Energy Summit

Kouga hosts Youth in Energy Summit

Young people from across Kouga will take part in the first Youth in Energy Summit at Cape St Francis this week.

The summit will take place at 9am on Wednesday, 28 June, at the Cape St Francis Resort. It is being presented jointly by Kouga Municipality, Eskom, the Kouga Wind Farm and New Generation Mindset (NGM).

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen said the event was open to all young and aspiring business people, as well as those who are already in business.

“The summit will be jam-packed with information relevant to young entrepreneurs who would like to tap into the opportunities that are opening up in Kouga thanks to energy-related developments,” she said.

The keynote speaker at the event will be East Cape MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Sakhumzi Somyo.

Two youth entrepreneurs will also share their success stories.

Other topics and role-players on the programme are:

  • Skills and Careers around Energy (Eskom)
  • Energy Mix Prospects and Opportunities (Necsa)
  • SMME support around energy (NGM)
  • Supporting Entrepreneurial Development (NYDA)
  • Wind Farm Development Plan and Youth Opportunities (Kouga Wind Farm)
  • SMME Funding (ECDC)
  • SMME Funding Support (IDC)
  • SMME mentorship and support (The Hope Factory)

For further information contact Zingi Mdidimba at the municipality’s LED unit on 083 571 7976 or 042 2002227.

energy summit

Financial skills training

Financial skills training at Sea Vista and Umzamowethu

Financial skills training for communities will be presented at Sea Vista and Unzamowethu this week.

Kouga Local Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu said the training would be free and open to anyone older than 15 years.

“We would like to encourage saving club members, stokvels, household members and any other interested individuals to make use of this opportunity.

“Topics that will be covered, include: Budgeting, Managing Debt, Using and Managing Credit Smartly, Everyday Banking, Growth and Wealth Creation, Consumer Rights and Responsibilities,” he said.

The duration of the workshop is about one hour.

It will take place at the Sea Vista Community Hall at 10am and 1pm on Wednesday (28 June) and Friday (30 June). It will be held at the Oyster Bay Community Hall on Thursday (29 June) at 10am and 1pm.

He said the workshop was an initiative of the Kouga Wind Farm and would be presented by Leap Entrepreneurial Development.

Massive clean-up

Kouga Mayor launches massive clean-up intervention

600 tonnes collected as Kouga Mayor launches massive clean-up intervention

Some 600 tonnes of rubbish was collected at Jeffreys Bay this past week as Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen officially launched a massive clean-up campaign, set to be rolled out across the region.

More than 100 community members took part in the campaign, which stretched over five days and covered the areas of Pellsrus, Tokyo Sexwale, Mandela Bay and Ocean View.

Mayor Van Lingen said illegal dumping sites, sidewalks and open spaces were cleared of all manner of waste, from empty bottles and dirty nappies to broken appliances and building rubble.

“The cleansing teams collected more than 600 cubic metres of rubbish – that’s roughly equal to 600 tonnes – and carted it to the regional waste site at Humansdorp,” she said.

“We are grateful to them for doing such a great job and making a visible difference to their communities.”

She said owners of open plots where rubble or garden refuse were being kept, would also be notified to have it removed.

Mayor Elza van Lingen clean-up intervention

Mayor Elza van Lingen and Social Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson took time out to share their vision for Jeffreys Bay with Kaylen Vaaltyn (2), Bryce Jordaan (2), Courtney Smit (2) and Raydene Jordaan (6) during the recent Kouga Mayoral Clean-up Intervention in Jeffreys Bay.

The Mayor said casual littering and illegal dumping were two of the big challenges facing communities and the municipality.

“The municipality has accelerated its drive to keep Kouga clean, and we want to call on communities to join us in this war on waste.

“A clean area improves everyone’s quality of life and makes for happier and healthier communities.

“It also helps to create job opportunities because a clean area is more attractive to tourists and creates a good impression on potential investors.”

She said the municipality would be putting up extra signage to warn against illegal dumping and that action would be taken against perpetrators.

She also called on grown-ups to take children by the hand and teach them that littering was wrong and harmful to their environment.

The Kouga Mayoral Clean-up Intervention will be moving to Humansdorp this week. Several smaller clean-ups were also held ahead of the massive Jeffreys Bay clean-up, so as to help raise awareness of the need for communities and the municipality to band together in the war against waste.

Ocean View clean-up intervention

The entrance of Ocean View was among the areas that were cleaned up as part of the campaign. (During Clean-Up)

Ocean View clean-up intervention

Ocean View clean-up intervention (After)

St Francis Today will keep you informed when the intervention moves to Sea Vista & St Francis Bay

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

Municipal payments

Important info for Kouga Municipal payments and account holders

Kouga Municipal cashiers to close at noon on 30 June & Residents asked to re-register for municipal online service

Residents are asked to take note that all municipal pay-points (cashiers) will close at 12 noon on Friday, 30 June 2017.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the early closure was necessary so as to allow the municipality to close off its books for the 2016/2017 financial year.

Friday, 30 June 2017, will be the last day of the current financial year.

She said the arrangement would only affect those wanting to make payments directly at municipal offices, including the Kouga Traffic Department at Humansdorp.

Residents will still, however, be able to make internet banking payments or pay at external pay-points such as the Post Office, pay@, Ackermans, Shoprite/Checkers/Usave, Spar, Pick n Pay, Pep Stores, EasyPay, My eBills and Boxer.

Residents asked to re-register for municipal online service

Residents and ratepayers who registered during the months of March 2017 and April 2017 to receive their municipal accounts via email have been asked to re-register.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said that data added to the system during these two months was lost when the service providers’ server crashed.

“We humbly apologise for the inconvenience, and would like to assure residents that additional back-up measures have been introduced to prevent this from happening again,” she said.

Those who registered during March and April 2017 are asked to contact the municipality’s Income Department at Jeffreys Bay to verify that they are still registered or to obtain a new access key to re-register.

Those affected can phone 042 200 2138 (Patrick), 042 200 2135 (Trevor) or 042 200 2263 (Centelle).

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

Fire Update

22nd June

Firefighters have been preparing for the strong winds predicted for tomorrow. 

Please find below the fire update from Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen:

Fire-fighters prepare for strong winds tomorrow

Strong winds have been predicted for tomorrow, renewing fears that there could be flare-ups in the Longmore, Thornhill and Van Stadens Gorge areas.

While there have been no further flare-ups overnight or today, there are still areas that are smouldering at Longmore and the Van Stadens Gorge, as well as behind Woodridge in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Kouga fire-fighters and farmers have been doing preventative mop-ups in preparation of the strong winds. A team has also been sent to Woodridge to help Nelson Mandela Bay with mop-up operations there.

The fire that flared up behind Woodridge yesterday was extinguished with the help of two SANDF helicopters, which also helped to douse smaller flare-ups at the Van Stadens Gorge.

Damage & Warnings

It will cost an estimated R1-million to replace fire-damaged road signs, guard rails and fences along the N2 in the vicinity of Van Stadens. Sanral has been removing the damaged signs and has ordered new ones.

Drivers are asked to continue driving with caution and to be on the look-out for burnt trees which could fall over into the roads.

Eskom has completed repairs to major power lines that were damaged by the fire and estimates that it will take another two weeks to complete repairs to minor lines.

Police continue to patrol the Thornhill area so as to prevent looting. No incidents of looting have been reported.

Donations are still being received and can be dropped off at the Thornhill police station.

21st June

Please find below a fire update from Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen – 20 June 2017

DAMAGE

About 17 000 ha of veld, plantation and farm land in the Kouga area has been destroyed by the fire that started burning in the Longmore area on 7 June. This is only within Kouga’s area of jurisdiction and does not include damage on Nelson Mandela Bay’s side. 

Sanral has been replacing fire-damaged barriers along the N2.  They have also been removing damaged road signs along the N2 and new ones have been ordered.

FLARE-UPS

There were some flare-ups in the Van Stadens Gorge overnight but these were extinguished. The two SANDF helicopters were also used to dump water on hot spots in the gorge.  

Smaller flare-ups were extinguished in the Loerie/Thornhill areas today.

Fire-fighters and farmers are now busy with 360˚ mop-ups along the perimeters of fire-damaged areas.

Kouga fire-fighters are still assisting Nelson Mandela Bay with the fire at the Yellowwoods area behind Woodridge. About 120 000 litres of water was thrown on this fire by the SANDF helicopters yesterday, which helped to contain the fire.  

20th June

There have been some flare-ups in Kouga today and over  weekend. Herewith a fire update from Mayor Elza van Lingen:

 FLARE-UPS

There were flare-ups at Longmore over the weekend but fire-fighters were able to contain and extinguish the fires before any further damage was caused.

There have also been flare-ups at Crossways and Thornhill today, but they have been contained.

There are still 80 fire-fighters on the ground in these areas.

Two SANDF helicopters again water-bombed hot spots over the weekend. Each helicopter dumped about 60 000 litres of water on smouldering areas.

Farmers are also busy assisting with mop-up operations, especially in the Thornhill area.

The major concern at this stage is the fire that has flared up to the eastern side of the Van Stadens gorge behind Woodridge. Kouga has sent fire-fighters to assist Nelson Mandela Bay.

LONGMORE VILLAGE

Nelson Mandela has not yet been able to restore the electricity supply to the Longmore village.

Kouga Municipality has, however, brought in a generator which is being used to supply power to houses on a rotational basis.

Kouga Municipality is also carting in water and has put in place 25 portable toilets for use by the village, as the water supply has also been affected by the power outage.

WARNINGS

Sightseers have been obstructing fire-fighting operations along the N2 and R102. We ask that people avoid these areas as far as is possible. Drivers are reminded to please reduce speed when driving in these areas.

Police are patrolling affected areas to prevent looting, also of scrap metal.

The Thornhill Police Station is currently being used as the drop-off point for donations.

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

Humanitarian crisis

Humanitarian crisis brewing at Longmore

A humanitarian crisis is brewing at the Longmore village where residents have been without electricity and water since the weekend.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said 80 households were affected by the service interruption, caused by fire damage to electrical infrastructure.

“Longmore is situated in the Kouga region, but Nelson Mandela Bay is the supply authority for electricity. The Metro had hoped to have the power restored by today, but the damage was more extensive than anticipated,” she said.

“The burnt line also supplies electricity to the Loerie Dam and pump stations, hence, the interruption in the water supply.”

She said Kouga Municipality was carting water to the area and that 25 mobile toilets were being delivered to the village today. Generators are being brought in to try and get the pump stations up and running again.

“We are also collecting ready-made meals for the 204 people of the village because it has been difficult for them to make their own food.”

She said the full extent of the fire damage had not yet been determined but that early estimates put it at hundreds of millions of rands.

“Sixty percent of the Longmore Plantation, as well as the saw mill, burnt down. The cost of this damage will be immense.”

She said the Department of Social Development was working with local farmers and farming associations to assess the damage to farms in the area.

“We are concerned that hundreds of farm workers are going to be without work. It could take as long as three years or more for affected farmers to rebuild what they have lost.”

She said Social Development and the Jeffreys Bay Trauma Centre were continuing with counselling support.  Eighteen children from the affected areas have already received counselling.

She appealed to non-profit organisations that work with poor communities to contact Sarah Hugo from the National Lottery at 086 006 5383 to see how they can assist those traumatised and affected by the fire.

Ready-made meals can be dropped off at the Thornhill Hotel, the Kouga Municipal offices at 33 Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay, or at the Kouga Fire Department on the entry road to Humansdorp from the N2.

Press release from Laura-Leigh Randall
Kouga Municipality Media Liaison Oficer
084 2055 388