Archive for the ‘kouga municipality’ Category

More than thousand jobs created in Kouga

March 15, 2019

While unemployment remains a serious concern in the Kouga region, the Kouga Municipality has helped to create more than 1 000 jobs during the first six months of the current financial year.

Of these, a total of 351 were municipal appointments while a further 151 job opportunities were created through infrastructure and water projects.

This was reported by Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks, who recently delivered the State of the Municipality Address.

“At least 500 temporary jobs were created through events supported by the municipality, while the holiday influx in December again provided hundreds of Kouga locals with seasonal employment.”

He said a Local Economic Development (LED) strategy was being developed in partnership with local business and SMMEs.

“An LED Forum has also been established to bring all role players closer to each other. They have been meeting quarterly.”

Hendricks said Tourism and Agriculture were two of the economic sectors with the greatest potential for growth.

“In addition to several new Tourism initiatives, the municipality will develop food and craft markets in Jeffreys Bay and Hankey this year.”

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Coastal repairs underway in Oyster Bay

February 22, 2019

Repairs and protection work have started along the beachfront of one of Kouga’s most pristine coastal towns.

Kouga Municipality this week started removing the dunes that have been overrunning Brander Street and properties at Oyster Bay.

democratic alliance kouga

“It will take about five weeks to flatten the dunes and open up Brander Street, the area under immediate threat,” said Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson.

“Once this has been completed, the rehabilitation work will commence and protective berms established to help prevent a recurrence.”

Benson said that in 2016 the municipality received environmental authorisation to address the risk posed at Oyster Bay by encroaching dunes and the Slang River, whose flow has been changed by the build-up of sand at the river mouth.

“After receiving the authorisation, we started clearing the sand that was covering Brander Street and neighbouring properties.

“A protection wall was also built on the Slang River side, so that the river would run straight to the sea and not wash away buildings and infrastructure, as had happened in the past.

“Some rehabilitation work was also undertaken, but because of the severe drought and water restrictions at the time, the vegetation did not grow and the sand eventually built up again.”

He said the municipality was finalising a dune rehabilitation plan to improve the long-term management of the area.

“Berms will be created and strengthened with drought-resistant vegetation, so as to create a barrier and prevent the sand from creating dunes again. There will also be regular maintenance of the dune to ensure the success of the rehabilitation process.”

He said the current project was being funded from the municipality’s own income and would lay the foundation for the work to be done through the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Working for the Coast Programme and Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme (EPIP).

“Our aim is to use the Working for the Coast grant to employ local people to rehabilitate the dunes. The EPIP funding will be put towards infrastructure projects such as the replacement of the ablution facilities and parking area that washed away at the Oyster Bay beach more than five years ago.”

He said all work being done was in line with the environmental authorisation and the approved Environmental Management Programme that had been issued.

“We are very pleased that we are now in a position to address the serious risk posed by the Slang River and encroaching dunes.

“Oyster Bay has one of the country’s most beautiful coastlines and we would like to ensure that it remains that way, in the best inte-rest of our communities and the environment.”

Over than 40 taxis impounded in Kouga

February 11, 2019

More than 40 taxis were impounded by Kouga Municipality over the past two months as part of the institution’s drive to make public transport safer.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said a total of 42 taxis were impounded by the Kouga Traffic Department this past December and January for operating without a public transport permit.

Leading the charge to make public transport safer are Kouga Traffic officers Elvis Mayinje, John Brown, Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson and Jason Petersen.

“The municipality has been holding weekly roadblocks with the South African Police Service to clamp down on illegal public transport operators and will continue with this joint programme to help make our roads safe for all,” he said.

He encouraged commuters to familiarise themselves with the documents required by public transport operators and to avoid making use of taxis that do not comply.

“There are four discs that should be displayed on a taxi’s windscreen – the red public transport permit, the operator’s disc, passenger liability disc and standard licence disc.

“If these discs are not visible and valid, there is a good chance that you are making use of an illegal taxi,” he cautioned.

Hendricks said the municipality established the depot for the impoundment of vehicles at Humansdorp some 18 months ago.

“The depot has made it easier for our Traffic Department to execute their duties and keep commuters safe. The facility is not used for taxis only, but also for vehicles that have been confiscated in drunken driving and other cases.”

He said while some of the taxis impounded in December and January were second-time offenders, the majority were first-timers.

“The law is clear and we would like to appeal to public transport operators not to put vehicles and drivers on the road that do not meet the legal requirements.”

The fees applicable for the release of impounded vehicles are R2 500 for a first offence, R4000 for a second offence and R8 000 for a third-time offence.

Kouga Municipality declares amnesty period for building plan fines

February 9, 2019

The Kouga Municipality has declared an 18-month amnesty period for the payment of fines and penalties related to incomplete or incorrect building plans.

The amnesty period will run from January 2019 to June 2020 and will apply only to building work that existed or started prior to this time.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the move was prompted by numerous requests from property owners and industry roleplayers to be exempted from fines and penalties imposed on them for failing to comply with the National Building Regulations.

“This non-compliance is not always the fault of the current property owner, hence Council’s resolution to declare an amnesty period,” he explained.

“In some instances, previous owners built, extended or altered their properties without building plans having been submitted or approved.

“There are various reasons for this, including, architects and draughtsman not always returning building plans to the municipality for final approval.

“There are also properties that are in use despite not having occupation certificates as the final building inspections were never conducted.”

He said property owners in this position would typically be fined in terms of the National Building Regulations and municipal standard application fees.

“It is these fines and penalties that will be waivered during the amnesty period. The normal application approval fees will, however, still be applicable and payable.

“We would also like to emphasise that the amnesty must not be construed as a relaxation of any standards, regulations or legislation. It is simply an attempt to legalise illegal structures within the municipal area in accordance with the relevant legislation.”

All submissions for exemptions must be put in writing and emailed to the Department: Planning and Development at nlappert@kouga.gov.za or jmarais@kouga.gov.za.

Alternatively, it can be hand-delivered to the Department at the municipality’s office in Woltemade Street, Jeffreys Bay.

Hendricks cautioned that building plans for unauthorised structures submitted through this process will also be subject to inspections by the municipality’s Building Control section. Any structures that do not comply with the required standards will not be approved until such a time as the necessary corrections have been done.

“Each case will be dealt with on merit and the municipality remains the final decision-maker,” he concluded.

Water restrictions the ‘new normal’ in Kouga

December 7, 2018

As the Festive Season approaches and temperatures climb, residents and holiday-makers are reminded that water restrictions remain in place throughout the region.

“Despite the good rain in September, the combined level of Kouga’s storage dams are dangerously low and water restrictions remain in place in all towns,” Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.

“We appeal to residents and holiday-makers to continue using water wisely.”

He said that saving water needed to become the “new normal” for everyone in Kouga.

“The drought has not yet broken and we have to continue our efforts to save water if we are to navigate safely through this difficult time.”

The current water restrictions prohibit, among other, the use of hose pipes and the filling up of swimming pools with municipal water.

Water leaks can be reported through the municipality’s Link Powered by Vodacom app.

The app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play of App Store or go to:
https://www.download.linkapp.co.za/#dl

Do you want to serve your community as a DA Councillor?

October 26, 2018

The DA won Kouga Municipality in 2016 and have started to turn the organisation around after many years of neglect and poor administration.

There is a vacancy as a Proportional Representation (PR) Councillor who will serve on Council and join the team who have been responsible for improving service delivery and creating a better life for all of Kouga’s residents.

More more information please contact Carla Schoeman at carlas@da.org.za or phone via 084 704 6973.

 

DA-governed Kouga Municipality secures R150 million to fight drought

October 19, 2018

The Kouga Local Municipality has, through good governance and proactive planning, yet again secured a victory for its residents.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks has confirmed that his government has procured more than R151 million for drought relief.

The first allocation of R58,7 million will be paid to Kouga through the Provincial Disaster Relief Grant. This money will benefit 23 868 people in the region.

This first allocation will be used to develop, refurbish, equip and connect boreholes in Hankey, Patensie, Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and Oyster Bay.

The extraction and treatment of water from the Klein River at Hankey and existing springs will also be developed with this grant.

The second allocation of R92,5 million will be released to Kouga through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant and is expected to benefit 12 623 households.

About R27 million will be used to expand the programme to identify and repair leaks. The money will also be used to replace old pipes, particularly in high-risk areas, as well as for water pressure management at reservoirs.

A total of R35 million will go towards the upgrading of the Jeffreys Bay water treatment works, while R20 million will be used to refurbish the natural springs at Humansdorp.

The DA-governed Kouga Municipality is constantly working for the people and this can be seen from its many other successes.

Since the DA took over the government of Kouga in August 2016 the municipality has distributed 1827 title deeds.

The DA Kouga government also switched on electricity to more than 500 households in areas such as Donkerhoek and Kruisfontein.

“A DA government brought the change that created One South Africa for All in the  Municipality.

This kind of change speeds up the delivery of quality services which the DA is committed to bring to the whole of the Eastern Cape,” said Andrew Whitfield, the DA Provincial Chairperson.

Óver 1800 title deeds handed out in Kouga

October 14, 2018

Hankey was the final stop for the first leg of Kouga Municipality’s community outreach programme of issuing title deeds to long-awaiting home-owners across the region.

The Vusumzi Landu Hall was buzzing, with residents coming to collect the document which confirms them as property owners.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the municipality was proud of being a catalyst for people’s self-determination and development.

“We are happy that we are able to affirm you as owners of your properties, to bring an end to all the uncertainty and to allow you to use your ownership status to exploit opportunities in business and education and to leave a secured legacy for generations of your families,” he said.

Most of the houses were registered in 2006 with the Deeds Office, but the title deeds were never given to their owners.

“We have made it our mission, as this leadership, that no title deed must remain with the municipality or any government institution, but must reside with the rightful owner,” he said.

The Mayor hand-delivered title deeds to three elderly and frail residents who could not make it to the gathering due to age and ill-health.

Among them was 92-year-old Andries Amsterdam who said he would treasure the document with his life.

“You leave me here a happy man, a very happy man. I will now be able to pass this house on to those who come after me without any uncertainties when the time comes for me to depart,” he said.

In total 319 title deeds were issued in Hankey over two days.

Residents who are unsure of their status are encouraged to inquire with the municipality’s Human Settlements officials at all units.

DA-governed Kouga Municipality reduces title deed backlog

October 4, 2018

The DA-governed Kouga Local Municipality has handed out the last of a backlog of almost 1700 title deeds.

Mayor Horatio Hendricks handing out title deeds in Hankey yesterday with 100 year old Mr Thomas Bambani eventually receiving his title deed.

Mayor Horatio Hendricks handing out a long overdue title deed

Under the failing and uncaring ANC-led Kouga Municipality a backlog of title deeds, stretching over a period of more than two decades, was created.

 Since the DA took over the government of Kouga in August 2016 the municipality has now distributed 1688 title deeds.

Some KwaNomzamo residents have waited since 1996 before receiving title deeds from the DA government.

ANC Ward Councillor Velile Vumazonke waited since 1998 before he recently received his title deed in Humansdorp.

The former ANC Speaker of Council, Magdalene Dhlomo, also received her deed in Patensie.

Title deeds were handed out in the following areas:

Thornhill – 205
Kruisfontein, Humansdorp – 631
Sea Vista, St Francis Bay – 87
Patensie – 194
Pellsrus, Jeffreys Bay – 141
Hankey – 324
KwaNomzamo, Humansdorp – 106

“Mayor Hendricks said it best when he stated that giving people ownership of their properties is an effective means of empowering them and allowing them access to the economy,” said Andrew Whitfield, the chairperson of the DA in the Eastern Cape.

“The DA government in Kouga has brought the change that residents voted for in 2016.

This is the kind of change which the DA can bring to the whole of the Eastern Cape in 2019,” added Whitfield.

2019 election campaign launched at Cape St Francis

September 30, 2018

The DA in Kouga launched its 2019 election campaign in Cape St Francis yesterday.

The constituency meeting was also attended by the DA in Kou Kamma.

“We will focus on five key issues namely: corruption, crime, jobs, immigration and service delivery – what we call our “agenda for change”, said Malcolm Figg, the leader of the DA in the region.

“These are the issues that really matter to South Africans. And they are issues which only the DA has a clear and credible plan to deal with.

Our message speaks to fighting corruption and state capture, and ridding our country of this scourge for good.

Our message speaks to fixing our Police Force so that it can actually protect and serve the people.

Right now, our Police Force can’t keep our communities safe. They’re not properly trained to do so, and they are riddled with corruption.

The DA will transform SAPS into a lean, clean crime-fighting machine.

We will only hire people with a passion for policing, and we will retrain existing officers so they can serve and protect with pride.

We will also bring back the gang and drug units that were disbanded by the ANC government so that we can keep our communities in places like Humansdorp, and particularly our young people, safe.

Our message speaks to the crucial issue of employment, and how we can ensure that all South Africans have fair access to jobs.

And when I say jobs, I mean real long-term, sustainable jobs.

Only the DA has a plan to harness the power of the private sector and the power of the entrepreneur to create these jobs.

We have proven this beyond all doubt in the province and Metros and municipalities like Kouga where we govern. In the last year, three-quarters of all new jobs were created in the DA-run Western Cape.

We must break down our State Owned Enterprises, we must make sure our cities can build sustainable infrastructure, and we must allow small businesses to thrive. This is our agenda for change.

But our goal is not only to help create new jobs. It is also about making sure that young people have the skills and experience to make the most of these opportunities.

We have some big plans to achieve this, like a year of voluntary national service for school leavers, and a network of job centres throughout the country.

Our message speaks to the urgent need to secure our country’s borders, welcoming those who want to come here legally, but shutting out those who try to do so illegally.

We’ll do so by strengthening our border posts and ridding Home Affairs of corruption, but also by supporting and caring for legitimate refugees and asylum seekers.

No country in the world can afford uncontrolled immigration, and particularly not a country where resources are as scarce as ours.

We need a government that is prepared to lead on this – a government that won’t allow this dangerous powder keg to be left unchecked.

Under the DA, we will immediately restore the law and order that this government has been unable to maintain.

Our message speaks to a better quality of life for our people by speeding up the delivery of basic services to all communities.

Living without these basic services is robbing people of their dignity.

The DA has a plan to speed up the delivery of basic services.

By cleaning up provincial governments we will ensure that the people’s money is spent on the people at a local level.

This includes managing the allocation of government housing in a fair and transparent manner.

Lets build One South Africa for all” said Figg.