Local leaders experience life in a wheelchair first-hand

Local community and business leaders received a taste of what it means to be disabled in Jeffreys Bay at Kouga’s first Wheelchair Wednesday challenge last week.

Making their way to the disabled ablution facilities at Dolphin Beach are (from the front) Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks, Speaker Hattingh Bornman and his assistant, Kaylene Jafta, and councillor Timothy Jantjes and his assistant, councillor Wilma Coenraad.

Twenty-two participants, including Mayor Horatio Hendricks and his Mayoral Committee, took part in the programme, which challenged able-bodies persons to complete everyday tasks from the confines of a wheelchair.

“It was an eye-opening experience which none of us will forget and will set the tone for improvements to our region when it comes to wheelchair-accessibility,” said Hendricks. “I would like to thank APD (the Association for the Physically Disabled) for giving us the opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like for someone in a wheelchair to live and work in Jeffreys Bay.”

Tasks participants had to complete, included shopping, drawing money from an ATM, getting in and out of their cars in parking areas, using disabled toilet facilities and a visit to the beach and their offices.

“Our proudest moment was visiting Dolphin Beach, described by APD as one of the most wheelchair-friendly beaches in South Africa,” the Mayor said. “The hardest pill to swallow, on the other hand, was realising just how inaccessible the municipality’s offices are to people in wheelchairs. Were the Speaker and I disabled, we would not have been able to get to our offices on the top floor of Kouga’s headquarters or chair meetings in the Council chamber.  We look forward to working with APD to make the municipality more accessible to wheelchair-users.”

Thirty wheelchairs are set to be given to Kouga beneficiaries in October thanks to the funds raised through Wheelchair Wednesday.

APD Kouga spokesperson Jakkie Pieters said the organisation and the municipality’s Special Programmes unit were currently identifying potential beneficiaries, with specific focus on residents from smaller rural communities.

“The wheelchairs are basic entry-level chairs. We, therefore, also need to assess each potential beneficiary’s situation so as to ensure the wheelchair is right for them.”

Pieters said APD considered Kouga’s first Wheelchair Wednesday a great success.

“The main aim was to create awareness and understanding, and I believe we definitely achieved this. We would also like to thank the participants for the spirit in which they took to the challenge. There was no cheating. Everyone tried to accomplish everything from the confines of their wheelchairs and provided honest and heartfelt feedback.”

Wheelchair Wednesday was initiated by APD Nelson Mandela Bay six years ago. Almost 700 wheelchairs have been donated to beneficiaries through the programme in addition to funds being raised for the organisation’s work centres for the disabled.

For further info contact Jakkie on 083 376 6764.

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks tries to get to a bottle on the top shelf of the fridge.

Press Release Kouga Municipality

Police Warn Social Media Users To Verify Information

Police Warn Social Media Users To Verify Information Before Posting On Chats

The following Media Statement from South African Police Service yesterday

Police are once again appealing to social media users  to refrain from posting unverified information on social media sites.

This follows after two unrelated incidents were circulating on social media platforms yesterday, Wednesday, 5 September 2018, warning community members of incidents of  kidnapping of children in and around the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (PE, Motherwell and Uitenhage) .Police will also like to allay fears on social media that no truck was stopped  that was used in transporting of children on suspicion of trafficking between Nanaga and Port Elizabeth  however police wish to state that a small van was stopped that was conveying  illegal immigrants. The case is being dealt with by the Hawks.

There are  a lot of information circulating around the abduction of children, and we acknowledge your fear as parents. Police would like to commend the public on their vigilance regarding  safety while at the same time we must be cautious how information is relayed on social media without verification. Distortion of facts can have dire consequences and cause unnecessary panic and mayhem in the community. Social media is an important communication platform and assist  police in combatting crime and arresting criminals.

The  South African Police Service assures the community that continuous awareness and educational talks on the safety of our children are done at schools and institutions.

An urgent appeal is made to people in instances where you suspect a crime may have been committed or anything suspicious to contact the police first to verify such information. In cases where children are involved, the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) may be contacted as well as the sector manager of your particular area. Discuss your concerns and let us together make informed decisions before posting on social media. Be assured that all information is treated with the utmost urgency.

Enquiries : Col Priscilla Naidu 071 362 8726

Municipality gears up for Canadian visit

Kouga Municipality - logoKouga Municipality will host a delegation from the Canadian municipality Prince Edward County over the next two weeks as part of the partnership agreement signed by the two municipalities earlier this year.

The two municipalities are working together on a Building Inclusive Green Municipalities (BIGM) programme, an initiative facilitated by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and is funded by the government of Canada.

Kouga is one of six South African and Eastern Cape municipalities, working with Canadian counterparts on different developmental areas.

The others are Mbizana, Port St Johns, King Sabata Dalindyebo, Ngqushwa and Ndlambe Municipalities.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in March between Kouga and the County in Jeffreys Bay, committing the two to cooperate on matters of Local Economic Development (LED).

The partnership was further confirmed by the visit of officials from the Government of Canada in June who came to check first-hand which development projects Kouga was involved in.

Planning, Development and Tourism Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu said part of the visit was around building municipal staff capacity to deliver inclusive economic development services, in particular for women and vulnerable populations.

“Activities will aim to support the municipality to enhance its service delivery to entrepreneurs and to ensure that it favours new and innovative LED approaches, catering especially to women and vulnerable groups,” he said.

There will also be a three-day LED workshop for relevant stakeholders, facilitated by Prince Edward County, from Wednesday to Friday next week.

“The workshop will highlight ways in which project management is approached, with some insights on knowledge management, LED strategies, tourism assets inventory management and community consultation strategies.

“We want to make the most of this opportunity of learning from some of the best practices internationally, with our own context in mind, in order to be the most supportive municipality in development projects and programmes of our communities,” said Dhludhlu.

The Canadians arrive in Kouga on Monday and will be here until Friday, 21 September.

Press Release Kouga Municipality

 

St Francis NSRI assist Seal Pup

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis BayNSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated yesterday (Thursday 6 Sept) to investigate reports from members of the public of a seal pup appearing to be injured at Shark Point, Cape St Francis.

Members of our NSRI St Francis Bay sea rescue crew responded and found the seal pup in amongst the rocks alone and appearing to be emaciated and dehydrated.

We believe the seal pup to be an Antarctic Fur Seal and we took the seal into our care.

The St Francis Kromme Enviro Trust arrived and assisted to transport the seal to a local Veterinary Surgeon for medical care and following care by the vet the St Francis Kromme Enviro Trust have transported the seal to Bayworld Oceanarium for further care and the seal pup is expected to fully recover.

Fundraising drive to help J’Bay surfer

Fundraising drive to help J’Bay surfer make waves internationally

Mayor Horatio Hendricks (second left) congratulates Angelo Faulkner on his achievement while coash Etienne Venter, Speaker Hattingh Bornman and Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson look on.

A fundraising effort is underway to help a talented Jeffreys Bay teenager make it big in the surfing world.

Angelo Faulkner (17) is one of the top three under-18 surfers in South Africa and a member of the national team set to compete in the world junior championships at Huntington Beach in the United States in October.

According to Etienne Venter, Faulkner’s coach and the chairman of Eastern Province Surfing, the young man needs about R50 000 to make use of the golden opportunity.

“We have been able to raise some of the money but still have a shortfall as there is very little funding available in South Africa for surfing.

“We would like to thank everyone who has already come on board to support Angelo and would like to appeal to anyone who can, to help him make it to the contest,” Venter said.

“He has tremendous talent and taking part in the world champs will help him gain the experience he needs to follow in the footsteps of celebrated surfers such as Jordy Smith, who also worked their way up from the world junior circuit.”

Faulkner, who has been surfing since he was nine years old, has also set his sights on being included in the SA Olympics team in 2024.

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks congratulated Faulkner on being included in the SA team.

“Young men such as Angelo, who pursue their passion with discipline despite their circumstances, are important rolemodels for other youngsters.

“I would like to wish him all the best and encourage anyone who can, to support him in his endeavours. We would love to see him competing with the world’s best at Supertubes in the years to come,” he said.

Should you be able to assist Angelo, please contact Etienne Venter on 082 324 7284 or email epsurfing@xsinet.co.za or Robin de Kock from Surfing South Africa on 082 454 1149 or surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com