Archive for the ‘kouga municipality’ Category

Watch the State of the Municipality address tomorrow

March 18, 2021

Listen to Kouga Municipality Executive Mayor, Cllr Horatio Hendricks, as he delivers the State of the Municipality Address at 11:00 on March 19, 2021.

Please follow Kouga Municipality’s You Tube link to be directed to the Live Broadcast of the SOMA – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjw3cs3O6DijAjbGDvfCneA.

Alternatively, you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more information:
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SAMWU members strike at Kouga Municipality

March 9, 2021

A strike is taking place at present at the Kouga Municipality. It is affecting the towns of Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Hankey and Patensie.

According to Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, one of the municipal worker unions, SAMWU, has called on its members to embark on an illegal and unprotected strike today.

“It is important to note that not all municipal workers are striking,” said Hendricks.

“The municipal offices have been closed to ensure the safety of our staff, as well as the public.

“We appeal to all members of the public to not put their black bags outside today, as some services are affected by the strike.”

DA Constituency Chairperson, Hattingh Bornman, said that it is interesting that it is only the ANC-faction of the municipality that is striking – especially considering that it is so close to the municipal election.

Submit comments on the Integrated Development Plan

February 22, 2021

KOUGA residents and stakeholders have just over a week left to submit comments on the Kouga Municipality’s draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2021/ 2022 financial year.

“The IDP, a five-year plan that captures the development needs of communities, is the municipality’s most important planning tool,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks.

“It captures the service-delivery and development requirement for each ward. These requirements, in turn, help to determine how the annual budget of the municipality is allocated.

It is, therefore, critical that communities provide input as to ensure that the needs of their wards are correctly identified and addressed.”

According to Hendricks, the biggest capital project is the resealing and repair of roads across the Kouga region.“Apart from the resealing of 12km of road during the 2019/ 2020 financial year, more than R8 million had been budgeted for the resealing of roads in the current financial year, ending on June 30, 2021, he said.

“It is hoped to secure additional funding for the resealing programme in the adjustment budget this month – allowing us to tackle more roads.

“Furthermore, R9.2 million was spent on gravel road upgrades, while 15 378 potholes were fixed in 2019/2020 compared to the 7 785 potholes fixed in 2018/ 2019.

A further 9 720 potholes were fixed from July 2020 to December 2020.”He said that the highest priority in the IDP, and one of the municipality’s greatest concern, is the dependence of the informal settlements on the bucket system – which needs to be eradicated.

“Usually, the first round of IDP public meetings take place in October and November each year,” said Hendricks. “Regrettably, we had to put the meetings on hold last year due to the resurgence of positive Covid-19 cases in our region.

“Lockdown restrictions on gatherings have, unfortunately, not yet been relaxed. As a result, we have had to make alternative arrangements to consult with residents about the review.

“I would like to encourage each and every one of you to take the time and use this opportunity to voice what you would like to see happening in your ward.

”An electronic copy of the IDP is available on the municipal website at www.kouga.gov.za, as well as at all municipal offices, libraries and ward offices.

The IDP will furthermore be circulated on flash drives.Comments and suggestions on the ward priorities can be submitted to the IDP section headed by Colleen Dreyer at idp@kouga.gov.za.

Alternatively, contact Dreyer at 081 760 7245. It can also be dropped into one of the comment boxes at the ward offices, libraries and main administration units.

The closing date for submission is Friday, February 26, 2021.

Municipality disappointed at decision to close beaches

December 15, 2020

Statement by Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks:

Kouga Municipality is not in agreement with the national directive that all beaches and parks in the Eastern Cape and Garden Route District will be closed from 16 December to 3 January.

We are of the view that the closure of beaches and parks on specified dates only, as is the case for the remainder of South Africa, would have enabled a better balance between saving lives and saving livelihoods.

Unfortunately, the final decision was not ours to take and we now have to deal with the hand we’ve been dealt.

While Kouga still has much to offer visitors, the beach is the main attraction over the summer season.

The impact of the 19-day beach closure will be devastating on our local businesses, job retention and creation.

In addition, there is concern that the closure of beaches and parks will simply lead to people congregating at other venues, including private residences, where the risk of infection is even higher.

We have raised our concerns with the Premier. Early indications are that the chances of the national decision being reversed are slim and that there is little likelihood of local municipalities and law enforcement agencies, as well as affected businesses, receiving support from a provincial or national level.

We are further awaiting clarity as to whether the closures affect all beach-related activities, as the Gazette only alludes to fishing for which an exemption will be made for those in possession of a permit.

We are also awaiting clarity as to whether the closure affects all bodies of water such as rivers and lagoons or only the sea. In the meantime, the municipality will be meeting with other law enforcement agencies today to discuss the enforcement of the stricter regulations, as announced by the President last night.

Regardless of whether we are in agreement with the closure of beaches or not, the COVID-19 pandemic is a reality and safeguarding our communities remain the priority.

We will continue to do all in our power to curb the spread of the coronavirus and to keep our residents and visitors safe.

Affordable rental housing for Kouga

October 2, 2020

At least 1 500 rental units for households with low to moderate incomes are set to be built in Kouga over the next five years.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said the municipality had secured a place in the “Municipal Support Programme” run by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), the body that oversees the implementation, regulating and funding of state-subsidised rental housing projects in South Africa.

“Kouga is the only municipality in the Eastern Cape to have been selected for the municipal support programme and one of only six local authorities countrywide,” he said.

“Our inclusion will ensure that the municipality receives the necessary technical and organisational support to implement social housing programmes.

“The target is to deliver at least 1500 rental units over the next five years but, according to SHRA, the first project for Kouga can be approved, built, tenanted and managed within as little as one to three years.”

He commended the municipality’s Human Settlements section for their excellent submission that secured the municipality a place in the programme.

“It is another feather in the municipality’s cap and will help to address the demand for affordable rental housing in the area.”

Hendricks said social housing is a government programme aimed at providing low to moderate-income households, earning between R1 501 and R7 500 per month, with quality and affordable rental housing opportunities in well-located areas.

He said the project would complement the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) that had also been approved for the area.

“While social housing addresses the need for affordable rentals, FLISP offers first-time home-ownership opportunities to South African residents earning between R3 501 and R22 000 per month,” he explained.

“This is the income group that earns too much to qualify for an RDP house but typically also struggles to secure a bond to buy a home.”

He said the municipality had appointed a service provider, Own Haven Social Housing, in October 2019 for the implementation of social housing and FLISP projects.

“The service provider has completed a demand and needs analysis study for the proposed project in Jeffreys Bay.

“They are currently drawing up a detailed report on how the FLISP and Social Housing programmes will be introduced and marketed to prospective buyers and beneficiaries.”

Joint effort to address Domestic Animal issues

August 11, 2020

Kouga residents have been asked to report problems related to stray or neglected domestic animals to the municipal call centre (042 200 2200, option 5).

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson, said the municipality was streamlining its relationship with local animal welfare organisations.

“These organisations do an amazing job with limited resources. The municipality recently met with them to determine how we can improve our support to them.”

He said a key challenge was the vast distances these organisations sometimes had to travel to address animal-related complaints.

“This often happens because people phone the organisations directly even when they are not based in the area where the problem is.

“This then also leads to unhappiness where animals have owners, as the owners then have to travel far to collect their animals.

“We would, therefore, like to ask residents to report concerns about stray or neglected domestic animals to the municipal call centre. They will then alert the organisation that works in that area.”

He said key roleplayers were the SPCA Assisi in Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay Animal Rescue Services and St Francis Animal Rescue.

He said residents were further asked to refrain from feeding stray animals, especially in the CBD areas.

“This draws stray animals, which then starts posing a safety and health risk to both people and the animals.”

He encouraged those who want to help feed stray animals to donate food to the recognised animal welfare organisations and to get involved.

“They know where the need is and will ensure that the food gets to where it is needed most.”

He said the municipality had established the Kouga Animal Management Committee and was busy reviewing the related policies and bylaws to support roleplayers’ efforts.

“This will go hand-in-hand with a public awareness campaign to help communities understand the role played by the various roleplayers”.

“For example, people often phone animal welfare organisations with complaints about noisy dogs while this is actually the mandate of the municipal Law Enforcement section.”

The municipal call centre can be contacted on 042 200 2200 (option 5).

New vehicles for Kouga Lifeguards and Disaster Management

August 7, 2020

As the Tourism industry slowly but surely re-opens, Kouga Municipality has set the wheels in motion to welcome visitors back to its swimming beaches this coming festive season.

A new 4×4 bakkie and quad bike have been purchased for the municipality’s lifeguards.

“The lifeguards work over a wide area, covering swimming areas all the way from Oyster Bay to the Gamtoos Mouth,” Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said.

“There are also times when they have to respond to emergencies that happen away from the main swimming areas.

“The new vehicles will help to improve their response time in these instances.”

He said the safety of Kouga’s beaches was a big drawing card for tourists and that the municipality would continue its efforts to strengthen its lifeguard section year on year.

A new 4×4 bakkie has also been procured for Kouga’s Disaster Management section.

“This section’s old bakkie is still in working order and will also be used for the lifeguard section when necessary.”

Kouga’s future is looking bright

July 31, 2020

More than 1 000 streetlights and floodlights across the DA led Kouga Municipality have been retrofitted with LED lights.

The advantage of LED lights is that they are brighter than conventional bulbs but actually use less energy and last longer, which brings with it cost benefits.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the programme had been rolled out in the 2019/20 financial year after the municipality’s Electrical Services section secured R4-million from the national Department of Energy for Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM).

“Municipalities can apply for this funding to implement projects such as streetlight replacements and to increase the energy efficiency of municipal buildings and assets such as pump stations,” he explained.

“It, therefore, presented us with an excellent opportunity to decrease the region’s electricity usage, especially during peak periods when Eskom charges a higher tariff, without compromising on quality.

“Reducing energy consumption is also good for the environment and in line with our efforts to keep Kouga green.”

The project included the replacement of 161 1000W floodlights with 400W LEDs while 80 400W floodlights had been replaced with 200W LEDs. A further 860 125W streetlights had been replaced with 37W LEDs.

The funding also made provision for job creation, which enabled the municipality to employ six youths from the area for a period of three months.

Hendricks said the project had been complemented with an awareness drive to encourage residents to minimise their electricity usage between the peak hours of 5pm and 7pm and 6am and 9am.

“I would like to congratulate our Electrical Services team for successfully implementing the project despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

“Going forward, the LED lights will save the municipality money while staff will also have more time to attend to other projects aimed at improving service delivery to communities.”

He said the municipality would be applying for more funding as part its commitment towards service excellence and cutting down on carbon emissions to help save the planet by supporting green energy.

He said the aim was to roll out the programme to towns within Kouga fed by Eskom, so as to reduce the streetlight bill from Eskom in those areas as well.

New wheels for Kouga’s Electrical Team

July 30, 2020

More than 50 new vehicles have been purchased over the past four years to strengthen Kouga’s service delivery fleet.

Among the latest acquisitions are five brand new bakkies for the DA led municipality’s Electrical Services section.

(Pictured) Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks, Electrical Services manager Theo Madatt, Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu and Infrastructure & Engineering director Victor Felton joined staff from the Electrical section for the hand-over

Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu welcomed the extra wheels for the section.

“It is essential that our Electrical team has reliable transport as they have to travel across Kouga to do new installations, maintenance or repairs,” he said.

“They used to rely on 12 bakkies, of which two were constantly breaking down.

“The new bakkies will enable them to respond to call-outs sooner and improve this service to communities.”

He said the municipality’s Fleet section had also refurbished three old cherry pickers for the Electrical section.

“The cherry pickers are now as good as new and proved invaluable during the recent roll-out of LED streetlights.”

Kouga Traffic Department open for longer hours

July 21, 2020

The opening hours of the Kouga Traffic Department in Humansdorp have been extended to help fast-track applications for the renewal of driving licences and motor vehicle registrations.

The offices will from today (20 July) be open to the public from 8am to 3pm, Mondays to Fridays, and from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. The cashiers will close an hour earlier, at 2pm and 12 noon respectively.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said no new learner’s or driving licence applications could be considered as yet, as per the national directive.

“The focus is still on clearing the backlog that was created by the COVID-19 lockdown.”

He said the opening hours of the Traffic Department had initially been reduced so that staff could be rotated as part of the municipality’s COVID-19 safety precautions.

“We have reviewed this decision in light of the re-introduction of loadshedding, which will also influence how quickly the backlog can be cleared.

“It was, therefore, decided to extend the opening hours again so as to maximize the time available to assist motorists.”

Benson said all prescribed hygiene measures, disinfection controls and health protocols were in place at the registration offices and testing centres.

“Social distancing will be enforced at all times. It is, furthermore, mandatory for all visitors and staff to wear masks,” he said.
He said the satellite office at Hankey was also open but only for vehicle licensing and registrations.