Pictured at the 2015 National Blue Flag Launch ceremony on Tuesday, 6 October were (from left to right) Dr Thommie Burger (CEO of WESSA); the Honourable Derek Hanekom (Minister of Tourism);  Ald. Nicolette Botha-Guthrie (Executive Mayor Overstrand Municipality); Roderick Williams (Director of Community Services Overstrand Municipality) and Coenie Groenewald (Municipal Manager Overstrand Municipality)

Twenty-four of the top South African beaches that have achieved Blue Flag status for the forthcoming 2015/16 season have also received special recognition for their sustained commitment to marine and coastal conservation through their long-term and continuous participation in the international Blue Flag Programme.

The commendable achievements of the stakeholders responsible for the success of these beaches were formally acknowledged with the presentation of awards at the launch event for the 2015/16 Blue Flag Season. The new Blue Flag season opens officially on 1 November and the launch event took place at Grotto Beach in Hermanus in the Overberg region today.

The new long-term achievement awards have been introduced to mark the fifteen year anniversary of the implementation of the international Blue Flag programme in South Africa. This respected eco-label has been implemented by WESSA since 2001, with the support of coastal municipalities and conservation parastatals.

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Pictured standing from left: Cllr Lisel Krige, Cllr Moira Opperman, Cllr Dudley Coetzee, Ald Phillipus Appelgrein, Koos Du Plessie, Cllr Rudolph Smith, (Overstrand Deputy Mayor), Abrie Hickman (Adenco), Ald Nicolette Botha-Guthrie (Overstrand Mayor), Danie Fourie (Auricon) Coenie Groenewald (Overstrand Municipal Manager), Stephen Muller (Dir Infrastructure and Planning)  Sitting: Mlindeni Mkrabalala, Noluvuyo Qobani and Ntobeko Msheqo (community members)

On Tuesday 1 September 2015, Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie had occasion to brighten up the lives of those who reside in Kleinmond’s informal settlement, Overhills, when she “turned on the lights", so to speak.

Quite a while back, members of this community raised their concerns about having electrical appliances but no electricity with their Ward Councillor, Lisel Krige, who took it upon herself to make their dream a reality by canvassing support for the electrification of Overhills.

Overhills was added to the municipality’s electrification programme, and when funds became available in the 2014/15 financial year, the project was launched in October 2014 and completed in August this year. At a cost of R2,5 million, around 376 households are now electrified.

In her address on the day, Mayor Botha-Guthrie pointed out that this was no easy feat. Several challenges had to be overcome – one being that houses standing under the existing Eskom overhead lines had to be relocated first. The lay-out of the terrain and the placement of the existing houses also complicated the installation of the new electrical overhead network considerably.

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Overall winner: Kim “Sharklady” MacLean

This lady came to Overstrand as a young marine technician with a passion for sharks and has grown into a successful businesswoman who has proven her worth as an ambassador of our region.   She is using her passion to educate the world about sharks.  

She invests time, money, expertise and herself into conserving our environment, educating people, supporting development and promoting Overstrand everywhere in the world.

She is always ready to assist members of the community where ever a need may arise, sponsoring fabrics and cottons for the Umzobee Initiative in Gansbaai serves as a good example.   She also assists young musicians and DJs from Zwelihle by opening doors and granting them access to her music equipment.   She gets involved with disadvantaged communities and never says “no” if her support and help is needed.  

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Margaret Motsoene’s journey to establishing her own business, Throneroom Living & Projects, where she is not only self-sustaining, but able to provide gainful employment to other members of her community began in 2012, when the Local Economic Department (LED) in partnership with the Hermanus Business Chamber, hosted a Women’s Day event. It was here that Margaret was first exposed to the South African Women’s Entrepreneurial Network (SAWEN) and the Cape Crafter’s Design Institute (CCDI), critical stakeholders that seek to develop small businesses.

Later in 2013, the LED Department once again formed a collaboration with the Hermanus Business Chamber to launch the Service Excellence Campaign. Soon after, the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) Customer Care training followed. This training was geared towards teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses. It further focused more on tourism and how to have an impact in the tourism field. Modules such as ‘how to market to target customers’, ‘develop the business’, ‘developing the attitude to understand yourself as an entrepreneur and to conscientise yourself with regards to tourism’ were also incorporated.

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The official launch of the “Overstrand Shack Fire Project” was marked by a ceremonial event that took place at the Zwelihle Community Hall in Hermanus on Wednesday, 5 August 2015.  The event was presided over by Executive Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie and included fire chiefs and senior fire fighting personnel, amongst others, from across the country.

The aim of the project is to empower people who live in the informal settlements to cope should a fire break out in their area.  Various training modules that included basic fire fighting and first aid training were offered by brainchild of the project and developer of the fire boxes, Hennie Zeelie, Angela Hesslop of the Red Cross and practical training from the Hermanus Fire Station. As the project rolls out further training will be provided to more informal dwellers.  

Once trained, individuals will have access to an electronic key that not only opens a carefully placed box containing a fire extinguisher, but will also sound an alarm to notify all residents of a fire outbreak.  A red light which is mounted high on a pole will flash and a SMS will simultaneously be sent to the fire brigade advising them which box needs attending to. In this way affected residents will have the means to try and stop the fire from spreading, or contain it before the fire brigade arrives.

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Contact Us

Hermanus 028 313 8000
Kleinmond 028 271 8400
Gansbaai 028 384 8300
Stanford 028 341 8500