Have your say on Kouga’s Integrated Development Plan

October 21, 2019

The third review of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the Kouga region will get under way this month.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said 13 public consultation meetings would be held across the region, starting on October 28.

“The IDP is the municipality’s most important planning tool,” he said.

“It captures the service-delivery and development requirements for each ward. These requirements, in turn, help to determine how the annual budget of the municipality is allocated.

“It is, therefore, critical that communities provide input so as to ensure that the needs of their wards are correctly identified and addressed.”

The IDP meetings will start at the Pellsrus Community Hall on 28 October, with the focus on Ward 2 and the Tokyo Sexwale portion of Ward 14.

Wards 3, 8 and 11 will meet the next day, October 29, at the Newton Hall.

On October 30 a meeting will be held at the Kruisfontein Civic Centre for Wards 4 and 5.

This will be followed by a session at the KwaNomzamo Community Hall on October 31 for the Lower and Upper Golf Course settlements of Wards 12 and 15.

Two meetings will be held for Ward 7. The first meeting will take place at the Loerie Community Hall on November 4, followed by a meeting at the Katrina Felix Hall in Thornhill on November 5.

On November 6 the meetings will move to the Vusumzi Landu Hall in Hankey for Ward 9 and a portion of Ward 13.

The remainder of Ward 13 are invited to join Ward 10 on 7 November for their meeting at the Dan Sandi Hall in Patensie.

The St Francis section of Ward 12 will meet on November 11 at the St Francis Bowling Club, followed by a meeting for the remainder of Ward 12 (Paradise Beach) and remainder of Ward 14 (Aston Bay) at the Aston Bay Hall on November 12.

The remainder of Ward 15, including, lower Arcadia, Boskloof, Moerasrivier, Panorama and Humansdorp town, will meet on November 13 at the Humansdorp Council Chamber at the municipal offices off Du Plessis Street.

Ward 6 will meet the following day, November 14, at the KwaNomzamo Community Hall.

On November 18 the meeting for Ward 1 will be held at the Oyster Bay Community Hall.

The consultation sessions will wrap up on November 19 at the Weston Community Hall for Ward 13.

All meetings are scheduled to start at 6pm.

Enquiries can be directed to the IDP Manager, Colleen Dreyer, at cdreyer@kouga.gov.za or contact 042 200 2200.

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Helen Zille elected as Chairperson of DA’s Federal Council

October 20, 2019

Over the past two days, the DA’s Federal Council (FedCo)– the party’s highest decision-making body in between Federal Congress – sat to elect a new Federal Council Chairperson, and to consider the report of the Organisational Review Panel established following the 2019 national and provincial elections.

Election of new chairperson of Federal Council

The election of a new Chairperson of Federal Council presents an opportunity of renewal and change for the DA.

The position was previously occupied by James Selfe, who led FedCo for just under 20 years with the utmost distinction.

I want to again thank James for his leadership, support and friendship. James is an unsung hero of South Africa’s democratic project and his valiant work has positively shaped the country we live in.

I want to congratulate Helen Zille on her election as Chairperson of Federal Council, and I look forward to the new energy, ideas and vigour that Helen will bring to the leadership collective of the Party.

Helen has served the party in various positions over the past years, and brings experience and political clout second to none

Further, I want to call on all the candidates and members of the party to unite behind the new FedCo Chairperson. The election and campaigns are over, and now is the time to unite and work for the people with the future in mind.

Resolutions adopted

Federal Council considered the Organisational Review Panel’s report. Following extensive deliberation, Federal Council adopted the following resolutions.

  1. That Federal Council expresses its appreciation to the members of the Review Panel and thanks them for producing their report.  Federal Council accepts the report in principle and gives effect to recommendations in the following resolutions.
  2. That a Federal Congress be convened as soon as constitutionally possible, bearing in mind the administrative processes which should be concluded as quickly as possible to give effect to recommendations of the review process.
  3. That a Policy Review Committee be established, convened by the newly elected Chairperson of the Federal Council, to undertake a comprehensive policy review of the Party’s positions on a number of key matters, most particularly on economic justice and jobs.  The process followed by the Policy Review Committee must involve consultation with Party structures and should be discussed by Provincial Councils.  He or she must cause a policy conference to be convened before the Federal Congress.
  4. That Federal Executive determine the job description and key result areas for a new Chief Executive Officer. Federal Executive should also appoint an interviewing panel and should cause applications to be invited for this position as soon as possible.  As is provided for in the constitution, the Federal Executive should appoint a CEO as soon as possible. The appointment be made for a renewable five-year contract.
  5. Dr Ivan Meyer, Deputy Federal Chairperson, must be charged with the responsibility for building teams at all levels of leadership and that his proposals in this respect should be considered by the Federal Council at its next meeting.
  6. That an investigation, the membership of which is approved by the Federal Executive, be undertaken under the leadership of Refiloe Nt’sekhe, Deputy Federal Chairperson, into the events surrounding the Party’s reaction to the event at Schweizer Reneke and the Party’s reaction to this as well as other issues highlighted on page 6 of the Review that were used to exploit racial divisions. Such investigation reports must be tabled before the Federal Council.
  7. That in preparation for the early Federal Congress, a constitutional review committee be established by the Federal Executive to give effect to the recommendations by the Review process and be charged with producing appropriate amendments to the Party’s constitution.  Such proposed amendments should be workshopped through the structures of the Party.  Such a constitutional review committee should inter alia consider term limits for the election of office-bearers.
  8. That a review committee be established to review the organisational and administrative structures of the Party under the direction of Natasha Mazzone, Deputy Chairperson of the Federal Council.  This review committee to be approved by the Federal Executive.  To the extent that such an organisational review results in recommendations that would affect the Party’s constitution, such recommendations should be fed into the constitutional review committee.
  9. That the committee established to consider the organisational and administrative structures of the Party, considers the advisability and practicality of establishing an advisory panel as proposed in the Review Panel as well as a crisis communication committee.
  10. That sections 6 and 7 in the Review Panel Report dealing with the Political Purpose, Culture and Values be networked and discussed with all branches and structures with immediate effect.  Such networking should involve a guided discussion approved by the Federal Executive.
  11. That a proper assessment of the Party’s role in governments and communication thereon by our governments be undertaken by the Governance Unit urgently.  Such assessment shall include polling in these governments.
  12. Focus is paid to all upcoming by-elections before 2021 which will require the participation of all required public representatives as allocated to roles, and as agreed to by national, provincial, regional and constituency leadership.  A roll-out of by-election training is undertaken which requires the participation of all public representatives, relevant operational staff and other key role players in by-elections where appropriate.
  13. Focus be given to the 2021 elections urgently in order that the Party can recruit potential candidates and immediately conduct comprehensive and certified training for such candidates.  That the Party undertake a campaign to interact with voters to communicate the Party’s core values that is aimed at winning the trust of voters.

Conclusion

The country is currently facing profound challenges noting the current Eskom rolling blackouts, the 10.2 million South Africans unemployed due to our collapsing economy, citizens continuing to live in fear due to the scourge of crime, and lack of access to basic services due to failing local governments and corruption. These challenges require a stronger and united DA because when the DA works, South Africa works.

We come out of this weekend’s Federal Council committed and reenergised to building One South Africa for All – accelerating our work in parliament as the official opposition to offer alternatives to the governing party and hold the national executive accountable. We further made a commitment to strengthen and capacitate our governments in their work of running clean, capable governments that deliver services to all.

It is now time to roll up our sleeves, and work with South Africans from all walks of life towards building a prosperous South Africa for all.

 

Mmusi Maimane

Leader of the DA

No Smart IDs for poor and unemployed South Africans

October 15, 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) can reveal that the Department of Home Affairs has no plans to roll out Smart ID Cards to indigent and unemployed South Africans. This was revealed to the DA in a Parliamentary reply by the Minister of Home Affairs. The reply further states that Government will only provide free Smart ID Cards to the elderly and first time applicants.

The DA believes this will disproportionately affect people who simply cannot afford to pay for the new Smart ID . Assisting indigent and unemployed people with free Smart ID cards, would not be a handout, but rather a means to empower citizens to access employment, educational and other opportunities.

We are of the view that Government should provide indigent and unemployed persons, who earn less than a set amount per year, access to free Smart ID cards.

The ANC government should go an extra mile to empower those South Africans who are poverty stricken largely because of numerous government failures to attract investment that will create employment opportunities.

Living without an identity document can be extremely limiting for the poor as they struggle to access housing, sanitation, healthcare or even basic education, and ultimately excludes them from meaningfully participating in our society.

Kouga Municipality strengthens its frontline

October 9, 2019

Kouga Municipality is strengthening its frontline to improve its responsiveness to residents.

Eleven ward assistants, stationed at ward councillor’s offices in their respective wards, recently completed a five-day training course.

“Ward assistants are the first point of contact for many residents with queries, complaints or requests,” said Kouga Corporate Services Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu.

“The training was aimed at ensuring that they understand the important role they play and how they can go about assisting residents who ask for help at ward councillor’s offices.”

He said that all but three of the wards, wards 4, 7 and 8, currently had ward assistants.

“It’s not always possible for residents to travel to the municipal offices for assistance. Ward offices have, therefore, been established, so as to bring the municipality closer to the people.

“Ward assistants are critical for this system to work. I would like to thank them for the good work they have been doing,” he said.

The DA Rural Safety Plan will keep communities safe

October 2, 2019

The Democratic Alliance has announced a plan to bring law and order back to our rural communities.

The six point plan looks to completely stamp-out violent crimes committed on our farms. Kouga has also been affected by farm attacks with a particularly gruesome attack taking place in Hankey last year.

“Our rural safety plan aims to guarantee community-based policing in rural areas and will focus on the unique challenges experience by each district.

The model proposed is constitutional, does not require any legislative, regulatory or policy changes. It is designed to act as an effective means to fight rural crime,” said Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police.

DA Rural Safety Plan: A boots-on-the-ground approach to keep rural communities safe:

Establish rural policing centres

Police stations that serve a mainly rural area need to create at least one dedicated rural sector as part of its regional policing structure and plan

Deploy more officers to rural areas to limit farm murders

Each rural sector will require boots on the ground to ensure communities feel safer and to deter criminals.

Embolden “community policing”

With SAPS being short-staffed as ever, there simply aren’t enough cops to go around. The proposed solution? Allow rural safety plans to be customised at a local station level, alongside community volunteers.

Introduce the Rural Community Policing Unit (RCPU)

Blurring the lines between neighbourhood watch and SAPS, “RCPU reservists” will work just like SAPS reservists, receive specific rural police training and allow paid volunteers to act as “part-time rural officers”.

Farm murders: Improve the support networks for police and volunteers

Citizen Band (CB) networks, radio rooms, rural policing by drone, a rural radio safety station and additional financial support have been identified as tools to bolster communication between each potential RCPU.

Create new structures within SAPS

A Rural Crime Intelligence Division (RCID) function will help collate, process and share rural safety information and work mostly at a district level.

Meanwhile, a Provincial Rural Safety Directorate (PRSD) will use tip-offs to mitigate threats in rural communities.

“Our plan takes a community-focused, ‘boots-on-the-ground’ approach to rural safety which includes the extensive use of technology in new ways and proposals for greater police visibility to keep rural residents safe,” added Whitfield.

DA celebrates Heritage Month in Kouga

September 29, 2019

Great fun was had in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday when the DA held a bowls day at the local bowling club.

36 teams from all over Kouga enjoyed an afternoon of bowls and socialising after watching the Springboks dismantle Namibia in the Rugby World Cup.

The Bowls Day was held as a fund raiser in the Ttisti Kouga Constituency.

“Thank you to everyone who came out to support the inaugural DA Bowls fundraiser in Jeffreys Bay. What a tremendous success!

A very special thank you to Carla Kritzinger without whom this day would not have been possible,” said DA Provincial Chairperson Andrew Whitfield.

“Politics can also be fun and we will be holding this event on an annual basis,” said Whitfield.

Housing meeting to take place in Hankey

September 29, 2019

A public meeting will be held in Hankey this October to give the community a progress report on the local housing project.

The meeting will take place at the Vusumzi Landu Community Hall at 19:00 on Monday, October 7.

Speaker of the DA led Kouga Municipality, Hattingh Bornman, said a critical matter that will be discussed, is the relocation of households to the transit site.

“The bush-clearing has been completed and the sub-division, popularly known as ‘pegging’, of the site where the houses will be built, is under way,” he said.

“Once the sub-division has been completed, the relocation will commence.

“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the details of the relocation, so that we can all work together to minimise the inconvenience to those affected by the move.”

He said once the relocation had been completed, Eskom would start electrifying the plots that will form part of the Hankey housing project, as well as the transit site.

“It was a long and tough negotiation to get a commitment from Eskom to electrify these areas. We look forward to bringing electricity to these households and improving their quality of life,” he said.

The Democratic Alliance has unlocked a number of housing projects in Kouga since taking over the Municipality in 2016.

391 Houses have been built in Humansdorp and construction has started on another 1720 houses in Jeffreys Bay.

No houses had been built since 2007 in the Municipality with service delivery also being severely affected under ANC government in Kouga.

Five ways DA governments across South Africa are innovating

September 26, 2019

Here are five ways that DA governments, across the length and breadth of South Africa, are meeting the challenges of the 21st-century head-on:

Africa’s first plastic road in Kouga:

In the small town of Jeffrey’s Bay in the beautiful Eastern Cape, the DA-run municipality of Kouga has officially started work on Africa’s first-ever plastic road.

“Non-recyclable plastic waste, which ends up in the ocean or clogging up landfill sites, is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix.”

– Vicky Knoetze, DA Eastern Cape MPL

Water is the number one cause of potholes on regular roads. The plastic road is therefore said to be stronger and more durable, as it is more difficult for water to penetrate the surface.

Green innovation in the City of Johannesburg:

The DA-led City of Johannesburg’s Housing Department recently won a Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Award at the United Nations 14th Annual Session of the Global Forum on Human Settlements.

The award was won for the City’s South Hills mixed-income housing development, a housing development praised as a “global green model community“.

The South Hills development will yield 6 204 units, with 408 already completed.

South Africa’s first housing app in Stellenbosch:

The DA-run Stellenbosch Municipality recently launched a housing app to increase accessibility and access to the housing database for all residents.

The app is not only a first for Stellenbosch but is one of the first-ever municipal applications in South Africa.

There are currently over 16 300 applicants currently registered on Stellenbosch’s housing database, but the information of many applicants is incomplete or out-dated. The app will allow residents to update their information, and create a secure profile that can be used to complete an application.

“Our new housing app and the implementation of our housing demand database will allow us to keep accurate records and plan according to the needs of our residents.”

– Stellenbosch Mayor, Gesie van Deventer

A future-focused school in rural Worcester:

Thanks to a partnership between the DA-run Western Cape government and private donors, a state-of-the-artworld-class primary school has officially opened in rural Worcester.

Botha’s Halte Primary places an emphasis on e-learning, demonstrating how 21st-century technology can be used to reach and contribute to quality education in rural and outlying areas of South Africa.

Digital technology is changing the way learners are educated. The school has already become an educational hub for the district and, through digital teaching, seamlessly links with other teaching institutions such as the University of Stellenbosch.

For the last 18 months, the DA-run City of Cape Town has embarked on an innovative project to tackle harmful methane emissions from Cape Town’s landfills.

Waste to energy in the City of Cape Town:

By safely trapping methane gas pockets produced by decaying rubbish in landfills and then burning the gas, the City of Cape Town is eliminating harmful greenhouse gasses.

The innovation, however, doesn’t stop there. The City will now embark on phase two of the project which will see the harmful methane gas used as a heating fuel in industry, to generate electricity or as a fuel for vehicles.

This initiative will be a useful case study for all other local governments across South Africa, with other DA governments, in particular, focused on fighting greenhouse emissions.

Public meeting with Athol Trollip in Jeffreys Bay

September 25, 2019

The Democratic Alliance will be holding a public meeting in Jeffreys Bay this evening with Athol Trollip, the federal chairperson of the Party.

Trollip will be joined by the Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield as well as the Mayor of Kouga, Horatio Hendricks.

The meeting will take place at the Seaviews Resort at 6 pm this evening (25 September 2019).

Trollip will also visit the housing projects in Ocean View and Pellsrus.

No RDP houses were built in Kouga since 2007 and when the DA took over the Kouga Municipality in 2016, a number of housing projects were unlocked, which saw 391 houses being built in Humansdorp, with construction underway in the two projects in Jeffreys Bay.

Tomorrow Andrew Whitfield will meet with rate payers of Aston Bay and Marina Martinique and he will be joined by Councillor Brenton Williams.

Municipal issues as well as crime will be discussed at the meeting which starts at 2 pm at the Marina Martinique hall.

Kouga Municipality saves big on phone bill

September 23, 2019

The DA led Kouga Municipality has slashed its annual Telkom bill by a massive 76% over the past two years.

Kouga Corporate Services Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu said the savings were made possible by the upgrade of the municipal private automatic branch exchange (PABX) system in 2017.

“Three years ago, when the Democratic Alliance took over , the municipality’s annual Telkom bill totaled between R2 million and R3 million. We are very proud that we have been able to decrease this to R577 000 for the 2018/2019 financial year,” he said.

He said that as part of the PABX upgrade, voice over internet protocol (VOIP) lines were activated.

“This means that instead of copper voice carrier lines such as those used by Telkom, the internet facility and radio network of the municipality is now being used to make calls.

“This enabled us to start cancelling the Telkom lines were in phases,” he explained.

“Before the installation of the new PABX system, the municipality’s Telkom account was constantly in the region of R230 000 to R250 000 per month.

“The average monthly PABX and call expenditure for the entire municipality is currently averaging R16 000 per month,” he concluded.