Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Mayor’s Newsletter for the week ended 23 February 2024

Alderman Leon van Wyk, Executive Mayor of George

During the past week, I have had the privilege of meeting with various role players to monitor the pulse of the economy in George.

The activities for the six months ended December 2023 for the Planning and Development Directorate report that 112 land use applications were finalised.

At Building Control, the building plans approved in the six months totalled R1403 million relating to 1094 buildings of which business and industrial buildings amount to the value of R347 million. Over this period, occupation certificates to the value of R793 million had been issued.

These statistics provide some insight into the intense level of economic activity taking place in George and the productivity of the municipal team processing these applications.

The Provincial Minister of Mobility, MEC Ricardo Mackenzie visited George so that we could engage with state entities about their readiness to manage the growth experienced in George and the Garden Route. Discussions with the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) were held to check in on their proposed plans to expand George Airport in the coming years to handle the anticipated passenger growth. It was indicated that in 2019 there were no direct flights from the USA to Cape Town airport. At present, there are 13 weekly flights from American cities. This provides an inkling of the increase in international tourism being experienced in the Western Cape.

We also met with Transnet executives to establish their plans for maintaining and operating their infrastructure in and around George and Mossel Bay. Suggestions were made about collaboration that would be to the benefit of tourism, rail freight and the need for movement of fresh fruit and vegetable produce by rail. Transnet has indicated that they are developing new business models that include the issue of concessions to operate trains on the rail network.

These discussions reflect the increasingly important role that local and provincial government now need to play to ensure that state enterprises and departments undertake the tasks required of them to deliver services. The national government and the state enterprises have become increasingly incapable of performing their responsibilities and functions. The work being done by the Western Cape Government in terms of infrastructure development and its Growth for Jobs strategy is therefore critical for economic activity and employment. As the largest municipality outside of the City of Cape Town, we therefore welcome the support we are receiving for the growth in George.

During the week, the regional chapter of the Institute of Municipal Engineers met in George. During my short address to them, I stressed the important work that they are doing to develop and maintain infrastructure growth amidst the growth across the Garden Route.

Alderman Leon van Wyk
Executive of George