloat until lifeguards or other rescue personnel arrive.

This technology allows for swift and efficient responses to water-related emergencies, significantly reducing response times when compared to traditional rescue methods. Moreover, the drone’s agility enables it to cover more extensive areas swiftly, making it invaluable in situations where time is of the essence. A further useful add-on will be a speaker, allowing our Mobile JOC to speak to the swimmer in distress, as well as the rescue team with the on-board camera providing visuals during the rescue. The inflatable device is re-usable and after retrieval is folded up and repackaged to be used again.

What makes this innovation truly groundbreaking is its emphasis on safety. The inflatable device not only aids the person in distress but also ensures the safety of the rescuers involved. Neels Barnard, the George Chief Fire officer, highlighted that this is a pioneering initiative in South Africa, never before witnessed on local beaches. He added, “The George Fire & Rescue Services team is constantly researching new innovations, and by harnessing the power of technology, we’ve added a vital tool to our water rescue operations that promises to save lives. As we look ahead to its practical application, we can only anticipate more lives being safeguarded, and swimmers in distress receiving the swift assistance they need.”   (Video footage courtesy of SABC)

George Fire & Rescue Services Chief, Neels Barnard keeps an eye while Station Commander, Santa Sternsdorff flies the drone at Wilderness Beach.

Repairs nearly completed on retaining wall at Herold’s Bay

Repair work to a retaining wall at Herold’s Bay is almost completed and will be finished before the end of this week. The retaining wall collapsed after storm surges over the weekend of 17 September which saw extensive damage to municipal infrastructure at several beaches. Repairs and retarring of Beach Road in Herold’s Bay has been completed today.

Please don’t give money or handouts to individuals begging on the streets

We kindly request that you refrain from giving money or handouts to individuals, including both children and adults, who are begging on the streets.

The George Municipality urges the residents of George to be part of the solution for those living on the streets by directing their donations to reputable organizations like the George Night Shelter or Kidstop. This approach is far more effective than providing direct assistance to people begging at street intersections, which has become a growing concern.

Regrettably, providing money or handouts to individuals on the streets can perpetuate their homelessness and lead to negative long-term consequences.

If you wish to make a positive impact, you can get in touch with the following organizations:

  • Freddy Trout, PASA (People Against Substance Abuse) at 068 487 4848.
  • Jonathan Gelderbloem, YFC Kidstop at 044 874 2624/044 875 1794.
  • Department of Social Services at 044 814 1920.
  • Andre Olivier from Cremhog via email at

Please note that living on the streets is not a criminal offense, and individuals cannot be arrested or relocated without their consent. The responsibility to assist people living on the streets mainly falls under the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Department of Social Development.

George residents, business owners, and organizations interested in helping the homeless or sharing innovative ideas for their support are encouraged to participate in the monthly PLOTS meeting.

For more information, please contact Estelle Fredericks at 044 802 2000, extension 2015 during office hours.


Moet asseblief nie geld of uitdeelstukke aan individue gee wie op straat bedel nie

Ons versoek u vriendelik om nie geld of uitdeelstukke aan individue te gee, insluitend beide kinders en volwassenes, wat op straat bedel nie.

George-munisipaliteit doen ‘n beroep op die inwoners van George om deel te wees van die oplossing vir diegene wat op straat woon deur hul skenkings aan betroubare organisasies soos die George Night Shelter of Kidstop te rig. Hierdie benadering is baie meer doeltreffend as om direkte hulp te verleen aan mense wat by straatkruisings bedel, wat ‘n toenemende bekommernis is.

Ongelukkig kan die verskaffing van geld of uitdeelstukke aan individue op straat hul haweloosheid voortduur en tot negatiewe langtermyngevolge lei.

As jy ‘n positiewe impak wil maak, kan jy met die volgende organisasies in aanraking kom:

  • Freddy Trout, PASA (People Against Substance Abuse) by 068 487 4848.
  • Jonathan Gelderbloem, YFC Kidstop by 044 874 2624/044 875 1794.
  • Departement Maatskaplike Dienste by 044 814 1920.
  • Andre Olivier van Cremhog via e-pos by

Neem asseblief kennis dat om op straat te lewe  nie ‘n kriminele oortreding is nie, en individue kan nie in hegtenis geneem of hervestig word sonder hul toestemming nie. Die verantwoordelikheid om mense wat op straat woon by te staan, val hoofsaaklik onder die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens (SAPD) en die Nasionale Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling.

George-inwoners, sake-eienaars en organisasies wat belangstel om haweloses te help of innoverende idees vir hul ondersteuning te deel, word aangemoedig om aan die maandelikse PLOTS-vergadering deel te neem.

Vir meer inligting, kontak asseblief Estelle Fredericks by 044 802 2000, uitbreiding 2015 gedurende kantoorure.


Marching Together for Breast Cancer Awareness: A Vibrant Display of Solidarity Municipal official for Community Services, Social Develoment Jonathan Fortuin spoke with passion in support of all residents of George affected in some way by Breast Cancer.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time when communities across the globe unite in the fight against this formidable adversary. In George Municipality, this spirit of solidarity took center stage as a colorful group of municipal officials, councillors and members of CANSA gathered in front of the George Town Hall for a March in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Friday 27 October 2023. The sight of men and women of all ages,  dressed  in shades of pink, was a testament to the power of unity when it comes to raising awareness about breast cancer.

The event served as a reminder of the significance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is more than just a calendar date. It is a call to action, a time to celebrate survivors, remember those who have fought valiantly but are no longer with us, and to reaffirm our commitment to making progress in the battle against breast cancer. The choice of pink as the dress code for the event was not just a matter of aesthetics but a symbol of hope, strength, and determination. It’s a reminder that breast cancer awareness is not just about wearing a particular color for a month; it’s about raising our collective voice, urging individuals to get screened regularly, and working towards a world where breast cancer no longer takes lives.

Cllr Jacqulique Von Brandis attended the event and did the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the Executive Mayor.  Cllrs Monique Simmers, Theresa Jeyi and Jayzee  Jantjies participated in the event.

Message from Executive Mayor of George, Ald Leon van Wyk: To our Matric Class of 2023

To our Matric Class of 2023

Your scholastic journey has now come to an end. After twelve years you are on the verge of a new journey, but before you get there, you have one last hurdle to overcome – your final exams. But you are ready for this, you have prepared for this for twelve long years.

The thing about hurdles is that they may look difficult at first glance, they may look like this massive obstacle to deter you from reaching your end goal. These hurdles may make you nervous, and anxious even and in many ways, this may well be the case except for one massive determining factor. PREPARATION.

Preparation is what helps us overcome any obstacle or difficulty we face. Preparation is what helps us attain our desired outcome. Your upcoming exams will not look so daunting if we prepare for what lies ahead. This exam period is no different, so be prepared for whatever may come your way. You have been working towards this moment since you started your scholastic career, you have worked hard, spent late nights studying, you have attended extra lessons to get to this phase of your lives. Channel. That. Very. Same. Energy. You have what it takes, you are fully capable, you are more than able to overcome this next task and be successful.

Keep pushing forward, keep working hard and prepare yourselves for this next task that you will surely overcome. Above all else, know that you have what it takes to achieve greatness beyond your wildest dreams. We are all rooting for you and the outcome is sure to be success!

Good luck with the upcoming exams.


In the photograph from left: Lana Carls from Wesgro,  Mmamokwena Gaoretelelwe  the South African Ambassador for the Embassy in Lisbon, and  Joan Shaw from George Tourism.

Joan Shaw, Tourism Manager of George Municipality, is attending the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) 2023 at the FIL Feira International Convention Centre from 16 to 19 October 2023, to promote golf tourism for George and the greater Garden Route. In collaboration with Wesgro and the Garden Route District Municipality, and with the support of Fancourt and the George Golf Club, George is represented as a prominent golfing destination on the South Africa pavilion.

Influencing since 1998, IGTM takes place in a different location every year to provide the global golf travel industry with a platform to conduct business and gain valuable industry insights. Combining the top-producing private travel agents and known tour operators with world-leading golf courses, destinations, and resorts, this is where new business opportunities are created. Golf courses and destinations visit the show, primarily to increase golf traveller numbers and drive industry revenue.

George has always been famous for its rich golf offering, and for the past few years, George’s marketing has focussed on the other sixty or so activities that are available in George, Wilderness and Uniondale. However, since golf is such a strong driver for tourism and the return of the traditional UK and German markets has been lagging, it is time to put golf travel back in the spotlight to attract lucrative new markets to the area.

George Tourism is marketing the entire region, with a focus on George and golf, and sharing all the other activities and news from the area with tour operators and media. Participants are attending a long line-up of meetings, informative talks on subjects such as how to attract new markets and how to structure packages that consumers will find attractive. Meetings have been held with various media agencies, and Wesgro is encouraging representatives from new markets to apply for familiarisation trips to the region so they can experience the destination first-hand.

Speaking from Lisbon, Joan Shaw says “It is so exciting to be at a marketing show where many regular golf tour operators from the traditional markets already know the area, and  to meet many new operators who are looking to move into new markets such as South Africa, who also won the Germany’s Pro Golf International Golf Destination of the Year for 2024, at IGTM”.

Complimentary products on the South African pavilion include Fancourt, de Zalze and Arabella golf estates, Sun International, PRO Golf Safari’s, Adore Africa, Globe Travel and Rovos Rail.

Interesting golf-related presentations and workshops taking place at IGTM 2023.

Kaaimans River pump station receives R 16 Million worth of upgrade

The George Municipality is pleased to announce that the Kaaimans River Pump station upgrade project has begun. The project aims to enhance the mechanical and electrical components of the pump station and contribute to sustained and adequate raw water storage in the Garden Route Dam. The project is scheduled to be completed in June 2024.

According to the George Municipality’s Civil Engineering Department, the project was awarded to the successful contractor for an amount of just over R 16 million and is currently in the construction phase, with the key activities presently being the manufacturing, testing, and shipping of the various pumps, strainers (sieves), valves and electrical control equipment.

“Six (6) new submersible robust pumps will be installed in the sump in the river, which will abstract the water and pump it through strainers(sieves), to supply the six (6) new high-lift pumps. The pump station will operate in fully automated mode through sensing equipment which measures the river flow and adjusts the pumping rate according to the river flow rate, ensuring that at all times the environmental release of 35 l/s is sustained to flow down the river,” said Andre Scheepers, the Project Manager for Budget Facility for Infrastructure (BFI) in the George Municipality’s Civil Engineering Services Department.

The Kaaimans River Pump station was originally constructed in 1972 and pumped raw river water directly to the Old Water Treatment Plant. After the completion of the Garden Route Dam (GRD) in 1980, which receives and stores raw water from the Swart River and Kat River, the Kaaimans Pumpstation fell into disrepair. It has since been upgraded and the pumping main pipeline was changed to discharge into the GRD. Still, due to lack of adequate maintenance, it again deteriorated and is currently in disuse.

According to the Acting Director for George Municipality’s Civil Engineering Department, Lionel Daniels, the Water Use Licence issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation authorises the George Municipality to abstract a maximum of 2,77 million kilolitres per year and is limited to a maximum pumping rate of 405 litres per second at any given time. “This represents approximately 22% of the annual sustainable yield of the Garden Route Dam,” he said. “It is therefore imperative to upgrade the Kaaimans River Pump station to be again able to pump the Kaaimans River water into the GRD in times of good flow in the river and in doing so contribute to the sustained and adequate raw water storage in the dam.”

The project will be completed in June 2024 and includes a three-year maintenance support programme, providing a smooth and successful transfer of operational and maintenance knowledge to the George Municipality personnel.