Open Water swim champs takes off in Jbay

MARINA Martinique will once again be the venue for the Nelson Mandela Bay Open Water Swim Championship as swimmers from all over the country dust off their goggles to participate in the Swim South Africa sanctioned event.

Nelson Mandela Bay Open Water Swim Championship

Kouga Councillor, Brenton Williams, tests the water at Marina Martinique to ensure the venue is ready for the NMB Aquatics Open Water Swim Champs this weekend.

Despite entries being restricted due to COVID-19 restrictions, top swimmers from around the country are expected to be in attendance with one of South Africa’s top open water swimmers, Hanre Louw, expected to race the 10km swim.

Louw, no stranger to Jeffreys Bay where his parents have a holiday home, is the defending Marina Mile champion.

Amica de Jager, the Eastern Cape’s top 10km contender, will also be looking to impress in her first swim of 2021.

It has been a tough year for open water swimmers with beaches being closed and events being severely impacted by COVID-19 regulations. However, Kouga Municipality, NMB Aquatics, Swim SA and Zsport have all been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that open water swim events can once again take place at Marina Martinique, regarded as the open water swim capital of Africa.

The enclosed canals at Marina Martinique, fresh sea water which is quality tested on a regular basis, and the lack of wildlife means that swimmers can enjoy the event and concentrate on swimming fast times.

The NMB Aquatics Champs this weekend is a qualifier for the South African Open Water Swim Champs, which will also be taking place in Jeffreys Bay in middle March.

The SA Champs will be an official qualifier for the 2021 Olympic Games 10km marathon swim.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, no spectators will be allowed at the event this weekend and only 100 swimmers and officials will be allowed at the venue.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, has welcomed the event and said it was a positive sign for tourism in Jeffreys Bay and the wider Kouga region.

“Prior to COVID-19, we had positioned Kouga to be the events capital of South Africa with open water swimming being a big contributor to events tourism,” he said.

“Eight open water swim events were taking place every season at Marina Martinique, including the SA Champs which have been held every year in Jeffreys Bay since 2017.

“It is pleasing to see open water swimming leading the way in bringing provincial and national level events back to Kouga.”

Registration for the event starts at 08:00 and the 10km, 7,5 km and the 5km swims start at 09:00. This is followed by the 1km swim at 09:05, while the men’s 3km event begins at 11:00 and the women’s 3km swim at 11:05.

Media Release – Kouga Municipality

 

Affordable rental housing to grow Kouga

Kouga Municipality - logo

Some 300 jobs to be created

Affordable rental housing to grow Kouga

At the launch of the social housing programme in Jeffreys Bay on Monday, February 2021, are (from left) Kouga Integrated Human Settlements Manager, Mawethu Penxa, Planning and Development Portfolio Councillor, Ben Rheeder, Kouga Executive Mayour, Horatio Hendricks, Ward 14 Councillor Cynthia Mandeka, Planning, Development and Tourism Director, Fezeka Mabusela, Own Haven Managing Director, Andrew Wiseman, and Kouga Speaker, Hattingh Bornman.

KOUGA is set to soon boast affordable social rental opportunities in Jeffreys Bay – a first for the Eastern Cape.

Some 300 temporary and 20 permanent job opportunities will, furthermore, be created through this initiative.

The social housing programme was officially launched at the corner of Koraal Street and Dolphin Street in Ocean View, Jeffreys Bay on Monday, February 22, opening rental opportunities for residents who earn between R1 500 and R15 000.

With construction of the first phase set to commence in the 2021/ 2022 financial year, the target is to deliver at least 1 500 rental units over the next five years.

The Keep Kouga Growing campaign was also launched on the day. This campaign ties in with three other campaigns already launched: Keep Kouga Safe, Keep Kouga Clean and Keep Kouga Green.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said that the municipality had secured a place in the “Municipal Social Housing Support Programme” run by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), the agency of the Department of Human Settlements that oversees the implementation, regulating and funding of state-subsidised rental housing projects in South Africa.

“Kouga is the only municipality in the Eastern Cape to have been selected for the municipal social housing support programme and one of only six local authorities countrywide,” he said.

“Our inclusion will ensure that the municipality receives the necessary technical and organisational support to implement social housing programmes.

“The target is to deliver at least 1 500 rental units over the next five years, but according to SHRA, the project can be approved, built, tenanted and managed withing as little as one to three years.”

He commended the municipality’s Human Settlements section for their excellent submission that secured the municipality a place in the programme.

“It is another feather in the municipality’s cap and will help to address the demand for affordable rental housing in the area.”

He said the project would complement the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) that had also been approved for the area.

“While social housing addresses the need for affordable rentals, FLISP offers first-time home-ownership opportunities to South African residents earning between R3 501 and R22 000 per month,” he explained.

“This is the income group that earns too much to qualify for an RDP house but typically also struggles to secure a bond to buy a home.”

He said the municipality had appointed a service provider, Own Haven Social Housing Institute, in October 2019 for the planning and implementation of social housing and FLISP projects.

“This is the latest in a string of recent housing successes,” said Hendricks. “Social Housing, in particular, contributes to transforming urban spatial patterns as it promotes integration and densification in close proximity to economic and social amenities.”

Media Release – Kouga Municipality

 

PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO SAVE WATER

Dam levels continue to fall in NMB catchment area