The George Municipality recently won the Eco-Logic Municipality Award at the ceremony held at Maropeng. Mr Giel Goosen, Senior Manager of Environmental Services attended the event to accept this award on behalf of the local government.
“George Municipality is one of the best performing B-Municipalities in South Africa. We strive to deliver excellent quality services to our residents in the most sustainable and environmentally sensitive manner. George has received numerous environmental awards in recent years, and aims to continue to be an inspirational leader in the field of sustainable city management,” said Goosen.
Green Times wanted to know what exactly they did to be the leading eco municipality?
- The municipality has come a long way with the beautification and greening of George.
- About 10 years ago, the parks department at Community Services, started with the beautification of the towns’ entrances and traffic islands in York Street. It was later expanded to Sandkraal Road and Beach Road. The garden around the Civic Centre was also completely overhauled.
- Businesses in town took the responsibility in beautifying the middleman in York Street as part of the conservation and environmental cleanliness. Ten years ago there was an increased tree planting program, with approximately 30,000 trees being planted. 17,000 trees (citrus, macadamia and guava) were planted in Thembalethu, 4000 stone fruit (peach, apple, pear and plum) trees in Conville, Lawaaikamp and Conville. All of the fruit trees were planted inside people’s plots. The other trees planted were street trees planted in the rest of the town.
- The municipality started cleaning rivers that run for about 60 km through town. It includes the Gwaiing, Schaapkop, Moolen, Black and Touwrivier. Botha said: “We started the plantation clearing between Denneoord and the Garden Route dam in 2003 and burned the water catchment area for better water run.
- They started the Kaptein Dikkop amphitheater in Boomlaagte, Pacaltsdorp to beautify and maintain the area.
- The municipality has particular problems with pollution in beach areas. People were used to braaing anywhere and toilet facilities were vandalised. The council decided to limit the braai spots to beaches at Herolds Bay, Victoria Bay, Leentjiesklip and Gwaiing.
- With regards to waste, there is a repository for the disposal of used motor oil at the rubbish docking station at Gwaiing.
- At a private institution a warehouse recycles, light bulbs and electronic waste (e-waste) that contains heavy metals.
- The municipality has also recently launched a project with Eden Waste forum, where all schools in the municipal area were visited. This helped ensure that schools get rid of chemicals in school laboratories in a safe manner. The municipality supports the botanical gardens trust financially and this gem is a great asset to children and the rest of the town.
- There are plans to close the landfill, to compost green waste and recycle building material. Environmental Officers constantly guide the public on the greening and safe disposal of waste. Anti-Tobacco Week is also used to make people aware of the dangers of tobacco.
Mr Trevor Botha, Municipal Manager of George Municipality, said he is very proud of the achievements of the George Municipality and “specifically of our officials who consistently take the lead with other Municipalities.”
He thanked Grace Notshokovu, who drove the project in the Environmental Services department, as well as Goosen, Radie Loubser and Harold Basson, director: Civil Engineering Services. He said there constant work towards green projects and good services makes the Municipality a winning team.
Councillor Erasmus de Villiers also praised the officials for their hard work. He said these good works comes from their souls because they follow the vision and mission which is part of the strategic goals of the George Municipality – good governance in George, to grow George, participation in George, quality services in George and to keep George safe and green.
The Eco-Logic awards, hosted by The Enviropaedia, in association with SABC 3 identify and give recognition to individuals, organisations and services that are making a real and measurable difference in creating a more sustainable world to live in.
- From left: Trevor Botha, Municipal Manager: George Municipality, Radie Loubser, Acting Manager: Parks and Recreation, Giel Goosen, Senior Manager: Environmental Services and Cllr Erasmus de Villiers, Portfolio Councillor: Environmental Affairs and Sport. In front is Grace Notshokovu, Project Coordinator for the Greenest Municipality Competition.
- Local school at water works treatment
- World tabacco day exhibition