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GO GEORGE appeals to passengers to stay cautious

GO GEORGE appeals to passengers to stay cautious
Issued 26 Oct 2020

With a 196% increase in Covid-19 cases in the Garden Route in recent weeks, GO GEORGE is making an urgent appeal to bus passengers to adhere to the Covid-19 safety regulations regarding public transport and not to drop their guard at this stage.
Garden Route District Director for Health, Zee Brickles, issued a statement last week announcing the rise in infections, cautioning about a possible second wave.
“It has been seven long months of lockdown and the natural reaction to the easing up of these restrictions are to catch up on all that we have missed out on over the past months but we can’t become complacent now. It has always been feared that when the lockdown restrictions ease up, the infection rate would increase,” Brickles said.
No mask, no entry
According to James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager, the relaxed vigilance of bus passengers has also been noticeable ever since Level 1 of the lockdown had been announced. “Passengers either attempt to board the bus without masks, or they take them off once they’re seated. Very few wear the mask over their mouth as well as nose, which is crucial for effective protection,” he said. “We appeal to them to act responsibly, for their own sake as well as that of co-passengers and bus drivers. A passenger without a mask will not be allowed on a GO GEORGE bus and should not reason with our bus drivers about that.”
GO GEORGE has embarked on a campaign to encourage passengers to remain alert and to get their cooperation in keeping to the basic safety measures, emphasising the wearing of a mask in a proper way, sanitising and washing hands, keeping a safe distance, keeping the bus windows open and not travelling on the bus unnecessarily or when sick, and coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow.
GO GEORGE passenger service staff are engaging with passengers at bus stops, the Transport Hub and on the buses to remind them of the importance of continued adherence to the safety measures. Supportive media campaigns have also been employed to enhance the message: The pandemic is not over yet – stay vigilant!
GO GEORGE champion Dieketseng Mosesane (right) demonstrates to Dorette Salmans how to use the on-board sanitiser pump when she boards the bus. Champions currently also emphasise the importance of wearing a face mask in the proper way, covering the wearer’s nose as well.

GO GEORGE doen ‘n beroep op passasiers om versigtig te bly
Uitgereik 26 Okt 2020

Met ‘n 196%-toename in Covid-19-gevalle in die Tuinroete die afgelope weke, doen GO GEORGE ‘n dringende beroep op buspassasiers om aan die Covid-19-veiligheidsregulasies rakende openbare vervoer gehoor te gee en nie in hierdie stadium hul waaksaamheid te verslap nie.
Die Garden Route-distriksmunisipaliteit se direkteur van gesondheid, Zee Brickles, het verlede week ‘n verklaring uitgereik oor die styging in infeksies met ‘n waarskuwing oor ‘n moontlike tweede golf.
“Dit was sewe lang maande van inperking en die natuurlike reaksie op die verligting van hierdie beperkings is om alles in te haal wat ons die afgelope maande misgeloop het, maar ons kan nie nou gerus word nie. Die vrees was nog altyd daar dat wanneer die inperkings verslap word, die infeksiekoers sal toeneem,” het Brickles gesê.
Geen masker, geen toegang
Volgens James Robb, GO GEORGE-bestuurder, is die verslapte waaksaamheid van buspassasiers ook opvallend sedert vlak 1 van die inperking aangekondig is. “Passasiers probeer óf om sonder maskers op die bus te klim, óf hulle haal dit af sodra hulle gaan sit. Baie min dra die masker oor hul mond asook neus, wat noodsaaklik is vir doeltreffende beskerming,” het hy gesê. “Ons doen ‘n beroep op hulle om verantwoordelik op te tree, vir hul eie onthalwe asook dié van medepassasiers en busbestuurders. ‘n Passasier sonder ‘n masker sal nie op ‘n GO GEORGE-bus toegelaat word nie en moenie met ons busbestuurders daaroor redeneer nie.”
GO GEORGE het begin met ‘n veldtog om passasiers aan te moedig om steeds waaksaam te bly en hul samewerking te kry met die basiese veiligheidsmaatreëls: die dra van ‘n masker op die regte manier, ontsmetting en was van hande, ‘n veilige afstand tussen mense, die oophou van busvensters, om nie onnodig of wanneer jy siek is bus te ry nie, en in ‘n gebuigde elmboog te hoes en te nies.
GO GEORGE-passasiersdienspersoneel praat met passasiers by bushaltes, die vervoerkern (Hub) en op die busse om hulle te herinner aan die belangrikheid van voortgesette nakoming van die veiligheidsmaatreëls. Ondersteunende mediaveldtogte word ook gebruik om die boodskap te versterk: Die pandemie is nog nie verby nie – bly waaksaam!
GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeampte Dieketseng Mosesane (regs) demonstreer aan Dorette Salmans hoe om die reinigerpompie in die bus te gebruik wanneer sy opklim. Passasiersdienspersoneel beklemtoon tans ook die belangrikheid daarvan om ‘n gesigmasker op die regte manier te dra, wat ook die draer se neus bedek.

George Municipality celebrated Global Handwashing Day at Klouter Kabouter

George Municipality celebrated Global Handwashing Day at Klouter Kabouter

Captions: wash 1 – Willbedine Jordaan from Community Development demonstrates to the children at Klouter Kabouter how to wash their hands.

Wash2: Rub, rub, rub and wash, wash, wash your hands with soap and water to prevent diseases and be healthy.

Text: The George Municipality Community Development section celebrated Global Handwashing Day on 15 October 2020 at Klouter Kabouter creche in New Dawn Park, Pacaltsdorp.
Willbedine Jordaan from the section had a short information session with the children followed by a demonstration on the correct way of washing your hands. Each child of the 75 children, was given the opportunity to wash their hands the correct way and had their own bucket and hand towel. All the children are from two to six years old.
Each child also received a colouring-in picture depicting a boy washing his hands. Afterwards the each child also received a surprise packet to enjoy at home.
Jordaan said they promoted handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
Dinah Maart, the principal at the crèche, were very happy with the initiative of the Municipality and thanked the team for choosing Klouter Kabouter for this significant day.

Mayor extends good wishes to matrics 2020

George Municipality Executive Mayor Alderman Leon van Wyk extends the following message to matrics 2020, whose exams start next week, 5 November 2020:
“The George Municipality wishes the Matrics of 2020 a successful final examinations period.

Because of Covid-19, you have experienced one of the most extraordinary years in school history and we commend you for the effort you have put in despite the challenges.

We keep you in our thoughts in the coming weeks, and urge you to prepare adequately and with your future in mind. No matter your plans, your matric results will be the first step into whatever opportunities you want to explore.

I thank all educators, parents and individuals who have added value to our children’s lives. Your efforts are recognised and appreciated, especially in light of this unusual year and its many trials.

I am certain that our matrics will make us proud in future – not only because of your academic results but also because of the meaningful contribution you will one day make in society.

Good luck with your exams and enjoy the holiday that awaits you on the other side.

Remember always to believe in your future, that dreams can come true, and that George will always be home.”

George Municipality Executive Mayor Alderman Leon van Wyk:


Distributed by George Municipality Communication Department


During the Covid-19 crisis period, contact details and office hours of some services may differ from the usual operations. Please see below.

Please note access to all municipal offices by members of the public is subject to Covid-19 protocols which include registration, sanitising of hands and wearing a face mask at all times.

Depending on the size of foyers and reception areas, the number of people allowed into a specific department or section may differ and you will be advised accordingly upon arrival. We kindly request the public to be patient and allow for extra waiting time.

If possible, please do transactions online, per telephone or via email to avoid coming to the municipality in person and helping to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Latest update: 19 October 2020

Depending on requirements of a specific department, staff are working on rotation or from home, and some administrative offices remain closed to the public. 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 now open to the public during office hours 7.45am-4.30pm

Fire emergencies only: 044 801 6311 (all hours)
Law Enforcement: 044 801 6350
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

If your Learners’ Driving Licence expires before 31 January 2021, please book your Driving Licence Test as soon as possible. The department is open for new appointments for learner’s licences as per usual rules (see Driving and Learners Licence section on website for details).

If you have received an SMS confirming your new Driving Licence is ready for collection, you can collect at the Pacaltsdorp offices on the times listed above or, if your confirmation SMS indicates a Saturday collection opportunity, on Saturday from 9am-12pm. Bring your ID document and show the SMS to the official at the entrance.

Please be reminded that learner’s licences, driving licences, temporary driver’s licences and professional driving permits which expired during initial lockdown (26 March-31 May), have been extended until 31 January 2020.

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.

Vehicle Testing Station
Hibernia Street (next to train station) 044 801 9312.
Open to public Monday to Friday 8am-3pm

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.

Please note that motor trade number licences are valid until 30 November 2020.

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. Offices are fully staffed and bulk transactions are being handled after-hours. Pregnant women, the elderly and disabled can pre-arrange preferential treatment by calling 044 801 9310.

Please note access to premises for Motor Vehicle Licence Centre and Vehicle Testing Station is regulated at the gate from the street.

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
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 ABSA bank account (details below) and use the relevant vehicle licence number as a reference, eg. CAW ###### / Private number ##### WP
8. ABSA Cheque Account number: George Municipality, Cheque Account 01022220981 (Branch Code 632005)9. Email the proof of payment to or AND
10. 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.
11. Once payment reflects on the municipality’s bank statement, the vehicle licence will be processed, and the new disk will be posted to your registered address. Please do not collect from the MVR offices unless pre-arranged and notified via SMS.

Services continue as usual, but administration offices (old City Hall) and Customer Services (old ABSA building) remain closed to the public.

Phone 044 801 9354 or 044 801 9262 for an (preferably online) appointment or to obtain the email address of the relevant staff member you want to connect with.

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

Services continue as usual and the administration offices are open to the public weekdays 7.45 – 4.30pm.
Two people are allowed in the foyer at any given time and no members of the public will be allowed into offices.

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, open to the public weekdays 7.45am-4.30pm.
Two people are allowed in the foyer at any given time and no members of the public will be allowed into offices.

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 or
Uncollected GREEN and BLUE bags: 044 802 2900/
Environmental Health:
Transfer Station:

Households may put out seven black, 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.

Blue and green bags are collected on the same day as black bag refuse removal but not at the same time. A separate trip is made for the collection of the blue bags.
Participating households will receive two blue and two green replacement bags.
Households or businesses that are actively recycling and require additional green or blue bags, can collect from the municipality Environmental Services department at the address below.

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

George Municipality Environmental Services
82 Meade Street, George. Phone 044 802 2900

Landfill Site and Transfer Station, Airport Road, open to public weekdays 7am-5pm 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. The municipality appeals to communities to remain safe and not dump illegal waste, which can be hazardous to their health.

Attendance of funerals 68. (1) Attendance at a funeral is limited to 100 persons or less: Provided that not more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue is used, with persons observing a distance of least one and a half metres from each other. (2) Night vigils are not allowed. (3) During a funeral, a person must wear a face mask and adhere to all health protocols and social distancing measures.

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

Sport Federations to contact Sport Office (Cathedral Street) on 044 801 9488 to arrange for safe return to facilities as per prescribed Covid-19 regulations per sport code. Pre-arranged appointments only on weekdays 7.45am-4.30pm. or

Community Development offices behind the Main Building are open for pre-arranged appointments only, on weekdays 7.45am-4.30pm. 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 open to the public by appointment only, weekdays 7.45am-4.30pm. 044 802 2010 or or emergencies to Gavin Esau 072 070 7234.

All libraries, except Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp, are open but with reduced hours and strict Covid-19 protocols in place. George Main Library is open to members by appointment only, while smaller community libraries can receive ‘walk-ins’ as per capacity allowed. Please call your library to book your visit or, in case of community libraries, to check if you can just drop in during opening times.

Library materials handed in will be quarantined for 72 hours as per national and Western Cape safety standards and plastic covered materials wiped with sanitiser before being made available for loan.

Services are limited as follows:
Issue and return of books.
Ten books per library member for lending period of a month at a time.
Admittance to adults and children older than 12.
Research and reference services arranged by phone and/or email.
Internet services – preference given to pre-booked patrons, maximum two people at any given time.
Study area limited in compliance with regulations.
Wearing of masks and sanitising of hands are compulsory.
Your temperature will be taken before entering the library area, no admittance if it is 37.5C and higher.

Avontuur Library: 044 752 3351 – Monday 12pm-3pm, Tuesday 11am-2pm, Wednesday and Thursday 10am-1pm.
Blanco Library: 044 870 7047 – Monday to Friday 9am-4pm
Conville Library: 044 801 9320 – Monday 9am-4pm
George Library: 044 8019288 – Monday to Friday 9am-4pm, Saturday 9am-12pm
Haarlem Library: 044 763 1023 – Monday, Thursday and Friday 2pm-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday 2pm-5pm
Noll Library: 044 745 1014 – Monday and Wednesday 12pm-3pm, Saturday 9am-12pm
Pacaltsdorp Library: 044 803 9340 – closed until further notice
Thembalethu Library: 044 803 9260 – closed until further notice
Touwsranten Library: 044 803 9285 – Monday to Friday 9am-4pm
Uniondale Library: 044 752 1024 – Tuesday and Thursday 9am-2pm
Waboomskraal Library: – Monday to Friday 10am-2pm

Corporate Services administration offices, Area offices and Thusong Service Centres are open to the public weekdays 7.45am-4.30pm Covid-19 protocols are in place, and thresholds apply as to how many people are allowed in to each applicable building.

Blanco: 044 803 9275
Conville: 044 803 9261
Pacaltsdorp: 044 803 9286
Protea Park: 044 801 9111 ask for extension 2796
New Dawn Park: 044 801 9111 ask for extension 2797
Rosedale: 044 803 9295
Rosemoor: 044 801 9379
Touwsranten/Wilderness/Kleinkrantz: 044 803 9280
Thembalethu: 044 801 9448
Waboomskraal Thusong Centre: 044 886 0040
Thembalethu Thusong Centre: 044 801 9421

Community Halls have opened to the public (subject to prescribed regulations) and venue bookings can be made by contacting Rozendra Thysse: Email: or 044 801 9115. Please note the main Town Hall remains closed due to maintenance and repairs for the moment.

Human Settlements administration offices are open to the public weekdays from 8am – 2pm. Covid-19 protocols are in place and only two people are allowed into the foyer at any given time.

For basic services (water and sanitation) queries and complaints in informal settlements please contact 044 802 2026.
For assistance with emergency structures following disaster (fire, flooding etc), please phone 044 802 2029.
Queries and complaints for water leakages (indigent cases) can be reported at the office on above times, but preferably by phone on 044 801 9210/9994 or email:

Existing Housing Offices
Existing Housing offices are open to the public weekdays 8am-2pm.
Covid-19 protocols are in place and only two people are allowed into the foyer at any given time.
Enquiries: 044 801 9113 or 044 801 9078

New Housing
New Housing Department (St Johns Street) offices are open to the public weekdays 8am-2pm.
Covid-19 protocols are in place and only two people are allowed into the foyer at any given time.
Please note only the person making the enquiry will be allowed access.
There may be a waiting period and/or the person can leave their contact details and enquiry on the form provided at the security point where after an official will make contact.
Enquiries: 044 802 2003

Town Planning (fifth floor of the main building) is now open Monday to Thursday 8am-12pm.
Only two people are allowed in the foyer at any given time and a waiting period outside the main entrance downstairs may apply if you arrive without having made an appointment. You can also leave your contact details with the administration officer who will contact you when an official is available.

Persons will be assisted at the front desk of the fifth-floor reception and will only be allowed into the back office under strict conditions.

The department will not accept any hard copy documents from the public. All documents must still be submitted electronically.

The present online services will continue to be rendered by the department under Lockdown Level 1. The officials can still 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

Online building plans
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:
Fuzi Siguba: 060 578 9239
Jacques van Heerden: 065 285 7233
James Vollenhoven: 076 823 0412
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
Business queries: 079 366 2621
Other queries: 044 801 2820 / 073 621 0099

IDP Office
Ronel Le Fleur: 044 801 9075 / 071 870 7887

Ward committee operations
Paulina Saaiman: 044 801 9074 / 060 579 6829

George Tourism
044 801 9295

The Finance Hall in the Main Building is open to the public, weekdays from 8am – 3.30pm.
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

George Municipality Mobile App subscribers can still access new statement amounts by the 27th of each month. Download the App from your mobile Playstore – when you register the first time,
use your mobile phone number as the username and password (you can change the password once you are in).

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
While meter readings have resumed, customers are encouraged to submit their meter readings electronically via email by the 5th of each month to or or

Please include your GRG account number and date of reading.
If for some reason, meter readings could not have been performed and you have not made an electronic meter reading submission, estimations will be used to calculate related rates.

Bank Details for electronic payment
Account Name: George Municipality
Account Number: 010 2222 0981
Branch Code: 632005
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
Please provide your GRG account number with all enquiries.
to or 044 801 9111
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 weekdays 7.45am-4.30pm.
Enquiries: 044 801 9400

Ziyawamo Music Business Workshop in George

Ziyawamo Music Workshop is being held in George in collaboration with George Municipality.
According to Jonel Kerspuy from the George Municipality Youth Office, the workshop will concentrate on the business side of the music industry. Musicians, artists are usually very talented but lack the business skill to sell their music or make money with it, she said.
The workshop is meant to help musicians specifically with the ‘business’ of music, she said.
The workshop is FREE but limited to 50 people. We ask interested musicians to whatsapp 067 961 9211 or 062 378 3091 to register.
The workshop is being held at the Market Theatre, Doneraile Square (right next to the George Youth Café) on Friday, 30 October from 09h00 to 13h00.
Ikapa Lodumo Entertainment who will be presenting the Ziyawamo Music Workshop says they are proud to welcome back Redbull energy drink as their official beverage partner. Redbull has been part of #ZMW2020 since the first workshop in January.
Registration is officially open for the George leg of the #ZMW2020.
Mzura Khuse spokesperson for the company said “we are also more than excited with the level of support we have been receiving from George Youth office and have a 24 months partnership agreement, meaning we will bring more Arts programmes into this beautiful town and will do whatever within our power to assist them in developing their youth in creative space, not just music.

GO GEORGE passenger survey to be undertaken during Transport Month

GO GEORGE passenger survey to be undertaken during Transport Month

An independent GO GEORGE user survey to measure the socio-economic and funding impact of the public transport system will be conducted all over George from 19 October until 13 November 2020. According to James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager, the study will be compared with previous studies to determine the actual impact of the system in George.
“Feedback from our passengers has always been and will remain core to our planning and improvement of the system. We can plan and implement with all the data at our disposal, but we need to know whether we are meeting our communities’ needs and whether the bus service is improving quality of life and access to economic opportunities. That is what the George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN) is all about,” Robb said.
The planned survey is a continuation of an independent socio-economic study undertaken in George in 2018 and 2019 under the joint auspices of the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and the George Municipality. This was 10 years after a baseline study – including an economic efficiency assessment, macro-economic analysis and a socio-economic survey for the introduction of scheduled public transport services in George – had been undertaken. There was a need to measure it again in 2018, and to compare it with the previous studies to determine actual impact for future evaluation. This was followed up in 2019 and now again in 2020 with user surveys.

Independent trained surveyors with appropriate identification cards will be stationed at bus stops to conduct the survey by using a survey App. More information can be obtained by phoning the GO GEORGE Call Centre at 0800 044 044.

The independent team of surveyors was deployed at the Blanco terminus on Monday to ask GO GEORGE passengers’ opinion on their use and experience of the bus service. Here Mauchan Koelman (right) works through their questionnaire with Winnie Smith from Parkdene. Left is Zola Bityi, a GO GEORGE champion awaiting her turn to inform Winnie about the new schedule for mobile Smart Card vehicles.

GO GEORGE-passasiers se mening gevra gedurende Vervoermaand

‘n Onafhanklike GO GEORGE-gebruikersopname om die sosio-ekonomiese en befondsingsimpak van die openbare vervoerstelsel te meet, sal van 19 Oktober tot 13 November 2020 regoor George gedoen word. Volgens James Robb, GO GEORGE- bestuurder, sal die studie vergelyk word met vorige studies om die werklike impak van die stelsel in George te bepaal.

“Terugvoer van ons passasiers was nog altyd die kern van ons beplanning en verbetering van die stelsel. Ons kan beplan en implementeer met al die data tot ons beskikking, maar ons moet weet of ons aan ons gemeenskappe se behoeftes voldoen en of die busdiens lewensgehalte en toegang tot ekonomiese geleenthede verbeter. Dit is waaroor die George Geïntegreerde Openbare Vervoernetwerk (GIPTN) gaan,” het Robb gesê.

Die beplande opname is ‘n voortsetting van ‘n onafhanklike sosio-ekonomiese studie wat in 2018 en 2019 in George onderneem is onder die leiding van die Wes-Kaapse Departement van Vervoer en Openbare Werke en die George-munisipaliteit. Dit was 10 jaar nadat ‘n grondstudie – insluitende ‘n ekonomiese doeltreffendheidsbepaling, makro-ekonomiese analise en ‘n sosio-ekonomiese opname vir die instelling van geskeduleerde openbare vervoerdienste in George – onderneem is. Daar was ‘n behoefte om dit weer te meet in 2018 en om dit te vergelyk met die vorige studies om werklike impak vir toekomstige evaluering te bepaal. Dit is in 2019 en nou weer in 2020 opgevolg met gebruikersopnames.

Onafhanklike, opgeleide data-opnemers met toepaslike identifikasiekaarte sal by bushaltes geplaas word om die opname deur middel van ‘n opname-toepassing (app) te doen. Meer inligting kan verkry word deur die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044 te skakel.

Die onafhanklike span data-opnemers is Maandag by die Blanco-terminus ontplooi om GO GEORGE-passasiers se mening te vra oor hul gebruik en belewenis van die busdiens. Hier werk Mauchan Koelman (regs) deur hul vraelys met Winnie Smith van Parkdene. Links is Zola Bityi, ‘n GO GEORGE-passasiersbeampte wat haar beurt afwag om Winnie oor die nuwe skedule vir mobiele Slimkaartvoertuie in te lig.

Holiday bookings filling up quickly after Covid-19 tourism slump

After months of uncertainty and frustrations linked to the Covid-19 lockdown, things are looking up for local tourism as holiday season bookings for accommodation establishments in George and surrounds are filling up quickly.

George Tourism Manager Joan Shaw said its members in George, Wilderness and Uniondale had reported a significant increase in bookings over the past two weeks. “The phone in Wilderness Tourism office in particular has not stopped ringing and the establishments that are members of George Tourism in the village are already fully booked for December high season as per the Covid-19 capacity restrictions.
“We invite all accommodation and associated businesses to become members, free of charge, to take full advantage of the benefits that membership offers – and to let us know their capacity rates so we can send enquiries their way.

“The lockdown months have been really tough on tourism and related industries, but the recent surge in bookings are really encouraging and we anticipate a busier season than was initially anticipated. Local establishments are really excited about incoming visitors from all over the country and remain committed to uphold Covid-19 protocols to limit the spread of the virus.

“George and surrounds boast some of the most spectacular outdoor spots in the world that offer more than enough social distancing, fresh clean air and the friendliest people – albeit behind a mask and a sanitising bottle!

“After one of the most challenging years in recent history, everyone deserves a break – George Tourism is ready to receive you,” said Ms Shaw.

Tourism and related industries in George and surrounds, the Garden Route, Southern Cape and beyond are invited to become members as soon as possible to take advantage of the associated benefits. These include:
• Brochure placement at George Tourism information offices.
• Inclusion on the information lists that are distributed to potential tourists, tourism operators and trade.
• Lead and booking referrals generated at the George Tourism information offices in George, Wilderness and Uniondale as well as George Tourism social media platforms, its website, trade enquiries or other relevant platforms.
• Business listing on the George Tourism website.
• Events calendar listing where appropriate.
• Social media inclusion where appropriate and subject to editorial team.
• Access to networking opportunities.
• Destination marketing.
• Destination statistics.
• Tourism educational participation subject to selection.
• Trade show opportunities subject to selection.
• Official communications from Local Tourism Organisations (LTOs).
• Access to Tourism staff for advice and insights.

To become a member, please mail George Tourism on or or phone 044 801 9295.

Street name replacement programme underway

The George Municipality’s annual street name replacement programme is well underway. Among name boards recently replaced are the interconnecting streets in Caledon Street, which had been removed by the municipality prior to roadworks and replaced with a new type of street name plate, which will be used across the city to systematically standardise street names across the municipal area. This year’s street name replacement included boards for Pacaltsdorp, Conville, Borchards, Denneoord, Loeriepark, Parkdene, Rosemoor, Levallia and Blanco. The municipality is currently erecting street name boards in Uniondale and Haarlem.

Report street sign-related matters to 044 801 9262/6 during office hours.


GO GEORGE refines mobile schedule for Smart Card users

GO GEORGE refines mobile schedule for Smart Card users
Issued 13 Oct 2020

GO GEORGE has announced refinements to their current Smart Card mobile vehicle schedule to benefit passengers who are not within easy reach of fixed top-up facilities.
The Smart Card is currently the only means of payment for trips since the adoption of a no-cash policy in June this year as one of the bus service’s Covid-19 precautions. Passengers can top up their cards with trips at any of the fixed Smart Card kiosks or businesses/individuals registered as top-up vendors, or at one of the two Smart Card vehicles that travel and park around town on a fixed weekly schedule.
According to James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager, the uneven distribution of vendors in the various areas of town has prompted the revision of the mobile vehicle schedule. “We are currently engaged in a vendor recruitment campaign to address the needs of passengers in all areas but in the meantime, we have assessed the sales figures of all mobile locations and balancing that with areas with a low vendor footprint, we have come up with a schedule that we trust will serve passengers better.”
The new schedule will be implemented on Wednesday 21 October 2020.
Robb says passengers frequently ask when and whether the service will be returning to the option of cash as alternative to using the Smart Card. “Research results released just this week, indicate that the virus can survive for as long as 28 days on hard surfaces such as glass and metal as well as paper bank notes. It was previously thought that the survival period was much shorter. Therefore, we would much rather make plans to take the top-up service to our passengers than risking their health as well as that of our bus drivers who would have to handle the cash.”
The GO GEORGE communication champions will be distributing flyers with the new schedule from Wednesday 14 October. The flyers will also be available at all Smart Card kiosks and mobile vehicles, as well as the info kiosk at the Transport Hub. Passengers can also visit the GO GEORGE Facebook page for the mobile schedule and the latest bus-related news, the website, write an email to, or phone the Call Centre on 0800 044 044 to enquire about their closest mobile spot.

The Smart Card mobile vehicles are clearly branded and cannot be missed where they park for about three hours at a time to render service to passengers who do not have close access to other top-up points. The vehicles also sell Smart Cards.

GO GEORGE verfyn mobiele skedule vir Slimkaartgebruikers
Uitgereik 13 Okt 2020

GO GEORGE het verfynings aan hul huidige skedule vir mobiele Slimkaartvoertuie aangekondig om passasiers wat nie binne maklike bereik van vaste herlaaifasiliteite is nie, te akkommodeer.
Die Slimkaart is tans die enigste manier van betaling vir ritte sedert die aanvaarding van ‘n geen-kontantbeleid in Junie vanjaar as een van die busdiens se Covid-19-voorsorgmaatreëls. Passasiers kan hul kaarte met ritte herlaai by enige van die vaste Slimkaartkiosks of besighede / individue wat as herlaaipunte geregistreer is, of by een van die twee Slimkaartvoertuie wat deur die dorp rondbeweeg en parkeer volgens ‘n vaste weeklikse skedule.
Volgens James Robb, GO GEORGE-bestuurder, het die oneweredige verspreiding van herlaaipunte in die verskillende gebiede van die dorp die hersiening van die mobiele skedule genoodsaak. “Ons is tans besig met ‘n werwingsveldtog vir mense en sakeondernemings wat as herlaaipunte kan registreer, juis om die behoeftes van passasiers in alle gebiede aan te spreek. Intussen het ons die verkoopsyfers van alle mobiele parkeerplekke ontleed en opgeweeg teen gebiede met ‘n lae voetspoor van herlaaipunte, en ‘n nuwe skedule opgestel waarby ons werklik vertrou ons passasiers sal baat vind.”
Die nuwe skedule sal op Woensdag 21 Oktober 2020 geïmplementeer word.
Robb sê passasiers vra gereeld wanneer en of die diens sal terugkeer na die opsie van kontant as alternatief vir die gebruik van die Slimkaart. “Navorsingsresultate wat vandeesweek vrygestel is, dui aan dat die virus vir so lank as 28 dae op harde oppervlakke soos glas en metaal asook papierbanknote kan oorleef. Daar is voorheen gemeen dat die oorlewingstydperk baie korter is. Daarom sal ons eerder planne maak om die herlaaidiens na ons passasiers toe te neem as om hul gesondheid sowel as dié van ons busbestuurders wat die kontant sal moet hanteer, te waag.”
Die GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes sal vanaf Woensdag 14 Oktober pamflette met die nuwe skedule versprei. Die pamflette sal ook by alle Slimkaartkiosks en -mobiele voertuie beskikbaar wees, asook die inligtingskiosk by die Vervoerkern (Transport Hub). Passasiers kan ook die GO GEORGE Facebook-blad besoek vir die mobiele skedule en die nuutste busverwante nuus, na die webwerf gaan, ‘n e-pos skryf aan, of die inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044 skakel om navraag te doen oor hul naaste mobiele dienspunt.

Die Slimkaartvoertuie is duidelik gebrandmerk en kan nie misgekyk word waar hulle vir omtrent drie ure op ‘n slag parkeer om diens te lewer aan passasiers wat nie nabye toegang tot ander herlaaipunte het nie. Die voertuie verkoop ook Slimkaarte.

Garden Route Dam level heads towards new high

Excitement is growing as the Garden Route Dam is filling up towards its new capacity following the raising of the dam wall and completion of its new spillway last December (2019).

George Municipality Director Civil Engineering Regenald Wesso said the dam level had not risen above its previous capacity since the spillway project was completed, but recent abundant rainfall had filled the dam up relatively quickly and reached its ‘old’ 100 percent capacity today (7 October 2020). “Everything from here upwards is new territory and we are excited to see the real capacity of the dam – the expected additional capacity is 20% but will be confirmed with a new calibration in due course.”

The process of appointing a service provider to do the calibration is underway. In the meantime, locals are keeping a close eye on the rising dam level as more rain is expected this week and for the summer. The dam level has risen by more than 20% (from 78,76% to 100%) since the first week in September and 141,8mm rainfall has been recorded from 2 September until today.

The previous capacity of the dam was 10 million cubic metres. The new estimated capacity is 12,5 milion cubic metres.

It is unknown how quickly the additional dam capacity will fill up, especially taking into consideration that the ‘new’ top edge of the dam is wider and the incline flatter than before. “We are nonetheless grateful for a good rainy season and the additional capacity our dam will hold to support sustainable water management of our fast-growing city,” said Mr Wesso.

George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said although the current water situation was a great relief, the municipality remained mindful of the bigger picture and would continue to promote long-term water security.

“The city will continue to promote water saving and will not forget that our dam level had dropped to 41.21% during the height of the previous drought in September 2017. Water restrictions are expected to remain at its current Level 2B for the foreseeable future – restrictions promote a mindset change that is globally supported: drinkable water from a tap is a privilege that should be respected and is not guaranteed. Population growth, climate change and economic challenges are just some of the factors that will affect potable household water supply in all nations in the foreseeable future.

“While the George municipality understands that citizens feel it is their right to use the water they have helped save, national and global water issues are bigger than us. We have been blessed by rains and our dam is reaching new heights, but we must do the right thing and that is cultivating a permanent lifestyle of water conservation,” said Mr Botha.

The Garden Route Dam, photographed in January 2020 when the dam level was at 100% of the ‘old’ capacity. The duckbill-shaped spillway (foreground) and raised dam wall (right) were completed the month before. When the water spills over the cement spillway in the foreground, the dam will be considered 100% full at its ‘new’ capacity.

Update on UISP Project Thembalethu

The construction of the 700 top structures is in the final stage (Consolidation, Building of top structures) in Phase One of Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) in Thembalethu. This project was made possible by Western Cape Provincial funding with George Municipality acting as the agent.

Lawula and Marnol JV (Joint Venture) contractors were appointed for the construction of 603 of the 700 top structures in this project and Nokhanyo Services for the remaining 97 top structures in terms of the approved subsidy quantum. Twenty-five houses were handed over to proud owners in the past four weeks.
The Enhanced People’s Housing Process (EPHP) Housing Programme was the housing delivery programme implemented in this project. With the EPHP programme, beneficiaries are provided an opportunity to be involved in the planning with regards to their homes including the selection of which contractor they preferred. Houses either with or without a patio could be selected.

Phase One of the UISP commenced on 27th February 2017. A total of 638 houses have been built and handed over to date. Following the relaxation of the lockdown levels, the contractor and Marnol JV (Joint Venture) have commenced with the completion of the rest of the homes where the erven was previously utilised as a Temporary Relocation Area during the construction process.

There are a total of 62 houses which need to be built to bring Phase One of the UISP top structure project to a close. Once the construction of the 700 top structures is completed, no further work will be done except on those houses which are in the retention phase. The retention period is that in which defects can be reported, within three months after the house has been handed over and defects must be corrected by the responsible contractor.

Soup kitchens continue to feed communities

The George Municipality continues to feed communities through its longstanding soup kitchens programme.

The 137 soup kitchens, which operate from private homes in vulnerable communities across the municipal area, were the backbone of feeding programmes throughout the height of the Covid-19 lockdown period, serving up to 22 000 meals twice a day.

George Municipality Director Community Services Walter Hendricks said the soup kitchen programme had recently returned to its normal operations. “We currently serve 8000 meals a week to mostly children and the elderly three times a week. Covid-19 protocols remain in place at soup kitchens for as long as is necessary.

“The ongoing success of the municipality feeding scheme is proof of the extraordinary people who work and live here – from dedicated staff who run the day-to-day logistics to the people who selflessly host soup kitchens in their homes and volunteers who serve there every day, no matter the circumstances.

“The support from individuals, businesses and NGOs who had generously donated food during lockdown will always be remembered and we thank them again for their role in feeding our people. Individuals and organisations that want to continue supporting soup kitchens can drop off food and supplies at the municipality’s Community Development offices or phone the number below.”

Soup kitchen enquiries: 044 802 2000

Food and supplies donation deliveries to:
George Municipality Community Development offices (8am-4pm)
c/o Varing and St Johns Streets (diagonally behind main building)


Olivia Swiegelaar serves food at the municipal soup kitchen in Wilderness Heights which she and her partner Colin Wildemans run from their home.


Illegal dumping causes flooding

The heavy rainfall experienced this week and that which is expected this weekend in the George area raises the ongoing complication our Civil Engineering Services directorate has to deal with – that is the illegal dumping of material into stormwater drains. Overflowing storm water drains are generally found to be blocked by illegal materials and rubbish dumped directly into the drain causing damage and flooding down the line.

Please help reduce blocked drains and how to report illegal dumping:
One of the main reasons for blocked drains and sewerage spills is the wrong stuff being flushed down toilets or thrown into manholes. Items that should not be flushed down toilets include baby nappies, sanitary pads and tampons, newspaper, cloth and fabric, fatty food or fat. Regular items that municipal staff have to clear from manholes include branches, tyres, rocks, mattresses and other solid items which are suspected to be dropped in there by mainly children getting up to mischief.

The municipality appeals to communities to NOT flush unsuitable items down the toilet, and to help prevent people from throwing stuff down manholes. Report sewerage complaints to Civil Engineering Services on 044 801 9262/66 during office hours or 044 801 6300 after hours.

Please spread the news in your community that the dumping of waste is dangerous and a health hazard. Waste should be collected in refuse bags and placed for collection on your areas waste removal days. Builders rubble and waste not suitable for bags must be dropped at the municipal refuse site on the R102 (airport road).

If you can provide names, vehicle registration details or addresses of alleged perpetrators and are willing to make a statement in this regard, please report illegal dumping to Law Enforcement at 044 801 6350 or You don’t need a photograph of the perpetrator, but it will strengthen the case for a warning or fine to be issued.

If you notice dumped waste, please report for collection to 044 802 2900.

Emergency After Hours Number 044 801 6300

Officials from George Municipality plant a tree for Arbor Week

Joan Shaw, George Tourism Manager, (front left) with Clinton Petersen (Town Planning), Stephen Saunders (Building Control) and Delia Power (Acting Director: Planning and Development donated and planted a White Stinkwood tree on 18 September in celebration of Arbor Week which was from 1 – 7 September 2020 at the Garden Route Botanical Garden in George. A total of 143 trees were planted in the garden on the day in celebrating Arbor Week in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), as the custodian of forestry in South Africa, that is responsible for the campaign and more organisations.

GO GEORGE reinstates last of suspended routes

Covid safety measures remain in place
Issued 28 Sep 2020

With the recent implementation of Level 1 of the national lockdown, GO GEORGE will reinstate the last two routes that have been suspended during Covid-19 lockdown. From Sunday 4 October 2020, routes 58 Heather Park-Heatherlands and 53B Rosemoor Express will start running according to the normal schedule again.
Covid safety measures still in place
Drivers and passengers are still required to wear masks on the bus and wash or sanitise their hands regularly. Dispensers with sanitiser have been installed on all buses for the convenience and safety of passengers.
At the George Link depot, the rigorous cleaning and sanitising regime stays unchanged with the interior of buses being sanitised before and after every duty.
Proper ventilation reduces risk
Global studies have shown that proper ventilation and short trips can greatly reduce the risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus on buses and trains by mitigating the spread of airborne droplets that carry the virus.
In line with these findings, our government’s Covid directives regarding public transport require the windows of all public transport vehicles to be kept open 5 cm on both sides. All windows are opened when GO GEORGE buses leave the depot, and passengers are requested not to close windows, but rather dress warmly.
For more information, please phone the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044 where agents are on duty from 05:00 until 20:00, seven days a week. Alternatively, visit the GO GEORGE Facebook page for the latest service updates, or send an email to
From Sunday 4 October 2020, all GO GEORGE routes will be active again after a reduced service had been implemented at the beginning of the national lockdown.

Covid-veiligheidsmaatreëls steeds in plek
Uitgereik 28 September 2020

Met die onlangse implementering van Vlak 1 van die nasionale inperking, sal GO GEORGE die laaste twee roetes wat opgeskort is weens die Covid-19-inperking ook terugstel in diens. Vanaf Sondag 4 Oktober 2020 sal roetes 58 Heather Park-Heatherlands en 53B Rosemoor Express weer volgens die normale skedule begin ry.
Covid-veiligheidsmaatreëls steeds in plek
Bestuurders en passasiers moet steeds maskers dra op die bus en hul hande gereeld was of ontsmet. Houers met ontsmettingsmiddel is vir die gerief en veiligheid van passasiers op alle busse geïnstalleer.
By die George Link-depot bly die streng skoonmaak- en ontsmettingsroetine onveranderd met die binnekant van busse wat voor en ná elke diensrondte ontsmet word.
Behoorlike ventilasie verminder risiko
Wêreldwye studies het getoon dat behoorlike ventilasie en kort ritte die risiko om die Covid-19-virus op busse en treine op te doen deur die verspreiding van virusdraende druppels in die lug, aansienlik kan verminder.
In ooreenstemming met hierdie bevindings vereis ons regering se Covid-riglyne oor openbare vervoer dat die vensters van alle openbare vervoer-voertuie 5 cm oopgehou moet word aan albei kante. Alle vensters word oopgemaak wanneer GO GEORGE-busse die depot verlaat, en passasiers word versoek om nie vensters te sluit nie, maar eerder warm aan te trek.
Vir meer inligting, skakel gerus die GO GEORGE-inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044 waar agente van 05:00 tot 20:00, sewe dae per week, aan diens is. Die jongste diensinligting is ook beskikbaar op die GO GEORGE Facebook-blad, of kan verkry word deur ‘n e-pos te stuur aan
Van Sondag 4 Oktober 2020 sal alle GO GEORGE-roetes weer aktief wees nadat ‘n beperkte diens in werking gestel is aan die begin van die nasionale inperking.

Western Cape Human Settlements develops fire safety plan for informal settlements


27 September 2020

As part of its Informal Settlement Support Programme (ISSP), the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements in collaboration with the University of Stellenbosch’s Fire Engineering Research Unit (FireSUN), developed a response plan to improve fire safety in informal settlements.

This detailed report and guideline on fire safety engineering for informal settlements, which is part of phase 1 of the plan contains extensive information, analysis, case studies and discussions on fire safety interventions in informal settlements. A chapter on fire safety interventions for backyarders has also been included.

Provincial Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers said: “I welcome this initiative, as it demonstrates our commitment to not only improving fire safety, but also the health and dignity of people living in informal settlements. Fire safety in informal settlements is a huge concern to the entire Western Cape Government as on an annual average 1260 fires occur, destroying 4000 structures, displacing close to 13000 people, while more than 100 people are fatally wounded. It is also pleasing to note that our backyarders have not been excluded from this process.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the University of Stellenbosch for their assistance in developing this document. We will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders, which includes all sister departments, the private sector, communities as well as academia to improve the quality of life in informal settlements.”

In phase two of the plan which will follow in due course, the document will be used to produce pictoral, visual and graphic illustrations. This will communicate simplified messages in a visual way illustrating various safety interventions and options available that could save lives and property, while also helping to further strengthen fire safety in informal settlements.

Councillors support #ScreenHerSaveHer


In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month taking place 1 – 31 October 2020, Deputy Mayor Charlotte Clarke together with a delegation of female councillors joined Leon Van Der Vyfer of Keystone Medical this morning to take a closer look at the inner workings of their Mobile Breast Cancer Screening Unit currently located in the grounds of the NG Church, Courtenay Street.

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women of all races with a lifetime risk of 1 in 27 in South Africa and early detection of the condition can lead to effective treatment and a positive prognosis. About 90% of patients survive for many years after diagnosis when breast cancer is detected at the early stages. Regular self-breast examination and regular mammograms are the key to early detection.

The mobile unit is imported from Germany and contains state of the art equipment run by an all female staff to ensure the comfort and privacy of female clients. The unit is the first mobile breast cancer screening unit of its kind in Africa and George is the first city Keystone Medical has visited as part of their public outreach programme to amplify the message of #ScreenHerSaveHer, together we can make a difference! The mobile unit returns to Johannesburg on the 10 October.

In the photograph from left to right are Leon van Der Vyfer, Keystone Medical; Kathryn Du Plessis, Sonagrapher Keystone Medical; Liza-Mari Carroll, Mammogram TechnicianKeystone Medical; Deputy Mayor Charlotte Clarke; Cllr Iona Kritzinger; Cllr Jacqulique Von Brandis; Cllr Erica Brown and Cllr Nosicelo Mbete.

George Municipality and stakeholders clean in Covid-19 hotspots, Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp

George Municipality and stakeholders clean in Covid-19 hotspots, Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp
Issued 22 September by George Municipality

George Municipality in conjunction with other stakeholders used the International Coastal Cleanup theme day to clean in Covid-19 hotspots, Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp. The Municipality environmental team, in conjunction with the department of Environmental Affairs teamed up with EPWP workers and Pacaltsdorp Primary School on Friday and Saturday to clean up their areas.
The teams did a cleanup in Thembalethu last Friday (18 September) and anther cleanup in Pacaltsdorp on Saturday (19 September). Grace Notshokovu from the George Municipal Environmental section said instead of doing cleaning at beaches, it was decided that the focus would rather shift to cleaning the two communities most affected by illegal dumping and high numbers of infections for Covid-19.


Clean1: Officials from George Municipality, department of Environmental Affairs and EPWP workers getting ready to clean an illegal dumping site next to the Fire Department in Thembalethu in Nelson Mandela Boulevard.

Wilderness 100 Festival

Issued George Municipality, Monday 21 September 2020

July 2021 marks the Centenary of Wilderness and a public meeting to establish a Centenary Committee to facilitate the festivities leading up to July next year, took place last week with Covid-19 protocols in place. Marlene Barnardt, Ward Councilor with Dirk Wessels, Portfolio Councilor for Finance and Strategic Services and Joan Shaw, Tourism Manager shared ideas with the attendees.

The idea of a Wilderness Centenary was initially suggested by Hugo Leggatt, well known Wildernarian to take place in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic halted all plans in that regard and George Tourism took the opportunity to support the centenary celebrations for 2021 as means to make up for the economic losses experienced by tourism service providers, following the impact of the the bans on domestic and international travel.

Cllr Barnardt noted that a festival will not make up for all of the losses experienced by the tourism industry, but it will go a long way to continue establishing Wilderness as a destination of choice. “I would love to see a strong focus on wellness which could provide the sustainability to lead to ongoing annual events going forward. There are so many experts in the field of wellness living in Wilderness and with the unique and incredible scenic beauty at our disposal, I could not think of a better way to encourage visitors to Wilderness to enjoy the peace and serenity that attracted the residents in the first place. Wellness tourism is a world-wide trend that has grown tremendously and post Covid-19 will certainly peak interest in a wellness experience that embraces local culture, foods and the natural assets of an area such as Wilderness. I am very excited by the enthusiastic response to the proposed celebrations and trust that ongoing sustainable events that will keep Wilderness on the map, become my legacy as ward councilor.”

The concept for the centenary celebrations is to put together several events, possibly as many as 100, that take place over the next few months that lead up to July 2021. All events that form part of the Centenary will be marketed with a Centenary logo and George Tourism will play a supporting role in terms of the marketing with the Wilderness Ratepayers Association (WRRA). An event does not have to be a huge happening, it can be as simple as a beach clean-up, a musician at a restaurant or a wine tasting! Organizations will be responsible for arranging their own events and these events will be coordinated by the Committee to form a part of the overall festivities. Some of the existing events that have been suggested to form a part of the Centenary programme include: the annual SPCA Woof-a-thon; the Hoekwil Open Gardens, sailing regattas and music evenings. Other suggestions from the floor included a Centenary Dinner, a soap box derby, beach yoga classes, an Island Lake swim and much more. One of the highlights of the Centenary will be a launch of Hugo Leggatt’s book on the history of the area which is almost ready to go to print.

Cllr Dirk Wessels highlighted that he would like to see the festivities continuing for the whole of 2021. “The Centenary should lead to sustainable, annual events that will generate an income for local businesses and create jobs, even on a temporary basis,” said Wessels who stressed that what makes Wilderness so special is that it is unique and pristine – a rare offering that few other regions have.

The final committee consisting of volunteers was selected and which included representatives from the community and the Wilderness Ratepayers as members. Chris Boshoff, a local businessman and tourism expert has agreed to act as chair. Regular media releases will keep the public informed of events and activities.
Contact either Lindi Harley on or 044 877 0045 or Chairman Chris Boshoff on

Attached: extract from Wilderness: a history, Author Hugo Leggatt

Wilderness : A History. By Hugo Leggatt
There is increasing evidence that the coastal plains of southern Africa were the early
home to modern man, Homo sapiens. From here some would have moved out of Africa,
ultimately to people the world. Others remained here and their descendants became the
hunter-gatherers known to us as San or Bushmen. Figuratively, they trod lightly on the
earth and the soft sands of the Wilderness soils contains little of their story but the tale is
there to be read in the coastal shell middens, certain caves and the pictorial record in the
rock art of the mountains.

Later still, the Khoekhoe appeared with their sheep and cattle and it is they who first
appear in the written record when Batholomeu Dias rounded the Cape in 1488 and,
sighting land near Mossel Bay, mentioned “the many cows, watched by their herdsmen.”
Even after the Dutch settlement at the Cape in 1652, it would be more than a century
before settlers moved into the area which we call Wilderness. The deep gorges of the
Kaaimans and Touw Rivers were always a difficult obstacle to ox wagons and it was only
the building of a proper road to Knysna in the late 1860s that opened the lakes area to
settlement. This is the road now known as the Seven Passes Route. Although it generally
kept to the heights near the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains, it did open the forests and,
more particularly, made it much easier to get wheeled traffic through the river gorges.

In 1877 George Bennett of Liverpool bought land at the mouth of the Touw, built a house
and laid out a farm which he named “The Wilderness”. George and Henrietta Bennett
built up the farm over the next seven years and had a son and twin daughters before
George died in his early thirties. It was a remote spot and Henrietta left to marry her late
husband’s cousin in England. It was to be more than thirty-five years before the property
again had a resident owner.

Until the end of the 19th century Henrietta’s family kept an eye on the property for her,
sometimes letting the farmhouse. After the end of the South African War in 1902, The
Wilderness was bought by a syndicate headed by Montagu White. He did not live there
himself, using his other property “Fancourt”, but he was instrumental in getting the
farmhouse running as a guest house. He built White’s Road at a reasonable gradient up
the hills above the lagoon and, together with the arrival of the motor car, this put the
place on the map.

White’s death in 1916, followed by the end of World War I two years later, brought a
new beginning to The Wilderness. The property was bought by Wilderness (1921) Ltd,
headed by Owen Grant. OG, as he was widely known, settled on the property and
immediately set about developing it as a seaside resort with a name that was soon to be
known worldwide.

It is likely that the romantic legend of the foundation of The Wilderness was circulated at
this time. In this story a young man meets the beautiful orphan Theresa and she, insisting
on being taken away from “the hauntings of memory”, sang to him from Haydn’s
Creation “..In the wilderness build me a nest, let me remain there forever at rest..”. They
finally settled here after various trials, tribulations and adventures which included
difficult and dangerous wagon journeys over the Outeniquas, the clearing of jungle and a
wedding in which Theresa wore “an ancient bridal gown that once had graced her
grandmother in the courts of France”! A great story, much better than much which fills
many publicity brochures. Most who read it would never know that it was a total figment
of the imagination.

By the end of the 1920s, the old farm buildings had been transformed into a proper hotel,
roads had been laid out, plots had been sold and houses were being built. Many of the
thatched rondavels in the village date from that era.

On top of all this, the railway from George to Knysna was opened in 1928 with The
Wilderness as the only station on the line between George and Knysna. As early as 1932,
OG completed negotiations with Union Airways ( the predecessor of SAA ) whereby he
hoped that the Wilderness would receive a tremendous impetus. Arrangements were
made for an inclusive rate for Wilderness Hotel visitors coming by plane.

In some ways much of the basis for the future development of the area was already in
place by this time, but there was one exception. Apart from the three railway bridges,
there was no proper crossing on the Touw, other than the bridge on the Seven Passes
Road. All motor traffic between George and Knysna still travelled on the inland route.
Another World War had to be fought before the necessary machinery and finance could
be directed to building the initial National Road network. By 1952 the N2 was at last
opened and George and Knysna were linked by a tarred coastal road – in a sense the
modern infrastructure was complete.

Until the coming of the new road, the focus of the village had been towards the lagoon,
where the shop, post office and petrol pumps stood at the bottom of the village green.
Now all commercial activity swung round to be accessible to the highway.
More significant than this was the fact that now a vast new area was opened to
development. All the area known as Wilderness East began from this time, to be followed
in due course by Kleinkrans and Die Duine. Fortunately, in the mid-1980s the
proclamation of the Wilderness National Park placed limits on the destruction of the
environment which is the greatest asset of the Wilderness.

Blowing out the fire

It’s not every day you see a leaf blower being used to extinguish a fire, but this nifty tool proved quite handy during a veld fire in George yesterday. Firefighters Shane Fisher and Joseph Fortuin (the one using the leaf blower in this video) were travelling in a non-dedicated vehicle – which means it is equipped with support equipment, not water – when they passed a small veld fire. The industrial strength blower, which is generally used at vehicle accident scenes to clear the road of debris, made quick work of killing the fire. The blower was bought during the drought in 2018 as an alternative, water-saving, fire extinguishing method in cases where fires are manageable without the use of much or any water. While one might think that a blower would fuel rather than extinguish a fire, the industrial strength blower is effective on a small fire in the same way one would blow out a candle – enough wind with enough force in a concentrated area.

Follow the link to see the video: