Meetings to be held for Nuclear Power Plant

August 12, 2021

The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) will hold several public hearings to consider an application from Eskom Holdings SOC Limited for a Nuclear Installation Site Licence (NISL) for the Thyspunt Site in Kouga.

Situated between Humansdorp and St Francis Bay, the NISL application is limited to the evaluation of the sustainability of the Thyspunt site for a nuclear installation.

The public hearings will be held at Cape St Frqncis Resort from 13:00 to 17:00 on Wednesday, August 25 and at Mentors Country Estate in Jeffreys Bay from 113:00 to 17:00 on Thursday, August 26.

Any person who may be directed affected by the granting of the NISL may make a representation relating to health, safety and the environment at the public hearings.

In the run up to the public hearings, the NNR will hold a virtual stakeholder information sharing webinar from 11:00 to 13:00 on Monday, August 16.

To register as a stakeholder, contact NNR Communications Officer, Tshepiso Mogorosi, at tmogorosi@nnr.co.za.

Public information sharing sessions will, furthermore, take place at the Sea Vista Civic Centre in St Francis Bay at 14:00 on Tuesday, August 17.

There will also be an information session at the KwaNomzamo Civic Centre in Humansdorp, at 18:00 on Tuesday, August 17, as well as at the Vusumzi Landu Civic Centre in Hankey at 18:00 on Wednesday, August 18.

This will be followed by public exhibitions at shopping centres across the region on August 19, 20, 23 and 24.

Eskom Holdings SOC Limited has prepared a Public Information Document (PID) to enable members of the public to participate in the public hearings.

The PID can be downloaded from https://nnr.co.za/…/English-Nuclear-Installation-Site….Hardcopies of the PID are available at the public libraries in Kouga and at ward councillors’ offices.

All COVID-19 regulations will be adhered to.

Ablution facilities delivered in Thornhill

August 6, 2021

Residents of the informal settlement in Thornhill will soon have access to ablution facilities.

The last of three container ablution facilities – each consisting of both male and female amenities – were delivered in Thornhill earlier today.

It will now be connected to the existing sewerage infrastructure – benefitting local residents.

The DA led Kouga Municipality continues to improve the lives of all residents within the Municipality.

DA Young Leaders Programme 2022

August 4, 2021

We are happy to announce that the DA’s Young Leaders Programme applications for 2022 are now open and will close at 17h00 on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Now more than ever, we need young, principled, and dedicated South Africans to stand up and rebuild the country.

What is the DA Young Leaders Programme?

The DA’s Young Leaders Programme is a part-time political leadership development programme, which provides young South Africans with an opportunity to upskill themselves in order to build a career in politics or public service, irrespective of their background.

What do we look for in a potential Young Leader?

We are looking for young South African leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 who are already making a difference where they are.

They are committed not only to bringing about change in their communities, but also to growing and developing their own potential.

Young Leaders are able to align their own personal value set to the DA’s liberal values, and are passionate about creating a better South Africa, considering politics and the public sector as a serious career option for their own future.

How to apply?

A complete application consists of:
• a completed online application form;
• a 90-second video of the applicant (submitted via the application form); and
• a valid letter of reference (submitted via the application form).

The link to the online application form with all the relevant details can be found on the Young Leaders webpage: http://www.youngleaders.org.za

Should an aspiring applicant not be able to complete the form online due to lack of data or access to a laptop, they are welcome to contact our team by emailing youngleaders@da.org.za, allowing us to find the best way to support you.

Means of Communication

Please take note that the primary means of communication for the DA Young Leaders Programme selection process is via email (youngleaders@da.org.za). We recommend that applicants regularly check their primary email address or to inform us if they have any communication constraints.

Young Leaders Talent

We would like to ask you to identify and encourage potential Young Leaders in your communities to apply for this programme.

As leaders on the ground, you know who the future leaders/persons with potential are – kindly, therefore, spread the word about the programme to them.

For any further information visit http://www.youngleaders.org.za or contact us at youngleaders@da.org.za.

IEC launches online voter registration facility

July 14, 2021

The Electoral Commission has launched an online voter registration facility allowing new voters to register and existing voters to update or amend their registration from the ease and convenience of their homes or elsewhere.

Launched on Wednesday, the online voter registration facility is part of the Electoral Commission’s ongoing commitment to provide greater accessibility and convenience to voters.

“The Electoral Commission believes the online facility will be a game-changer in promoting voter registration especially among young and first-time voters. Research and engagements over the years with young eligible voters to better understand their behaviour have frequently identified the lack of online voter registration as a key obstacle,” the IEC said.

The introduction of an online registration system is also a crucial part of the Electoral Commission’s plans to boost voter registration despite COVID-19 ahead of the Local Government Elections scheduled for 27 October this year.

“The Electoral Commission hopes that providing a facility whereby voters can register, check and update their registration details without having to visit an IEC office or a voting station will serve to minimise congestion and maximum registration,” the IEC said.

The online voter registration facility follows the implementation of a range of other digital service channels over the past five years including online candidate nominations, online special vote applications and online party funding declarations. It has been in development for a number of years.

“The first phase was the introduction of an online service known as “Click, Check, Confirm” ahead of the 2019 National and Provincial Elections through which existing voters were able to check and amend their registration.  

“More than 350 000 voters have made use of this system since its introduction. The second phase allows all eligible voters – whether registered or not – to register and update their details via a computer, smart mobile device or tablet,” the IEC said.

The system will utilise a number of security checks to ensure the integrity of the voters’ roll. These include the use of a one-time-pin (OTP) verification and the submission of a scan or photograph of the voter’s ID document.

“The online registration complements other existing registration options including ongoing voter registration at all local IEC offices and various outreach initiatives including at schools, tertiary education institutions and the general voter registration weekends ahead of elections,” the IEC said.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission rescheduled its planned voter registration weekend to 31 July – 1 August due to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All 23 151 voting stations are expected to open between 8am and 5pm over that weekend to help voters register and check their registration details in person.

Due to the 24/7 nature of online registration, the facility will also allow voters to register and update their registration details up to the last possible moment ahead of proclamation.

Proclamation has the effect of sealing the voters’ roll for purposes of an impending election.

Eligible voters can register in just a few easy steps:

  • Go to https://registertovote.elections.org.za
  • Click “Register to Vote Now”
  • Enter your personal details
  • Enter the One-Time Pin sent to your cellphone
  • Search for your address, or if you are at home, use the current location on your device
  • Take a photo of your ID OR submit a scan of your ID
  • You will receive an SMS within 24 hours confirming your successful registration.

Users who created profiles on “Click, Check, Confirm” platform can use the same login details to access the system.

“The online voter registration application was developed using a Progressive Web Application platform, which means it can be used on any device with a browser and it uses less data than most mobile apps because it does not need to be downloaded.

“It allows the system to identify and take advantage of specific features on a device. For example, if a camera is detected, the system will suggest the user take a photo of the ID document,” the IEC said.

All South African citizens aged 16 years and older in possession of an SA ID (smartcard ID or green barcoded ID book) are permitted to register as voters. Only registered voters aged 18 or older on election day may vote.

“You must register in a voting district in a ward in which you ordinarily reside and voters are reminded that it is an offence to provide false information or to knowingly register in the ward.

“In local government elections, voters may only vote in the voting district in which they are registered. There is no latitude to vote at any other voting station.

This is due to the geographic element of local government election where wards are a basis of the electoral contest,” the IEC said.

Agents at the IEC Contact Centre can assist voters with the online facility. The Contact Centre is open weekdays from 8am to 5pm on 0800 11 8000 in all languages. 

Moseneke Inquiry: DA objects to the postponement of 2021 LGE

July 5, 2021

The DA has presented oral submissions to the Moseneke Inquiry in support of the Local Government Elections (LGE) proceeding this year. The submissions can be accessed here.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) appointed Judge Dikgang Moseneke to prepare a report in terms of Section 14(4) of the Electoral Commission Act.

The Inquiry was established to make findings and recommendations on whether the IEC would be able to ensure a free and fair 2021 LGE.

The DA does not support the postponement of the LGE and submitted the following arguments to back our position:

The LGE must adhere to the Constitutionally prescribed timeframe:

According to our Constitution, the LGE must take place every 5 years.

The decision by the IEC, as a Constitutional body operating in a Constitutional democracy, to investigate whether it is likely or not to ensure a free and fair election, should never have been made on the grounds that some political parties hold the view that the election should not take place within the Constitutionally prescribed timeframe.

Especially since none of those political parties has attempted to initiate any process, via their representatives in Parliament, to amend the Constitution in order for the LGE to take place at a later stage, in a Constitutionally compliant manner.

The decision by the IEC to formalise this process is at best ill-advised, and at worst a failure on the part of the Commission to uphold its own independence and the requirement to not treat some political parties differently to others.

Furthermore, any process to entertain arguments that are in contradiction to Constitutional provisions which obligates the IEC to arrange the elections to take place on/before 1 November 2021, must be viewed as questionable Constitutional conduct.

State of readiness for political parties:

The state of readiness, or lack thereof, of any party, should not be considered in any way by either the IEC or the Moseneke Inquiry, as a valid reason to postpone the elections.

The DA is of the view that many political parties who argue for a postponement of the 2021 LGE have, in as many words, admitted that a major reason for their position is their own state of unpreparedness for the elections.

The election timetable is a regulatory mechanism to ensure free and fair elections. It cannot and should not be changed based on the readiness of a party to contest in an election.

Participation:

Protestations of political parties that the LGE should be postponed because it will lead to the infection and death of many South Africans are irresponsible and emotional.

These statements are unfounded in light of the various by-elections which took place since the start of the State of Disaster.

While scepticism exists around the Covid-19 protocols and turnout had been lower than the average turnout in the 2016 LGE, this is not indicative of any general intention on the part of the electorate not to vote in the 2021 LGE because of the Covid pandemic.

Covid infection rates:

The DA has been advised that a number of unlikely events and occurrences would have to materialise in order for an “unmanageable spike” in infections to be present in the run-up to the 27 October Election Day.

We were further advised that most scientific models, at this stage, predict that there is a very good possibility that infection rates will be stable and even low in the period immediately before and on 27 October.

The fact that government’s vaccination programme is now finally showing some progress also works against the possibility of an “unmanageable spike” in infections even though it is accepted that the number of people that will in all likelihood have been vaccinated by Election Day will not meet the threshold that will establish so-called “herd immunity”.

The right to campaign :

The right to campaign is ultimately not a right that exists for the benefit of political parties but rather for the benefit of voters.

The postponement of the LGE cannot, therefore, be based on the convenience of political parties to host political campaign events. Parties cannot claim that they are unduly restricted from campaigning solely on the basis that one form of campaigning (i.e. larger and mass meetings) are prohibited.

It is our view that no reasonable voter will view the prohibition on larger gatherings during the campaign period as a clampdown on political rights.

The prohibition of large gatherings can therefore not be viewed as an impediment to free and fair elections. A range of other campaign methods remains available to political parties and candidates.

Ultimately, South Africa’s systems to contest free and fair elections are still intact.

For one, South Africa’s legislative framework and Bill of Rights are mechanisms that give effect to the formal protection of rights and freedoms such as the right to vote, the right to form and participate in the activities of political parties and the right of individuals and political parties to contest elections.

In addition to this, the IEC has already made it clear that it has either already discharged its duties to ensure the presence of some of the elements of free and fair elections, or is favourably positioned to do so.

The Commission is also on record that it will, once again, call on all political parties to sign and commit to the Electoral Code of Conduct.

The DA is of the view that the IEC is ready to ensure free and fair elections and there is no basis for the elections to be postponed.

John Steenhuizen

Leader of the DA

New security Estate launched in St Francis Bay

June 23, 2021

Ongoing multi-million Rand investments in Kouga has seen the launch of a new modern and secure lifestyle estate in St Francis Bay last week Friday – raising the profile of the region.

Developed by Ntaba Holdings, the new Homestead Views Security Estate – located on the outskirts of St Francis overlooking the town with spectacular sea views – will offer a variety of turnkey sectional and full title units that are meticulously designed for contemporary living.

Homestead Views Security Estate is located on the outskirts of St Francis Bay overlooking the town with spectacular sea views. Kevin Penny (Ntaba Holdings Marketing Director), Andrew Govender (Highpana Projects), Kouga Acting Mayor, Brenton Williams, Mzimkhulu Nxumalo (Ntaba Holdings COO), and Skhulile Ndlovu (Ntaba Holdings CEO) attended the official launch on Friday, June 18.

Construction of the internal services are scheduled to start in the next three to four months.

Designed and built in the traditional St Francis Bay style, the estate will consist of 59 full title units and 40 sectional title units, ranging from one-bedroom to three-bedroom houses and apartments. There is also an option between single and double storey homes.

“The different units will boast energy-saving features such as gas hobs, LED-lighting, and rainwater harvesting,” said Penney. “The estate will be access-controlled and secured with an electrified perimeter fence, while it will feature brick-paved roads, waterborne sewage, and breathtaking north-facing views.”

According to Ntaba Holdings Marketing Director, Kevin Penney, 16 full title and sectional title units have already been sold, respectively.

Penney said that one of the brick-paved roads, Cooper Crescent, has been named in recognition of Peter and John Cooper’s contribution to the establishment of Homestead Village and in memory of John Cooper.

Future projects by Ntaba Holdings include a development in Port St Francis, as well as 240 affordable housing units in Humansdorp.

Kouga Acting Mayor, Brenton Williams, said he was excited about the large-scale development that will see St Francis Bay securing a well-deserved spot on the map as a world-class lifestyle destination for young and old.

“We are excited about these kind of projects as they bring much-needed jobs for the people of Kouga, as well as bring big investor confidence,” said Williams.

“It is one of the municipality’s most important goals to create a business-friendly environment in which economic growth can be sustained – helping to create a safe space where people can work, live, and play.”

South Africans have the right to carry firearms for self defense

June 22, 2021

Rising rates of violent crime together with outrageous budget cuts to the South African Police Service (SAPS) have left millions of South Africans more vulnerable than ever before.

Should Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, succeed in getting the draconian draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill passed into law, it will be a victory for the criminals who already enjoy a licence to commit violent crime.

The Bill proposes that South Africans will not be able to apply for a firearm license on the basis of self defence.

It will literally remove the last line of defence for millions of law-abiding South Africans.

Sign this petition to urge the Civilian Secretariat for Police to keep “self-defence” as a reason to possess a firearm.

(You can read more about the proposed new law here: draft amendment bill.)

“Today the DA is also hosting SA’s largest virtual firearm summit. Watch it live on the DA’s Facebook and YouTube channel from 10am.

The summit brings together civil society organisations, academia and interest groups to deliberate on the recently published firearms bill,” says Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police.

The YouTube link to the virtual firearm summit: https://youtu.be/tlXTGTJyBl0

Register now to be vaccinated

June 14, 2021

Residents 60 years and older, as well as healthcare workers can now register to be vaccinated at the vaccination site at the Humansdorp Hospital from Monday, June 14.

To be part of the national vaccination roll-out, eligible residents (60 years and older for now) must be registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

Once registered, the individual will receive an SMS confirming their registration. A follow-up SMS notifying residents of the details of their scheduled vaccination appointment will be send.

Walk-ins over 60 will only be assisted where possible. Walk-ins need to have their ID, passport or driver’s license.To make an appointment, contact 066 303 9131 between 10:00 and 12:00.

 The National Department of Health will announce when the EVDS system will open for the registration for other age groups.

Why Service Delivery is so important

June 9, 2021

Nothing could better underscore the importance of voting – and voting DA – in the upcoming local government elections than yesterday’s news that dairy group Clover has decided to close South Africa’s biggest cheese factory, in the North West town of Lichtenburg.

This decision comes on the back of large financial losses due to poor or non-existent service delivery by Ditsobotla Local Municipality.

The frequent water and electricity supply disruptions and crumbling municipal infrastructure including the practically impassable road leading to the factory means it is no longer feasible for Clover to operate there.

Clover is consolidating its production activities in its Durban factory, a move which will cost Clover R1.5 billion. This is a massive vote of no confidence in Ditsobotla municipality and a massive blow to the community. Some 330 breadwinners will lose their jobs. Other smaller businesses in the municipality will suffer a drop in demand for goods and services.

On the other side of the spectrum lies Midvaal Municipality, the only local government in Gauteng that the DA runs with a full mandate.

A decade of solid delivery under the capable leadership of DA mayor Bongani Baloyi has attracted investment to the area and boosted local economic activity, giving rise to its reputation as the fastest-growing municipality in Gauteng.

Unsurprisingly, Sedibeng Breweries, South African distributors for Heineken chose to establish its national office there, bringing with it new opportunities for job creation and small business.

Other major organisations operating there are Ferrero Roche, New Hope, BSI Steel, South 32, Paramount Trailers and the Oprah Winfrey School. You will not find any of them closing or moving because of poor municipal service delivery.

Midvaal is rated one of the top five best-run municipalities out of 278 municipalities in the country, by independent ratings agency Ratings Africa. It is also the best-performing municipality in Gauteng, and the only one that can boast seven consecutive years of clean audits, meaning public money is reliably spent on the public.

This tale of two municipalities shows the clear blue water between DA- and ANC-run governments. It also makes clear the relationship between local government performance and the area’s ability to attract and retain investment.

More investment means more jobs, more economic activity, and more revenue that can be spent on things that improve people’s lives, such as electrifying informal settlements and building community sports facilities. DA-run Midvaal Municipality does these things and much more.

Local government is the coalface of service delivery and is therefore especially important to vulnerable communities. It is also the essential foundation on which our country’s economy is built. Businesses like Clover vote with their feet.

No business will risk investing in a municipality that can’t guarantee delivery of the most basic services required to run a business profitably – water, electricity, roads, sanitation, refuse collection.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the broad unemployment level in DA-run Western Cape province, where most DA-run municipalities are located, is 17.5 percentage points lower than the average for the other eight provinces.

This is according to Statistics SA’s recently released figures for the first quarter of 2021, which show unemployment at 27.9% in the Western Cape and at 45.4% in the rest of South Africa.

The DA is the only party with a proven track record of delivery. If we want to revive the dying economies of our towns and cities, we have to install DA governments in municipalities and metros across the country. The upcoming local government elections on 27 October 2021 is a crucial opportunity for voters to do this.

Yesterday, the DA was first out of the blocks with its voter registration campaign, fixing DA registration posters to street poles in Nelson Mandela Bay.

DA registration posters will be going up across the country from this week, calling on all South Africans who will be 18 years or older by 27 October to use the registration weekend of 17 and 18 July to make sure they registered to vote DA.

If we want South Africa to work, we need to fix it. There is no more powerful action step you can take to fix your town or city than to vote DA on 27 October 2021, because the DA gets things done.

John Steenhuizen

Leader of the DA

Sign the petition to ensure South Africans can own a firearm for self defence

June 7, 2021

The DA calls on the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, together with the ANC government to tear up the draconian Firearms Control Amendment Bill which seeks, among other limitations, to  invalidate self-defence as a reason to own a gun in South Africa.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement in Parliament this week that it would be up to the courts to decide whether South Africans would be allowed to apply for a firearms licence on the basis of self-defence.

This statement demonstrates a clear lack of confidence by the President in the gun bill. The DA is of the view that the government cannot hide behind the courts.

The ANC must make their views on the matter known so that the public can hold them to account for attempting to take away their constitutionally enshrined rights to protect themselves and their families.

As the DA we have made it clear that we stand opposed to the ban on firearm ownership for self-defence by civilians. With South Africa’s high crime rate, this draconian piece of legislation emboldens criminals, while taking away the last line of defence for law-abiding citizens.

The DA’s petition against the Firearms Control Amendment Bill is gaining significant momentum with more than 65 000 South Africans who have already signed the petition. These are ordinary South Africans who along with the DA stand in strong opposition to the Bill.

They are law-abiding citizens who refuse to be disarmed, only to be forced to rely on an understaffed and under-resourced police force that has been failing to fight crime.

Disarming law-abiding citizens in the current crime-ridden environment is reckless, ill-advised and places many innocent civilians at the mercy of criminals.

We urge those who have not yet signed the petition to visit https://petitions.da.org.za/p/stopgunbill  and sign it to keep “self-defence” as a reason to possess a firearm.

This will go a long way towards putting a stop to this absurd and baseless piece of legislation.

The President and Minister Cele must rip to shreds this draconian Gun Bill, as they have the power to do so. The government must stop passing the buck to the courts, the people of South Africa have made their feelings against the Bill abundantly clear.

The government and SAPS should be making it easier for South Africans to feel safe, not more difficult.