Have your say about the Kouga budget and IDP

April 16, 2018

Public meetings about the draft budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2018/2019 financial year will be held in April and May.

The draft budget and draft IDP were adopted by the Kouga Council last Thursday.

Capital projects to be funded in the new year, starting July 1, include the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works, bucket eradication and the electrification of informal areas.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen encouraged residents and stakeholder groups to attend the meetings.

“We want the budget and IDP to speak to the needs of our communities. The public meetings are an opportunity for residents to give input and ask questions about the municipality’s proposed plans for the new financial year,” she said.

The meetings, which start at 6pm unless otherwise stated, will take place as follows:

Ward 1: 16 April at the Oyster Bay Hall and 17 April at the Sea Vista Hall

Ward 2: 18 April at the Pellsrus Hall

Ward 3: 19 April at the Newton Hall

Ward 4: 23 April at the Baptist Church Hall

Ward 5: 24 April at the Kruisfontein Hall

Ward 6: 25 April at the KwaNomzamo Hall

Ward 7: 26 April at the Loerie Hall and 30 April at the Katrien Felix Hall

Ward 8: 2 May at the Newton Hall

Ward 9: 3 May at the Vusumzi Landu Hall

Ward 10: 7 May at the Dan Sandi Hall and 8 May at Andrieskraal

Ward 11: 9 May at the Newton Hall

Ward 12: 10 May at the St Francis Village Hall, 14 May at 3pm at the Dutch Reformed Church hall in Paradise Beach and 15 May at the Humansdorp Country Club

Ward 13: 16 May at the Weston Hall

Ward 14: 17 May at 10am at the Marina Martinique Hall and at 6pm at the Tokyo Sexwale Club House

Ward 15: 21 May at 3pm at Ons Tuiste, Humansdorp, and 22 May at the Humansdorp Country Club.

Enquiries can be directed to the municipality’s IDP manager, Colleen Dreyer, at cdreyer@kouga.gov.za or on 042 200 2200.

Advertisements

New Leadership team of the Democratic Alliance

April 9, 2018

Nearly 2000 delegates from all over South Africa attended the DA Federal Congress in Pretoria over the weekend.

The new top leadership team of the Democratic Alliance is:

Leader: Mmusi Maimane
Chairperson: Athol Trollip
Deputy Chairs: Dr Ivan Meyer
Mike Waters
Refiloe Nt’sekhe

Federal Council:
Chairperson: James Selfe
Deputy chair: Thomas Walters
Finance chair: Dion George

Maimane confronts ‘puppet’ allegations head on

April 9, 2018

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane confronted racist remarks, alleging that he is not in control of the DA and merely a puppet at the DA National Congress in Pretoria yesterday.

“They even say that I am a puppet of white people and, if we win an election, I will be replaced by a white person.

The truth is that I will never be black enough for them. Because they don’t want black people to think for themselves.

They want black people to remain trapped in the politics of race because this is what keeps the ANC in power,” said Maimane.

He criticized the ANC’s fear of a new generation of black leaders who would reject the ANC’s own nationalism and think differently.

Maimane stressed further that his blackness does not add or subtract from his humanity or define him.

He calls for a new agenda for African liberalism that prioritises social welfare and grows the economy in order to lift the majority of South Africans out of poverty.

 

Kouga adopts a pro-poor draft budget

April 5, 2018

Kouga Municipality’s draft budget and draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the new financial year, starting July, was approved by Council on Thursday (31/03/2018).

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the drafts would now be taken to communities for feedback in order for the documents to be finalised. Public meetings will be held in all wards from 16 April to 22 May.

The final budget and IDP will be tabled to Council for adoption before the end of May and implemented from 1 July.

Van Lingen said Council’s aim in the new year would be to strengthen service delivery to all communities.

The draft capital budget, which includes several projects aimed at improving the lives of the poorest of the poor,  totals R71,595-million, which is 3,11% more than the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

“It will mainly be funded from government grants and subsidies, as the municipality has reached its prudent borrowing limits while internal funding is limited,” she said.

Draft capital projects include R23,7-million to upgrade the Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works in preparation for new RDP houses to be built in the area.

R10,2-million will further be spent on the electrification of informal settlements while R2,8-million has been allocated to roll out a bucket eradication programme.

A further R4,4-million will be used to upgrade sports facilities and R1,5-million has been set aside for facilities to accommodate informal traders.

The draft operating revenue for 2018/19 totals R732,962-million. This is an increase of 6,38% compared to the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

The main revenue sources are electricity (33,58%), property rates (23,55%), operating grants and subsidies (16,8%), water (9,24%) and refuse (5,94%).

The draft operating expenditure for 2018/19 totals R786,146-million, resulting in a budget deficit of R53,184-million. It is a 4,07% increase compared to the 2017/18 Adjustments Budget.

The main expenditure items are employee-related costs (34,64%) and bulk electricity purchases (25,56%) and depreciation (9,59%).

Van Lingen said the Council would be keeping the tariff hikes as low as is possible.

“We kept the proposed tariff increases for property rates and refuse lower than they were last year because these are fixed amounts over which residents have no control.”

The proposed tariff increases are:

  • 7,5% for property rates
  • 11,5% for water
  • 9% for sanitation
  • 8% for refuse
  • 6% for the Environmental Management Fee
  • An average of 6,84% for electricity, subject to approval by the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

The dates of the public meetings will be published in the local media and on the municipal website.

DA stands for values and integrity

April 3, 2018

We need leaders who lead with their values even if it means they stand alone.

Courage of conviction and unwavering integrity is what the DA needs to stay the course.

Athol Trollip is that kind of leader.

That is why we believe he should be elected as Federal Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance.

#TrollipForChair

Kouga rolls out rainwater harvesting in the Gamtoos Valley

March 31, 2018

Rainwater harvesting is being rolled out to the Gamtoos Valley as part of Kouga Municipality’s ongoing efforts to achieve water security for its towns.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said a total of R 770 000 was approved on the 2017/2018 adjustments budget to purchase and install rainwater tanks.

“Our first focus will be the towns of Hankey and Patensie, which are in the most immediate danger of running out of water,” she said. “Both towns depend on the Kouga Dam for water and the dam level has fallen to 11,55% this week.”

She said rainwater tanks would be installed at municipal buildings and other strategic locations at a cost of R 500 000 while the remaining R 270 000 would be used to install rainwater tanks at the homes of elderly and disabled residents.

“Our target is to install at least 40 rainwater tanks at the homes of vulnerable residents with this allocation.”

She said rainwater harvesting was also one of the programmes Kouga would be working on jointly with the German municipality Ilsfeld.

“Our proposal to Ilsfeld was for the installation of 750 tanks, gutters and plinths at Patensie and 1 100 at Hankey. The initial cost estimate for this is about R15-million.”

The Mayor said while the municipality would continue drilling for water at Hankey, the target aquifer is located very deep.

“We will need to use different drilling methods which cost far more and for which funding needs to be sourced.”

She said Council already had to reprioritise its annual budget to make funds available for the implementation of drought-relief mea-sures.

“Money for the upgrading of roads was just about cut in half – from R1,15 million to R650 000 – in October last year.

“We also had to reallocate the R2,5-million that was initially approved for the replacement of the water tower at the Jeffreys Bay Water Treatment Works and a further R2-million that had been set aside for an electrical transformer.”

She said further reallocations also had to be made during the adjustments budget process in February.

“The drought is a tremendous threat to all of Kouga’s people. We would like to thank residents for their efforts to save water and urge everyone to continue using water very sparingly.”

ANC, EFF resort to disruption and chaos

March 30, 2018

The EFF, ANC and UDM coalition resorted to disrupting and attempting to collapse the Council meeting in Nelson Mandela Bay yesterday, because they know they will not win the Motion of No Confidence against Mayor Athol Trollip.

Their conduct has confirmed to the country that they can only respond with chaos and violence when things don’t go their way.

Instead of accepting the loss and moving on, they decided to hold the Council meeting hostage by refusing to allow the meeting to continue. They should be ashamed of their conduct.

This coalition of chaos and corruption, between the EFF and the ANC (with the UDM as hangers-on), has never had the best interests of the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay at heart, and that is why they will always fail.

Their motion was always just about racism.

The people of the Bay and the people of South Africa reject the hate-fuelled politics of the EFF, and reject giving the Metro back to the corrupt ANC.

We must continue to guard against their hatred and continue to build a united South Africa for all.

Regards

Mmusi Maimane

The thin blue line and the rising red tide of populism

March 27, 2018

In 2016 the Democratic Alliance (DA) achieved what was previously thought to be impossible: the political disruption of South African politics, says Athol Trollip.

Led by a capable national leadership team, elected at its elective conference one year earlier, the DA won a two thirds majority in Cape Town and emerged to lead coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay (where the DA received the largest share of the vote outside of Cape Town).

This was a resounding victory by any measure and an outright rejection of Jacob Zuma’s ANC.

In Nelson Mandela Bay the DA was elected on an offer of stopping corruption, improving service delivery and tackling unemployment.

In 19 months we have made significant progress under difficult circumstances. Achieving progress that lasts, takes time, even more so if its predecessor was chaos. Real progress is only possible when we lead with our values.

Named after our iconic President, Nelson Mandela, it was the very abandonment of his principles and values by former ANC Metro administrations and their cronies that brought Nelson Mandela Bay to its knees.

“Something is not right,” Crispian Olver writes in the opening chapter of How to Steal a City. Indeed something was terribly wrong; dishonesty, sleaze, fraud and corruption. It is precisely this that voters rejected in the 2016 election.

The abandonment of a universal set of values and principles opened the flood gates for unprecedented greed and ultimately the capture of the state for which the ANC was punished.

If political parties do not stand up for their values they will fall, and fall hard. This the voters will guarantee as they did in the biggest metros in the country in 2016.

This is an important lesson for the DA as we return to our tri-annual elective conference to elect a national leadership that will have to navigate a new political terrain post Jacob Zuma. This new terrain will require our political compass to be calibrated according to our values and principles, our true north must be our core purpose…

I firmly believe that the DA remains the only political party that is home to all South Africans from all walks of life.

We are the most diverse and representative party because people are attracted to our values of freedom, fairness and opportunity and our genuine commitment to redress, reconciliation, delivery and diversity.

We have experienced organic growth in all communities because we have stayed true to our values and been guided by our principles.

I have personally witnessed and nurtured the growth of the DA for 25 years and never shied away from a contest where I felt strongly about the future of the party. I’ve often said that the battle for integrity is worth it, even if you stand alone.

My credentials in this regard are well documented. I have faced defeat but never felt defeated because my commitment to our cause is underpinned by our values. I mean it when I say that when we lead with our values we win, even if it appears as though we’ve lost.

That is why now is not the time to succumb to the pressure of other political parties who seek to define us according to their own values and principles. This begins with the tabling of a motion of no confidence in me as executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, because of the colour of my skin and our party’s position on land.

The EFF would have us abandon our principled positions on property rights and non-racialism in their bid to oust me and my colleagues in Nelson Mandela Bay. If we were to concede it would signal the death of the DA. In these difficult times we must stay true to our cause because it is an honourable and worthy one.

So, in Nelson Mandela Bay I will hold the thin blue line and stay true to these important principles as we stare down the rising red tide of populism that threatens to engulf our party as it has the ANC.

Trollip is executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay.

Title deeds handed out in Thornhill

March 22, 2018

Human Rights Day was celebrated in Kouga by the handing out of title deeds in Thornhill yesterday.

The houses were built in 2005 and the title deeds were never handed out.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen started the day by visiting some of the elderly beneficiaries at their homes to deliver their title deeds to them personally.

Here 73-year-old Patronella Stuurman receives the title deed to her house.

How to find my voting station

March 10, 2018

The first registration weekend for next year’s national and provincial government elections takes place on March 10 and 11.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen encouraged all residents to make use of the opportunity to check whether their names and addresses are correct on the voter’s roll.

Voting stations will be open from 08:00 to 17:00 on both Saturday and Sunday for the registration weekend.

Residents can either register to vote for the first time or check whether their details are correct on the voters’ roll.

Van Lingen said it was of particular importance that registered voters verify their address details.

“In 2016 the Constitutional Court gave the Independent Electoral Commission till June 2018 to fix missing addresses for millions of voters.

“If your address details are missing or incorrect on the voters’ roll, you will not be allowed to vote in the 2019 elections.

“All voters are, therefore, encouraged to make sure that their information is correct.”

She said voters needed to visit their voting station with their green, barcoded ID book, temporary ID or smart ID card. Proof of address is not necessary.

Passports and drivers’ licences cannot be used to register.

To find out which voting station you should go to, visit the IEC’s voting station finder or phone them at 0800 11 8000.

Voters who cannot make it to their voting stations this weekend can register or check their details at the local IEC office at the Arcade Centre in Main Road, Humansdorp.

Voters can also check and change their address details online through the IEC’s website.