Alderman Leon Van Wyk, Executive Mayor of George Municipality
Over the past couple of weeks, we have experienced unusual weather conditions ranging from the storm surge to disruptive rain across parts of the Western Cape that have kept disaster management teams at full stretch.
We are thankful for the efforts of our teams dealing with service delivery who have worked like trojans to clear up and restore services. In anticipation of the rain expected over the long weekend, Sanparks and the municipal teams tackled the massive amount of sand that the storm surge deposited under the Touw River bridges and in the lagoon. This has been an attempt by mankind to prevent flooding while dealing with the forces of nature.
It is awesome to note how our proactive citizens have reacted by documenting the work being done for social media while also profiling George and the Garden Route. Their efforts have attracted widespread coverage on social media that will benefit the tourism sector as we start preparations for our summer season.
From a municipal perspective, we also held our scheduled inaugural planning and preparedness meeting for the season where the task lists to deal with the tourism influx are compiled. Now is therefore the time for the broader tourism stakeholders to finalise their proposed activities and to get them listed for inclusion on the George QR code system that will be easily accessible on social media. It is anticipated that many visitors will flock to George and the Garden Route in the coming months.
I believe that our eateries can contribute to a memorable experience if each of them offers their distinctive signature dish that will make the holiday extra special. It is also so important that the tourism sector assists in sharing the message of being safe on our beaches and elsewhere with their guests.
Over the past two weeks, I have had the privilege of meeting with entrepreneurs to talk about business opportunities that they are creating in George that will translate into employment and further economic activity. In local government, it is a key objective to create an enabling environment for businesses to feel comfortable to undertake ventures and to grow them. The ultimate goal is to provide employment.
We are starting to witness the positive effect of providing a high level of services, maintaining infrastructure, upgrading systems and policies, employing skilled staff, and managing our budgets. The range of projects being launched or being planned includes infrastructure and investments in businesses that will benefit sectors such as health, housing, agriculture, tourism, sport, business services and creative arts. It is encouraging to note the passion of entrepreneurs and investors who are eager to drive ventures that will open up prospects and opportunities for our citizens.