GREEN . . .  greener . . . Kouga Municipality.

Kouga Municipality was placed second in the 2022 Eastern Cape Greenest Municipality Awards (GMA) – for the second time.

“Kouga has been accelerating its efforts to go green this past year and the award is confirmation that we are on the right track,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks.

“We are extremely grateful to our hardworking and dedicated officials, as well as communities and stakeholder groups for the continuous manner in which they have contributed to us in receiving this prestigious award.”

The awards, aimed to encourage sustainable development at local government level, was initiated in 2001 with a primary focus in implementing the national Waste Management Strategy – promoting a healthy environment, as well as green and clean towns in municipal areas.

It incorporates the following elements: waste management, energy efficiency and conservation, water management, landscaping, tree planting and beautification, public participation and community empowerment, leadership and institutional arrangements, greening the nation, and reducing greenhouse gasses.

Hendricks said the municipality’s recent successes included dedicated efforts to keep Kouga clean and green.

“Not only have we had several joint clean-ups with our community and business partners, but daily records of waste entering the various landfill sites across the region are kept, as well as records of the amount of waste that is recycled at the landfill sites,” said Hendricks.

“A new drop-off zone and recycling station were, furthermore, established at Paradise Beach, while additional wheelie bins have been distributed to households in several towns so as to reduce communities’ reliance on black plastic bags and waste skips.”

He said the award also recognised the municipality’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate illegal dumping sites at informal settlements.

“The municipality’s ongoing commitment to conserve electricity was also commended – converting street lights to either solar powered lights or LED lights” he said. “To date, the municipality has installed 10 solar powered streets lights, 15 high mast lights were retrofitted with LED lights, and 200 street lights have been replaced with LED lights.

Kouga Shines In Greenest Municipality Awards

“In an effort to keep Kouga green and to fight climate change, we have planted 1 000 spekbome and more than 2 000 indigenous trees across the region. It has been pledged that for all new housing developments, a tree needs to be planted as part of the UNECE Trees in Cities Challenge.”

Hendricks said other highlights this past year included the upgrading of parks, rainwater harvesting, the construction of a labyrinth, and designated signage in protected areas.

The municipality won R300 000 for being second. The prize money would be put towards urban greening projects.