The Garden Route region of South Africa is recognised and valued by many local and international people as a pristine part of the world with many naturally occurring wonders. It is considered by many to be a first choice place to live and thrive. It is a very popular destination for vacations and for those that are entering their retirement years. In addition more recently, partly caused by the COVID 19 Pandemic, there has seen a significant increase in semigration to the Garden Route.

To further the concept of the Garden Route Skills Mecca or the GRSM, three (3) multi stakeholder summits were held in 2018, 2019 and 2023 to mobilise the involvement of all residents of the Garden Route around the concept of the Skills Mecca. Those three Skills Summits resulted in ten key resolutions noted below that today form the strategic objectives framework of the work of the GRSM.

The Resolutions

  • Continue and accelerate collaboration, cooperation and integration among all District skills development role players.
  • Ensure that Skills Development leverages digital infrastructure as far as possible to ensure learning and processes methods are and remain cutting edge.
  • As far as possible link Skills Development to Investment and Economic Development opportunities to the advancement for all.
  • Ensure that all Skills Development processes in the Garden Route always proactively considers renewable energy.
  • Engage with all willing partners, in particular the SETAs, the National Skills Fund, Business Chambers and Employers to implement projects across the District.
  • Consider and leverage local skilled people, including retired people, within the District, to accelerate the growth of the Skills Mecca.
  • All public and / or private skills development providers that comply with Skills Mecca requirements are acknowledged and recognised on the Skills Mecca web site.
  • Progressively support the development of the new apprenticeship of 21st Century (A21) in the District.
  • Implement a process that tracks and traces all learners on Skills Mecca programmes to determine their employment status post programme completion.
  • Plan and implement a Skills Summit that is held in a different local municipality within the Garden Route every two years.

Formalised internal and externally structures to ensure good governance, leadership, management and administration of the GRSM projects, processes and programmes are fully operational, respectively known as the GRSM Steering Committee (internal) and the GRSM Forum (external). The work of these structures emphasize relationship building to create long term partnerships. This approach is considered critical to ensure that the GRSM achieves its objective as one of the key enablers to the Garde Route District Growth and Development Strategy.


 The infographic on the right illustrates the various component parts of the Garden Route Skill Mecca concept that is explained in detail in the concept document that can be downloaded under documents on the Forum Page.

Click Image to Enlarge

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