Breaching Seekoei mouth

Breaching the Seekoei mouth could lead to bigger problems

Kouga Municipality would like to appeal to residents of Paradise Beach not to breach the mouth of the Seekoei estuary unlawfully. The appeal comes in the wake of concerns that the causeway connecting Paradise Beach to Aston Bay could flood due to heavy rains.

Mayor Elza van Lingen said Council had great sympathy for the plight of Paradise Beach residents but cautioned that breaching the mouth could lead to bigger problems for residents in the long-term. “The estuary is no longer healthy and working as it should. That’s why fish were dying in great numbers only a few months ago,” she said.

“At this stage breaching the mouth simply disturbs the eco-system more and increases the risk of the embankments actually flooding and properties being damaged.”

She said the municipality had submitted an urgent request to the East Cape Department of Roads and Public Works that the alternative gravel road to Paradise Beach from the R102 be graded so as to improve the safety of motorists should the causeway have to be closed.

The gravel road, that exits onto the R102 between Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, falls under the jurisdiction of the Department.

She assured residents that the municipality was working on both short and long-term solutions to the causeway dilemma in partnership with the EC Department of Environmental Affairs.

“Wave deflectors are being considered for the short-term. While this won’t necessarily prevent flooding, it will reduce the amount of salty spray vehicles are exposed to,” she said.

“In order to identify a permanent solution we have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nelson Mandela University.

“Specialists from the university are putting together an Estuarine Management Plan specifically for the Seekoei estuary.

“The plan will enable Council to make an informed decision about the causeway, as well as the possible development of an alternative crossing in the long-term.”

Press Release – Laura-Leigh Randall,
Kouga Municipality
Media Liaison Officer
084 2055 388

Kouga, Eskom and Red Cross forge fire partnership

Eskom and Red Cross have partnered with Kouga Municipality to help strengthen communities at Longmore and Thornhill against natural disasters.

Eskom’s Jongi Dyabaza (left) and Zama Mpondwana (right) hand over the cheque to Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen and Red Cross East Cape provincial manager Caroline Galliant.

Representatives from Eskom visited the municipality on Tuesday (15 August) to hand over a cheque of R350 000 to the Red Cross for use in areas affected by the fire disaster of June 2017.

At the hand-over Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen said the focus would be on Longmore, where more than 200 residents had to be evacuated when the runaway fire threatened their homes, and the surrounding farm areas.

The fire destroyed about 27 000 ha of vegetation in the Longmore and Thornhill areas, as well as farm land, buildings and equipment.

“Kouga fire-fighters were able to save the Longmore Village from burning down, but the community was left without electricity or water because of fire damage to the infrastructure,” Mayor Van Lingen said.

“We had to act fast to prevent a humanitarian crisis. Water was trucked in, a generator and portable toilets were installed, and hot meals were delivered to the village with the assistance of community volunteers and NGOs.”

Red Cross branch manager in Port Elizabeth and the Sarah Baartman district, Coralie Peo-Swartz, said the Eskom donation would be used to equip and train affected communities on how to prevent and survive disaster situations.

“The programme marks the start of an official relationship between the Red Cross and municipality. We are grateful to Eskom for the financial assistance,” she said.

Jongi Dyabaza, stakeholder coordinator at Eskom, said the parastatal was grateful that it could help Kouga through its partnership with the Red Cross.

“Eskom takes its social responsibility towards communities seriously and we are glad that we could be there for Kouga’s people in a time of trouble,” he said.

Mayor Van Lingen emphasised the role partnerships play in building strong governance structures and communities.

“We are humbled by what’s happening here today. We have been strengthening our partnership with Eskom over the past year and are now reaping the benefit of their partnership with the Red Cross,” she said.

“We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from all corners of South Africa during the crisis and are grateful for the ongoing assistance in helping our people recover from the terrible ordeal they suffered.”

Nooitgedacht water relief?

ARTICLE TAKEN FROM POST ON ATHOLL TROLLIP’s FACEBOOK PAGE

The recently completed Phase 2 of the Nooitgedagt Low Level Scheme has undergone a week of testing, and is now approved for ongoing supply to our City.

After two years of construction, this additional supply could not have come at a better time. An extra 140 million litres of water will now be pumped daily into the Municipality’s network, compensating for the drought-induced shortages at the Western supply dams.

Having already lost all supply from Churchill Dam, with Kouga Dam now at 15%, Nooitgedagt Phase 2 may very well carry the Municipality through the remaining months of winter. The Department of Water and Sanitation has imposed a 22% restriction on sourcing water from the western supply dams, limiting daily supply to 274.9 ML.

The Infrastructure & Engineering Directorate, led by MMC Annette Lovemore, has done well to meet targets in this regard, taking some of the sting out of the ongoing drought.

However, the Municipality remains water scarce with demand and supply still neck and neck. Our water saving efforts absolutely have to continue unabated – let us continue working together to instil a water wise culture in our Metro.

Not only is this government working tirelessly to increase water supply, but there is also a concerted effort to repair the City’s ageing infrastructure. Standby teams of plumbers have been working weekends over the last three months to drastically reduce the number of leaks.

Ref: https://web.facebook.com/AtholTrollip

New Directors

Council approves appointment of two new directors

The Kouga Council approved the appointment of two municipal directors at a special meeting in Jeffreys Bay last week.

Victor Felton – Director: Infrastructure, Planning and Development

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said Council had resolved to renew the contract of Victor Felton as Director: Infrastructure, Planning and Development while Krishen Moodley received the nod as Director: Administration, Monitoring, Evaluation and Special Projects.

Felton took up his position on 1 August while Moodley’s contract is being finalised. Both appointments will also be submitted to East Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Fikile Xasa, for concurrence.

The Mayor said the Council had resolved that the position of Director: Social Services Director would be re-advertised.

She added that the filling of the position of Director: Local Economic Development, Tourism and Creative Industries had been put on hold pending a review of the municipality’s portfolio and directorate structures.

“The manner in which directorates are structured, influences how effectively employees can perform their duties. Over the past year we have discovered that the existing structure does little to support interdepartmental cooperation and optimal performance. We are, therefore, reviewing the structure before finalising the appointment of further directors,” she said.

The five-year contracts of Kouga’s former Director: Administration, Monitoring, Evaluation and Special Projects, Thobeka Tom, Director: Local Economic Development, Tourism and Creative Industries, Carleen Arends, and Director: Social Services, Japie Jansen, came to an end on 31 July 2017.

New Municipal Manager

The new Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis took up his position in June 2017 while the contract of CFO Selwyn Thys runs till 2022.

 

Water price increase

Steep water price increase from August

Save Water Urgently

The price of water is set to increase steeply from August when Kouga starts charging emergency drought tariffs.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen said the implementation of the higher charges – Part C of the municipality’s tariff structure – was approved by Council at the end of May. The Council also declared a local state of disaster at the same meeting because of the prolonged drought and looming water shortages.

Water restrictions and Part B (critical but not emergency) water tariffs have been in place in Kouga municipal since December 2016.

Van Lingen said Kouga had further been instructed by the national Department of Water and Sanitation to cut back its water consumption by 25% because dam levels had reached critical levels.

“If good rains don’t fall in the catchment areas soon, we are heading for a disaster that will have far-reaching negative implications for the region as a whole,” she said.

“We call on all residents and business to save water urgently. Every drop counts.”

She said an emergency action plan, aimed at conserving and increasing the water supply, would be tabled to Council.

“Emergency measures will include increasing consumer education and the sinking of additional boreholes.

“With the disaster declaration having been gazetted, we are now also in a position to apply for funding assistance from provincial and national government to implement the emergency measures.”

The implementation of emergency tariffs and call for water consumption to be reduced by at least 25% are also in effect in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Kouga purchases most of its water for domestic use from the Metro, which manages the dams on behalf of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Kouga water tariffs

KOUGA WATER SHORTAGE 

 
Residents and visitors are reminded that there is a serious water shortage in Kouga because of the prolonged drought. If you have visitors, please warn them to use water sparingly so that our taps don’t run dry!

War on Waste

New bins to boost clean-up efforts

Kouga Municipality has declared a war on waste and has increased its efforts to fight illegal dumping and keep communities clean by acquiring 20 new skip bins.

The 6m² containers, worth R348 840 in total, will be distributed to hot spots for illegal dumping.

Social Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said the distribution of the skip bins would be followed by an awareness campaign, run by the municipality’s Solid Waste and Cleansing and Parks sections.

“The campaign will help to empower residents to contribute to the cleanliness of their communities. Small things can make a big difference, for example, we would like to caution adults not to send children to go and dispose of waste at skip bins. Youngsters cannot always reach the mouth of the container and then simply dump the contents next to the bin,” he said.

Benson added that the arrival of the skip bins did not mean that other measures to keep areas clean, such as refuse collection on scheduled days, would be done away with.

“We are intensifying our war against waste so as to ensure that all of Kouga’s people live, work and play in clean and healthy environments,” he said.

He also asked communities to be aware of the following:

  • No fires must be made inside the skip bins, even if it is to burn waste;
  • Only the municipality has the right to remove or clean the skip bins;
  • Waste must be disposed of inside the bin, not next to it; and
  • Children should be warned against playing in skip bins.
War on Waste

WAR ON WASTE: Social Services Acting Director Nomvula Machelesi, Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson and Acting Cleansing and Parks Manager Frank Tamboer receive the new consignment of skips.

To report illegal dumping residents can phone Kouga’s Solid Waste section on 042 200 8335

Press Release 
Laura-Leigh Randall
Kouga Municipality
Media Liaison Officer
084 2055 388