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Overstrand Executive Mayor Rudolph Smith honoured achievers who make a difference in their communities at a glitzy Annual Night of Achievers Awards ceremony last night.

The event, held in the Overstrand Auditorium, recognises the outstanding work of individuals who have done outstanding service by awarding the Mayoral Trophy for Environmental Conservation, the Woman/Women of the Year Award and the Awards for Achievers of Excellence.

The following individuals were awarded certificates as  Achievers of Excellence in their respective fields:   

LES ABBOTT (for his commitment and exceptional work involving the ‘Hermanus Night Shelter’),

LORRAINE AND PAT DIEDERICKS (for years of dedication to the building and management of ‘Wortelgat’, a magnificent and well-known faith based camping facility),

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For the community volunteer fire-fighters of Pringle Bay and the surrounding villages 29 September 2016 was indeed a red letter day: they could at last move into, and start operating from their long-awaited new fire station.

In the words of Fire & Rescue Chief Lester Smith, the new facility was a’ ‘dream come true’ for the volunteer fire fighters of Pringle Bay and surrounds.

The inauguration of the facility was the culmination of years of planning and dreaming. The fire station will now be able to serve as a regional emergency centre and currently has eight volunteers and one truck to assist with fires in Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooiels.

Clayton Francis, who spearheads the Pringle Bay Volunteer Fire Fighters, said it had been a community effort over many years, of which the last few were in conjunction with the ward committee of ward 10.

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Overstrand’s Mayor Rudoloph Smith is making an appeal to motorists travelling to the upcoming HERMANUS WHALE FESTIVAL to drive with utmost care and a sense of responsibility. “We expect all road users to play their part by practising good road safety habits at all times. Please be alert, be considerate, and be especially careful around vulnerable road users – children, older people, cyclists and motorcyclists”, he said.

Traffic law enforcement authorities from the Province, Overstrand, Cape Agulhas and Theewaterskloof as well as officials from the Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) will be conducting co-ordinated operations on various routes around Hermanus and the Overberg  during the festival weekend, with support from the police.

Traffic officers will be focusing on speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving (using cell phones while driving), seatbelt compliance, and driver and vehicle fitness.

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A word of caution to all consummate gardeners:

The operative word in SIDEWALK is WALK

As much as we appreciate the enthusiasm with which home owners are lending a hand to help beautify our towns by sprucing up their sidewalks, Overstrand Municipality must caution that what is commonly referred to as a "pavement" is, actually, a road reserve.

In terms of the law, that implies that that 1,5-metre verge that abuts your erf belongs to the municipality and has been reserved for use by all forms of public transport – in the case of residential areas, mostly pedestrian traffic.

Sometimes, Overstrand’s home owners get a little over enthusiastic and allow their gardens to spill over onto the sidewalk to such an extent that it is virtually impossible for any pedestrian – be they on foot or in a wheelchair – to move along without having to step into the road and, by inference, into traffic.

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Overstrand Fire Safety Officer Joe Schoeman, has distinguished himself as an astute and capable professional fire-fighter in a career that spans well over three decades.

In that time Schoeman has augmented his experience and skills set by embarking on further training and development programmes to ensure he is able to render an optimal service to the community.

To that end, the burly fire-fighter boasts a Level 4 Safety Certificate that he obtained through the highly acclaimed and prestigious UK-based Institute of Fire Engineers.  What sets him apart is that he was the only South African to achieve this qualification amongst a pool of more than 30 international counterparts who sat for the exam in Cape Town earlier this year.

The qualification will further allow him to apply to the University of Lancashire to undertake a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Safety Engineering.  Upon completion, Schoeman can then realise his ambition to specialise in either aviation or marine fire safety.

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