Kouga Municipality strengthens its frontline

October 9, 2019

Kouga Municipality is strengthening its frontline to improve its responsiveness to residents.

Eleven ward assistants, stationed at ward councillor’s offices in their respective wards, recently completed a five-day training course.

“Ward assistants are the first point of contact for many residents with queries, complaints or requests,” said Kouga Corporate Services Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu.

“The training was aimed at ensuring that they understand the important role they play and how they can go about assisting residents who ask for help at ward councillor’s offices.”

He said that all but three of the wards, wards 4, 7 and 8, currently had ward assistants.

“It’s not always possible for residents to travel to the municipal offices for assistance. Ward offices have, therefore, been established, so as to bring the municipality closer to the people.

“Ward assistants are critical for this system to work. I would like to thank them for the good work they have been doing,” he said.

The DA Rural Safety Plan will keep communities safe

October 2, 2019

The Democratic Alliance has announced a plan to bring law and order back to our rural communities.

The six point plan looks to completely stamp-out violent crimes committed on our farms. Kouga has also been affected by farm attacks with a particularly gruesome attack taking place in Hankey last year.

“Our rural safety plan aims to guarantee community-based policing in rural areas and will focus on the unique challenges experience by each district.

The model proposed is constitutional, does not require any legislative, regulatory or policy changes. It is designed to act as an effective means to fight rural crime,” said Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police.

DA Rural Safety Plan: A boots-on-the-ground approach to keep rural communities safe:

Establish rural policing centres

Police stations that serve a mainly rural area need to create at least one dedicated rural sector as part of its regional policing structure and plan

Deploy more officers to rural areas to limit farm murders

Each rural sector will require boots on the ground to ensure communities feel safer and to deter criminals.

Embolden “community policing”

With SAPS being short-staffed as ever, there simply aren’t enough cops to go around. The proposed solution? Allow rural safety plans to be customised at a local station level, alongside community volunteers.

Introduce the Rural Community Policing Unit (RCPU)

Blurring the lines between neighbourhood watch and SAPS, “RCPU reservists” will work just like SAPS reservists, receive specific rural police training and allow paid volunteers to act as “part-time rural officers”.

Farm murders: Improve the support networks for police and volunteers

Citizen Band (CB) networks, radio rooms, rural policing by drone, a rural radio safety station and additional financial support have been identified as tools to bolster communication between each potential RCPU.

Create new structures within SAPS

A Rural Crime Intelligence Division (RCID) function will help collate, process and share rural safety information and work mostly at a district level.

Meanwhile, a Provincial Rural Safety Directorate (PRSD) will use tip-offs to mitigate threats in rural communities.

“Our plan takes a community-focused, ‘boots-on-the-ground’ approach to rural safety which includes the extensive use of technology in new ways and proposals for greater police visibility to keep rural residents safe,” added Whitfield.

DA celebrates Heritage Month in Kouga

September 29, 2019

Great fun was had in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday when the DA held a bowls day at the local bowling club.

36 teams from all over Kouga enjoyed an afternoon of bowls and socialising after watching the Springboks dismantle Namibia in the Rugby World Cup.

The Bowls Day was held as a fund raiser in the Ttisti Kouga Constituency.

“Thank you to everyone who came out to support the inaugural DA Bowls fundraiser in Jeffreys Bay. What a tremendous success!

A very special thank you to Carla Kritzinger without whom this day would not have been possible,” said DA Provincial Chairperson Andrew Whitfield.

“Politics can also be fun and we will be holding this event on an annual basis,” said Whitfield.

Housing meeting to take place in Hankey

September 29, 2019

A public meeting will be held in Hankey this October to give the community a progress report on the local housing project.

The meeting will take place at the Vusumzi Landu Community Hall at 19:00 on Monday, October 7.

Speaker of the DA led Kouga Municipality, Hattingh Bornman, said a critical matter that will be discussed, is the relocation of households to the transit site.

“The bush-clearing has been completed and the sub-division, popularly known as ‘pegging’, of the site where the houses will be built, is under way,” he said.

“Once the sub-division has been completed, the relocation will commence.

“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the details of the relocation, so that we can all work together to minimise the inconvenience to those affected by the move.”

He said once the relocation had been completed, Eskom would start electrifying the plots that will form part of the Hankey housing project, as well as the transit site.

“It was a long and tough negotiation to get a commitment from Eskom to electrify these areas. We look forward to bringing electricity to these households and improving their quality of life,” he said.

The Democratic Alliance has unlocked a number of housing projects in Kouga since taking over the Municipality in 2016.

391 Houses have been built in Humansdorp and construction has started on another 1720 houses in Jeffreys Bay.

No houses had been built since 2007 in the Municipality with service delivery also being severely affected under ANC government in Kouga.

Five ways DA governments across South Africa are innovating

September 26, 2019

Here are five ways that DA governments, across the length and breadth of South Africa, are meeting the challenges of the 21st-century head-on:

Africa’s first plastic road in Kouga:

In the small town of Jeffrey’s Bay in the beautiful Eastern Cape, the DA-run municipality of Kouga has officially started work on Africa’s first-ever plastic road.

“Non-recyclable plastic waste, which ends up in the ocean or clogging up landfill sites, is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix.”

– Vicky Knoetze, DA Eastern Cape MPL

Water is the number one cause of potholes on regular roads. The plastic road is therefore said to be stronger and more durable, as it is more difficult for water to penetrate the surface.

Green innovation in the City of Johannesburg:

The DA-led City of Johannesburg’s Housing Department recently won a Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Award at the United Nations 14th Annual Session of the Global Forum on Human Settlements.

The award was won for the City’s South Hills mixed-income housing development, a housing development praised as a “global green model community“.

The South Hills development will yield 6 204 units, with 408 already completed.

South Africa’s first housing app in Stellenbosch:

The DA-run Stellenbosch Municipality recently launched a housing app to increase accessibility and access to the housing database for all residents.

The app is not only a first for Stellenbosch but is one of the first-ever municipal applications in South Africa.

There are currently over 16 300 applicants currently registered on Stellenbosch’s housing database, but the information of many applicants is incomplete or out-dated. The app will allow residents to update their information, and create a secure profile that can be used to complete an application.

“Our new housing app and the implementation of our housing demand database will allow us to keep accurate records and plan according to the needs of our residents.”

– Stellenbosch Mayor, Gesie van Deventer

A future-focused school in rural Worcester:

Thanks to a partnership between the DA-run Western Cape government and private donors, a state-of-the-artworld-class primary school has officially opened in rural Worcester.

Botha’s Halte Primary places an emphasis on e-learning, demonstrating how 21st-century technology can be used to reach and contribute to quality education in rural and outlying areas of South Africa.

Digital technology is changing the way learners are educated. The school has already become an educational hub for the district and, through digital teaching, seamlessly links with other teaching institutions such as the University of Stellenbosch.

For the last 18 months, the DA-run City of Cape Town has embarked on an innovative project to tackle harmful methane emissions from Cape Town’s landfills.

Waste to energy in the City of Cape Town:

By safely trapping methane gas pockets produced by decaying rubbish in landfills and then burning the gas, the City of Cape Town is eliminating harmful greenhouse gasses.

The innovation, however, doesn’t stop there. The City will now embark on phase two of the project which will see the harmful methane gas used as a heating fuel in industry, to generate electricity or as a fuel for vehicles.

This initiative will be a useful case study for all other local governments across South Africa, with other DA governments, in particular, focused on fighting greenhouse emissions.

Public meeting with Athol Trollip in Jeffreys Bay

September 25, 2019

The Democratic Alliance will be holding a public meeting in Jeffreys Bay this evening with Athol Trollip, the federal chairperson of the Party.

Trollip will be joined by the Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield as well as the Mayor of Kouga, Horatio Hendricks.

The meeting will take place at the Seaviews Resort at 6 pm this evening (25 September 2019).

Trollip will also visit the housing projects in Ocean View and Pellsrus.

No RDP houses were built in Kouga since 2007 and when the DA took over the Kouga Municipality in 2016, a number of housing projects were unlocked, which saw 391 houses being built in Humansdorp, with construction underway in the two projects in Jeffreys Bay.

Tomorrow Andrew Whitfield will meet with rate payers of Aston Bay and Marina Martinique and he will be joined by Councillor Brenton Williams.

Municipal issues as well as crime will be discussed at the meeting which starts at 2 pm at the Marina Martinique hall.

Kouga Municipality saves big on phone bill

September 23, 2019

The DA led Kouga Municipality has slashed its annual Telkom bill by a massive 76% over the past two years.

Kouga Corporate Services Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu said the savings were made possible by the upgrade of the municipal private automatic branch exchange (PABX) system in 2017.

“Three years ago, when the Democratic Alliance took over , the municipality’s annual Telkom bill totaled between R2 million and R3 million. We are very proud that we have been able to decrease this to R577 000 for the 2018/2019 financial year,” he said.

He said that as part of the PABX upgrade, voice over internet protocol (VOIP) lines were activated.

“This means that instead of copper voice carrier lines such as those used by Telkom, the internet facility and radio network of the municipality is now being used to make calls.

“This enabled us to start cancelling the Telkom lines were in phases,” he explained.

“Before the installation of the new PABX system, the municipality’s Telkom account was constantly in the region of R230 000 to R250 000 per month.

“The average monthly PABX and call expenditure for the entire municipality is currently averaging R16 000 per month,” he concluded.

DA shows growth in Eastern Cape by-elections

September 19, 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) yesterday retained Ward 19 in the Buffalo City Municipality, following a tightly contested by-election.

The DA’s Derek Green emerged victorious and received 71% of the valid votes cast. This shows massive growth after the DA received 57% of the vote in this ward in the 2019 National and Provincial Elections.

The by-election was also contested by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the African National Congress (ANC) the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The ward became vacant as a result of the tragic passing of former DA councillor Richard Rooy.

“This result is a vote of confidence in the DA, and the endorsement from the voters proves that the DA remains on track ahead of the 2021 local government elections.

It is also a clear indication that the residents of the Buffalo City Metro are tired of being neglected and ignored by an uncaring ANC government,” said DA Provincial Leader Nqaba Bhanga/.

The DA also contested Ward 20 in Nelson Mandela Bay and showed growth, with our candidate, Nandipa Qongqo, receiving 5.65% of the vote. In the 2019 National and Provincial Elections the DA only achieved 2.1% of the vote cast.

This ward became vacant as a result of former ANC councillor Bongo Nombiba being found guilty of fraud and money laundering and sent to jail for 5 years.

The ANC showed a big drop in support to 66.65%. In the 2016 Local Government Election the ANC won the ward with 72.24% of valid votes cast.

In Kouga, the DA is a government for the future

September 17, 2019

If we want to build a modern, resilient country that is able to adapt to the challenges of our fast-changing world, then we have to make sure we remain future-focused.

We cannot live in the past and cling to failed ideas from the past, the way our government loves to do. We must look ahead and plan ahead.

Our biggest challenges in this country are our sky-rocketing unemployment and high levels of poverty, and this will remain so for many years to come.

But if we are not cognisant of how the global challenges of the 21st century – climate change, the proliferation of disease and technology – will impact on poverty and unemployment, then we will fall even further behind.

This starts with building a capable state staffed by qualified, fit-for-purpose individuals. We need a government that is agile and responsive. And we need our cities and towns to be at the forefront of driving growth through not only clean governance but also through innovative ideas.

The expanded unemployment rate here in the Eastern Cape is 46%. That means almost half of all working-age citizens in this province cannot find a job.

That is a shameful statistic and one which requires all of our attention. If we are to have any chance of turning this around, then we will need to transform our towns and cities into modern economies, attractive to both businesses and citizens alike.

This is why it is crucial that we embrace new ideas and new technology that can open doors to investors as well as deliver services to citizens. And not only at national government level. New thinking and innovative ideas should be the key focus of all levels and spheres of government if we are to prepare ourselves for the future.

Koraal Street in Jeffreys Bay is a good example of this kind of thinking. Almost 2km of it is being resurfaced using recycled plastic material as a binder in the asphalt, and it should be completed by the end of October.

It is the first time that this technology is being trialed in South Africa to build an eco-friendly road.

The recycled plastic replaces a large portion of the bitumen in asphalt, which is made from crude oil. There are multiple benefits to using this material.

For starters, it takes tonnes of plastic from our landfills and prevents this from breaking down and leaching into the groundwater. It is strong and resistant to wear, with significantly fewer potholes, cracks or breaks.

And then there is the employment aspect, with the potential for hundreds of jobs not only in the construction of the roads but also upstream in the collection and sorting of the waste.

This particular product has been extensively tested and does not leech plastic particles into the environment – unlike some so-called eco-roads that end up doing more harm than good. If this pilot project is successful, then this could have a major impact not only on the quality of our road surfaces but also on our environment.

But this isn’t the only exciting pilot project being undertaken by the DA-led Kouga municipality. Elsewhere they have also started testing a special kind of concrete normally used in the underground roads of mines to fill potholes.

This special concrete dries rock hard within an hour and could be the answer to the municipality’s daunting pothole problem.

When it comes to innovating solutions and the use of technology, DA governments across the country are setting the standard.

The world will not wait for South Africa to catch up. It is up to us to leave the 20th century and all its out-dated ideas behind and meet the challenges of the 21st-century head-on.

Because only then will we succeed in building sustainable and integrated towns and cities, and building one South Africa for all.

Mmusi Maimane

Leader of the Democratic Alliance

South Africa needs a job in every home

September 10, 2019

Our economy is in crisis. Unemployment has hit a record high with as many as 10.2 million people jobless or without hope of finding a job in South Africa.

Eskom is recording losses that are 800% higher than last year! We cannot afford more of the same. Join the call for the president to urgently implement the DA’s Economic Crisis Recovery Plan.

Sign the petition at www.AJobInEveryHome.co.za

The DA’s Economic Crisis Recovery Plan

These seven reforms would lead to an inclusive and modern economy:

  1. Reform our State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) by splitting Eskom into two, opening the market to more Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and allowing well-running municipalities to buy directly from IPPs, selling off SAA and non-essential assets at the SABC with a proper skills and salary audit under strict bailout conditions.
  2. Reform our education to introduce charter schools through public-private partnerships in poor and rural communities so that schools are less than 5kms from home and parents have options. We need to break the hold of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU).
  3. Reform our healthcare by stopping the National Health Insurance (NHI) and passing the DA’s Sizani Universal Health Plan to make quality healthcare available to all South Africans without breaking our national budget.
  4. Reform our labour legislation by relaxing our labour laws, cutting red tape to allow more businesses to create jobs, replacing our national minimum wage with a sectoral minimum wage and opt-out clause for young work-seekers while setting up a Jobs and Justice Fund to invest in future economies.
  5. Reform capacity by building a capable state through trimming Cabinet to 15 ministries.
  6. Reform land by extending property ownership to millions of South Africans through speeding up delivery of urban and rural title deeds, while rejecting expropriation without compensation.
  7. Reform police and rail functions by devolving the power of our police and rail services to provincial governments to keep South Africans safe, and ensure that citizens have a safe and reliable commute to and from work.