High Court overturns corrupt land sale in Humansdorp

November 20, 2017

The Kouga Council succeeded in its bid to have the controversial sale of a prime piece of land in Humansdorp by the previous municipal administration set aside.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen says the judgement of the Port Elizabeth High Court last week was a victory for Kouga residents and ratepayers who would, otherwise, in effect have been short-changed by almost R49 million.

The land in question is a portion of Erf 499 at Humansdorp, situated at the entrance to the town from the N2.

The portion, totalling 183ha in size, was sold by the previous municipal administration to a private developer for R 1,2 million despite the potential value of the land being close to R 50 million.

Van Lingen says the sale of Erf 499 to the Zeekoei Consortium in 2015 was riddled with irregularities, which prompted the newly-elected Council to pursue the matter legally following their inauguration in August last year.

“The sale failed to comply with a whole host of legal requirements, including section 14 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, section 217 of the Constitution and the municipality’s own Administration of Immovable Property Policy.

“Although the review period had already lapsed, we could not sit back and do nothing when Kouga’s people had clearly been cheated out of millions of Rands that could have been put towards service delivery,” she says.

Van Lingen says irregularities included the blatant dismissal by former ANC councillors of a Council resolution, taken in 2014, that the land should be rezoned from agricultural to industrial prior to it being alienated so that it could be sold for the maximum value.

“At the time the alienation of municipal land was being driven by a ‘land alienation committee’, consisting of councillors.

ANC councillors serving on the committee took it upon themselves to change the Council resolution without due process being followed, so as to enable the sale to the Zeekoei Consortium to go through for a fraction of what the land could have been sold for,” she says.

“Even more disturbing, is that the Zeekoei Consortium was not a legally constituted company at the time of the sale; in other words, the land was sold to a company that did not yet exist.”

According to Van Lingen the Zeekoei Consortium had initially indicated that they would oppose the municipality’s bid to have the sale set aside, however, they withdrew when the case went to court.

She says the municipality would be seeking legal counsel as to whether criminal charges could be laid against those councillors and officials who had been involved in the irregular sale.


Public Participation Process for By-Law: Special Rating Area

November 17, 2017

At a Special Council meeting held on 13 November 2017, the proposed new draft Property By-law and proposed new Property Rates Policy were considered by Council.

The purpose of the proposed new Property Rates Policy is primarily to facilitate and to provide mechanisms for the introduction of Special Rating Areas and the proposed By-Law to give effect thereto.

It was resolved that public would be invited to comment / object to the Proposed By-law and Policy and that for this purpose the Municipality will engage in a Public Participation Process.

A Public Participation Meeting will be held on 28 November at 19h00 at the Newton Hall.

The proposed By-law and Property Rates Policy can be accessed on the municipal website on www.kouga.gov.za. Hard copies can also be obtained at the following Libraries:

Jeffreys Bay – Dias Street

Humansdorp, 22 Du Plessis Street

St Francis Bay – 21 Assissi Drive

Comments on the proposed Special Ratings By-law and Property Rates Policy must be submitted by 18 December 2017 to the Municipal Manager the Kouga Municipal Offices, 33 Da Gama Street, Jeffreys Bay or via email to jreed@kouga.gov.za

More information on the proposed By-Law and Policy can be obtained from the CFO, Selwyn Thys on 042 – 2002105.


Muncipal Manager

Dire water warning as festive season looms

November 9, 2017

Kouga’s water situation remains critical and residents will have to do more to save water as the drought persists and dam levels continue dropping.

This was re-emphasised by Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen.

“Our water situation has reached crisis proportions and we are at a point where we need to look after every drop.

“The holiday season is fast approaching and water consumption is expected to increase significantly as holiday-makers stream into our area. We need to share our water saving message with our visitors,” said Van Lingen.

Very little rain has fallen recently, resulting in most water sources like dams depleting fast. The levels of the main storage dams are alarmingly low, with the Kouga Dam at 13.19%, Churchill at 13.58% and Mpofu at 51%.

Water restrictions remain in place and the municipality may be forced to introduce tougher measures to curb high consumption levels and wastage.

Higher emergency tariffs were introduced in August to dissuade high water usage. Previously residents would pay R10,11 per kilolitre for usage under 12 kilolitres.

Since the introduction of the emergency tariffs, a resident would now have to pay R13.26 per kilolitre for the same usage.

Residents are encouraged to use 60 litres or less of water per person per day to help ensure longer supply, especially during the upcoming summer season.

Van Lingen said communities need to work together and remind each other of the restrictions which are:

  • No use of hosepipes, sprinklers and drip systems
  • No watering of gardens, lawns and grassed areas.
  • No washing of paved areas, walls, roofs, buildings and similar structures, vehicles or other equipment
  • No filling of swimming pools, paddling pools, fountains and ponds
  • No connection of a hosepipe or any form of irrigation system to a tap supplying water from the municipal water supply system, except for fire-fighting purposes.

Water leaks can be reported on 042 200 2200 during office hours, on 042 291 0250 or 042 200 8330 after hours or by using the Link app.

The free Link app can be downloaded at https://download.linkapp.co.za/#dl, from the Google Play or App Store.

Public meetings to review Integrated Development Plan

November 7, 2017

The review process of Kouga Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2018/2019 financial year started last night in Oyster Bay.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the meetings would be held in all wards.

She said this was an important annual exercise as prescribed by Section 28 of the Municipal Systems Act.

“The IDP is the principal strategic planning document of the municipality and forms the basis of the municipal budget.

“It is, therefore, crucial for our communities to take part actively in ensuring that their needs are prioritised and addressed in an integrated manner,” Van Lingen said.

The meetings started at Ward 1 at the Oyster Bay Community Hall last night, and the Sea Vista Community Hall in the venue of this evening’s meeting at 6 pm.

On Wednesday, 8 November, it will be the turn of Ward 2 residents, whose meeting will be held at the Pellsrus Community Hall, also starting at 6pm.

The remainder of the programme is as follows:

  • 13 November: Ward 3 at the Newton Hall (6pm)
  • 14 November: Ward 4 at the Baptist Church Hall, Kruisfontein (6pm)
  • 15 November: Ward 5 at the Kruisfontein Civic Centre (6pm)
  • 16 November: Ward 6 at the KwaNomzamo Community Hall (6pm)
  • 20 November: Ward 7 at the Loerie Community Hall (6pm)
  • 21 November: Ward 7 at the Katrien Felix Community Hall (6pm)
  • 22 November: Ward 8 at the Newton Hall (6pm)
  • 23 November: Ward 9 at the Vusumzi Landu Hall (6pm)
  • 27 November: Ward 10 at the Dan Sandi Community Hall (6pm)
  • 28 November: Ward 10 at the Andrieskraal Hall (6pm)
  • 29 November: Ward 11 at the Newton Hall (6pm)
  • 30 November: Ward 12 at the St Francis Bay Village Hall (6pm)
  • 30 November: Ward 12 at the Paradise Beach NG Church Hall (3pm)
  • 4 December: Ward 12 at the Humansdorp Country Club (6pm)
  • 5 December: Ward 13 at the Weston Community Hall (6pm)
  • 6 December: Ward 14 at the Pellsrus Community Hall (6pm)
  • 7 December: Ward 15 at the Humansdorp Country Club (6pm)
  • 11 December: Ward 15 at Ons Tuiste, Humansdorp (3pm)

For enquiries, please contact the municipality’s IDP Manager Colleen Dreyer on 042 200 200 2143 or send an email to cdreyer@kouga.gov.za

We are ready to interdict the Nuclear Deal

November 6, 2017

The DA will not hesitate to interdict any attempt by Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo, to force through a nuclear deal despite the fact that South Africa does not need or cannot afford the estimated R1 trillion deal.

Media reports over the weekend indicate that the Energy Department has been forced to work overtime to ensure the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is ready by 14 November, a full four months ahead of when it was due.

With each passing day, it becomes clear that Minister Mahlobo was appointed to make sure that the necessary nuclear deal would be pushed through.

“We will not allow Mahlobo to appease his friends, the Russians, at the expense of millions of South Africans who are struggling to survive with no jobs in a flat economy, said Gordon Mackay, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Energy.

“The DA will use every legal and Parliamentary tool at our disposal to ensure that the generations to come will not be shackled to massive debt that will compromise South Africa’s future,” added Mackay.

Save water this summer

November 1, 2017

Residents are reminded that water restrictions are in place in all Kouga towns.

At present, the dams that feed Kouga with water are only at 30 % capacity, with little prospect of major rainfall over the hot and dry summer months.

The Churchill dam is at 13, 58 % of capacity, while the Impofu dam is at 51,71 %.

The Kouga dam is at a mere 13 % of capacity, with farmers having to cut water consumption by 60 %. This has a knock on effect on job and food security.

The Loerie dam is almost full at 90 % but is a small dam and doesnt materially impact the overall water crises facing Kouga.

Kouga declares war on waste

October 30, 2017

The first of 15 litter-picking trolleys were deployed in Jeffreys Bay last week.

At the roll-out of the new litter-picking trolleys were (from right) Social Services portfolio councillor Daniel Benson, Mayor Elza van Lingen, Cleansing and Parks superintendent Edo Madatt, foreman Zane Ramesi and the all-women team who will be leading the war on waste at Jeffreys Bay.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen said the trolleys, bearing the recently unveiled “Keep Kouga Clean” branding, will be used in various litter hotspots across town, including the central business district.

“Once the initiative has been rolled out successfully at Jeffreys Bay, our cleansing teams in our other towns will also be armed with trolleys,” she said.

“Not only will the trolleys enable our litter-picking staff to perform their duties more efficiently, the branding will also serve as a regular reminder to citizens that we all have a part to play in keeping our towns clean.”

The roll-out of the trolleys follows on the billboard awareness campaign which was launched by the municipality last month in conjunction with Spar stores at Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Hankey and St Francis Bay, as well as BuildIt.

A total of seven billboards and 46 litter-picking trolleys have been secured for Kouga’s war on waste through this sponsorship.

“A clean Kouga is in everyone’s best interest. Awareness campaigns such as these are very important as, the more communities we get on board, the greater our chances of success will be. Together we can make Kouga great again.”

Quick response from Kouga fire fighters

October 29, 2017

Kouga firefighters were quick to respond to a fire and managed to save a popular supermarket in Humansdorp, though there was no such luck for the franchise’s bottle store.

The municipality’s emergency room received a call at 22:22 last Friday that the Tops bottle store in Main Street was on fire.

The bottle store is an annexe to the main Spar grocery store and the fire could have resulted in the entire building being destroyed.

Social Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said firefighters were immediately sent to the scene and backup was called from the Jeffreys Bay fire department.

“The fire started and was contained to the Tops liquor store. There was significant damage to the contents and the structure. The supermarket section suffered smoke damage.”

“The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.”

Tomorrow doesn’t have to look like this

October 28, 2017

They say numbers speak louder than words. This is certainly true of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s mid-term budget speech this week.

The numbers were practically screaming, telling us we’re fast running out of money. And our rand responded accordingly, dropping about 3% against the dollar.

Our national financial situation is bleak and the outlook bleaker still – unless we make some bold, brave changes.

Debt service costs have been our fastest growing item of spending, and will be 15% of our budget within three years, meaning for every R1 we have to spend, the first 15c will go to paying off debt.

As confidence in our economy continues to fall, it will cost more and more to service debt, leaving less and less to spend on digging ourselves out of an ever-deepening hole.

Almost half of all spending by government is on wages and interest. This is extremely unproductive and unsustainable.

It’s one thing to borrow to invest in things which could create growth and jobs for the future, such as a top quality education system or enabling infrastructure. Quite another to borrow money to fund a bloated, inept, patronage-driven state.

We have to stabilize and sell off non-strategic, loss-making SOEs such as SAA and improve efficiency at the rest, by employing fit for purpose managers and directors and holding them to account.

We need to reject outright any further investment in nuclear, split Eskom into separate power production and distribution entities, and promote independent, decentralized power production from a diversity of sources.

We need to invest in quality education and training, and we have to build a system and culture of on-the-job skilling through apprenticeships, internships and national service.

We need to relentlessly promote small businesses and make it easier for entrepreneurs to access credit and support. They need a more flexible labour market that enables rather than deters job creation.

We must bring data costs down.

We need land reform that gives real ownership in the form of title deeds, rather than uncertain tenancy.

We need stable, coherent mining policies that are rooted in real-world considerations such as the need to be globally competitive.

Once the economy is growing and investment is coming back in, we can reduce the tax burden on the middle class that has been so overburdened recently, and who are really struggling to make ends meet. This will improve revenue collection and further boost growth.

We need all these things and more. But if there is one silver bullet, it is to eject the moribund ANC and give South Africa a new beginning.

There is simply no other way to restore hope for our children’s future.


Mmusi Maimane

Municipal auction a resounding success

October 27, 2017

Kouga Municipality’s public auction was a resounding success last week, with everything on offer finding a willing buyer.

A total of 141 lots went under the hammer at the Jeffreys Bay municipal depot in St Croix Street on Wednesday.

Winning bids ranged from R100 for the cheapest lot to R190 000 for the most expensive.

Each lot included a variety of items, including office equipment, refuse bins, bakkies, graders and a TLB.

The auction drew countrywide interest, with the item that fetched the highest price of the day, a Komatsu TLB, being sold through a cellphone bid for R 190 000.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the success of the auction exceeded expectations as most of the items, especially vehicles, had been standing redundant in the municipal depot for years.

“The auction follows an earlier Council resolution to dispose of old and redundant items.

“The money we made will contribute towards the municipal budget and will assist with service delivery.

“The figures are still being finalised, but we can safely say we made in excess of R1, 5 million, after auctioneer costs,” said Van Lingen.

The Mayor added that the auction was done in accordance with the municipality’s Supply Chain Management Policy, Section 43 (4) (c), which states, “The accounting officer must ensure that movable assets are sold either by way of written price quotations, a competitive bidding process or by public auction at the highest offered price, provided such price is market related.”