Kouga Mayor vows to clean up municipality

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

While addressing council on Friday, new Kouga Local Municipality Mayor, Elza Van Lingen, said that her administration must work to clean up the municipality and create an atmosphere that is conducive for business do business and create jobs.

"Firstly, we must secure our current jobs and those are mostly in agriculture and tourism.

"When it comes to our citrus, vegetable and dairy export products our irrigable water is subject to European Union testing and water contamination can and will destroy our export products and the jobs we are trying to retain," she said.

"Today we commit to stop all sewerage spills in Kouga.  Every spill must be reported to the Municipal Manager and within 3 days it must be stopped permanently.

"In Kouga, we have the densest dairy herd population in SA – between 17 & 21 animals per square km. Herd bio-security is of cardinal importance and commercial farmers can manage their own responsibilities."

Van Lingen also said that stray animals from local township settlements were a threat to human and animal health.

"We tried to set up a meeting with the Dept of Agriculture this week, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute. The Department will have to take ownership of this problem. It is not only a road safety issue," she said.

EPWP and municipal vehicles

"The general productivity in Kouga must be stepped up, which brings us to the EPWP workers. We promised to clean Kouga up and it poses to be a problem because of two issues namely vehicles and staff or EPWP workers," the Mayor described.

"Of the 1200 / 2000 EPWP workers employed in Kouga, only 97 are employed by the municipality. Plans are under way to get these workers to pick up litter all over Kouga."

Van Lingen said that the matter vehicles was of greater concern. 

"The current fleet is under the management of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and it needs to be moved to Infrastructure, Planning and Development. However we await a plan to ensure there will be sufficient vehicles for service delivery now and for the holiday season when our numbers quadruple.

"We also need to look at the financial viability of most of the vehicles," she said.

Environmental issues

"We have a number of pressing environmental issues where the Coastal Management Plan and several project management plans must be implemented and we refer to Oyster Bay, St Francis Bay and the Seekoei River," Van Lingen said.

"Electricity security is also of vital importance and the line upgrade between Geelhoutboom & Jeffreys Bay is critical.  The R1.5 million on budget is too little to secure electricity.

"Water quality and availability in Jeffreys Bay and Oyster Bay is critical and immediate attention must be paid to these problems."