Plant a tree and save the future

June 25, 2019

Planting a tree is said to be one of the best ways to secure your children and grandchildren’s futures.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson would, therefore, like to call on all stakeholders to join the municipality’s tree-planting drive.

Piet van der Walt of Plantelus Nursery shows Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson what a Cape Ash looks like.

“August and September are two of the best months to plant certain indigenous trees,” he said.

“We’d like to encourage all residents and businesses to join us in planting trees, be it in their gardens or at their premises.

“The DA led Kouga Municipality will also be identifying public areas, including parks and sidewalks, where we would like to plant trees.”

Benson recently visited respected gardener Piet van der Walt, of Plantelus Nursery in Jeffreys Bay, for advice on which trees to plant.

“He recommended the Cape Ash and Wild Plum trees. Both trees are indigenous, grow fast and require little maintenance. An added advantage, especially in coastal areas, is that they are wind resistant.”

He said these trees must preferably be planted in a sunny spot.

“Also important is that these trees are less prone to damaging roads, walls and buildings, as both have taproots which grow directly downward.”

Benson said that while spekboom was a good option, Van der Walt cautioned that they do not grow as quickly as the Wild Plum or Cape Ash.

“The tree-planting drive is part of Kouga Municipality’s commitment to combating climate change.

“Trees not only create the very oxygen we breathe and need to survive, but they also remove harmful greenhouse houses from the air,” he said.

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Protect our food security in South Africa

June 22, 2019

The ripple effect of violence in our rural communities not only hurts the farmers and farmworkers, but also each and every South African.

When an agriculture producer gets murdered production processes on the farm very often come to a complete halt, and that impacts food production. Who will feed our nation when there are no more farmers to work the land?

 

The South African Police Service (SAPS) Rural Safety Strategy has been a dismal failure. Police stations in the most hard-hit rural areas are understaffed and under-resourced. SAPS is increasingly unable to protect our rural communities.

Each farmer, farmworker (and their loved ones) deserve to be protected from harm.

We urgently need the following interventions:

  • Rural Safety Units must be reintroduced and properly resourced;
  • Innovation in new technology such as surveillance drones, ShotSpotter and geofencing must be explored as a matter of urgency;
  • SAPS must declare rural crime a priority, and keep separate and accurate statistics so that the success or failure of interventions can be measured;
  • The Reservist Programme in farm areas must be properly implemented with a concerted effort to recruit and train framers, farmworkers and farm dwellers;
  • Increased access to health, social support and education must be ensured for farmworkers and dwellers. This is a fundamental human rights issue.

Sign our petition calling on the President to act now and stop the war on our food!

Become a DA member and become part of the solution for South Africa

June 21, 2019

The DA’s Public Representatives and volunteers in your community are on the ground to continue to build the blue machine across Kouga.

Our membership base is the foundation of our organisation and vital to our success.

If you are not home and we happen to miss you; please visit https://membership.da.org.za to sign yourself up as a member.

Join us in building #OneSouthAfricaforAll

If you require more information or would like help to become a member of the Democratic Alliance please email kougademocrat@gmail.com

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

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.

SIgn up to become a DA member online. Click this link to sign up now

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.

Sign up to become a DA member online. Click this link for more information

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.”