RIP Elza van Lingen
A memorial service will be at 2:00 pm on Monday 23rd April held at Mentors Country Estate in Jeffreys Bay to pay tribute to Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen who passed away peacefully at her home in Cape St Francis yesterday morning, surrounded by family and loved ones.
She had been living with breast cancer since 2009 and was 68 years old at the time of her passing. She was on sick leave from Monday this week.
The dynamic and passionate former Member of Parliament, Van Lingen was born and bred at Willowmore in the Eastern Cape.
She and her husband, Michael, ran a merino stud and farmed livestock and game.
She was invited to get involved in politics at the time but declined as her children were still young.
That changed once her four children were grown up. The couple moved to Cape St Francis in 2000 where they ran a guesthouse.
The quality of the water in the town was of great concern to Van Lingen and her efforts to rectify it earned her an invitation to join the Cape St Francis Civic Association. Their main focus was on service delivery and the environment.
In 2002 she was approached to join the DA team and was elected as a DA councillor to the then Cacadu District Municipality (Sarah Baartman District Municipality).
She served as a district councillor for about six years before being elected by the DA to serve in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) during the 2009 Elections.
In November 2011 she was elected the Leader of the DA in the NCOP and re-elected again in 2014.
She was also elected as leader of the Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency, which included Kouga, Koukamma and Baviaans.
Following the DA’s victory in Kouga in 2016, Van Lingen was elected as Mayor.
Her vision for Kouga, for which she worked tirelessly, was to strengthen service delivery to all communities and to build a confident climate for investment and job creation.