Archive for the ‘kouga municipality’ Category

DA municipalities celebrate two years in government

August 14, 2018

In 2016, South Africans entrusted the DA with governing more than 30 municipalities across the country.

The five DA local governments that are being highlighted shine a bright light on the extra-ordinary work that continues to happen in these many DA-led municipalities throughout the country.

The overwhelming record of DA governed local councils is that where we govern, service improves, corruption is rooted out, the economy grows, jobs are created, and basic delivery for poorer residents improves. This is the DA difference.

Drakenstein, Midvaal, Kouga, Modimolle-Mookgophong and Thabazimbi are five councils that provide a representative sample of the difference the DA is making in government wherever we are elected.

The DA does not take the trust placed in us by the residents of these five municipalities for granted.

We highly value every opportunity we are given to demonstrate the DA difference in action.

Local government responsibility is the closest link between a government and its people and after years of financial mismanagement, corruption and neglect by the ANC, the DA got hard to work repairing this broken bond.

Previous ANC administrations left behind a sea of debt. Drakenstein, Midvaal, Kouga, Modimolle-Mookgophong and Thabazimbi are an inspirational story of DA governments that turned financial wastelands into thriving local towns for all South Africans.

The DA currently governs for over 16 million South Africans and controls the majority of the country’s local government budget. We continue to work hard to deliver on our promises of clean, efficient governments which deliver to the people we serve.

Kouga

When the DA was voted into office in 2016, we found more than 1 700 title deeds for RDP houses lying around in store rooms and offices, some dating back more than 15 years.

The late Mayor, Elza van Lingen, distributed 202 of these title deeds at Thornhill on Human Rights Day.

Her successor, Mayor Horatio Hendricks, handed out a further 631 title deeds at Kruisfontein, Humansdorp, on Nelson Mandela Day, and the remainder will be distributed at Sea Vista, KwaNomzamo, Patensie, Hankey, Pellsrus and Thornhill over the next two months.

DA-led Kouga has strengthened its financial position and now has sufficient revenue to increase grant funding, boost capital delivery and drive a pro-poor budget.

By cutting corruption and waste, and restoring public faith in the local council, this municipality has almost tripled its cash on hand from R38 million to R94 million in the past two years.

The previous ANC-led municipality had failed to pay mandatory contributions to the Department of Labour for ten years which meant that staff were not covered for injuries on duty.

The DA-led government cleaned up this ANC mess and Kouga has since been issued with a letter of good standing from the Department of Labour.

The Municipality also paid off R 17 million that was owed to the Department of Transport.

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New bakkies to boost service delivery in Kouga

August 12, 2018

The DA led Kouga Municipality has received another boost, with 11 new bakkies set to strengthen the institution’s service delivery departments.

The one-ton Nissan light delivery vehicles (LDVs) cost almost R 3,6 million.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said aging municipal vehicles impeded service delivery and that replacing the fleet was one of the priorities for the municipality’s leadership.

“We were shocked when the DA took over as the new Council in 2016 to learn that only 4% of the municipality’s vehicles were fully operational while the remainder were constantly breaking down and 58 were no longer working at all,” he said.

He said the DA immediately set out to replace the dysfunctional fleet systematically in order to meet the needs of communities.

Eight of the bakkies will be given to the Water and Sewerage teams.

Two will be used by the Electrical section while the Corporate Services directorate will, after many years, also have a new set of wheels to play their role as a support department effectively.

“We are confident that this will help curb unnecessary delays and improve our response time to service delivery complaints,” said Hendricks.

Communities benefit from ward development fund

July 23, 2018

Kouga Municipality handed out items worth more than R 600 000 to various community projects recently.

Funding for these came from the Ward Development Fund and was budgeted for in the 2017/2018 financial year.

The items included sports apparel for schools and clubs, upgrades of social amenities such as play parks and sports facilities, computers for non-governmental organisations, stoves for old age clubs and soup kitchens and sewing machines for emerging sewing projects.

Other funds were also allocated to fixing general problems such as street lights, installation of more communal taps in informal areas such as the Golf Course in KwaNomzamo and replacement of vandalised infrastructure.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said ward councillors were tasked with setting up priorities in accordance with the community’s requests and in line with the Ward Development Policy.

“These do not replace or contradict our Integrated Development Plan (IDP) but rather help to advance development as community priorities are constantly being reviewed while other matters are emerging as urgent needs,” he said

Hendricks said he was also pleased to see that most of the beneficiaries of the interventions were from vulnerable groups such as the youth and the elderly.

“It is important that we take care of our youth as the future of our community.

“Our elderly people tend to be the most neglected group and it is pleasing to see that they were considered in this round,” he said.

The Mayor applauded the ward councillors for cooperating with the process to ensure that communities benefited.

Municipality is looking after its workers

May 31, 2018

Kouga Municipality is looking after the health of its workers.

Forty staff members were awarded their Level 1 First Aid certificates at a ceremony in Jeffreys Bay last week.

Corporate Services Portfolio Councillor Frances Baxter said trainees had been chosen from all sections of the municipality.

Kouga Municipality

“The course covered, among others, first aid assistance for medical conditions, head and spinal injuries, poisoning, respiratory emergencies, fractures and sprains, as well as the dressing of wounds,” she said.

Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis said workers were exposed to many risks, some of which were health related and others linked to their working environments.

“Staff need to know how to deal with medical emergencies should the need arise.

“As much as legislation is important, governance is not only about ticking the correct boxes and being compliant. Our staff are human beings and we need to create a safe and caring environment for them,” he said.

Du Plessis said the skills attained by these employees were not only relevant for the workplace but could be used in their everyday lives where they could lend a hand in emergency situations.

“With all our training programmes, we would like to empower our workers beyond just being fit for their occupations. We want them to be able to use their skills in their communities as well,” he said.

The training, which took place in February and March, is a legal requirement in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (nr 85 of 1993), which stipulates that an institution must have first aiders and occupational safety representatives.

The qualification of this group is now valid for the next two years. They will be going on Level 2 training in June this year.

Each were given a first aid kit for their sections.

New Mayor makes minor changes to team

May 30, 2018

Kouga’s new Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks made minor changes to the Mayoral Committee.

Hendricks announced at a Council meeting held on Wednesday, April 25 that Tourism and Special Programmes Portfolio Councillor Frances Baxter will now move to head Corporate Services.

She replaces Hattingh Bornman, who has been elected as Kouga’s new Speaker. Bornman replaces Hendricks, who was the Speaker before being elected as Mayor on April 20.

The changes come after the passing away of former Mayor Elza van Lingen on April 19.

Kouga’s new Mayor is a seasoned public servant, having worked as a teacher for 22 years, including 12 years as the principal of Andrieskraal Primary.

Before the 2016 elections, he served as a councillor at the Sarah Baartman District Municipality (SBDM), where he was also elected as the chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC).

MPAC is responsible for oversight so as to ensure municipal resources are used effectively and according to law towards advancing the mandate of the municipality.

During this time, SBDM achieved successive clean audit opinions from the Office of the Auditor General.

In addition to his teaching qualifications, Hendricks also completed Certificates in Municipal Management and Law, Municipal Finance and Practical Labour Law.

The new Mayor said he was humbled by Council’s confidence in him to continue the good work Van Lingen had started.

“Hers are big shoes to fill, but I have a competent team supporting me.

“We have made great strides in turning around the municipality these past 19 months.

“To honour her legacy, we must not relent in our efforts to make this a model local municipality from which good practices can be learnt,” he said.

Mayoral Committee Members

Freddy Campher – Infrastructure and Engineering
Bryan Dhludhlu – Planning, Economic Development and Tourism
Brenton Williams – Finance
Daniel Benson – Community Services
Frances Baxter – Corporate Services

Well-respected strategist joins Kouga’s top management team

May 24, 2018

Kouga Municipality has kept its promise of recruiting highly-skilled individuals for critical positions by appointing a well-respected strategist and local government expert as its new Director: Planning, Development and Tourism.

Fezeka Mabusela brings with her 16 years of experience in the local government sector, 11 of which have been at management levels. She is a registered Professional Planner with the South African Council for Planners and holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Free State.

Her most recent job was at the South African Local Government Association (Salga) where she was the Programme Manager: Economic Development and Planning.

Her scope of work during her four years at Salga included supporting municipalities in Spatial Planning, Local Economic Development (LED), Integrated Development Planning (IDP) and Information Communication Technology (ICT). She was also actively involved in championing Salga’s Small Towns Regeneration Programme and Regional Planning and Development.

Before joining Salga, she spent five years at the Western Cape Provincial Government as Deputy Director: IDP where she headed the development of a cabinet-approved intergovernmental planning and coordination framework, which led to the mainstreaming of IDPs in all provincial government departments.

That work was followed by the development of a web-based Monitoring and Evaluation platform, used by all municipalities in the province to track joint infrastructure and economic development initiatives.

Her vast experience also includes working at Elundini Municipality as the Manager: IDP and Performance Management.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the appointment of Mabusela was in line with ensuring that the best people were appointed for the municipality to deliver on its mandate.

“Her wealth of experience can only be of benefit to the institution and the residents of Kouga,” he said.

Among her first tasks as Director will be to serve as the Project Coordinator of the Building Inclusive Green Municipalities (BIGM) agreement between Kouga and the Canadian municipality Prince Edward County.

Mabusela said what she found appealing about Kouga was the municipality’s focus on town planning as a key pillar and driver of development.

“Trends show that Kouga is one of the fastest growing municipalities and the municipality must find ways to respond to that growth.

“I want to be part of that response and help to unearth the great potential this wonderful place has.”

She said her radiologist husband and two children, currently staying in East London, would join her once she has properly settled in and has found a school for her boys.

Do you want to serve your community?

May 5, 2018

Do you have a passion for your community and believe in the principles of freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity?

Have your say about the Kouga budget and IDP

April 16, 2018

Public meetings about the draft budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2018/2019 financial year will be held in April and May.

The draft budget and draft IDP were adopted by the Kouga Council last Thursday.

Capital projects to be funded in the new year, starting July 1, include the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works, bucket eradication and the electrification of informal areas.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen encouraged residents and stakeholder groups to attend the meetings.

“We want the budget and IDP to speak to the needs of our communities. The public meetings are an opportunity for residents to give input and ask questions about the municipality’s proposed plans for the new financial year,” she said.

The meetings, which start at 6pm unless otherwise stated, will take place as follows:

Ward 1: 16 April at the Oyster Bay Hall and 17 April at the Sea Vista Hall

Ward 2: 18 April at the Pellsrus Hall

Ward 3: 19 April at the Newton Hall

Ward 4: 23 April at the Baptist Church Hall

Ward 5: 24 April at the Kruisfontein Hall

Ward 6: 25 April at the KwaNomzamo Hall

Ward 7: 26 April at the Loerie Hall and 30 April at the Katrien Felix Hall

Ward 8: 2 May at the Newton Hall

Ward 9: 3 May at the Vusumzi Landu Hall

Ward 10: 7 May at the Dan Sandi Hall and 8 May at Andrieskraal

Ward 11: 9 May at the Newton Hall

Ward 12: 10 May at the St Francis Village Hall, 14 May at 3pm at the Dutch Reformed Church hall in Paradise Beach and 15 May at the Humansdorp Country Club

Ward 13: 16 May at the Weston Hall

Ward 14: 17 May at 10am at the Marina Martinique Hall and at 6pm at the Tokyo Sexwale Club House

Ward 15: 21 May at 3pm at Ons Tuiste, Humansdorp, and 22 May at the Humansdorp Country Club.

Enquiries can be directed to the municipality’s IDP manager, Colleen Dreyer, at cdreyer@kouga.gov.za or on 042 200 2200.

Kouga adopts a pro-poor draft budget

April 5, 2018

Kouga Municipality’s draft budget and draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the new financial year, starting July, was approved by Council on Thursday (31/03/2018).

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the drafts would now be taken to communities for feedback in order for the documents to be finalised. Public meetings will be held in all wards from 16 April to 22 May.

The final budget and IDP will be tabled to Council for adoption before the end of May and implemented from 1 July.

Van Lingen said Council’s aim in the new year would be to strengthen service delivery to all communities.

The draft capital budget, which includes several projects aimed at improving the lives of the poorest of the poor,  totals R71,595-million, which is 3,11% more than the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

“It will mainly be funded from government grants and subsidies, as the municipality has reached its prudent borrowing limits while internal funding is limited,” she said.

Draft capital projects include R23,7-million to upgrade the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works in preparation for new RDP houses to be built in the area.

R10,2-million will further be spent on the electrification of informal settlements while R2,8-million has been allocated to roll out a bucket eradication programme.

A further R4,4-million will be used to upgrade sports facilities and R1,5-million has been set aside for facilities to accommodate informal traders.

The draft operating revenue for 2018/19 totals R732,962-million. This is an increase of 6,38% compared to the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

The main revenue sources are electricity (33,58%), property rates (23,55%), operating grants and subsidies (16,8%), water (9,24%) and refuse (5,94%).

The draft operating expenditure for 2018/19 totals R786,146-million, resulting in a budget deficit of R53,184-million. It is a 4,07% increase compared to the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

The main expenditure items are employee-related costs (34,64%) and bulk electricity purchases (25,56%) and depreciation (9,59%).

Van Lingen said the Council would be keeping the tariff hikes as low as is possible.

“We kept the proposed tariff increases for property rates and refuse lower than they were last year because these are fixed amounts over which residents have no control.”

The proposed tariff increases are:

  • 7,5% for property rates
  • 11,5% for water
  • 9% for sanitation
  • 8% for refuse
  • 6% for the Environmental Management Fee
  • An average of 6,84% for electricity, subject to approval by the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

The dates of the public meetings will be published in the local media and on the municipal website.

Kouga Municipality exploring desalination plants to address water woes

March 1, 2018

Kouga executive mayor, Elsa van Lingen, said the establishment of a desalination plant is the best way to achieve water security for the Kouga area.

Delivering her State of the Municipality Address on Wednesday, Van Lingen said that a delegation from Kouga recently visited Israel to learn more about desalination from the world’s leaders in this field.

She said the process to appoint a professional services provider to assist with the implementation has been initiated.

Van Lingen said that long-term water security will also be the focus of the Kouga Municipality’s climate change partnership with Ilsfeld Municipality in Germany.

“A year ago the dams in the Algoa Water Supply System – from which both Kouga and our neighbours, Nelson Mandela Bay, draw water – were just more than half full at 50,2%. That figure has since dropped to 25.6%,” she said.

Van Lingen said “of particular concern to us is the Kouga Dam, which is the only water supply to the towns of Hankey and Patensie. A year ago the dam level stood at 36%; now it stands at just over 10%.”

“The outlook for the Churchill and Impofu Dams – which supply water to Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis- is also bleak, with the level of the Churchill Dam dropping from 31% in February last year to 18% in February this year and the Impofu from 72.4% to 41.3%,” she said.

“In short, the water security of our communities is under serious threat,” Van Lingen said.

Meanwhile, Meanwhile, the Kouga mayor said that one of the big economic shocks for them this past year was the news that the proposed nuclear development at Thyspunt would not be happening soon, if ever.

Van Lingen said while the people of Kouga have been divided over the issue of years, she said there’s no doubt that news came as a blow to many job seekers, entrepreneurs, SMMEs, co-ops and businesses, who believed that Thyspunt would bring a much-needed economic boost to the region.

However, the Mayor said there’s far more to the Kouga area than just Thyspunt.

Van Lingen said there’s tremendous room for growth in many of sectors – including tourism, Agri-processing, and the Ocean Economy.

She said the Kouga Council will endeavour to unlock the full economic potential of the area.