Archive for the ‘kouga municipality’ Category

Kouga Municipality advises citizens to use telephone and internet

March 18, 2020

In line with national safety precautions against the spread of Covid-19, the DA led Kouga Municipality would like to discourage residents from visiting municipal buildings.

Community halls will, furthermore, be closed for public functions for at least the next four weeks while the East Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture has also ordered that all libraries be closed.

“Residents and visitors are encouraged to make use of the municipality’s telephonic and electronic systems to pay their accounts and for account and service-related queries,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.

He said while the municipality’s daily operations would continue, strict access control would be applied at municipal buildings.

“This is necessary for the safety of both our staff and the public. We regret the inconvenience, but it is an essential safety precaution in these extraordinary times,” he said.

Details on how to make electronic payments are printed on municipal accounts.

Account queries with regards to services can be emailed to lmqina@kouga.gov.za or yjayiya@kouga.gov.za.

Property rates and tax-related queries can be emailed to rbrown@kouga.gov.za

Alternatively, phone the municipality’s account section on 042 200 2200.

Account balance queries, service requests and complaints can be directed to the Kouga Call Centre on 042 200 2200 (option 4) or reported through the Link service delivery app.

The Link Powered by Vodacom app can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the App Store.

Kouga prepares for possible Corona Virus outbreak

March 17, 2020

The DA led Kouga Municipality will be working hand in hand with roleplayers to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the region.

“There have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Kouga region to date (16 March) and we would like to appeal to residents not to panic or spread unconfirmed information,” said Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“The municipality and other roleplayers, including, the Department of Health, are on high alert and monitoring the situation carefully.

“We shall be communicating with the public on a regular basis to ensure everyone is kept up to date on the latest developments.”

He said the focus was currently on preventative action.

“All events expected to draw crowds of 100 people or more must be cancelled in line with the directive given by President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday.

“This directive applies to both public and private events, including the Mayor’s Cup sport tournament that was set to kick off later this month.

“Kouga’s community halls will also be closed for functions for the next four weeks as a result of this directive.”

He said a multi-sectoral task team would be established to ensure effective monitoring of the Covid-19 situation locally. Should anyone in the region test positive for the coronavirus, a Joint Operation Committee will be established to deal with the full impact of the outbreak.

“In the meantime, we urge all residents and visitors to take the necessary precautions.

“While the disease is very infectious, the mortality rate has thus far been low and each one of us can help to prevent its spread,” he said.

Preventative tips, as endorsed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and Department of Health, include:

* Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitiser can be used if soap and water are not available.

* Practise safe cough etiquette. Cough or sneeze into your flexed elbow or into a tissue. Immediately dispose of the tissue in a safe place such as a bin.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as well as shaking hands.

* Clean and disinfect frequently-touched spaces

* Be vigilant and look out for symptoms of fever (more than 38 °C), coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue.

* Keep a safe distance of at least 1m from people with these symptoms who have not yet been tested and cleared.

Hendricks said that those showing signs of being infected, especially those who had recently travelled abroad, were advised to contact the NICD Covid-19 hotline at 080 002 9999.

“If you are not showing signs but have recently returned from abroad or had contact with someone infected, it is safest to quarantine yourself at home for at least two weeks.

“Should you start showing any symptoms while in self-quarantine, please contact the NICD hotline immediately.”

Other contact numbers for further information and assistance are:

* The NICD 24-hour Hotline on 082 883 9920

* The East Cape Department of Health 24-hour Call Centre on 080 003 2346

A whatsapp group has also been established to help South Africans stay informed. To join the group send the message “Hi” to 0600 123 456.

A website has further been set up with the latest information. This can be visited at http://www.sacoronavirus.co.za

Billion rand budget approved by Kouga Council

March 7, 2020

Jeffreys Bay – The Kouga Council approved an adjustment budget of over a billion rand at a meeting held on 28 February 2020.

This is the first time in the history of the Municipality that a budget of a billion rand has been approved by the DA led Council.

Operational expenditure amounts to R 925 million while the approved capital budget is R 194 million. This equates to a total expenditure budget of R 1,1 billion.

Internally generated funds make up R 56,7 million of the capital budget, while R 137, 9 million is from national government grants and includes nearly R 100 million of drought funding that was received from National Treasury in the previous financial year.

The water projects are expected to be complete by the end of June and will ensure that the coastal towns in Kouga have water security in times of drought.

This includes the towns of Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay, while Humansdorp is also included.

The drought funding is being spent on searching for groundwater, connecting new boreholes to the water grid, upgrading water infrastructure and identifying the cause for water losses throughout Kouga.

“The main revenue sources are the sale of electricity (R 274 million), property rates (R 188,8  million), water sales (R 75,7 million) waste water management ( R 50 million) and refuse collection (R 37 million) while operational grants amount to R 133 million,” said Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“Debt has been significantly reduced in the Municipality and for the first time ever, the Auditor General did not make a finding regarding 30 day and over creditors and this has now enabled us to redirect funds towards service delivery.

While there are still problems with the Traffic Department in Humansdorp, it is pleasing to note that we are budgeting for an additional R three million for licenses,as revenue from the Traffic Department is over budget for the first six months of the financial year,” added Hendricks.

More funding has been made available for the resealing and repair of roads throughout Kouga with R 25 million available in the budget for this purpose.

“We inherited a backlog in Kouga’s road infrastructure of between R 500 – 600 million after many years of neglect under the previous ANC government in the Municipality.

We are very happy that we have managed the finances of Kouga in a responsible and prudent manner and can now begin to spend money where it should be spent and that is to invest in the infrastructure like roads.”

The DA difference in Kouga

January 29, 2020

The DA-led Kouga Municipality continues to lead the way in innovation and service delivery!

We have once again made sure that public money is spent on delivering services to the people and is not lost on irregular, unauthorised, wasteful and fruitless expenditure.

We took over a fleet of vehicles that was completely dysfunctional in 2016 and have managed to turn that around in just three years.

 

 

Kouga Mayor thanks all festive season roleplayers

January 25, 2020

A lot of hard work happened behind the scenes to ensure a safe and relaxing festive season for all.

“While most people were enjoying their holiday, Kouga Municipality’s Joint Coordinating Committee was working extra very hard to make Jeffreys Bay and surroundings a safe area for all,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“A big thank you to our Municipal Manager, Charl du Plessis, and this amazing group of stakeholders who looked after the safety of our citizens and tourists over the summer holiday.

“They met at 08:00 every morning, even on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Their efforts were seen and we are very grateful to each and every one of them for helping to ensure a pleasant holiday experience to all.”

The Mayor also thanked all residents and visitors for supporting local businesses and restaurants.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back again soon to Kouga, the Events Capital of South Africa.”

Funding opportunities for SMME’s in Kouga

January 23, 2020

Kouga co-ops and SMMEs have been invited to submit funding proposals for consideration by the Sarah Baartman District Municipality (SBDM).

According to an email from SBDM to Kouga Municipality’s Local Economic Development (LED) and Tourism unit, funding of between R70 000 and R200 000 could be availed to successful applicants.

“There is a template that must be completed and returned, together with a motivation no longer than one page,” said Kouga LED and Tourism Portfolio Councillor Frances Baxter.

“Applicants may also submit additional documentation to support their application, as well as business plans if any has been developed for the project or programme.”

She said the template was available from Xolile Wagosa at the municipality’s LED and Tourism unit. He can be contacted on 067 107 9154 or xwagosa@kouga.gov.za.

The office is situated at Kouga Municipality’s offices at 16 Woltemade Street, Jeffreys Bay.

The deadline for submissions is 3pm on Friday, 24 January.

“We apologise for the short notice. This is, however, unavoidable as Kouga received short notice from the district municipality.

We would, however, like to encourage all co-ops and SMMEs to make use of this opportunity,” she said.

Successful holiday season in Kouga

January 13, 2020

Compliments have been pouring in for the DA led Kouga Municipality in the wake of a successful festive season.

Many property agencies reported a record year for rentals, with the demand for holiday accommodation stretching over a longer period than usual.

While the overall visitor tally is still to be finalised, Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the municipality was pleased with the number of tourists who spent their holiday in the region, bringing much-needed support to local businesses.

Photo: Joey Nel

“We have some of the best beaches in South Africa and they were packed with holiday-makers day after day,” he said. “It was also great to see residents and visitors keeping themselves fit and healthy, be it by jogging, cycling, swimming or surfing.

“Our region was further spared from devastating fires and floods while there were minimal interruptions in the electricity supply, save load shedding, and water provision despite the drought.

“Our cleansing teams were often up at the crack of dawn and operated in the dead of night to make sure that when residents awoke, they arrived at pristine clean areas.”

Plenty of fun activities took place across the region, including the first-ever laser shows to mark the Opening of the Season and New Year.

Sport events such as the USN Touch Rugby, St Francis Sport Summer Series, the Marina Mile, Caltex Holiday Run and Pam Golding Quadrathlon also drew scores of participants.

Other event highlights included the Flash Float, which attracted more than 3 500 “floaters”, a Glow-in-the-Dark Colour Run, a variety of music shows and markets, as well as food and wine festivals.

Safety and security

Teamwork helped to keep locals and visitors safe in Kouga this past festive season.

Hendricks said compliments had been pouring in for Kouga’s lifeguards, who kept a close eye on bathers while the NSRI’s pink buoys helped to save the lives of two teenage boys at Jeffreys Bay who got caught in a rip current.

A Joint Operations Centre (JOC) had been established to coordinate the efforts of all roleplayers. “The JOC met every morning, including Saturdays and Sundays, for roleplayers to report back on what has been happening in their sectors, identify problem areas and roll out solutions,” said Hendricks.

Additional safety measures included regular beach patrols by foot or quad bike, while all-terrain and 4×4 vehicles were used where permission could be obtained from the Department of Environmental Affairs.

Look-out points were also erected at high-risk areas to improve visible policing.

DA-led Kouga municipality leads the way in innovation and service delivery

December 18, 2019

The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape has congratulated the Kouga Municipality on officially launching Africa’s first eco-friendly road.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks cut the ribbon at Woltemade Street in Jeffreys Bay to declare the new plastic-infused road open to traffic together with Nqaba Bhanga, John Steenhuizen and Vicky Knoetze .

A 300m strip of Woltemade Street has been re-layered with plastic-infused tar, with a further section of Koraal Street to follow. Plastic-infused roads are more durable and friendlier to the environment.

About 1,5 tonnes of plastic, the equivalent of 1,8 million single-use bags, are used in just 1km of road.

DA-governed Kouga, under the leadership of Mayor Hendricks, is turning the municipality around after years of ANC neglect.

Some of the other successes achieved to date include:

Finances:

Under the DA’s leadership the municipality is now financially stronger than it has ever been. Creditors have been reduced, long-term liabilities have decreased and inherited debt owed to the Department of Labour and Department of Transport has also been repaid.

The municipality has received two consecutive unqualified audit opinions from the Auditor-General.

It has also passed a R890 million cash-backed service delivery focussed budget for the 2019/20 financial year.

Water Security:

Faced with the realities of water scarcity, the DA-led municipality has been proactive and a borehole project to augment water supply has been implemented.

The municipality secured R151,2 million in drought funding for ground water development and Water Conservation and Demand Management (WCDM) projects.

This included R27 million for the war on leaks programme. A total of 1 747 properties in historically disadvantaged communities were retrofitted as part of the programme.

The municipality has also invested millions to upgrade its water and wastewater treatment works, benefitting thousands of households.

Housing:

Under the previous ANC regime, the building of new government-subsidised housing came to a standstill. This changed under the leadership of the DA when work started on the top structures of 391 houses at Kruisfontein. Another two housing projects are currently underway and seven more are in the advanced planning stage.

The Council also recently awarded Kouga’s first-ever Finance Link Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) and Social Housing project. Erf 335 at Jeffreys Bay has been earmarked for the development.

Fleet Management:

Another challenge inherited by the DA-led municipality in 2016 was the shocking state of Kouga’s fleet.

Only 4% of the fleet was fully operational. A fleet replacement plan has subsequently been implemented and at least 90% of the fleet is in operation daily.

“In the Kouga Municipality we have shown that a DA-government can grow the economy, create jobs and ensure clean governance, financial stability and service delivery,” said Nqaba Bhanga, the leader of the DA in the Eastern Cape.

TLBs move service delivery up a gear

November 17, 2019

Service delivery is set to move up a gear following the addition of seven new TLBs to Kouga Municipality’s fleet.

The TLBs, short for “tractor-loader-backhoes”, were purchased at a cost of R8,2-million from the municipality’s capital budget.

“We are very proud of this latest addition to the municipal fleet,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“TLBs are critical in the rendering of everyday services. For many years the municipality had to rely on expensive rentals to get the job done. 

“The new machines will strengthen our service departments and enable them to work more efficiently and cost effectively.”

The TLBs were delivered to Jeffreys Bay earlier this month by Ntsikelelo April whose company, Lutha General Trading, was awarded the tender. Also present was Gert Nelson, branch manager of the Bell store which supplied the machines.

Hendricks said the TLBs brought the number of new vehicles that had been added to Kouga’s fleet over the past three years to 27.

“The municipal fleet was in a terrible condition when we took control of the municipality in 2016. This had a serious impact on service delivery and the morale of staff who had to struggle to get things done without the right equipment,” he said.

“We have since then been implementing a fleet replacement plan. In addition to the new vehicles, we strengthened the capacity of the municipal workshop.

“The workshop team has been doing an incredible job and has refurbished 77 vehicles over the past three years, adding further muscle to the municipality’s service fleet.”

He said the new acquisitions were also testimony of the extent to which the municipality’s financial situation has improved.

“For the first time in many years the municipality has been able to use internal funding for capital purchases such as the TLBs.

“Kouga continues moving from strength to strength and we are grateful to everyone who has supported our drive to establish a culture of service excellence across the region.”

Road show to empower local SMMEs & Business

November 14, 2019

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has embarked on an awareness drive to educate SMMEs and business about different pieces of legislation.

They will be visiting Kouga next week on Tuesday, 19 November.

The session will take place at the Newton Hall in Jeffreys Bay from 10am to 3pm.

SMMEs and business are encouraged to attend.