Overstrand Executive Mayor, Dr Annelie Rabie, was the guest speaker at Hermanus Business Chamber meeting held at the Marine Hotel on 25 October 2023.

She summarised the Municipality’s progress on the water (and other) issues after the level 9 storm of 24 September and shared insights about the ‘storm aftermath – disaster management and lessons learnt’.

She also said perhaps one of the saddest consequences was that the Whale Festival got cancelled. Last year over 80 000 people and 21 000 cars visited Hermanus over that weekend. One of the realities we will need to face is the vulnerability of our town regarding access to the rest of the Overstrand.

The Municipal team made plans during the water crisis to have temporary water supplies and put up 82 JoJo tanks across Hermanus. A total of 1387 kiloliters of water was provided free of charge to the residents of Hermanus from Stanford, and several other municipalities like George, Drakenstein and Mossel bay, as well as Peninsula Beverages who immediately sent large water tankers to support Hermanus. The De Bos supply line was fixed temporarily within four days – a major achievement. The expenses for overtime and diesel budget will be enormous. There will have to be drastic cuts in the municipal budgets to cover the cost of what we are facing. In addition to the 56 meters of piping washed away of the De Bos dam, there was also 500 meters of sewer pipeline that was destroyed in Onrus at Bosplasie meaning raw sewage and the work has started there.

The Mayor was accompanied by the Mayoral Committee members (executive councillors), Speaker Grant Gillion, Municipal Manager Dean O’Neill, Director of Protection Services, Neville Michaels and the Senior Manager of Fire and Rescue, Disaster Management and Security Services, Lester Smith.

The business chamber honoured Mayor Rabie and her team for their dedication and efforts which have been instrumental in keeping residents updated on the water situation in Greater Hermanus.

They also expressed their appreciation to the Overstrand Municipality and workers for the way they handled the aftermath of the storm.

A Certificate of Excellence was handed to the Mayor, and an invitation was handed to the Municipal manager Dean O’Neill to identify about 50 -70 workers who assisted on the front line to alleviate the water crisis. They will be treated to a free lunch at Ocean Basket, sponsored by Chamber members. Those who want to make a financial contribution to cover this specific lunch, can do so with specific reference to “OM staff appreciation lunch”.
Bank details: Standard Bank, Hermanus; Branch Code: 050312; Account name: Hermanus Business Chamber; Account number: 082257833 ; Reference: OM staff appreciation lunch . Email POP to Alta Pretorius at info@hermanuschamber.com.
Please use multiples of “R1000.00” when you make your contribution. For more info or to join the Chamber, WhatsApp Alta at 0735383685.

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