Posts Tagged ‘kouga municipality’

Kouga launches online portal for building plans

July 8, 2020

Kouga has become one of the first municipalities in the Eastern Cape to launch a virtual portal for the submission of building plans.

Kouga Planning and Development portfolio chairman, Alderman Ben Rheeder, said the launch could not have come at a better time as it meant the processing of building plans could continue despite Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

“In addition to the new virtual portal for building plans, staff members are available via telephone or email to assist residents and trade professionals with building-related queries and submissions,” said Rheeder.

He said the electronic submission of building plans could be done through the Ovvio portal on the municipal website at http://www.kouga.gov.za.

An access key is necessary to register for this service and can be obtained from Mariske Kleingeld at mkleingeld@kouga.gov.za or Adrian Thorne at athorne@kouga.gov.za

“Once you have registered, simply follow the prompts to submit the building plans,” he said.

“Please note that the portal cannot be used to make payments. Fees must be paid into the municipal bank account and proof of payment submitted with the plans.”

Payments must be made into Kouga Municipality’s bank account. The banking details are as follows: Kouga Municipality, First National Bank, account number 52540033504 and reference PD + your surname.

He said those who could not access the portal, could submit their building plans manually at the security desks of the municipal offices in Woltemade Street, Jeffreys Bay, or St Francis Bay. Proof of payment must also be included with the submission.

Rheeder said one of the advantages of the virtual portal was that progress on the processing of building plans could also be tracked online through the portal.

Alternatively, the following support staff can be contacted at 042 200 2200 (option 4) or emailed for queries about new or existing plans: Zimasa Daniso at zdaniso@kouga.gov.za, Roelien Augustus at raugustus@kouga.gov.za or, for St Francis and Oyster Bay, Ann Bezuidenhout at abezuidenhout@kouga.gov.za

Rheeder commended the Planning and Development department for the initiative.

“Kouga is once again setting the trend for other municipalities. Not only will the virtual portal help to keep Kouga growing economically, it is another step forward in our efforts to keep Kouga smart.”

Covid-19 measures for land-use applications and site inspections

Kouga Municipality has put in place measures to receive and process land-use applications, as well as to conduct site inspections, during level three of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Kouga Planning and Development portfolio chairman, Alderman Ben Rheeder, said land-use applications could now be submitted via email to Binadene Meyer at bmeyer@kouga.gov.za or Yanga Nobaza at ynobaza@kouga.gov.za

Queries about land-use applications can be submitted to Elsa van Biljon at evbiljon@kouga.gov.za or Lawrence Ramakuwela at lramakuwela@kouga.gov.za

Requests for zoning certificates can be referred to Sadrick Grootboom at cgrootboom@kouga.gov.za.

“Site inspections can also once again take place but must be booked via telephone or email,” he said.

The following support staff can be contacted at 042 200 2200 (option 4) to book a site inspection or email them at: Zimasa Daniso at zdaniso@kouga.gov.za, Roelien Augustus at raugustus@kouga.gov.za or, for St Francis and Oyster Bay, Ann Bezuidenhout at abezuidenhout@kouga.gov.za

“Please note that due to Covid-19 safety protocols no workers are allowed on site during the inspection,” he said.

He said any long-outstanding issues could be taken up with the Manager: Development Planning, Kobus Marais, on jmarais@kouga.gov.za or the Director: Planning, Development and Tourism, Fezeka Mabusela, on fmabusela@kouga.gov.za.

Past municipal leaders slammed for wasting money

July 7, 2020

More than R32 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, incurred under the watch of Kouga’s two previous Councils, has been certified as irrecoverable and written off.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said it was an indictment on the municipality’s past leaders that millions of Rands had been wasted when it could have gone towards improving service delivery to communities.

According to an item tabled to Council last Friday, a total of R32 89 407 in fruitless and wasteful expenditure was incurred by the municipality from 2008 to 2016.

“That is an average of more than R4 million a year,” he said.

He said several measures have been implemented since the inauguration of the current Council to curb fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

“The success of these measures, driven by the DA-led Council, is evident in the sharp drop of the amounts, with the fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the most recent audited year, 2018/2019, totalling R53 650 only.”

He said the municipality was on track to eliminate fruitless and wasteful expenditure completely so that ratepayers would get maximum value for their money.

He said the bulk of the fruitless and wasteless expenditure from 2008/2009 to 2015/2016 was the result of interest that had to be paid to creditors due to late payments by the municipality.

“We have been able to minimize this through the appointment of competent staff and by adopting fully funded budgets, with realistically-estimated revenue.

“A standard operating procedure has also been developed for the submission of invoices from service providers to prevent late payments due to non-receipt of invoices.”

Keeping the grass short and the economy growing

July 3, 2020

Kouga Municipality is doubling up its efforts to keep grassy public areas neat and trim.

Twenty industrial lawn mowers, 38 brush-cutters and 12 grass-blowers were delivered to the municipality last week.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson, said the equipment procured at a cost of almost R750 000, would strengthen the municipality’s efforts to keep town entrances and sidewalks clean and attrac-tive.

“It will also improve the maintenance of public facilities such as sport fields, cemeteries, community halls and caravan parks, as well as the lawns at municipal buildings.”

He commended the municipality’s Parks and Public Amenities section for the good work they have been doing to keep grassy areas neat despite the constraints they faced.

“They also assist schools and crèches to keep their premises tidy and safe for Kouga’s youngest residents.

“This purchase more than doubles their arsenal of equipment, which will allow them to do even more in their pursuit of service excellence.”

He said regular grass-cutting not only boosted public health but also had the potential to help grow the economy.

“Investors are drawn to areas that are well looked after. That was one of the reasons the Keep Kouga Clean campaign was launched and we are pleased to be taking it another step forward,” he said.

Applications open for payment relief on Municipal accounts

June 15, 2020

Kouga municipal account holders can now apply for Covid-19 payment relief.

Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said the aim of the relief measures was to assist residents and businesses whose income had been negatively affected by the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Application forms are available on the municipal website under “Finance”, as well as from the revenue section at the municipal units in Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St Francis Bay and Hankey.

Once completed, the form and supporting documents can be emailed to abontshi@kouga.gov.za or submitted to the revenue section at the above offices.

The closing date for applications is 30 June 2020. Residents are encouraged to submit electronic applications if possible so as to avoid long queues and social contact at offices.

Hendricks said two types of relief measures had been approved by the Kouga Council – relief measures that would automatically be applied to all municipal accounts and relief measures that municipal account holders would need to apply for.

He said relief measures that would automatically be applied to all accounts, included a reprieve on interest charged on overdue accounts from the start of the lockdown to 30 June 2020.

“All debt collection measures have also been stopped for this period.

“Blocked electricity metres were unblocked in March and no money has since been taken off prepaid purchases for overdue accounts. This reprieve will remain in place until the end of this month.”

He said from 1 July 2020 money would once again be taken off prepaid purchases for overdue accounts.

“However, this will be done at a reduced rate of 25% and not 50%, as was the arrangement before the lockdown. Residents and businesses will also then be able to apply for further relief.”

He said relief measures subject to application, included a retrospective payment holiday for the months of April to June 2020.

“Residents and businesses will also be able to apply for reprieve from interest on their outstanding accounts up to December 31. They will further be able to make three to six-month payment arrangements with the municipality.”

He said any household whose combined income had dropped to below R3 720 due to the lockdown would be able to apply for indigent service subsidies.

“These applicants will be placed on a Covid-19 indigent register for temporary relief. All households that qualify will receive free basic services until the end of the year.”

These free basic services include 50kwh electricity plus the basic charge free, 12kl water plus the basic charge free, free refuse removal and free sewer, based on 12kl water consumption.

Those who qualify will also not have to pay the Environmental Management Fee and will receive rates relief for an additional R85 000 on their properties.

MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS RE-OPEN FOR ACCOUNT PAYMENTS AND ENQUIRIES

May 14, 2020

The municipality’s income section, including the cashiers at all units, is once again open to the public.

The Jeffreys Bay unit opened for business yesterday. All other units will be open from today (Thursday, 14 May).

The operating hours during the Covid-19 lockdown will be as follows:

* Mondays to Thursdays: 08:30 – 15:00
* Friday: 08:30 – 13:00

While this means residents can once again pay their accounts at the cashiers, we would like to encourage those who can, to make use of the online options instead.

EFT account payments can be made into the following bank account:

* Name: Kouga Municipality
* Bank: First National Bank
* Account number: 52540033504
* Reference: Your municipal account number and surname

Payments can also be done online through pay@.

This service can be accessed through the following link, including the unique code given to each account – https://payat.io/qr/yourcode

Your unique code can be found on page two of the municipal account next to the pay@ option. For example: https://payat.io/qr/1137400000.

Balance and general account queries can also be made by contacting the municipal call centre at 042 200 2200 (option 3).

Billion rand budget approved by Kouga Council

March 7, 2020

Jeffreys Bay – The Kouga Council approved an adjustment budget of over a billion rand at a meeting held on 28 February 2020.

This is the first time in the history of the Municipality that a budget of a billion rand has been approved by the DA led Council.

Operational expenditure amounts to R 925 million while the approved capital budget is R 194 million. This equates to a total expenditure budget of R 1,1 billion.

Internally generated funds make up R 56,7 million of the capital budget, while R 137, 9 million is from national government grants and includes nearly R 100 million of drought funding that was received from National Treasury in the previous financial year.

The water projects are expected to be complete by the end of June and will ensure that the coastal towns in Kouga have water security in times of drought.

This includes the towns of Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay, while Humansdorp is also included.

The drought funding is being spent on searching for groundwater, connecting new boreholes to the water grid, upgrading water infrastructure and identifying the cause for water losses throughout Kouga.

“The main revenue sources are the sale of electricity (R 274 million), property rates (R 188,8  million), water sales (R 75,7 million) waste water management ( R 50 million) and refuse collection (R 37 million) while operational grants amount to R 133 million,” said Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“Debt has been significantly reduced in the Municipality and for the first time ever, the Auditor General did not make a finding regarding 30 day and over creditors and this has now enabled us to redirect funds towards service delivery.

While there are still problems with the Traffic Department in Humansdorp, it is pleasing to note that we are budgeting for an additional R three million for licenses,as revenue from the Traffic Department is over budget for the first six months of the financial year,” added Hendricks.

More funding has been made available for the resealing and repair of roads throughout Kouga with R 25 million available in the budget for this purpose.

“We inherited a backlog in Kouga’s road infrastructure of between R 500 – 600 million after many years of neglect under the previous ANC government in the Municipality.

We are very happy that we have managed the finances of Kouga in a responsible and prudent manner and can now begin to spend money where it should be spent and that is to invest in the infrastructure like roads.”

Kouga Mayor thanks all festive season roleplayers

January 25, 2020

A lot of hard work happened behind the scenes to ensure a safe and relaxing festive season for all.

“While most people were enjoying their holiday, Kouga Municipality’s Joint Coordinating Committee was working extra very hard to make Jeffreys Bay and surroundings a safe area for all,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“A big thank you to our Municipal Manager, Charl du Plessis, and this amazing group of stakeholders who looked after the safety of our citizens and tourists over the summer holiday.

“They met at 08:00 every morning, even on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Their efforts were seen and we are very grateful to each and every one of them for helping to ensure a pleasant holiday experience to all.”

The Mayor also thanked all residents and visitors for supporting local businesses and restaurants.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back again soon to Kouga, the Events Capital of South Africa.”

Funding opportunities for SMME’s in Kouga

January 23, 2020

Kouga co-ops and SMMEs have been invited to submit funding proposals for consideration by the Sarah Baartman District Municipality (SBDM).

According to an email from SBDM to Kouga Municipality’s Local Economic Development (LED) and Tourism unit, funding of between R70 000 and R200 000 could be availed to successful applicants.

“There is a template that must be completed and returned, together with a motivation no longer than one page,” said Kouga LED and Tourism Portfolio Councillor Frances Baxter.

“Applicants may also submit additional documentation to support their application, as well as business plans if any has been developed for the project or programme.”

She said the template was available from Xolile Wagosa at the municipality’s LED and Tourism unit. He can be contacted on 067 107 9154 or xwagosa@kouga.gov.za.

The office is situated at Kouga Municipality’s offices at 16 Woltemade Street, Jeffreys Bay.

The deadline for submissions is 3pm on Friday, 24 January.

“We apologise for the short notice. This is, however, unavoidable as Kouga received short notice from the district municipality.

We would, however, like to encourage all co-ops and SMMEs to make use of this opportunity,” she said.

Successful holiday season in Kouga

January 13, 2020

Compliments have been pouring in for the DA led Kouga Municipality in the wake of a successful festive season.

Many property agencies reported a record year for rentals, with the demand for holiday accommodation stretching over a longer period than usual.

While the overall visitor tally is still to be finalised, Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the municipality was pleased with the number of tourists who spent their holiday in the region, bringing much-needed support to local businesses.

Photo: Joey Nel

“We have some of the best beaches in South Africa and they were packed with holiday-makers day after day,” he said. “It was also great to see residents and visitors keeping themselves fit and healthy, be it by jogging, cycling, swimming or surfing.

“Our region was further spared from devastating fires and floods while there were minimal interruptions in the electricity supply, save load shedding, and water provision despite the drought.

“Our cleansing teams were often up at the crack of dawn and operated in the dead of night to make sure that when residents awoke, they arrived at pristine clean areas.”

Plenty of fun activities took place across the region, including the first-ever laser shows to mark the Opening of the Season and New Year.

Sport events such as the USN Touch Rugby, St Francis Sport Summer Series, the Marina Mile, Caltex Holiday Run and Pam Golding Quadrathlon also drew scores of participants.

Other event highlights included the Flash Float, which attracted more than 3 500 “floaters”, a Glow-in-the-Dark Colour Run, a variety of music shows and markets, as well as food and wine festivals.

Safety and security

Teamwork helped to keep locals and visitors safe in Kouga this past festive season.

Hendricks said compliments had been pouring in for Kouga’s lifeguards, who kept a close eye on bathers while the NSRI’s pink buoys helped to save the lives of two teenage boys at Jeffreys Bay who got caught in a rip current.

A Joint Operations Centre (JOC) had been established to coordinate the efforts of all roleplayers. “The JOC met every morning, including Saturdays and Sundays, for roleplayers to report back on what has been happening in their sectors, identify problem areas and roll out solutions,” said Hendricks.

Additional safety measures included regular beach patrols by foot or quad bike, while all-terrain and 4×4 vehicles were used where permission could be obtained from the Department of Environmental Affairs.

Look-out points were also erected at high-risk areas to improve visible policing.

DA-led Kouga municipality leads the way in innovation and service delivery

December 18, 2019

The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape has congratulated the Kouga Municipality on officially launching Africa’s first eco-friendly road.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks cut the ribbon at Woltemade Street in Jeffreys Bay to declare the new plastic-infused road open to traffic together with Nqaba Bhanga, John Steenhuizen and Vicky Knoetze .

A 300m strip of Woltemade Street has been re-layered with plastic-infused tar, with a further section of Koraal Street to follow. Plastic-infused roads are more durable and friendlier to the environment.

About 1,5 tonnes of plastic, the equivalent of 1,8 million single-use bags, are used in just 1km of road.

DA-governed Kouga, under the leadership of Mayor Hendricks, is turning the municipality around after years of ANC neglect.

Some of the other successes achieved to date include:

Finances:

Under the DA’s leadership the municipality is now financially stronger than it has ever been. Creditors have been reduced, long-term liabilities have decreased and inherited debt owed to the Department of Labour and Department of Transport has also been repaid.

The municipality has received two consecutive unqualified audit opinions from the Auditor-General.

It has also passed a R890 million cash-backed service delivery focussed budget for the 2019/20 financial year.

Water Security:

Faced with the realities of water scarcity, the DA-led municipality has been proactive and a borehole project to augment water supply has been implemented.

The municipality secured R151,2 million in drought funding for ground water development and Water Conservation and Demand Management (WCDM) projects.

This included R27 million for the war on leaks programme. A total of 1 747 properties in historically disadvantaged communities were retrofitted as part of the programme.

The municipality has also invested millions to upgrade its water and wastewater treatment works, benefitting thousands of households.

Housing:

Under the previous ANC regime, the building of new government-subsidised housing came to a standstill. This changed under the leadership of the DA when work started on the top structures of 391 houses at Kruisfontein. Another two housing projects are currently underway and seven more are in the advanced planning stage.

The Council also recently awarded Kouga’s first-ever Finance Link Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) and Social Housing project. Erf 335 at Jeffreys Bay has been earmarked for the development.

Fleet Management:

Another challenge inherited by the DA-led municipality in 2016 was the shocking state of Kouga’s fleet.

Only 4% of the fleet was fully operational. A fleet replacement plan has subsequently been implemented and at least 90% of the fleet is in operation daily.

“In the Kouga Municipality we have shown that a DA-government can grow the economy, create jobs and ensure clean governance, financial stability and service delivery,” said Nqaba Bhanga, the leader of the DA in the Eastern Cape.