For Willem Jantjies, David Louw and John Petersen Christmas has come early.  Having fallen on hard times in recent years, the offer of a bath, shave and warm meal came as a welcome treat for the forlorn trio.

The initiative, borne from an idea by Regional Inspector Johan du Toit (fondly known as Toitjie by locals) of the Hermanus Special Task unit who spearheaded his team on a collection drive, culminated in a special handover event at their premises in Mount Pleasant on Wednesday, 30 November 2016.

As each of the gents received a new set of clothing, shoes food, blankets and toiletries, the look of joy and gratitude on their weather-beaten faces was enough to touch the hearts of all present.

Dominee Kemp of the NG Kerk Hermanus who led the gathering in prayer stated, “I have to commend the Special Task Unit for their kind gesture and helping to restore the dignity of these people.”

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The air was charged with excitement as 30 car guards and 4 car washers gathered in Overstrand’s Auditorium for an official capping ceremony and the issue of uniforms that would set them apart to service the CBD area in Hermanus.

The brand-new lime green bibs and caps, sponsored by AfriForum, will ensure the guards are easily identifiable.  Added to that, they have also been issued with identity cards bearing their names, ID numbers and photos which must be displayed at all times during the execution of their duties. 

According to Law Enforcement’s Sr Insp Zingani Tshefu, champion of the programme, training has been afforded in basic first aid, customer service and the ability to assist tourists with any queries that may arise.

Operating times for the car guards will be between 16h00 to 23h00 during the week, 13h00 to 23h00 on Saturdays and all day on Sundays.  The four car washers can be found at the parking lots at Clicks, Gearing’s Point, Market Square, Bientang’s Cave and Mitchell Square (behind Jet Stores) between 08h00 and 17h00 on a daily basis.

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On Monday, 28 November 2016 an official ceremony was held at Grotto Beach in Hermanus to mark the 16th season of the Blue Flag certification programme in South Africa.

Grotto Beach holds the record of being awarded the longest uninterrupted Blue Flag association of the country.

Other local achievers were Kleinmond Beach and Hawston Beach. Whale-watching boats have recently been introduced into the programme with local vessels the Whale Whisperer, Dream Catcher and Slashfin(Dyer Island Conservation Trust and Marine Dynamics, Gansbaai) all receiving the coveted Blue Flag status this year by complying with the Blue Flag for Whale-watching Boat’s Environmental Code of Conduct.

The event was hosted by the Overstrand Municipality and included an address by Overstrand Deputy Mayor, Dudley Coetzee, who said, “Tourism plays a pivotal role in the local economy; it is therefore essential that we look after our beaches and maintain the necessary standards to ensure that both tourists and locals can continue to enjoy this natural asset.”

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The much anticipated annual Build- it under 13 soccer tournament was hosted for the first time in Hermanus at the Zwelihle Sports Field on Saturday, 5 November 2016.

Participants from Lukhanyo, Debron, Zwelihle, Mt Pleasant, Hawston, Masakhane, Kleinmond, Swartberg, Bredasdorp and Swellendam Primary Schools, as too the Football Foundation Team, were all hoping to claim the bragging rights of being the 2016 Build-It champions.

The event kicked off with a March Pass from Builders Express to the Zwelihle Sport Field. Young footballers drew inspiration from speeches delivered by SAFA Overberg President Mr Ntankiso Modipa, Hermanus LFA Chairman Mr Peter Stuurman, Build-it Store Manager Dylan, as well as Deputy Mayor Overberg District Municipality Cllr Archie Klaas. Overstrand’s Community Services Portfolio Chairperson Cllr Andrew Komani similarly offered a few words of wisdom to the youth.

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The 2016/2017 Overstand Junior Town Council has been inaugurated, with Yanna Stergianos from Hermanus High as the Junior Mayor and Izaan Newman from Gansbaai Academia as well as Monique Barkley from Northcliff House as her deputies.
The inauguration of 35 junior council members, drawn from a pool of grade 10-12 learners of the area’s six high schools, took place at the Municipal Auditorium in Hermanus on 3 November.

The Overstrand Junior Town Council initiative is managed by the Enlighten Education Trust in partnership with the Overstrand Municipality.  During their 12-month term of office, junior council members are exposed to the work of local government, community development aimed at benefiting their respective communities, the delivery of projects and public appearance.

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