Local state of disaster to be declared

June 12, 2017

Statement by Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen:

The Kouga Council will be holding a special meeting at the Council Chambers in Jeffreys Bay at 2pm today

The purpose of the meeting will be for Council to declare a local state of disaster in the wake of the destruction caused by fire to large parts of the Kouga region, its communities and infrastructure over the past five days.

Van Stadens bridge. Photo: Dirk Erasmus

The declaration will follow less than two weeks after the Kouga Council also declared a local state of disaster (on 31 May) because of the prolonged drought that has been crippling the area.

Council’s plea to residents is that just as we stood together in the heat of the fire, we now have to stand together in rebuilding, in the same spirit, our families, our infrastructure and our Kouga.

The Kouga Council wishes to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance with rescue and relief efforts in our region over the past few days:

* Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality for trying to get Thornhill’s electricity on this afternoon (Sunday) soonest.
* MTN for jacking up the signal booster to improve communication in the Thornhill area.
* Sarah Baartman District Municipality’s leadership and Disaster Management teams
* Farming community and staff, who offered amazing support in spite of their own properties also being under threat.
* SAPS for continued support
* Longmore MTO, Working on Fire and fire-fighters from nearby districts.
* All donors and volunteers from all over Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay. All donations are managed strictly under supervision and control.
* Kouga Municipality’s Social Services Director Japie Jansen, Kouga Fire Chief Dewald Barnard and fire-fighting teams, all Kouga staff, councillors and anyone else who dedicated time and effort for the people of Kouga.

We say thank you!

We further wish to express sincere condolences to the family of the couple who Van der Riet family This was a severe tragedy of our disaster.

We are also sad to have heard about farm houses that were partly damaged or burnt down, loss of staff houses, livestock, implements and outbuildings.

Jacob Zuma killed the ANC – We will not let him kill South Africa too

June 6, 2017

We should be building a post-ANC South Africa together.

In this post-ANC South Africa, we will put the education of our children first by supporting poor schools to become centres of excellence. No child will be left behind.

We will work hard to create a range of education, training and work opportunities for all young people leaving school.

In this post-ANC South Africa we will recognise the important role investors and entrepreneurs play in creating jobs and fighting poverty.

We will modernise our economy and we will invest in industries that make us globally competitive.

In this post-ANC South Africa we will double the Police Force and we will secure our borders, but we will also look at ways to attract skills and talent from across the continent.

We will choose our global friends well, and then stand by them in their time of need.

Friends such as my Zambian counterpart, Hakainde Hichilema, who was thrown in jail by a corrupt government. He will know he can count on the support of the South African government.

In this post-ANC South Africa we will do all we can to create opportunities for people to stand on their own two feet and escape the dependency on social grants. But, for those who need them, we will double the grant income.

In this post-ANC South Africa we will elect a president who will use the Presidency budget to serve the people, and not to stay out of jail.

This is our plan to bring our country back on track. And parts of this plan are already underway.

Our new coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay are already making inroads into reversing the damage left behind in these cities.

In these metros we have tarred new roads, launched new metro police, narcotics and K9 units, handed over thousands of title deeds, launched new housing projects and slashed perks for politicians.

Coalition governments are never easy, but we are making them work for the people of these cities. And we can make them work in national government too.

But it will require a big shift in the way we all think of our roles in building South Africa.

It will require many of you to accept that the ANC you once knew no longer exists.

Jacob Zuma killed that ANC. We will not let him kill South Africa too.

Mmusi Maimane

History made as unanimous budget gets passed in Kouga

June 5, 2017

Kouga Municipality will start its new financial year on a high note following the unanimous approval of the new budget by the Council on 31 May 2017.

It is the first time in the history of the municipality that its annual budget was approved unopposed and without conditions.

da kouga

 

The municipality’s new five-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP) was also approved unanimously at the same meeting.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen commended councillors for setting aside their political differences in the interest of communities.

“This is the first budget to be compiled since the new DA-led Council was inaugurated in August 2016.

“We wanted it to be a unifying document, hence an open and transparent process was followed, with ample opportunity for all councillors, communities and stakeholder groups to provide input,” she said.

“We are pleased that our efforts paid off and that the budget for 2017/2018 can be implemented with the full support of all parties.”

In terms of the approved budget the total operating revenue for 2017/2018 is R684,339 million, which represents an increase of 7,03 % when compared to the 2016/17 adjustments budget.

Funding for the budget will be obtained from various sources but primarily from service charges such as electricity, water, sanitation, the Environmental Management Fee (EMF) and refuse collection (54.08 %), property rates (23,46 %), grants and subsidies from national and provincial government (16,69%).

The following tariff increases were approved:

·         Property rates 8%

·         Water 9,5%

·         Sanitation 9%

·         Refuse 9%

·         Electricity (average increase in income) 2,05%

·         EMF 6%

Make sure your address is registered at IEC

May 25, 2017

The 2019 National and Provincial election is shaping up to be the most important election ever in the history of a democratic South Africa.

It is critical that every South African is enfranchised and able to cast their vote in an election where there is a very real possibility that the ANC will slip below 50 % of the vote.

The Electoral Commission has launched the first phase of an online address capture facility where registered voters can provide their address details via the IEC’s website.

The facility is only for already registered voters to provide and update their address details and is not an online registration facility.

In this initial phase the online facility will also only be available to the approximately 3 million registered voters for whom no address is currently on the voters’ roll.

The affected voters are being contacted and requested to submit their addresses online via a targeted SMS campaign.

It is planned to open the system to all registered voters to check and update their address details in later phases of the campaign which will also include additional opportunities for voters to provide their address details – including those without access to the internet.

The initiative forms part of on-going efforts to enhance and update the voters’ roll with the address details of all voters where available following the ruling of the Constitutional Court in June 2016.

In a widely publicised ruling, the Constitutional Court gave the Electoral Commission until June 2018 to rectify deficiencies on the national common voters’ roll with regards to missing addresses.

In March 2016 approximately 7.85 million (32%) of the 26 million registered voters had no address details on the voters’ roll and an estimated 8.6 million (34%) of addresses were incomplete.

Through a variety of initiatives this has been significantly and systematically improved:

The proportion of complete addresses increased from 32% of registered voters to over 72% of registered voters

The proportion of incomplete addresses has decreased from 34% to 14%

The percentage of registered voters without a recorded address on the voters’ roll has been reduced from 32% to 12%

Among the measures taken to date include:

  • Checking all records and storage to find any registration forms which have address details which the Electoral Commission may not have captured
  • Asking voters to update their address details during the April 2016 voter registration weekend
  • Asking voters without address to please complete an address form on Election Day for the 2016 Municipal Elections (this initiative generated almost 3 million addresses)
  • The Electoral Commission has focused on obtaining missing addresses for voters during all by-elections held since July 2016

The Electoral Commission has started sending out SMS messages to those voters whose addresses are not on record and for whom it was able to source a cellphone number requesting them to submit their address via http://www.elections.org.za

They will first need to register on the website and provide a username and password for security purposes.

Nqaba Bhanga has been elected as Provincial Leader of the DA

May 8, 2017

Nqaba Bhanga has been elected as Eastern Cape Leader of the Democratic Alliance, at the Provincial Congress in East London.

While the election was a close one, a clear winner emerged by a majority of votes.

The vote and the vote count proceeded without a single query, objection or contest.

The new DA Eastern Cape Leadership is charged with continuing to create positive change in the Eastern Cape and working to continue growing the DA to provide opportunities to more and more people in this province.

The DA is indebted to the outgoing Eastern Cape Leadership, and especially Athol Trollip, as he now focuses on bringing increasing change to Nelson Mandela Bay.

The full complement of newly-elected DA Eastern Cape leadership is:

Provincial Leader: Nqaba Bhanga
Deputy Provincial Leaders: Bobby Stevenson and Terence Fritz
Provincial Chairperson: Andrew Whitfield
Deputy Provincial Chairpersons: Yusuf Cassim, Kobus Botha and Marshall Von Buchenroder.

A new fight for Freedom starts now

April 28, 2017

We come from different political parties, trade unions, churches and civil society groups and we are all South Africans.

We stand united by nothing other than our love for our country.

In 1994 South Africans came together to vote for a new future.

It was an incredible day.

We showed the world that the spirit of the South African people cannot be crushed.

We showed that we can unite in the pursuit of a better life.

We showed that we are a people who love freedom, and we are prepared to fight for it.

Today, 23 years later, we are once again brought together by our common goal: Freedom for all who live here.

We represent political parties.

We represent labour movements.

We represent civil society groups – churches, non-governmental organisations, universities and business.

We have come together to save our democracy from a corrupt government.

We have come together because we believe that freedom must be fought for in every generation.

We have come together because we believe unity is strength.

Unity doesn’t mean you’re the same. It means you’re together.

Today we stand together. United in our diversity.

Under the banner of the Freedom Movement, we will channel the hope and the passion of millions of South Africans who believe in the future of this great nation.

All of us have seen what happens when you give one man too much power.

We have seen what happens when one party is in power for too long.

Together, we are building a new movement to realign politics as we know it.

And, together, we extend a hand of friendship to other parties and individuals who want to join us.

Fellow South Africans

When I look to the future of this country, I see beyond the divisions of the past.

When I look to the future, I see past the narrow party politics of the present.

When I look to the future, I see people who aren’t defined by their political choices. People who no longer have to say “I am ANC” or “I am COSATU” or “I am DA”.

We still are the Rainbow Nation

When I look to the future, I see a new political formation in power.

A new political formation of leaders from across the political spectrum.

A new political formation free of corruption and free of corrupting influences.

A new political formation that defends our Constitution.

A new political formation of, and for, the people.

A new political formation united in the pursuit of prosperity for all.

Because the old order is dying and a new struggle is born.

The old order gave us corruption, looting and the abuse of power.

It gave us an oppressive government that abuses state institutions to fight its fights and settle its scores.

It saw millions of people trapped in poverty and unemployment.

But we’re witnessing the dying kicks of the old order, and the rise of a new struggle.

A new fight against oppression begins today.

A new fight for opportunities begins today.

A new fight for freedom starts now.

Mmusi Maimane

DA request postponement of Motion of No Confidence

April 12, 2017

The DA has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to request a postponement of the Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, scheduled for 18 April 2017, until such time as the Constitutional Court decides on whether the vote will be done by secret ballot.

“It is important to allow the Constitutional Court the time to determine whether the motion can be conducted by secret ballot, as we believe that this would materially affect the outcome of the vote itself, said Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance.

As soon as a decision is taken, the motion must be debated before the Assembly as soon as possible.

“While this means that we have to wait a little longer to vote on the motion, I urge all South Africans to march together to the Union Buildings today and make it clear that we will no longer tolerate a President who is willing to put his own self-interest above the best interests of South Africa, added Maimane.

Ward 3 IDP/Budget meeting takes place tonight at Newton Hall

April 11, 2017

Community consultation meetings about Kouga’s new draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for 2017/2022 and the draft budget for 2017/2018 start with Ward 3 this week.

Photo: Joey Nel

The meeting will take place at 6pm today, Tuesday, 11 April, at the Newton Hall, Jeffreys Bay.

Ward 3 is the lower section of Wavecrest, between AD Keet Street, Poplar, Noorsekloof and the sea.

All residents are encouraged to attend and participate actively in the governance of their ward.

What does junk status mean for South Africans

April 7, 2017

The inevitable has happened. Standard and Poor’s ratings agency has downgraded our credit rating to junk status.

This could have been avoided, but in the current environment was unavoidable.

The ratings agencies have been warning us for some time that if certain things are not fixed then a downgrade is inevitable.

Then President Zuma goes and breaks it. He has broken the economy and it’s going to take a miracle to fix the already ailing economy.

A country with a junk status take about five years to recover. The economy has been hanging on a thin thread for some time now.

What does a downgrade mean for South Africa

In simple language it means (a) that we are going to pay more for less and (b) the fiscus will have to pay more money for servicing our ever increasing debt that was at R 2.2 trillion at the beginning of the 2017 financial year and forecast to increase to R 2.4 trillion due to the deficit for the 2017/18 financial year.

This will result in less money available for service delivery.

We will be paying more for goods and services because interest rates will increase and the rand will depreciate further. The rand has already depreciated by 11 percent since former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan was prematurely recalled from an investment promoting overseas tour.

I’m cautious of stating the figures because by the time you read this letter they will be history. The aforementioned will result in further job losses with nearly nine million South Africans already unemployed.

The forecast for debt service costs that is already the fastest rising expenditure item will have to be adjusted upwards due to the impact of the credit rating downgrade.

A credit rating downgrade has two adverse effects. Firstly, there will be a huge outflow of capital as investors cannot invest in markets that are risky due to their money no longer being safe and secondly, the cost of debt increases due to the country be seen as higher risk due to the possibility of it not being able to repay the debt. So interest rates increase.

This uninformed government has a “solution” to the crisis. Recently this government established their own BRICS ratings agency because “other ratings agencies are critical of emerging economies”.

The fact if the matter the investors will use a ratings agency that is credible, and we will not only borrow money from BRICS countries. The second solution, according to newly appointed Gigaba, is to borrow from domestic markets.

The truth is that the uninformed and incompetent  Finance Minister won’t understand that there are insufficient funds in domestic markets to meet the borrowing requirements of the country.

So while we are in a mess the solution is that as South Africans must stand together with cool heads and remain orderly to save this beautiful country of ours.

Dr Malcolm Figg – Constituency Leader of the DA in Kouga

Zuma or South Africa – the two cannot co-exist

April 3, 2017

Today, Monday, 03 April 2017, the Leadership of the DA, EFF, IFP, COPE, UDM, and ACDP met in Johannesburg following the hostile takeover of the Treasury, and selling of the country by Jacob Zuma to a grouping whose only interests are amassing wealth and weakening the State through the theft of the people’s money and the undermining of the country’s Constitution.

These are indeed irregular and trying times for South Africa and the people, which demands a united vision and programme of action from leaders of society, like Opposition Parties represented in the National Assembly.

Opposition Parties agreed that the Constitution must come first, and the country must be protected from those who seek to undermine it. We therefore deliberated and agreed upon a number of issues in this regard.

National Day of Action to the Union Buildings

It was agreed that as Opposition Parties, we will start the process of mobilising their structures from across the country for a National Day of Action to the Union Buildings.

We are planning to have this mass action event as soon as possible.

We will also be engaging Civil Society formations and other Political Parties to mobilise in order to support the people’s National Day of Action to the Union Buildings, so that we are united and not fractured in our call to save our country in the short-term.

We therefore call upon all South Africans and the whole of Civil Society to support this mass action, where will speak with one voice calling for Jacob Zuma to remove himself from the Union Buildings, failing which he will be pushed, using democratic processes.

Zuma cannot hold an entire country hostage.

Motion of No Confidence

Opposition Parties are fully behind the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma and the call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the House for a special sitting so that this matter of National Importance can be debated and voted on.

The DA and EFF have already asked the Speaker to reconvene Parliament. The UDM have submitted a similar request today.

We expect an urgent answer from the Speaker about progress made in scheduling the Motion, should we not be satisfied with her response, court action, supported by Opposition Parties will be taken.

Given the crisis engulfing our society, we are confident that Members of Parliament will stay true the Constitution and their Oath of Office.

The Motion of No Confidence is not about the removal the ANC. The ANC was voted into government by the majority, through the democratic project, which we respect.

In the short-term, we are working to remove Jacob Zuma, and elect someone from the ranks of the National Assembly who is committed to South Africa, the people and the Constitution.

The choice South Africans must make is: Zuma or South Africa. The two cannot co-exist.