Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Role players unite to fight crime in Kouga

March 10, 2021

Kouga Municipality is set to launch an integrated intelligent operation centre in Humansdorp within the next week – clamping down on escalating crime in the region and neighbouring towns.

This after the first successful community safety workshop at Mentors Country Estate, which forms an integral part of the Keep Kouga Safe Campaign launched in September last year.

Hosted by retired General Major, Roland de Vries, the workshop – which focused on preventing and combating crime through a collective approach – brought together safety and security experts from across the region, as well as residents and business owners for three days of brainstorming to lay the foundation of an effective community safety plan.

“With the use of technology, including CCTV cameras, the integrated intelligent operation centre will direct and orchestrate the community safety plan on a 24/7 basis,” said Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson.

“The centre will work in close collaboration with all relevant role players, including the South African Police Service, agricultural and civic rights organisations, municipal departments, law enforcement and emergencies agencies, NSRI, nature reserves, private security companies, businesses, schools and churches.”

In addition to the centre, five community safety units will be established:
 Sector 10: Jeffreys Bay and the surrounding informal settlements and rural homesteads
 Sector 20: Humansdorp and Cape St Francis
 Sector 30: Gamtoos Valley (Baviaans, Patensie, Hankey, Loerie, Crossways, Thornhill, and Gamtoos Mouth)
 Sector 40: Oyster Bay
 Sector 50: Tsitsikamma, Kareedouw and Stormsriver.

According to Benson, given the escalating threat of crime and terror in many regions and the rapid degeneration of political, economic, and social conditions, communities need to take control of their own safety to the best of their ability.

“Community safety in this regard aims to empower communities to pursue self- protection in hope, trust, and faith,” he said. “It also implies courage and perseverance to develop own potential to help combat all forms of crime effectively.”

According to him, crime affects all our daily lives and hampers economic growth. “It scares of investors and impacts negatively on industries such as tourism on which our region relies heavily for job creation and security,” he said. “Addressing crime effectively
is, therefore, essential to improve the socio-economic circumstances of our communities.

“Together we can make Kouga Municipality the safest municipality in South Africa to live, work and play.”

DA files complaint over ANC Coalition report

March 3, 2021

The DA has filed a complaint with the Press Ombudsman following a Sunday Times article that appeared in the newspaper yesterday (Sunday 28 February).

The opening sentence of this article – based on an hour-long interview with DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen – sought to create the impression that the DA was open to a coalition agreement with the ANC. This was never stated in the interview and is a misrepresentation of the DA’s position on the issue.

Two sentences in particular contributed to this misrepresentation – one was a distortion of what was said, and the other was simply untrue. In the interest of fair and accurate reporting, we have asked the ombudsman to compel the Sunday Times to retract the article and print a correction

The opening sentence of the article claims the following: “DA leader John Steenhuisen has opened the door to a possible coalition with the ANC should there be a stalemate in the 2024 elections – but only if President Cyril Ramaphosa is still its leader.”

That is not what Steenhuisen said to the two interviewers, a full recording of which can be heard above. When he spoke of the possibility of working together with the ANC, he didn’t mention coalitions. He spoke of reaching out to the reformers in the party who are in favour of a pro-growth agenda and seeking their support in backing a reform agenda when tabled in parliament.

He spoke of the need for pro-growth, pro-reform and pro-Constitution people to start talking to each other, and that a strong party at the centre – i.e. the DA – makes a good ally for a reform agenda within the ANC to find backing. That’s not the same as claiming that the DA is willing to enter into coalitions with the ANC, and this needs to be corrected by the Sunday Times.

The other sentence that needs to be corrected states the following: “Steenhuisen’s stance marks a significant departure for the DA, which has long been opposed to any co-operation with the ANC.”

This is simply not true. Not only has the DA under Steenhuisen’s leadership repeatedly extended a hand across the aisle to whichever reformers remain in the ANC, this has also been the consistent position of the previous DA Federal Leader, Mmusi Maimane, who often spoke of building a new majority by co-operating with those in the ANC who share the DA’s values and vision for South Africa.

In the build-up to the 2016 Local Government elections, Maimane said in an interview with the Reuters news agency: “What will be required now is a re-alignment of politics that will in fact mean that people can work together, sometimes across ideological lines to accelerate the project, that very project that you can’t have one party dominance thing, but rather it’s better for us to have a competitive democracy – where people can choose, and power can shift from one party to the next without fear and intimidation.”

The following year, in a speech at Constitutional Hill, Maimane said the following: “We need to put all our energies into saving our country. And I am prepared to work with all parties that share this goal. This includes those good people remaining in the ANC who have been moved by recent events to speak out about what is happening in their party. Today, I extend a hand of friendship to all of them. I want them to know that we are open to working with them in the future, in a new and realigned political landscape.”

This idea of realigning politics to build a new majority around shared values – including reaching out to the reformers in the ruling party – has been a consistent DA message. The claim in the Sunday Times article that the DA has long been opposed to any such co-operation is simply not true and seeks to create the impression that this has somehow changed under Steenhuisen’s leadership. It also needs to be corrected.

From the recording of the interview, it is clear that Steenhuisen’s answers were not accurately reflected in these parts of the article. His answers stated that the DA intends to be the strong party of a new, realigned majority built around shared values. It intends to be the bulwark against the creep of the radical left in the guise of the ANC’s RET faction and the EFF, who have already launched their fightback campaign. It intends to give a voice to the excluded and marginalised, and break the insider/outsider economy. And it has no intention of strengthening one faction of the ANC over the other.

It is unfortunate that a few lines in the Sunday Times article, introduced as clickbait, have been allowed to dilute this message.

1500 rental units for Jeffreys Bay

March 3, 2021

Some 300 temporary and 20 permanent job opportunities will be created through a new housing programme in Jeffreys Bay.

The social housing programme was officially launched at the corner of Koraal Street and Dolphin Street in Ocean View, Jeffreys Bay on Monday, February 22, opening rental opportunities for residents who earn between R1 500 and R15 000.

With construction of the first phase set to commence in the 2021/ 2022 financial year, the target is to deliver at least 1 500 rental units over the next five years.

The Keep Kouga Growing campaign was also launched on the day. This campaign ties in with three other campaigns already launched: Keep Kouga Safe, Keep Kouga Clean and Keep Kouga Green.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said that the municipality had secured a place in the “Municipal Social Housing Support Programme” run by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), the agency of the Department of Human Settlements 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 social housing 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 1 500 rental units over the next five years, but according to SHRA, the project can be approved, built, tenanted and managed withing 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.”

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 Institute, in October 2019 for the planning and implementation of social housing and FLISP projects.

“This is the latest in a string of recent housing successes,” said Hendricks. “Social Housing, in particular, contributes to transforming urban spatial patterns as it promotes integration and densification in close proximity to economic and social amenities.”

Motion of No Confidence against Mayor Hendricks fails

February 27, 2021

A motion of no confidence against Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, was withdrawn on Friday.

The motion, brought against Hendricks by the ANC, has backfired with claims that trust in the confidential vote system is not sufficient and they therefore withdraw the motion.

DA Constituency Chairperson, Hattingh Bornman, said, “The withdrawal of the motion shows that the ANC is disorganised and indecisive. The mayor still has the full support of the majority of council.

“The ANC’s frivolous claims in the motion are without facts and nothing more than a smoke screen to distract from the absolute chaos and rampant corruption within the local party structures.

“Our main focus is on delivering quality services to all people of Kouga, and this is just an unsuccessful attempt to distract us from doing what we are here for.”

Kouga’s IDP deadline extended

February 25, 2021

The deadline for the submission of comments on the Kouga Municipality’s draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2020/ 2021 financial year, has been extended.

Residents now have until Friday, March 12 to submit comments.

“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.

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, March 12, 2021.

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.

Kouga puts breaks on corruption

February 18, 2021

Kouga Municipality has requested for residents’ patience at the Humansdorp Traffic Department.

This after an employee at the Traffic Department was arrested for the fraudulent issuing of roadworthy certificates and drivers’ licenses.

“As a result, some employees with vital passwords and codes necessary for the effective operation of the system, did not come to work, resulting in delays in service,” said Kouga Speaker, Hattingh Bornman.

“We urgently appeal to all residents, especially those not living in the Kouga region, to only visit the Traffic Department when absolutely necessary.

Alternatively, residents can go to the Traffic Department in Kareedouw and Joubertina. “We ask all patrons outside the Kouga region not to make use of our services until we are fully operational again.”

Bornman said that as a governance they have zero tolerance for corruption in the institution and they will always strive for good governance and service excellence. “We apologise for the inconvenience and are addressing the problem.”

Hankey and Patensie: Watershedding suspended for the Festive Season

December 21, 2020

Water rationing (watershedding) will be temporarily suspended in Hankey and Patensie from today till 13 January 2021.

This follows discussions between Kouga Municipality and the Gamtoos Irrigation Board.

Kouga Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, cautioned that the drought had not yet broken and that water restrictions, including the ban on using hose-pipes, remained in place.

“It’s been a tough year for our communities and many are looking forward to spending time with their families this festive season,” he said.

“While the dam levels are low and we must continue using water very sparingly, it was decided to suspend water rationing temporarily so that Gamtoos families have water in their taps during this time.”

The Kouga Dam is at 10.05 % of capacity at present.

Devastating impact if our beaches stay closed

December 17, 2020

STATEMENT BY MAYOR HORATIO HENDRICKS

Kouga Municipality is finalising an urgent application to the Eastern Cape High Court, requesting that the decision to close all beaches in the province be overturned. 

While protecting our residents and visitors from COVID-19 remains a priority, we are of the view that a more nuanced approach, such as that adopted for the remainder of the country’s beaches, will enable a better balance between saving lives and saving livelihoods. 

In terms of the current amended regulations all beaches in the Eastern Cape and Garden Route District are closed until 3 January 2021. 

There are, however, uncertainties caused by the regulations, with some references being left wide open for adverse interpretation. These matters include the definition of “beach” and engaging in ocean and water-based sports such as surfing. 

It is the responsibility of SAPS to enforce these regulations. 

Our court application will be based on the importance of balancing saving lives and saving livelihoods. 
The COVID-19 curve in the Kouga region has not spiked significantly over the past three weeks, which is encouraging and supported by the high percentage of recoveries. 

On the other hand, the festive season is a last lifeline for many employers and employees, who have already suffered tremendous losses over the past nine months. If the beaches remain closed, the impact on businesses, job retention and creation will be devastating. 

We, therefore, believe the closure of all beaches was overly-harsh. There is a better way to save both lives and livelihoods. 

I have also written to the President to plea on behalf of Kouga’s people that the decision be overturned and a more nuanced approach be taken. 

Vote for Robin Jantjies today

November 11, 2020

Calling all residents of Ward 2, Kouga!

You have the chance to vote in the upcoming by-election in your ward.

Voting stations will be open from 7am to 9pm. Don’t forget your ID!

Getting to know Robin Jantjies:

  • Robin is the DA’s candidate and a proud Jeffreys Bay resident for the past 22 years.
  • He was a Pastor for the Assembly of God Church.
  • He was a Field Marketing Agent for Levers Brothers.
  • He is a Pastor for the local church and a PR Councillor in the Kouga Municipality.
  • He also serves as:
    – Jeffreys Bay High School SGB Chairperson
    – Chairperson of the Neighbourhood Watch,
    – Deputy Chairperson of the Jeffreys Bay Fraternity and the Deputy Chairperson of the Assemblies of God Churches.
  • Completed studies at the School of Bible Studies. He obtained a Certificate in Human Settlement Management, Business and Entrepreneurship.

MY PRIORITIES:

  • Housing: I will ensure that housing issues and queries are resolved by engaging with the relevant officials
  • Health: Our town is in desperate need of an additional clinic or even a day hospital. I will work to ensure that this happens. I will hold the Health officials accountable to deliver quality services to our community.
  • Roads: Historical issue inherited from previous government: I already submitted names of streets that needs attention.
  • Service delivery: The LINK App is a handy tool to enhance Service delivery. It educates the residents on how and where to report service delivery issues. I will play an oversight role to ensure that all service delivery issues are resolved.