Khoza’s axing shows the ANC cannot be trusted

August 20, 2017

The axing of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, Makhosi Khoza, is the clearest example yet of how the ANC’s in-fighting is preventing Parliament from doing the people’s business.

The message this sends to other Chairpersons and office bearers in Parliament is that if they do their job and fulfil their constitutional obligations in trying to force accountability, they will be punished.

The ANC cannot be trusted, not even by their own Members of Parliament.

The ANC leave delinquents like Bathabile Dlamini, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane and Mduduzi Manana to put the lives and livelihoods of ordinary citizens at risk yet gun for members who had the guts to vote to remove a President who has literally sold our country to the highest bidder.

ANC infighting is paralysing Parliament and the State and this cannot continue.

Our country desperately needs a new beginning. That is why the DA has called for Parliament to be dissolved and for fresh elections to be held.

The ANC is too far gone to self-correct and this in-fighting will only get worse as the December elective conference gets closer.

It is time for the people to have their say.

South Africa needs to go to the polls to usher in the change it deserves. The sooner the better.

From the Mayor’s Desk – 17 August 2017

August 17, 2017

Since taking over Kouga in August 2016, we have discovered that there are a number of financial claims and serious matters of non-compliance hanging over the municipality like a dark cloud.

1. Old debt to Department of Transport

The municipality failed to pay over drivers licence monies to the Department of Transport for several years under the two previous Councils. At the time of the 2016 election, the outstanding amount stood at about R11 million. We are paying this off in line with an arrangement made with the Department.

2. R46-million water bill from Nelson Mandela Bay Metro

Following the election, the new Council was shocked to find that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro had issued Kouga with a water bill for R46 million. This was in addition to the monthly water bill. According to the Metro, Kouga had been under-billed for water usage between 2012 and 2016. The bill had been issued to Kouga in May 2016 but had not been disclosed by the previous Council. Negotiation with the Metro regarding the bill is ongoing.

3. Court case regarding the 2012 St Francis Bay canal fire

A court case that the municipality is defending could potentially cost the municipality between R30 million and R40 million. The claim arises from the 2012 fire that saw scores of houses being razed to the ground in the St Francis Bay canal area.

4. R13-million bill from the Department of Labour

In July 2017 the Council was confronted with another shock bill. Dating back 10 years and totalling R12,62 million, the bill was for Return of Earnings (RoEs), required for what is commonly known as “workmen’s compensation”.

The municipality hadn’t submitted RoEs from 2007 to 2016. This meant that municipal employees did not have proper cover for Injury on Duty claims for almost ten years.

The municipality has since come to an arrangement with the Department for workmen’s compensation to be reinstated and is negotiating paying off the outstanding amount.

Regards

Elza

Mmusi Maimane: message to the residents of Kouga

August 6, 2017

Our country is standing on the brink of the biggest change it has seen since the 1994 elections. People have run out of patience with the ANC government.

They realise they are not going to get what they were promised by them and so, across the country, people are mobilising for change.

In many places, this change has already started. A year ago, the DA won several new metros and municipalities from the ANC.

We made promises to the people of these towns and cities that we would make a difference in their communities. And if we didn’t, we said they should vote us out of government again.

And so these new DA governments wasted no time. We knew the clock was ticking, and we knew what people expected from us. We immediately started cleaning out the rot and reversing the damage caused by years of neglect.

It’s not surprising at all that the people of Kouga turned their back on the ANC.

This municipality came to a standstill over the past decade. Nothing happened – hardly any maintenance of older infrastructure took place and no new projects were launched.

Did you know that in the past eleven years, no new RDP houses were built in the entire Kouga? Not one. But Mayor van Lingen’s government has already turned that around.

Right here in Pellsrus, they’re about to start casting foundations for 220 new houses. Not far away, in Kruisfontein, they have also launched a new housing project where the foundations have been cast for 391 new houses.

Mayor van Lingen’s team has also launched an extensive clean-up programme across many of Kouga’s communities, and various new refuse trucks, grass-cutting equipment and skip bins have been bought for the municipality. This clean-up operation has also meant hundreds of fixed-period jobs for the people here.

Then here are the wastewater treatment plants at Kruisfontein and Hankey that have been completed, as well as an upgrade that has been planned for the plant at St Francis Bay.

The informal settlement at Donkerhoek had its main access road upgraded, and electricity has already been switched on at 247 of the sites. The budget to electrify the remaining 116 sites there, as well as at the Ocean View settlement, has now also been approved for next year.

We are aware of the challenges when it comes to schooling in the area, and Mayor van Lingen’s government has successfully sorted out the delays in new school construction projects.

The site of the Andrieskraal Primary School has been handed over to the contractors. This build will include a new hostel. And a new school building at Sea Vista primary was completed and handed over this past year.

My fellow South Africans, this is what real progress looks like. And the Mayor assures me there is a lot more to come.

I know that there is still much to be done here. I have visited houses here in Pellsrus this morning and I have spoken to residents. I know how hard it can be when there are no jobs. I know what the high crime rate does to a community like yours. I know about sewage leaks and dirty streets.

And I assure you, all those things are on the Mayor’s list. You will not be forgotten here like you were under the ANC government.

If we have achieved so much here in Kouga in just one year, imagine what a difference we can make in five or ten years. We can bring back investment into this municipality. We can make it an attractive place for businesses and tourists alike. And with them will come the precious jobs that this community so desperately needs.

But to really be effective, we are going to need your help. Because there is only so much we can do in local government. The real change – the forward-looking plans to create job-creating growth in our country – have to come at national level.

Your vote in 2019 can make that happen. Each of you has the power to say: I don’t want a government that steals my money. I don’t want a government that only cares about itself. I don’t want a government that can’t keep one single promise. I want a fresh beginning under a new government.

Give the DA chance in 2019 to run this province and the country. I give you my word, we will work as hard as we possibly can to improve every aspect of your lives here. And if we don’t, then you must fire us again with your vote. Because that’s how our democracy works. But first give us that one chance.

Regards

Mmusi

Mmusi to visit Jeffreys Bay tomorrow

August 4, 2017

The leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, will be visiting Jeffreys Bay tomorrow.

Mmusi will be meeting the DA Councillors, conducting door to door visits, hold a street meeting as well as a public meeting in the Pellsrus Community Hall.

The street meeting will take place at 11:45 am on the corner of Galjoen and Robbie Dennis Streets, Pellsrus, while the public meeting will happen at 13:00 at the Pellsrus Community Hall.

The meetings are open to everyone.

The visit forms part of Mmusi’s #Change19 tour and the need for change at national level in the 2019 election.

“Over the past twenty years, cadre deployment and state capture have bred a strong culture of loyalty to party rather than to the people of South Africa, a culture which will in all likelihood be on full display come 8 August when ANC MPs vote in the motion of no confidence,” said Mmusi.

“That’s why only the people of South Africa can free our country.

Only by voting the ANC out of government in 2019 can we restore the democratic and constitutional order, and re-establish the accountability that must be at the heart of our social compact,” added Maimane.

Council approves appointment of two new directors

August 3, 2017

The DA led Kouga Council approved the appointment of two municipal directors at a special meeting in Jeffreys Bay last week.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said Council had resolved to renew the contract of Victor Felton as Director: Infrastructure, Planning and Development while Krishen Moodley received the nod as Director: Administration, Monitoring, Evaluation and Special Projects.

Felton took up his position on 1 August while Moodley’s contract is being finalised. Both appointments will also be submitted to East Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Fikile Xasa, for concurrence.

The Mayor said the Council had resolved that the position of Director: Social Services Director would be re-advertised.

She added that the filling of the position of Director: Local Economic Development, Tourism and Creative Industries had been put on hold pending a review of the municipality’s portfolio and directorate structures.

“The manner in which directorates are structured, influences how effectively employees can perform their duties. Over the past year we have discovered that the existing structure does little to support interdepartmental cooperation and optimal performance. We are, therefore, reviewing the structure before finalising the appointment of further directors,” she said.

The five-year contracts of Kouga’s former Director: Administration, Monitoring, Evaluation and Special Projects, Thobeka Tom, Director: Local Economic Development, Tourism and Creative Industries, Carleen Arends, and Director: Social Services, Japie Jansen, came to an end on 31 July 2017.

New Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis took up his position in June 2017 while the contract of CFO Selwyn Thys runs till 2022.

South Africa is on the cusp of a new beginning

July 31, 2017

Over the past two days, the Federal Executive (FedEx) of the Democratic Alliance (DA) convened in Cape Town to attend to a number of pressing matters concerning the country and the Party.

This statement serves to communicate the outcomes of this weekend’s meeting.

Motion of No Confidence

The Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which I tabled in March this year, is set to be debated and voted in 10 days’ time – on 8 August.

This motion comes at a critical juncture in our country’s young democracy.

The political tide in South Africa is beginning to turn; the ANC has never been weaker and we are on the cusp of change and renewal.

Since this motion was tabled, South Africans from all walks of life, political parties, NGOs, religious bodies, and civil society at large have united behind the call to remove Jacob Zuma and his continued corrupt, irresponsible and reckless leadership.

Removing Jacob Zuma is the first step in turn our country’s fortunes around and reigniting the dream of 1994 – a united, prosperous and non-racial society for all.

Moreover, FedEx resolved that if Jacob Zuma is removed as President through our Motion of No Confidence, we must go to the polls and hold an early general election.

Parliament ought to be dissolved and the choice must to be put to the people as to who their next president and national government should be.

Indeed, the sooner the electorate can elect a new government the better.

Bell Pottinger

FedEx considered the ongoing scandal involving the Guptas and London based PR Firm, Bell Pottinger.

It is greatly encouraging that our call for the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) to launch a disciplinary inquiry into Bell Pottinger’s racially fuelled propaganda campaign was heeded, and the inquiry will start on 18 August 2017.

We have insisted that this inquiry be open to the public. This will ensure that Bell Pottinger faces legal consequences for their actions, and that justice will be served for their promotion of division and racial hatred for cheap political gain in a still deeply divided society.

Moreover, I have also personally written to a list of companies who procure the services of Bell Pottinger, urging them to terminate their relationship with the firm.

Though legal action is effective, corporations respond to their bottom line faster than they do to judges.

Conclusion

The fight for an alternative, post-ANC South Africa is in full swing. We are forging ahead in creating a shared future for all South Africans.

Between now and 2019, we will use every opportunity in government, every single day, to win the trust of voters, and to show South Africans that there is another choice; a better choice, and that choice is the Democratic Alliance.

Regards

Mmusi Maimane

Kouga Municipality continues to combat illegal dumping

July 26, 2017

KOUGA Municipality has increased its efforts to fight illegal dumping and keep communities clean by acquiring 20 new skip bins.

The 6m² containers, worth R348 840 in total, will be distributed to hot spots for illegal dumping.

Social Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson says the distribution of the skip bins would be followed by an awareness campaign, run by the municipality’s Solid Waste and Cleansing and Parks sections.

“The campaign will help to empower residents to contribute to the cleanliness of their communities. Small things can make a big difference; for example, we would like to caution adults not to send children to go and dispose of waste at skip bins. Youngsters cannot always reach the mouth of the container and then simply dump the contents next to the bin,” he says.

Benson added that the arrival of the skip bins did not mean that other measures to keep areas clean, such as refuse collection on scheduled days, would be done away with.

“We are intensifying our war against waste so as to ensure that all of Kouga’s people live, work and play in clean and healthy environments,” says Benson.

He also asked communities to be aware of the following:

No fires must be made inside the skip bins, even if it is to burn waste;
Only the municipality has the right to remove or clean the skip bins;
Waste must be disposed of inside the bin, not next to it; and
Children should be warned against playing in skip bins.
To report illegal dumping, contact Kouga’s Solid Waste section on 042 200 8335 or the Cleansing and Parks section on 042 200 8381.

Residents invited to rate municipal service delivery

June 30, 2017

THE Kouga Municipality will be running its annual Customer Satisfaction Survey over the next five weeks.

This year’s survey will be the first to be conducted under the new council after the August 2016 local government elections.

The DA’s Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen calls on residents to make use of the platform to scrutinise the municipality and to suggest areas of improvement.

“We would like to know what your service delivery experience has been over the past few months,” she says. “There is a great deal that needs doing if we are to create a culture of service excellence. The survey will help us to prioritise our work in line with community expectations.”

The Mayor says the new council had committed itself to being an accountable leadership that values inputs from residents.

“When we adopted our new vision, Good Governance through Service Excellence, we understood that running a municipality was about listening and responding to the communities we serve,” says Van Lingen.

She says the survey will not replace other platforms such as community meetings but was designed to enhance accountability and the involvement of residents in municipal affairs.

Survey forms will be available at municipal administration units, ward councillors’ offices and public libraries from Monday, June 26. An electronic version is also available on the municipality’s website at http://www.kouga.gov.za.

Completed forms can be dropped in the marked boxes at municipal offices or posted to PO Box 21, Jeffreys Bay, 6330. Electronic versions can be emailed to msobele@kouga.gov.za.

The forms have the different services offered by the municipality, with scores of 1 to 5, the former reflecting the worst opinion and the latter the best.

The closing date for the survey is July, 31.

600 tons of rubbish collected

June 28, 2017

Some 600 tons of rubbish were collected at Jeffreys Bay as Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen moved her clean-up intervention into second gear.

More than 100 community members took part in the massive clean-up, which stretched over five days and covered the areas of Pellsrus, Tokyo Sexwale, Mandela Bay and Ocean View.

Mayor Van Lingen says illegal dumping sites, sidewalks and open spaces were cleared of all manner of waste, from empty bottles and dirty nappies to broken appliances and building rubble.

“The cleansing teams collected more than 600 cubic metres of rubbish – that’s roughly equal to 600 tonnes – in the five days and carted it to the regional waste site at Humansdorp,” she says.

“We are grateful to them for doing such a great job and making a visible difference to their communities.”

She said owners of open plots where rubble or garden refuse were being kept, would also be notified to have it removed.

The Mayor said casual littering and illegal dumping were two of the big challenges facing communities and the municipality.

“The municipality has accelerated its drive to keep Kouga clean, and we want to call on communities to join us in this war on waste.

“A clean area improves everyone’s quality of life and makes for happier and healthier communities.

“It also helps to create job opportunities because a clean area is more attractive to tourists and creates a good impression on potential investors.”

Van Lingen says the municipality would be putting up extra signage to warn against illegal dumping and that action would be taken against perpetrators.

She also calls on grown-ups to take children by the hand and teach them that littering was wrong and harmful to their environment.

The Kouga Mayoral Clean-up Intervention will be moving to Humansdorp this week.

Several smaller clean-ups were also held ahead of the massive Jeffreys Bay clean-up so as to help raise awareness of the need for communities and the municipality to band together in the war against waste.

R 46 million in Irregular Government expenditure

June 27, 2017

The auditor-general (AG), Kimi Makwetu, reported a slight improvement in the audit results of national and provincial governments over the past three years.

Releasing this year’s audit outcomes of national and provincial government departments and public entities (auditees), Makwetu revealed that in the three-year period under review (2013-14 to 2015-16), 24 % of the auditees improved their audit results; 14 % regressed; while the results of the majority (62 %) remained unchanged.

He further announced that during this period, public entities fared the best with continuous improvement year on year; however, the audit results of departments regressed in 2015-16.

Irregular expenditure has increased by almost 40% since 2013-14 to R46,36 billion – the increase from the previous year was nearly 80%.

The main reason for the increase in irregular expenditure was the continued non-compliance with supply chain management legislation. Irregular expenditure represents expenditure incurred towards procurement of goods and services without following prescribed processes.

Six auditees were responsible for just over 50% of the irregular expenditure in 2015-16.

They include the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga departments of Health, the
Road and Transport and Human Settlements departments in Gauteng and the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2015-16 was 14% higher than in 2013-14 at R 1,37 billion, and was again incurred by an increasing number of auditees.

Six auditees were responsible for just more than 70% of this expenditure – again the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and the Department of Water and Sanitation are included in this list, joined by three departments in the
education sector and the Compensation Fund.

Unauthorised expenditure has decreased by just over 50% since 2013-14 to R 925 million as a result of interventions at national and provincial levels.

The main reason for the unauthorised expenditure remained overspending of the budget.