The construction phase of the Environmental Educational and Science Centre at the Garden Route Botanical Garden began this week. From left are: Collin Ralston (chairman of the GRBG Trust), Tarita Policutte (GRBG manager), Gina Dyosi (project implementer) and Brian Musto (trustee member). Photo: Pauline Lourens
GEORGE NEWS - Construction of the long-awaited Environmental Educational and Science Centre at the Garden Route Botanical Garden (GRBG) is about to start.
150 unemployed people must be employed at the garden in accordance with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) conditions.
The project implementer, Gina Dyosi, managing director of GD Projects, appointed by the DEA, said the appointment of so many unemployed people was a condition under which the R10-million was granted.
She had however, been given discretionary power and she would, in close cooperation with the trustees of the GRBG, be finding ways to employ them while the earthworks got underway.
Mario de Silva, of GD Projects, was appointed site manager on the project, and Loyiso Civils is the construction company.
Chairman of the GRBG Trust Colin Ralston said there are plans afoot to create a beautiful rockery and botany display on the hill/mound into which the centre was being built. The earth for the mound would be obtained from the excavation for the foundations, explained Ralston.
A local architect designed the building to blend into the area on the western borders of town. An artificial hill is to provide isolation. This means that the building will not be visible from the south, where a residential area borders on the garden - a gentle sloping green hill is all that will be seen.
One of the trustees said he was expecting the area to be kept clean of all litter. Dyosi said a condition of employment was that all candidates pass a medical fitness test.
"I cannot be held responsible for anyone's health if they do not pass the examination." A well placed source said that many of the would-be employees were reluctant to work for R87 per day, which the DEA is paying and includes a uniform.
ARTICLE: PAULINE LOURENS, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'