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!

Safety & Security Meeting

A safety and security meeting is to be held at the Sea Vista Community Hall on Friday 21st July and the residents of St Francis are invited to attend a forum where leading members of the South African Police Services, the Kouga Mayor and members of the St Francis Community will provide an update of activities and strategies in our fight against crime.

This is your opportunity to raise concerns and provide input into a community based strategy. The vision is to consolidate resources in the fight against crime; the long term strategy is to make greater St Francis a better and safer place to live.

Included in the high profile delegates who will address the meeting is the Eastern Cape Police Commissioner Major General Liziwe Ntshinga. Also attending are SAPS Cluster Commander – Brigadier J Lebok, SAPS St Francis Station Commander -Captain N Gomoshe, Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen, St Francis Property Owners – Chairperson Wayne Furphy  and Community Police Forum – Chairperson John Hammond.

It is important that residents make an effort to attend this meeting so as to illustrate in how concerned we as a community are at the state of crime in St Francis. Promises of a new police station were promised years ago but seem to have been forgotten as has the entire infrastructure of policing in St Francis. There is little point in complaining about our safety and security in terms of crime if we don’t make an effort to participate by voicing our concerns and possible solutions.

The meeting will be held at the Sea Vista Community Hall in Steenbras Street, Sea Vista from 10:00am to 12 noon on Friday 21st July.

PLEASE MAKE AN EFFORT TO ATTEND

Chokka fishing boat disaster

Eight crew still missing from capsized chokka fishing boat

There were still eight crew members missing from the ill-fated Chokka fishing boat Maredon that capsized off Thyspunt early Sunday morning. An extensive sea, air and shoreline search was called off late into the evening Sunday with the police, police dive unit and NSRI St Francis Bay remaining on high alert. The search for the missing crew will resume this morning.

Chokka fishing boat capsized

 

NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) following reports of red distress flares reported by Chokka fishing vessels at sea off-shore of Thyspoint at around 03h30 on Sunday morning.  The Chokka fishing vessel Silver Eagle had witnessed the red distress flares at around 03h00 and raised the alarm calling Telkom Maritime Radio Services and MRCC.

An EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon had then also been intercepted by MRCC and additional flare sightings were reported.

Two Chokka fishing vessels, Silver Eagle and Megalodon, diverted to investigate and the Chokka fishing vessel Maredon was then confirmed to have capsized.

NSRI St Francis Bay launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II in rough sea conditions with six meter swells and a gusting to 50 knots westerly wind and driving rain. It was confirmed that the vessel had 16 crew members aboard at the time of the disaster and a search commenced for survivors.

In addition to NSRI Spirit of St Francis II, the SA Police Services, Private Care ambulance services, local security company members, NSRI Jeffreys Bay and NSRI Oyster Bay, EC Government Health EMS, a Police Dive Unit and an NSRI Port Elizabeth NSRI ASR team aboard an SA Air Force 15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK-117 helicopter and the Kouga Municipality’s Fire and Disaster team also responded to assist in the search for the missing crew.

Silver Eagle reported a life-raft the life-raft had drifting too close into towards the rocks and could not be reached and the vessel Megalodon reporting it had recovered one survivor from the water. The  survivor was transferred from the Megalodon onto the NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and he was brought to shore where he was transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance services in a stable condition.

During a search members of the public, including the owner of other Chokka fishing boats and NSRI rescuers, recovered a deceased fisherman on the shore in the vicinity of Sunset Rocks and five survivors were found on the beach at Sunset Rocks. The deceased man was taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.

The Maredon was found capsized and hard aground at Sunset Rocks but surf conditions did not allow rescuers to get close to the stricken vessel during the high tide. As high tide approached waves caused the stricken vessel to roll over a few times and one survivor was witnessed climbing out of the vessel and NSRI rescue swimmers waded into the water and rescued the survivor who has been airlifted to hospital by the SAAF 15 Squadron Charlie Flight helicopter in a stable condition.

As the tide receded police divers were able to breach the hull of the boat using cutting tools but no crew were found inside the hull. Police and a Police Dive Unit will continue in an ongoing search and recovery operation assisted by NSRI St Francis Bay.

When the search was called off last light one deceased crew member had been recovered with seven survivors, six of whom have been hospitalised and are reported to be in stable conditions. Eight crew are still missing.

Commenting on the disaster, Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen commented on the emergency crews that reacted to the disaster.

“”They did a great job and we are very grateful for their efforts. We are only sorry that not all lives could be saved. Our deepest condolences go to the family of the fisherman who drowned and our prayers are with those still waiting for news of their loved ones.”

All involved in the search and rescue operation today are commended for their efforts in extremely rough sea conditions.

Sincere Condolences are conveyed to family, friends and colleagues of the deceased fisherman.

Police have opened an inquest docket and SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) are launching an investigation.

The search for the missing crewmen contiinued at first light this morning

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

Shock Labour Department bill

Shock Labour Department bill for Kouga

The Kouga Council has been confronted with a shock bill from the Department of Labour – this one dating back ten years and totalling almost R13-million.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the outstanding monies were for Return of Earnings (RoEs), required for what is commonly known as “workmen’s compensation” and payable annually by the municipality to the Compensation Commissioner at the Department of Labour.

“The Council recently made the shocking discovery that the municipality hasn’t been submitting its Return of Earnings to the Compensation Commissioner since 2007.

“This means that municipal employees have not had proper cover for Injury on Duty claims for the past ten years, putting not only staff but Council at substantial risk.”

She said the municipality owed the Department of Labour a total of R12,619 million, accumulated from 2007 to 2016.

Employers, including municipalities, are required to submit a Return of Earnings form on an annual basis in line with the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, No 130 of 1993.

The Act provides for compensation for disablement caused by occupational injuries or diseases sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment, or for death resulting from such injuries or diseases.

“The municipal administration is already in discussion with the Department to arrange for payment of the outstanding amount.

“Our first priority is to ensure that staff are covered, as we are not prepared to gamble with the lives of our employees or the money of our ratepayers.”

The Mayor said an investigation was underway to determine why the municipal administration had failed to disclose the outstanding monies to Council.
Press Release 
Laura-Leigh Randall
Kouga Municipality
Media Liaison Officer
084 2055 388

Water Restrictions

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!
A more detailed update on stricter restrictions and higher emergency tariffs that are to be implemented from August because of the ongoing drought  are due to be published next week.
Water Restrictions