Archive for the ‘kouga municipality’ Category

Kouga Municipality is the best in the Eastern Cape

October 20, 2021

The new ‘Out of Order index’ compiled by News24 has ranked the DA governed Kouga Municipality as the best municipality in the Eastern Cape and one of the top performers in the country.

The index, compiled over a period of two months, draws from sources such as National Treasury’s budget data which is used for calculating budget allocations to municipalities, the Auditor-General’s reports, and Statistics South Africa.

It also measures unemployment, poverty and basic service delivery to households.

The index places Kouga, with a score of 61 points out of 100, in the top 10 best performing municipalities in the country, on par with the DA governed Mossel Bay Municipality – which also received 61 points.

It also indicates that 14 of the top 20 best performing municipalities in the country are all governed by the DA.

“Kouga is an example of how the DA gets things done in municipalities where we govern. Over the last five years of DA government, we have made great progress to become a municipality where opportunity is growing steadily,” said DA Mayoral candidate and current Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

Our successes include:

  • R45 million was spent on our roads. We have fixed 45 000 potholes and the first gravel road upgrade to a proper tar road in over 20 years has already begun. The first plastic road in Africa is right here in Kouga.
  • We have handed over keys to 600 new homeowners in disadvantaged communities. We have also provided 3 056 title deeds to their rightful beneficiaries.
  • 1 800 households received access to electricity for the very first time.
  • Our municipal fleet section was only 4% operational under the mismanagement of the ANC, but is now 95% operational. We have acquired 58 new vehicles and repaired and refurbished 115 vehicles.
  • Getting Kouga safe has been a priority since 2020 and to date we have rolled out safety cameras around the peripheral of Kouga. This has led to successful arrests and the prevention of crime.
  • The establishment of a call centre has led to our turnaround for resolving service delivery queries being over 90% within 24 hours.

“These successes can only continue if voters give the DA the mandate to continue to govern after the Local Government Elections on 1 November 2021.

Under a DA government Kouga’s next chapter will build on our achievements, and we will strive to become the best run municipality in the country, because the DA gets things done,” added Hendricks.

The DA makes a difference where we govern

September 29, 2021

The 1st of November is an incredibly important date for every South African concerned about the future of our country and worried about what this future may hold for our children.

It is the one day every few years where you, the citizen, get to flex your power. If you think our ship is heading in the wrong direction, it is your chance to put your hands on the wheel.

National elections may get most of the attention, but it is at local government level where the foundations for a prosperous future are built.

If we want to get our country to work, we need to get our towns and cities to work. Because you cannot build a functional economy on dysfunctional municipalities.

As a nation, our number one priority must be to get South Africans into jobs. The solutions to almost every other problem in our society will flow from this.

Well over 40% of adult South Africans don’t have work. Three-quarters of them have not worked in more than a year, and almost a third have never had a job. That is our crisis.

The only thing that can lift millions of South Africans out of crippling poverty is the kind of economic activity that brings millions of jobs. And this kind of activity doesn’t just happen. It follows good governance.

Investors and entrepreneurs make rational decisions. They take their business where they see opportunities and where they know their investment will be safe.

This means they want the same things from a local government as all citizens do.

Dependable electricity, clean water, reliable refuse removal, protection from criminals, well-maintained roads, bylaw enforcement, and knowing that public money is safely kept and responsibly spent – these things are all critical for communities, investors, and entrepreneurs alike.

Luckily, these criteria can be measured and compared.

Whether it’s the jobs numbers released by Stats SA, or the number of clean audits issued by the Auditor-General, or the municipal rankings by Ratings Afrika, or the results of the Citizen Satisfaction Index, or the value of new investments per metro, the best performer can always be objectively identified. And that best performer, on every single measure, is the Democratic Alliance.

Now, just like investors, ordinary citizens are also rational decision makers, and thousands already vote with their feet every month in search of a better life.

They go where they know they will have better access to good education, quality healthcare and jobs. They go in search of the DA difference.

It is now time to take that vote to the ballot paper so that we can bring the DA difference to even more towns and cities.

I believe we can turn them into places where all arrive in search of opportunities, rather than places people leave in search of opportunities elsewhere.

I am proud to lead the DA in this election campaign. I am proud that our party runs the best municipal, metro, and

provincial governments in the country, and that we can honestly put forward this track record as proof of our offer. No other party in the country can do this.

Only the DA has a record of action, and a promise of more.

John Steenhuizen

Leader of the DA

Why vote for the DA

September 27, 2021

Now, all over South Africa, is the time to elect leaders that will work hard for you, be on your side, and secure your future.

Independent reports show that the only towns in South Africa that work are DA towns, because the DA gets things done.

Only the DA is big enough to beat the ANC; keep the EFF out; and turn around towns and cities to end corruption, bring capable governance, and create places of opportunity and security.

Only the DA has a track-record showing that life gets better for all people where we govern. 

  • Jobs are highest and unemployment is lowest where the DA governs. During COVID-19 lockdowns, jobs have been lost elsewhere, but recovery is fastest where the DA governs. 
  • We don’t steal your money; we protect public money and deliver services to you and others. We are honest and we get clean audits every year. 
  • We don’t appoint people for political favours. We hire competent people on merit
  • We are the only party with open tender processes where we govern, so everyone can see how we award tenders. 

We don’t polarise and destroy our society by dividing South Africans on the basis of race. Instead, we are the only party that brings South Africans together and judges people by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin. The DA is the only party that receives large numbers of votes from South Africans of all races, black, coloured, white and Indian voters.

We believe in non-racialism. This means that we reject using race as a way to categorize and treat people, especially the laws of the land. 

We want to deliver the DA difference to every part of South Africa, and we can if voters choose a new beginning in this election. This is the best way to secure your future. 

The things we will get done for you, if you elect the DA to govern, contained in our Manifesto: 

  • Bring down unemployment and grow jobs. 
  • Ensure every community gets access to reliable, clean, running water. 
  • Bring regular waste collection and rubbish disposal to every community. 
  • Improve recycling and waste management. 
  • Work to free residents from Eskom load shedding. 
  • Invest in cleaning and upgrading of public parks and spaces, cut grass and maintain pavements. 
  • Invest in sports & recreation facilities and libraries. 
  • Work to integrate public transport and introduce a smart ticket across busses and taxis in our metros. 
  • Build reliable Metro Police Services where these are affordable, and launch specialized local policing units, like gang and drug units. 
  • Install crime information systems, more CCTV, body cameras for police officers, and gunfire detection systems. 
  • Reduce the time to pass building plans and get electricity connections. 
  • Release unused government land, for housing development. 
  • Help the homeless off the streets, with socioeconomic assistance. 
  • Take legal action against illegal land invasions. 
  • Help residents replace unsafe paraffin stoves, with safer means, thus preventing fires. 
  • Introduce effective by-laws to stop pollution.
  • Keep staff costs down, to spend more on service delivery. 
  • End cadre deployment. 
  • Introduce e-government services, to transact with your municipality online. 

Lets keep Kouga DA and ensure we build on the foundation that has been laid over the past five years!

The DA has turned Kouga Municipality around

September 23, 2021

In 2016 the Democratic Alliance took over government of a nearly bankrupt Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

Five years later, this municipality has recovered financially and doesn’t just deliver more services to more people but can also afford to invest more funding in capital infrastructure development than ever before.

The sad reality for the people of Kouga is that the DA could have already governed their municipality in 2011.

The five wasted years of further ANC rule between 2011 and 2016 nearly brought this municipality to its knees.

If you look at the election results of 2011 below, you will see how easily the DA could have won the municipality in 2011 already.

2209 votes were casted for parties and/or independents that could not manage to get a seat in that council.

Unfortunately, all of those votes were wasted. In contrast, the DA would have only needed 860 of those votes to take control of Kouga in that election.

It’s certainly your democratic right to vote for the party of your choice. If you are however serious in wanting to defeat the ANC, there is only one party that can deliver a knockout blow to them and that is the DA.

Vote for the DA because the DA gets things done in Kouga!

Kouga, a South African success story

September 17, 2021

No matter how bad things are in many parts of South Africa, the story of Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape shows us that things can turn around swiftly with the right leadership.

Kouga is home to some 200 000 people living in Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St Francis Bay and the surrounding areas.

When they gave the DA an outright majority in the 2016 local government elections, we inherited an indebted municipality collapsing under years of ANC neglect and corruption. To make matters worse, it was also the start of a prolonged drought.

Five years on, Kouga is a place of hope and progress, where the promise of “a better life for all” is real for people. The difference between 2016 and 2021 is striking. Consider the progress made in the following delivery areas.

Housing: The ANC-run council had neither built nor facilitated the building of a single house in Kouga since 2007. Since 2016, the DA-run council has completed 611 houses and another 3025 are in the pipeline while a further 2790 are being held up by land and infrastructure issues.

This is against a backlog of about 15 000 houses needed, meaning that real progress is being made.

Fleet: In 2016, only 4% of Kouga’s vehicle fleet was operational. Today, 96% of the municipality’s vehicles are on the road every day to service communities, and 57 new vehicles have been added to the fleet.

Roads: From 2011 to 2016, the ANC-run municipality spent an average of R3.5 million per year on road maintenance. The DA-run municipality has tripled that delivery rate, spending on average over R10 million per year on repairing and upgrading roads in the past five years.

Public amenities: In 2016, public amenities were in a state of disrepair with little to no maintenance happening. Since 2016, the DA council has undertaken a massive maintenance drive and upgraded community halls, ablution facilities, sports facilities, parks, and campsites.

Investment: By 2016, investment in Kouga had all but dried up and local businesses did not want to take on contracts for the municipality because of its reputation for non-payment. Kouga is now an investment hub. A brand-new hospital is being built in Jeffreys Bay, while R4 billion has been invested in two housing developments, and several large companies have set up in Kouga.

But the municipality isn’t just content with getting these basics right. It is actively innovating, to take Kouga from good to great.

The municipality won gold at the Eco-Logic awards last year for the first plastic road in Africa, built in Jeffreys Bay using recycled plastic (equivalent to 1.8 million plastic bags per kilometre of road).

This revolutionary new approach to tarring could increase the lifespan of roads while reducing maintenance costs and plastic pollution. If ever there was hard proof that the DA goes the extra mile, this is it.

Kouga has its sights on becoming the country’s leading Bioeconomy Zone. An SA subsidiary of Hive Energy is set to develop a waste-to-energy plant, a solar plant, and a biochar plant that turns invasive alien vegetation biomass into “green charcoal” which has several environmentally friendly applications.

The first biochar units have been manufactured to kickstart the project.

The council has built a new state-of-the-art waste water treatment works and is upgrading its three other waste water treatments works, one of the many ways this municipality is fighting off Day Zero during a devastating drought which has brought the Kouga Dam level to below 5% this week.

Day Zero may be just weeks away but if it happens, Kouga residents will know their municipality pulled out all the stops to avoid it. It is aggressively pursuing water security by every means possible, including through groundwater supply and water conservation and demand management initiatives.

All this investment and innovation comes at a cost, and yet Kouga’s finances are in a much healthier state now than five years ago when the DA council took over. In 2016, Kouga was heavily indebted. Today, this debt has been paid off yet cash on hand is almost double what it was back then.

Kouga is a wonderful South African success story that needs to be replicated in municipalities across the country. What are the keys to its success?

First is meritocracy. People and service providers are appointed based on their ability to get the job done for the benefit of the public, rather than on political connections for the benefit of the party. This is why the people of Kouga are at the centre of everything council does.

Second is accountability. Before 2016, corruption was rife and went unchecked.

Since 2016, the approach has been one of zero tolerance for corruption, driven by an anti-corruption unit which has seen two officials suspended for fraudulently issuing drivers licenses.

Third is decentralization. By collaborating with community groups and the business sector, they’ve managed to get much more done than would have been possible working in isolation.

The trick to getting stuff done in government is to understand that government is not so much about doing stuff as about enabling stuff to get done. South Africans are super entrepreneurial and innovative. They just need a government that’s working for them rather than against them.

The story of Kouga shows that the first step to building a successful South Africa is to vote DA. In the local government elections on 1 November 2021, a vote for the DA will be a vote for success because the DA gets things done.

Kouga Municipality adds no markup on Electricity tariffs

August 26, 2021

As much as the DA governed Kouga Municipality was mindful of the tough economic climate on residents when setting the 2021/22 budget, the recent electricity tariff increase was guided by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and Eskom.

From July 1 this year, residents were paying 14.59% more for electricity.

This despite the municipality voicing their concern through the participation process to NERSA earlier this year.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said the municipality realised that the electricity hike would hit residents’ pockets hard, given the current economic climate brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In a bid to keep the electricity tariff as low as possible for local residents, the municipality did not add a markup to the awarded increased percentage by NERSA to Eskom – giving them the green light to charge municipalities more,” he said.

“The municipality is also on the receiving end as far as this is concerned, especially when it comes to electrical infrastructure service delivery and electrical bills that have to be paid.”

The step tariff electrical costs are as follows:

Block 1: 0 units to 50 units – R1.16 per unit
Block 2: 51 units to 350 units – R1.51 per unit
Block 3: 351 units to 600 units – R2.16 per unit
Block 4: More than 600 units – R2.60 per unit

Hendricks urged all residents to utilise electricity wisely, as well as to use less electricity from 07:00 to 09:00 and from 17:00 to 22:00.

Kouga’s Finances are stable

August 20, 2021

Ratepayers in Kouga can sleep easy at night with the knowledge that the finances of the DA led Kouga Municipality are being well-managed, despite the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Council decided to budget on an 85 % collection rate for the 2020/21 financial year as the economy of the region was being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown – including the closing of beaches, which was devastating for the tourism industry.

At that point in time (March 2020), Council was collecting 96% of revenue. However, it was recognised that the pandemic would have an impact on the stability of ratepayers to meet their financial obligations.

“We settled on a prudent approach and decided to budget on an 85% collection rate as the consequences of hard lockdowns and the shutting down of the tourism industry would have an effect on our ratepayers,” said Kouga Finance Portfolio Councillor, Brenton Williams.

“We are really grateful for the vote of confidence that the ratepayers of Kouga have placed in the leadership of the municipality by paying their municipal accounts and ensuring we could continue with service delivery during the turbulent times we went through during the 2020/21 financial year.”

According to Williams, in February 2021, Council adjusted their collection rate upwards to 90% and by the end of the financial year in June, the actual collection rate was 94%.

“This is probably the best collection rate in the Eastern Cape with some municipalities collecting between 30% and 40% under their budgeted collection rates,” he said.

“At the same time, we had to make provision for COVID-19 related expenditure, such as having to supply masks and sanitisers, as well as supporting a homeless shelter in Jeffreys Bay.

“We also had to budget for drought related expenditure, which included bringing additional bore holes online,” said Williams.

Revenue and expenditure

Property rates brought just over R200 million into the municipal coffers, while sales of electricity amounted to R289 million.

Water revenue amounted to R80 million.

The biggest expenditure items were employee related costs of R316 million, which came in at 10% under budget after overtime was reduced. This despite COVID-19 related regulations, which meant that the municipality had to assist the police with the enforcement of the regulations – often after hours.

Bulk purchases of electricity came in at R254 million, while other expenditure amounted to R117 million.

“This amount included payments totaling R6 million to the Bargaining Council, said Williams.” This is a result of the illegal municipal workers strike, which the municipality successfully defended legally, while keeping municipal infrastructure safe which also came in at a financial cost.”

Hire charges amounted to R33 million, primarily due to hiring extra suction tankers as well as water tankers.

R60 million was spent on the repair and maintenance of municipal properties, which was 92 % of the approved budget.

“These figures are unaudited, and the Auditor General will conduct their audit of the financial information over the next few months,” said Williams.

“Kouga Municipality received a clean audit on the finances during the 2019/20 financial year. Findings were made on performance management within the institution.”

Service delivery gets fiery boost

June 4, 2021

A state-of-the-art water tanker and fully equipped fire and rescue vehicle are set to significantly enhance the DA governed Kouga Municipality’s ability to respond effectively to emergency situations across the entire region.

The two new vehicles were procured at a combined cost of R3.5 million – boosting Kouga’s emergency fleet to 14 fire and rescue vehicles which are stationed across the Municipality.

The new fire and rescue vehicle replaces the old bakkie that will now be solely used for rescue operations. The municipality’s Housing Department, furthermore, boasts a brand-new Nissan double cab bakkie.

“We are very proud of this latest addition to the municipal fleet,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks. “The two new fire-fighting vehicles will strengthen the capacity of our fire department to keep Kouga safe, while the newly-purchased bakkie will help to improve service delivery.”

He said the three new vehicles brought the number of vehicles that had been added to Kouga’s fleet over the past four years to 58.

The vehicles procured include eight TLB’s, eight Toyota LDV’s and two chippers. A new 4×4 bakkie and quad bike have also been purchased for the municipality’s lifeguards, as well as five brand new bakkies for the municipality’s Electrical Services Section.

“The municipal fleet was in a terrible condition when we took over control of the municipality in 2016,” said Hendricks.

“This had a devastating impact on service delivery and the morale of staff who had to struggle to get things done without the right equipment on hand,” he said.

“We have since then been implementing a fleet replacement plan. In addition to the new vehicles, we strengthened the capacity of the municipal workshop. “The workshop team has been doing an incredible job and has refurbished over 115 vehicles, adding further muscle to the municipality’s service fleet.

”One of the latest refurbishments is an old Komatsu TLB and a MAN tipper truck, two cherry pickers and one old fire truck.

They have also repaired and refurbished four sewerage suction tankers, and one old redundant refuse compactor has been converted into a sanitation truck.

“Kouga continues moving from strength to strength and we are grateful to everyone who has supported our drive to establish a culture of service excellence across the region,” said Hendricks.

SAMWU loses court case against Kouga Municipality

May 1, 2021

Kouga Municipality’s case against SAMWU was heard in the Labour Court in Port Elizabeth yesterday (April 30).

The court needed to give judgement on whether the interim Labour Court interdict obtained against striking workers on March 16, which declared the SAMWU led strike unlawful and illegal, be made a permanent order of the court.

The following judgement has been made by the Labour Court:

  1. SAMWU is interdicted and restrained from striking in terms of the COVID-19 allowance.
  2. SAMWU has been ordered to pay punitive costs, thus it means they must pay all attorney and client costs of the municipality.

The judge delivered a scathing judgement with regards to the actions of the SAMWU shop stewards, including that the SAMWU shop stewards were very well aware they could not strike and the agreement they had with the municipality upon which they agreed not to strike is devoid of any legal jargon or ambiguity.

According to the judge, it is highly improbable that SAMWU, a trade union of long-standing and a trade union steeped in dispute resolution processes, can hide behind a veil of ignorance.

The judge further stated that SAMWU showed flagrant disregard of an existing court order.

The judge also stated that the violent actions of SAMWU did not go unnoticed by the court, and it is unbecoming of a union to not have control over its members when exercising the right to strike – a right which was hard-fought for pre-1994, and a right which has totally been disregarded by the SAMWU shop stewards.

The judge further said that the SAMWU shop stewards clearly lack leadership and blatantly misled their members.

Kouga Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said, “The court ruling is a vote of confidence in the legal processes followed by the municipality.

“The municipality will continue with the legal processes against the 14 suspended SAMWU shop stewards who have been charged with gross misconduct, as well as the few SAMWU members who participated in the ongoing strike.”

Hendricks said that although the municipality welcomes the ruling of the Labour Court in Port Elizabeth, it is not a time to gloat about the victory as there is no winners in the outcome of today.

“People’s livelihoods were affected and will still be affected in the aftermath of the unlawful strike. We need to take stock of all losses, clean up our acts and move forward towards service excellence,” he said. “Hopefully, valuable lessons are learned.

“However, what stands out most is that ill-discipline and unlawfulness will not be tolerated in the municipality.”

According to Hendricks, the municipality hopes to rebuild the very good working relationship they had with SAMWU.

“We thank residents for their patience in this very difficult period,” he said. “Our single-most commitment remains to serve residents to the best of our ability – putting service delivery first.

“Let us make Kouga the best run municipality in the country.”

Photo: While strikers destroyed infrastructure, the DA led Council continued to work hard to improve service delivery in the Municipality. Robbie Irlam

Why we need to keep Kouga DA in 2021

April 28, 2021

Almost all the municipalities in the Eastern Cape are under extreme financial distress.

Almost all of them owe massive amounts of money to Eskom. Most of them can’t pay their creditors. At least 14 of them are considered financially unsustainable.

Local government has all but collapsed across the entire province, except for one clear exception,  and that is Kouga Municipality.

The municipality of Kouga has had an outright DA government since 2016, and the difference this has made to every single aspect of the municipality’s governance cannot be ignored.

Since 2016, almost 1600 households in Kouga have received electricity for the first time. New water treatment works have been constructed and old ones upgraded.

Many kilometres of road have been resurfaced and tens of thousands of potholes have been repaired.

60 new vehicles were added to the municipality’s fleet and a further 130 vehicles and plant were refurbished.

In 2018 and 2019 alone, more than 1800 historic title deeds were handed over to rightful beneficiaries, and further 110 have been handed over so far this financial year.

Kouga now also has the country’s first eco-friendly road built with waste plastic, as well as over 1,000 streetlights and floodlights fitted with energy-saving LED lights.

And last year Kouga passed its first-ever billion Rand budget.

In a sea of local government failure in the Eastern Cape, Kouga stands out as an island of excellence. And again, this is no coincidence. Given a full mandate to execute our plan, this is what the DA does.

We don’t steal. We don’t empower our friends and family. We don’t protect the corrupt. We simply do the basics of good governance, and we do it well.

And this means that wherever the DA governs, people have a better chance of building a life of value for themselves and their families.

A better chance at freedom.

If that sounds like the kind of place you would like to live in, you need to make the first move. You need to make sure your name is on the voters roll now so that you can cast your vote in October.

And when the 27th of October arrives, you need to go out and do your bit to ensure that Kouga remains with a government that can deliver.

Don’t think the other voters will do this for you. Because that’s when you end up and handful of votes short of a proper government.

Yes, there is plenty a DA government can do for you, but the first move is all yours.

John Steenhuizen