Posts Tagged ‘kouga municipality’

Service Alert: Free vehicle testing at Kouga Roadworthy Centre

December 12, 2017

Kouga Municipality is helping residents arrive safely at their holiday destinations this festive season.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen says residents are invited to bring their vehicles to Kouga Municipality’s roadworthy centre in Humansdorp for FREE roadworthy/fitness tests.

The free tests will be conducted from today (Monday, 11 December) to Friday (15 December) from 7:30am to 1pm and 1:30pm to 3pm.

“No prosecution will be done if defects are found,” she says. “The owner will receive a list of defects, if any, to attend to before embarking on their holiday trip.”

Residents are asked to take note that no certification will be issued as this is a free additional service being offered this festive season.

The roadworthy centre is situated at the Kouga Fire Brigade/Testing Centre along the entrance to Humansdorp from the N2. More info at 042 291 0250 or 042 200 8330.

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Kouga employees are now covered by Workman’s Compensation

December 5, 2017

For the first time in ten years Kouga Municipality and its staff are once again registered with the Department of Labour’s Workmen’s Compensation Fund.

The good news follows four months after the Kouga Council made the shocking discovery that the municipal administration had failed to pay Return of Earnings (RoE’s) to the Compensation Commissioner at the Department of Labour for ten years.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the outstanding bill at the time totalled almost R 13 million, accumulated from 2007 to 2016.

“In practice, the municipality’s failure to pay RoEs meant that the institution and its staff were not covered for Injury on Duty claims, putting Council and its workforce at substantial risk,” Van Lingen said.

The Mayor said then newly-appointed Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis was tasked by Council in July to come to an arrangement with the Department of Labour to rectify the matter.

“An agreement was reached and the municipality has since received a Letter of Good Standing from the Department of Labour to confirm that the municipality and staff are once again properly covered for ‘workmen’s compensation’ in line with the Act.”

 

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.”

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.”

From the Mayor’s Desk – 17 August 2017

August 17, 2017

Since taking over Kouga in August 2016, we have discovered that there are a number of financial claims and serious matters of non-compliance hanging over the municipality like a dark cloud.

1. Old debt to Department of Transport

The municipality failed to pay over drivers licence monies to the Department of Transport for several years under the two previous Councils. At the time of the 2016 election, the outstanding amount stood at about R11 million. We are paying this off in line with an arrangement made with the Department.

2. R46-million water bill from Nelson Mandela Bay Metro

Following the election, the new Council was shocked to find that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro had issued Kouga with a water bill for R46 million. This was in addition to the monthly water bill. According to the Metro, Kouga had been under-billed for water usage between 2012 and 2016. The bill had been issued to Kouga in May 2016 but had not been disclosed by the previous Council. Negotiation with the Metro regarding the bill is ongoing.

3. Court case regarding the 2012 St Francis Bay canal fire

A court case that the municipality is defending could potentially cost the municipality between R30 million and R40 million. The claim arises from the 2012 fire that saw scores of houses being razed to the ground in the St Francis Bay canal area.

4. R13-million bill from the Department of Labour

In July 2017 the Council was confronted with another shock bill. Dating back 10 years and totalling R12,62 million, the bill was for Return of Earnings (RoEs), required for what is commonly known as “workmen’s compensation”.

The municipality hadn’t submitted RoEs from 2007 to 2016. This meant that municipal employees did not have proper cover for Injury on Duty claims for almost ten years.

The municipality has since come to an arrangement with the Department for workmen’s compensation to be reinstated and is negotiating paying off the outstanding amount.

Regards

Elza

Council approves appointment of two new directors

August 3, 2017

The DA led Kouga Council approved the appointment of two municipal directors at a special meeting in Jeffreys Bay last week.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said Council had resolved to renew the contract of Victor Felton as Director: Infrastructure, Planning and Development while Krishen Moodley received the nod as Director: Administration, Monitoring, Evaluation and Special Projects.

Felton took up his position on 1 August while Moodley’s contract is being finalised. Both appointments will also be submitted to East Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Fikile Xasa, for concurrence.

The Mayor said the Council had resolved that the position of Director: Social Services Director would be re-advertised.

She added that the filling of the position of Director: Local Economic Development, Tourism and Creative Industries had been put on hold pending a review of the municipality’s portfolio and directorate structures.

“The manner in which directorates are structured, influences how effectively employees can perform their duties. Over the past year we have discovered that the existing structure does little to support interdepartmental cooperation and optimal performance. We are, therefore, reviewing the structure before finalising the appointment of further directors,” she said.

The five-year contracts of Kouga’s former Director: Administration, Monitoring, Evaluation and Special Projects, Thobeka Tom, Director: Local Economic Development, Tourism and Creative Industries, Carleen Arends, and Director: Social Services, Japie Jansen, came to an end on 31 July 2017.

New Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis took up his position in June 2017 while the contract of CFO Selwyn Thys runs till 2022.

Residents invited to rate municipal service delivery

June 30, 2017

THE Kouga Municipality will be running its annual Customer Satisfaction Survey over the next five weeks.

This year’s survey will be the first to be conducted under the new council after the August 2016 local government elections.

The DA’s Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen calls on residents to make use of the platform to scrutinise the municipality and to suggest areas of improvement.

“We would like to know what your service delivery experience has been over the past few months,” she says. “There is a great deal that needs doing if we are to create a culture of service excellence. The survey will help us to prioritise our work in line with community expectations.”

The Mayor says the new council had committed itself to being an accountable leadership that values inputs from residents.

“When we adopted our new vision, Good Governance through Service Excellence, we understood that running a municipality was about listening and responding to the communities we serve,” says Van Lingen.

She says the survey will not replace other platforms such as community meetings but was designed to enhance accountability and the involvement of residents in municipal affairs.

Survey forms will be available at municipal administration units, ward councillors’ offices and public libraries from Monday, June 26. An electronic version is also available on the municipality’s website at http://www.kouga.gov.za.

Completed forms can be dropped in the marked boxes at municipal offices or posted to PO Box 21, Jeffreys Bay, 6330. Electronic versions can be emailed to msobele@kouga.gov.za.

The forms have the different services offered by the municipality, with scores of 1 to 5, the former reflecting the worst opinion and the latter the best.

The closing date for the survey is July, 31.

Court interdicts striking Kouga municipal workers

March 8, 2017

The Labour Court in Port Elizabeth granted an order against the striking Kouga Municipality workers this morning.

The strikers, from SAMWU, have been protesting since Monday and have vandalized Municipal property and trashed the main roads in both Jeffreys Bay and Hankey.

“The Court has interdicted the members of SAMWU from organising and participating in any unprotected strike action currently embarked upon,” said Kouga Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

“It furthermore interdicts SAMWU members from destroying or damaging property belonging to the Kouga Municipality as well as prohibits them from intimidating non striking employees of the Municipality,” added Van Lingen.

The Municipal office in Jeffreys Bay is open to the public and the roads in the CBD are open to traffic.

The strikers threw trash and raw sewage on the streets of Jeffreys Bay and around the Municipal building in Da Gama road on both Monday and Tuesday.

The Mayoral Committee of the Kouga Council will be meeting this afternoon to determine the way forward.

Charges have been laid with the South African Police due to Council property being destroyed during the strike.

Photo: Chris de Vos

Municipal strike continues in Kouga

March 7, 2017

The strike by SAMWU members in the employ of Kouga Municipality has continued into a second day.

Unfortunately there has been further damage to Council property, including the entrance gate to the Municipal building in Jeffreys Bay being broken open and human faeces being thrown onto a building in Humansdorp.

“We were advised by the South African Police Service to send our staff home as there was concern for their safety,” said Kouga Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

“The strikers once again trashed the CBD in Jeffreys Bay and we have received reports that the streets in Hankey have also seen trashed,” added Van Lingen.

In a terse stand-off, the South African Police told the strikers to disperse in Jeffreys Bay, an instruction that was eventually complied with.

“We have requested our Municipal Manager, Mr Sidney Fadi, to engage with Council’s lawyers to ensure we follow the correct legal processes when dealing with the striking workers,” said Van Lingen.

“I would like to thank all the business owners in the CBD for helping in cleaning the streets that have been trashed by the strikers. You help is highly appreciated,” concluded Van Lingen.

Photo: Robbie Irlam

Municipal workers strike in Jeffreys Bay

March 6, 2017

The Kouga Municipality regrets that a strike is taking place at present at our Jeffreys Bay offices.

The Municipal offices have been closed to ensure the safety of staff as well as the public.

kouga-logo

One of the Municipal worker unions, SAMWU has called on its members to strike today.

Their issue revolves around a number of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers whose temporary contracts ended on 28 February and were not renewed.

“As a Municipality we believe we acted lawfully in ending the contracts and the workers as well as Council were timeously informed on the decision,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

Unfortunately some of the strikers broke the two access control gates at the Municipality; they broke windows, and also damaged cars.

The Municipality will be laying charges in this regard,” added Van Lingen.