Official Clarification on the St Francis Tip

Official comment on St FrancisTip Closure

The open letter from “Concerned Residents” last week regarding the St Francis Tip seems to have at last brought some official comment of the closure of the St Francis Tip. St Francis Today received the following  late Friday from Ward Councillor Ben Rheeder which hopefully clears up some of the confusion. Could the sudden urgency of Council be that maybe the Department of Environmental Affairs is threatening punitive action against the Council for this matter has really dragged on for far too long?

NOTES ON SPECIAL WARD 12 COMMITTEE MEETING HELD IN THE ST FRANCIS BAY COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON 24 MAY 2016 AT 10:00.

  1. Cllr Ben Rheeder welcomed everybody present and Mr. P. Leen opened the meeting with a short prayer. (See attendance list).
  2. None.
  3. Cllr Rheeder explained that there is only one item on the agenda, namely the closure of the St Francis Bay refuse site and the proposed Transfer Station.
  4. Closure of the Refuse Site. After various discussions and inputs from the meeting, following come to light.
  5. The St Francis Refuse Site is an illegal site and that a closing certificate was issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs. Kouga Municipality is therefore forced to close the site.
  6. At this stage the St Francis Bay refuse site is still used for dumping building rubble and garden refuse. An immediate closure of the site may create financial problems and possible legal actions against Kouga Municipality.
  7. That after closure building rubble and bulk garden refuse should go to the Humansdorp refuse site.
  8. That the residents of the Greater St Francis should be notified of the closure of the site.  A notice two months before final closure seemed to be enough time.  Notice should be in the local newspapers and on the municipal accounts of people who lives in Ward 12.
  9. Transfer Station. Gcobisa Dadamasi told the meeting that it is a “Drop Off” point that is planned for St Francis and not a “Transfer Station”. (The Drop Off point may later change into a Transfer Station).  A drop off point is for household refuse and small amount of garden refuse in bags.  The drop off point will be six skips with a ramp between them and will be enclosed with entrance control. After discussion the following sites were identified for a drop off point;
  10. Erf 745/75 on Tarragona Road or opposite it as a first choice.
  11. At the entrance of the existing refuse site.
  12. To be determined when formalizing the informal area next to Sea Vista.
  13. Kouga Municipality investigates the mentioned sites and advertises the chosen site.

Ben Rheeder – Ward Councillor

Surfing for inclusion for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

IOC to support Surfing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has today expressed its delight at the decision by the IOC Executive Board to support Surfing for inclusion on the Sports Program for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The IOC membership will now make the final decision on the sports to be added to the 2020 Program at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.

Speaking about the IOC decision, ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:

“This is a wonderful moment for our sport and for the global Surfing family. Our relationship with the IOC and inclusion in the Olympic Games has been a strategic priority for the ISA for many years and we are thrilled that we are now one step closer to realizing our Olympic dream. I’d like to express our sincere thanks to the IOC Executive Board for providing us with this amazing opportunity.

“We are immensely proud of our achievements and the core values that our sport represents. Surfing has incredible youth appeal and a unique culture that would offer huge value to the Olympic Movement. We are aware that the hard work does not stop here. Today’s news gives us renewed energy and determination and we look forward to working with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 as we continue on the road to the IOC Session in Rio.”

For more information, visit www.isasurf.org.

Council approves new municipal budget

The 2016/2017 municipal budget and revised Integrated Development Plan (IDP) were approved by the Kouga Council at a meeting in Jeffreys Bay on Tuesday (31 May).

The new budget will be implemented from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017.

OPERATING BUDGET

Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas said the total operating revenue for the municipality was expected to increase by 8,06% to R637,174-million in the new financial year when compared to the 2015/2016 adjustments budget.

The total operating expenditure would amount to R686,357-million, resulting in a deficit of R49,182-million.

The Executive Mayor said the deficit was mainly due to non-cash items such as depreciation and asset impairment, for which R83,123-million has been budgeted.

“This means that, despite the deficit, our budget is fully cash-backed, as confirmed by Provincial Treasury in their assessment of the new budget,” she said.

According to the budget documents tabled before Council, funding for the 2016/2017 operating budget will be obtained from various sources. These include service charges such as electricity, water, sanitation, refuse collection and environmental management fees (56%). The remainder will be funded from property rates (23,32%) as well as grants and subsidies received from national and provincial government (15,8%).

The following increases in property rates and service charges will be implemented from 1 July 2016:

  • Property rates: 9%
  • Water: 9%
  • Sanitation: 9%
  • Refuse: 9%
  • Electricity: 7,78% (on average, depending on the consumer type)
  • Environmental management fee: 6%

The Executive Mayor said the increases for the coming year were higher than inflation in anticipation of the cost of operating and maintaining the extensive new sewer and water infrastructure that had been put in place during 2015/2016.

“We are mindful of the fact that people are struggling financially, hence, the budget proposes low tariff increases for the following two years – namely, 6,2% for 2017/2018 and 5,9% for 2018/2019.”

The major operating expenditure items for 2016/2017 are employee-related costs (33,98%), bulk electricity purchases (27,2%), depreciation (12,11%), general expenses (9,87%) and repairs and maintenance (5,24%).

The Executive Mayor said that while the percentage budget for repairs and maintenance was lower than the National Treasury guideline of 8%, this had been done deliberately to address the urgent need to replace the municipality’s ageing fleet.

“After careful consideration, we decided it would be better for service delivery if we started replacing old vehicles with new ones. Our fleet is very old and the money that is being spent on constantly having to repair them will go further if we buy new vehicles,” she said.

“This means that a portion of the money that would have gone to repairs and maintenance has been moved to our capital budget to purchase new vehicles.”

CAPITAL BUDGET

The capital budget for 2016/2017 totals R63,069-million, which is 39,65% less than the 2015/2016 adjustments budget. The decrease can mainly be attributed to a reduction in the grant funding from the Department of Human Settlements for capital projects.

A total of R3,8-million of the capital budget will be used to purchase new compactor and skip trucks for the collection of refuse and environmental management. A further R1-million has been set aside for a new mesh truck for the Cleansing and Parks Department.Other highlights on the capital budget include:

  • R14,679m for the ongoing upgrade of the Kruisfontein Waste Water Treatment Works
  • R8,368m towards the replacement of digesters at Patensie
  • R8,073m for high mast lights
  • R6m for the electrification of Ocean View
  • R5,5m for a new community hall at KwaNomzamo
  • R4,321m for the upgrading of sport facilities
  • R3,73m for internal sewer reticulation at Wavecrest
  • R2m for a new transfer station at Patensie
  • R2m for water conservation and demand management projects
  • R1,573m towards a new main incoming line to Jeffreys Bay
  • R1,48m for a new pump at the Cormorant Sewer Pump Station at Aston Bay

Media Release – Laura-Leigh Randall – Kouga Municipality