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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:

Anthony Noble art demonstration – George Library

Anthony Noble art demonstration
Issued on 10 September 2020 by George Municipality

Anthony Noble busy with an art demonstration and discussion at George Library. His next and last demonstration will be next week Tuesday, 15 September at 15h00 at George Library. The public can attend. Members of the public can phone 044 801 9288 to book a seat. The usual Covid-19 protocol will apply with sanitising hands, taking of temperature and people will not be allowed without wearing a mask.

George Fire Brigade assists with mountain rescue

George Fire Brigade assists with mountain rescue
Issued George Municipality, 10 September 2020

George Fire Brigade was part of a mid-morning rescue yesterday, after a 71 year old female fell and injured her ankle while on a hike in the Outeniqua Mountains. The hiking group called for help around 10h30 and were able to remain in cellphone contact with the rescue team throughout. The Fire Brigade utilized their drone to establish contact and assist with determining the necessary co-ordinates.
The injured person was carried out by the rescuers to the Outeniqua Cross whereafter she was transported to the nearest ambulance using a smaller EMS All Terrain Vehicle(ATV). The rest of the hiking group were able to walk out safely with the rescue team. The patient was transported to hospital by ER24 in a stable condition. Fire Chief , Neels Barnard of George Municipality who attended the rescue, thanked the combined efforts of Metro Rescue, Hikers Network, Outeniqua Trail Search and Rescue group and ER24 Ambulance Services which led to the successful operation.

George Municipality update on heavy rainfall related incidences

Issued Monday, 7 September @ 17h52

Photo: Road near Witfontein impassible following heavy rainfall.

George received welcome rain over the weekend, with the Garden Route Dam area recording 80mm but at the same time a number of residents were faced with evacuating their homes due to flooding and related issues. Officials were kept busy from the early hours of Sunday morning with the George Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management section providing 73 mattresses, blankets and a pack of 100 facemasks to families temporarily given shelter in the Pacaltsdorp and New Dawn Park Community Halls as well as residents from Wilderness Heights at Hope Church. Certain of these families are from the Moeggeploeg Informal Settlement.

Our Social Development section provided these residents each with a hot meal on Sunday and today, Monday and we note with gratitude donations of food and blankets from Love George and other members of the public. Not all of the residents chose to stay at the community halls with some preferring to sleep at family members’ homes or other places. There are currently 85 people (50 adults and 33 children) housed in the Pacaltsdorp Community Hall and 22 housed in the New Dawn Park Community Hall (12 adults and 10 children).

The municipal Disaster Call Centre was inundated with hundreds of calls from residents that were received via the control room and responded to between Friday 4 to Sunday 6 September 2020.
12 Calls were received for the supply of gunplast, 73 were stormwater related complaints, two calls were received of roofs that were blown off, five calls regarding motor vehicle accidents were received, seven calls about informal house fires, two calls about formal house fires, one building fire, 216 calls were received about civil engineering and technical complaints and 70 calls were received about electrical faults.
Our Human Settlements division handled approximately 200 complaints yesterday with residents mostly requesting assistance with gunplast. On Sunday, the directorate delivered 111 pieces of gunplast to affected people based on the complaints received. The remainder of the complaints will be finalised today (Monday, 7 September). The Electrotechnical teams addressed power outages in Wilderness Village, Wilderness East as well as Parkdene and surrounding areas.
The Civil Engineering teams had to do repair work on three roads that were damaged and several pipelines where joints came loose, as a direct result of blockages caused by unwanted objects thrown into the stormwater system which then caused flooding and damage to pipelines. Cleaning operations and repairs are currently underway in all of these cases. An inlet at Gwaing Sewage Works was blocked due to particles passing through the filters of the pump station.The sea at Ballots Bay was polluted again by the accumulated mess in the Meulen River which was pushed downstream following the heavy rainfall. There was no failures at any of the pump stations along the river that caused a flood or the pollution. The Welgelegen pump station was flooded due to a high inflow with storm water entering the system and which may have caused damage. The cleaning operation is currently underway.

Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha, thanked all officials for their hard work in the extreme weather conditions and noted that coupled with loadshedding throughout the weekend, as well as having to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols, it made the work so much more difficult and challenging. Botha thanked the public for their patience and understanding.

2020 Digital National Book Week

The use of online resources (e-resources) has come to play an important role in the way we work and conduct research. This is particularly the case where an increasing number of people are working and studying from home where they rely on internet-connected devices to access information.

The Western Cape Library Service would like to highlight some of our current and future e-resources, which are all freely available to the public. These include:

• Online version of the Cape Librarian magazine
• Online version of the Annual Review publication
• Online version of the Insider’s View publication, profiling the operational activities, sections and units of the Library Service
• Contact details of public libraries in the Western Cape
• Online catalogues of the CDs, DVDs, vinyl records and 16mm films held by the Library Service
• Public internet access at public libraries
• Online research studies conducted such as Community Profiles and Comparative Provincial Library Staff Analysis
• Online examples of campaign promotion posters
• Online Living Atlas (see below)
• Projects and online events such as the Oral History Initiative project and the upcoming online National Book Week
• In-house Hospital Street Depot – a loan library for government employees
• We have also attached a document containing useful links to online story- and audiobooks

Find and explore our libraries
Our Living Atlas allows you to find any public library; cultural facility; MOD centre; regional sport centre; or museum in the Western Cape. It provides more information on public libraries, such as their location, opening hours and updated contact details.

Here are the 3 easy-to-follow-steps to find a specific library:

1. Click on the link and wait a moment for the page to update
2. Click on ‘Library’
3. Select the library in the browser and click ‘Apply’

Western Cape Library Service
The Western Cape Library Service forms an important part of the services offered to the people of the Western Cape. The entire community has the right to free access to library and information services. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) seeks to develop, transform and promote sustainable library and information services. Providing information is a key service. The reason for this is that it promotes a culture of reading, library use and learning that enriches the whole community. Library Services ensures that this information is free, equitable and accessible to everyone. Sustainable library and information services contributes to nation building; good governance; social and human capital development; and sustainable economic growth and opportunities.

For more information, please visit

Covid-19 workplace safety kits provided to businesses

George Municipality Economic Development section with the help of the Western Cape Government provided COVID-19 business workplace safety kits to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises so that these businesses can continue to operate in a safe and responsible manner. The distribution of the safety kits was linked to the identification of COVID-19 hotspots in the province and Garden Route district.

According to Brendan du Plessis from the Economic Development section who spearheaded the operation at the George Municipality, the safety kist were aimed at small businesses, both formal and informal but with under ten employees. Du Plessis said they prioritised the hotspot areas to combat a possible rising infection rate due to  increasing community transmission. The intent is to build resistance where community transmission is prone to occur and strengthen the economic resilience and recovery of these local businesses.

The small businesses that were willing to provide contactable details to ensure the section can adhere to audit compliance, and that they can be reached post this initiative were considered. Allocations were also based on the municipal databases of all permitted informal traders and spaza shops. By complying to certain  rules, small vendors can be encouraged to apply and qualify for financial and non-financial support offered by government through initiatives such as  the spaza shop support scheme.

You can visit the Economic Development office on appointment at 62 Cathedral Street, Unit BB03, CCMA building 1st Floor. For appointments phone 044 801 911 and ask for extension 2820. For business queries phone 079 366 2621 and any other queries phone 073 621 0099 or visit


Caption: The informal trader Reon Fortuin(right) from Blanco was excited to receive his COVID-19 Workplace SMME safety toolkit from Economic Development official, Brendan Du Plessis. Fortuin’s shop is called Sarah’s Shop.

George Municipality re-opens libraries

Most George Municipality libraries have opened on Monday, 24 August and adopted new work strategies to ensure a smooth and safe reintegration of services for staff and library users.

According to Rachel Williams: Manager: George Municipal Libraries, as libraries are grappling to provide services in safe, harmonious environments, library users will have to adapt to new approaches and service delivery methods that will be implemented to better safeguard the health and safety of both the library patrons and staff members. The Library Service has already started with a phased-in process whereby book returns were encouraged and welcomed by George Library. Rural Libraries such as Waboomskraal and Haarlem are also accepting books.

As from the 24th of August 2020 George Library and other branches have started to issue books to patrons on an appointment basis. This ensures a controlled and focused library service. Books that are returned are quarantined for 72 hours and sanitised according to national and provincial agreed on standards and indications. Pacaltsdorp an Thembalethu libraries remain closed until further notice.

Please take note any library can be closed in short notice, according to Covid-19 protocol.

To enhance a smooth, organised and safe working environment, library hours have been reduced and the following measures will apply:

Operating hours:

  Library Operating hours
1 Avontuur Library

Ou Bains Road, Avontuur, 6490

Tel: 044 752 3351


Monday, 12:00 – 15:00 Wednesday&Thursday

10:00 – 13:00 Tuesday

11:00 – 14:00 Friday

2 Blanco Library

3 George Avenue, Blanco, 6529

Tel: 044 870 7047



09:00 – 16:00 Monday – Friday


3 Conville Library

Cnr Pienaar Street & Nelson Mandela Boulevard, Conville, 6529

Tel: 044 801 9320



09:00 – 16:00 Monday – Friday


4 George Library

Cnr David Road & Caledon Street, Camphersdrift, George, 6530

Tel: 044 8019289


09:00 – 16:00 Monday – Friday

09:00 – 12:00  Saturday

5 Haarlem Library

Hope Street, Haarlem, 6467

Tel: 044 763 1023


12:00 – 17:00 Monday, Thursday & Friday (12h:00 – 14:00 is behind closed doors)

14:00 – 17:00 Tuesday & Wednesday (10:00 to 12:00 behind closed doors)

6 Noll Library

c/o Dieprivier Primary School, Noll’s Ha    Halt , George,6462

Tel: 044 745 1014


12:00 – 15:00 Monday & Wednesday

09:00 – 12:00 Saturday

7 Pacaltsdorp Library

Mission Street (near Post office),Pacaltsdorp, 6534

Tel: 044 803 9340


Closed until further notice
8 Thembalethu Library

Bacela Street, Thembalethu, 6530

Tel: 044 803 9260


Closed until further notice
9 Touwsranten Library

Besterstraat, Touwsranten, 6538

Tel: 044 803 9285


09:00 – 16:00  Monday – Friday


10 Uniondale Library

39 Voortrekker Street, Uniondale, 6460

Tel: 044 752 1024


09:00 – 16:00 Monday to Friday
11 Waboomskraal Library

Waboomskraal Thusong Centre, Waboomskraal , 6529


10:00 – 14:00 Monday – Friday



These services will be limited and will include the following:

  • Issue and return of books;
  • Telephonic and e-mailed correspondence to assist with Research and Reference Services (bulk preparation of library material)
  • Internet Services (2 people at any given time) – booking of Computer Stations is highly recommended and patrons making use of this method will be given preference
  • No Children Services; Children Section closed at all Libraries
  • Current awareness and educational displays
  • All staff and visitors must adhere to Covid-19 health and safety protocols (including wearing masks and cough etiquette). Visitors who do not adhere to these will not be allowed to enter the library.

Visitor Information:

  1. Library services are limited to borrowing and returning of library materials.
  2. Please note amended opening hours
  3. Wearing of masks is compulsory when entering any Library;
  4. Sanitising of hands is compulsory when entering Library premises;
  5. Access to the computer area will be restricted in compliance with the National regulations
  6. Where possible, small children should not accompany their parents to the library.
  7. Children services remain closed in compliance with regulations.
  8. The study area in the library will be limited in compliance with regulations.
  9. Note signage explaining access conditions and behaviour protocols (such as maintaining social distancing) at the entrance and throughout the facility;
  10. All library patrons should have their temperature read prior to entering the library; Visitors with a temperature of 37º C, or any of the known Covid-19 symptoms, will be denied entry into the library.
  11. Some libraries will allow patrons to borrow up to ten books for a period of one month.
  12. Please feel free to approach any staff member if uncertain about any of our services.








Debra Sauer
Communications Officer

Office of the Municipal Manager


Office:044 801 9181

Cell:063 682 2092



George Municipality finished first phase of composting plant

George Municipality is thinking ahead keeping George clean and green and has completed Phase 1 of a composting plant to be established at the George Landfill site on the R102 (airport road). According to Walter Hendricks, Director of Community Services, the main reason for the establishment of the composting facility is the decommissioning and closing of the George Landfill site within the next 18 months. The facility will also assist the municipality to reduce and re-use waste, in particular green and organic waste.

Phase 1 was the building of the first platform of the composting plant which has been completed during the previous financial year. This platform will be used to do composting with green materials and organic waste received from businesses and residents. Phase 2 of the project entails the building of the second platform for composting with both platforms required for the service provider to continue.

The next step is to appoint a service provider to establish and operate the composting facility and this will be addressed via municipal supply chain management criteria. The public will be allowed at the composting site under strict regulations to deliver green and organic waste only. Hendricks said the operations of the day to day work will be handled by the appointed company. The highly technical process will have to be run by a specialised service provider.
Council will still need to take a decision on what will be done with the final product, but it can be sold and provide revenue.

George Municipality Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said previously, the city was committed to waste reduction, not only because the region was running out of landfill space but also because it was the environmentally right thing to do. “Waste management is increasingly expensive, which ultimately impacts on our citizens. Local landfill sites are closing and transport to regional landfill and waste disposal facilities outside Mossel Bay is adding to the bill. If we can reduce the amount of waste transported out of the city, everyone benefits in the long-term – financially and environmentally,” said Mr Botha.

Caption: The cleared surface shown in the picture is the area from where the composting plant will be operated from at the Landfill site on the R102 (airport road).

Water update: 2 September 2020

Dam level: 78.69% (down from 79.43%)
Rainfall since 27 August 2020: 11.5mm
Demand/usage: 26,565 megalitres

• Handheld watering of gardens using a hose using municipal water: even-numbered households Mondays and Thursdays, 7pm-9pm (summer) and 3pm-5pm (winter) AND uneven-numbered households Tuesdays and Fridays, 7pm-9pm (summer) and 3pm-5pm (winter).
• Mechanical irrigation of gardens (sprayers) using municipal water is prohibited.
• Watering sports fields using municipal water is prohibited, except for golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches, daily 7pm-9pm (summer) and 3pm-5pm (winter).
• Filling up of swimming pools using municipal water is prohibited.
• Washing cars with a hose using municipal water is prohibited (buckets allowed, rainwater encouraged), except for commercial car washes.
• Cleaning of outside surfaces using a hosepipe with municipal water is prohibited (buckets allowed, rainwater encouraged).
• “OWN WATER” signage must be displayed where applicable and must be proven on request by municipal officials.
• Applications for exemption of some restrictions may be considered on merit.

Report water leaks and burst pipes to 044 801 9262 or after hours at 044 801 6300, as soon as you notice them.

Be fire safe in cold weather

Recent cold weather has again highlighted the need for fire safety at home as the George Fire Department responded to an increasing number of residential fires over the past weeks.

George Fire Chief Neels Barnard said winter months were traditionally the busiest time for residential fires as people tried to stay warm in cold weather. “The past weekend was a case in point – six informal structures burned to the ground leaving 20 people homeless in three separate fires in Blanco, Conville and Thembalethu.

“While the causes of house fires are not always straight-forward to determine, they generally have in common unsafe practices including overloading electrical plugs, falling asleep with burning cigarettes or taking a drum or tin fire indoors. Fires in formal residences are often associated with newly installed fireplaces that had not been sufficiently insulated and new or neglected gas installations,” said Mr Barnard.

Vegetation fires in winter are often associated with homeless people making open fires to keep warm when sleeping outside. While not necessarily the cause of the past weekend’s fires, the department responded to five vegetation fires during this time.

When rain and snow accompany the cold, motor vehicle accidents increase, which are also attended by the fire department. George Fire and Rescue responded to 10 motor vehicle accidents this past weekend.

The above factors are often worsened by alcohol abuse and there is a correlation between the number of callouts on Fridays and at the end of the month when people have been paid wages and salaries.

“George Municipality Fire and Rescue appeals to everyone to take extra care when working with fire and electricity, to be responsible and fire-conscious at all times – your life and property are at stake,” said Mr Barnard.

Do not overload electrical connections and plugs, use the plug for what it was made for.
Do not override the safety switch on your electrical board to avoid the electricity kicking out when you overload plugs.
Monitor plugs and check that they do not become hot.
Pull out cellphone and other chargers when you are not using them.
Do not carry drum and tin fires indoors.
Do not get into bed with a cigarette.
Put the electrical heater off before you fall asleep.
If you install a fireplace, use a reputable builder or installer and monitor new installations when in use. Have your fireplace and chimney serviced regularly.

Stay low and under the smoke.
Make alarm and get everyone out of the house.
Close doors of rooms behind you as you move through and out of the house.
Phone the fire department when you are outside. (Save the fire department’s number on your phone – see below)

Phone the fire department. (Save the fire department’s number on your phone – see below).
Move cars and other obstacles out of the way so fire trucks can pass.
Do not carry furniture into the road where it can be in the way of fire trucks and firefighters.
Do not go into the burning house for any reason.
Do not open the doors or break windows – it fuels the fire.

Fire emergencies only: 044 801 6311
All after-hours emergencies: 044 801 6300
General enquiries fire department (office hours): 044 801 6300
Uniondale (office hours): 044 752 1225

George Municipality allocates R500 000 to clearing of illegal dump sites for Covid-19 Hotspots

Issued George Municipality, Monday 31 August 2020

George Municipality has identified a shocking 200 illegal dump sites in George, located in Thembalehtu, Protea Park, Lavalia, Rosemoor, Conville, Maraiskamp, Parkdene, Rosedale, Syferfontein, New Dawn Park, Seaview, Blanco, Touwsranten, Wilderness Heights Informal Settlement and Kleinkrantz Informal Settlement. The impact of Covid-19 on our communities and in particular on our two hotspots, Thembalehtu and Pacaltsdorp, has highlighted the extreme dangers of these illegal dump sites which serve as a breeding ground for insects and vermin as well possibly containing dangerous medical waste which could be contaminated with COVID-19.

The Budget office in response to a plea from the Hotspot Strategy Task Team, has set aside a sum of R500 000  to address the illegal dump sites over the next two months and the Community Services Directorate, Cleansing division will start this week with a cohesive clearing programme. Areas will be systematically cleared up and the refuse removed to the Transfer Station using JCB’s and trucks.  

An Intergovernmental, multi-disciplinary Hotspot Strategy Task Team (HSSTT) was established in July 2020 to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in areas such as Thembalehtu and Pacaltsdorp the moment evidence became available that these areas were Hotspots i.e. communities showing the highest rates of transmission of infection.  

Steven Erasmus, Director for Protection Services and Chairperson of the HSSTT noted that one of the proposed interventions which is critical to the strategy outlined in the HSSTT’s action plan, is the removal of refuse that has been illegally dumped in the respective hotspot areas.” This matter has been escalated internally as well as externally. A Provincial Cabinet decision on this and other critical matters is awaited. In the meantime, the George Municipality as well as the Garden Route District Municipality have joined efforts and made funding available for this purpose. This is a classic and very commendable example of intergovernmental cooperation, demonstrating how various authorities can collaborate to achieve a common goal. The Task Teams’ main objective is to minimize the spread of the virus and in so doing save as many lives possible,” said Mr Erasmus.

During a Budget meeting held on Friday 28 August, Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk highlighted the urgency and need to keep our vulnerable communities safe, but at the same time admonished those citizens who perpetuate the misinformation that illegal dumping provides for job creation. “The reality is no jobs are being created, the clearing  of these sites is generally done with expensive equipment which uses budget previously allocated to infrastructure and/or similar projects. By allowing illegal dumping to take place in your neighbourhood, and turning a blind eye, you are forcing the municipality to spend unnecessary funds on cleaning, when the funds should be used to maintain roads, water and sanitation services and so on, “ said Ald Van Wyk.

Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha thanked the Garden Route District Municipality for their collaborative approach  and funding assistance. “The ongoing inter-governmental approach to tackling the pandemic of Covid-19 means we are stronger and better at taking action with the unified goal of keeping our communities safe. In fact this pandemic has served to strengthen the cohesiveness of the three spheres of government in assisting and supporting  each other, sharing information and coordinating efforts against this invisible enemy,” said Trevor Botha.

George Municipality asks you to 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 waste removal days. Builders rubble and waste not suitable for bags must be dropped at the municipal refuse site situated off the R102 (airport road). Please report illegal dumping to our law enforcement offices, if you can provide names, the vehicle registration details or addresses of the alleged perpetrators and are willing to make a statement in this regard it will assist the municipality in catching the culprits.

Please report those illegally dumping waste to 044 801 6350 or e-mail If you notice dumped waste in your area, please report for collection to 044 802 2900.

Stock Photograph: Melanie Mare for George Municipality

Garden Route Health platform update


28 August  2020



Western Cape Government Health in the Garden Route is optimistic about the current COVID-19 situation. In the District, as a whole, we are experiencing a flattening of active cases and so also hospitalizations and deaths. Some sub-districts’ numbers are more satisfying than others but if we compare our statistics to a month before it appears that we are over the peak.

We must however remember that it is now even more important to adhere to the 5 ways to stay safe in order to keep our numbers as low as possible, and to prevent a second wave.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (70% alcohol base)
  2. Wear your mask in public
  3. Cough or sneeze into the folds of your elbow or a tissue
  4. Stay 1.5m away from others especially in public places like shopping malls.
  5. If you feel sick, stay home


While the health service platform must remain geared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic (including a possible second wave of infections), the Department of Health aims to scale up essential health services in a balanced manner. The Department has developed a risk and impact based approach which guides the services to be reintroduced and identifying those services which are low risk yet high impact (such as immunisation services). These services which had reduced significantly during the COVID pandemic, will have a significant long term impact for those clients who had missed immunisations, follow-up appointments and scheduled non-emergency treatment.    A phased approach will be adopted to return the comprehensive health service platform back to a new normal. The re-introduction of these services will be communicated to the public. However, currently, all preventative services are in fact offered i.e. women’s health (family planning, antenatal and post-natal care), men’s health, child health(immunisations) and chronic disease management (TB, HIV, Diabetes, etc.)


 As of 28 August 2020, the Garden Route District has 8757 confirmed cases of Covid-19.



Garden Route cases and recoveries per subdistrict.

Bitou 570 cases; 514 recoveries
Knysna 1338 cases; 1216 recoveries
George 3269 cases; 2946 recoveries
Hessequa 272 cases; 223 recoveries
Kannaland 102 cases; 97 recoveries
Mossel Bay 2088 cases; 1829 recoveries
Oudsthoorn 1118 cases; 797 recoveries


The Garden Route has recorded 288 Covid-19 deaths.


Hessequa 15
Mossel Bay 59
George 91
Knysna 43
Bitou 21
Oudtshoorn 58
Kannaland 1




From our latest available information, there are currently 115 patients admitted in public and private hospitals of which 24 are in High Care/ICU.



Isolation and quarantine

People who cannot isolate or quarantine safely at home (risk to themselves or exposure risk to others), can be referred to an isolation or quarantine facility.

Isolation facilities are for patients who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus (with mild to moderate symptoms) where they can recover. Quarantine facilities are for those have been exposed and are awaiting test results. These facilities are safe, have been made as comfortable as possible and you will receive free transport, meals, and a laundry service. PetroSA (West Camp) is currently the only activated isolation and quarantine facility in the Garden Route. More facilities have been identified and will be activated, if and when the need arises or capacity is exceeded at PetroSA. We currently have 42 people at the West Camp facility.

Public Notice: Stakeholders visit Garden Route in Covid-19 Awareness Programme

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF), together with other stakeholders such as Western Cape Government Health, South African Police Services (SAPS), and municipal officials have embarked on a combined initiative to support the COVID-19 Awareness Programme in the Garden Route. This is an intergovernmental initiative that was arranged as part of the Western Cape Government’s Hotspot Strategy.

SANDF will move through Garden Route towns doing COVID-19 awareness education as well as Level 2 lockdown enforcement with SAPS.
SANDF medical health services will provide health screenings and referral if necessary. The team is currently in Mossel Bay.

Multi-journey top-ups on Smart Card much cheaper

Multi-journey top-ups on Smart Card much cheaper

Issued Wednesday 26 August 2020


Buying bulk is the smart choice when you top up your Smart Card with bus trips – it’s much cheaper and more convenient too. Top up before you have completely run out of trips, and do so when you’re not in a rush to get to work or school.

This is the core message conveyed by the GO GEORGE communication team during their current awareness campaign to discourage passengers from loading only one day’s trips on their cards at a time.

Cheaper the more you buy

Smart Card trips bought in bundles of 10 or more cost R10 per trip, single trips cost R12, and bundles of two to eight trips cost R11 per trip. A passenger who uses the bus six days per week, could save up to R104 per month by buying bundles of 10 trips and more, instead of loading one trip at a time.

Trips on the Smart Card never expire, so there is no risk of losing trips, even if you don’t travel regularly.

Top up in time

Passengers are advised not to wait until they have no trips left on their Smart Cards. Having to top up on your way to work or school could be frustrating when the queues are long, or when an unpredictable event such as loadshedding prevents the vendor or kiosk from selling trips at the time. It would be better to top up outside of peak times, and at a time when you’re in no rush to be somewhere on time.

Smart Card kiosks are open from 05:00 until 20:00 and are situated at the George Transport Hub in Cradock Street, in York Street next to the Civic Centre, at the Blanco Triangle and at the Garden Route Mall. The kiosks sell Smart Cards and do top-ups.

The network of top-up vendors all over town do trip top-ups only. Look out for the GO GEORGE vendor signage, or for a detailed list of all top-up vendors, visit the GO GEORGE Facebook page or phone the Call Centre on 0800 044 044. Agents are on duty from 05:00 until 20:00, seven days a week. Enquiries can also be e-mailed to



Informing passengers 1

Teams of GO GEORGE communication champions are currently engaging with passengers to advise them on the benefits of buying multiple trips at a time. Passengers waiting for their bus in Cradock Street – maintaining safe social distance – are listening attentively to champion Nomsa Ginyigazi explaining the potential savings.



Multirit-aankope op Slimkaart heelwat goedkoper

Uitgereik Maandag 24 Augustus 2020


Om bundels met 10 of meer ritte te koop, is die slim keuse wanneer jy jou Slimkaart herlaai – dit is baie goedkoper én boonop geriefliker. Herlaai voordat jy geen ritte op jou kaart oor het nie, en doen dit wanneer jy nie haastig is om by die werk of skool te kom nie.

Dit is die kernboodskap van die GO GEORGE-kommunikasiespan tydens hul huidige bewusmakingsveldtog om passasiers te ontmoedig om slegs een dag se ritte op ’n slag op hul kaarte te laai.

Goedkoper hoe meer jy koop

Slimkaartritte wat in bondels van 10 of meer gekoop word, kos R10 per rit, enkelritte kos R12, en bondels van twee tot agt ritte kos R11 per rit. ‘n Passasier wat die bus ses dae per week gebruik, kan tot R104 per maand bespaar deur bondels van 10 ritte en meer te koop, pleks van een rit op ‘n slag op die kaart te laai.

Ritte op die Slimkaart verval nooit nie, dus is daar geen risiko om ritte te verloor nie, selfs al gebruik jy die bus nie gereeld nie.

Herlaai betyds

Passasiers word aangeraai om nie te wag totdat hulle geen ritte oor het op hul Slimkaarte nie. Om op jou pad werk of skool toe te herlaai, kan frustrerend wees wanneer die rye lank is, of wanneer iets onvoorspelbaars soos beurtkrag verhoed dat die verkoper of kiosk op daardie tydstip ritte kan verkoop. Dit sal beter wees om buite spitstye te herlaai op ‘n tyd wanneer jy nie jaag om betyds by jou bestemming te wees nie.

Slimkaartkioks is oop vanaf 05:00 tot 20:00 en is geleë by die George Vervoerkern (Hub) in Cradockstraat, langs die burgersentrum in Yorkstraat, by die Blanco-driehoek en by die Garden Route Mall. Die kiosks verkoop Slimkaarte én herlaai kaarte met ritte.

Die netwerk van herlaaipunte in besighede regoor die dorp herlaai slegs kaarte. Kyk uit vir die “GO GEORGE vendor”-borde, of vir ’n volledige lys van alle herlaaipunte, besoek die GO GEORGE Facebook-blad of skakel die inbelsentrum by 0800 044 044. Agente is van 05:00 tot 20:00, sewe dae per week aan diens. Navrae kan ook per e-pos gestuur word aan



Informing passengers 1

Spanne GO GEORGE-passasiersdiensbeamptes beweeg tans tussen passasiers om hulle in te lig oor die voordele van die aankoop van groter bondels ritte op ‘n slag. Hier luister passasiers aandagtig na Nomsa Ginyigazi wat die potensiële besparings verduidelik terwyl hulle op ’n veilige afstand van mekaar wag vir hul bus in Cradockstraat.