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Press Release Archive

No fireworks permitted anywhere in George

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

Junior City Council announces new Exco for 2021

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


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

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

EPWP urban food gardens project gets new life

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

Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on progress in the national effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic


My fellow South Africans,

It is just 11 days since I last addressed you.

Then I reported on the signs of a resurgence of coronavirus infections in various parts of the country.

On that day, the 3rd of December, our country recorded over 4,400 new cases.

Yesterday, the 13th of December, we recorded nearly 8,000 new cases.

The cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa now stands at 866,127.

These figures are a cause for great concern.

There can no longer be any doubt – the country has entered a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Given the rate at which new cases have grown over the last two weeks, there is every possibility that if we do not act urgently and if we do not act together, the second wave will be more severe than the first wave.

The daily average of new cases nationally over the last 7 days is 74% higher than the previous 7 days.

In this time, the number of new cases has increased from a daily average of around 3,800 to just over 6,600 a day.

The daily average of COVID-19 deaths has increased by nearly 50% over the same period from just over 100 deaths a day to just over 150 deaths.

The four provinces that are leading the second wave are Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

For the first time in this pandemic, most of the new infections are among young people, particularly those in the age group of 15 to 19 years.

There are probably many reasons for this massive spike in infections, but some key contributors are now becoming clearer.

Gatherings – especially social gatherings and parties – are the largest source of outbreaks.

In many of these gatherings, social distancing is not being observed, venues are crowded and not adequately ventilated, hand sanitiser is not readily available, and people are not wearing masks.

Many people consume alcoholic drinks at these ‘super-spreader’ events, with the result that people become less careful about taking measures to protect themselves and prevent infection.

The recent post-matric Rage Festival event in Ballito is a harsh reminder of how dangerous large gatherings can be.

We now know that nearly 1,000 young people from Gauteng who attended the event have tested positive for the coronavirus. What we don’t yet know is how many more people each of them has infected.

It is said that up to 300 families could in turn have been infected.

The sad truth about this pandemic is that festivals, concerts and parties – which should be occasions for fun and joy – are proving to be sources of infection and illness, and may even lead to deaths.

Another factor in the rise in infections is increased travel.

Many people do not observe prevention measures as they move within cities, towns and rural areas, and between different areas.

We have to recognise that the more we travel, the greater the potential for the spread of the virus.

That means wearing a mask when you are in public transport and making sure that the windows are open at all times.

It also means reducing the number of people that you spend time with if you are travelling to visit family and friends in other parts of the country.

It is safer to socialise with your immediate family than with large gatherings that could cause the virus to spread.

More broadly, the massive rise in infections is the result of people not observing basic – and easy to follow – practices.

These measures are particularly important as transmission is often caused by people who are infected but are not yet showing symptoms, if they develop symptoms at all, and may not even know they have the virus.

The relatively low rates of infection over the last few months have made us more relaxed about wearing a mask over our nose and mouth every time we go out in public.

We no longer see the point of avoiding crowded venues, or standing more than 1.5 metres from each other, or keeping windows open when travelling on public transport or sanitising commonly used places.

We have gotten into the Christmas spirit early and are inviting friends and family over for get-togethers.

Yet, it is our failure to closely adhere to all these basic precautions at all times that has brought us to this second wave.

These safety precautions may not seem important until someone you love has been infected with the virus because of your own carelessness.

The festive season now poses the greatest threat to the health and well-being of our nation.

It poses the greatest threat also to the recovery of our economy.

This is because the festive season is traditionally a time of gatherings, of travel, of meeting friends and family, and of relaxing after a difficult and stressful year.

In these respects, the festive season is very much like the Easter period.

It is worth remembering that during Easter this year, we were able to limit the number of infections because we all remained disciplined, we all observed the restrictions and we all adhered to the basic health measures.

In this regard, we recognise the sacrifices that churches made by suspending Easter services, and indeed the contribution that all faiths have made throughout the year to preserving life.

Just as we did during Easter, we need to once again adhere to the basic health protocols.

If we do not do things differently this festive season, we will greet the new year not with joy, but with sorrow.

Many of our friends, relatives and co-workers will be infected, some will get severely ill and some, tragically, will die.

Unless we do things differently, this will be the last Christmas for many, many South Africans.

This is certainly what we don’t want. We all want to live and let our loved ones live.

It is therefore essential that we take extraordinary measures to contain the second wave and save lives, while working to protect livelihoods.

My fellow South Africans,

Eleven days ago, we declared Nelson Mandela Bay to be a coronavirus ‘hotspot’ areas, in line with our differentiated approach to the management of the pandemic.

There are other municipalities that have also shown a particularly sharp rise in infections.

The Minister of Health Dr Zwelini Mkhize has visited these areas and after consultations with various stakeholders, Cabinet has decided to also declare the following two districts as coronavirus hotspots.

These are the:

– Sarah Baartman District
– Garden Route District

This all means that the same additional restrictions that we applied to Nelson Mandela Bay will apply in these districts from midnight tonight and will continue until we see a clear and sustained decline in infections.

While these hotspot areas require particular attention, the festive season poses significant risks for the entire country.

We have therefore been undertaking consultations in provinces, including at municipal level, on the measures that need to be taken to contain the second wave.

There have been extensive deliberations within the National Coronavirus Command Council and the President’s Coordinating Council, which brings representatives of national, provincial and local government together.

Based on the recommendations from these meetings, Cabinet has decided that further restrictions need to be imposed nation-wide from midnight tonight.

Firstly, we will ensure that there is stricter enforcement of existing alert level 1 restrictions throughout the country during the festive season and beyond.

This includes the requirement that drivers and operators of any form of public transport must ensure that all passengers wear a mask.

The managers or owners of buildings, places or premises – including retail stores, shopping centres, and government buildings – are obliged by law to ensure that all customers who enter their facilities or buildings wear a mask.

An employer must ensure that all employees wear a mask while they perform their duties.

This places a responsibility on all owners, managers and employers – and on all of us – to ensure that South Africans are safe whenever they are in any of these places.

The responsible individuals who do not ensure compliance with the regulations by their passengers, customers or employees will be liable to a fine or to imprisonment of up to six months.

Secondly, we are taking measures to reduce the risk of super-spreading events.

The current restrictions on the size of gatherings do not do enough to prevent crowding in the current situation where new cases are rising rapidly.

Therefore, gatherings – including religious gatherings – may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events.

At all times, and particularly in smaller venues, the total number of people in a venue may not exceed more than 50% of the capacity of the venue.

All gatherings must include adequate ventilation, social distancing, wearing of masks and provision of hand-sanitiser.

Due to the potential for transmission, all post-funeral gatherings, including ‘after-tears’ parties, are prohibited.

One of the greatest challenges we need to confront are the huge crowds that flock to beaches and recreational parks on public holidays over the festive season.

We have undertaken extensive consultations on this issue so that we can find an approach that reduces the risk of large-scale transmission while limiting the negative impact on businesses in coastal areas.

We have therefore agreed to adopt a differentiated approach, which takes into account the different circumstances in different areas of the country.

In the areas with the highest rate of infection, beaches and public parks will be closed for the duration of the festive season from the 16th of December to the 3rd of January.

This will apply to all of the Eastern Cape, as well as to the Garden Route district in the Western Cape.

In KwaZulu-Natal, beaches and public parks will be closed on what are traditionally the busiest days of the season.

These days are the 16th, 25th, 26th and 31st of December 2020 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of January 2021.

The beaches and public parks of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape – with the exception of the Garden Route – will remain open to the public over the festive season.

Festivals, live music, and live performances at beaches are prohibited.

Beaches and parks that are open to the public will only be open between 9am and 6pm.

The situation will be monitored daily by local authorities to ensure compliance with the regulations on gatherings and the prohibition of alcohol.

In instances, where there are large crowds or poor compliance with safety measures, specific beaches and recreational parks will be closed.

National and provincial parks and other parks where access control measures and entry limitations are already in place may remain open to the public.

This is a most trying situation, which requires constant attention.

I have directed that all members of the National Coronavirus Command Council and key personnel should be on standby to ensure constant monitoring and assessment of the situation countrywide.

Should the situation deteriorate, further action will be taken to protect our people.

The third area of focus over this period is to prevent super-spreader events and reduce the burden on health care services due to irresponsible alcohol consumption.

Therefore, the following measures will be implemented:

The hours of the curfew will be longer, starting at 11pm and ending at 4am.

Non-essential establishments, including restaurants and bars, will have to close at 10pm so that staff and patrons can get home before the enforcement of the curfew.

The curfew is meant to prevent gatherings that go on late into the night, while enabling restaurants, bars and taverns to continue to operate and earn an income.

We should all remember that the hours of curfew also apply to Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. This means that we will all need to make changes to the way in which we celebrate these occasions.

The sale of alcohol from retail outlets will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday.

Registered wineries and wine farms may continue to offer tastings and wine sales to the public for off-site consumption over weekends. This exception is being made due to the vital contribution of these establishments to the tourism sector in several parts of the country.

Alcohol consumption in all public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden.

We will not allow large numbers of people congregating in any one place without proper controls or protocols in place.

These festive season restrictions will be reviewed in early January based on the state of the pandemic across the country.

My fellow South Africans,

In determining our response to the second wave of infections, we have sought to carefully balance the need to save lives and to protect livelihoods.

The national lockdown which we imposed at the beginning of the epidemic was designed to delay the spread of the virus so that we could adequately prepare our health system to respond to the rise of infections.

At that time, we were not ready to cope with a sudden increase of cases and hospital admissions.

We needed to secure adequate equipment and supplies, to make additional space available in our health facilities, to train our healthcare workers and to put in place systems to monitor and respond to trends in the epidemic.

A full lockdown was absolutely necessary to delay the epidemic but would not serve the same purpose now.

Over the past several months, we have put in place a range of measures to enhance our capacity to respond.

Through the hard work of our healthcare workers, public servants, medical experts and scientific advisors, we have marshalled all of our resources to protect the people of South Africa and provide care to those who need it.

The measures that we took early in the epidemic, and the actions of every South African, have allowed us to save many lives already.

Now, we must protect the gains we have made and work together to contain the second wave.

As we have done since the very beginning, we must act based on the best scientific evidence that is available to us.

Just as our doctors, nurses and frontline workers are working tirelessly to protect us, we must work tirelessly to protect them.

To date, over 38,000 health workers in the public sector have tested positive for coronavirus. Of these, nearly 5,000 were admitted to hospital.

Sadly, 391 health workers in the public sector have passed away.

As a nation, we owe so much to these brave and dedicated people and to their families, for without them, we would not have come this far.

As we confront the second wave of infections, we must do everything we can to support and protect our health workers.

Unless we act responsibly now, unless we adhere at all times to the basic precautions that we all know, we will face a bleak new year.

Despite the restrictions on many of our regular activities, this season can be both festive and safe.

This festive season, I am asking you to keep your celebrations small and to avoid crowds.

If you are spending time with other people, I am asking you to do so outside, enjoying the splendid South African summer weather, or at least to make sure that you are in a well-ventilated space.

I am asking you to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth whenever in public, or in the company of people you don’t live with.

There is no point wearing a mask on your chin, keeping it in your pocket or lowering it to speak to someone.

Remember to regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or with sanitiser.

Limit your travel as much as possible. And if you have to travel, make sure that you travel safely.

If you are going to visit friends and family, limit your number of contacts for at least one week before you travel and try to spend time with only your immediate family or as small a group of people as possible.

We know that COVID-19 affects people differently.

According to the World Health Organization, most people are likely to develop mild or moderate illness and will recover without hospitalisation.

The most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Less common, but moderate, symptoms are aches and pains, sore throat, and a loss of taste or smell.

If you experience these symptoms, then you should isolate yourself from others.

If you experience severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of speech or movement, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Please remember that if you have tested positive for coronavirus or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you should immediately isolate yourself from others.

As we have said in the past the only viable defence we will have against Covid-19 will be the vaccine.

South Africa has concluded all the necessary processes to ensure its participation in the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility.

This facility – known as COVAX – pools resources and shares vaccine development risk to ensure equitable access to vaccines when they become available.

As part of this facility, it is expected that South Africa will receive initial vaccines to cover 10% of our population in the early part of next year.

We are also part of the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team that is looking at alternative financing mechanisms to secure additional vaccines for African countries beyond COVAX.

The Minister of Health is part of this Task Team and is also looking at innovative partnerships with the private sector to ensure that South Africans have access to an effective vaccine that is suitable to our conditions.

The next few weeks are going to be a great test of our determination and restraint.

This period will require each of us to do things differently to previous years because this year is unlike any other we have lived through before.

It will require us to give up some short-lived pleasures to protect ourselves and others, and to ensure that we can enjoy such times together in future years.

I am convinced that if we each play our part, if we each follow the few basic precautions, then we can all have a joyful festive season – and, most importantly, we can all have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

I wish you all a blessed festive season, that you may remain safe and in good health, and that we may welcome in the new year as one united and resolute nation.

May God Bless South Africa and protect her people.

I thank you.


GO GEORGE schedules and hours during holiday season

All GO GEORGE services will continue throughout the holidays, with special provision for shoppers and employees at the Garden Route Mall and Eden Meander shopping centres where extended business hours will be implemented.

Later buses at Garden Route Mall
On weekdays, from 14 to 30 December, the last two trips of the day on Route 12 Pacaltsdorp – Garden Route Mall will be delayed for 10 minutes to accommodate passengers who will be working until 19:00 during the festive season. The 19:00 trip to Pacaltsdorp will depart at 19:10 and the 19:20 trip at 19:30.

Public holidays
Buses will be running according to the Saturday schedule on all the public holidays – 16, 25 and 26 December, as well as 1 January.
Anyone needing assistance with trip planning can phone the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044 – the agents take calls from 05:00 until 20:00, seven days a week, throughout the holiday season as well.

Covid-19 safety
Passengers are once again reminded to adhere to the simple but effective Covid-19 safety measures required on the bus: wearing a mask covering both the mouth and nose, sanitising or washing of hands, keeping a safe distance where possible, keeping bus windows open for good ventilation, sneezing or coughing into a bent elbow, not travelling on the bus when sick, travelling off-peak if possible, and not to use the bus for non-essential trips.

Supervisor of the GO GEORGE Champions, Dieketseng Mosesane, explains to passengers that the bus windows should stay open to allow free air flow which curbs the spread of the coronavirus.


GO GEORGE-ure en -skedules gedurende vakansieseisoen
Alle GO GEORGE-dienste sal regdeur die vakansie voortgaan, met spesiale voorsiening vir kliënte en werknemers by die Garden Route Mall en Eden Meander-winkelsentrums waar verlengde besigheidsure geïmplementeer sal word.

Later busse by Garden Route Mall
Op weeksdae, van 14 tot 30 Desember, sal die laaste twee ritte van die dag op Roete 12 Pacaltsdorp – Garden Route Mall met 10 minute uitgestel word om passasiers te akkommodeer wat tot 19:00 werk tydens die feesseisoen. Die 19:00-rit na Pacaltsdorp sal om 19:10 vertrek en die 19:20-rit om 19:30.

Openbare vakansiedae
Busse sal op al die openbare vakansie – 16, 25 en 26 Desember sowel as 1 Januarie – die Saterdagskedule volg.

Enigiemand wat hulp benodig met ritbeplanning is welkom om die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044 te skakel – die agente neem oproepe van 05:00 tot 20:00, sewe dae per week, regdeur die vakansieseisoen.

Passasiers word weereens daaraan herinner om te voldoen aan die eenvoudige maar doeltreffende Covid-19-veiligheidsmaatreëls wat op die bus vereis word: die dra van ‘n masker wat beide die mond en neus bedek, ontsmet of was van hande, handhawing van ‘n veilige afstand waar moontlik, oop busvensters vir goeie ventilasie, nies of hoes in ‘n geboë elmboog, om nie bus te ry wanneer jy siek is nie, buite spitstye te ry, en om nie die bus te gebruik vir nie-noodsaaklike ritte nie.

Dieketseng Mosesane is toesighouer oor die GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes en verduidelik hier aan passasiers dat die busvensters ter wille van vrye lugvloei oopgehou moet word, aangesien dit help om die verspreiding van die koronavirus te bekamp.

George ready for fire season

George Municipal Fire and Rescue Services are ready for the fire season, which officially runs in the Western Cape from December 2020 to March 2021.

George Fire Chief Neels Barnard said the municipality’s own fleet was well-equipped and the Southern Cape would once again have additional air support from its Denneoord Emergency Airbase. “Over the past few years George has invested in state-of-the art equipment and vehicles to address a wide range of fire scenarios, including a first-of-its-kind large capacity water tanker and portable dam for remote areas, a specialised tractor to clear vegetation and a hazardous materials unit to deal with toxic materials at vehicle and factory accidents. This, combined with the services rendered from the airbase, ensures a comprehensive response to the diverse firefighting challenges in our municipal area.

“Our emergency airbase remains key to our fire and disaster management efforts as we had witnessed during the 2018 fires in George. We are grateful for the ongoing support of Working on Fire, a programme funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs, and longstanding working relationships with the Southern Cape Fire Protection Association, neighbouring municipal fire departments, Garden Route District Municipality and other emergency operators which complement the efficient fire management service we can offer in George and surrounds.”

A chopper, three spotter planes and two water bombers will serve the Garden Route district from the airbase during the 2020/21 fire season.

Mr Barnard appealed to residents and visitors to be mindful of hot summer conditions and to act responsibly to ensure that there are no unnecessary fires to contend with during a time when emergency services are stretched to the limit. “Our holiday high season is starting and the influx of people to the region brings its own complications, which are this year amplified by Covid-19.

“We remind people that fireworks are illegal because of the fire risk and that no controlled burns are allowed until fire season is over. Always remember to make fires in protected and designated areas only and dispose of cigarette butts safely. There is a long, hot summer ahead and we need everyone to help in keeping our region safe,” said Mr Barnard.

George Fire emergency number: 044 801 6311
General emergency number: 044 801 6300

George Municipality’s fire and rescue fleet show off their fleet alongside the season’s Working on Fire air support at Denneoord Emergency Fire Base.

Georgie adds joy to APD celebration

Georgie adds joy to APD celebration

Disability Rights Awareness Month 2020 ended on a high note at the Optima Centre in Pacaltsdorp last Thursday, National Disability Rights Awareness Day. GO GEORGE joined the children and staff in celebrating the end of the Association for People with Disabilities’ annual programme.

The GO GEORGE team presented a fun outdoor programme, sharing appropriate educational information with the 25 children attending on the day. In line with their Covid safety policy, the staff and children attend the centre in accordance with a rotational schedule. The star of the day, however, was the popular mascot Georgie whose appearance evoked loud cheers and applause and soon had most of them dancing, singing and wheeling along.
GO GEORGE drawstring bags containing educational material to engage the children in bus-related games were handed out and received with much excitement. This event marked the culmination of GO GEORGE’s engagements for Disability Rights Awareness Month.

Inspiring video of Carpe Diem dancers on bus
GO GEORGE released a video on the same day, featuring the Hip Hop Dance Crew of the Carpe Diem School for children with special needs. A sterling group of youngsters rising above their individual challenges and motivating others, they performed in and around the GO GEORGE buses that have been designed to be accessible to all. Special effort was made to consider universal design guidelines in the presentation of the video too, which, in addition to the inspiring content, created quite a stir in Disability circles worldwide within hours of being released and shared with South African stakeholders. Watch the video by clicking on this link:

Who says we have not been on a GO GEORGE bus yet? The bus banner held up by communication champions proved to be a firm favourite with the youngsters.

Georgie sorg vir vreugde by APD-viering

Die Maand vir die Bewusmaking van die Regte van Mense met Gestremdhede 2020 het verlede Donderdag – Nasionale Bewusmakingsdag Vir Die Regte Van Mense Met Gestremdhede – op ‘n hoë noot by die Optima-sentrum in Pacaltsdorp afgesluit. GO GEORGE het by die kinders en personeel aangesluit om die einde van die Vereniging vir Mense met Gestremdhede se jaarlikse program te vier.

Die GO GEORGE-span het ‘n prettige buitenshuise program aangebied en toepaslike opvoedkundige inligting gedeel met die 25 kinders wat dié dag daar was. In ooreenstemming met hul Covid-veiligheidsbeleid, woon die personeel en kinders die sentrum volgens ‘n rotasieskedule by. Die ster van die dag was egter die gewilde gelukbringer, Georgie, wie se verskyning klipharde gejuig en applous ontlok het en gou die meeste van die kinders aan die dans, sing en ronddraai gehad het.
GO GEORGE-toerygsakke met opvoedkundige materiaal en busverwante speletjies is uitgedeel en met groot opgewondenheid ontvang. Hierdie geleentheid was die laaste uitreiking op GO GEORGE se program vir die Maand vir die Bewusmaking van die Regte van Mense met Gestremdhede.

Inspirerende video van Carpe Diem-dansers op bus
GO GEORGE het op dieselfde dag ‘n video met die Hip Hop-dansgroep van die Carpe Diem Skool vir kinders met spesiale behoeftes vrygestel. Die uitmuntende groep jongmense wat bo hul individuele uitdagings uitstyg en ander motiveer, het hul danspassies uitgevoer in en rondom die GO GEORGE-busse wat ontwerp is om toeganklik te wees vir almal. ‘n Spesiale poging is aangewend om universele-ontwerpriglyne in die aanbieding van die video ook toe te pas. Die eindproduk met inspirerende inhoud het binne ure nadat dit met Suid-Afrikaanse belanghebbendes gedeel is, wêreldwyd ‘n opskudding in Gestremdheidskringe veroorsaak. Kyk na die video deur op hierdie skakel te klik:


Wie sê ons was nog nie op ‘n GO GEORGE-bus nie? Die busbanier wat deur passasiersdiensbeamptes vasgehou word, was ‘n groot gunsteling by die jongspan.



Caption: Roadworks in Wellington Street, George

Text: The contractor Entsha Henra will complete the Bitumen Treated Base (BTB) course layer, for both directions of Wellington Street which is the structured layer under the final 30mm asphalt layer, which functions as the final smooth rideable surface.
The road will be open for two-way traffic for the duration of the December holidays. The public and road users should note that the BTB layer remains a structure layer and does reduce driver comfort which means the surface is not as smooth as the final road layer. All kerbs have been installed at the final level height and will differ at this stage in 30 mm height to the road surface.
The contractor will lay the final 30mm asphalt surface in January 2021, with the rebuilding of the sidewalks scheduled for completion at April 2021. Please remember that the road remains an active construction site, with the same demarcated construction material on site and as such motorists should still use the road with utmost care. All excavations in Wellington Street will be covered except the corner of the Courtenay/Wellington Street intersection which will be demarcated. Construction will stop on 15 December for the holiday period and start again 11 January 2021.
The George Municipality apologises for the inconvenience and appeals to road users to be patient and exercise caution during the upgrade.
The public can report any related incidents pertaining to Wellington Street to the contractor’s project manager, Herrmann Schlag on 082 570 8330.

George Municipal Buildings Closed TODAY to the public until further notice

George Municipality Acting Municipal Manager, Steven Erasmus today confirmed that the main and other external municipal buildings will close to the public today, until further notice, due to continued Covid-19 safety measures. This measure has been considered and the decision not taken lightly following the  continued spike in infection rate in George,  and within our municipal staff. We have a responsibility to  ensure not only the safety of the officials working for the municipality but also the public.  Mr Erasmus reiterated that all essential services continue to rendered
and officials will continue to work from home.

All municipal buildings are closed to the public and staff until further notice – other than to those personnel rendering essential services, financial services and provincial agency services with the exception of the following:

  • Payment hall situated on the ground floor of the main building, York Street.
  • Payment hall situated in Uniondale
  • Motor Vehicle Registration (Hibernia Street)
  • Vehicle Testing Station (Hibernia Street)
  • Drivers Licensing (Pacaltsdorp)
  • The Municipal Court
  • George Tourism Office
  • Landfill Site
  • Transfer Station

Note: Updates will be issued should there be an amendment to the list of offices remaining open to the public.

All after-hours George Municipality emergencies: 044 801 6300
Garden Route Disaster Management emergencies: 044 805 5071 (all hours)


All administration offices remain closed to the public until further notice. Please phone or email as far as possible as per details below.

Switchboard: 044 801 9111
All after-hours George Municipality emergencies: 044 801 6300
Garden Route Disaster Management emergencies: 044 805 5071 (all hours)


Protection Services Administration Offices are closed to the public.

Fire emergencies only: 044 801 6311 (all hours)
Law Enforcement: 044 801 6350/89
Anti-Land Invasion: 044 801 6310
GIPTN PTOO: 044 801 6345
All after-hours emergencies: 044 801 6300


Traffic Department Offices, Driving and Learners Licences:
Mission Street, Pacaltsdorp 044 878 2400
Open to the public Monday to Friday 8am-3pm unless otherwise announced as per Covid-19 measures.

The department is open for new appointments for driving and learner’s licences as per usual rules (see Driving and Learners Licence section on website for details).
Pick-up times for newly issued driving licences from the Pacaltsdorp offices: Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm, except if your confirmation SMS indicates a Saturday collection opportunity. Please bring your ID document and show the SMS to the official at the entrance.

Please note that learner’s licences, driving licences, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits which expired from 26 March 2020 up until 31 December 2020 are deemed valid and validity is extended for a further grace period ending 31 August 2021.

If your driving or learners’ licence test was cancelled during lockdown or because of offices being closed due to Covid-19 measures, you will receive an SMS with a new date and time. Please phone 044 878 2400 if you have not received an SMS within 20 days from your previous appointment.


Traffic fines
To pay your traffic fines online, use the account details below and use the traffic fine number printed on the fine as reference.
Bank: First National Bank (FNB)
Account Name: George Municipality
Account Type: Public Sector Cheque Account
Account Number: 62869623168
Branch Code: 210554
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ


Vehicle Testing Station
Hibernia Street (next to train station) 044 801 9312
Open to public Monday to Friday 8am-3pm, access control from gate at the street, unless otherwise indicated due to temporary Covid-19 measures.


Motor Vehicle Registration and Licencing
Hibernia Street (next to train station) 044 801 9310 or 044 801 9311
Open to public weekdays 8am-3pm, except Wednesdays closed at 2pm due to compulsory training, or if otherwise indicated as per Covid-19 measures. Access control from gate at the street.

Please consider online renewal of vehicle licences as per details below instead of in-person renewals – as Covid-19 regulations significantly impacts on the amount of people that can be served in a day. Bulk transactions are being handled after-hours. Pregnant women, the elderly and disabled can pre-arrange preferential treatment by calling 044 801 9310.

You don’t have to go to the Vehicle Licence Centre to renew your licence – do it online.

The customer starts by registering a profile online at or download the RTMC mobile application for Android from Google PlayStore.

Choose between registering as an individual or business.
The following information will be required:
1. Individual: initial, name, surname, ID number, driving licence number, contact details via mobile phone or email.
2. Organisation: name of business, ID number of proxy, driving licence number of proxy, contact details via mobile phone or email.
3. A one-time pin will be sent to your email or mobile phone number, which you must enter online.
4. Go to the ‘View motor vehicle renewals’ section and verify the information.
5. Access and/or download your electronic motor vehicle licence RENEWAL NOTICE (also known as a MVL2 notice).
6. The amount for the renewal of your vehicle will be on the notice.
7. Pay this amount into the George Municipality FNB bank account (details below) and use the relevant vehicle licence number as a reference, eg. CAW ###### / Private number ##### WP
8. FNB Account number: George Municipality, Public Sector Cheque Account 62869623150 (Branch Code 210554). Email the proof of payment to or AND
9. Keep a copy of your proof of payment in the relevant car until you receive your licence disk but keep your expired disk on your window in the meantime.
10. Once payment reflects on the municipality’s bank statement, the vehicle licence will be processed, and you will be contacted to arrange collection. Please do not collect unless pre-arranged and notified via SMS.


Administration offices (old City Hall) and Customer Services (corner York and Progress Streets) closed to the public.
Appointments to be arranged  via online meetings on MS Teams or other electronic means. Please phone 044 801 9354 or 044 801 9262 to obtain relevant email address.
Report water leaks and burst pipes, sewerage blockages, leaks and spillages and urgent road and stormwater issues to:
044 801 9262/6 (7.45am-4.30pm)
044 801 6300 (after hours)
Estimated response times are 24-48 hours from recorded time of complaint at the above numbers.


Administration offices are closed  to the public.

Planned maintenance has resumed and essential repairs for which planned outages are required will be communicated.
Please report power outages, broken street lights and faulty traffic lights to:
044 801 9222 (7.45am-4.30pm)
044 801 9202
044 801 6300 (after hours)
Estimated response times from recorded time of complaint at above numbers:
Low voltage electricity – within 24 hours
High voltage electricity faults – can be longer than 24 hours depending on type of fault
Street lights – three to four weeks
Pre-paid electricity queries to Itron/Ontec: 044 873 5474 (8am-4pm)


Community Services Administration, 82 Meade Street, closed to the public.

Reception/all departments: 044 802 2900 or
Office of the Director: 044 802 2904 and
Parks and Recreation complaints: 044 802 2921 and
Uncollected BLACK bags 044 802 2900/20/27 or /
Uncollected GREEN and BLUE bags: 044 802 2900/ /
Environmental Health: /
Transfer Station:


Refuse removal general
For the summer holiday season (1 December – 8 January 2021) households may put out more than the usual seven black bags, four green and an unlimited number of blue bags.
Additional tied bundles of branches are allowed if they are shorter than a metre in length and can be picked up by one person.

BLUE bags are for non-soiled recyclable materials, including plastic, paper, card board, glass etc.
GREEN bags are for green waste, including organic kitchen waste such as fruit and vegetable peels, as well as garden waste, including grass cuttings, leaves etc. No soil is allowed in green bags.
BLACK bags are for ‘wet’ waste, things that cannot be recycled.

All refuse bags must be put out by 7am on removal day.
Please don’t put bags out the day or night before removal.
Please wrap broken glass in newspaper before placing in bags to prevent injuries to workers.
A pack of 26 black bags are distributed to households quarterly.
Black and green bags are collected together by our refuse trucks, and blue bags are collected separately, on the same day.
Participating households will receive two blue and two green replacement bags when available.


MONDAY: Blanco, Riverlea, Heatherpark, Heatherlands, Glen Barrie, Kraaibosch, Groenkloof, Blue Mountain Village, Herold’s Bay, Victoria Bay, Rondevlei area (George side)
TUESDAY: Levallia, Rosemoor, Conville, Protea Park, Parkdene, Ballotsview, Borchards, Lawaaikamp, Thembalethu, Wilderness, Constantia Kloof, Kleinkrantz
WEDNESDAY: Camphersdrift, Fernridge, Denneoord, Bo-Dorp, Blommekloof, Tweerivieren, Hoogekraal, Hoekwil, Touwsranten farm areas
THURSDAY: Wilderness Heights, Dormehlsdrift, George South, Le Grand, Bos en Dal, Groeneweidepark, Sinksabrug, Herold, Geelhoutboom, Eselsjacht, Hansmoeskraal, Jonkershoek, Rooirivierrif, Pacaltsdorp, Rosedale, Waboomskraal, Touwsranten village
FRIDAY: Glenwood, Loerie Park, Eden George, Genevafontein, Denver Park, Bergsig, Eastern Extension
BUSINESSES: Monday, Wednesday and Friday


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

Street cleaning crews continue to operate in and around the CBD and entrance roads to the city at selected hours, seven days a week.

Public toilets at the CBD taxi rank and Doneraile Square open every day, toilets at Shoprite open on weekends.

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

Attendance of funerals is limited to 100 persons or less provided that no more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue is used. Attendees must observe a distance of at least 1.5m, wear face masks and adhere to all health protocols. Night vigils are not allowed.

Visitation to cemeteries by small groups are allowed at weekends provided that all Covid-19 protocols are observed.

Municipal sport fields and public swimming pools are closed for all activities, practices and games and are expected to remain closed throughout the summer holiday season.
Persons who have booked sport facilities for the festive season must please contact Gerald de Villiers on or 044 801 9488.
This measure does not apply to municipal sport facilities, such as tennis and squash courts, rented out to clubs and sports bodies. Please contact relevant clubs in this regard.

Community Development offices behind the Main Building are closed to the public. Contact 044 802 2000 or

The municipality continues to support 137 municipal soup kitchens. Strict social distancing and hygienic practices apply. Emergency essential social services enquiries 072 693 3488.

The Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) Unit is closed to the public. Contact 044 802 2010 or  or phone 072 070 7234 for emergencies only.

All libraries  are closed to the public.
Enquiries: 044 8019292


All administrative offices are closed to the public.
Central Records Main Building:  044 8019280 and emergencies only Cynthia Boltman 072 1780 327.
Building Plan Records (corner York and Progress Streets) 044 8019367 and emergencies only Mia Mackenzie 083 475 6722.

Area offices
are closed to the public but staff are contactable by phone during office hours (7.45am-4.30pm). After-hours emergencies to 044 801 6300.

Blanco: 044 803 9275
Conville: 044 803 9261
Pacaltsdorp: 044 803 9286
Protea Park: 044 801 9111 ask for extension 2796 (Tuesday, Thursday)
New Dawn Park: 044 801 9111 ask for extension 2797
Rosedale: 044 803 9295
Rosemoor: 044 801 9379 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Touwsranten/Wilderness/Kleinkrantz: 044 803 9280
Thembalethu: 044 801 9448

Thusong Centres are closed to the public, but other departments’ tenants are open as per their usual individual office hours.

Waboomskraal Thusong Centre: 044 886 0040
Thembalethu Thusong Centre: 044 801 9448
After hours emergencies: 044 801 6300

Community halls and venues are closed to the public. If you have made a booking for the festive season, please contact Rozendra Thysse on 044 8019111/5.
Acting Superintendent Halls: 060 823 3607 (on rotation with Maintenance)
Acting Superintendent Maintenance: 083 418 4588 (on rotation with Halls)


Human Settlements administration offices are closed  to the public.

For basic services (water and sanitation in informal areas) queries and complaints in informal settlements please contact 044 802 2003.
For assistance with emergency structures following disaster (fire, flooding etc) please phone 044 802 2029.
Queries and complaints for water leakages and sewerage complaints (indigent cases) can be reported at the office on above times, but preferably by phone on 044 801 9210/9994/9453 or or


Existing Housing Offices
Existing Housing offices are closed to the public.

Enquiries: 044 801 9113 or 044 801 9078


New Housing
New Housing Department (St Johns Street) offices are closed to the public.

Enquiries: 044 802 2003


Please note Town Planning, Building Control and  Property Management offices are closed  to the public.

Officials can be contacted by phone or email or can arrange a virtual Zoom or Microsoft Teams appointment with the relevant official to discuss any matters.

Town Planning General enquiries: 044 801 9477
Property Transfer Certificates: Marina Welman / 044 801 9171
Zoning Certificates: Lorraine Malangeni / 044 801 9477
Zoning Rectifications: Jeanne Fourie / 044 801 9138 and Ilané Huyser / 044 801 9550
Illegal Land Use Complaints: Robin Hector / 044 801 9475 and Mawethu Bonga / 044 801 9520

Online land use applications
Land use applications can be submitted online. See for more details.
Enquiries land use applications:
Erven ending with an even number (i.e. 0, 2, 4, 6, 8): Primrose Nako 044 801 9416
Erven ending with an odd number (i.e. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9): Marissa Arries 044 801 9473
Farm/portion numbers: Marina Welman 044 801 9171

Building Control
Building plans can be submitted online. See for more information.

Building Control General Enquiries 044 801 9370
Request for existing building plans (Registration Department):
Phindiswa Lingani: 044 801 9370
Sinazo Moshani: 044 801 9019
Musa Dyakop: 044 801 9166
Status on building plan approvals: Vasti Laws: 044 801 9509
Andrea Griessel: 044 801 9502

Please contact Building Inspectors directly during office hours:
James Vollenhoven: 076 823 0412
Fuzisa Siguba: 083 949 8651

Illegal activity: Nolan Noemdoe 083 757 3717

Property Management
Donald Gelderbloem: Manager Property Management 044 801 9073
Leasing of properties: Josephine Mpembe 044 801 9190
Sale of properties: René Hendricks 044 801 9472
General enquiries: Monique Isaks 044 801 9375

Economic Development
Offices closed to the public.
Business queries: 044 801 9146
Other queries: 044 801 2820 / 073 621 0099

IDP Office
Offices closed to the public.

Ronel Le Fleur: 044 801 9075 / 071 870 7887

Ward committee operations
Offices closed to the public.

Paulina Saaiman: 044 801 9074 / 060 579 6829

George Tourism Office
Open to the public, unless otherwise indicated due to temporary Covid-19 measures.

044 801 9295

Wilderness Tourism Office
Currently closed to the public due to Covid-19 measures

044 801 9295



The Finance Hall in the Main Building is open to the public, weekdays from 8am – 3.30pm unless otherwise indicated due to temporary Covid-19 measures.
Covid-19 protocols are in place and only six persons are allowed inside the Finance Hall at any given time.
Estimated waiting time of 20 minutes, depending on the type of queries for the customers ahead of you in the queue.


While electronic payments are recommended (see details below), the Finance Hall is open for account payments in addition to municipal account queries, opening of accounts, new connections, duplicate accounts, arrangements on arrears, indigent applications etc.

Printed municipal accounts are being issued every month. If you have not received your account by the due date of the 15th of each month, please contact us to forward an email copy or pay the monthly average amount. Online accounts via email have not been affected by lockdown. If you want to receive your account via email, please mail a request to

Ratepayers are requested to use one of the below-mentioned methods to make payments.
Accounts can be paid via electronic transfer (EFT – see details below), via pay@ mobile applications (see details below) and at Pick n Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, USave and SPAR.
Please take your most recent available account statement with you so that the shop can access the bar code that connects your payment to your GRG account number.


Meter readings
There will be no in-person reading of water meters in the current reading cycle, 17 November-17 December 2020, and billing for December will be an estimate based on users’ average water consumption.

This measure follows the appointment of a new service provider, Electro Cuts, who will commence its services for George Municipality on 1 January 2021 and will pick up the reading service as it applies from 17 December 2020. The contract of the previous service provider, Ikapa, expired 17 November 2020.

Consumers who have in the past sent water meter readings to Ikapa, must please note the change in email address for this purpose to  Online submissions of water meter readings are welcomed and can be provided via the above-email address by the 5th of each month along with the accountholder’s name, contact details and GRG account number.


Bank Details for electronic payment (please note bank details changed 1 December 2020)
First National Bank (FNB)
Account Type: Public Sector Cheque Account
Account Name: George Municipality
Account Number: 62869623150
Branch Code: 210554
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
Reference: your GRG account number
Proof of payment to be sent to


pay@ mobile applications
Download Masterpass, Snapscan or Zapper application on your mobile phone and complete your profile.
Load your credit or debit card.
To pay the account, open ‘Wallet’ inside the App you have downloaded and scan the QR code (the black square with the little squares inside it on the bottom right of your account).
Enter the amount you are going to pay and complete the transaction.
The App will confirm your successful, secure transaction.

You can also use the following link for payment of your account:
Click on the link and enter the Pay@ reference number (number starting with 11413) which appears on your account. Your customer information will appear with payment options to choose from.

Prepaid electricity purchases
The electricity token is automatically sent to the client via SMS or email.
Mobile apps belonging to banks also have a pre-paid electricity purchase function.
For prepaid enquiries please contact 044 873 5474.

General enquiries to or 044 801 9111.
Please provide your GRG account number with all enquiries.
Please note that limited assistance is available as personnel may be working offline.

Credit Control enquiries: 084 769 5635


The George Municipal Court is open to the public on weekdays 7.45am-4.30pm unless otherwise indicated due to temporary Covid-19 measures.
Enquiries: 044 801 9400

Cashier Hall is open to the public on weekdays 8am-4.30pm unless otherwise indicated due to temporary Covid-19 measures.

Fire: 044 752 1225
Switchboard and fault reporting: 044 752 1024
Tourism: 044 752 1076
Haarlem: 044 763 1013
After hours: 044 801 6300


GO GEORGE celebrates 6 years of service to the George community

PRESS RELEASE: GO GEORGE celebrates 6 years of service to the George community

Issued 8 Dec 2020


Six years have gone by since the first scheduled buses of George’s own public bus service departed from the York Street depot at 05:00 on 8 December 2014. It was a momentous occasion as the first four routes rolled out to Rosemoor, Denneoord and Loerie Park, and to the Garden Route Mall – Phase 1 of the George Integrated Public Transport Network had been launched.

“So much was still to be learned and experienced, but we were immensely proud and excited and still have not lost that first enthusiasm and passion,” says GO GEORGE Manager, James Robb.

Since the latest roll-out to Parkdene, Conville, Borcherds and Lawaaikamp in March this year, 26 active routes covering a network of 142 km are now crisscrossing the streets of George, enabling residents to travel to work, school, medical and community services and shops anywhere in town.

George Executive Mayor, Alderman Leon van Wyk, congratulated GO GEORGE, saying that this birthday should be celebrated with pride. “I will always remember the positive comments made in the early days as residents safely gained mobility and access to retail stores and community events in a way not previously available to them. The management team needs to be congratulated on this birthday as they proudly strive for recognition as an excellent bus system operator,” he said.

According to Robb, rolling out the remaining phases of the service proved to be more challenging than envisioned, “but we are positive and looking forward to continue growing the service.”

“Different kind of birthday”

The usual birthday celebrations with communication champions dressed up in colourful costumes and making a joyful noise all over town and handing out treats could not be executed this year due to Covid-19 safety precautions.

“Our focus is different this year,” says Robb. “We are thinking of those who have lost loved ones, their income, the roof over their heads.

“We want to thank our passengers, our staff, our stakeholders in operating the service, the Government departments that have funded our efforts to curb the pandemic – some for their patience and cooperation, some for their support and long hours of work, others for their courage in performing their duties despite the risk involved. We could not have reached this milestone without people who care.”

Passengers are once again reminded to adhere to the simple but effective Covid-19 safety measures required on the bus: wearing a mask covering both the mouth and nose, sanitising or washing of hands, keeping a safe distance where possible, keeping bus windows open for good ventilation, sneezing or coughing into a bent arm, not travelling on the bus when sick, travelling off-peak if possible, and not to use the bus for non-essential trips.



George Executive Mayor, Alderman Leon van Wyk (middle back), recently paid a visit to the bus depot and was intrigued to learn from the staff how the canteen was built and established, and is being run by George Link shareholders themselves. “This is the kind of opportunity that GO GEORGE is bringing to our residents,” he said.



PERSVERKLARING: GO GEORGE vier 6 jaar van diens aan die George-gemeenskap

Uitgereik 8 Des 2020


Ses jaar het verbygegaan sedert die eerste geskeduleerde busse van George se eie openbare busdiens op 8 Desember 2014 om 05:00 uit die Yorkstraat-depot vertrek het. Dit was ‘n grootse geleentheid toe die eerste vier roetes na Rosemoor, Denneoord en Loeriepark, en na die Garden Route Mall die strate inry – Fase 1 van die George Geïntegreerde Openbare Vervoernetwerk is uitgerol.

“Ons sou later nog soveel leer en ervaar, maar ons was geweldig trots en opgewonde en het steeds nie daardie eerste entoesiasme en passie verloor nie,” sê GO GEORGE-bestuurder, James Robb.

Sedert die jongste ontplooiing na Parkdene, Conville, Borcherds en Lawaaikamp in Maart vanjaar deurkruis 26 aktiewe roetes – ‘n netwerk van 142 km – nou die strate van George en stel dit inwoners in staat om werk toe, skool toe, na mediese- en gemeenskapsdienste en winkels oral in die dorp te ry.

Die Uitvoerende Burgemeester van George, raadsheer Leon van Wyk, het GO GEORGE gelukgewens en gesê dat hierdie verjaarsdag met trots gevier behoort te word. “Ek sal altyd inwoners se positiewe kommentaar in daardie vroeë dae onthou toe hulle veilige beweeglikheid en toegang tot winkels en gemeenskapsgeleenthede verkry het op ‘n manier wat hulle nie voorheen beskore was nie. Die bestuurspan moet met hierdie verjaarsdag gelukgewens word aangesien hulle met trots streef na erkenning as ‘n uitstekende busstelseloperateur,” het hy gesê.

Volgens Robb was die ontplooiing van die oorblywende fases van die diens meer uitdagend as wat verwag is, “maar ons is positief en sien uit daarna om voort te gaan met die uitbreiding van die diens.”

“’n Ander soort verjaarsdag”

Die gebruiklike verjaarsdagviering met passasiersdiensbeamptes in kleurvolle kostuums wat regoor die dorp ‘n vrolike geraas maak en lekkernye uitdeel, kan weens Covid-19-veiligheidsvoorsorgmaatreëls nie vanjaar plaasvind nie.

“Ons fokus is vanjaar anders,” sê Robb. “Ons dink aan diegene wat geliefdes, hul inkomste, die dak oor hul koppe verloor het.

“Ons wil ons passasiers en ons personeel bedank, ook alle rolspelers in die bedryf van die diens, die staatsdepartemente wat ons pogings om die pandemie te bekamp, befonds – sommige vir hul geduld en samewerking, sommige vir hul ondersteuning en lang ure se werk, ander vir hul moed om hul pligte uit te voer ten spyte van die risiko daaraan verbonde. Ons kon nie hierdie mylpaal bereik het sonder mense wat omgee nie.”

Passasiers word weereens daaraan herinner om te voldoen aan die eenvoudige maar doeltreffende Covid-19-veiligheidsmaatreëls wat op die bus vereis word: die dra van ‘n masker wat beide die mond en neus bedek, ontsmet of was van hande, handhawing van ‘n veilige afstand waar moontlik, oop busvensters vir goeie ventilasie, nies of hoes in ‘n geboë elmboog, om nie bus te ry wanneer jy siek is nie, buite spitstye te ry, en om nie die bus te gebruik vir nie-noodsaaklike ritte nie.



George se Uitvoerende Burgemeester, raadsheer Leon van Wyk (middel agter), het onlangs ‘n besoek aan die busdepot gebring en was gefassineerd om by die personeel te hoor hoe die kantien gebou en tot stand gebring is en self deur George Link-aandeelhouers bedryf word. “Hierdie is die soort geleentheid wat GO GEORGE na ons inwoners bring,” het hy gesê.

Longest serving official dies of Covid-19

George Municipality mourns the death of its longest serving staff member, Jusiah Phillips Dikela (also known as ‘Oom Gert’), who died of Covid-19-related symptoms yesterday. Oom Gert, aged 60, served the municipality since he was 14 years old and died after 46 years’ service.

He is the fourth George Municipality staff member to succumb to Covid-19.

George Acting Municipal Manager Steven Erasmus said the municipality was saddened by the loss and extended its condolences to his loved ones. “Oom Gert knew everything there was to know about George’s underground water and sewerage lines and was an invaluable source of knowledge. We will miss his friendly demeanour and honour him and his family for the time and commitment he had towards his job and the people of George,” said Mr Erasmus.

Below is an extract published in the George Municipality internal newspaper, MunIndaba, in December 2018.

JP ‘Oom Gert’ Dikela
Jusiah Phillips Dikela, also known as ‘Oom Gert’ or just ‘Dikela’, has an underground map in his head. He has worked on the sewer systems below the town since he was 14 years old. “In most parts of George, I know exactly how the pipes lie and where the manholes are.”

When his dad became ill, Dikela had to drop out of school to support his family and got a job at the George Municipality in October 1974. “My boss, Chris-Jan Serfontein, used to jokingly ask if my mother still packed my lunch because I was so young, but he gave me a chance. I worked very hard and was eager to learn, which eventually paid off – I was transferred to the masons so I could learn how to lay concrete and build manholes.”

In 1981, at the age of 21, Dikela became a team leader responsible for laying sewerage lines and dealing with sewer blockages and became a supervisor in 1992. Since 2003 he has been overseeing sewerage suction services and the sewerage pump station. “In retrospect I realise how valuable the training was I had received through the municipality and how senior people had recognised and rewarded potential.

“We worked really hard but we also had fun. George and the workplace have changed a lot over the years, and it could be frustrating when the skills and knowledge of the older generation were not always recognised or used to its full potential for the benefit of everyone. The educated and the experienced should see the value in each other.

“There are parts of the job that are good, like the people I work with on the ground. I look out for the young ones and try to teach others the things that only experience can teach you. If my people have a difficult time, I try to help, because a happy staff member will be more productive.”
Dikela lives with his wife Emarencia in Pacaltsdorp. They have seven children, six grandchildren and a greatgrandchild (in 2018).

Hip Hop Hype hits GO GEORGE

Hip Hop Hype hits GO GEORGE
Watch this inspiring video featuring the award-winning Hip Hop dance crew of the Carpe Diem School for learners with special needs, with which the GO GEORGE bus service puts the cherry on top of a month-long programme to enhance awareness for the rights of people with disabilities. A sterling group of youngsters rising above their individual challenges and motivating others – watch them perform in and around the UA-friendly GO GEORGE buses.
[Video description: This video features a group of 6 learners from the school performing different dance moves both in front of and inside a still-standing GO GEORGE bus – 2 children dancing in wheelchairs and another one in a wheelchair doing a handstand on his wheelchair. The GO GEORGE buses have been designed with the following accessibility features that are being mentioned in captions underneath the visual material: Ramps and hoists for people using wheelchairs and other mobility devices; audible announcements; written announcements on a digital board inside the bus, priority seating and wheelchair docking facilities.
At the end of the video, there is a photo of each child, stating what their challenge is, and an inspiring quote from the child, saying how they have risen above that and what dancing means to them.]

Disaster Centre Covid-19 Western Cape municipalities are open for tourism this festive season

2 December 2020

Disaster Centre Covid-19 Alert #4

Western Cape municipalities are open for tourism this festive season with all visitors requested to work with the authorities in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, says municipalities are doing everything within their power to ensure holidaymakers, visitors and locals enjoy a safe and happy festive season.

“We cannot wait to welcome visitors to our municipalities at the end of a very tough year but we are alerting people to the fact that Covid-19 numbers are increasing. And we are asking people to work with us by being responsible and doing everything they can to help reduce the risk of infection or spreading the virus.”

Bredell says the province is opposed to a lockdown and blunt measures, and needs the help of every person to reduce the numbers of infections and hospitalisations so that we can save lives and livelihoods.
“If we all work together, we can have both a happy and a safe holiday season throughout the Western Cape as well as successfully combat the spread of this virus.”

Due to the risks of Covid-19 spreading at major gatherings of people, some places in Western Cape have decided to stop all mass public gatherings until the resurgence gets under control.

This is primarily with regards to events where organisers need to apply for permits. These permits will not be granted in the Garden Route while some parts of the Central Karoo has already made public facilities unavailable for events.

However, there are still many wonderful and safe ways to enjoy all parts of our province, that will prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we encourage you to explore these exciting opportunities.

“The provincial disaster centre and our stakeholders will continue to enforce existing disaster management regulations across the province with roadblocks, blitzes and unannounced visits to high risk areas to ensure compliance over the holiday season. Our partners include national SAPS, municipal law enforcement, the departments of labour and health, to name a few.”

Bredell is also calling on visitors and locals in the province to be patient with officials and other workers in government over the coming weeks.
“Staff across the province remain under high risk of infection after a very tough year. In addition, in many hotspot areas, staff are on skeleton crews, reducing the ability to address problems promptly. We ask for patience and understanding in this regard. Problems will be addressed as soon as possible.”

Members of the public, businesses and other organisations who wish to report violations of COVID-19 protocols can do so as follows:

> Using the online complaint form available here:
> Dial *134*234# to report non-compliance of public transport
> For COVID-19 health related queries, the provincial COVID-19 toll-free hotline number is 080 928 4102
> For general queries, the Western Cape Government’s contact centre can be reached on 0860 142 142

George Library celebrates local authors online

Make Your Mark is a George Library programme celebrating authors living in George and surrounds. The programme is usually inside the library but has gone online because of Covid-19. In this video, local award-winning poet Archie Swanson reads his poems and talks to Wolfgang Schrader, bookkeeper from Blue Forest Bookshop and Collectables, about his works and a new anthology being published in 2021.
Click on link to view video:

GEORGE MUN: Mayor’s Festive Message 2020

Burgemeester-feesboodskap 2020


Die jaar 2020 het inderdaad vir ons almal uitdagend uitgedraai. Reeds aan die begin van die jaar het ons as land ekonomiese uitdagings in die gesig gestaar. Die Covid-19-virus het reeds in talle lande voorgekom, voordat dit in Maart 2020 ons oewer bereik het, wat aanleiding gegee het tot die verklaring van die pandemie en die verskillende vlakke van inperkings wat ons almal in George en Suid-Afrika ervaar het. In die nasleep van die pandemie het ons nou die ekonomiese herstelfase betree waar ons ons ekonomie moet herbou en die werk wat ons verloor het, moet herstel.


Al ons burgers het gedurende hierdie jaar swaarkry beleef deur die beperking van beweging en aktiwiteite wat tot gevolg het dat baie kwesbare inwoners honger ervaar, die verlies van werksgeleenthede en waardigheid, asook verhoogde vlakke van veiligheidsprobleme. Die George-munisipaliteit sal steeds ‘n fasiliterende rol speel om te help met die herstel van verlore werksgeleenthede, wat die veiligheid, waardigheid en welstand van ons inwoners sal verbeter.


Ons wil al ons werknemers en burgers bedank vir al hul opofferings en geduld gedurende hierdie jaar, aangesien ons nuwe gedragspatrone aangepak het in die hantering van Covid-19.


Die George-munisipaliteit verwelkom alle besoekers aan George gedurende die somervakansieseisoen en wens hulle uitstekende weer, veiligheid (terwyl hulle op die paaie is en terwyl hulle swem) en goeie tye saam met vriende en familie toe.


Onthou om die Covid-19-voorskrifte veral tydens die vakansietydperk na te kom en aan te hou om maskers te dra, hande te was, sosiale afstand toe te pas en tuis te bly as u siek is.


Ons is almal saam in die pandemie en staar die uitdagings in die gesig. Waar moontlik, moet ons sien hoe ons diegene wat minder bevoorreg is as ons self, kan help.

Goeie wense aan alle inwoners en besoekers.





Mayoral Festive Message 2020

The year 2020 has indeed turned out to be challenging for all of us. At the outset as a country we began the year already facing economic challenges. The Covid-19 virus emerged in numerous countries before reaching our shores during March 2020 resulting in the declaration of the pandemic and the various levels of lockdown that we have all experienced in George and South Africa. In the aftermath of the pandemic we have now entered the Economic Recovery phase where we need to rebuild our economy and recover the jobs that we have lost.

All our citizens have experienced hardship during this year through the restriction of movement and activities resulting in many vulnerable residents experiencing hunger, the loss of jobs and dignity as well as increased levels of safety concerns. The George Municipality will continue to play a facilitating role to assist in the recovery of jobs lost, improving the safety, dignity and wellness of our residents.

We wish to thank all our employees and citizens for all their sacrifices and patience during this year as we have tackled new behavioural patterns in dealing with Covid-19.

The George Municipality welcomes all visitors to George over the summer holiday season and wish them excellent weather, safety (while on the roads and while swimming) and good times enjoyed with friends and family.

Please remember to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations especially during the holiday season and to continue wearing masks, washing hands, applying social distancing and staying home when sick.

We are all in this together as we are facing these challenges. Where possible, we should see how we can assist those less fortunate than ourselves.

Good wishes to all residents and visitors.



Umyalezo kaSodolophu weXesha leMibhiyozo yama-2020


Umnyaka wama-2020 ngenene uye waba ngumceli mngeni kuthi sonke. Ekuqaleni njengelizwe siqale unyaka sele sijongene nemingeni yezoqoqosho. Intsholongwane yeCovid-19 iqhambuke kumazwe amaninzi phambi kokuba ifikelele kumanxweme ethu ngexesha leyoKwindla 2020 ebangele ukubhengezwa kwesifo esikho kumazwe ngamazwe kunye namanqanaba ohlukahlukeneyo okuvalwa esiye sachatshazelwa ngawo sonke eGeorge kunye naseMzantsi Afrika. Emva kwesifo esikho kumazwe ngamazwe ngoku singene kwiNqanaba lokuVuselela uQoqosho apho kumele sakhe kwakhona uqoqosho lwethu kwaye sibuyise imisebenzi esilahlakeleyo.


Bonke abemi bethu abahlangabezene nobunzima ngexesha lalo nyaka ngokuthintelwa kokuhamba kunye nemisebenzi okubangele ukuba abahlali abaninzi abasemngciphekweni bathwaxwe yindlala, ukulahlekelwa yimisebenzi nesidima kunye namaqondo aphezulu eenkxalabo zokhuseleko. uMasipala waseGeorge uya kuqhubeka ngendima yokuququzelela uncedo lokubuyiswa kwemisebenzi elahlekileyo, ukuphucula ukhuseleko, isidima kunye nokuba sempilweni kwabahlali bethu.

Sinqwenela ukubulela bonke abasebenzi kunye nabemi bethu ngokuzenza amadini kunye nomonde wabo ngexesha lalo nyaka kuba siye sajongana nendlela entsha yokuziphatha ukujamelana neCovid -19.

uMasipala waseGeorge wamkela zonke iindwendwe eGeorge ngexesha leeholide zehlobo kwaye uzinqwenelela imo yezulu ebalaseleyo, ukhuseleko (ngexesha zisezindleleni nangexa ziqubha)kunye namaxesha amnandi onwatyelwa nezihlobo kunye nosapho

Please remember to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations especially during the holiday season and to continue wearing masks, washing hands, applying social distancing and staying home when sick.


Ncedani nikhumbule ukuthobela imimiselo yeCovid-19 ingakumbi ngexesha leholide kunye nokuqhubeka ninxiba iimaski, nihlamba izandla, nisebenzisa ukumela kude komnye umntu nokuhlala ekhaya xa ugula. Sonke sikule nto kunye njengoko sijamelene nale mingeni. Apho kunokwenzeka, kumele sijonge ukuba singabanceda njani abo bahlelelekileyo kunathi.


Iminqweno emihle kubo bonke abemi kunye neendwendwe.


Update: Covid-19 figures for Garden Route – 27 November 2020

27 November 2020


Over the past 7 days the Garden Route has seen a 117% increase in new COVID-19 cases and 96% increase in deaths over the last seven days and urge the residents to remain cautious and vigilant.

After recording 1 282 new cases and 25 new deaths over the past seven days, all areas in the Garden Route are of great concern. As we have seen during the first wave of infections, once community transmission is established within communities, especially in the Garden Route as a prime tourist destination, the situation can quickly deteriorate if not brought under control soon.



A closer look into the Garden Route subdistrict shows the areas where we have seen a significant increase in new cases over the past seven days:



New cases per subdistrict in the Garden Route:

Area Active cases 14 days ago Active cases seven days ago Percentage increase
Bitou 142 278 96%
George 498 995 100%
Hessequa 28 58 107%
Kannaland 0 21 2100%
Knysna 206 489 137%
Mossel Bay 189 414 119%
Oudtshoorn 37 127 243%
Garden Route 1100 2382 117%


New deaths

Area Active cases 14 days ago Active cases seven days ago Percentage increase
Bitou 6 6 0%
George 7 18 157%
Hessequa 0 4 400%
Kannaland 0 0 0
Knysna 2 3 50%
Mossel Bay 2 11 450%
Oudtshoorn 9 9 0%
Garden Route 26 51 96%


We call on the citizens of each of these subdistricts and as a collective to do their part so we can bring the situation under control again. We all have a role to play through our own actions.

Our behaviour will be influenced once we acknowledge and accept that the virus is not gone but will be with us over the holidays and beyond. Therefore, we need to remain safe and protect each other by:

  • Wearing a mask properly is of life-saving importance. You must wear your masks at all times when outside of your home. There can be no exceptions.
  • You must avoid crowded and confined spaces at all costs. This is where super-spreader events take place.
  • You must urgently reconsider hosting all non-essential gatherings of people this year, especially indoor gatherings with poor ventilation.
  • You must ensure there is good ventilation at all times whenever you’re in public. The virus droplets spread by air in confined spaces, and so fresher is better.
  • You must wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use sanitiser.
  • If you feel sick, you should not leave your home unless it is to get healthcare treatment. You must first call our hotline on 080 928 4102 for guidance on the next steps.
  • You should also not visit someone who is sick, and find other ways to provide support, like delivering a meal to a neighbour’s doorstep.

Every single resident should assume that Covid-19 is everywhere they go and take all the necessary precautions at every point along their journey.

Go George champions learn sign language phrases

Persons who are hard of hearing will turn their head with the ear that hears better towards you and will watch your face and mouth to lip read. Speak slowly and form the words clearly with your lips, making sure there is light on your face for clear viewing.

These are a few of the handy tips conveyed to the first group of GO GEORGE communication champions attending a workshop presented by Elina Nieuwoudt, a friend of the Deaf community in George and who knows South African Sign Language (SASL).

The aim is to equip the champions with basic knowledge to identify a passenger who is possibly hard of hearing or deaf and to sign basic phrases regarding the bus service. They are the staff who engage directly with passengers, including persons with different categories of special needs. The group attending the workshop enjoyed the opportunity to acquire a new skill that will enable them to show courtesy to passengers who are hearing impaired.

“Even if I can only greet that person, say my name, and welcome them on a GO GEORGE bus in sign language, I’m sure they will appreciate my effort,” said one of the champions, “but if we practise amongst ourselves, I hope to remember how to offer the bus timetables and route maps too, and remind them that they cannot pay with cash, but need to use a Smart Card to get on the bus.”

According to feedback that Elina has received from a few Deaf friends, the wearing of masks poses some challenges to lip readers. When visiting the GO GEORGE info kiosk for advice, a passenger who was hearing impaired could not read the information officer’s lips, so she offered to stand back from the window enabling the officer to remove her mask for the conversation – a win-win situation. “Another passenger wrote down her question about the bus service, with the champion responding in writing. A request for route information on Facebook was responded to with a photo of the route map. In general, people with a hearing impairment find the GO GEORGE staff and bus drivers most helpful,” she says.

To accommodate passengers who are hearing impaired, the digital information boards inside the buses indicate which stop comes next, while written instructions applied inside buses assist them in using the system.

James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager, is positive about the latest developments. “Upskilling the champions to better serve different categories of special needs has been launched this month, Disability Rights Awareness Month (DRAM). It will, however, remain part of an ongoing programme to focus on the needs of all passengers and to continuously improve the customer experience of the GO GEORGE service within the community of George,” he said.
Most chuffed with themselves and their newly acquired Sign Language vocabulary, the GO GEORGE champions could hardly wait to get to the bus stops to test their new skill. Signing “I help you” are, clockwise from front left, Janell Gelant, Thandokazi Joka, Tanya Appels, Joey Ruiters, Thembisa Matiya and Nomsa Ginyagazi.

Mense wat moeilik hoor, sal hul kop met die oor wat beter hoor na jou toe draai en jou gesig en mond dophou om jou lippe te lees. Praat stadig en vorm die woorde duidelik met jou lippe en maak seker daar is lig op jou gesig vir duidelike sigbaarheid.

Dit is ‘n paar van die handige wenke wat oorgedra is aan die eerste groep GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes wat ‘n werkswinkel bygewoon het by Elina Nieuwoudt, ‘n vriendin van die Dowe gemeenskap in George en wat Suid-Afrikaanse Gebaretaal (SASL) ken.
Die doel is om die passasiersdiensbeamptes toe te rus met basiese kennis om ‘n passasier te identifiseer wat moontlik hardhorend of doof is en basiese frases rakende die busdiens in gebaretaal oor te dra. Hulle is die personeel wat direk met passasiers, insluitend persone met verskillende kategorieë spesiale behoeftes, werk. Die groep wat die werkswinkel bygewoon het, het dit geniet om ‘n nuwe vaardigheid wat hulle in staat sal stel om hoflikheid te betoon aan passasiers wat gehoorgestremd is, aan te leer.

“Selfs al kan ek net daardie persoon groet, my naam sê en hulle in gebaretaal op ‘n GO GEORGE-bus verwelkom, is ek seker hulle sal my poging waardeer,” het een van die beamptes gesê, “maar as ons onder onsself oefen, hoop ek om te onthou hoe om ook die busroosters en roetekaarte aan te bied en hulle te herinner dat hulle nie met kontant kan betaal nie, maar ‘n Slimkaart moet gebruik om op die bus te ry.”
Volgens terugvoer wat Elina van ‘n paar Dowe vriende ontvang het, hou die dra van maskers ‘n paar uitdagings vir liplesers in. Toe sy die GO GEORGE-inligtingkiosk besoek het vir raad, kon ‘n passasier wat gehoorgestremd is nie die inligtingsbeampte se lippe lees nie, en het sy aangebied om terug te staan van die venster af sodat die beampte haar masker vir die gesprek kon afhaal – ‘n wen-wen-situasie. “Nog ‘n passasier het haar vraag oor die busdiens neergeskryf, met die passasiersdiensbeampte wat skriftelik daarop gereageer het. ‘n Versoek vir roete-inligting op Facebook is beantwoord met ‘n foto van die roetekaart. Oor die algemeen vind mense met ‘n gehoorgestremdheid die GO GEORGE-personeel en -busbestuurders baie behulpsaam,” sê sy.

Om passasiers te akkommodeer wat gehoorgestremd is, dui die digitale inligtingsborde binne die busse aan watter bushalte volgende kom, terwyl skriftelike instruksies wat binne busse aangebring is, hulle help om die stelsel te gebruik.

James Robb, GO GEORGE-bestuurder, is positief oor die jongste verwikkelinge. “Ons het vandeesmaand, tydens die Maand vir die Bewusmaking van die Regte van Mense met Gestremdhede, afgeskop met die vaardigheidsuitbouing van die passasiersdiensbeamptes om verskillende kategorieë spesiale behoeftes beter te dien. Dit sal egter deel bly van ‘n deurlopende program om op die behoeftes van alle passasiers te fokus en om voortdurend ons kliënte se ervaring van die GO GEORGE-diens binne die gemeenskap van George te verbeter,” het hy gesê.

Die GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes was baie in hul skik met hul nuutverworwe woordeskat in Gebaretaal en kon skaars wag om by die bushaltes uit te kom om hul nuwe vaardigheid te toets. Hier sê hulle: “Ek help jou”. Kloksgewys van voor links is Janell Gelant, Thandokazi Joka, Tanya Appels, Joey Ruiters, Thembisa Matiya en Nomsa Ginyagazi.

Beautifying the city for 20 years, Radie Loubser retires

Radie Loubser was initially contracted to beautify the entrances of George with plants and features – 20 years later he retires this month as Manager of Parks and Recreation, from a job that had been mostly behind the scenes but with results for everyone to see.

In a time that saw George become one of the fastest growing towns in the country, Radie’s hand was on some of the most significant projects that will continue to benefit the city for decades to come.

These include gardens and features at the three main entrances of George and islands in York Street, upgrading of facilities at beaches, starting improvements at Gwaing and Herolds Bay camping grounds, turning land with a reputation for gangs and drugs in Pacaltsdorp into the now Kaptein Dikkop Amphitheatre, clearing plantation where the Denne-Oord Fire Emergency Airbase is now, clearing alien vegetation from 40km of the 66km (61%) of riverbeds that flow through the city (before funding stopped), negotiating a R8-million profit for the harvesting of plantation on municipal ground near the Garden Route Dam, working with local businesses to beautify sidewalks across the city and controlled burning of large tracts of overgrown vegetation in the dam catchment area that ultimately caused streams to flow and reduced the risk impact of the 2018 fires. “So many of these projects are underlined by the goodwill and generosity of the people of George – ordinary citizens, city officials and politicians that had the greater good of the whole city at heart,” says Radie.

Born and bred in Stellenbosch, Radie’s love and appreciation of the outdoors was established while travelling across South Africa with his land surveyor dad, Coenie. He obtained a BSc Honours degree in Forestry at Stellenbosch University and spent several of the following years working for the national Department Forestry in some of the country’s largest plantations including Sabie, the former homelands of Kangwane and Zululand and eventually Knysna in 1988 from where he managed the plantations around George, including the sawmill. “When the department recalled me to the head office in Pretoria, my wife Delène and I could not imagine returning to city life – our kids were growing up in this beautiful place with good schools and wonderful people – so I ‘retired’ at age 38, moved to George, and started my own forestry-related business.”

He also lectured Wood Technology at Port Elizabeth Technicon Saasveld campus (now NMU George), built houses and managed forestry projects. “For me, one of the greatest benefits of working for a government department as opposed to the private sector was the diverse skillset I developed instead of specialising. Managing state forest meant doing everything from nursery practice, planting, tending and harvesting trees, and running sawmills to building roads, overseeing staff housing, finances, firefighting and conservation – and it is this set of skills that eventually led me to George Municipality.”

In 2000 when it became clear that George was set for major growth, the then councillor Flip de Swardt and local businessman Sal Marsillio identified the need for upgrading the entrances to the town. Radie had been known to town officials through his dealings for Forestry and his own business and came highly recommended by the then Director Civil Engineering Basil Steyn as ‘a guy who could get things done but was a bit of cowboy’.

The cowboy-part turned out to be a good fit since the project required some out of the box thinking. “The budget was limited but with so much potential, and so many people willing to help. To this day there are private citizens, businesses and organisations across the municipal area who donate plants, keep sidewalks and clear riverbeds out of their own pocket – they are the reason I continue to believe in the future of this city.

“There are so many challenges for a fast-growing city, not even considering factors such as Covid-19, major economic concerns, political interference and the spirit of vandalism and illegal dumping that are very discouraging.

“I believe the ongoing hope for our city remains our people. There is so many opportunities, so many ways to contribute to the greater good. I still have so many ideas of projects and initiatives that can develop and benefit our city, but I have accepted that I must pass the baton. I am leaving the section in competent hands and have very high expectations of them.

“There are so many people who I want to thank and honour, but I know I will skip some important ones, so please consider yourselves thanked – you know who you are.

“People I really enjoyed working with include former councillor Jurie Bezuidenhout (a true gentleman), former mayor Flip de Swardt (for his driving force), councillor Marlene Barnardt (for being decent and reasonable) and speaker Gerrit Pretorius (for patience and endurance). Colleagues that deserve a mention include Basil Steyn (people-orientated), the late Harold Basson (professionalism, friendliness and sense of responsibility), Community Services secretary Ilse Lubbe (commitment and sacrifice) and tea lady Susan Veldsman (lovely nature, absolutely trustworthiness and willingness to serve others).”

Radie and Delène intend moving to Kleinmond to be closer to their sons, Coenie and Oswald, and grandchildren. “George has been a wonderful place to live and we will always think of it with nostalgia, but we are also excited for this new chapter in our lives.” said Radie.