Live-streaming of Council meetings in the pipeline

The Kouga Council is set to take transparency to the next level by live-streaming its meetings over the internet.

Kouga Speaker Hattingh Bornman said the municipality’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) department was currently exploring how best to give residents virtual access to Council meetings.

“Council meetings are open to the public, but only a limited number of people can be accommodated due to space restrictions,” he said.

“We are, therefore, looking at using technology to make Council meetings accessible to everyone.”

He said transparency and active citizenry were important to the Council.

“The matters that are discussed at Council meetings affect the day-to-day lives of our communities. We want residents to have direct access to these discussions, so that they know exactly what was decided and why,” he said.

“In addition to strengthening transparency, it will give communities deeper insight into the processes and legislation that govern municipalities.”

He said potential platforms that would be used, included Youtube, Facebook and the municipal website.

“The meetings will not only be live-streamed as they are happening. The recordings will also be available online so that residents can watch it at their convenience.”

He said Council meetings were advertised in the local media and on the municipal website and Facebook page.

“Please keep an eye on these platforms should you wish to book a seat at the next Council meeting. Bookings can be made through my office.”   

SMS service to improve day-to-day communication with ratepayers and residents.

Kouga Residents asked to update their contact info

RESIDENTS who would like to receive their account balances via SMS are asked to update their contact details with the municipality.

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the municipality was set to activate an SMS service to improve day-to-day communication with ratepayers and residents.

“The service will allow ratepayers to receive their account balances on their cell phones,” he said.

“The municipality will then also be able to notify residents of service interruptions and public participation processes through this channel.”

Ratepayers can update their contact details by visiting the municipality’s Income section in Jeffreys Bay, by phoning 042 200 2200 or sending an email to jcoetzee@kouga.gov.za or wleroux@kouga.gov.za.

In the meantime, residents are reminded that they can also obtain their account balances from the municipality’s Call Centre.

“We would further like to encourage residents to register for the municipality’s on-line service. Once you are registered, your account will be emailed directly to you,” he said.

Registration can be done on the municipality’s website, but ratepayers need to obtain an access key either from the municipality’s Call Centre or Income section on 042 200 2200 to complete the process.