Hon Speaker, as you may recall, our goal is to showcase Kouga with pride during the upcoming holiday season.
We had meetings with the Municipal Manager, Senior Officials and the Unions. Everyone is committed to turn this ship around.
What we must remember is that as a Council we must create an atmosphere that is conducive for business do business and create jobs.
Firstly, we must secure our current jobs and those are mostly in agriculture and tourism.
When it comes to our citrus, vegetable and dairy export products our irrigable water is subject to European Union testing and water contamination can and will destroy our export products and the jobs we are trying to retain.
Today we commit to stop all sewerage spills in Kouga. Every spill must be reported to the Municipal Manager and within 3 days it must be stopped permanently.
In Kouga we have the densest dairy herd population in SA – between 17 & 21 animals per square km.
Herd bio-security is of cardinal importance and commercial farmers can manage their own responsibilities.
However, our stray animals from our township settlements are a threat to human and animal health if proper animals husbandry is not practiced.
We tried to set up a meeting with the Dept of Agriculture this week, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute.
The Department will have to take ownership of this problem. It is not only a road safety issue.
The general productivity in Kouga must be stepped up, which brings us to the EPWP workers.
We promised to clean Kouga up and it poses to be a problem because of two issues namely vehicles and staff or EPWP workers.
Of the 1200 / 2000 EPWP workers employed in Kouga, only 97 are employed by the municipality.
Plans are under way to get these workers to pick up litter all over Kouga.
The second problem is of greater concern. The current fleet is under the management of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and it needs to be moved to Infrastructure, Planning and Development.
However we await a plan to ensure there will be sufficient vehicles for service delivery now and for the holiday season when our numbers quadruple.
We also need to look at the financial viability of most of the vehicles.
We have a number of pressing environmental issues where the Coastal Management Plan and several project management plans must be implemented and we refer to Oyster Bay, St Francis Bay and the Seekoei River.
Electricity security is also of vital importance and the line upgrade between Geelhoutboom & Jeffreys Bay is critical. The R1,5m on budget is too little to secure electricity.
Water quality and availability in Jeffreys Bay and Oyster Bay is critical and immediate attention must be paid to these problems.
We hope that we can all take hands and make Kouga work, whether we are individuals, business, of residents.
Before we moan, please advise what each one of us can do to make Kouga work for all of us.
Elza Van Lingen speech in Council – 9 September 2016