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George awarded two full blue flags!

George Municipality is proud to be hoisting two Blue Flags and one Pilot Blue Flag Boards at our beaches for the 2022 festive season. Wilderness Beach has retained full Blue Flag status, Herold’s Bay has gained full blue Flag status and Victoria Bay has Pilot status following application by the George Municipality. Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk and Municipal Manager Dr Michele Gratz took receipt of the flags and certifications at an event held in Plettenberg Bay together with George Municipal Superintendent Parks, Tyrone April and Wessa National Coastal Coordinator, Tevya Lotriet.

Blue Flag is an international coastal management programme that accredits beaches that meet standards of excellence in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and information as well as safety and services. In South Africa the programme is implemented by the Wildlife Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA).

Dr Gratz said Blue Flag status offered many benefits including improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness of the coast and capacity building of coastal municipalities. “Blue Flag status has significant international merit and the achievement of such accolades is important to stimulate and confirm international and high-end interest in the city and district as a desirable, quality tourism and lifestyle destination. We thank SANParks Garden Route National Park who shares jurisdiction of Wilderness beach with the George Municipality.”

The Blue Flag season runs from 1 December 2022 to 31 January 2023. Compliance includes high standards of water quality monitoring, public safety and lifeguard services, and well-maintained coastal amenities. South Africa has participated in the Blue Flag programme since 2001.

Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality pays a technical visit to George

Marlene Van Staden, Executive Mayor for Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality was thrilled to return to George this week with a team of senior management for a thorough technical visit. They were welcomed on Monday morning by George Municipal Manager, Dr Gratz together with Ald Leon Van Wyk and his MAYCO members. Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality visited the Southern Cape in July this year sponsored by Friedrich Naumann Foundation, a German foundation for liberal and libertarian politics. At the time Ald Van Staden expressed the wish to return with her senior management for in-depth technical site inspections.

The programme over the two days included in-depth presentations on a number of aspects where George Municipality has implemented technology to streamline process such as our online grave booking system, drive-through motor vehicle licencing office, fleet management, disaster management as well as extensive site visits to our Civil and Electrotechnical projects including the Wastewater Treatment Works, Water Purification Plant, Municipal Roads Workshop and Glenwood Substation.

Back Row: Portfolio Councillor Jacqulique Von Brandis (George Municipality’s Civil Engineering Services: Capital Projects & BFI), Portfolio Councillor Henry Hill (George Municipality’s Planning & Development), Ald Gert Niehaus (George Municipality’s GIPTN Chairperson), Councillor Sean Snyman (George Municipality’s Speaker), Councillor Marlene Barnardt (George Municipality’s Chief Whip) and Portfolio Councillor Nosicelo Mbethe (George Municipality’s Electrotechnical Services & Fleet Management)

Front Row: Councillor Johan Prinsloo (Executive Committee member – Modimolle-Mokgophong Municipal Council), Dr Michele Gratz (Municipal Manager – George Municipality), Councillor Marlene van Staden (Executive Mayor of Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality), Ald Leon van Wyk (Executive Mayor of George) and Councillor Joel Mphedi (Chairperson: Planning and Economic Development – Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality)

Newly appointed Director for  the Civil Engineering Services Department, Mr Jannie Koegelenberg seen here at the Waste Water Treatment Works in Pacaltsdorp with Ald Van Wyk, Dr Gratz, Portfolio Councillor Jackie Von Brandis (Civil Engineering Services: Capital Projects and BFI), Portfolio Councillor Browen Johnson (Civil Engineering Services: Operating Aspects) and the Modimolle-Mookgophong delegates.


Jacques Lawrence,Senior Manager: Substations Electrotechnical Services, George Municipality (right) and next to him, Bongani Mandla, Director of Electrotechnical Services as well as Portfolio Councillor for Electrotechnical Services and Fleet Management, Nosicelo Mbete (in the yellow dress) with representatives of the Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality in Limpopo at the Glenwood substation that had a breather and transformer maintenance earlier this year. Extensive maintenance of Power Transformers at various substations were done to guarantee long-term life expectancy. The importance of these preventative measures and to keep key infrastructure well maintained, was explained to the visitors to ensure consumers don’t bear the brunt.

 

Representatives from the Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality in Limpopo went walkabout with the Acting Director: Corporate Services, Edward Ganza visiting the George Civic Centre where the Main Hall and Banquet Hall is situated. In the photo taken in front of the George Civic Centre are from left, Cllr Joel Mpedi, Portfolio Chairman of Planning and Local Economic Development at Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality (MMM), Patrick Shika, Director: Corporate Services, MMM, Marlene van Staden, Mayor of MMM, Ganza and Magda Berrange, Director: Social and Community Services.

 

 

 

GROUND-BREAKING DRIVE-THROUGH SERVICE FOR MOTOR VEHICLE LICENCE RENEWAL WAS LAUNCHED IN GEORGE

Western Cape’s first drive-through service for motor vehicle license renewals was officially launched on Monday, 7 November 2022 in George by the Western Cape Minister of Mobility MEC Daylin Mitchell and the Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Leon van Wyk during a special ribbon-cutting event that marks the inception of this cutting-edge and innovative service.

George Municipality’s traffic services turned what was a dilapidated building into a brand-new Motor Vehicle and Registration (MVR) satellite office which includes a drive-through service for the renewal of motor vehicle licenses. This MVR centre, which is located at 9 George Street in Blanco, a suburb situated north-east of George is an extension of the existing MVR centre that will handle drive-through service for customers to renew up to a maximum of two Motor Vehicle Licence’s at a time and will also handle bulk MVR services at the inside counters.

 

MINSTER MITCHELL CONGRATULATES GEORGE FOR BEING INNOVATIVE TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO SERVICES

Minister Mitchell congratulated the George Municipality for pushing the boundaries to establish the first drive-through Motor vehicle registration centre in the Western Cape to make services easily and conveniently accessible to the citizens.

“What stood out for me in this facility is the conversion of what was an old and neglected infrastructure into an innovative service delivery point, I think that this model is a good example of what government should and can be if different spheres of government come together and provide on service delivery. I am very proud to be part of this first Western Cape drive-through centre for vehicle licence registration.”

Turning to Ald van Wyk, the Mayor of George, Minister Mitchell said: “Mayor, thank you for this initiative, this is a legacy you and the team can be proud of, I will introduce this model to the rest of the province, and let’s hope this initiative will land across the country for other municipalities to follow suit.”

Our aim is to ensure that services are accessible and affordable and that citizens get the services they deserve. The Department of Transport Provincially is working with the various Municipalities as the planning authority for all these services that are directly delivered to citizens to see how we can innovate that space.

 

COME TO THE DRIVE-THROUGH, HAND OVER YOUR REGISTRATION DOCUMENT, PAY AND THEN HAVE YOUR LICENCE PRINTED IMMEDIATELY, SAYS MAYOR VAN WYK

“George is growing at a rapid pace and what we found at our existing motor vehicle registration centre is that it was starting to get cramped, and people that came for services needed to stand in a queue. This situation forced us to think creatively and innovatively, and so we started improving the services by providing an undercover space for the customers, thereafter, introducing an online system so that a customer can pay online and come to collect the actual licence afterwards,” said Mayor van Wyk.

“Today, we are proud to launch the drive-through service that we’ve established as an extension of our existing MVR, which also serves, particularly, the bulk dealers, which are motor dealers who come with multiple motor registration items. People do not have to necessarily stand in long queues as we have widened the options to receive MVR services one could come to the drive-through, hand over your registration document, pay and then have your licence printed immediately, and be over and done with, within two to three minutes,” Ald van Wyk added.

 

SENIOR CITIZEN FEELS VERY SPECIAL TO BE THE FIRST IN THE DRIVE-THROUGH

“I feel very special!” said an ecstatic senior citizen, John Allenby Stoffels, the first resident to renew his motor vehicle licence in a brand new and the first drive-through service for licence disk renewals in George.

“I never thought that I’d renew my car disk in the comfort of my car, just like buying food from a drive-thru restaurant, it’s is always a challenge for us senior citizens to stand in long queues waiting for a service; the George Municipality has now made it easily accessible for us, this is great, and I’m happy to have been the first to experience this,” said an obviously delighted Stoffels who experienced this special moment in the presence of his wife and daughter who were in the car with him.

Also in attendance were the George Municipality’s members of the Executive Committee, the Municipal Manager, Dr Michele Gratz, acting director for Community Services, Mr Sivuyile Mtila, the acting manager for traffic services, Mr Vernon Petersen and officials from the Motor vehicle registration.

Ends.

George Municipality embraces World Food Day

George Municipality embraces World Food Day

George Municipality embraced the concept of World Food Day recently by providing 150 homeless persons with a meal.  Chronic hunger is a reality, especially among the homeless.

The Municipality that forms part of the People living on the Street (Plots)Forum wanted to do something special for the homeless because of hunger. World Food Day is celebrated across the world on 16 October.

According to Janine Edwards from Social Development at George Municipality, people living on the streets often go for days without food and when food is available, it is not always nutritious. To make the programme successful, the PLOTS Forum received donations of food items and wishes to thank all sponsors involved.

Programmes such as this one to reach out to the homeless, are  made possible by the public. George Municipality appeals to Georgians and visitors to become a part of the solution of People living on the Streets by rather giving donations to organisations such as the George Night Shelter or Kidstop, instead of giving money or handouts to adults or children begging at streets intersections, as this has increasingly become a concern.

According to Estelle Fredericks from the Municipality Social Development department, there has been an increase in new arrivals of People living on the streets following the Covid lockdown period and exacerbated by the current economic situation. She said that giving such persons money or handouts on the streets, will only encourage them to keep living on the streets and has negative long-term effects.

The PLOTS (People Living on The Streets) forum was established in 2018 by George Municipality to holistically address the many factors associated with homeless people. The forum includes representatives from George Municipal Social Development Services, the South African Police Service (SAPS), Kid Stop (focuses on children living on the Streets), People Against Substance Abuse (PASA), Smoking & Alcohol Harms Alleviation & Rehabilitation Association (SAHARA), Christian Rehabilitation Ministries to the Homeless of George (Cremhog)  and the National Departments of Social Development and Health.

The PLOTS Forum aims to eradicate the issue of homelessness. Night outreaches take place to quantify the number of persons currently living on the streets and these surveys also serve as a tool to identify the needs of the individuals, and to assess how they can be assisted going forward.

George Municipality continues to provide clothing and toiletries to persons living on the street. The toiletries include soap, facecloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, roll-on and sanitary pads. The municipality maintains a clothing bank where residents of George donate clothing for this purpose. Many of the homeless ask for clothing or toiletries to be presentable and a register is kept for this purpose. It would really assist the Municipality if more residents could donate clothing and toiletries for this purpose as no funding is available for this purpose.

The Municipal Social Development division runs a job seekers programme where we motivate the homeless to seek jobs, even if it is in the informal market. The department assists with the drawing up of CV`s and registering of the homeless on the EPWP database for job opportunities. Through other stakeholders, reunification services are also planned for those individuals who indicate that they want to reunite with their families. The issue of homelessness is a vast challenge and assistance from all spheres is needed to address the issue properly.

Living on the streets is not a crime and therefore these people cannot be arrested or moved without their consent. Our Social Development and Law Enforcement department’s mandate is limited as the bulk of the functions to assist people living on the streets, falls under SAPS and the National Department of Social Development.

George Residents, Business Owners and organisations, who want to help the homeless and or submit innovative ideas on how to help the homeless are invited to join the PLOTS monthly meeting. You can contact Estelle Fredericks on 044 802 2000, ext 2015 during office hours for more information.

The public may also contact these organisations: Freddy Trout, PASA (People Against Substance Abuse) on 068 487 4848, Jonathan Gelderbloem, YFC Kidstop on 044 874 2624/044 875 1794, Department of Social Services on 044 814 1920 or Andre Olivier from Cremhog on andre.olivier1962@gmail.com

 

Mayor’s Newsletter for George Herald on 3 November 2022

In the mayoral speech to Council on 27 October 2022, I reflected on the work being undertaken to improve lives of citizens across the whole of George. Examples of some of these projects are mentioned below.

During this year we are budgeting R5,6m of our own funds for the electrification of informal settlements, significantly higher than in previous years with R1m already spent in Thembalethu with a further R2,1m having been spent on streetlights, substations and other upgrades. The construction of the Thembalethu 66/11kV substation has started with R13m spent to date.

Spending on roads upgrades in Thembalethu have amounted to R43,5m while the R10m road upgrade in Dellville Park commences in February 2023. Similar upgrades, repairs to streets and a stormwater canal are being undertaken in Uniondale and Haarlem.

We are currently planning or implementing water and sanitation projects to the value of R168m in Thembalethu with R137m to be spent in Pacaltsdorp in the near future.

Through the Social Development section, we contribute R3,4m annually to 126 soup kitchens to feed almost 53 000 vulnerable and hungry residents while we also support over 500 food gardens in the community. We also assist our vulnerable members of society through a clothing bank and a youth summit on economic development.

Turning to sport, the long-awaited upgrade of the Rosemore tartan track is due to commence soon with netball courts in Rosemore and Pacaltsdorp to be upgraded ahead of the World Cup next year. A vlakkie cricket league has been successfully introduced providing another dimension to recreation.

As part of the increasing focus on improving safety and security for communities, equipment and containers have been bought for various Neighbourhood Watches. Additional CCTV cameras are being introduced in Pacaltsdorp, Eden Park, Blanco, Rosemore, Borchards, Parkdene, Thembalethu and the CBD.

Consultants are working on the planning for the Neighbourhood Development Planning Grant funded node in Thembalethu with similar work underway for the Pacaltsdorp SMME node and the Ossie Urban Industrial development.

The Feasibility Report for the Crocodile Farm Social Housing project of 400 housing units has been finalised and will shortly be tabled in Council.

Engagements have been hosted for informal trading, skills development and training opportunities, including: How to Pitch, Business Skills, Business Etiquette, How to submit tenders.

Work has been done on a funding proposal for a three-year incubator for SMME’s along with the roll out of various entrepreneurship programs, emerging developer and contractor training, with guidelines to be tabled shortly for the implementation of mobile businesses (e.g. food trucks).

Each of our wards will soon undertake small projects to the value of R1,4m.

These snapshots provide some insight into the many unheralded ongoing projects being undertaken in this financial year.

 

GEORGE EMBARKS ON A PRESSURE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME AS PART OF REVENUE

Water losses are common challenges for municipalities in South Africa, with pressure management being considered one of the most beneficial, important, and cost-effective leakage management activities, the George Municipality’s Civil Engineering Services (CES) directorate has embarked on a pressure management study a move to reduce water losses and to enhance revenue.

“Most pipe bursts occur not only because of high pressure but rather due to ongoing pressure fluctuations forcing the pipes to continuously expand and contract, resulting in stress fractures,” says Deon de Jager a deputy director in the George Municipality’s CES directorate. Pressure builds up during night flows when demand is low, causing pipe failures (normally between 10pm and 4am).

“A pressure zone is defined as the area bounded by both a lower and upper elevation, all of which receive water from a given hydraulic grade line (HGL) or pressure from a set water surface.”

The CES directorate is, according to de Jager in the process of finalizing the pressure management study. Meanwhile, the department also installed and connected 60 smart bulk water meters to our Telemetry and SACADA system during the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 financial years.  This is an ongoing effort as the Directorate`s main goal is to convert the Municipal current water network into a smart water network.

“Currently, we have 18 pressure management zones in our water reticulation network. CES is planning to create an additional 60 new pressure management zones.  From December 2021 CES started logging all pipe bursts in our network and populating the data into our IMQS water master plan.”

“Normal water distribution systems are designed to withstand pressures varying between 24 meters and 90 meters (meaning 2.4 bars minimum and 9 bars maximum).   Most of the pipe failures occur during night flows when the water demand is low, and there is a build-up of pressure in the networks. Most of the areas experiencing regular pipe bursts/failures are situated above the 90m pressure contour.”

It must be realized that water reticulation network leakages during night flows are much higher due to elevated pressure.  Controlling the critical areas will enhance the potable water in hand, this is revenue enhancement.

“CES is making plans to address these critically affected areas by creating pressure management zones and controlling the high-pressure areas during night flows.  The proposed upgrades will cost the council about R35 million. Even though the project has not yet been funded, it has been on the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) wish list of projects for possible funding, pending the study’s conclusion,” concluded.

Ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Drive-through Motor Vehicle Licence Service opens to public 7th November

The innovative Drive-through service implemented by the George Municiality opens to the public on 7th November 2022. An unused municipal building has been upgraded and converted into a brand-new Motor Vehicle and Registration (MVR) satellite office which opened to bulk dealers this week.

Cllr Charlotte Clarke, Portfolio Councillor for Community Safety is thrilled that the facility is due to open to the public and said that it will assist in relieving the pressure on our officials and will aid to improve service delivery. “George wants to move with the times with the new drive-through service and we have heeded calls from the public to increase our capacity,” Clarke said.

The Blanco MVR office will handle bulk services at the inside counters, and the drive-through service will only be for customers to renew up to a maximum of two Motor Vehicle Licence’s at a time.

The public must please note that no assistance can be given to anyone with a LATE MOTOR VEHICLE LICENCE OR WITHOUT A NOTICE NUMBER / MVL2 NOTICE at the Drive-through.

The Blanco offices will unfortunately not be able to provide assistance during any periods of LOADSHEDDING until a generator is installed at the premises in early January 2023.

Please see details below for how to renew your Motor Vehicle Licence using the drive-through service.

Blanco Satellite Office

9 George Street, Blanco

Open weekdays 8am-3pm, except Wednesdays closed at 2pm due to compulsory training.

Drive Through Services

  1. ONLY Motor Vehicle Licence Renewals can be done at the Drive-through window. (All other transactions must be handled at the Hibernia Street premises.)
  2. An official on site will guide vehicles and proceedings at the drive-through in the initial stages.
  3. Please have your MVL2 printout or notice number ready. You cannot be assisted without this documentation. (Please note the Road Traffic Management Corporation
    (RTMC) no longer allows you to print a copy of your MVL2 from E-Natis.)
  4. Late Motor Vehicle Licence renewals can not be processed at the Drive-through.
  5. Please note a maximum of two licenses can be processed per visit, per person.
  6. No cash payments will be accepted, payment is via card on
  7. You must as a vehicle owner, REGISTER on E-Natis in order to receive a notification of the expiry of your Motor Vehicle Licence.

This is how you register on E-Natis:
Start by registering a profile online at https://online.natis.gov.za/#/  Choose between registering as a business or individual.

  1. Enter the following details for Individual: Identification type, Identification number, Initials and Surname.
  2. Enter the following details for businesses: Business/Company details – Identification type, Identification number, Company name. Proxy details – Identification type, Identification number, Initials, Surname.
  3. Please enter the CAW number of any of the vehicles registered in your name/company name in order to register and then proceed to the next step.
  4. Enter your latest cellphone number and E-mail address accurately, along with your chosen Username and password and click on NEXT.
  5. You or your company are now registered on the online E-Natis system and will receive your Electronic MVL2 via E-mail or Notice number via SMS, a month in advance of your motor vehicle license expiry date. (Please note the Road Traffic Management Corporation
    (RTMC) no longer allows you to print a copy of your MVL2 from E-Natis.)
  6. The amount for the renewal of your vehicle will be on the MVL2 Notice along with all your motor vehicle particulars.
  7. If you have previously registered on E-Natis, please ensure that your most recent E-mail address and cell phone number is updated in order to receive notification of your license expiry.
  8. Once you receive either an MVL2 notice via E-mail or Notice number via SMS, you may present this to the licensing office for your renewal.
  9. Please note that OVERDUE licenses may not be renewed with the MVL2 and Notice number. A green ALV form is required to renew OVERDUE  licenses and cases where the Owner/Company  did not receive any of these notifications.

Bulk Motor Vehicle Registration Counters

Two Bulk Dealer MVR Counters are located inside the Blanco premises.

Motor Vehicle Registration and Licencing

Hibernia Street (next to train station) 044 801 9310 or 044 801 9311 or mvr@george.gov.za
(License renewals, registrations, duplicate registration certificates, permits etc)

Open to public weekdays 8am-3pm, except Wednesdays closed at 2pm due to compulsory training.

 

 

TO OUR MATRIC CLASS OF 2022

This period marks the beginning of a new phase in your academic career – you are starting your final examinations. Despite all the challenges that you have faced in these past two years as a result of the pandemic, you have made a series of choices that brought you to where you are today, and we have never been prouder.

You have commenced with what is now the most important exam in your scholastic career, this may result in some trepidation, but this is Normal – all adults experienced this. This should not discourage you – please approach this next chapter with the determination and focus that you have shown throughout your many years of schooling. You are now faced with some more choices that will determine your future. Choose success, choose to be triumphant over every hurdle you will encounter. Make that decision every single time you prepare and every single time you pick up a pen to write that exam.

It will be good to keep calm during the exams. Stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize – to achieve great results that will open doors for you and shape your entire future.

To the Matric class of 2022, this is your moment. Use the time you have been given to prepare, wisely. You have the backing, well wishes, thoughts and prayers of the entire George municipal area behind you. Do not be discouraged, face this challenge, and conquer it.

Good luck to all of you, make us all proud,

Your Executive Mayor, Leon Van Wyk

Youth Stakeholders Forum Established

MEDIA RELEASE: Youth Stakeholders Forum Established

The Youth Development section of George Municipality held a Youth Summit recently with various stakeholders from within the George Municipal area to take the youth agenda forward and a Youth Stakeholder’s Forum has been established. In future, the forum will provide the necessary platform for networking, growth and stronger partnerships.

 

A Youth Directory has been developed and will remain a working document as details of more organisations will be added. Jonel Kerspuy, Coordinator of the Youth Development section at the Municipality invites more organisations, that are working with young people, to make contact with them at (044) 802 2000.

 

Discussions took place under the following Commissions: Education/ Training and Skills Development, Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, Health and well-being, Social Cohesion and National well-being, Sport and Recreation, Media and Arts and Government Services.

 

Various stakeholders were in attendance, with Councillors Melvin Roelfse, Thandiswa Qatana and Marais Kruger giving messages of support at the George Civic Centre where the summit was held. Dr Zille North from the Department of Health informed the plenary about the Planet Youth programme, with support provided by the Department of Social Development and Education. The Various stakeholders were able to share the valuable work that they are doing within the community of George. In the photo are some of the stakeholders attending the summit.

 

George Municipality in collaboration with other stakeholders held Youth Skills Transfer Workshops

George Municipality in collaboration with other stakeholders held Youth Skills Transfer Workshops

 

The Youth Development section of George Municipality arranges Youth Skills Transfer Workshops to equip young people, with the skills and knowledge to become employable and or start their own businesses.

 

According to Jonel Kerspuy, Coordinator of the Youth Office section at George Municipality, these workshops are rolled out by the Youth Development office in collaboration with the Pacaltsdorp Community Business Association, Inkcubeko Youth and Science Centre with the assistance of the following facilitators Sylvia Ncazelo, Noxolile Tshandu and Pam Lesibanie. These partners provide venues and skills transfer sessions, which include beading, upcycling of recyclable goods, sewing, knitting and crocheting. A skills transfer programme is planned for Uniondale  next year and youngsters will be taught how to make goods out of leather.

 

Kerspuy says basic business training and mentoring have been provided to previous groups of youngsters, as well as a market to sell some of their products. The same training will be done with the current group. The sessions also provide a platform where valuable life skills, leadership development, career guidance, job readiness, mentoring and other sessions are offered to the youth in attendance.

 

“The programme addresses youth entrepreneurship, whilst at the same time bridging the generational and skills gap”, said Kerspuy.

 

Captions:

Youthskills: Luwayda Trantraal from the Pacaltsdorp Community Business Association (in the middle with blue dress) and Pam Lesibanie retired from SAPS and an entrepreneur (in the middle with pink) and to the far right is Jonel Kerspuy, Coordinator of the Youth Development section at George Municipality with some of the youngsters attending a skills transfer session.

Youthskills1: Noxolile Tshandu (facilitator in pink jersey busy with beading) and Sylvia Ncazelo ( facilitator with the white top) from Inkcubeko Youth and Science Centre busy with a beading programme in Thembalethu with the youth.

Youthskills2: An example of the beading is done.

Youthskills3: Pam Lesibanie does arts and crafts with the youth in teaching them skills they can use to make products and sell them.

Youthskills4: Some of the recycled wood is used to make welcoming frames for homes or decorations.

Living with baboons – how to make life easier

George Municipality is sensitive to the problems our residents experience because of the baboon population in the northern areas of town, but it is also important that all stakeholders should work together to find solutions to this complex situation. Residents need to learn to co-exist with the baboons, as we as humans have encroached on the natural habitat of the primates.

According to primatologist Dave Gaynor, baboons have been in the fynbos ecosystem for millions of years and have been a major population in terms of biomass. He noted in an article on Showme Plettenberg Bay, “One can confidently say that if they are removed, it is 100 percent sure to affect the fynbos. Baboons play a significant role in plant dispersal and reproduction”. The primates also keep scorpions, snakes and rats out of the areas that they roam.

Research done in Pringle Bay by Erin Guth in 2005 showed exactly that. It is clear that baboons play an important role in the ecosystem and that we need them to forage in the fynbos. However, the residential areas and villages can be a tempting alternative with the possibility of high-calorie foods. For example, just half a loaf of brown bread is equal to four hours of foraging in the fynbos for a female baboon, making up her daily nutritional supplement.

There is no option but to deter them as much as possible, because baboons will not be captured, relocated, or put down unless there is reasonable cause for this. Translocations and elimination of problem animals have sometimes yielded satisfying short-term results but rarely solved the problem. This will still not solve any problem as a male leader will just be replaced by another rival.

Further, aggressive responses to problem animals (i.e. shooting, threatening) often result in transferring the problem to neighbours. It has also been reported to increase aggressive behaviours from wildlife towards humans (and between humans), worsening the situation.

It is therefore of vital importance that all involved must keep the baboons from consuming human food by denying them access to refuse and using baboon-proof bins. Residents can even go further and baboon-proof their homes so they don’t raid fridges. When it comes to gardens, preserve the fynbos and cage as far as possible from vegetable gardens and fruit trees. And never feed the baboons directly.

According to Dr Chloe Guerbois, Nelson Mandela University, Sustainability Research Unit, who led a team of researchers in gaining some insights for the development of appropriate management options for human-baboon conflicts in George. She said although the experience of the negative impact by some residents should not be underplayed, the baboon situation in George is not yet as bad as in other towns. Guerbois also warns that it is now the time to act as the costs could still be kept low both for humans and baboons.

Dr Guerbois’ research found that the appointment of three wildlife monitors by the George Municipality in September 2015 certainly resulted in reducing the number of baboon incidents in 2016.

Up to 60 residents from Denneoord and Eden were interviewed and almost 90% of these people have experienced baboon encounters near their residence at least once. The baboons were mostly rummaging through refuse bags, searching for food, and passing through private property. Refuse bags were the primary target and fruit trees.

Dr. Guerbois’s recommendation is proactive collaborative solutions such as improved waste management and adapted farming and gardening practices at the edge of the urban areas for long-term options to ease human-baboon co-existence.

“The baboon issue is a real social dilemma and not (only) a financial one as it requires both personal and cooperative engagements for sometimes intangible, indirect, or delayed benefits. It is a deep transformation process which does not only apply to the baboon issue but to the global climate and biodiversity crisis,” Guerbois said.

George Municipality and CapeNature are in regular discussion with all stakeholders regarding baboon management, especially in mountainous areas or in the northern parts of George where these animals tend to raid properties for food. George Municipality Law Enforcement Officers patrol the various troops in the Blanco, Denneoord, Genevafontein, Saasveld, Victoria Bay, and Wilderness areas.

 

Amended Refuse Collection Times for affected areas in Blanco, Denneoord, Genevafontein, Saasveld, Victoria Bay and Wilderness

As a new measure to assist residents in the Blanco, Denneoord, Genevafontein, Saasveld, Victoria Bay and Wilderness areas who are affected by baboons, arrangements have been put in place to ensure that refuse removal will take place first in these areas, on their SPECIFIC REMOVAL DAYS from Monday to Friday.

Mayor Leon van Wyk said: “We as a Municipality set out the timelines with start and end time commitments for refuse collection that we will strive to meet 95% of the time and make sure that crews understand this. The refuse trucks will also use the most optimal routes to follow in the suburbs so that the baboons do not get the message of delays before the public receives them.”

For this to work, residents of these areas are requested to PLEASE put their sealed refuse bags out between 07h00 and 08h00 (the time is dependent on whether residents have to leave their premises or are staying at home. If the residents are at home, they can put the refuse out by 07h30, if not, and they must leave earlier, they can put it out by 07h00 ONLY ON their day of collection.

George Municipal refuse collection takes place within scheduled times and the change of routes within the highlighted areas already starts at 08h00 on the SPECIFIED REFUSE REMOVAL DAY. The measures taken will be subject to operational matters and we will endeavour to meet our commitment to sustainable, efficient services.

REFUSE REMOVAL DAYS
MONDAY: Blanco, Victoria Bay
TUESDAY: Wilderness
WEDNESDAY: Denneoord

THURSDAY: Wilderness Heights
FRIDAY: Genevafontein

What else can you do?
Living and holidaying in the natural surroundings of the Garden Route means sharing space with wildlife such as baboons and monkeys. When winter sets in and natural food sources become scarcer, baboons and monkeys are more likely to forage in residential areas.

Please review the standard tips around the handling of refuse, food and other tips.

While George Municipality and CapeNature assist with some aspects of baboon management, residents and visitors can assist greatly by reducing access to potential food sources:

  • Keep your dustbins closed, sliding doors bolted and windows and doors shut, especially when leaving the house and/or when troops are in the vicinity.
  • If you want to keep windows open, install burglar bars with gaps smaller than 8 cm.
  • Do not leave pet food outside.
  • Do not feed wild birds and animals on the property, as this often attracts baboons.
  • Do not plant fruit trees, or vegetable gardens or make compost heaps unless they can be caged in or surrounded by electric fencing.

For mitigating measures to be most effective, all residents in baboon-visited neighbourhoods should make a concerted effort to ensure there is no easy access to food – as baboons are more likely to move on if there is nothing for them to eat.

Residents suspecting that a particular baboon or troop is a significant problem are encouraged to photograph and record incidents of destructive and dangerous behaviour, as well as any details of distinguishing features that would make identification of problem baboons easier. Such information can be emailed to the address below. If proven data of a particular problem individual exisst, baboon management measures may include euthanasia as a last resort.

George Municipality Baboon Management: 044 801 6350 (office hours) and 044 801 6300 (after hours) and sprins@george.gov.za

For advice on mitigating measures contact CapeNature Conservation Services on 044 802 5300 or https://www.capenature.co.za/

 

 

 

 

THEMBALETHU BRIDGE UPGRADE MAKING STEADY PROGRESS

Issued on behalf of SANRAL
 
Western Cape, 21 October 2022 – Progress on the construction of the Thembalethu Bridge in George is steadily gaining momentum, with 31 local labourers actively working on site and around 20% of the work already being completed.
 
The scope of works involves the widening of the Thembalethu Bridge across the N2 from a single carriageway to accommodate two lanes in each direction, with additional turning lanes as well as extra space for pedestrians and cyclists.
 
This is a joint project with the George Municipality and is directly geared to contribute to economic development of the Southern Cape, through local labour and project participation opportunities for small businesses.
 
“We are however concerned about road safety, not only with regard to pedestrians cutting across the construction site, but overall pedestrian behaviour, particularly for learners of Mzoxolo Primary School situated at the interchange. We will be engaging the school to facilitate a road safety education engagement with the learners,” said Petronella Theron, SANRAL Project Manager.
 
“Notwithstanding challenges of economic inclusion for as many subcontractors as possible, we continue to make strides in breaking down monopolies and prioritising meaningful transformation in the sector,“ said Theron
 
Bongani Tonisi of Creamillion (Pty) Ltd, a local construction company in George, who attended the information sessions that were held in various communities in George, and fiercely interrogated the processes and opportunities, was one of the subcontractors who successfully tendered and was awarded a package to supply truck tippers to the main contractor. “We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project, and we look forward to seeing what more can be done to pave the way for small contractors to grow and develop,” said Tonisi.
 
As the second round of tender packages nears completion, the Project Liaison Committee (PLC) remains ever vigilant and present, to ensure fair practices and also to communicate opportunities for project participation to the various communities they represent.
 
Capacity development of SMMEs remain high on the agenda and through its Transformation Unit, SANRAL is determined to reach 48 000 SMMEs over the next three years. ACS/Tjeka JV has been appointed to facilitate training with interested and qualifying businesses.
 
To qualify for the training, applicants need to meet the following criteria:
• Be a registered company;
• Have a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading of 1-4CE;
• Be tax compliant;
• Must be 50% black-owned and
• Registered on the central supplier database (CSD)
 
Trainees will undergo 15 days of intensive tutoring, followed by assessments. They will receive CETA-approved certificates. Business owners will also be able to nominate an employee to attend.
 
//Ends
 
Issued on behalf of SANRAL by FTI Consulting.

MAYOR LEON VAN WYK VISITED THE COMPLETED UPGRADE OF AIRWAY ROAD

Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Leon van Wyk, accompanied by the Portfolio Councillor for Civil Engineering Services: Capital Projects & BFI, Jacqulique Von Brandis, visited the recently completed upgrading of Airway Road.

“We would like to thank the public for their patience and consideration in allowing the contractor to finalise the required work,” said Mayor van Wyk. “These infrastructure rehabilitation projects are important in terms of the maintenance of our roads, improving safety and extending the useful life of municipal infrastructure.”

According to Ricus Fivaz, Manager for Land Development at the George Municipality’s Civil Engineering Services Directorate, this rehabilitation project was prioritized in terms of the Road Pavement Management System, and the implementation of the construction was accelerated when funding became available to execute this priority upgrade.  

The work comprised the rehabilitation of 685m of Airway Road and entailed the milling of the existing bituminous surface layers and gravel base layers, whereafter a new cold in-situ recycled subbase layer, new bituminous base and surface layers were constructed. In the process, several kerbs and existing services were also replaced.  In addition, the entry and exit radii and associated layer works of three roundabouts, between Meent Street and Plattner Boulevard, in Heather Park were improved to allow for better traffic flow and safety.

TABATA STREETS UPGRADES

Phase 1 of the upgrading and improvement of Tabata Street was completed at the beginning of 2022, and phase 2 commenced in June 2022 and is set for completion in January to early February 2023.  The current work on phase 2 is progressing very well and the Municipality would like to use this opportunity to thank the community of Thembalethu (especially zones 12, 13 & 15) and all role players for their cooperation, patience, and support.

Once completed the improvements to this main arterial through Zones 12, 13 and 15 will most certainly improve the experience of road users, pedestrians, and the lives of residents.  The Municipality has applied for additional grant funding to complete the upgrading of Tabata Street up to the Tabata Street/Nelson Mandela Boulevard southern intersection. This will most probably be implemented in two phases, subject to the securing of the required funding.

GOLF STREET

Unfortunately, the equally important upgrading of Golf Street has been delayed due to a lack of available funding but is currently the highest priority on the list of roads for upgrading are concerned. Should the Municipality’s application for additional grant funding be successful this project will proceed to construction as soon as possible. In the interim various minor and temporary improvements are implemented on an ongoing basis to ensure a determined level of service is maintained

Please watch Mayor van Wyk’s visit to Airway Road: https://youtu.be/KsgNXBJ3uJE

Uniondale EMS Wellness Day

A number of George Municipal departments attended the Garden Route Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Annual Wellness Day on Friday 19 October 2022 held at the Uniondale Sports grounds.

Various stakeholders such as Uniondale SAPS, Department of Correctional Services (Uniondale), Bethesda, EMS Garden Route and Central Karoo District, Uniondale Working on Fire, Cape Nature, Uniep and Uniondale Elderly Club all participated at this event. Ward 25 Councillor Jarques Esau opened the proceedings.

The program consisted of a variety of sports codes involving government officials in the various districts who participated in swimming, cycling, netball, and tug of war, sprinting relay, volleyball, Cricket, passing the ball and much more.

UPGRADE OF THE MEUL SEWAGE PUMP STATION IS IN FULL SWING

The Meul sewage pump station, one of George’s most critical pump stations, which has in recent years experienced frequent and costly breakdowns that threaten the integrity of the sewage system it serves and the surrounding environment, is currently being upgraded.

According to the George Municipality’s Civil Engineering Services (CES) Department, the current upgrade will provide more energy-efficient pumps with higher capacity that meet future flow needs, as well as provide additional reliability by adding an emergency power generator to keep the installation operational during load shedding, amongst other critical upgrades. This upgrade comprises three main components: civil engineering construction, mechanical refurbishment and upgrading, and a new electrical and control installation.

The Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Leon van Wyk was accompanied by the Portfolio Councillor for the Civil Engineering Services: Capital Projects & BFI, Jacqulique Von Brandis recently visited the site to see the progress that has been made so far.

“We have come to visit one of the three pump stations in George, the Meul pump station. The work that is being carried out is more than refurbishing, it’s a total rebuild of this pump station,” said Mayor van Wyk. “These pump stations are 1975 vintages and they have reached the end of their life span; hence we welcome the rehabilitation and rebuilding that is now taking place. Thanks to the National Treasury’s Budget Facility Infrastructure (BFI) award to George last year which makes this upgrade a reality.”

The contract value for the phase 1 upgrade is approximately R31.67 million and this first phase of the upgrade is expected to be completed in the next 12 months. The CES department further confirmed that civil construction is underway while the contractor already possesses the procured generator and pumps. The pump station requires refurbishment to rehabilitate the current equipment as well as upgrading to provide sufficient capacity.

“The civil engineering upgrades entail repairs to the pump station that includes the refurbishment of the internal of the pump station, a new Motor Control Centre (MCC) room, a generator room and permanent backup generator, and a new valve chamber to the rising main and sump modifications,” said Gerard de Swardt, a project manager in the Civil Engineering Services directorate.

The mechanical component includes new pumps, pipework, valves, screens and equipment, while the electrical upgrade comprises electronic and instrumentation refurbishment and new bulk electrical works, a new motor control centre, a permanent standby generator, instrumentation and related cables.

Phase 2 of the upgrade will follow shortly after the completion of the phase one contract and will include mechanical equipment at the inlet works to remove screenings and grit automatically, and the replacement of a portion of the rising main. Site access and security will also be improved as part of the upgrade.

To Watch the Executive Mayor’s visit to the Meul Sewage Pump Station, please follow this link: https://youtu.be/3MVDtj3t9ig

 

 

ENDS.

 

York Street Upgrade switching to Southbound lanes

Link to Video Ald Van Wyk reviewing York Street upgrade progress https://youtu.be/o5duhWd78wA

Ald Van Wyk and Portfolio Councillor for Civil Engineering Services: Capital Projects Jackie Von Brandis last week paid a visit to York Street for an update on the nearly complete northbound lanes.
The works on the southbound lanes are due to start this week. The section in question is located between Nelson Mandela Boulevard in the south and Courtenay Street in the north and will include the repair of kerbs and stormwater repairs.

Funding is received from the Western Cape Provincial Government for the upgrading and maintenance of Proclaimed Roads which includes CJ Langehoven (already completed) and York Street  must be fully spent by 31 December. As far as is possible major construction work is scheduled annually for completion by December , or for commencement in January of the next year. George is a major tourist and holiday destination, and the annual December-January peak holiday season is also the peak economic season for many businesses in George, both big and small . Apart from its abundant natural attractions, George’s main attraction is also its excellent services and infrastructure. These road upgrades will significantly improve the main accesses to George, as well as other well-travelled routes.

Traffic congestion can be expected and there will be height differences between the two lanes while milling and asphalt construction work is in progress. Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians must please  exercise extreme caution, especially during wet conditions and when visibility is poor and at night. Vehicles with low profile tyres and motorcyclists must take extra care. For the duration of the construction period, Traffic officials and/or point duty officers will be utilized during peak hours where possible to try and assist with traffic flow.

PROJECT ENQUIRIES: iX Engineers – 084 653 2220

HOW TO AVOID NUISANCE TRIPPING AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR APPLIANCES DURING LOAD SHEDDING

Load Shedding has become a regular occurrence in South Africa. Apart from its negative effect of power outages, it has an enormous impact on consumers and businesses as it is more likely to cause damage to appliances brought on by power surges and dips.

When the Load Shedding stages increase, so do the frequency of the rotational power cuts, which in turn results in an increased risk of damage to sensitive electronic items due to power surges, fire, and criminal vandalism.

REDUCE NUISANCE TRIPPING

George Municipality strongly encourages residents to reduce the risk and occurrence of nuisance tripping by switching off equipment such as geysers, television decoders, microwave ovens, and swimming pool filters BEFORE a scheduled Load-shedding takes place. Also take care to shut down all electronic equipment such as computers and laptops, unplug cell phone chargers and leave one light on to indicate the return of the supply. The strong surge of power coming back can easily damage sensitive electronic equipment.

Nuisance tripping is another issue that sometimes occurs as the technical staff are in the process of restoring the power supply. This is when the power supply is restored to an area and fails to come back on in some parts. When the electrical connection is restored by Eskom, the start-up load on a transformer might exceed the capacity of the network, causing the circuit breaker to trip. We are only able to reset the circuit breaker once the peak load is reduced.

DAMAGE TO ELECTRICITY NETWORKS

Continuous bouts of load shedding are affecting our electricity networks, especially from stages 4 and above. While our normal peak usage is at 85 MVA, this can shoot up to 110 MVA when the power is returned after load shedding which negatively impacts on the network. This results in trips or faults occurring which require our maintenance teams to effect repairs often during the night.

DANGERS OF FIRE

George has recently experienced fires at domestic and business premises that could possibly be associated with periods of load shedding. Additional care and safety measures should therefore be taken with appliances connected to the circuits.
Fire Safety Equipment requirements, please contact 044 801 6300.

  • Building Control can be contacted on 044 801 9176 with any queries about structural integrity, hazardous materials and a valid Certificate of Occupation.
  • Electrical related compliance please contact 044 801 9222.

Apart from load shedding, the George Municipality continues to assure residents and businesses that the service departments are constantly busy dealing with repairs, maintenance and laudably getting to planned preventative maintenance.

Mayor’s Newsletter for George Herald on 20 October 2022

Recently there have been queries about whether sufficient maintenance was being done to our infrastructure. Residents can be assured that the service departments are constantly busy dealing with repairs, maintenance and laudably getting to planned preventative maintenance.

A few weeks ago, a communique went out about the progress being made on upgrading the bulk sewer mains in Wards 11 and 15 in Thembalethu that will allow for the decommissioning of an old sewer pump station while also catering for increased capacity and future housing developments. In the past week, while planned maintenance was being undertaken on a water pipeline in Zone 9, Thembalethu, an unexpected problem occurred while working in difficult conditions resulting in the repair becoming complex and residents experiencing a shortage of water. These are but two examples of work that takes place daily across George.

There is a planned strategy to deal with the maintenance of our electricity networks whereby high-impact equipment has received attention over the past year, with work progressively moving to the medium voltage networks for protection and preventative maintenance. Scheduled maintenance outages are regularly taking place in various parts of George to deal with identified defects.

Continuous bouts of load shedding are affecting our electricity networks, especially from stages 4 and above. While our normal peak usage is at 85 MVA, this can shoot up to 110 MVA when the power is returned after load shedding which negatively impacts on the network. This results in trips or faults occurring requiring maintenance teams to effect repairs often during the night.

Our communications to customers have highlighted the need to switch off appliances during load shedding and only to switch on progressively thereafter to minimise the load factor referred to and damage to installations. We have recently experienced fires at domestic and business premises that appear to be associated with periods of load shedding. Additional care and safety measures should therefore be taken with appliances connected to the circuits.

Recent news reports refer to challenges with water supplies being experienced in the Gauteng cities. Over the past two years, our focus has been to ensure that improvements to and maintenance of infrastructure receive attention. On an ongoing basis, we will be continuing to assess the risks, make forward plans and increase access to data for decision-making purposes.

As our electricity supply woes continue, we are meeting regularly to explore ways in which we can accelerate access to renewable energy sources to provide relief to our business and domestic consumers. We are fully aware of the tough conditions being experienced by businesses that are trying to maintain operation and production levels. Research is ongoing to find technical and financial solutions that will comply with the legal framework within which we operate.

Alderman L van Wyk

Executive Mayor of George

DFFE APPROVED JUST OVER R 18 MILLION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTEGRATED WASTE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION IN GEORGE

The George Municipality is pleased to announce that the Department of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries (DFFE) which is responsible for protecting, conserving, and improving the country’s environment and natural resources, has recently approved just over R 18 million for the establishment of an integrated waste management solution for George.

This funding will be steered towards the construction of the composting facility over a multiyear time frame (22/23, 23/24). The composting facility project was approved in line with the National Government’s Operation Phakisa, an initiative that was designed to fast-track the implementation of solutions to critical development issues. Operation Phakisa is an innovative and pioneering approach to translating detailed plans into concrete results through dedicated delivery and collaboration. “Phakisa” means “hurry up” in Sesotho and the application of this methodology highlights the government’s urgency to deliver.  It plays a crucial role in accelerating the delivery of some of the development priorities.

According to the acting director for the George Municipality’s Community Services, Sivuyile Mtila, this project consists of the construction of platform 1 which includes access roads, platform 2, a Retention Pond, Ancillary infrastructure, a new dry recycling facility, upgrades to the transfer station, project Management and administration, design and supervision of construction works and upgrades to the transfer station

“The project is not listed on the George Municipality’s budget but is managed by the DFFE,” said Mtila. “This means that the department will also undertake the supply chain management process in collaboration with the George Municipality, to source a suitably qualified consulting engineering firm in accordance with the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) conditions of contract for plant and design-build and engineering works as the contractor for the design-build of an integrated waste management facility inclusive of a composting facility, dry recyclables facility and ancillary infrastructure.”

 

Ends.

Youth Stakeholders Forum Established

Youth Stakeholders Forum Established
Issued George Mun, 19 October 2022 for immediate release

The Youth Development section of George Municipality held a Youth Summit recently with various stakeholders from within the George Municipal area to take the youth agenda forward and a Youth Stakeholder’s Forum has been established. In future, the forum will provide the necessary platform for networking, growth and stronger partnerships.

 

A Youth Directory has been developed and will remain a working document as details of more organisations will be added. Jonel Kerspuy, Coordinator of the Youth Development section at the Municipality invites more organisations, that are working with young people, to make contact with them at (044) 802 2000.

 

Discussions took place under the following Commissions: Education/ Training and Skills Development, Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, Health and well-being, Social Cohesion and National well-being, Sport and Recreation, Media and Arts and Government Services.

 

Various stakeholders were in attendance, with Councillors Melvin Roelfse, Thandiswa Qatana and Marais Kruger giving messages of support at the George Civic Centre where the summit was held. Dr Zille North from the Department of Health informed the plenary about the Planet Youth programme, with support provided by the Department of Social Development and Education. The Various stakeholders were able to share the valuable work that they are doing within the community of George. In the photo are some of the stakeholders attending the summit.