Archive for the ‘Jeffreys Bay’ Category

Kouga gets the go-ahead to breach the Seekoei estuary mouth

September 30, 2017

The stalemate between Kouga Municipality and the Department of Environmental Affairs has been resolved.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen said the municipality received authorisation from the provincial head office of the Department of Environmental Affairs yesterday afternoon (29 September) to breach the mouth of the Seekoei estuary artificially.

The Seekoei River causeway. Photo: Anika Meyer

She said breaching the mouth will help to lower the water levels of the estuary and clear the causeway that connects Paradise Beach to Jeffreys Bay. The causeway has been submerged with water for more than a month following unusually high seas in August.

“We are grateful that the Department proved willing to resolve the matter. It was a long and difficult negotiation, but we were able to convince them that the situation at the Seekoei estuary qualifies as an emergency in terms of the National Environmental Management Act,” she said.

“Intergovernmental relations are critical when it comes to governing an area effectively. We are, therefore, glad that we were able to resolve the stalemate amicably in the interest of our communities.”

She said the municipality would commence with the breaching today (30 Sept), with an official from Environmental Affairs supervising the process, as per the authorisation letter.

“Once the water level has decreased, a structural assessment of the causeway will be done as a matter of urgency so as to determine what repairs need to done and how quickly it can be opened for traffic again,” she said.

“We would like to thank all roleplayers for their support and input these past few weeks. There is still a lot of hard work that lies ahead, but we’ve taken a big and important step forward.”

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JBay garages go the extra mile for tourists

September 12, 2017

Petrol attendants from select petrol stations in Kouga will have an opportunity to be tourism ambassadors for the region.

This comes after a training programme initiated by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, in partnership with select Caltex and BP garages, local Tourism offices and municipalities in the province.


The three-day workshop for Kouga took place, at different tourist locations, from 23 to 24 August, and attendants were identified in partnership with the owners of the stations.

The aim of the training was to give visitors more options to get directions, information and insight into the tourist attractions in and around the region.

This is in addition to the service provided by tourism information offices, which are sometimes out of reach or closed when visitors arrive in town.

The training included local tourism presentations, an educational tour of the towns and tourist attractions and a feedback session.

Kouga Tourism and Creative Industries Portfolio Councillor Frances Baxter said the municipality believed the initiative will have great outcomes for tourism in the area.

“This is a great initiative ahead of September, which is also Tourism Month.

“We hope to achieve increased brand awareness, destination pride in the participants and to include ordinary residents as brand ambassadors of Kouga as a tourist destination,” she said.

The trainees will receive recognition certificates from the ECPTA for participating in the programme and for displaying local tourism knowledge.

The ECPTA will also provide the petrol attendants with branded bibs to wear over their uniform, together with bags full of tourism information for handing out to interested motorists.

Water to be pumped from the Seekoei River

September 1, 2017

Kouga Municipality and the residents of Paradise Beach had a productive meeting with the Department of Environmental Affairs yesterday regarding the Seekoei River causeway.

The Seekoei River causeway. Photo: Anika Meyer

The Department of Water and Sanitation and the Department of Roads and Public Works were also present because they too have critical roles to play.

Short, medium and long term strategies were agreed on.

“In the short term we are going to be pumping water from the estuary to drop the water level. We expect to finalise the paperwork this morning and our aim is to start pumping water out by this afternoon, said Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

“There are also various ways, including floats or velocity deflectors, that one can use to minimise the chop of the water.

This will limit spray washing over the causeway surface.

We are very pleased that we were able to identify an immediate solution and would like to thank all the roleplayers, including Paradise Beach residents, for rallying together in this time of crisis,” added Van Lingen.

The Municipality will provide more information regarding the longer term solutions once they have been finalised.

Mmusi Maimane: message to the residents of Kouga

August 6, 2017

Our country is standing on the brink of the biggest change it has seen since the 1994 elections. People have run out of patience with the ANC government.

They realise they are not going to get what they were promised by them and so, across the country, people are mobilising for change.

In many places, this change has already started. A year ago, the DA won several new metros and municipalities from the ANC.

We made promises to the people of these towns and cities that we would make a difference in their communities. And if we didn’t, we said they should vote us out of government again.

And so these new DA governments wasted no time. We knew the clock was ticking, and we knew what people expected from us. We immediately started cleaning out the rot and reversing the damage caused by years of neglect.

It’s not surprising at all that the people of Kouga turned their back on the ANC.

This municipality came to a standstill over the past decade. Nothing happened – hardly any maintenance of older infrastructure took place and no new projects were launched.

Did you know that in the past eleven years, no new RDP houses were built in the entire Kouga? Not one. But Mayor van Lingen’s government has already turned that around.

Right here in Pellsrus, they’re about to start casting foundations for 220 new houses. Not far away, in Kruisfontein, they have also launched a new housing project where the foundations have been cast for 391 new houses.

Mayor van Lingen’s team has also launched an extensive clean-up programme across many of Kouga’s communities, and various new refuse trucks, grass-cutting equipment and skip bins have been bought for the municipality. This clean-up operation has also meant hundreds of fixed-period jobs for the people here.

Then here are the wastewater treatment plants at Kruisfontein and Hankey that have been completed, as well as an upgrade that has been planned for the plant at St Francis Bay.

The informal settlement at Donkerhoek had its main access road upgraded, and electricity has already been switched on at 247 of the sites. The budget to electrify the remaining 116 sites there, as well as at the Ocean View settlement, has now also been approved for next year.

We are aware of the challenges when it comes to schooling in the area, and Mayor van Lingen’s government has successfully sorted out the delays in new school construction projects.

The site of the Andrieskraal Primary School has been handed over to the contractors. This build will include a new hostel. And a new school building at Sea Vista primary was completed and handed over this past year.

My fellow South Africans, this is what real progress looks like. And the Mayor assures me there is a lot more to come.

I know that there is still much to be done here. I have visited houses here in Pellsrus this morning and I have spoken to residents. I know how hard it can be when there are no jobs. I know what the high crime rate does to a community like yours. I know about sewage leaks and dirty streets.

And I assure you, all those things are on the Mayor’s list. You will not be forgotten here like you were under the ANC government.

If we have achieved so much here in Kouga in just one year, imagine what a difference we can make in five or ten years. We can bring back investment into this municipality. We can make it an attractive place for businesses and tourists alike. And with them will come the precious jobs that this community so desperately needs.

But to really be effective, we are going to need your help. Because there is only so much we can do in local government. The real change – the forward-looking plans to create job-creating growth in our country – have to come at national level.

Your vote in 2019 can make that happen. Each of you has the power to say: I don’t want a government that steals my money. I don’t want a government that only cares about itself. I don’t want a government that can’t keep one single promise. I want a fresh beginning under a new government.

Give the DA chance in 2019 to run this province and the country. I give you my word, we will work as hard as we possibly can to improve every aspect of your lives here. And if we don’t, then you must fire us again with your vote. Because that’s how our democracy works. But first give us that one chance.

Regards

Mmusi

Mmusi to visit Jeffreys Bay tomorrow

August 4, 2017

The leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, will be visiting Jeffreys Bay tomorrow.

Mmusi will be meeting the DA Councillors, conducting door to door visits, hold a street meeting as well as a public meeting in the Pellsrus Community Hall.

The street meeting will take place at 11:45 am on the corner of Galjoen and Robbie Dennis Streets, Pellsrus, while the public meeting will happen at 13:00 at the Pellsrus Community Hall.

The meetings are open to everyone.

The visit forms part of Mmusi’s #Change19 tour and the need for change at national level in the 2019 election.

“Over the past twenty years, cadre deployment and state capture have bred a strong culture of loyalty to party rather than to the people of South Africa, a culture which will in all likelihood be on full display come 8 August when ANC MPs vote in the motion of no confidence,” said Mmusi.

“That’s why only the people of South Africa can free our country.

Only by voting the ANC out of government in 2019 can we restore the democratic and constitutional order, and re-establish the accountability that must be at the heart of our social compact,” added Maimane.

600 tons of rubbish collected

June 28, 2017

Some 600 tons of rubbish were collected at Jeffreys Bay as Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen moved her clean-up intervention into second gear.

More than 100 community members took part in the massive clean-up, which stretched over five days and covered the areas of Pellsrus, Tokyo Sexwale, Mandela Bay and Ocean View.

Mayor Van Lingen says illegal dumping sites, sidewalks and open spaces were cleared of all manner of waste, from empty bottles and dirty nappies to broken appliances and building rubble.

“The cleansing teams collected more than 600 cubic metres of rubbish – that’s roughly equal to 600 tonnes – in the five days and carted it to the regional waste site at Humansdorp,” she says.

“We are grateful to them for doing such a great job and making a visible difference to their communities.”

She said owners of open plots where rubble or garden refuse were being kept, would also be notified to have it removed.

The Mayor said casual littering and illegal dumping were two of the big challenges facing communities and the municipality.

“The municipality has accelerated its drive to keep Kouga clean, and we want to call on communities to join us in this war on waste.

“A clean area improves everyone’s quality of life and makes for happier and healthier communities.

“It also helps to create job opportunities because a clean area is more attractive to tourists and creates a good impression on potential investors.”

Van Lingen says the municipality would be putting up extra signage to warn against illegal dumping and that action would be taken against perpetrators.

She also calls on grown-ups to take children by the hand and teach them that littering was wrong and harmful to their environment.

The Kouga Mayoral Clean-up Intervention will be moving to Humansdorp this week.

Several smaller clean-ups were also held ahead of the massive Jeffreys Bay clean-up so as to help raise awareness of the need for communities and the municipality to band together in the war against waste.

Ward 3 IDP/Budget meeting takes place tonight at Newton Hall

April 11, 2017

Community consultation meetings about Kouga’s new draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for 2017/2022 and the draft budget for 2017/2018 start with Ward 3 this week.

Photo: Joey Nel

The meeting will take place at 6pm today, Tuesday, 11 April, at the Newton Hall, Jeffreys Bay.

Ward 3 is the lower section of Wavecrest, between AD Keet Street, Poplar, Noorsekloof and the sea.

All residents are encouraged to attend and participate actively in the governance of their ward.

Power cut in C Place today

March 28, 2017

The electricity to the bottom sections of Koraal Street and Barry Street in C-Place will be interrupted for about four hours from 9am today (28 March).

The interruption is necessary to repair a damaged cable.

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and remind residents to treat all power points as live during the shutdown.

Regards

Elza Van Lingen

From the desk of Mayor Elza Van Lingen – 3 February 2017

February 3, 2017

On behalf of the Kouga Council I would like to apologize to the residents of Jeffreys Bay for the recent delay in refuse collection.

rubbish-jeffreys-bay

Social Services Portfolio Councillor Danny Benson has informed me that the delay was due to an illegal go-slow by workers in the Cleansing and Parks Department.

Refuse collectors had to put in many extra hours over the Festive Season to cope with the holiday influx.

There has, however, been a delay in paying them a portion of their overtime.

We are grateful to the workers for going the extra mile over the holiday season.

They did fantastic work and we regret the delay in their payment.

Together with Finance Portfolio Councillor Brenton Williams, I met with the workers early last week where they were reassured that they would receive their overtime.

Despite our reassurances, they decided to embark on an illegal go-slow.

Alternative arrangements have been made to collect refuse but collection has happend later than usual.

Our sincere apologies go to the community of Jeffreys Bay.

We would like to assure residents that we are investigating both the delay in payment and the illegal go-slow.

Disciplinary action will be taken where necessary.

The Council will not be held to ransom by employees, especially when their actions impact negatively on communities.

Regards

Elza

Causeway not only a risk to motorists, Mayor warns

December 22, 2016

The Kouga Council has set out to find a permanent solution to the controversial causeway that connects Paradise Beach to Jeffreys Bay.

This follows a warning from experts that the unlawful breaching of the Seekoei River mouth has been increasing the safety risk to home-owners of properties located along the estuary.

Aston Bay

Aston Bay

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the problems at the causeway went back 40 years and that it was high time the municipality took these problems seriously and started working towards a permanent solution.

“We have great sympathy for residents who are concerned about their vehicles rusting when the water levels are high. We also understand that it is an inconvenience to use the alternative gravel road.

“Our preliminary investigations have, however, shown that while breaching the mouth helps to bring temporary relief to motorists, it actually compounds the problem by putting houses along the embankments at a higher risk of flooding,” she said.

She explained that the natural opening-and-closing cycle of the mouth had been severely disturbed because of the haphazard manner in which the causeway had been constructed. This, combined with the artificial breaching of the mouth, has further led to the extreme siltation of the estuary.

“It is this natural cycle which keeps the marine and plant life in the estuary healthy. The bad stench which is at times prevalent at the estuary is most often the result of fish and vegetation dying and rotting because the cycle has been broken,” she said.

“It is also because of this that the mouth no longer breaches naturally when the water level reaches a certain point.

“We’ve seen what happens to the causeway when there is heavy rain. More disturbing, is the increased risk that the embankments – where houses are located – will flood because the estuary has become too shallow to hold the water as it should.”

She said the Council has prioritised finding a permanent solution to the problem but cautioned that this could take time.

“We are, therefore, also looking at mitigating measures which can be introduced in the meantime to reduce the risk and inconvenience to motorists.”

She said the Council wanted to plea with residents to refrain from breaching the mouth unlawfully.

“As frustrating as it is, research shows that the short-term gains of breaching the mouth are grossly outweighed by the long-term negative effects.”

She said the municipality was already in consultation with the Department of Environmental Affairs about measures which could help reduce the risk to vehicles in the short term.

“We promise that we will be keeping residents updated about developments. This is a tough situation and there is no quick permanent fix. We will, however, not turn a blind eye to what is happening here. We have a responsibility to keep our people and their property safe.”