Archive for the ‘kouga municipality’ Category

17 000 hectares destroyed in Longmore fire

June 21, 2017

About 17 000 ha of veld, plantation and farm land in the Kouga area has been destroyed by the fire that started burning in the Longmore area on 7 June.

This is only within Kouga’s area of jurisdiction and does not include damage on Nelson Mandela Bay’s side.

Lady Slipper mountain. Photo: Anike Meyer

Sanral has been replacing fire-damaged barriers along the N2. They have also been removing damaged road signs along the N2 and new ones have been ordered.

There were some flare-ups in the Van Stadens Gorge but these were extinguished. The two SANDF helicopters were also used to dump water on hot spots in the gorge.

Smaller flare-ups were extinguished in the Loerie/Thornhill areas yesterday.

Fire-fighters and farmers are now busy with 360˚ mop-ups along the perimeters of fire-damaged areas.

Kouga fire-fighters are still assisting Nelson Mandela Bay with the fire at the Yellowwoods area behind Woodridge.

About 120 000 litres of water was thrown on this fire by the SANDF helicopters, which helped to contain the fire.

Kouga fire-fighters on high alert

June 15, 2017

Kouga fire-fighters are on high alert, with strong winds having been predicted for today.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said two helicopters from the SA National Defence Force arrived yesterday afternoon to water-bomb areas that could flare up.

“A 100 fire-fighters are also on the ground, busy with mop-up operations between Loerie and Thornhill.

“We would like to ask the public not to panic should there be flare-ups in the wind today. The situation is being monitored and managed carefully,” she said.

“If it becomes necessary to issue an evacuation alert, this will be done officially by the municipality. We ask people not to spread false rumours.

The municipality will publish relevant information on its Facebook page.”

She said the fire at Longmore was under control at the moment but still smouldering. Tree stumps are also still smouldering in the area between the N2 and R102 where fire crews extinguished fires yesterday.

“We would once again like to appeal to motorists to reduce their speed when travelling past the Van Stadens and Thornhill areas.

There are a lot of animals, both livestock and wildlife, wandering into the roads because of the fences having burnt down,” she said.

The Mayor said Sanral had already started replacing damaged road signs and fencing but that the damage was extensive.

She appealed to the public to report any fire-related incidents, including trees and obstructions that have fallen in the road, to Kouga’s all-hour emergency number at 042-2910250.

Humanitarian crisis brewing at Longmore

June 15, 2017

A humanitarian crisis is brewing at the Longmore village where residents have been without electricity and water since the weekend.

The fire in Longmore. Photo: Dirk Erasmus

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said 80 households were affected by the service interruption, caused by fire damage to electrical infrastructure.

“Longmore is situated in the Kouga region, but Nelson Mandela Bay is the supply authority for electricity. The Metro had hoped to have the power restored by today, but the damage was more extensive than anticipated,” she said.

“The burnt line also supplies electricity to the Loerie Dam and pump stations, hence, the interruption in the water supply.”

She said Kouga Municipality was carting water to the area and that 25 mobile toilets were being delivered to the village today. Generators are being brought in to try and get the pump stations up and running again.

“We are also collecting ready-made meals for the 204 people of the village because it has been difficult for them to make their own food.”

She said the full extent of the fire damage had not yet been determined but that early estimates put it at hundreds of millions of rands.

“Sixty percent of the Longmore Plantation, as well as the saw mill, burnt down. The cost of this damage will be immense.”

She said the Department of Social Development was working with local farmers and farming associations to assess the damage to farms in the area.

“We are concerned that hundreds of farm workers are going to be without work. It could take as long as three years or more for affected farmers to rebuild what they have lost.”

She said Social Development and the Jeffreys Bay Trauma Centre were continuing with counselling support. Eighteen children from the affected areas have already received counselling.

She appealed to non-profit organisations that work with poor communities to contact Sarah Hugo from the National Lottery at 086 006 5383 to see how they can assist those traumatised and affected by the fire.

Ready-made meals can be dropped off at the Thornhill Hotel, the Kouga Municipal offices at 33 Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay, or at the Kouga Fire Department on the entry road to Humansdorp from the N2.

Local state of disaster to be declared

June 12, 2017

Statement by Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen:

The Kouga Council will be holding a special meeting at the Council Chambers in Jeffreys Bay at 2pm today

The purpose of the meeting will be for Council to declare a local state of disaster in the wake of the destruction caused by fire to large parts of the Kouga region, its communities and infrastructure over the past five days.

Van Stadens bridge. Photo: Dirk Erasmus

The declaration will follow less than two weeks after the Kouga Council also declared a local state of disaster (on 31 May) because of the prolonged drought that has been crippling the area.

Council’s plea to residents is that just as we stood together in the heat of the fire, we now have to stand together in rebuilding, in the same spirit, our families, our infrastructure and our Kouga.

The Kouga Council wishes to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance with rescue and relief efforts in our region over the past few days:

* Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality for trying to get Thornhill’s electricity on this afternoon (Sunday) soonest.
* MTN for jacking up the signal booster to improve communication in the Thornhill area.
* Sarah Baartman District Municipality’s leadership and Disaster Management teams
* Farming community and staff, who offered amazing support in spite of their own properties also being under threat.
* SAPS for continued support
* Longmore MTO, Working on Fire and fire-fighters from nearby districts.
* All donors and volunteers from all over Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay. All donations are managed strictly under supervision and control.
* Kouga Municipality’s Social Services Director Japie Jansen, Kouga Fire Chief Dewald Barnard and fire-fighting teams, all Kouga staff, councillors and anyone else who dedicated time and effort for the people of Kouga.

We say thank you!

We further wish to express sincere condolences to the family of the couple who Van der Riet family This was a severe tragedy of our disaster.

We are also sad to have heard about farm houses that were partly damaged or burnt down, loss of staff houses, livestock, implements and outbuildings.

From the Mayors desk – budget and IDP public participation meetings

March 30, 2017

The Kouga Council would like to invite all residents and stakeholders groups to a series of community consultation meetings to discuss the new Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and budget for Kouga Municipality.

The draft IDP for 2017/2022 and draft budget for 2017/2018 will be tabled to the Kouga Council for approval this afternoon.

The drafts would be taken to the community for feedback in April and May.

We promised residents that we would be transparent and include them in our processes.

This series of meetings is an opportunity for residents to participate in how they are governed. We would like to encourage all communities to attend.

All but two of the meetings, at Paradise Beach and Ons Tuiste in Humansdorp, will start at 6pm.

The meetings have been scheduled as follows:

  • Ward One will have two meetings. The first meeting will take place on 18 April at the Oyster Bay Community Hall, followed by a meeting at the Sea Vista Community Hall on 20 April.
  • Ward Two will meet on 19 April at the Pellsrus Community Hall.
  • Ward Three is set to meet on 11 April in the Newton Hall, Jeffreys Bay.
  • Ward Four will meet on 24 April at the Baptist Church Hall.
    Ward Five will meet on 25 April at the Kruisfontein Community Hall.
  • Ward Six is set to meet on 26 April at the KwaNomzamo Community Hall.
  • Ward Seven will also have two meetings. The first meeting will take place on 2 May at the Loerie Community Hall, followed by a meeting at the Katrien Felix Hal in Thornhill on 3 May.
  • Ward Eight will also be meeting on 3 May but at the Newton Hall, Jeffreys Bay.
    Ward Nine will meet on 4 May at the Vusumzi Landu Hall, Hankey.
  • Ward Ten is set to meet on 8 May at the Dan Sandi Community hall, Patensie.
  • Ward Eleven will be meeting on 9 May at the Newton Hall, Jeffreys Bay.
    Ward Twelve will be holding three meetings. The first will take place on 10 May at the St Francis Village Hall. The second will take place at the Paradise Beach Dutch Reformed Church hall at 3pm on 15 May and the third will take place at the Humansdorp Country Club on 16 May.
  • Ward Thirteen will meet on 11 May at the Weston Community Hall.
  • Ward Fourteen is set to meet on 15 May at the Tokyo Sexwale Sportsfield.
  • Ward Fifteen will be holding two meetings, both on 16 May. The first meeting will start at 15:00 and take place at Ons Tuiste in Humansdorp. The second meeting will start at 18:00 at the Humansdorp Country Club and will be a joint meeting with Ward Twelve.
  • For more information, contact the Manager: IDP, Colleen Dreyer, at cdreyer@kouga.gov.za or 042 200 2143.

    Regards

    Elza

Court interdicts striking Kouga municipal workers

March 8, 2017

The Labour Court in Port Elizabeth granted an order against the striking Kouga Municipality workers this morning.

The strikers, from SAMWU, have been protesting since Monday and have vandalized Municipal property and trashed the main roads in both Jeffreys Bay and Hankey.

“The Court has interdicted the members of SAMWU from organising and participating in any unprotected strike action currently embarked upon,” said Kouga Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

“It furthermore interdicts SAMWU members from destroying or damaging property belonging to the Kouga Municipality as well as prohibits them from intimidating non striking employees of the Municipality,” added Van Lingen.

The Municipal office in Jeffreys Bay is open to the public and the roads in the CBD are open to traffic.

The strikers threw trash and raw sewage on the streets of Jeffreys Bay and around the Municipal building in Da Gama road on both Monday and Tuesday.

The Mayoral Committee of the Kouga Council will be meeting this afternoon to determine the way forward.

Charges have been laid with the South African Police due to Council property being destroyed during the strike.

Photo: Chris de Vos

Municipal strike continues in Kouga

March 7, 2017

The strike by SAMWU members in the employ of Kouga Municipality has continued into a second day.

Unfortunately there has been further damage to Council property, including the entrance gate to the Municipal building in Jeffreys Bay being broken open and human faeces being thrown onto a building in Humansdorp.

“We were advised by the South African Police Service to send our staff home as there was concern for their safety,” said Kouga Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

“The strikers once again trashed the CBD in Jeffreys Bay and we have received reports that the streets in Hankey have also seen trashed,” added Van Lingen.

In a terse stand-off, the South African Police told the strikers to disperse in Jeffreys Bay, an instruction that was eventually complied with.

“We have requested our Municipal Manager, Mr Sidney Fadi, to engage with Council’s lawyers to ensure we follow the correct legal processes when dealing with the striking workers,” said Van Lingen.

“I would like to thank all the business owners in the CBD for helping in cleaning the streets that have been trashed by the strikers. You help is highly appreciated,” concluded Van Lingen.

Photo: Robbie Irlam

Municipal workers strike in Jeffreys Bay

March 6, 2017

The Kouga Municipality regrets that a strike is taking place at present at our Jeffreys Bay offices.

The Municipal offices have been closed to ensure the safety of staff as well as the public.

kouga-logo

One of the Municipal worker unions, SAMWU has called on its members to strike today.

Their issue revolves around a number of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers whose temporary contracts ended on 28 February and were not renewed.

“As a Municipality we believe we acted lawfully in ending the contracts and the workers as well as Council were timeously informed on the decision,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

Unfortunately some of the strikers broke the two access control gates at the Municipality; they broke windows, and also damaged cars.

The Municipality will be laying charges in this regard,” added Van Lingen.

Adjustment Budget passed by Kouga Municipality

February 28, 2017

The 2016/17 adjustment budget was passed without a hitch by the Kouga Council yesterday morning.

A municipal budget has to be adjusted if revenue and expenditure estimates change and to correct any errors in the annual budget.

kouga-logo

The total adjustment budget amounts to R 764 million, of which R 695 million is for the operating budget and R 68 million for the capital budget.

The big increase of R 14 million in expenditure has been budgeted for by the Municipality. This is to cater for bulk water purchases from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, in line with current billing trends.

Total expenditure amounts to R 695 million in the adjustment budget compared to the original budget of R 686 million.

There has been a net increase in expenditure of R 9 million due to a decrease in staff costs of R 3,8 million and a decrease of R 2,8 million in repairs and maintenance (which was transferred to the capital budget).

The adjustment budget makes provision for a R 2,2 million increase in revenue – representing 0,35 % of the total budget.

In her State of the Municipality address yesterday, Mayor Elza Van Lingen said that the cash flow of the Kouga Municipality remains constrained but that the Municipality is a going concern and in no danger of bankruptcy.

From the desk of Mayor Elza Van Lingen – 14 February 2017

February 14, 2017

HOUSEHOLDS with a combined monthly income of R3 000 or less have been invited to register for municipal service subsidies.

The municipality has started with an outreach to all wards to register new applicants and re-register existing beneficiaries for the equitable share programme.

kouga-logo

The subsidies are available to households whose combined gross monthly income is R3 000 or less. That’s roughly the value of two state pensions.

Successful applicants will receive the following service subsidies:

Free 50kwh electricity plus basic charge
Free 12kl water plus basic charge
Free monthly refuse, sewerage (based on 12kl water) and the Environmental Management Fee levy
Free additional R85 000 on the value of their property for rates.

The outreach started yesterday in Sea Vista and will continue from 8:30 to 15:00 at the following venues:

14 February at the Oyster Bay Hall for the Oyster Bay community
15 February at the Katrien Felix Hall for Thornhill
16 February at the Loerie Hall for Loerie
20 February at the Dan Sandi Hall for the communities of Ramaphosa Village and Patensie
21 and 22 February at the Vusumzi Landu Hall for all Hankey areas, excluding Weston
27 February at the Alec Ntantiso Hall for Weston
28 February at the Kruisfontein Civic Hall for Kruisfontein, Gill Marcus and Die Berg
1 March at the Kruisfontein Civic Hall for Vaaldam, Johnson’s Ridge, Arcadia, Graslaagte and Moerasrivier
2 March at the KwaNomzamo Hall for KwaNomzamo
6 March at the Aston Bay Hall for Aston Bay and Paradise Beach
7 March at the Pellsrus Hall for Pellsrus, Tokyo Sexwale and Mandela Bay
8 March at the Pellsrus Hall for Ocean View residents
9 March at the Newton Hall for Jeffreys Bay Central, C-Place, Wavecrest and Kabeljauws.

Applicants have to be present in person so as to complete the application form themselves. The following do-cuments must accompany all applications:

Valid ID Document (husband and wife)
Proof of income (bank statement, pay slip or pension card)
Sworn affidavit if unemployed
Proof of usufruct (if owner is deceased, a letter of authority and death certificate).

Regards

Elza