Water interruption in Wavecrest

March 23, 2020

The water supply to sections of Wavecrest will be lower than usual this week due to upgrades being done at the Jeffreys Bay Water Treatment Works.

The affected area stretches from AD Keet up to the R102, including the Pride of India area, Mertle, Salie and Maidenhair.

We would like to appeal to residents to use water extra sparingly this week so as to help prevent the reservoir from running dry completely.

Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience”,” said the Kouga Municipality in a statement.

Kouga Municipality advises citizens to use telephone and internet

March 18, 2020

In line with national safety precautions against the spread of Covid-19, the DA led Kouga Municipality would like to discourage residents from visiting municipal buildings.

Community halls will, furthermore, be closed for public functions for at least the next four weeks while the East Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture has also ordered that all libraries be closed.

“Residents and visitors are encouraged to make use of the municipality’s telephonic and electronic systems to pay their accounts and for account and service-related queries,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.

He said while the municipality’s daily operations would continue, strict access control would be applied at municipal buildings.

“This is necessary for the safety of both our staff and the public. We regret the inconvenience, but it is an essential safety precaution in these extraordinary times,” he said.

Details on how to make electronic payments are printed on municipal accounts.

Account queries with regards to services can be emailed to lmqina@kouga.gov.za or yjayiya@kouga.gov.za.

Property rates and tax-related queries can be emailed to rbrown@kouga.gov.za

Alternatively, phone the municipality’s account section on 042 200 2200.

Account balance queries, service requests and complaints can be directed to the Kouga Call Centre on 042 200 2200 (option 4) or reported through the Link service delivery app.

The Link Powered by Vodacom app can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the App Store.

Kouga prepares for possible Corona Virus outbreak

March 17, 2020

The DA led Kouga Municipality will be working hand in hand with roleplayers to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the region.

“There have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Kouga region to date (16 March) and we would like to appeal to residents not to panic or spread unconfirmed information,” said Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“The municipality and other roleplayers, including, the Department of Health, are on high alert and monitoring the situation carefully.

“We shall be communicating with the public on a regular basis to ensure everyone is kept up to date on the latest developments.”

He said the focus was currently on preventative action.

“All events expected to draw crowds of 100 people or more must be cancelled in line with the directive given by President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday.

“This directive applies to both public and private events, including the Mayor’s Cup sport tournament that was set to kick off later this month.

“Kouga’s community halls will also be closed for functions for the next four weeks as a result of this directive.”

He said a multi-sectoral task team would be established to ensure effective monitoring of the Covid-19 situation locally. Should anyone in the region test positive for the coronavirus, a Joint Operation Committee will be established to deal with the full impact of the outbreak.

“In the meantime, we urge all residents and visitors to take the necessary precautions.

“While the disease is very infectious, the mortality rate has thus far been low and each one of us can help to prevent its spread,” he said.

Preventative tips, as endorsed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and Department of Health, include:

* Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitiser can be used if soap and water are not available.

* Practise safe cough etiquette. Cough or sneeze into your flexed elbow or into a tissue. Immediately dispose of the tissue in a safe place such as a bin.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as well as shaking hands.

* Clean and disinfect frequently-touched spaces

* Be vigilant and look out for symptoms of fever (more than 38 °C), coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue.

* Keep a safe distance of at least 1m from people with these symptoms who have not yet been tested and cleared.

Hendricks said that those showing signs of being infected, especially those who had recently travelled abroad, were advised to contact the NICD Covid-19 hotline at 080 002 9999.

“If you are not showing signs but have recently returned from abroad or had contact with someone infected, it is safest to quarantine yourself at home for at least two weeks.

“Should you start showing any symptoms while in self-quarantine, please contact the NICD hotline immediately.”

Other contact numbers for further information and assistance are:

* The NICD 24-hour Hotline on 082 883 9920

* The East Cape Department of Health 24-hour Call Centre on 080 003 2346

A whatsapp group has also been established to help South Africans stay informed. To join the group send the message “Hi” to 0600 123 456.

A website has further been set up with the latest information. This can be visited at http://www.sacoronavirus.co.za

First RDP houses built in over a decade in Jeffreys Bay

March 12, 2020

More than 100 households from Jeffreys Bay have moved into brand new houses after the unblocking of two RDP housing projects that were launched more than a decade ago.

The first 107 houses of 220 units planned for Pellsrus have been completed and handed over to their new owners.

“It is the first time in more than ten years that RDP houses are being handed over in Jeffreys Bay,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“The municipality is proud of the role we could play in getting the project back on track and restoring the dignity of our communities.

“Not only did the DA led municipality make the land available for the houses, we also ensured that the bulk infrastructure, including sewer, water and electricity, was in place.”

Hendricks joined the Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Nonkqubela Pieters, for the official hand-over ceremony of the R35-million project on Tuesday (10 March).

Pieters said the ceremony formed part of the provincial government’s activities to commemorate Human Rights Month.

Among the beneficiaries who received their keys from the MEC and Mayor were grandmothers Deborah Magadu and Ester Nyondo, whose children and grandchildren joined them to celebrate the big day.

“I have been waiting for a house for longer than I can remember. My heart is full of gratitude and joy,” Nyondo said.

Babalwa Mbetshe also received the keys to the house of her late mother, who passed away before the hand-over.

Contractor Malcolm Langson, from Ikhaya Construction, said the remaining houses were also nearing completion.

The Mayor applauded everyone who played a role in making the project a reality.

“This has been a true collaborative effort and shows what we can do when everyone plays their part.”

He said the Ocean View RDP housing project was also progressing well, with internal services having been installed to 1 300 sites.

“The Kruisfontein 391 project was completed at Humansdorp last year and the Hankey 990 and Sea Vista 2 000 developments are also moving forward.

“Ward-based housing committees have further been established to improve transparency and strengthen communication between government roleplayers and communities.”

Billion rand budget approved by Kouga Council

March 7, 2020

Jeffreys Bay – The Kouga Council approved an adjustment budget of over a billion rand at a meeting held on 28 February 2020.

This is the first time in the history of the Municipality that a budget of a billion rand has been approved by the DA led Council.

Operational expenditure amounts to R 925 million while the approved capital budget is R 194 million. This equates to a total expenditure budget of R 1,1 billion.

Internally generated funds make up R 56,7 million of the capital budget, while R 137, 9 million is from national government grants and includes nearly R 100 million of drought funding that was received from National Treasury in the previous financial year.

The water projects are expected to be complete by the end of June and will ensure that the coastal towns in Kouga have water security in times of drought.

This includes the towns of Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay, while Humansdorp is also included.

The drought funding is being spent on searching for groundwater, connecting new boreholes to the water grid, upgrading water infrastructure and identifying the cause for water losses throughout Kouga.

“The main revenue sources are the sale of electricity (R 274 million), property rates (R 188,8  million), water sales (R 75,7 million) waste water management ( R 50 million) and refuse collection (R 37 million) while operational grants amount to R 133 million,” said Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“Debt has been significantly reduced in the Municipality and for the first time ever, the Auditor General did not make a finding regarding 30 day and over creditors and this has now enabled us to redirect funds towards service delivery.

While there are still problems with the Traffic Department in Humansdorp, it is pleasing to note that we are budgeting for an additional R three million for licenses,as revenue from the Traffic Department is over budget for the first six months of the financial year,” added Hendricks.

More funding has been made available for the resealing and repair of roads throughout Kouga with R 25 million available in the budget for this purpose.

“We inherited a backlog in Kouga’s road infrastructure of between R 500 – 600 million after many years of neglect under the previous ANC government in the Municipality.

We are very happy that we have managed the finances of Kouga in a responsible and prudent manner and can now begin to spend money where it should be spent and that is to invest in the infrastructure like roads.”

Time for real Economic Redress

February 21, 2020

The number of unemployed people in our country has grown from 3.6 million in 1994 to 10 million people today. Our most intractable social problems, including poverty and inequality, result largely from our abnormally high unemployment rate.

As a candidate for DA Leader, I recognise that we need to get better at connecting with South Africans who have been left out of the economy. We need to offer them an alternative economic policy that will profoundly improve their economic prospects.

I have a plan to radically grow the economy by providing policy certainty to attract investors, ditching BEE, privatising SOEs, reforming labour market regulation, making the tax system more efficient, to ensure that national funding is spent on the things that people need to help lift them out of poverty.

I am particularly concerned with child poverty. It pains me that 27% of children do not get the nutrients they need for their physical and mental development. We need to review our welfare system to ensure that not a single child gets left behind.

We need to start investing heavily in early childhood development, mental healthcare, and increasing the number of social workers in communities. The most recent available information indicates that we need at least 68,000 more social workers in South Africa. I am committed to ensuring that we bridge this gap.

My plan deals with the 700 or so state-owned enterprises in South Africa, including the big offenders like Eskom and SAA. We will assess all of them and sell off those that are a drain on our economy.

In particular, I want to free citizens from Eskom by fighting for the government to sell off its coal-fired power stations and enable independent private producers to generate most of our electricity using renewable sources like hydro-power, wind and solar. This is how we will solve our electricity crisis, free the people of this country from Eskom, and become a world leader in the battle against climate change.

We are already doing it where we govern. By becoming independent from Eskom and embracing private green energy, the day will soon come when the lights remain on in the Western Cape while Eskom hurls the rest of South Africa into darkness.

I am ready to make tough choices on our labour laws, for the sake of the 4.2 million young people who remain out of work, with no prospects of finding work.

We will unleash growth, productivity and, ultimately, higher wages by making it easier to employ talented workers and dismiss underperforming ones. We will also protect individual workers against militant unions by enforcing the need for secret ballots on planned industrial action across all sectors of the economy.

I will focus on infrastructure-led growth – especially in those areas where infrastructure is collapsing.

When it comes to transport, we will launch the biggest public-private investment partnership in South African history to expand, upgrade and integrate bus, rail and taxi networks across the country.

When it comes to our water supply, we will fix collapsing infrastructure by ring-fencing municipal revenues collected from water so that this money can only be spent on improving and maintaining water infrastructure.

I recognise that we cannot talk about the economy without talking about inequality. And this is something that the DA has really struggled with. It is something that, under my leadership, I pledge to get right.

I recognise and acknowledge that the injustices of the past were perpetrated on the basis of race. And I am firm in my commitment to redress this racial injustice.

However, as a liberal, I am also against all forms of racial labelling, classification and categorisation.

This presents something of a dilemma: how do you redress racial wrongs on a non-racial basis?

This is not an easy question to answer, especially in the tense and polarised political climate we operate in.

My way out of this dilemma has generally been to accept that race-based policies are a necessary evil required to redress the wrongs of the past.

But, as time has gone on, I have come to realise a few fundamental truths about race-based policies like BEE and the way they have been implemented.

First, and most self-evidently, BEE has served only to advance a narrow elite. While this was a controversial thing to say a decade ago, it is now commonly accepted – even by members of the governing party.

The facts speak for themselves. Under the ANC’s race-based BEE policies, black households have become 10% poorer over the past decade. The country’s poverty rate has also increased, with 30 million South Africans living on less than R991 per month. Out of the 30 million people living in poverty, 99.8% are black, coloured and Indian.

So, the question we must ask ourselves is this: why is it, nearly three decades since the end of apartheid, that the few continue to benefit at the expense of the many?

The answer lies in the mistaken belief that race-based policies work to benefit everybody in that racial group. Because the truth is, they don’t.

Race-based policies only benefit those with the social, financial and political capital to leverage the opportunities these policies present.

This explains why Cyril Ramaphosa, for example, became a billionaire in a few short years, while the vast majority of black South Africans remain trapped in poverty.

I believe it is time for us to focus our empowerment efforts on poor and disadvantaged South Africans – 99% of whom are black. We need to stop re-empowering the same people; we need to unlock opportunities for poor black South Africans instead.

As part of the DA’s current policy review process, I will be working hard to ensure that our party adopts a new means-tested paradigm to ensure that empowerment programmes benefit the people who desperately need them.

The time has come for a new economic paradigm. We must do what works for growth and jobs, and we must redress the wrongs of the past. These goals are not divergent; they are compatible. Most important of all, they are achievable.

Regards

John Steenhuizen

Sound boost for Humansdorp play school

February 20, 2020

THE Kate Van Der Merwe Crèche in Gill Marcus, Humansdorp, received a sound system through the DA led Kouga municipality’s Ward Development Fund this week.

Kouga Speaker Hattingh Bornman said the donation included a speaker, with a microphone, bluetooth or USB input and various other functions.

“The Kate Van Der Merwe Crèche has been running successfully since 1997. The sound system will be used for school concerts and the modeling shows the school has become known for,” said ward councillor Wilma Coenraad.

“The donation will help boost the school’s events and will greatly enhance the children’s experience in these activities.

Coenraad joined teachers and pupils on Tuesday to hand over the donation.

Mantashe is spanner in the works of President’s energy promises

February 17, 2020

While the Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcements in his State of the Nation (SONA) address regarding the energy sector, it is worrying that Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe does not seem to be on board.

Shortly after Ramaphosa announced during SONA that Independent Power Producers will be able to sell electricity to financially viable municipalities, Mantashe contradicted him in media interviews afterward by saying he is unwilling to commit to opening Bid Window 5.

This essentially makes the president’s promise an empty one.

A limited number of IPPs have received licences to provide electricity to the grid, following the opening of four and half bid windows so far.

The Integrated Resource Plan calls for more renewables to be added on an annual basis, but Mantashe has to open the next bid window, which will be the fifth one.

He has not done so, and judging by his statements last night he does not intend to do so anytime soon.

Mantashe has also continuously delayed the signing of section 34 notices, and has been slow to act on the amendment of schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act.

Every day of delay of these urgent reforms is another day of rolling blackouts and another day of severe damage to the South African economy.

Minister Mantashe needs to come clean on what his immediate steps will be to implement the President’s promises without any further delays. We will hold him to account, as well as calling on the President to act against Mantashe if he continues to be the spanner in the works.

New Executive Committee for Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency

February 16, 2020

The DA in Kouga and Kou-Kamma Municipalities met yesterday at Oubos, just outside Kareedouw, for the AGM of the Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency.

The meeting was also attended by Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police and Constituency Leader of the DA in the region.

A new executive committee was elected at the AGM.

“I am very happy with the team that has been elected by the branches in Kouga and Kou-Kamma. Many of the executive were part of the team that won Kouga Municipality in 2016 and together we are determined to retain Kouga and win Kou-Kamma in 2021,” said Whitfield.

“The DA is focusing on rebuilding our branches and connecting with our members. We will have a policy meeting with all councillors and branch chairs in the build up to the DA Policy Conference and Federal Congress,” added Whitfield.

The newly Elected Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency Executive Committee is :

▪️Chairperson: Hattingh Bornman
▪️Deputy Chairperson: Richard Krige
▪️Secretary: Timothy Jantjes
▪️Finance & Fundraising Chairperson: Brenton Williams
▪️Councillor Representative: Horatio Hendricks
▪️Councillor Representative: Baker Smit
▪️Additional Member: Denzil van Vuuren
▪️Additional Member: Sakkie Murray
▪️Additional Member: Xoliswa Dlala
▪️ADAC Representative: Danny Benson
▪️DAWN Representative: Amor Hendricks
▪️DAY Representative: Anescha Swart

Jeffreys Bay Police Station Needs Urgent Status Upgrade

February 14, 2020

During an oversight visit to the Jeffrey’s Bay police station on Thursday 6th February it became crystal clear that SAPS is insufficiently resourced to fight crime Jeffrey’s Bay.

I was joined by my colleague from the Provincial Legislature, Bobby Stevenson MPL.

A growing population and an increase in crime in many parts of Jeffrey’s Bay requires the appropriate resources to keep the community safe.

The Station Commander, Col Kiewiet, confirmed that visible policing is a major problem with vehicles in the garage for repair and insufficient manpower to patrol. She indicated that most nights there is only one vehicle with two officers patrolling the streets.

The crime statistics released in 2019 revealed that there is a house breaking in Jeffrey’s Bay almost every single day. This combined with an increase in other crimes such as common assault and theft of goods from vehicles contributes to a case load which is out of control.

The people of Jeffrey’s Bay deserve a responsive and professional police service that will arrive at the scene of a crime quickly and handle all complaints with compassion.

A few years ago the Jeffrey’s Bay Police station was downgraded from ‘Full Colonel’ to ‘Half Colonel’ which means less resources to fight crime.

I will be writing to the National Police Commissioner to report on my visit and demand the reinstatement of ‘Full Colonel’ status for the Jeffrey’s police station so this community can get the resources they deserve.

Other issues that were raised include:

  • The status of the CPF and the role of the station commander in supporting the CPF
  • Escalation of drug related incidents
  • Gang violence
  • State of vehicles
  • Crime Statistics

The DA will fight this issue tooth and nail at a National and provincial level to ensure that the residents of Jeffrey’s Bay can live in safety.

Andrew Whitfield
DA Shadow Minister of Police