Kouga to help fishermen

Kouga to help fishermen register to vote

Kouga Municipality is working with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to get fishermen registered as voters.

Working through fishers’ organisations and a public awareness campaign, a special registration drive for fishermen is planned for the month of June. Many local fishermen have never participated in elections due to work commitments.

The programme came about after engagements between the Jeffreys Bay Fishers’ Forum and the municipality’s Local Economic Development (LED) department.

Planning, Development and Tourism Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu said fishermen raised a number of issues at meetings, which also included the municipality and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“One of the challenges that stood out was that the fishermen are out at sea when it’s open voter registration and sometimes during elections.

“We took the matter up with the IEC and we liaised with the Fishers’ Forum for a suitable date to reach out to them. We are glad that the commission is willing to go this extra mile to ensure that the fishermen are registered,” he said.

Dhludhlu said most pleasing was that the fishermen would, like other citizens, enjoy the basic right of being a registered voter, with more negotiations to be held with industry role players for the fishermen to be on the mainland during the elections for them to cast their votes.

Chairman of the Fishers’ Forum, Zakhele Ngaleka, said they were grateful for the intervention and praised the local authority for being a responsive government.

“Yes, we have many challenges and we continue to work with the relevant government spheres on those, but this is without a doubt a major breakthrough.

“We always feel like outcasts as we also want to participate in choosing the people who must lead our country and those who make laws that ultimately affect our daily lives,” said Ngaleka.

He said his members and colleagues understood the importance of this milestone as some of them would be first-time registered voters despite having been of voting age for many years

Press Release – Kouga Media Liaison.


Valuation objections out by June

Outcomes of valuation objections to be known by June

Property owners who objected to the new valuations of their properties will receive the outcome of their objections by June.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the objections would be evaluated by DDP Valuers, the company that compiled the new General Valuation Roll.

“The valuer has 30 days in which to consider the objections. The municipality’s Valuations section is currently capturing all the details, following which it will be sent to DDP Valuers for consideration.

“DDP will then communicate the outcome of the objection directly to the property owner. We expect this process to be completed by 1 June,” he explained.

Just more than 300 property owners from the Kouga region have submitted objections to the new valuations of their properties.

The Mayor said this was significantly fewer objections than had been received during the previous valuation process.

“Almost 1 000 objections were received during the compilation of the 2013/2014 General Valuation Roll. We are very pleased with the decrease, as this reflects to what extent we have been able to improve the transparency and accuracy of the process,” he said.

The new General Valuation Roll will come into effect in the new financial year, starting June 2018, and will determine how much property owners are expected to pay for rates and taxes.

The first draft was submitted to Council in January this year, following which property owners were invited to submit objections if they disagreed with the new valuations. The objection period closed on 30 April 2018.

Hendricks said the total value of the new roll was R27,3 billion.

He said should objectors not have received feedback from the valuer by 5 June, they are asked to contact the municipal Valuations team at 042 200 2157 or email mvdmerwe@kouga.gov.za or rvanvuuren@kouga.gov.za.

NSRI find missing father & son

National Sea RescueSara Smith NSRI St Francis Bay station commander received a call yesterday afternoon from a Jeffreys Bay member of the public reporting that her son-in-law and grandchild, on holiday from Pretoria, on a beach walk were overdue by 2 hours at a pre-arranged rendezvous at Checkers beach, Jeffreys Bay.

NSRI St Francis Bay set up a communications network and NSRI Jeffreys Bay crew were activated to join local Police who were patrolling along the beachfront in a search effort.

The 45 year old man and his three year old son had planned to walk along the beach from Supertubes to Checkers beach where they would meet his wife.  They started at 11h00 and agreed to meet at 12h00 at Checker’s Beach but they had not arrived as scheduled.

A local clinic was also investigated but no sign of the missing duo had been located and concerns were raised.

An NSRI Jeffreys Bay quad bike was activated and searched along the beach and at 14h44 the man and his son were located at the Checker’s Beach and confirmed that they had simply taken longer than expected not knowing that a search had been launched.

The man’s wife was informed and she came to pick them up and NSRI commend the concerns raised and the efforts by the family, Police, NSRI and the community.

In the interest of safety NSRI urge boaters, paddlers, sail boarders and those hiking and walking along beaches and along the coastline to plan ahead, let a responsible person know the time you are leaving, your intended route and your return time. Stick to your plans and let the responsible person know of your safe return or any delay.

Have emergency numbers programmed into your phone.

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