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Mayor’s Newsletter for George Herald of 21 December 2023

By now the holiday season is well underway and we trust that visitors to George are thoroughly enjoying themselves as they select from the 60 plus activities available to them. On checking daily scheduled air traffic into George, it is evident that there are almost the equivalent of nine Boeing 737 flights flying in from Johannesburg. It is also noticeable that additional markets have opened this season to display their wares to visitors and locals. The entrepreneurs entering this space are applauded as it opens opportunities for crafters to offer quality products increasing employment.

We recently did a briefing to the tourism stakeholder sector as part of the preparedness for their role in accommodating, feeding and providing activities. All of our municipal services will be extremely active on beaches and at events to assist in providing a safe and peaceful holiday for our visitors. We thank all working teams and volunteers who offer their time and services for the thousands of visitors to our region.

Many visitors may be impressed with the municipal services that are offered in George in comparison to the dysfunctionalities found elsewhere around the country. This achievement flows from a relationship of trust and respect between the political leadership and the administration.

We expect our teams to deliver services at a high standard while also encouraging them to constantly seek better solutions. As a result, this work ethic has driven initiatives to seek improvements and innovations. One such example is how our water team strives to improve the management of water quality and thereby better our rankings. A similar ethos exists across all the other services whether it relates to the time it takes to approve building plans through to the work being done by fire and emergency services and even to increasing collection rates for outstanding debtors. Just recently, the project engineers managing the capital projects proudly announced that they had passed R500 million mark in spending on the R1,2 billion water and waste-water infrastructure project. In terms of total capital and operating expenditure among the 19 intermediate cities in the country, George now ranks at number 11 with an average budgeted weekly expenditure of R78 million for the 2023/24 financial year.

We trust that the pride and work ethic that is demonstrated by the George municipal teams will serve as hope to encourage citizens elsewhere in South Africa to work together to achieve collaboration to strive for better service standards and the maintenance of infrastructure.

We extend best wishes to all our citizens and visitors for an enjoyable festive season as they celebrate Christmas and the New Year with family and friends. Please remain safe on the beaches, during activities and while travelling.