Overstrand visit proves highlight of South African National Defence College Tour

Thursday, 21 April 2016 – “We tried our best to arrange good weather and get the whales to bid you a hearty Overstrand welcome. However, despite our best efforts, it seems our order got caught up with Supply Chain Management. As public servants though, many of you can appreciate how cumbersome this process can be,” quipped Overstrand Municipal Manager Coenie Groenewald at a recent presentation to the South African National Defence College (SANDC).

The gathering, held at the elegant Whale Coast Hotel in the beautiful coastal town of Hermanus, forms part of the SANDC’s year-long study programme spread over six academic modules and a number of educational tours encompassing a broad range of national security matters. The course, accredited by the University of Stellenbosch and presented in collaboration with the SA Military Academy, saw the delegation paying a visit to the Overstrand Municipality on Thursday, 21 April 2016, as part of its national tour.

To ensure delegates had a good understanding of the working and responsibility of local government, Executive Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie provided a comprehensive and informative presentation on Overstrand’s operational and service delivery programmes, the application of national and provincial guidelines, efforts to ensure socio-economic and political inclusivity, as well as an overview of budget and expense priorities.

In response to a question posed by Col. Maria Make of the South African Defence Force on what the Overstrand is doing to promote job creation and income generation in the area, the Mayor stated, “While the Overstrand cannot create jobs, we can create an enabling environment where opportunities do exist. The Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP), Municipal By-law workshops, Special Needs Peer Support courses, Early Childhood Development Centres and the Chrysalis Intern Programme are just a few of the training and skills improvement platforms aimed at ensuring employment viability and community development.

“Besides the more obvious stream of revenue from tourism, other boosts include the collection of rates and tariffs, land and commercial development and the establishment of an additional court that not only yields income from fines or penalties, but also has a positive effect on security and establishing a more disciplined public mind-set,” added Botha-Guthrie.

Visits to key projects such as the Hermanus Transfer Station and Recycling Plant, the Walker Bay Substation and the Preekstoel bio-filtration water plant - the first full-scale bulk water supply of its kind in South Africa - provided the party with further insight into Overstrand’s service offering.

The words of Musa Nkomonde, captain of the SAS Isandlwana frigate, summed up the group’s sentiments on the experience, “This was such a wonderful part of our programme. Being exposed to the operational elements and inner workings of your municipality has been very enlightening. Thank you, this will surely stand out as one of the biggest highlights.”


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