Kouga Municipality to buy land for housing developments

April 23, 2019

In a historic Council meeting held on 17 April 2019 in Jeffreys Bay, the DA led Kouga Council resolved to purchase land for much needed housing developments.

There is a lack of land to build RDP houses in Loerie and Humansdorp and the Council will make offers to purchase land in both areas.

In Loerie, the Council resolved to make an offer to purchase Loerie River Farm No. 436, portion 98 for an amount of R 570 000.00, while in Humansdorp an offer to purchase will be made on Farm 689 portion 13 & 8 for the amount of R 2 600 000.00.

The Council is making provision in its draft budget to upgrade the Humansdorp Waste Water Treatment plant to cater for additional housing developments in the town.

The item was presented to Council by Alderman Ben Rheeder who said that independent property valuations had been undertaken to arrive at the offer to purchase amounts.

What is also pleasing to note is that Kouga Municipality is following the route of willing buyer – willing seller to purchase the much needed land in the area.

The Municipality is also being pro active in installing bulk infrastructure to cater for housing developments, for which funding must come from the Provincial Government and the Department of Human Settlements.

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Another R 17 billion bailout for Eskom

April 22, 2019

Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, has tabled a report which details a R 17 billion bailout for Eskom due to an emergency cash problem – this points to a power utility that is no longer viable and sustainable.

Eskom is using money to literally pay salaries and keep the lights on by burning through billions of Rands worth of diesel until after the elections.

The DA has proposed a bill that would allow for the introduction of independent power producers that would cheapen the cost of electricity, bring about much needed competition, but these solutions were never adopted.

Patensie wins Eastern Cape Kwêla Town of the Year

April 21, 2019

A second Kouga town is in the running for the coveted Kwêla Town of the Year title.

Patensie was named the winner of the East Cape round of the annual competition on Kyknet’s Kwêla on Sunday. The Gamtoos Valley town beat two of the province’s well-known seaside towns, Port Alfred and Kenton-on-Sea, to claim the regional title.

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks congratulated the Patensie community on the achievement and thanked everyone who had voted for the town.

“We would like to call on the whole of Kouga to throw their weight behind Patensie when it’s time to vote for the national winner,” he said.

“It was through a combined effort that we were able to win the title for Jeffreys Bay last year. Let us take hands and do the same for Patensie this year.”

The nine finalists are currently being announced weekly on Kwêla. Once all nine finalists have been revealed, voting for the national winner will take place from 26 to 31 May.

Nichola Uys, of Gamtoos Tourism, said they were elated to have won the East Cape round.

“This is a beautiful part of the world, with lots to do and see for visitors. The Kwêla competition is a fantastic opportunity to market the area and grow the local tourism industry,” she said.

The national winner will win free marketing worth R1-million through Kyknet, including a 45 second advert. KIA will also once again sponsor a “makietie” in the 2019 Town of the Year.

Kouga Call Centre open for balance queries

April 20, 2019

RATEPAYERS can now contact the Kouga Call Centre to find out what their municipal account balance is or to obtain an access key to register for the DA led Kouga Municipality’s online account service.

This is the good news from Corporate Services Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu.

Dhludhlu said operators at the Call Centre had been trained to assist the municipality’s Revenue section with the flood of balance queries they receive when account payments are due.

“Many people don’t want to wait for their accounts to reach their post boxes or inboxes and thus phone to know how much they owe. As a result, it’s often difficult to get through to the Revenue section because of the many walk-in and telephonic queries they receive,” he said.

“This has been a great frustration for residents; hence, we have trained our Call Centre operators to assist with balance queries.

“This will enable the Revenue section to focus on other account-related queries and speed up the service to ratepayers.”

He said ratepayers would also be able to obtain an access key from the Kouga Call Centre should they wish to register on the municipality’s website to receive their accounts via email.

“Once you have your access key, registration is easy.

“Simply go to the municipality’s website at http://www.kouga.gov.za, click on the ‘Ratepayers Info System’ link and follow the prompts under the registration option,” he said.

Dead fish causes alarm at Seekoei River estuary

April 18, 2019

An emergency application is due to be submitted to the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) for the breaching of the Seekoei estuary mouth at Paradise Beach, Jeffreys Bay.

The water level of the estuary has dropped to such an extent that fish have been dying in numbers.

“The water in the estuary has been evaporating rapidly because of the hot temperatures and strong winds,” Kouga Municipality’s Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said.

“Combined with this, there has been almost no inflow of fresh water because of the drought and numerous farm dams that trap water in the catchment area.

“This has caused the salinity of the water to shoot up alarmingly.”

He said tests conducted last week indicated that the salt content was more than twice of that of sea water.

“Estuarine life simply cannot survive under those circumstances.”

He said the situation had been reported to DEDEAT and that an emergency application for the breaching of the mouth was being finalised for submission to them in line with section 30 of the National Environmental Management Act.

“It may sound strange to want to add sea water to the estuary to decrease the salt content of the latter.

“The salinity of the estuary is, however, so much higher than that of the ocean at the moment that the sea water will actually help to lower the salt content of the lagoon,” he explained.

“Ideally, what we need, is strong rains to boost the inflow of fresh water from upstream, but that is beyond our control. While the inflow of sea water will not solve the problem completely, it will help to decrease the salinity levels.”

Benson said the Seekoei Estuary Management Plan, that was developed by the municipality and is currently awaiting final approval by the East Cape Environmental Affairs MEC, would help to address this dilemma in the long-term.

“We have been frustrated by the delays in obtaining final approval for the implementation of the plan, but expect to meet with the DEDEAT before the end of the month.”

He said a further frustration was the failure by the national Department of Water and Sanitation to address the many illegal dams in the catchment area.

“The Department recently indicated that they were aware of more than 100 illegal farm dams in the Kouga region, but they have been slow to take action. Once these illegal dams have been removed, there will be more fresh water flowing into the system.”

He cautioned residents against eating the fish.

What a DA Government would achieve in 100 days

April 17, 2019

Creating a job in every home

April 16, 2019

To jump-start the economic growth needed to create more employment we need to do something radically different. A DA national government would introduce a Jobs Act to serve as an economic stimulus shock.

The act will make special incentive offers open to foreign and domestic investors who meet a minimum employment threshold. In other words, a DA government will make doing business as easy as possible for companies that want to invest and create jobs in South Africa.

Our Jobs Act will provide the following for companies and individuals looking to either start new businesses or expand existing ones, and which create new jobs, including:

• The right to repatriate profits in the case of international investments. This is one of the biggest
barriers to attracting foreign investment that can create jobs and is a vital incentive our government
will offer.
• Relaxed foreign exchange controls for individuals/businesses willing to invest in the country to
provide assurances that they can access their funds as needed.
• Access to a specialised team of arbitrators, located in the Department of Trade and Industry
(DTI), who will assist medium-sized businesses in terms of the International Arbitration Act,
when necessary. This will assist medium-sized businesses who may find the cost associated with
arbitration prohibitive and will unlock the growth potential of the bill for these companies.
• A labour market flexibility exemption clause aimed at making the process to hire and fire employees
simpler and allowing potential employees to opt-out of the relevant sectoral minimum wage (which
would have a new minimum of no less that the old age grant) while still ensuring occupational
safety and the human rights of all employees are upheld.

Labour costs are one of the biggest inputs that businesses consider when investing, and this clause has the potential to unlock hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Chaos of the ANC or a fresh start under a DA government

April 14, 2019

If we want to make our votes count, then we have to understand the choice we face next month at the polls.

It’s simple: We either choose to save our country from the downward spiral we’re in, or we choose to save the fortunes of a dying party, the ANC.

That’s the choice on 8 May. Everything else is just spin.

We don’t have the luxury of time to sit this one out. If we don’t act collectively against the ANC now, we may not have this opportunity again.

If we don’t turn the tide now, our country and our economy may not survive long enough to try it again.

We are facing a perfect storm of immediate threats to our country.

We have almost 10 million unemployed adults. We have an economy that cannot even break through 1% GDP growth.

We have a spiralling public sector wage bill and spiralling national debt. And we have Eskom that is bleeding money and can’t keep the lights on.

Any one of these challenges on its own is enough to destabilise a country. But we have to deal with them all at once.

And if we have learnt one thing these past two decades, it is that this ANC government is simply not up to that task.

We need a brand new start under a new government that is prepared to make every bold decision needed to turn things around for us.

We need a new government that is prepared to send corrupt politicians to jail. We need a government that is prepared to stand up to the unions.

We need a new government that consists only of capable and committed people, and not deployed party loyalists.

We need a new government that recognises businesses and entrepreneurs as the heroes in the fight against unemployment, and not the enemies.

In short, we need a new government that looks to the future, instead of being stuck in the past. There is only one party in South Africa that can build and lead such a government, and that is the DA.

There is only one party that has proven itself in government and boasts an unmatched track record of delivery on issues ranging from housing and land reform to education and job creation.

There is only one party large enough, with a footprint that covers the entire South Africa, and with public representatives in every single area.

There is only one party that constantly fights for the rights of all South Africans, including minority groups.

There is only one party that conducts its own internal business without chaos, without violence and without endless court challenges.

And there is only one party that passionately defends our Constitution and the Rule of Law, and advocates for a country in which every citizen stands equal before the law.

That’s why this election has to be a choice between renewal and hope under a new DA-led government, or more of the same corruption and decay under this old ANC government.

It is a choice is between chaos and order – between criminality and the Rule of Law.

It is a choice between tearing down our country to feed the greed of the ruling mob, or building South Africa into a safe, prosperous and inclusive country that is shared by all.

You can find evidence of this choice all around us. Right now, large parts of South Africa are reeling from so-called shutdown protests.

We saw this in Alexandra in Johannesburg. We saw this in Tshwane. We saw violent protests in Khayelitsha. We saw marches in Midvaal.

What do these places have in common? They are all governed by the DA. And behind all these actions you will find the hand of the ANC, trying its best to cause chaos and disorder in the run-up to the election.

They are waging a poorly disguised campaign of ungovernability across multiple DA-run cities at once because they hope this will distract voters from their own failures.

It is sheer desperation that causes a party to act in this way. And this is not the first time they have done this. Back in 2016, when they lost Gauteng metros to DA-led coalitions, the ANC could see the writing on the wall.

They weren’t only losing politically, they were losing financially too. They were losing access to tenders and procurement contracts. The feeding trough was closing down for them, and so the ANC mob set Tswhane alight.

They also knew that what happened in metros in 2016 would surely be repeated in provinces in 2019. And this is why the DA-run parts of Gauteng are burning again, along with parts of DA-run Cape Town. This is what it looks like when a failed liberation movement faces the prospect of losing power.

And throughout all of this, President Ramaphosa is pretending that none of it is happening.

As the country burns at the hands of his party, he continues to float around South Africa in his own little bubble, seemingly isolated from the crimes of his party and from the failures of his government.

He continues to sell the idea that he has nothing to do with the ANC of Magashule and Mabuza, and that he has nothing to do with the ANC that plundered Eskom to the point of collapse and dragged our economy to the edge of the cliff. He presents himself as something entirely different to that ANC.

But he is not. They are one and the same. He even operates in the exact same shady way as his predecessor, as we have seen in the evidence of dirty Bosasa money flowing to both him and his son. He is the ANC and the ANC is him.

I know some will tell you that you have all sorts of other magical choices on the ballot paper. They will say you can somehow sidestep the rest of the criminal ANC and vote only for Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is completely untrue, of course. If you make your mark next to the ANC, then you get everything the ANC stands for.

Regardless of what you may think of Cyril Ramaphosa, a vote for the ANC will give you Land Expropriation Without Compensation.

A vote for the ANC will give you the disastrous National Health Insurance. A vote for the ANC will give you SADTU in schools and deployed cadres on the boards of SOEs.

Then there are others who will tell you that you need to vote for a small party that looks just like you, talks just like you and only cares about the exact same things as you do.

This is also a big mistake, as a vote for such a party will do nothing to stop the ANC and replace them with a credible government.

These parties are often on the political extremes, and they mobilise races against each other. They thrive on the divisions that exist in our society. They drive wedges between us and force these divisions even wider.

That cannot possibly be the future of our country. Our only hope as a nation is if we remain united – strengthened in our diversity. And so we need to find common ground and rally around the values that unite us, not those that push us apart and drive us back into separate corners.

That is why the future of this great country lies in coalition politics, and more specifically, a DA-led coalition government.

I have said on many occasions that the DA is prepared to work with any party that shares the core principles around which we want to build South Africa.

These are non-racialism, the Rule of Law, Constitutionalism, zero tolerance for corruption, a Capable State and a market-driven economy.

Everything else can be worked around or negotiated. We don’t have to agree on every single thing. But with those core principles in place, we can build a government and a state that can truly serve the people and act in their interest.

But if we’re going to do this, we are going to have to do it now. We can’t afford to waste any time, and we can’t afford for any precious votes to be wasted.

Yes, the DA is not perfect. No party is. The DA may not fulfil every single need you have. No party will. But the DA is honest, accountable, capable, caring and big enough to challenge the ANC. And that should be enough reason to put your trust in us.

Lend us your vote next month, and we will do all we can to pull South Africa back from the brink. We will do all we can to right the wrongs that this ANC government has committed.

We will do all we can to get our economy back on its feet and creating precious jobs – jobs that can be accessed fairly by all South Africans, regardless of their connections or party affiliation.

We will do all we can to keep communities – both urban and rural – safe from harm through a professional and honest Police Service

We will do all we can to protect the interests of our country and its people by securing our borders and ensuring effective border control.

We will do all we can to root out all corruption, and send those politicians found guilty to jail for 15 years.

We will do all we can to speed up the delivery of services to all communities across the country.

That is my pledge to you today.

If the DA should let you down and fall short of your expectation, then you must take your vote back again. Because that’s where the power of our democracy lies. But first give us the chance to prove ourselves.

I assure you, a DA government will work harder than anyone else at building one prosperous and safe South Africa for all its people.

Regards

Mmusi

Kouga adopts draft budget for 2019/20 financial year

April 13, 2019

The Kouga Council has adopted a draft budget for the 2019/20 financial year.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the draft budget would now be taken to communities for feedback so that it can be finalised in line with legislation and what Kouga communities consider to be the priorities.

“We have tried to keep the proposed tariff increases as low as possible, but there are factors beyond the municipality’s control,” he said.

“This would include, for example, how much Eskom and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro charge us for electricity and water respectively.

“Municipalities are further compelled by law to cover the cost of delivering basic services through the income for that service.”

In terms of the draft budget the operating revenue for 2019/20 totals R833,972-million. This is an increase of 9,7% compared to the 2018/19 Adjustments Budget.

The main revenue sources are basic service delivery(54,75%), property rates (23,81%) and operating grants and subsidies (15,96%).

The operating expenditure for 2019/20 totals R889,468-million, resulting in a budget deficit of R55,496-million. It is a 8,5% increase compared to the 2019/20 Adjustments Budget.

The main expenditure items are employee-related costs (32,71%), bulk electricity purchases (25,71%) and depreciation (9,57%).

The proposed tariff increases are:

  • 7,5% for property rates
  • 7,5% for water
  • 8% for sanitation
  • 8% for refuse
  • 5% for the Environmental Management Fee
  • 13, 87% for electricity (average increase in income).

The draft capital budget for 2019/20 totals R89,932-million, which is a decrease of 57,08% compared to the 2018/19 Adjustments Budget. The decrease is mainly due to the allocation of the Water Services Infrastructure Grant to the municipality during the current financial year.

Capital projects on the draft include R2-million for the acquisition of land for housing projects, a priority identified in the IDP for various communities.

A further R2-million will be used to purchase wheelie bins for households and R2, 5-million for roads, while almost R10-million has been earmarked for the upgrade of sports facilities, with the bulk going to KwaNomzamo.

Also included are upgrades to parks such as Yellowwoods at Hankey, Pellsrus and Kabeljous at Jeffreys Bay and the Cape St Francis Beach.

Almost R16-million is set to go towards the completion of the Sea Vista Waste Water Works upgrade, R8,7-million for the KwaNomzamo Waste Water Works and R4, 4-million towards the Patensie sewerage package plant.

A further R2,3-million will be used for the municipality’s programme to eradicate the bucket system.

Several electricity projects have also been prioritized for the new financial year, including the electrification of houses at Ocean View and Kruisfontein. R1,2 million has also been earmarked for public lights.

Free roadworthy tests ahead of Easter

April 12, 2019

The DA led Kouga Municipality’s Traffic Department will once again be helping residents to arrive safely at their holiday destinations this Easter weekend.

Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said the Kouga Traffic Department would be offering free roadworthy tests to residents ahead of the long weekend.

The free tests will be conducted from Monday, April 15, to Thursday, April 18, at the municipality’s vehicle testing centre at Humansdorp. The service will be available from 07:30 to 13:00 and from 13:30 to 15:00 on all four days.

“The safety of our residents lies close to our hearts,” Benson said. “Unroadworthy vehicles are one of the main causes of accidents on our roads; hence the municipality’s Traffic Department initiated this programme to help keep Kouga families safe.

He said no prosecution would be done if defects were found.

“The owner will receive a list of defects, if any, to attend to before embarking on their holiday trip.”

Residents are asked to take note that no certification will be issued as this is a free additional service being offered ahead of Easter.

The vehicle testing centre is situated at the Kouga Fire Brigade along the entrance to Humansdorp from the N2. For further information contact the Kouga Traffic Department at 042 200 2200.