Kouga partners with soup kitchens

kouga soup kitchensMore than 1 000 residents are set to benefit from new social relief partnerships initiated by Kouga Municipality.

“The municipality has taken hands with six soup kitchens, most of which were established during the COVID-19 lockdown to help address the escalating shortage of food in homes,” Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said.

“Despite COVID-19 restrictions having been eased, many families are still struggling to recover from the impact the lockdown has had on the economy and jobs.”

He said that while social relief was the mandate of the Department of Social Development, the lockdown had made it clear that the Department could not cope with the demand.

“As a caring government, the municipality has resolved to continue supporting social relief efforts despite this falling outside our mandate,” he said.

“Our support to soup kitchens is a continuation of our recent social relief efforts, which saw the municipality partnering with community groups to procure and deliver almost 15 000 food parcels to families in need.”

He said the municipality would mainly be assisting the soup kitchens with equipment and groceries.

“We would also like to connect them with potential donors so that they can sustain their programmes. This is critical as the municipality will not be able to support them indefinitely,” he explained.

Large gas burners, gas bottles, pots and a month’s worth of food supplies were delivered to four of the soup kitchens on Friday.

At the hand-over were the Masakhane Givers from Loerie and three projects from Humansdorp, namely, Feeding Hands, Kouga Social and Rural Development and the Humansdorp Community Feeding Action Group.

“These four groups provide a meal to almost 1000 residents, young and old, at least three times a week. They are doing an incredible job and we are honoured to be able to support their efforts,” Hendricks said.

Jacques Alexander, from the Humansdorp Community Feeding Action Group, said the donation meant a great deal to the beneficiaries.

“The need in our communities is great and the municipality’s support will help us to continue bringing relief to those who struggle to put food on their tables,” he said.

Hendricks said the donations for the remaining two soup kitchen, from Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, were also being finalised for delivery.

Jacques Alexander, from the Humansdorp Community Feeding Action Group, thanks Kouga for the support:

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks, at the hand-over of the donation:

Combatting fires in informal areas of Sea Vista

Families living in informal settlements are being equipped to help safeguard their homes from fire.

Twelve residents from informal areas at Sea Vista have been armed with innovative new fire extinguishers, designed to kill small fires and saturate the immediate vicinity so as to prevent flames from spreading.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson, said the municipality would be piloting 50 of the new extinguishers, designed, manufactured and donated by the Port Elizabeth-based company Fire Killa.

Fire extiguishers fro informal settlements

According to the company, the extinguishers differ from standard ones in that they are made from plastic and are not pressurized.

The unit consists of a plastic bottle, containing a non-toxic solution of a special formula, water and a foaming agent. There is also a cartridge containing an activator which, when required, is released into the water by means of a hand-activated plunger.

Once activated, the extinguisher produces about 10 to 12 litres of foam, dispensed through a nozzle at a rate of about one litre per second, to cool and smother the flames.

The extinguisher is re-usable and can be recharged by replacing the cartridge and solution.

Benson said 12 residents from Sea Vista had been trained to use the new extinguishers and had each received a unit to help combat fires in their settlements.

“We will also be training and arming residents in other informal areas at high risk of fires,” he said.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks thanked Fire Killa for piloting their product in the region.

“We believe innovation is key to achieving service excellence and keeping our communities safe,” he said.

“We are especially pleased to be able to support South African innovators and entrepreneurs as opposed to looking elsewhere for solutions.”

Member of the East Cape Provincial Legislature, Vicky Knoetze, commended the municipality for being open to new ideas.

“That is the difference between Kouga and other municipalities of the same size. Kouga is bold and not scared to embrace innovation. That is what will take the region forward,” she said.