Service Delivery report back meeting in Jeffreys Bay tonight

June 20, 2019

Kouga communities will have the opportunity to discuss service successes, challenges and plans for their ward with the municipal leadership at a series of public meetings.

The meetings started at the Weston Community Hall and the first Jeffreys Bay meeting will take place this evening at the Pellsrus Community Hall.

The Mayor of the DA led Kouga Municipality Horatio Hendricks said the meetings would also be used to address matters that were raised by residents during the recent Integrated Development Plan (IDP) community consultation sessions.

“We promised residents that we would return with feedback. We are pleased that we can make good on this promise and look forward to engaging further with our communities,” he said.

Wards have been grouped together for the meetings to make them as accessible as possible for residents. All meetings will start at 6pm.

The schedule is as follows:

* 20 June for wards 2 and 14 at the Pellsrus Community Hall
* 24 June for wards 3, 8 and 11 at the Newton Hall
* 25 June for wards 4 and 5 at the Kruisfontein Civic Centre
* 26 June for wards 6, 12 and 15 in a tent at the KwaNomzamo Hall
* 27 June for ward 7 at the Loerie Community Hall
* 1 July for ward 7 at the Katriena Felix Hall
* 2 July for wards 9 and 13 at the Vusumzi Landu Hall
* 3 July for wards 10 and 13 at the Dan Sandi Hall
* 4 July for ward 12 at the St Francis Bowling Club
* 8 July for wards 12 and 14 at the Aston Bay Hall
* 9 July for ward 1 at the Oyster Bay Community Hall
* 10 July for ward 15 in a tent at the Humansdorp Country Club

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Public meeting for DA supporters in Ward 14 today

June 19, 2019

The Democratic Alliance will be holding a public meeting at the Marina Martinique Hall this afternoon at 4 pm.

The meeting is for all DA voters and supporters who live in Aston Bay, Marina Martinique, Madiba Bay, Ocean View and the Sands.

Election results in Ward 14 will be presented as well as the performance of the DA both provincially and nationally.

The way forward for the DA will be discussed as the party embarks on an internal review process.

“All signed up members of the DA are invited to take part in the internal review process and make their inputs about the future of the party and ultimately democracy in South Africa,” said DA Councillor Brenton Williams who will be hosting the meeting this afternoon at Marina Martinique.

There will be an opportunity after the meeting for DA supporters to sign up as members of the party.

Service delivery in Ward 14 will be discussed as well as salient features of the 2019/20 budget.

Upgrading Yellow Woods in Hankey

June 18, 2019

Grass-cutting teams have been out and about at Yellow woods in Hankey to spruce up the popular picnic and braai spot which was seriously neglected over the past two decades.

The fencing at the entrance gate was also recently repaired while funding has been set aside in the new municipal budget for 2019/20 to repair the braai stands and ablution facilities.

The DA led Kouga Municipality has been hard at work fixing up public facilities all over Kouga.

Facilities like Yellow Woods, the Aston Bay Hall and public bathrooms have all been receiving attention since 2016 when the DA won Kouga.

 

Shaping the DA to shape the future

June 15, 2019

Mark my words, the DA has a central role to play in securing a prosperous future for South Africa. No amount of hype around a “new dawn” can obscure the reality on the ground, which is that South Africa is sliding backwards.

That reality is reflected in four stark facts about our economy that have come to light in the past month.

First, broad unemployment (which includes those who have given up looking for work) is now at a record-high of 9.9 million people, equating to 38% of our workforce. In the first quarter of 2019, unemployment grew in every province except the DA-run Western Cape, where it fell.

Second, our economy contracted by 3.2% (annualized) in the first three months of this year, the biggest quarterly contraction in a decade.

And it is unlikely to grow substantially anytime soon because: third, net investment (as measured by gross fixed capital formation) declined in the first quarter of 2019 for the fifth consecutive quarter, by 4.5%.

And fourth, the recent resignations of the CEOs of Eskom and SAA suggest that the government is simply not prepared to take the necessary steps to fix our state-owned entities.

These outcomes put us in the perilous situation of rising impoverishment and discontent. They will persist until we South Africans reform our economy.

We need to fundamentally change the way we do things and that means facing down the various special interest groups that benefit from the status quo.

This will be very difficult for Ramaphosa’s government to achieve because they rely on these groups for political support.

Thus the DA must succeed in its mission of uniting South Africans around the principles required for a successful state: the rule of law, non-racialism, and a market-driven economy coupled with a capable state that generates opportunities for all.

We need to succeed soon, because we South Africans are still grappling with our 20th century challenges even as 21st century challenges of technology and climate change hurtle towards us.

Our objective is to occupy the centre of South Africa’s political landscape. We are not a party for the right or for the left. Nor do we aspire to represent the interests of any specific groups. Our objective is to promote the national interest.

The DA has experienced rapid growth since 1994, and especially since 2016, when the number of people we govern for (through provincial, metro or municipal governments) almost tripled from around 6 million to around 15 million people. We are a different, more diverse and much larger animal now than the party we were a few years ago.

These changes have brought on challenges associated with increased complexity. We have therefore initiated a comprehensive party-wide review, to assess what changes we need to make to our structures, systems and policies going forward in order to keep growing support for our mission.

Our future is about doing the basics right: building trust amongst South Africans through activism, branches and campaigning, and through good governance. Overall, our governments are in great shape to continue to deliver. But we are now more focused than ever to demonstrate the DA difference in government, and to create thriving market-based economies where we govern.

So we’ll be strengthening our Governance Unit to give it the clout it needs to provide the requisite support to our provincial, metro and municipal governments so they can deliver the best possible service to citizens.

And we’ll be working actively to build national support for economic reform. In 2018, we postponed a summit on growth and redress in order to focus on our 2019 election campaign. That summit is now firmly on the agenda.

Please join us as we shape the future of our nation.

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Warm regards,

Mmusi Maimane

DA leader

Andrew Whitfield to lead the DA in Kouga

June 14, 2019

The Democratic Alliance has deployed the Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson, Andrew Whitfield, as the new leader of the Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency.

The Constituency covers both the DA led Kouga Municipality as well as the Kou Kamma Municipality.

Whitfield has also been appointed as the new Shadow Minister of Police in Parliament, following the 2019 National election.

He brings a wealth of experience to the Constituency and has served in all three spheres of government, local, provincial and national.

Andrew was appointed as a member of the Mayoral Committee in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro under Mayor Athol Trollip where he was responsible for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture.

This was after he led the DA election campaign in the Metro during the 2016 local government election.

He has also previously served as a Member of Parliament as well as in the Provincial Legislature in Bhisho.

“I am delighted to be deployed to Tsitsi-Kouga and am proud to be able to represent the people of Kouga and Kou Kamma in Parliament,” said Whitfield.

We welcome Andrew to the Constituency and it is a honour to have Whitfield as part of the team.

Andrew brings the experience and leadership required to retain Kouga and to win Kou Kamma in the 2021 Election.

He will also raise issues in Parliament that affect our residents and will help us fight the scourge of crime that affects all communities in our Constituency.

Andrew will be meeting with the branch structures in Kouga and Kou-Kamma and explaining the road ahead to 2021 to the members of the DA in the Constituency.

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Power interruption for Humansdorp

June 13, 2019

The electricity supply to the whole of Humansdorp will be interrupted from 8am to 4pm this coming Sunday, 16 June.

The interruption is necessary to complete the electrification of houses at Kruisfontein.

Residents are reminded to treat all electrical outlets as live during the shutdown period.

Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience.

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Kouga’s capital budget will enhance service delivery

June 12, 2019

Several big service delivery projects will be funded through the DA led Kouga Municipality’s capital budget in the 2019/2020 financial year.

The capital budget, which amounts to R93,11 million, was approved by the Kouga Council last week.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks says the projects are aimed at improving services such as sanitation, electricity and waste management to all communities, as well as upgrading the road infrastructure and public facilities.

Sanitation upgrades

“An ongoing focus has been expanding the region’s sanitation infrastructure to meet future development requirements.

“The plants at Kruisfontein and Jeffreys Bay recently received major upgrades, while the multi-year upgrade of the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works, at more than R50 million, is on track and will be completed in the coming financial year,” he says.

He says other sanitation projects to be funded in 2019/2020 include the upgrade of the KwaNomzamo Waste Water Treatment Works (R8,695 million) and the upgrade of the sanitation system at Patensie (R4,429 million).

Bucket system

A further R2,3 million per year will also be put towards the eradication of the bucket system over the next three years, with a total of 3 885 buckets still in use in Kouga.

“While housing projects will eliminate the need for more than 50% of the buckets, not all residents currently living in informal settlements qualify for government-subsidised houses, making it essential for the municipality to provide them with an acceptable alternative,” he says.

“One such alternative is containerised ablution facilities, with the first structure set to go up at the transfer site near Stofwolk in Hankey. Other target areas are Thornhill, Sea Vista, Ramaphosa Village, KwaNozamo and Ocean View.”

Illegal electricity

Hendricks says another priority is the eradication of illegal electricity, with the municipality set to spend R1 million in 2019/20 for the formalisation of illegal connections.

“When discussing electricity, it is important to bear in mind that Kouga does not provide electricity to all towns. Patensie, Hankey and Loerie are serviced directly by Eskom, while Thornhill receives electricity from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro,” Hendricks explains.

“The electrical projects to be funded by the municipality in 2019/20 are, therefore, focused on Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St Francis and Oyster Bay.”

Highlights include R5,219 million to upgrade the electrical network at Humansdorp and increase the available capacity for upcoming government housing developments, R2,7 million for improvements to the St Francis Bay network, R1,8 million for the next phase in constructing new 66kv overhead lines from the Melkbos station to Jeffreys Bay, and R1,2 million for high-mast lights.

Roads

The Mayor said the resealing and tarring of roads would continue in the new financial year, with R1,5m having been budgeted for this purpose. A further R363 355 has also been budgeted for the upgrading of gravel roads in Jeffreys Bay.

Waste management

“When it comes to waste management, more than 10 000 wheelie bins have been procured in the current budget year and we will be spending at least another R2m on wheelie bins in the coming year,” he said.

Sports Facilities and Community Halls

Hendricks said the municipality would also continue upgrading community and sports facilities across Kouga.

Highlights for 2019/20 include R5,41 million for the upgrade of the KwaNomzamo sportsgrounds and R4,44 million for the upgrade of the Pellsrus and Sea Vista sportsgrounds, the clubhouses at Loerie and Thornhilll, and the Newton Hall and Aston Bay Hall in Jeffreys Bay.

A further R800 000 has been budgeted for improvements at Yellowwoods in Hankey and the beach parks at Pellsrus, Kabeljous and the Cape St Francis.

“The municipality has also made good progress with its plan to establish fresh food and craft markets at Jeffreys Bay and Hankey, with R1,221 million on the new budget to take the project forward,” he says.

Other highlights

  • R8,32 million for new vehicles, with the emphasis on TLBs
  • R2 million for security cameras
  • R1,7 million to buy land at KwaNomzamo and Loerie for government housing
  • R1,6 million to fence the Hankey Fire Station and Kruisfontein Civics Centre
  • R1,5 million to fencing the Jeffreys Bay and Kruisfontein reservoirs.

“While the new capital budget does not include any significant water-related expenditure for the 2019/20 financial year, water conservation and augmentation projects will be ongoing as we complete the work we started with the R151,2 million in disaster funding that the municipality secured last year,” the Mayor says.

“On completion, these projects will have a significant impact on the quality of life of our communities, especially at Hankey and Patensie where water rationing is still being implemented.”

For South Africa to work the DA has to succeed – and we will

June 10, 2019

Over the past two days, the Federal Council of the Democratic Alliance (DA) – the party’s highest decision-making body between Federal Congress – convened at Nkululeko House in Johannesburg for its first sitting following the 2019 elections.

Federal Council spent time in honest reflection on the election campaign, the election results, and the current political and economic climate South Africa finds itself in.

Without doubt, the single most pressing issue facing our country today is our catatonic economy, which is failing to halt runaway unemployment and taxing to death a dwindling tax base.

Since 8 May, unemployment has hit a record high of 38%, with 9.9 million people without a job. This is compounded by economic growth contracting by 3.2% during the first months of this year – the biggest decline in a decade.

In addition to this, there is a sustained attack on the independence and the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). South Africa is running out of money, and the proposed solution is to print more money through “quantitative easing”.

This is a disastrous policy, and we need look no further than our northern neighbours Zimbabwe for evidence of this. Federal Council was unanimous that the independence of the Reserve Bank is sacrosanct. The root causes of the country’s economic woes are not monetary, they are political.

South Africa’s economic stalemate cannot be ignored for one more day. Without a vibrant, growing economy, millions more will join the ranks of the unemployed, inequality will broaden, and all South Africans will become poorer and poorer. Our country needs complete reform and the DA has an Agenda for Reform which will be our focus over the coming 100 days and beyond.

This will include but not be limited to tabling our Jobs Bill and Cheaper Energy Bill, fighting for labour legislation reform, opposing any changes to the Reserve Bank independence and mandate, proposing alternatives to the current State Owned Entity (SOE) ownership framework, proposing alternatives to the current Mining Charter, opposing threats to the economy and fiscus such as NHI and expropriation of property and land without compensation, and championing a focus on city-led economic growth.

Reflection on 2019 Election

Federal Council extended its sincere congratulations to Premier Alan Winde and the Western Cape campaign for winning the province for the third successive election. This shows that the DA’s track record of good, clean and delivery orientated governance is rewarded by voters. Premier Winde has appointed a diverse and competent cabinet which is ready to get to work. We thank the people of the Western Cape for placing their trust in the DA, and we will work even harder to fast track service delivery and create more job opportunities for all.

Undoubtedly, the election results on the whole were deeply disappointing. However, I remain as committed as ever to the project of building One South Africa for All. That means I want what is best for the DA, because I still firmly believe that the DA is South Africa’s only hope.

We know that our ultimate mission is to break down the insider/outsider paradigm holding South Africa back. We will unashamedly fight to retain and grow the political centre, and not pander to racial mobilisation or populism on both sides. For that reason, this party has no other option but to emerge from this blow stronger than before. We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, make the necessary changes, and keep fighting.

We will never celebrate the loss of voters. We are not blind to the loss of support in some areas nor are we deaf to the voices of those who chose to support another party in this election. We will work to regain lost voters and consolidate the voters who we have stood by us.

I will fight to continue the work that builds a diverse, non-racial centre built on shared values. This is the future of South Africa, and it is a future the DA will lead.

Independent Organisational Review

Federal Council has widely welcomed my decision to initiate a comprehensive, party-wide review of systems, structures and policies. The last time this occurred was in 2004, and therefore long overdue.

Terms of Reference

The panel will conduct a review of the party’s fitness to achieve its objective of building a constitutional liberal democratic alternative to the ANC. The review will investigate the underlying drivers of the party’s performance in the 2019 general election and will encompass the capacity of the party’s leadership and public representatives, its political identity, policy platform, strategy, structure, processes and operations, as well as any other considerations that may be relevant to achieving the party’s objectives.

Timeline

The review will take place between now and the next Federal Council meeting of the party on 19/20 October 2019. Updates will be given to each of the federal executive meetings to be held between now and then. The final report will be presented in full to the next meeting of the Federal Executive.

Composition

The panel will be chaired by Ryan Coetzee and will include a number of other independent members to be announced over the course of the next week.

Approach and Methodology

The panel will seek input from all members and structures of the party as well as external stakeholders with an interest in the success of the party.

Those wishing to provide input will be asked to do so in writing. The panel will then also meet with a range of people and structures to discuss their input, including but not necessarily limited to the leader, chairperson, chair of the Federal Council, chief executive, provincial leadership and the leadership of key local governments.

The Report

The final report will be made available in full to the Federal Council. It will then be the responsibility of the Federal Council and the leadership of the party to decide how it wishes to respond to the report.

I am confident this review will successfully perform an honest and frank introspection of where the DA is and where the DA needs to go. We will come out stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Youth Month

With more than 50% of young people not working, Youth Month cannot just be one of ceremony, it needs to reflect on the state of SA for young South Africans. The DA Youth Leader, Luyolo Mphithi, will mark Youth Day at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and run various activities across the country in the weeks after. The campaign will focus on jobs and quality education.

Campaigns

Work has already commenced in formulating a strategy and message for the 2021 Local Government Elections. We are identifying areas where there is potential for growth.

We will be contesting 23 by-elections between June and August, and these will be critical in rebuilding trust with South Africans who did not vote at all, and voters who voted for us previously but did not vote DA in this election.

In rebuilding trust, Provinces have been directed to be on the ground and in communities, especially those which are forgotten communities, where there is no work or service delivery.

Change of Role: James Selfe

James Selfe has announced his decision to step down as the Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive at the next sitting of the Federal Council in October, having held the position for the past 19 years. During this time his contribution to both the growth of the DA and our country’s democracy has been immense.

He will now be heading up our Governance Unit, tasked with supporting DA governments to ensure that they deliver better to citizens. This unit will require strong leadership to ensure that we accelerate delivery towards the next elections. James has both the skill, experience and institutional knowledge to spearhead this new unit, and I welcome this decision.

James’s career in the DA, to date, spans over four decades – almost half of which he has served as the party’s Federal Chairperson. He will now relinquish that particular role, but his work in service of his country through the DA continues. Our party, and indeed our country, owe him a debt of gratitude.

Conclusion

It is no longer business as usual for the DA, nor should it be for South Africa’s elected leaders. At the start of the sixth Parliament, we committed to cooperate with the Executive when the people of South Africa are put first. That said, we will continue to hold those in power accountable when the people’s interests aren’t prioritised.

The country is in deep crisis and South Africans are looking for solutions. The DA will work to table these solutions, implement them, and build One South Africa for All.

Mmusi Maimane

Ramaphosa’s ‘quiet diplomacy’ on SARB is adding to SA’s economic crisis

June 8, 2019

The ruling party’s policy schizophrenia on the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has already cost the South African economy dearly, with the Rand losing almost 2% on Tuesday following the confusion.

The silence from President Cyril Ramaphosa is deafening. It is time that President Ramaphosa publicly clarifies the ANC and his government’s position on the SARB.

The President should stop ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule from ever speaking on the economy, and should publicly explain and clarify how the ANC’s National Executive Committee came to make the damaging statement that it did. This cannot be explained away as an innocent miscommunication.

Both the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, and the SARB Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, have come out in defence of the SARB’s mandate and ruled out “quantity easing”, after Magashule announced on Tuesday that the NEC had decided to change the mandate of the SARB and that quantitative easing will be considered. However, investors are still not convinced.

President Ramaphosa has not consistently protected the mandate and independence of the SARB, and has yet to quell the uncertainty created by the contradictory statements given by the ANC and Ministers.

The South African economy is performing very poorly, having contracted by 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019.

As confirmed by the International Monetary Fund, there is nothing wrong with our monetary policy, as overseen by the SARB. Our malady is bad policy in government, that is strangling growth in the economy.

To get the economy working, we need to:

  • Address the systemic problems at our State-owned Enterprises, specifically Eskom and SAA. The DA has a plan to stabilise and secure South Africa’s power supply, as detailed in our Cheaper Energy Bill which seeks to break Eskom into two separate entities and introduce a competitive energy market;
  • Protect and support SMMEs as proposed in the DA’s Jobs Bill; and
  • Oppose threats to the economy and fiscus such as NHI and expropriation of property and land without compensation.

    “South Africa cannot afford the kind of reckless utterances coming from the ruling party as the consequent policy uncertainty will continue to compromise investment, economic growth and job creation.The independence and current mandate of the SARB must remain intact, said Geordin Hill-Lewis, the DA Shadow Minister of Finance.

    “The DA will use all mechanisms at our disposal to strongly oppose any attempts to change the SARB’s mandate or compromise its independence.”

Municipality to report back on service delivery

June 7, 2019

Kouga communities will have the opportunity to discuss service successes, challenges and plans for their ward with the municipal leadership at a series of public meetings.

The meetings will take place from June 18 to July 10 at community halls across the region.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the meetings would also be used to address matters that were raised by residents during the recent Integrated Development Plan (IDP) community consultation sessions.

“We promised residents that we would return with feedback. We are pleased that we can make good on this promise and look forward to engaging further with our communities,” he said.

The schedule will be available in the local print media, on the municipal website and Facebook page.