DA's Elza Van Lingen officially takes reins as new Mayor of Kouga

AUGUST 22, 2016

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) Elza Van Lingen began her first working Monday today after she was elected as the new Mayor of the Kouga Local Municipality at a council meeting held at the Kruisfontein Civic Hall in Humansdorp on Friday.

Her election follows the DA's resounding win in the 3 August election, when the DA unseated the African National Congress (ANC) by securing 17 of the 29 seats in Kouga‚ while the ANC took 12 seats.

In an unprecedented turn of events, the DA now controls the Kouga Local Municipality and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro after the inauguration of DA Eastern Cape leader, Athol Trollip, as its new Executive Mayor.

The DA's Horatio Hendricks was voted in as the new Speaker of the Kouga Council. The new administration will run the municipality for the next five years.

In her acceptance speech, Van Lingen said: “During this historic election, we have seen a wave of change hit our beautiful country, South Africa.

"A blue wave, where a Democratic Alliance led Government was voted for by the people to bring about the change needed to create a better life. A better life not just for some, but a better life for all.

"Rest assured, from today, we not only represent the Democratic Alliance but all the people of Kouga regardless of who you voted for."

Housing and job creation

She said that agreements between the previous Kouga municipality administration and the Eastern Cape Provincial Human Settlements Department, committed to assist with 1 500 RDP houses being constructed in Ocean View and 220 in Pellsrus.

In Humansdorp and Kruisfontein, 391 houses have also been committed to while in Hankey and Weston, respectively 990 and 196 units have been approved.

"These projects will continue but we will monitor any tenders for pals and reprimand anyone found to waste money through corrupt activity – as this has become a hallmark in ANC led governments," said Van Lingen.

"Too many of our people are unemployed and cannot find work.

"Agriculture and Tourism have been at the heart of our economy and will be prioritised as key sectors for job creation.”

Van Lingen also announced the new Mayoral Committee for the next five years: Desmond Petersen (will lead Infrastructure, Planning and Development), Danny Benson (Social Services), Frances Baxter (Tourism and Creative Industries), Bryan Dhludhlu (Local Economic Development), Brenton Williams (Finance, Administration, Monitoring & Evaluation) and Nico Botha (Special Projects).

Main image: Horatio Hendricks and Elza Van Lingen are the new Speaker and Mayor of Kouga. Photo: Clive Wright