Kouga to help fishermen

Kouga to help fishermen register to vote

Kouga Municipality is working with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to get fishermen registered as voters.

Working through fishers’ organisations and a public awareness campaign, a special registration drive for fishermen is planned for the month of June. Many local fishermen have never participated in elections due to work commitments.

The programme came about after engagements between the Jeffreys Bay Fishers’ Forum and the municipality’s Local Economic Development (LED) department.

Planning, Development and Tourism Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu said fishermen raised a number of issues at meetings, which also included the municipality and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“One of the challenges that stood out was that the fishermen are out at sea when it’s open voter registration and sometimes during elections.

“We took the matter up with the IEC and we liaised with the Fishers’ Forum for a suitable date to reach out to them. We are glad that the commission is willing to go this extra mile to ensure that the fishermen are registered,” he said.

Dhludhlu said most pleasing was that the fishermen would, like other citizens, enjoy the basic right of being a registered voter, with more negotiations to be held with industry role players for the fishermen to be on the mainland during the elections for them to cast their votes.

Chairman of the Fishers’ Forum, Zakhele Ngaleka, said they were grateful for the intervention and praised the local authority for being a responsive government.

“Yes, we have many challenges and we continue to work with the relevant government spheres on those, but this is without a doubt a major breakthrough.

“We always feel like outcasts as we also want to participate in choosing the people who must lead our country and those who make laws that ultimately affect our daily lives,” said Ngaleka.

He said his members and colleagues understood the importance of this milestone as some of them would be first-time registered voters despite having been of voting age for many years

Press Release – Kouga Media Liaison.

 

Valuation objections out by June

Outcomes of valuation objections to be known by June

Property owners who objected to the new valuations of their properties will receive the outcome of their objections by June.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the objections would be evaluated by DDP Valuers, the company that compiled the new General Valuation Roll.

“The valuer has 30 days in which to consider the objections. The municipality’s Valuations section is currently capturing all the details, following which it will be sent to DDP Valuers for consideration.

“DDP will then communicate the outcome of the objection directly to the property owner. We expect this process to be completed by 1 June,” he explained.

Just more than 300 property owners from the Kouga region have submitted objections to the new valuations of their properties.

The Mayor said this was significantly fewer objections than had been received during the previous valuation process.

“Almost 1 000 objections were received during the compilation of the 2013/2014 General Valuation Roll. We are very pleased with the decrease, as this reflects to what extent we have been able to improve the transparency and accuracy of the process,” he said.

The new General Valuation Roll will come into effect in the new financial year, starting June 2018, and will determine how much property owners are expected to pay for rates and taxes.

The first draft was submitted to Council in January this year, following which property owners were invited to submit objections if they disagreed with the new valuations. The objection period closed on 30 April 2018.

Hendricks said the total value of the new roll was R27,3 billion.

He said should objectors not have received feedback from the valuer by 5 June, they are asked to contact the municipal Valuations team at 042 200 2157 or email mvdmerwe@kouga.gov.za or rvanvuuren@kouga.gov.za.

PROPOSED BEACH EROSION REMEDIATION AT ST FRANCIS BAY

                  

ECO-ROUTE
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANCY

PRE-APPLICATION EIA PROCESS

Notification of Public Participation:

PROPOSED BEACH EROSION REMEDIATION AT ST FRANCIS BAY, EASTERN CAPE

Notice is hereby provided in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998) (as amended by the National Environmental Management Act, Act 62 of 2008 and the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act, Act 25 of 2014), the National Environmental Management Act: Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017, and the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act (Act 24 of 2008); of a Public Participation Process to be undertaken from 17/05/2018 – 17/06/2018 under the authority of the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism / DEDEAT.

The following EIA Listed Activities are applicable:

Government Notice No. R327:

(Listing Notice 1 of 2017)

Activity 15
Activity 17
Activity 18
Activity 19
Activity 19 A
Activity 27
Activity 52
Activity 54
Activity 55
Activity 65
Activity 67

Government Notice No. R325:

(Listing Notice 2 of 2017)

Activity 14
Activity 23
Activity 26

Government Notice No. R324:

(Listing Notice 3 of 2017)

Activity 12
Activity 14
Activity 23
Activity 26

 

The Background Information Document may be reviewed for comment from 17/05/2018 – 17/06/2018 at the Kouga Municipality: Town Planning office, St Francis Bay. Should you wish to gain further information regarding the project or wish to register as an Interested and Affected Party please contact the Environmental Assessment Practitioner (details below). Please provide written comments with your name, contact details and an indication of any direct business, financial, personal or other interest which you may have in the development.

Environmental Assessment Practitioner:  Colleen Ebersohn

Postal Address: P.O. Box 1252, Sedgefield, 6573
Email: info@ecoroute.co.za

The Background Information Document may be accessed via our website:  www.ecoroute.co.za

 

Dagga bust on near Storms River

Humansdorp Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit arrest four

Police arrested four men and seized 17 bags of dagga with a total weight of 500 kilograms valued around R 500 000 early on Saturday morning when they stopped a vehicle between Storms River and Plettenberg Bay.

Earlier the Humansdorp Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit had received information of possible rhino poachers travelling in a white Nissan bakkie and a white Volkswagen Polo, and they followed up on the information.

The Volkswagen Polo was spotted and stopped on N2 near Storms River whilst the Nissan bakkie was spotted and stopped near a fuel station in Plettenberg Bay.

17 bags of dagga were seized and four men all aged in their 30’s were arrested and due to appear in court dealing in dagga. The two vehicles were impounded for further investigation.

Humansdorp Cluster Commander, Brigadier John Lebok said the information leading to the arrests came from residents and the members of the  Humansdorp Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit  “are to be commended for their efforts and commitment, as the information required them to spend long hours on the road”.

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Municipality moves to centralise taxi ranks

Kouga Municipality is working on establishing centralised taxi ranks in its major towns.

The move follows on complaints from commuters, motorists and taxi operators about the haphazard manner in which ranks have been popping up at various places.

Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said the municipality was in discussion with taxi associations and independent operators about moving all operations towards centralised municipal ranks.

“There is great concern that illegal ranks are being opened willy-nilly and this brings great challenges such as unhealthy competition among the various parties involved,” he said.

Benson said there was a notable increase in taxis operating from parking lots in front of business premises and shopping malls.

“This is in contravention of the operating licences, as a taxi rank must be approved by the municipality.

“Even roadside parking space is becoming less available for general motorists due to these being converted into mini-ranks by taxi operators. This is not fair to the public as parking space is already limited,” he said.

Benson said once an agreement had been reached with the taxi industry, a phased approach would be taken to move the taxis to the provided space.

“In Humansdorp, for instance, we have a very big but neglected taxi rank in Bureau Street, with all the necessary facilities,” he said.

He said the municipality would be engaging affected parties about ways to combat illegal operations and to allay fears of unfair competition among the different associations and independent operators.

“We have laws that govern the industry. If these are being ignored and trampled upon, we have to enforce the law. We will do this together with other law enforcement agencies such as the Department of Transport and the police” said Benson.

The municipality’s Traffic Department will also be conducting regular operations aimed specifically at public transport. The focus will be on the roadworthiness of vehicles, operating permits, driver’s licences, including Professional Driving Permits (PDP), and overloading.

(From left) Kouga Law Enforcement Officer Flippie Jonkers, Senior Traffic Officer John Brown and Senior Law Enforcement Officer Manie Jonkers paid conducted inspection at the “taxi rank” at the Shoprite Centre in Humansdorp on Tuesday.

Press release – Kouga Municipality

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Top strategist joins Kouga team

Well-respected strategist joins Kouga’s top management team

Kouga Municipality has kept its promise of recruiting highly-skilled individuals for critical positions by appointing a well-respected strategist and local government expert as its new Director: Planning, Development and Tourism.

Fezeka Mabusela brings with her 16 years of experience in the local government sector, 11 of which have been at management levels. She is a registered Professional Planner with the South African Council for Planners and holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Free State.

New Planning, Development and Tourism Director Fezeka Mabusela (second left) is welcomed by (from left) Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu, Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks and Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis.

Her most recent job was at the South African Local Government Association (Salga) where she was the Programme Manager: Economic Development and Planning.

Her scope of work during her four years at Salga included supporting municipalities in Spatial Planning, Local Economic Development (LED), Integrated Development Planning (IDP) and Information Communication Technology (ICT). She was also actively involved in championing Salga’s Small Towns Regeneration Programme and Regional Planning and Development.

Before joining Salga, she spent five years at the Western Cape Provincial Government as Deputy Director: IDP where she headed the development of a cabinet-approved intergovernmental planning and coordination framework, which led to the mainstreaming of IDPs in all provincial government departments.

That work was followed by the development of a web-based Monitoring and Evaluation platform, used by all municipalities in the province to track joint infrastructure and economic development initiatives.

Her vast experience also includes working at Elundini Municipality as the Manager: IDP and Performance Management.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the appointment of Mabusela was in line with ensuring that the best people were appointed for the municipality to deliver on its mandate. “Her wealth of experience can only be of benefit to the institution and the residents of Kouga,” he said.

Among her first tasks as Director will be to serve as the Project Coordinator of the Building Inclusive Green Municipalities (BIGM) agreement between Kouga and the Canadian municipality Prince Edward County.

Mabusela said what she found appealing about Kouga was the municipality’s focus on town planning as a key pillar and driver of development. “Trends show that Kouga is one of the fastest growing municipalities and the municipality must find ways to respond to that growth. “I want to be part of that response and help to unearth the great potential this wonderful place has.”

She said her radiologist husband and two children, currently staying in East London, would join her once she has properly settled in and has found a school for her boys.

Press Release – Kouga Municipality – Media Liaison

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