Archive for the ‘kouga municipality’ Category

COVID-19 Symptoms? Contact Humansdorp Hospital to make an appointment & get tested

May 20, 2020

Kouga residents who are experiencing possible symptoms of the coronavirus (Covid-19) can phone the Humansdorp Hospital to set up an appointment to be screened and tested, if necessary.

The hospital has made available a dedicated line for this purpose – 042 200 4243.

Current symptoms reported for patients with Covid-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness with a dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or fever (38 degrees or higher).

Road upgrades back on track in Kouga

May 19, 2020

The DA led Kouga Municipality is once again busy with upgrading the road network after a lockdown enforced disruption to the much needed repairs.

Kouga has a R 500 million backlog in road maintenance after many years of neglect.

In the current budget, R 25 million was made available for road repairs and main arterial roads have been identified for resealing.

This includes Dolphin Drive in Aston Bay, Koraal Street and Noorsekloof in Jeffreys Bay as well as roads in Humansdorp and St Francis Bay.

Over 250 potholes were also repaired last week after the lockdown was eased to allow more Municipal staff back to work.

The Municipal draft budget included a further R 25 million for road repairs in the 2020/21 budget but with Covid-19 expected to severely impact Municipal finances, the budget it being recalculated and it is expected that less money will be available to roads in the upcoming financial year.

COUNCIL TO CONSIDER PAYMENT RELIEF FOR RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS

May 15, 2020

The Kouga Council will be considering various payment relief options on municipal accounts to help businesses and residents whose income has been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said all debt collection measures on outstanding accounts, including the disconnection of electricity, had already been stopped.

“The municipality is also currently not charging interest on any outstanding payments,” he said.

He said additional measures under consideration, included rates rebates, payment “holidays” and allowing residents and businesses to make arrangements to pay off outstanding monies without being penalised.

He said the final measures would be tabled to the full Council later this month for approval.

“The measures and qualifying criteria are currently being finalised as part of the budgeting process for the new financial year, starting July. They will be formally announced once Council gives the go-ahead.

“Qualifying residents and business will then have the opportunity to apply for the relief measures relevant to them.”

The Council is scheduled to meet on 29 May.

MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS RE-OPEN FOR ACCOUNT PAYMENTS AND ENQUIRIES

May 14, 2020

The municipality’s income section, including the cashiers at all units, is once again open to the public.

The Jeffreys Bay unit opened for business yesterday. All other units will be open from today (Thursday, 14 May).

The operating hours during the Covid-19 lockdown will be as follows:

* Mondays to Thursdays: 08:30 – 15:00
* Friday: 08:30 – 13:00

While this means residents can once again pay their accounts at the cashiers, we would like to encourage those who can, to make use of the online options instead.

EFT account payments can be made into the following bank account:

* Name: Kouga Municipality
* Bank: First National Bank
* Account number: 52540033504
* Reference: Your municipal account number and surname

Payments can also be done online through pay@.

This service can be accessed through the following link, including the unique code given to each account – https://payat.io/qr/yourcode

Your unique code can be found on page two of the municipal account next to the pay@ option. For example: https://payat.io/qr/1137400000.

Balance and general account queries can also be made by contacting the municipal call centre at 042 200 2200 (option 3).

Cars can be serviced, bought and sold in Level 4 lockdown

May 13, 2020

Car dealerships in Kouga can get back to work and buy and sell new and used cars.

Roadworthy assessment and testing centres will also be permitted according to Regulation R524.

Vehicles can also be serviced under strict conditions.

All dealerships and used car outlets will operate with up 60 % capacity until 8 June 2020.

However, under Phase 1, only 30 % capacity is allowed, subject to a maximum of one employee or customer per every 9 square metres of floor space.

The majority of car sales have be done remotely via the internet, eCommerce or telephone.

Personal contact has be kept to a minimum and only upon appointment under very strict hygiene and social
distancing conditions in line with the Regulations.

Test drives will be conducted on appointment only and home delivery of vehicles with full sanitisation will be mandatory.

Where possible, electronic, or virtual signatures will be used for finance and insurance documentation.

All car maintenance and repairs will have to be confirmed through appointment only.

Unsolicited walk-ins will only be allowed under exceptional and emergency circumstances.

Members of the public will not be allowed, under any circumstances, to enter the workshop environment. These workspaces will exclusively be reserved for technical and support staff.

Car owners are to maintain or service their cars within their own municipal boundaries unless in case of extraordinary circumstances.

The following categories are not classified as emergency car repairs:

  • Cosmetic repairs, such as minor scratches and dents or cosmetic enhancements;
  • Voluntary or routine servicing that is not overdue in terms of manufacturer’s service intervals; and warranty campaigns of a cosmetic nature unless the warranty is due to expire within 30 days of the intended repair date.

Funeral guidelines during Covid-19 Lockdown

April 25, 2020

Funeral parlours, bereaved families and mourners are asked to keep the following guidelines in mind if they are burying a loved one this weekend in Kouga:

1. No more than 50 people may attend a funeral, according to lockdown regulations.

2. Funeral services can be held at home or at church.

3. It is recommended that attendance be limited to close family only, especially for home services.

4. All safety precautions must be followed.

5. Church funeral services must provide hand sanitiser, attendees must wear face masks, maintain social distancing and take extra care not to be put each other at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

6. The funeral procession and service should be finalised within an hour.

7. No night vigils, overnight church service, after tears or other gatherings are allowed before or after the service.

8. No mass catering is allowed nor the serving of refreshments.

9. The funeral service provider must ensure that an attendance register is kept of all those present.

Let’s work together and stop the spread.

The DA has a plan to avert Day Zero in Kouga

April 24, 2020

The dams that supply Nelson Mandela Bay and Kouga Municipalities are close to empty, with very little rain expected over the next few months.

The supply dams are at 22.16% of capacity.

The Kouga dam is at 12.29%, followed by the Impofu dam (16.45%), Loerie dam (29.44%), Groendal dam (37.20%), and Churchill dam at 68.93%.

“The last 10% of water in any dam is unusable, which means that, technically, dam levels are at 12.16%

The Metro is also using 300 megalitres of water per day while the daily consumption level should be 250 megalitres, said DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga.

Bhanga said that since August 2018, the NMB Municipality has been aware that a barge is needed to extract what is left of the potable water in the Impofu dam.

“The barge will take five weeks to become operational but nothing has been done to make this happen.

The DA-led Kouga Municipality stand in sharp contrast with the failures of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and has been doing excellent work in spending a R151-million drought disaster grant.

The municipality has already spent more than R108-million (71.79%) and still has R42.6-million available,” Bhanga added.

“The remaining funds have been committed to projects that were due for completion by mid-June 2020, but have now stalled due to Coronavirus lockdown regulations.”

Kouga successes:

  • Developing new boreholes at Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Patensie, and Hankey.
  • The Jeffreys Bay Water Treatment Works and Kruisfontein Water Treatment Works are being upgraded.
  • Ongoing interventions to improve Water Conservation and Demand Management include extensive leak repairs.
  • Through extensive communications and awareness campaigns daily water consumption has been reduced from 30 megalitres to 17 megalitres.
  • “Contractors have closed all drought project sites due to lockdown regulations. The municipality has started a process to fast track drought relief projects by recalling the contractors and facilitating the successful procurement of goods and services.”

Kouga Action Plan:

  • Urgently confirm that drought projects are essential services in order for the municipality to legally complete work in line with current legislation. The municipality will write to DWS to obtain guidance in this regard.
  • Consultants and contractors must make preparations for the re-commencement of construction work.
  • Consultants must provide the municipality with an updated project cost that reflects the anticipated impact from claims and provide possible mitigation measures.

“If we all work together we can avert this water crisis and successfully fight the Covid-19 pandemic,” Bhanga said.

All feeding projects must register via Kouga Municipality

April 23, 2020

All organisations and individuals that have started food relief programmes in Kouga have been asked to register with the local Joint Operations Committee (JOC).

“There are a number of groups that have been distributing food parcels to families in need during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“There is a desperate need for this in our communities and we applaud the fine work that is being done,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.

“However, most of the groups and individuals involved, are not registered as essential services, as required by law.

“This means that, strictly speaking, they are in contravention of the lockdown regulations when they leave their homes to distribute food parcels.”

He said in order to legalise food relief initiatives a resolution was taken that all such projects should register with the JOC for authorisation.

“The JOC is officially in charge of coordinating local Covid-19 efforts and consists of various state roleplayers, including, the municipality, police, Department of Health and Social Development,” Hendricks explained.

In terms of the resolution food relief programmes are required to register with the JOC by sending an email to ajonck@kouga.gov.za.

The email should include the following information:

• The name of the food drive or organisation in charge of it
• The names, surnames, addresses, ID numbers and vehicle registration numbers of all those required to leave their homes for the purpose of arranging or distributing food parcels
• The distribution programme – preferably for the next three weeks, but weekly programmes will also be accepted if submitted on the Thursday preceding the planned week of distribution.
• The distribution programme should include the number of beneficiaries who will be reached, the area of distribution and method of distribution (eg, door-to-door).
• Ideally, the names and addresses of beneficiaries should also be included to help avoid the same households receiving more than one food parcel while others receive none.

The deadline for groups wanting to distribute food parcels next week (27 April to 3 May) is 12 noon today (Thursday), 23 April.

The submissions will then be consolidated and tabled at the local Command Centre meeting on Friday, as resolved by the JOC.

Hendricks said in addition to ensuring all such projects were operating legally during lockdown, the registration process would allow law enforcement authorities to support groups when distributing food in potentially volatile areas.

“Many people are desperate for assistance, which increases the safety risk to groups involved in distributing food.

“We want to ensure such groups are protected, both in terms of the law and their physical well-being, as the support they are offering to those in need is of great value and importance to our region.

“We are deeply grateful for all they are doing and want to encourage them to continue their incredible efforts to help all Kouga families make it safely through the lockdown.”

To register or for further queries email ajonck@kouga.gov.za

Increase of COVID-19 cases in Humansdorp

April 20, 2020

With three more Covid-19 cases having been confirmed at Humansdorp this past week, a renewed call has gone out to residents to stay home to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

“We started the week with five cases in Humansdorp. This has now increased to eight,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.

“All indications are that the first two patients were infected at a funeral in Port Elizabeth.

“The virus then spread through local contact, with the extra cases being identified by the Department of Health through contact tracing and the mass screening programme.”

He said the patients all resided in KwaNomzamo, where more than 9 500 residents were reached last week through the Department’s mass screening and testing campaign.

“Of concern is that one of the new patients is a security guard at Shoprite in Humansdorp,” he said.

He said the municipality had met with the management of Sarah Baartman District Health and Humansdorp Shoprite over the weekend to discuss strategies and interventions to mitigate the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Sarah Baartman District Mayor Eunice Kekana and East Cape MPL Virginia Camealio-Benjamin were also present.

The Department of Health said they welcomed the swift closure of the shop and were satisfied that Shoprite had been implementing the necessary precautionary methods to minimise the potential spread of the virus.

They will be working with Shoprite to ensure all employees and contract staff are tested.

Shoprite said in a statement that the shop would be sanitised and deep cleansed before re-opening. This will be done in consultation with the Department of Health.

“An employee screening programme, supported by the company’s mobile clinic, has been put in place and those staff members who had close contact with the infected person are now self-quarantining for 14 days.”

Hendricks said the rise in cases emphasized how important it was for all residents, not just those from Humansdorp, to stay home.

He said the Joint Operations Committee (JOC) would be meeting daily to coordinate all anti-Covid-19 efforts in Humansdorp.

According to the Department of a Health, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Kouga is nine – the first in St Francis Bay, followed by eight in Humansdorp.

New trading hours for Spaza shops in Kouga

April 14, 2020

Kouga Municipality has issued special permits to all spaza shops that may continue trading during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“The operating hours for the spaza shops have also been adjusted to help prevent large numbers of shoppers at the same time,” said Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson.

He said spaza shops were now allowed to trade from 7am to 6pm, seven days a week, instead of just for a few hours in the morning and evening as was the initial lockdown arrangement.

“Initially, the trading hours of spaza shops were aligned to that of the taxis, but this caused a greater congestion of commuters and shoppers, thus making it difficult for people to maintain public distancing.”

He said only those spaza shops that were already licensed prior to lockdown had received special permits and would be allowed to trade.

” No new applications were considered.

“The municipality’s Environmental Health section visited all existing licensed spaza shops and issued them with special permits to trade during lockdown.”

He said the same applied to informal traders.

“Only those who were already licensed to sell fruit and vegetables before the lockdown have received special permits to continue trading. Unfortunately, no new permits can be issued at this time.”

He urged residents to adhere to hygiene and physical distancing guidelines should they need to go shopping for essentials.

He further reminded public transport operators that their hours of operations were still restricted as follows during the lockdown period:

* 04:00-05:00: Empty taxis permitted to make their way to collect commuters.

* 05:00-10:00: Taxis allowed to ferry commuters at 70% licensed capacity.

* 10:00-11:00: Buffer period. All remaining commuters must be dropped off and taxis parked.

* 15:00-16:00: Empty taxis permitted to make their way to collect commuters.

* 16:00-20:00: Taxis allowed to ferry commuters at 70% licensed capacity.

* 20:00-21:00: Buffer period. All remaining commuters must be dropped off and taxis parked.