Archive for the ‘Humansdorp’ Category

Humansdorp court to be upgraded

May 17, 2019

Twelve years after much-needed upgrades were first approved, the Humansdorp Magistrate’s Court is set to receive a facelift in the near future – making it safer and more user-friendly.

The multi-million Rand project, to be implemented over a period of 30 months, is expected to start in the second half of this year and reach completion by the end of 2021.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is set to confirm availability of funding for the project by the end of May, while the Department of Public Works (DPW) need to finalise the necessary design and process the approval of the sketch plan.

Malcolm Figg, the DA Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency Leader, says, “The building is in a total state of disrepair and is inadequate – putting the safety of employees and members of the community at risk.

“Major concerns include the lack of security measures, the presence of dangerous weapons on site and easy access to the magistrate chambers.

“Incidents include two men armed with knives entering the court building, as well as the discovery of a concealed panga-type weapon in the only mail toilets opposite the chief magistrate’s chambers.

“No arrests were made by either the security guards or local police.”

He continues that although separate from the main court rooms, there is no safe and private area designated for children who need to testify. The specific room used, is shared with the senior prosecutor when interviews need to be done.

“The office of the family planning officer can only accommodate three people at a time – which is not an ideal situation.

“This is not an acceptable professional environment where the lives of magistrates, public prosecutors and court personnel are endangered on a daily basis.”

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IEC announces change in Ward 15 voting station

May 1, 2019

Residents registered to cast their votes at the Humansdorp Country Club in Ward 15 are asked to take note that their voting station has changed.

According to a statement from the local office of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the Humansdorp Council Chamber, situated at Kouga Municipality’s offices on the corner of Main Road and Du Plessis Street, will replace the country club as a voting station for Ward 15 in the upcoming Provincial and National Elections in May.

“The change had to be made due to fire damage at the Country Club,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks explained.

Meanwhile, applications for special votes in the May election came to a close on Thursday, April 18.

Hendricks said that those whose applications were approved, would have the opportunity to cast their votes on May 6 and 7, with the official election day taking place on Wednesday, May 8.

“There are two categories of people who could apply for special votes. Those who are physically unable to leave their houses, including heavily pregnant women and people with disabilities, and those who are unable to visit their voting stations on May 8,” he explained.

He said IEC officials would visit the houses of those who fall in the first category on May 6 or 7 so that they may cast their votes. Those voters who fall in the second category will be able to vote at their local IEC voting stations, also on May 6 and 7.

Casting a special vote

. The voter’s thumbnail is marked with indelible ink and his/her ID book is stamped.

. He/she receives the relevant ballot papers.

. He/she marks the ballot in secret, places and seals the ballots in an unmarked envelope.

. The unmarked envelope is placed in another envelope that is marked with the voter’s name, ID number and voting district number. The use of two envelopes is to ensure the secrecy of the ballot.

. IEC officials take the envelope and place it in a secure ballot box for special votes.

. The voter’s name is marked off the Voters’ Roll with “SV” to indicate that he/she has cast a special vote.

Kouga Municipality to buy land for housing developments

April 23, 2019

In a historic Council meeting held on 17 April 2019 in Jeffreys Bay, the DA led Kouga Council resolved to purchase land for much needed housing developments.

There is a lack of land to build RDP houses in Loerie and Humansdorp and the Council will make offers to purchase land in both areas.

In Loerie, the Council resolved to make an offer to purchase Loerie River Farm No. 436, portion 98 for an amount of R 570 000.00, while in Humansdorp an offer to purchase will be made on Farm 689 portion 13 & 8 for the amount of R 2 600 000.00.

The Council is making provision in its draft budget to upgrade the Humansdorp Waste Water Treatment plant to cater for additional housing developments in the town.

The item was presented to Council by Alderman Ben Rheeder who said that independent property valuations had been undertaken to arrive at the offer to purchase amounts.

What is also pleasing to note is that Kouga Municipality is following the route of willing buyer – willing seller to purchase the much needed land in the area.

The Municipality is also being pro active in installing bulk infrastructure to cater for housing developments, for which funding must come from the Provincial Government and the Department of Human Settlements.

Thousands to benefit from Kouga sewer projects

April 11, 2019

KOUGA Municipality is systematically addressing the backlog in bulk sewer capacity, which has been hampering housing developments in the area.

“The Kruisfontein Waste Water Treatment Works at Humansdorp has been upgraded at a cost of R85-million and will enable the construction of a further 2 109 RDP houses in the area.

It is estimated that at least 5 892 households will benefit from the upgrade,” said Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

He said the multi-year upgrade of the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works, at a total cost of R53-million, was also underway and would put in place the bulk capacity needed for RDP houses in this area. At least 2 000 households will benefit from the project.

The Mayor also touched on the tragic drowning of a young boy at the KwaNomzamo Waste Water Treatment Works at Humansdorp recently.

“The KwaNomzamo plant, in particular, has been regularly targeted by vandals, with the fence around the facility simply being broken every time it is repaired,” he said.

“The municipality has thus far been unable to secure funding for a full upgrade of the plant through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), but there is a good chance that we will receive additional MIG funding in the current financial year, thanks to those municipalities who have been unable to spend their grants on time.

“Should we secure this extra allocation, we will be able to start upgrading the KwaNomzamo plant.”

Department of Transport battling with driver’s licence backlog

April 6, 2019

The national Department of Transport is still battling to catch up with the backlog of driving licence cards that have not yet been printed because of a lengthy labour dispute.

Kouga Municipality’s Portfolio Head for Community Services, Daniel Benson, said local residents were among the hundreds of thousands of motorists affected by the countrywide delay.

“Many motorists who came to renew their licences at the Kouga Traffic Department or who passed their driver’s licence tests are still waiting for their cards.

“The delay has, however, been beyond our control as the cards are printed and issued by the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) on behalf of the national Department of Transport, and not locally.”

He said the dispute involved employees contracted to DLCA.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande recently apologised to South Africans for the delay.

He said his Department had issued a directive to provincial and municipal traffic authorities not to penalise motorists who did not have driver’s licence cards despite having complied with the prescripts of the application and renewal process.

 

New look for Kouga waste sites

March 2, 2019

Waste management in Kouga has taken another step forward, with further upgrades at the Humansdorp regional waste site having been completed.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks says: “Both landfill sites at Humansdorp and Hankey were given a thorough clean-up.

“In addition, drop-off zones have been established at Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay.”

He continues that access control was also recently improved at the Humansdorp site.

“A new entry gate and guardhouse are in place, as well as a weigh bridge which, once operational, will help the municipality to monitor what goes into the site so that it can be managed in a sustainable manner,” says Hendricks.

He assures residents that the weigh bridge will not be used to charge them for the waste they dispose at the site.

“Experience has shown that when a municipality charges for this service, illegal dumping escalates, a practice we are serious about eliminating in Kouga.

“We are also looking at the possibility of opening the landfill sites and drop-off zones on a Sunday, as experience has also shown that illegal dumping tends to occur at those times when the official sites are closed.”

Hendricks says that the municipality is in the process of establishing a recycling service. The appointment of a service provider is underway.

“All schools in Kouga will be receiving recycle bins as part of this initiative. Bins have already been delivered to five schools, with the remainder to be distributed over the next few months,” he says.

Our Communities need to be safe

October 10, 2018

The residents of Ward 5 in Humansdorp made it clear at the IDP meeting last night that they feel unsafe on their streets and in their homes.

Youngsters who are high on drugs and armed with pangas are roaming the neighbourhood and there was even a murder on Sunday where a young man was stabbed to death.

The DA has a plan to make our police service honest, professional and effective in fighting crime. We will focus on:

  1. Fighting corruption within the police;
  2. Retraining police officers to serve and protect with pride;
  3. Hiring people with a passion for policing;
  4. Instituting an effective drug-busting force within the South African Police Service; and
  5. Ensuring that law and order is maintained in our communities and that there are effective arrests, prosecutions and convictions of criminals.

Lets vote for change in 2019 and make our streets safe again.

 

Hundreds of Kouga residents receive ownership of their houses on Mandela Day

July 19, 2018

More than 600 residents received the title deeds to their RDP houses at a special Nelson Mandela Day event at Humansdorp yesterday (Wednesday, 18 July).

The event was one of three activities hosted by Kouga Municipality in celebration of late President Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.

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Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said 631 title deeds were handed out to residents from the Humansdorp suburbs of Youth Camp, Vaaldam, Gill Marcus and old Arcadia at the Kruisfontein Community Hall.

“These beneficiaries have been waiting for more than a decade for the title deeds to their houses. Some have even been waiting for more than 20 years.

“Several of the recipients are over 70 years old and have never had proof that they own their homes. We changed that today by giving them what is rightfully theirs.”

One of the oldest recipients, 78-year-old Willie Hendricks, said it was a proud day for him.

“I now have the peace of mind that my house will go to my daughter when I pass on.

“She has sacrificed so much for me by looking after me all these years. It gives me great comfort knowing she will have a house to call her own one day,” said Hendricks, who lost his one leg to gangrene and might have to have the other one amputated as well.

“It’s also just wonderful having so many people here, visiting me, on this special day.”

Some of the title deed recipients at the Kruisfontein Civic in Humansdorp.

Mayor Hendricks said giving people title deeds to their houses was an effective means of empowering communities economically and restoring human dignity.

“The plight of dispossessed people is best addressed through expanding ownership of land and property. The right to own land speaks to the restoration of human dignity, which lay very close to Tata Madiba’s heart.”

He said the Mandela Day programme followed on the work started by his predecessor, the late Elza van Lingen, at Thornhill on Human Rights Day when she distributed more than 200 title deeds to residents.

“Since her passing, we have come across a further 1 688 title deeds that have been lying around in store rooms and offices at the municipality for years.

“Today marks the handing over of the first batch of these. The remaining 1057 will be handed out at Sea Vista, KwaNomzamo, Patensie, Hankey, Jeffreys Bay and Thornhill from August to October.

“We also expect to find more title deeds and will ensure that each one of them reach the rightful recipient.”

In addition to the title deed programme, Kouga Municipality also fixed up the house of KwaNomzamo’s oldest resident, Rosy Napu (108 yrs) on Nelson Mandela Day.

The municipality further partnered with the Fountains Mall to collect used or spare baby clothing, to be distributed to organisations that work with orphaned and vulnerable babies.

Lights get switched on in Humansdorp

July 9, 2018

The DA led Kouga Municipality officially turned on the lights for the Kruisfontein community in Humansdorp recently.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said it was a special moment for Kouga as the new housing development called Kruisfontein 391 received its power connection.

“People have been waiting for many years for service delivery to take place in Kouga and I am very proud to see that taking place in Kruisfontein and would like to thank the community for their patience,” said Hendricks.

The 391 houses that have been built in Kruisfontein are the first of a number of housing projects that have been unlocked since 2016 when the DA took over the Kouga Municipality.

229 houses will be built in Pellsrus and 1500 in Ocean View, while the Municipality is also busy handing out title deeds, some dating back to 2001.

Weapons discovered at Humansdorp Court

June 26, 2018

The discovery of dangerous weapons at the Humansdorp Magistrate’s office reveals a shocking lack of security.

An oversight inspection by Henni Britz, a DA councillor in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, to the Court building on 21 June 2018, revealed concerning and unsafe conditions for the staff and members of the public alike.

The total lack of security measures at this court building resulted in dangerous weapons being discovered and confiscated on Wednesday, 20 June 2018.

In one instance, two men entered the court building armed with knives, and on the morning of 21 June 2018 a concealed panga-type weapon was discovered in the only male toilets opposite the chief magistrate’s chambers.

No arrests were made by the security guards on duty at the time, and no case was opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Members of the public, accused and witnesses alike, have full access to magistrates’ chambers.

On the day of the oversight inspection, only one visible security guard was on duty at the entrance, without any metal detectors in sight.

This is not an acceptable professional environment where the lives of magistrates, public prosecutors and court personnel are endangered on a daily basis.

Plans to extend and secure this building have been in place since 2006, but no progress has been made by the Department of Public Works, or the Department of Justice.

The building falls under the National Department of Public Works and upgrades were approved 12 years ago.

Even so, upgrades, approved at much later dates, have been done to the magistrates’ courts in Hankey, Patensie and Joubertina.

“As Shadow Minister for Public Works I will now ask parliamentary questions from the Minister for Public Works on why the status quo at the Humansdorp Court remains,” said Malcolm Figg, the Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency Leader and DA Shadow Minister for Public Works .

“It is an indictment against the government that after all these years a safe and adequate court building cannot be provided for our magistracy and other officials serving the community.

South Africans need to feel safe and be safe in cities and towns they call home. The DA would bring change that will provide security services to prevent crime and protect the community,” added Figg.