From the desk of Mayor Elza Van Lingen – 25 November 2016

Since taking over the Kouga in August 2016, we have discovered that there are a number of financial claims hanging like a dark cloud over the Municipality.

One of being the R 46 million water bill we received from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and another is a court case that the Municipality is defending that could potentially cost us tens of millions of Rand.

st francis spit

The claim arises from the 2012 fire that saw scores of houses being razed to the ground in the St Francis Bay canal area.

This tragedy has lead to a homeowner suing the Municipality for not fulfilling our obligations under section 152 of the Constitution of South Africa which reads:

Objects of local government

152. (1) The objects of local government are—
(a) to provide democratic and accountable government for local communities;
(b) to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner;
(c) to promote social and economic development;
(d) to promote a safe and healthy environment; and
(e) to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations
in the matters of local government.

(2) A municipality must strive, within its financial and administrative capacity, to achieve the objects set out in subsection (1).

As this case is sub judice, I cannot go into further details at the present time.

However, I am taking the matter very seriously and have deployed both our Finance Portfolio Councillor Brenton Williams and our Municipal Manager Sidney Fadi to represent the Municipality at the court case and to instruct our legal team accordingly.

Regards

Elza

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