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Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:11 pm UTC

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By Juanita Botha

The George Municipality reminds residents and visitors that fireworks, fire crackers, flares, paper lanterns and other such paraphernalia are considered a major fire risk and are not allowed in public or private spaces in the municipal area this summer, or at any other time.

George Fire Chief Neels Barnard said the George Municipality Public Safety and Nuisance bylaws, overall fire safety and disaster management regulations, and ongoing dry and hot conditions of the Western Cape fire season were all reasons why fireworks remained banned in the municipal area. “We appeal to residents and visitors to consider that the city and all its neighbourhoods and beaches are surrounded by natural vegetation and that, combined with hot and windy summer weather conditions on the Garden Route, the fire risk is omnipresent.”

The selling of fireworks is also illegal, and no such permits have been issued or will be issued by the George Municipality. The illegal trading, possession and/or setting off of fireworks carry fines of R300 and fireworks will be confiscated. Such activities can be reported on the numbers below.

While the current municipal bylaw mentions application for a permit for professional pyrotechnic shows, the George Fire Department reiterates that no such permits have been issued for years and are extremely unlikely to be issued in the foreseeable future.

Mr Barnard stressed there had not been designated sites for fireworks in the George municipal area for years and was unlikely to be reinstated, despite public tradition to ‘self-designate’ certain areas such as beaches, parks and streets. “This summer we are especially concerned about our coastal zone, which has been identified as a high-risk area in our recent fire risk assessment. While we know the intention is to light the fireworks over the sea or out of harm’s way, the risk of misreading wind direction or a change in wind direction is not worth taking when lives and property are at stake.

“Paper lanterns hold duel concern. In addition to the risk of blowing and dropping out of sight and catching fire in vegetation or on flammable material before it is extinguished, paper lanterns also waste resources when rescue services are incorrectly alerted to an ‘emergency flare’.

“Similarly, the illegal setting off of a signal flare on New Year’s Eve 2019 caused a fire that destroyed several homes and necessitated evacuations at Betty’s Bay. A man was ultimately arrested and charged in terms of the National Environmental Management Protected Areas Act.

“The public must please understand that any kind of spark or heat holds a threat – while fireworks, flares and lanterns are being highlighted, the appeal is for responsible, fire-aware action throughout. Please exercise extreme caution always, make fires only in protected and designated areas, and dispose of cigarette butts safely.”

The George Fire Department’s access to high-tech equipment such as a drone has this year enabled it to do extensive fire risk assessment across the municipal area, specifically in areas that are difficult to access on land. “The fuel load in the coastal zone is particularly high, mostly due to the areas not having naturally burnt off for some time, which means relatively thick layers of very dry wood and other plant material close to beaches and beachside communities that would probably burn hot and fast should it catch fire. The vegetation in these zones are generally fynbos, afro-montane indigenous forest and alien vegetation, and are mostly on private agricultural and residential land.

“The George Municipality has already taken steps to address issues highlighted by this assessment. We have started issuing notices to landowners reminding them of their legal responsibility regarding alien vegetation and fire management. A small patch of coastal land belonging to the municipality will be cleared shortly, and patches municipal land in other high-risk areas cleared before the start of the official fire season on 1 December 2019.”

The municipality will also be erecting ‘no fireworks’ posters ahead of the festive season at beaches, public open spaces and streets known for fireworks activities.

“We make an urgent appeal to all who live and visit here to respect the fireworks ban and to be generally fire-aware wherever they go, whatever they do. As a community still reeling from devastating fires over the past two years, the people of George and the Garden Route need everyone’s help to raise fire risk awareness and be safe. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and support,” said Mr Barnard.

Please report illegal trade and setting off of fireworks in George to Law Enforcement at 044 801 6350 or after hours at 044 801 6300.
Please report illegal, irresponsible and unsafe fires to the Fire Department on 044 801 6300.

FIRE EMERGENCIES: 044 801 6311


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The late Harold Basson and his wife Lidia.

GEORGE NEWS - Mr Trevor Botha, Municipal Manager for George Municipality today offered his condolences and that of George Municipality and Council to the family, friends and colleagues of Harold Basson who passed away suddenly last week.

Harold was previously employed by the George Municipality for 31 years and as Director: Civil Engineering Services for the last 11 years.

Our thoughts are with everyone who knew him and worked with him and we wish his wife Lidia and family, much strength during this difficult time.


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Lara Mostert, co-owner of Monkeyland, with the Major Tourist Attraction trophy.
GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The Garden Route tourist attraction Monkeyland, together with its three sister sanctuaries, has won the accolade of Major Tourist Attraction at the global 2019 Sustainable Tourism Awards.

Co-owner of Monkeyland, Lara Mostert, went to Miami to collect the award on behalf of the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (Saasa), the holding company of these institutions.

The handover took place on 15 September during the opening ceremony of the Skål World Congress, held from 14 to 21 September on board the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas.

Andrew Rogers, president of Skål International Garden Route, with which Saasa is affiliated, expressed delight about the win.

Skål International is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world and an affiliated member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

"As an international organisation of tourism industry leaders, Skål International is a powerful force in the travel and tourism industry to initiate change and encourage the conservation of the environment in order to promote tourism and travel," he said. "We adopted the Global Code of Ethics in Tourism, and also support the Sustainable Tourism-Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP initiative)."

A total of 56 entries from 25 countries competed this year. The awards were launched in 2002 and any company from the public and private sector, NGOs, government agencies and educational institutions may submit an entry in one of nine categories.


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Leerlinge, almal deel van die Early Act-klub by Laerskool Outeniqua, by kos en ander voorrade wat hulle as deel van hul nuutste gemeenskapsprojek aan Odin (Oudtshoorn Dogs In Need) oorhandig het.

GEORGE NUUS - Leerlinge van die Laerskool Outeniqua het hul liefde vir weerlose diere gewys toe hulle onlangs kos en ander voorrade oorhandig het aan Odin (Oudtshoorn Dogs In Need).

Die leerlinge, almal deel van die Early Act-klub by Laerskool Outeniqua het dit as deel van hulle nuutste gemeenskapsprojek voltooi.

Early Act word by laerskole deur die internasionale Rotariërs ondersteun en het as doel om geleenthede te verskaf aan jong leerders vir aktiewe burgerskap in a kultureel diverse samelewing in ‘n interafhanklike wêreld.

"Ons het onlangs bewus geword van die Odin-projek wat vier jaar gelede op Oudtshoorn begin is, en nou ook aktief is in George, met hul plaaslike basis net buite Blanco," het Danielle Barnard, onderwyser en Early Act-koördineerder by Laerskool Outeniqua, vertel.

"Die inisiatief behels 'n veilige hawe vir mishandelde en verwaarloosde diere waar hul versorg en gerehabiliteer word tot op die punt waar lede van die publiek die diere kan aanneem, maar slegs nadat ondersoek geloods is oor die aanneemouers ten einde herhaalde trauma vir die dier te vermy.

"Ons wou graag iets doen vir die diere sowel as die spesiale mense wat na hul omsien. Ons Early Actors was meer as opgewasse vir die taak."

Die leerlinge, almal deel van die Early Act-klub by Laerskool Outeniqua het dit as deel van hulle nuutste gemeenskapsprojek voltooi.

Die leerders by die Early Act-klub, bygestaan deur hul ouers, sowel as die skool in sy geheel, het kos en ander voorrade gereël vir die samekoms. Op die dag van die besoek het sowat 35 Early Actors by die Odin-basis buite Blanco byeengekom, die voedsel en voorrade oorhandig, en toe met die honde en katte op die gronde gespeel.

"Die sleutelwaardes van ons skool is respek, hoflikheid, probleemoplossing en verantwoordelikheid," het Johan Smit, hoof van Laerskool Outeniqua, gesê.

"Early Act verskaf aan ons 'n manier om hierdie beginsels te koester en te bevorder."

Carryn Trollope, president van die George Rotariërs, het gesê die organisasie is trots om met die Outeniqua Early Actors geassosieer te word.

"Hulle inisiatiewe verpersoonlik die leierskap, empatie en gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid wat ons land baie nodig het."

Enige persoon wat navrae het oor die lansering van 'n Early Act-klub by hul laerskool is welkom om met Wilhelm van der Vyver van die George Rotariërs te skakel tydens kantoorure by 044 873 0215.


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GEORGE NUUS - Nes die Kaapse Dokter, storm Tanja die musiekbedryf binne op 'n jong ouderdom en is hier om te bly. Getoë in Melkbosstrand en alreeds 'n meester van die klawerbord op ouderdom sewe, het Tanja geweet musiek spoel soos die branders deur haar - onkeerbaar.

Sy neem haar debuut album in 2009 op en die optredes stroom landwyd in, maar nou is sy op pad met 'n splinternuwe album getiteld, Ek is oppad.

En sy is op pad na George waar sy op Saterdag 24 Augustus in die George-kunsteteater optree met 'n lewendige orkes.

Gaskunstenaars vir die aand is eie aan die Tuinroete, Bea Crawford en Albert Meintjes. Beide gevestigde sangers en liedjieskrywers, gaan hulle bydra tot die aand se vermaak. Bea is 'n talentvolle musikale teateraktrise en bekroonde skrywer, en het verskeie van haar gedigte in Suid-Afrika gepubliseer.

Albert se sterkste bron van liriese inspirasie word getrek uit die gebeure van die daaglikse lewe en die emosies wat hulle op ons aanspreek.

Sy verhale van liefde, avontuur en die al te dikwels onsigbare natuurskoon wat ons omring, beloof om sy gehoor op 'n inspirerende en boeiende reis te neem.

Kaartjies is beskikbaar by Computicket of skakel 044 874 3142 vir navrae.

Tanja is op pad na George waar sy op Saterdag 24 Augustus in die George-kunsteteater optree met 'n lewendige orkes.


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The man was airlifted to hospital. Photos: NSRI Wilderness
GEORGE NEWS - A 30 year old man survived a fall from a cliff in Victoria Bay on Saturday.

Craig Lambinon, NSRI Spokesman, says the man survived a 10m fall of a cliff face. According to Lambinon the man was airlifted to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

He said the man was helped by NSRI Wilderness, EMS and George Fire and Rescue and they were assisted by a private doctor who happened to be on holiday.

“The doctor initiated medical treatment. The man was first airlifted out of the barely accessible area before taken to hospital by helicopter.”

Athane Scholtz, George Municipality media liaison officer, says it was a joint operation between NSRI and George Fire and Rescue.

The man was helped by NSRI Wilderness, EMS and George Fire and Rescue and they were assisted by a private doctor who happened to be on holiday.


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Mia Ryan

GEORGE NEWS - At age seven, little Mia Ryan from George was crowned Junior Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion in England two weeks ago.

Mia has had a busy year, training hard and competing all over South Africa and Europe. This youngster has some impressive wins to her name.

She is the current South African champion, took gold in Italy, gold in Lausanne in Switzerland, gold in Geneva, Switzerland, gold at NAGA Germany, is the UK national champion, and now reached her dream and took gold for No Gi and bronze for Gi at the Junior World Championships.

She's not alone in her accomplishments. Her brothers Ben (12) and Tim (9) also did very well.

Ben took silver on day one in two categories, with a nail-biting final against the current double world champion, then on day two took third in a higher weight category. He has also had a busy year, winning his categories in Italy, Switzerland, UK and Germany.

Tim took bronze on day two in a very large, experienced category. He can also boast gold in his categories in Italy, Switzerland, UK and Germany.

For the past year the children have been training really hard, seven days a week, on techniques and fitness under the coaching of Robert Harris and Linda van de Merve of Bear Fight Club and Boxfit in George.

Mia and her family currently live in Switzerland while her dad works there. They will return to George later this year.


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The 17th OCC will take place in George on Saturday 14 September.

Ernst van Dyk: OCC hero

GEORGE NEWS - Ernst van Dyk is probably the best known and most watched athlete in the history of the Outeniqua Cycle Challenge. He has been the star attraction and has been instrumental to the success of the event. For that George and the OCC is eternally grateful.

Ernst was born with congenital absence of both legs. His parents, two provincial-level athletes, recognised his athletic abilities and encouraged sports participation.

"I thought I was given a disability to overcome and that was part of my process of growing up and how the Lord wanted to teach me to be a better person. I realised He had given me a talent to perform well on the world scene, to inspire people and to make people realise that when they think there is no way out, there is actually a way out," he told Beyond the Ultimate in 2012.

While at school in Kimberly in his teens, he competed nationally as a swimmer.

In 1992 he began his studies at Stellenbosch University and also competed in the Barcelona Paralympics as a swimmer and wheelchair athlete.

The cheering crowd at the athletics track in Barcelona persuaded him to concentrate on wheelchair racing, but after the Games he lost his sponsorship. "It felt like being fired from the job," he said at the time. "I quit training for nine months until I reminded myself of a commitment I had made to my father."

Since then Ernst has competed in every Paralympics to date. He won numerous silver and bronze medals before finally winning gold in Beijing in 2012.

Ernst has won a record 10 Boston Marathons, including six straight between 2001 and 2006. The ninth, in 2010, was a record for that event for any class. Apart from Boston, he has won the New York City Marathon and the Los Angeles Marathon twice, as well as the Paris Marathon and the Great North Run.

The South African government has also recognised Van Dyk's contribution to sport. He received the Presidential Golden Award for sport in 2002 and 2004. In 2010 he was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in silver.

Internationally he was also awarded the Laureus World Sports Awards for Sportsperson with a Disability of the year for 2006 and voted Commonwealth Sports Star of the year for 2004.

In spite of all of his sporting success, Ernst believes that his biggest achievement is being the first disabled person to graduate with a degree in Sports Science. Van Dyk's company, Enabled Sport, deals in equipment for athletes with disabilities. He lives in Paarl with his wife and daughter.

The Outeniqua Cycle Challenge
The 17th OCC, a wheelchair race exclusively for disabled athletes, which attracts athletes from all over the world, will take place in George on Saturday 14 September.

Athletes in racing wheelchairs, adapted bicycles, hand cycles, basketball chairs and ordinary wheelchairs have made this into the premier sporting event for the disabled on the South African sporting calendar. It undoubtedly has the potential to develop into one of the best events of its kind in the world!

Apart from the George Municipality and the George Business Chamber, Lancewood and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport are supporting the event and Halfway Toyota is the venue host.

For more information about the OCC, contact event organiser Alewijn Dippenaar on 082 457 5675 / visit the OCC website www.georgeocc.co.za / www.facebook.com/OCC.Wheelchairchallenge. Online entries can be made at http://georgeocc.co.za/wp-content/upl...er2019.pdf


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Die Jingle Bells interspesie wat deur Bertie Guilliome gekweek is.

GEORGE NUUS - Die Garden Route-cliviaklub hou op Saterdag 10 Augustus 'n skou by George-kwekery.

Besigtiging deur die publiek is tussen 10:00 en 13:00. Cliviaplante van bekende kwekers sal te koop wees.

Besoek die klub se webwerf, www.gardenroutecliviaclub.org.za vir meer inligting of bel die voorsitter, Carrie Kruger by 083 343 1288 of die sekretaris, Rocco Kriel by 083 653 9644.


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Taking charge of your happiness...!

- GEORGE NEWSThis is your invitation. Please note that although you need not reserve your seat it would be great should you be able to let us know if you will be attending to assist us with catering purposes. Looking for to see you there...!

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