During the Voters’ Registration Weekend, it was noticeable that citizens have become more aware of their civic role to ensure that they are correctly registered as voters to participate in the 2024 National/Provincial Elections. Citizens who have moved to George from elsewhere in the country have been positive about our efforts to provide a high standard of service delivery when compared to municipalities outside of the Western Cape.
In engaging citizens, passionate persons spoke about potential dream projects that can lead to a further improvement in living circumstances in George. These projects will require inter alia champions, project teams, benefactors, roles by government and corporates to collaborate to bring these dreams to fruition. Four of these projects are centred around health, education and the environment.
One of our senior citizens would like to see the development of a dedicated children’s hospital facility in George that would be able to offer a comprehensive range of specialist paediatric services similar to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town possibly as an extension of the George Hospital. The biggest need would initially be to secure benefactors for the erection and equipping of such a facility.
The next dream relates to the development of a school of skills that would provide practical schooling for learners focussed and centred on economic sectors requiring the skills learnt. A few years ago, farmers in the Bonnievale district decided to collaborate with the Department of Education in building such a school that focussed on skills that could be utilised for the agricultural sector. The collaboration entailed the donation of building materials and/or labour to build the school with the private sector partnership contributing 60% and the Western Cape Government 40% to the overall costs. The success of this project has resulted in the second such school being constructed in Struisbaai. A potential donor of land has come forward in George with a similar dream for a school of skills to be erected here. Preliminary discussions are already taking place about such a project.
The Garden Route Botanical Gardens is celebrating their 25th anniversary. The trustees have been developing their dream expansion plan to enlarge the footprint of the Gardens. This environmental project provides for development phases to expand the green lung of George thereby protecting the habitat of the rich flora and fauna that already exists in the Gardens and surrounds. Such an expansion will also benefit tourism.
In other engagements, citizens spoke about the importance of growing trees either to provide fruit along the rivers and streams that flow through George’s living areas or along streets.
Potential project champions or benefactors who may be interested are welcome to communicate using the email@example.com address.
Alderman Leon van Wyk