Speaker to be elected today
The last item on the agenda of the Garden Route District Municipality's final general council meeting of the year last Thursday was put on ice for a week. The election of the speaker for the Garden Route Council is now scheduled to take place today, at a special council meeting.
According to those in the know, Eleanor Bouw-Spies is the DA's candidate for the position. Councillor Barnie Groenewald has been keeping the chair warm as acting speaker since June this year. Bouw-Spies couldn't attend Council last week due to ill health. Not only was she due to be inaugurated, but also to be elected as the new speaker. Bouw-Spies's husband, Rowan Spies, also serves on Council as a DAcouncillor. The outcome of the meeting will be published online.
At the meeting last week councillors were mostly relaxed, setting the mood for their yearly recess during the December holidays. Councillors received a festive mug decorated with a colourful wrapping and sweets. Mayor Memory Booysen wished all councillors, professional staff and residents of the Garden Route a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
In his reply to the mayoral address, ANC Councillor Piet van der Hoven said they are proud of the Garden Route District Municipality. However, he said, it would be great if people, especially the Afrikaans media, could start using their new name without incorrectly translating it to Tuinroete-distriksmunisipaliteit. "You don't translate New York in Afrikaans as Nuwe Lieg."
On a more serious note, talking about the 16 days of activism against violence against women and children, ANC Councillor Claudia Lichaba said the municipality should start a dialogue in the communities addressing this issue. "It is not only about women taking charge, it is also about men supporting these programmes," she said. Lichaba said the municipality should be proactive and create platforms for these matters. "Let us be the ones who speak boldly."
Acting speaker Barnie Groenewald said the municipality featured several educational speakers at their 16 days of activism launch. "Stand up, speak out, act, love and protect." Municipal Manager Monde Stratu said it has been a challenging year, but that he is happy to announce that the municipality has received funds from province - R10-million for the fire disasters, to assist with the amount spent on aerial firefighting - and R1,2-million for community safety.
PBI Councillor Virgill Gericke expressed his gratitude to national government for introducing the 16 days of activism. “In the previous dispensation women were not heard and they were deprived of the rights that they enjoy today.”
ANC Councillor Claudia Lichaba said the municipality should start dialogue in the communities, addressing the issue of violence against women and children.
Eleanor Bouw-Spies will in all likelihood be elected as the Garden Route’s new speaker today.
Mayor Memory Booysen said, in reply to a comment from the ANC that they weren’t invited to the launch of the 16 days of activism, that all municipalities were invited and that it was a governmental event, led by the district municipality.
DA Councillor Rowan Spies congratulated the communication department for the publication of their internal newsletter, Quarterly Wrap.
ANC Councillor Piet van der Hoven said it would be great if people, especially the Afrikaans media, could start using their new name without incorrectly translating it to “Tuinroete-distriksmunisipaliteit”.