Municipal offices to close early today

April 23, 2018

The Kouga Municipal offices will close at 1 p.m today (23 April) to allow staff to attend the memorial service of our late Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen which will take place at 2 p.m.

The memorial service will take place at Mentors Kraal on the outskirts of Jeffreys Bay and is open to the public to attend. All our DA family are welcome to attend.

Van Lingen passed away last Thursday after a long fight with cancer.

She became Mayor of Kouga after the DA won the local government election in 2016.

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RIP Elza – we are going to miss you

April 20, 2018

Mayor Elza Van Lingen passed away peacefully at her home yesterday after a long struggle with cancer.

After overcoming the illness in 2009, it returned in 2016, just before the Municipal election, which was won by the DA in Kouga.

Despite being on chemotherapy, Elza worked long hours as she was determined to turn the Municipality around and deliver services to all its residents.

Kouga Speaker Horatio Hendricks said her death had come as a shock and that councillors and municipal staffers were in mourning.

“We knew she had cancer, but she was fighting it all the way. Just last week she was in Kou-kamma, moving from voting station to voting station for the by-election that took place there.”

He said she would be missed for her incredible work ethic.

“Even when she went for chemotherapy, she never took the day off but would first come to the office or return to her duties directly afterwards.

“She was a mentor to many of us and was very active on the ground. One of her favourite sayings was that a good leader’s shoes should never be clean.”

Elza handing out title deeds in Thornhill – a decade after the houses had been built.

The dynamic and passionate former Member of Parliament, Van Lingen was born and bred at Willowmore in the Eastern Cape.

She and her husband, Michael, ran a merino stud and farmed livestock and game. She was invited to get involved in politics at the time but declined as her children were still young.

That changed once her four children were grown up. The couple moved to Cape St Francis in 2000 where they ran a guesthouse.

The quality of the water in the town was of great concern to Van Lingen and her efforts to rectify it earned her an invitation to join the Cape St Francis Civic Association. Their main focus was on service delivery and the environment.

In 2002 she was approached to join the DA team and was elected as a DA councillor to the then Cacadu District Municipality (Sarah Baartman District Municipality).

She served as a district councillor for about six years before being elected by the DA to serve in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) during the 2009 Elections.

In November 2011 she was elected the Leader of the DA in the NCOP and re-elected again in 2014.

She was also elected as leader of the Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency, which included Kouga, Koukamma and Baviaans.

Following the DA’s victory in Kouga in 2016, Van Lingen was elected as Mayor.

Her vision for Kouga, towards which she worked tirelessly, was to strengthen service delivery to all communities and to build a confident climate for investment and job creation.

We will continue to build on the foundation she laid and leave a legacy of a world class Municipality that delivers services to all its residents.

RIP Elza. We going to miss you

Rural safety units would stop the farm attacks

April 19, 2018

The DA is alarmed by the six farm attacks which have occurred in the last 72 hours.

Attacks on anyone who lives on or visits a farm – have increased once again. The attacks are carefully planned, and without exception include violence, and frequently torture of the most horrific kinds. Even children are mercilessly targeted.

Farmers feed our nation and it is clear that the South African Police Service (SAPS) Rural Safety Strategy is a dismal failure. Police today rely heavily on private helicopters or fixed wings to get them to the site of the attacks. Yet the SAPS has a R86-billion budget.

The reason the much-vaunted Strategy has failed is because the Police Stations in the most hard hit rural areas, are under-staffed and under-resourced. The strategy needs to be overhauled.

Our farmers and farm workers do not deserve to live under siege.

In the 2016/17 financial year, South Africa experienced 52 murders per day. Of course this is totally unacceptable. It is a figure one might expect from a country at war.

The DA has long called for the reintroduction of specialised units within the SAPS as is the international best practice most likely to curb the rise of violent crime. This would include specific units to tackle rural safety.

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, must show decisive leadership and deal with the high crime rate, devising ways and means by which our most vulnerable members, such as women, children, and those living in deep rural areas, will be adequately protected.

The increased attacks on our farming communities continue unabated due to lack of leadership by the SAPS and the ANC government.

The DA calls on Cele to urgently prioritise the introduction of specialised units, including specifically a well-resourced and highly trained national rural safety unit, and we demand that he takes a strong line against the ongoing and criminal attacks on our farming communities.

No one in South Africa should fear torture, rape and death.

No water supply for Jeffreys Bay on Thursday

April 18, 2018

The water supply to the whole of Jeffreys Bay will be shut off on Thursday (19 April).

The shutdown, which was initially scheduled for Tuesday, is necessary to repair a leak in the main pipeline from the Churchill Dam.

There will still be water in the pipes, so the supply will not stop immediately. The water pressure will, however, be very low and, depending on how quickly the water in the pipes is used up, the taps in some areas could run dry.

Residents are asked to use water sparingly on the day so as to minimise taps running dry.

The work will commence early morning and is expected to be completed by the afternoon.

DA Policy on Jobs and the Economy

April 17, 2018

The DA took a number of resolutions at the National Congress which took place in Pretoria earlier in April. The Kouga Democrat will he highlighting some of the policies.

On access to jobs, a DA National Government would assist young disadvantaged South Africans in finding work by:

  • Introducing a Jobseekers’ Allowance with a timeframe for all unemployed young people aged 18-34 who do not have a job;
  • Rolling out a national Job Centres project – known as the Khuphuka Centres –  where unemployed people can access job opportunities (including learnerships and apprenticeships) on a local database, get assistance in preparing job applications or receive employment counselling;
  • Introducing a National Civilian Service year to provide work experience for the approximately 78 443 unemployed matriculants – from the class of 2016 alone – to enter into work-based training in the community healthcare, basic education or SAPS fields; and
  • Expanding the Expanded Public Works Programme and giving more people access to these opportunities by making the system fairer and more transparent.
  • Develop a basket of incentives, across multiple sectors, to encourage industries to take up more labour-intensive production practices. Such incentives could include, among others, rewarding those businesses who increase their staff components with BBB-EE points or corporate tax cuts/rebates per worker.

On the positioning of cities as the primary drivers of economic growth, the DA resolved that:

  • South Africa’s national economic growth agenda must be aimed at strengthening the competency and capabilities of local governments to drive growth and job creation;
  • South Africa should simultaneously decentralise public finances and stimulate regional competition by giving local councils a share of revenues generated through corporate taxes of local businesses;
  • Skills development must be aligned to the needs of local economies; and
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is to be utilised as a tool to encourage investment to secondary cities.

In order to foster job-creation, we resolved to unleash South Africa’s entrepreneurial potential by:

  • Introducing an overtly pro-small business policy approach which removes blockages and red-tape in the political/economic system, particularly targeting those sectors which our country has either a comparative or competitive advantage in, and crucially, those which are also labour absorptive;
  • Exempting small businesses from certain labour and BEE laws to help them compete and create jobs;
  • Implementing a Tax Amnesty for small businesses and working with all arms of government to decrease the time it takes to pay its debts, with a goal of bringing this period down to 30 days;
  • Providing funding assistance for small businesses totalling over R1.5 billion; and
  • Expanding support and incentives for youth, informal sector businesses and cooperatives to grow and hire more employees.

Have your say about the Kouga budget and IDP

April 16, 2018

Public meetings about the draft budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2018/2019 financial year will be held in April and May.

The draft budget and draft IDP were adopted by the Kouga Council last Thursday.

Capital projects to be funded in the new year, starting July 1, include the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works, bucket eradication and the electrification of informal areas.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen encouraged residents and stakeholder groups to attend the meetings.

“We want the budget and IDP to speak to the needs of our communities. The public meetings are an opportunity for residents to give input and ask questions about the municipality’s proposed plans for the new financial year,” she said.

The meetings, which start at 6pm unless otherwise stated, will take place as follows:

Ward 1: 16 April at the Oyster Bay Hall and 17 April at the Sea Vista Hall

Ward 2: 18 April at the Pellsrus Hall

Ward 3: 19 April at the Newton Hall

Ward 4: 23 April at the Baptist Church Hall

Ward 5: 24 April at the Kruisfontein Hall

Ward 6: 25 April at the KwaNomzamo Hall

Ward 7: 26 April at the Loerie Hall and 30 April at the Katrien Felix Hall

Ward 8: 2 May at the Newton Hall

Ward 9: 3 May at the Vusumzi Landu Hall

Ward 10: 7 May at the Dan Sandi Hall and 8 May at Andrieskraal

Ward 11: 9 May at the Newton Hall

Ward 12: 10 May at the St Francis Village Hall, 14 May at 3pm at the Dutch Reformed Church hall in Paradise Beach and 15 May at the Humansdorp Country Club

Ward 13: 16 May at the Weston Hall

Ward 14: 17 May at 10am at the Marina Martinique Hall and at 6pm at the Tokyo Sexwale Club House

Ward 15: 21 May at 3pm at Ons Tuiste, Humansdorp, and 22 May at the Humansdorp Country Club.

Enquiries can be directed to the municipality’s IDP manager, Colleen Dreyer, at cdreyer@kouga.gov.za or on 042 200 2200.

New Leadership team of the Democratic Alliance

April 9, 2018

Nearly 2000 delegates from all over South Africa attended the DA Federal Congress in Pretoria over the weekend.

The new top leadership team of the Democratic Alliance is:

Leader: Mmusi Maimane
Chairperson: Athol Trollip
Deputy Chairs: Dr Ivan Meyer
Mike Waters
Refiloe Nt’sekhe

Federal Council:
Chairperson: James Selfe
Deputy chair: Thomas Walters
Finance chair: Dion George

Maimane confronts ‘puppet’ allegations head on

April 9, 2018

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane confronted racist remarks, alleging that he is not in control of the DA and merely a puppet at the DA National Congress in Pretoria yesterday.

“They even say that I am a puppet of white people and, if we win an election, I will be replaced by a white person.

The truth is that I will never be black enough for them. Because they don’t want black people to think for themselves.

They want black people to remain trapped in the politics of race because this is what keeps the ANC in power,” said Maimane.

He criticized the ANC’s fear of a new generation of black leaders who would reject the ANC’s own nationalism and think differently.

Maimane stressed further that his blackness does not add or subtract from his humanity or define him.

He calls for a new agenda for African liberalism that prioritises social welfare and grows the economy in order to lift the majority of South Africans out of poverty.

 

Kouga adopts a pro-poor draft budget

April 5, 2018

Kouga Municipality’s draft budget and draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the new financial year, starting July, was approved by Council on Thursday (31/03/2018).

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the drafts would now be taken to communities for feedback in order for the documents to be finalised. Public meetings will be held in all wards from 16 April to 22 May.

The final budget and IDP will be tabled to Council for adoption before the end of May and implemented from 1 July.

Van Lingen said Council’s aim in the new year would be to strengthen service delivery to all communities.

The draft capital budget, which includes several projects aimed at improving the lives of the poorest of the poor,  totals R71,595-million, which is 3,11% more than the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

“It will mainly be funded from government grants and subsidies, as the municipality has reached its prudent borrowing limits while internal funding is limited,” she said.

Draft capital projects include R23,7-million to upgrade the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works in preparation for new RDP houses to be built in the area.

R10,2-million will further be spent on the electrification of informal settlements while R2,8-million has been allocated to roll out a bucket eradication programme.

A further R4,4-million will be used to upgrade sports facilities and R1,5-million has been set aside for facilities to accommodate informal traders.

The draft operating revenue for 2018/19 totals R732,962-million. This is an increase of 6,38% compared to the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

The main revenue sources are electricity (33,58%), property rates (23,55%), operating grants and subsidies (16,8%), water (9,24%) and refuse (5,94%).

The draft operating expenditure for 2018/19 totals R786,146-million, resulting in a budget deficit of R53,184-million. It is a 4,07% increase compared to the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

The main expenditure items are employee-related costs (34,64%) and bulk electricity purchases (25,56%) and depreciation (9,59%).

Van Lingen said the Council would be keeping the tariff hikes as low as is possible.

“We kept the proposed tariff increases for property rates and refuse lower than they were last year because these are fixed amounts over which residents have no control.”

The proposed tariff increases are:

  • 7,5% for property rates
  • 11,5% for water
  • 9% for sanitation
  • 8% for refuse
  • 6% for the Environmental Management Fee
  • An average of 6,84% for electricity, subject to approval by the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

The dates of the public meetings will be published in the local media and on the municipal website.

DA stands for values and integrity

April 3, 2018

We need leaders who lead with their values even if it means they stand alone.

Courage of conviction and unwavering integrity is what the DA needs to stay the course.

Athol Trollip is that kind of leader.

That is why we believe he should be elected as Federal Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance.

#TrollipForChair