Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Council to meet monthly with Eskom about Thyspunt

November 28, 2016

Following a successful joint meeting, the new Kouga Council and Eskom have agreed to meet monthly to share information and key milestones on the proposed nuclear development at Thyspunt.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the municipality met with senior management from Eskom last week to improve communication between the power utility and Council around Thyspunt. The Eskom delegation was led by Nuclear Programme Director Loyiso Tyabashe.

Thyspunt is the preferred site for a proposed Nuclear Power Station

Thyspunt is the preferred site for a proposed Nuclear Power Station

“The proposed nuclear plant at Thyspunt is probably the biggest development Kouga will ever see, should it receive the go-ahead,” she said.

“Kouga and its people cannot be caught unprepared should this happen. The impact it will have on our communities is massive and cannot be taken lightly. Everyone needs to be fully informed as to where we are and where we are going.”

Eskom’s Nuclear Programme Director Loyiso Tyabashe said: “We are encouraged by the success of this engagement with the Kouga Municipality. Such partnership will enable us to take key stakeholders with us through the journey and help us understand the needs and capacity of the municipality as we await a decision on the project.”

The Mayor emphasized that “the new Council is not against nuclear power per se, but there is no way that we are going to allow Kouga’s people to be disadvantaged by whatever development takes place in our region.”

“Our infrastructure, be it water and sewer or healthcare services, is nowhere near ready for the impact a development of this nature will have on our area,” she cautioned.

Tyabashe said it was important to note that Eskom will work with Kouga Municipality and other key stakeholders to address infrastructural needs so as to get the municipality ready to host the project.

“We want to ensure that we have a commitment from all roleplayers, including other government sectors, to address these shortcomings should the development get the go-ahead. Eskom will support whatever is deemed necessary and appropriate to ensure that the project succeeds,” added Tyabashe.

The Mayor said she was pleased with the outcomes of the new Council’s engagements with Eskom.

“Eskom committed to being transparent and acknowledged that Kouga has an important role to play in all processes regarding Thyspunt.”

She said the Council wanted to encourage all residents and affected parties to take an active interest in the proposed nuclear development and to participate in meetings, hearings and structures intended to facilitate public participation.

Tyabashe concurred, indicating that it was just as important for Eskom that all interested and affected parties had their say in the process leading to the approval and delivery of the project.

“We have followed the process set out by the National Nuclear Regulator and international best practice to ensure that we do not leave key stakeholders outside in the process of getting approvals for the project.”

The new Council and Eskom committed to ensure that Kouga Municipality and its people do not miss on opportunities that would be presented by this nuclear project should it proceed. The next meeting is planned for December and decisions will be communicated to the people of Kouga.

Power cuts to Tokyo Sexwale tomorrow

June 22, 2016

The power to Tokyo Sexwale and the adjacent sections of Pellsrus will be switched off this Thursday, 23 June, from 8am to 4pm.

The shutdown is necessary to connect a new electrical line to the network.

“We don’t anticipate the power being off for the whole period but it is difficult to predict exactly how long the work will take,” said the Kouga Municipality in a statement.

mmusi vote for change

Water For Votes Scandal: DA requests urgent investigation

June 13, 2016

The DA will request an investigation into allegations that the ANC administration in Pietermaritzburg deliberately cut off the water supply so they could roll out water tankers to make it appear as though they are a responsive government which delivers services.

mmusi believe in tomorrow

This abusive conduct manipulates the most vulnerable people in South Africa.

Again, the ANC has been revealed as an organization that governs like black lives do not matter.

This is also flagrant abuse of the constitutionally guaranteed right to access to water and we contend that this amounts to a gross abuse of state resources.

This is just the latest example of how the ANC has changed. The ANC is more interested in capturing state resources than looking after vulnerable communities.

It is clear that the ANC would rather further inconvenience the poor, who are riddled with joblessness, rising food prices and the worst recorded drought in over a century, by depriving them of water before swooping in to “save the day”.

On August 3, South Africans have a chance to vote for change by voting for a party that will ensure proper service delivery and ensure the protection of the poor and vulnerable.

This is the change that will move South Africa forward again.

Lets turn Kouga blue

June 1, 2016

Today marks the 9 week countdown until the most important election in South African history and each and every one of you will be playing a vital role in the success of this election.

mmusi freedom

One of the most powerful ways for us to show our force to this nation is by standing together and painting it as BLUE as possible.

Today will be our second BLUE Wednesday leading up to Election Day on Wednesday, 3 August 2016.

We would like to strongly encourage you to make every corner of Kouga as BLUE as possible every Wednesday leading up to this year’s Local Government Election.

Motivating voters and spreading the DA’s message in volume and over time. Spread the word, excite your family, friends and ANY- and EVERYBODY you know!

We would like to encourage every single DA public representative, staff member, activist and supporter to wear blue on Wednesdays and literally “paint the Kouga blue”.

Know Your DA – we helped expose the truth about Steve Biko

February 26, 2016

Helen Zille helped to show the world the truth about Apartheid.

helen zille

In 1977, working as a reporter at the Rand Daily Mail, Helen exposed the truth behind Steve Biko’s death.

As a result of this, she was prosecuted and found guilty by the Apartheid Press Council.

A prominent member of the Black Sash, Helen Zille had to go into hiding as a result of concealing ANC activists at her home during the 1986 state of emergency.

President lives on ‘Planet Zuma’ – Maimane

February 16, 2016

President Jacob Zuma lives on his own planet in a galaxy, “far, far, away” from the people, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday.

He said that last week while razor wire was being put around Parliament ahead of President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), and stun grenades were being used to disperse protesters, the president was “tucked safely away, somewhere on Planet Zuma”.

8.3 million sa dont have jobs

“Planet Zuma is a place in a parallel universe, far, far away from the lives of ordinary South Africans,” said Maimane.

On a roll, with people clapping hands, and whistles of approval from the opposition benches, Maimane said this was a planet where a president could replace an excellent finance minister with a backbencher nobody knew and where an international fugitive wanted for genocide was given refuge.

Protesting students were called a “third force” and charged with treason, and mineworkers were “massacred by police” without an apology or compensation for their familiess.

Maimane was speaking during the debate over Zuma’s address and was given the second longest time slot after the majority African National Congress.

During last Thursday’s speech, Maimane said the country learnt that on “Planet Zuma” all children had access to a quality education and that there was no jobs crisis – because Zuma never touched on this during his address.

Even his own Cabinet members winced as he laboured through his speech, said Maimane.”Madam Speaker, the president lived up to our expectations on Thursday.

>We expected to hear the empty words of a man out of touch with the people. And that is exactly what we got.”Maimane said they knew what to expect, but stayed till the end out of respect for the Constitution.

“But we did not come out of respect for Jacob Zuma,” he said to applause, while some ANC MPs started muttering and waving their hands dismissively.But not all poo-pooed him – many watched him carefully.

mmusi bokamosa

In a seat near Maimane, Zuma chewed on something, and slumped to the side in his seat.”Madam Speaker, Jacob Zuma is not an honourable man. Because, if he was an honourable man, he would do the honourable thing and resign.”

Speaker Baleka Mbete asked him not to use disrespectful language, but Maimane said it was difficult to do so following the advice his own counsel had given him in the past.

He said: “Planet Zuma’s gravitational pull is so strong that the entire ANC has been sucked into its orbit.”

“The party that was once the defender of freedom, has now become the defender of just one man.”

“Every member on this side knows the damage that this man is doing to this country and their party. But not one of you, not one of you, has the guts to speak up about what has happened.

“You should be ashamed,” he said. Maimane then touched on the recent Constitutional Court case where Zuma’s lawyer said he would finally follow Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations that he pay back money owed for upgrades to his home at Nkandla.

“After all those years of stalling, lying, ducking and diving, it took the Court just hours to unravel your web of defiance and deceit,” he said.Mbete chided Maimane for touching on a court case that had not been pronounced on yet, but Maimane said whatever Zuma paid, would be nothing compared to what South Africans had already paid.

He said Zuma governed as though black lives did not matter and wanted to know how he lived with his conscience.Maimane said that in the DA-run City of Cape Town, the government focused on getting the fundamentals right and lives were being improved.

He listed the achievements of the DA-led government in the Western Cape and laid out some of the DA’s plans.To a standing ovation, he said: “We need a President who puts the people first, and himself last. You, sir, are not that President.”

 

DA to lay charges against Beaufort West mayor

January 27, 2016

The DA will lay criminal charges against Beaufort West mayor Truman Prince accusing him of “blatant” corruption.

we can change the world da poster

The opposition party was in possession of a letter in which it claims Prince requested that an ANC-aligned company be given preference for a tender in exchange for a donation to the ruling party’s election campaign.

DA national spokesperson Phumzile Van Damme said the party would lay the charges on Thursday.

“This investigation will hopefully also ascertain whether the Beaufort West municipality has been subject to other instances of corruption like this during the tenure of mayor Truman Prince.

“If the ANC is truly committed to rooting out corruption as it claims it is, it will remove Truman Prince as mayor of Beaufort West pending the outcome of a full investigation,”  she said.

In the letter Prince wrote: “We are an ANC-led municipality, we are therefore in need of financial injection for our 2016 Local Government Election campaign and therefore will also want to see construction companies sympathetic and having a relationship with the ANC to benefit, in order for these companies to inject funds in our election campaign process.”

It concerned the building of a skills development and trade test centre in Beaufort West.

Kouga – the Holiday Mecca of the Eastern Cape

December 23, 2015

We are so grateful for this incredible bumper holiday season with tourists returning to our coast.

We all hold our breath that in spite of ANC promises, the infrastructure and services will be able to cope with what can be an amazing restoration of the electricity disaster of December 2014.

Sewage spill on Main Beach

Sewage spill on Main Beach

Tourism together with agriculture remains the most important economic driver in Kouga, creating thousands of jobs annually.

The seven coastal villages are full of holidaymakers, especially Jeffreys Bay, Pellsrus, St Francis Bay, Aston Bay, Oyster Bay and Paradise Beach. Humansdorp is also packed out with family and friends for a happy holiday season.

It is essential to understand the dynamics in Kouga Municipality in terms of governance and service delivery.

At the last two council meetings the DA specifically asked for full reports on the preparedness for the upcoming holiday season of this ANC governed municipality. Council was informed that all services were ready for a bumper season.

As the Democratic Alliance we wish to acknowledge all the problems and frustrations, but that we must split two issues here – political and administration / services.

A Jeffreys Bay road

A Jeffreys Bay road

Considering the realms of operation, the municipal staff are limited to a budget as approved by Council and this budget must be in line with the integrated development plan (IDP). These two very important municipal processes / documents are, due to political interference, not aligned.

So our question is whether the money is spent on infrastructure maintenance and core service delivery and we know it is not. The ANC has 15 councillors and the DA 14 councillors which means an ANC majority of 1. Even if there is one ANC member absent, the Speaker still has a casting vote, giving the ANC a majority again.

It is of great concern that the infrastructure in Kouga has reached a state of “threatening collapse”. Some of it must be ascribed to the lack of maintenance and administrative management with again serious political interference and it is always the maintenance budget that is cut, when cash flows are impacted.

Furthermore, Kouga does not generate enough income to invest sufficiently in new or replacing old infrastructure. And if there is capital, one must ask how efficiently this is applied. When capital assets are disposed of those funds should be invested in other capital projects.

Rivers of sewage flow in Humansdorp

Rivers of sewage flow in Humansdorp

Considering the current holiday influx against the services capacity, there are serious shortfalls and we salute the staff who are trying to cope as best they can. We need to question the municipal manager on the poor maintenance of the service vehicles, how many are broken down and out of circulation.

One only has to look at the poor service delivery in villages such as Ocean View, Pellsrus, Sea Vista, Thornhill, Loerie, Stofwolk in Hankey and Cyril Ramaposa village in Patensie. How often must we as DA fight to have the buckets cleaned on a weekly basis from makeshift toilets in the informal settlements.

The roads in our townships are horrid, with potholes galore in our tar roads all over the rest of Kouga.

It is a shame to see raw sewerage flowing in the streets on a regular basis and huge piles of refuse not removed for over a month.

There seems to be an outcry against the suspension of municipal staff. It needs to be stressed that some suspensions may perhaps be justified and others are because of shear political interference.

The DA has always been adamant that legal due process must be followed in every single issue tabled in council on confidential documents, normally staff matters. Every suspended staff member must be charged within three months and the case resolved according to proper procedures within a reasonable period.

Win Kouga

The issue of the director of infrastructure is bandied about in the media. He was suspended 16 months ago and went through all the processes and it was found that there was no irregular actions can be held against him.

It appears as if there is now further political interference since he has been offered a termination package. Since nothing can be held against this director he rejected the offer and insisted his contract being honoured to continue working.

So the question is now, will the political interference continue? We can recall previous and current looming cases. The political interference has no regard for due process and court findings.

In every one of these cases the DA has divided on the issue to force the ANC councillors to abide by the law. The time has come for them to he held jointly and severally liable for even the high legal expenses in Kouga.

Now is the time to share and understand that we must maintain a balance in our criticism in the media against our paradise we need to maintain. We need to create a Kouga where investors will grow business to create the much needed jobs in a society where the unemployment rate of well over 26%.

The problem is that only the “pain” or symptoms are always addressed and not the core problem of proper financial and administrative management.

We understand the frustrations of so many people at present as we are in the same position. We can only address this at the upcoming local elections in 2016. Everyone who is now so angry about the service delivery must please remember the feeling and make sure they vote for a better future and good governance for all the people in Kouga.

In the meantime we will support and encourage the municipal staff to deliver services as best they can.

So for now, we wish everyone a merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year and a happy holiday season.

Elza Van Lingen

DA Leader in the Kouga

Power failure in Kouga

December 20, 2015

The power to the entire Kouga region is off due to a problem on the Eskom lines.

There is also no power in parts of Tsisikamma.

Affected towns include Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Humansdorp, who have all been impacted by the power failure.

“Eskom says that they are searching for the fault and cannot yet say when the power will be restored,” said Laura Leigh Randall from the Kouga Municipality.

Last December Jeffreys Bay experienced a three day power failure that saw businesses in the area lose millions of rand in peak holiday season.

Public meetings for Thyspunt being held this week

October 19, 2015

All residents are  invited to attend the public meetings that will be held around Kouga this week regarding the proposed construction of a nuclear power station at Thyspunt.

Thyspunt is the preferred site for a proposed Nuclear Power Station

Thyspunt is the preferred site for a proposed Nuclear Power Station

The dates of the meetings are:

19 October 2015. 18:00 – 20:00 Oyster Bay. Oyster Bay Hall.
20 October 2015. 18:00 – 20:00 St Francis Bay. St Francis Links
21 October 2015. 18:00 – 20:00 Sea Vista. Sea Vista Hall
22 October 2015. 18:00 – 20:00 JBay. Newton Hall
23 October 2015. 18:00 – 20:00 Humansdorp. Old Golf Club

The biggest concerns about Thyspunt are the lack of readiness of the Kouga Municipality from an infrastructural perspective, and the lack of planning for a major influx of people into the area.

The town planning Impact Study does not seem to assess the potential impacts at all, which is alarming, as there is a huge infrastructure backlog in Kouga already.

Tourism will be impacted negatively should Thyspunt go ahead, according to the Impact Studies and with tourism being a main economic driver and job creator in the region, it will be in the interests of the tourism industry to attend the meetings.

Any queries can be sent to nuclear1@gibb.co.za