STATE OF THE MUNICIPALITY ADDRESS 2021 – Part Two

Kouga Municipality - logo

 

By Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks

 

  • Keep Kouga Serviced  –   Published Today Tuesday 23rd March in St Francis Today)
  • Keep Kouga Clean –  Will be published tomorrow – 24th March in St Francis Today
  • Keep Kouga Green – Will be published tomorrow – 24th March in St Francis Today
  • Keep Kouga Safe  –  Will be published on Thursday 25th March in St Francis Today
  • Keep Kouga Smart, –  Will be published on Thursday – 25th March in St Francis Today
  • Keep Kouga Growing  –  Will be published on Friday 26th March in St Francis Today

KEEP KOUGA CLEAN

Keep Kouga Clean

The Keep Kouga Clean campaign has been growing from strength to strength over the last four years. It forms a crucial part of any municipality’s identity and character, as well as its people and how clean your environment is.

Just weeks ago, we launched our Waste Management and Recycling Programme in Humansdorp.

The programme will initially see the employment of 20 women from three wards, working for three months. They will be trained on sustainable waste management and recycling, and community-based educator and effective communication.

After training, the women will be involved with street cleaning in their wards, door-to-door education and awareness programmes on sustainable waste management and recycling.  They will also distribute bin liners for the separation of recyclable materials at home.

Other activities include tree planting, as well as river and coastal cleaning.

To date a total of twenty-one thousand four hundred and ninety-three (21493) wheelie bins have been distributed across the Kouga region.

Four refuse compactor trucks had been fitted with bin lifters to enable refuse collection teams to empty the wheelie bins quickly and efficiently.

The idea is for the bins to replace black bags, which will make it easier for residents to keep their immediate surroundings clean.

The launch of the Coca-Maak Skoon initiative, afforded Kouga residents the opportunity to get rid of any unwanted items and waste they have at home that could not be put out for standard refuse collection.

This included building rubble, electronic waste, garden refuse and even old furniture.

All residents had to do to benefit from the opportunity, was to place their unwanted goods and waste on the pavement outside their homes for collection.

Municipal work crews, in conjunction with the Community Works Programme, regularly clear illegal dumping spots while our grass-cutters and litter-pickers have been doing a sterling job in keeping verges, and our towns tidy.

To keep town entrances and sidewalks clean and attractive, as well as to improve the maintenance of public facilities, the municipality secured 20 industrial lawn mowers, 38 brush-cutters and 12 grass-blowers.

Two wood-chippers have also been added to the municipal fleet at a cost of more than R500 000 to improve bush and tree-clearing operations.

Furthermore, an additional amount of R1,5 million have been made available in the adjustment budget for the hiring of landfill site equipment.

Special mention must be made to our beach teams who, once again, outdid themselves during International Coastal Clean-up Day in September.

I would also like to thank the many organisations, businesses, and individuals who – of their own accord – have been helping us to keep Kouga clean.

These stakeholders include the community organisation Dorp van Drome, farmers from the Gamtoos Valley, the Marina Martinique Homeowners Association and business such as Woodlands Dairy, The Humansdorp Co-op, Spar and Build-it.

 

KEEP KOUGA GREEN

Keep Kouga Green

Closely linked to these efforts is our Keep Kouga Green campaign.

We entered the 2019 East Cape Greenest Municipality awards competition and was placed second. The launch of the Keep Kouga Green campaign followed this achievement.

The award recognised several initiatives introduced by the municipality, aimed at promoting sustainable development to the benefit of all communities and the planet.

These include proactive steps to reduce the amount of paper used by the municipality, tree-planting drives, and the appointment of an official recycler.

It furthermore includes Dolphin Beach’s ongoing success in the international Blue Flag eco-programme.

Kouga launched an innovative, sustainable urban food garden initiative at the end of last year which will see 30 illegal dumping sites being turned into community “Gardens of Hope”.

One such garden is the Pellsrus organic vegetable garden, which once was a litter-strewn illegal rubbish dump. It now flourishes as a productive, clean, and sustainable vegetable garden.

A small food forest, comprising of indigenous pioneer, fruit, and nut trees, are being planted to provide shelter from the wind, and to create a biodiverse green habitat that will supply fresh fruit and nuts in the future.

An organic compost pile will be used to process organic garden cuttings from the area to provide organic compost material to improve soil fertility and soil structure.

A worm farm will also be used to produce vermi-compost from organic kitchen waste from neighbouring households and to provide actively aerated compost tea.

The site is also used for training and equipping the community to grow vegetables at home.

The garden will provide workshops and offer training and assistance to adjacent community members to implement their own home vegetable gardens.

The aim is for the gardens to provide valuable nutrition and sustainable livelihoods to local communities.

We, furthermore, planted 781 trees this year to help combat climate change.

Other current projects include the monitoring and management of the Seekoei Estuary at Jeffreys Bay, strengthening the St Francis spit to prevent the sea from breaking through to the canals, and the removal and rehabilitation of encroaching dunes at Oyster Bay.

Today’s News – Feb 2

St Francis Today

Read the latest on St Francis Today

PLEASE SAVE WATER

News Highlights - 2nd February

Celebrating our “Tweede Nuwe Jaar”

Car crash ends with couple’s arrest for illegal perlemoen harvesting

Pain at the pumps as significant February fuel price increase confirmed

Where to get your Smart ID card when Home Affairs reopens

SA records 2,548 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, the lowest in two months

UK - Covid: Door-to-door testing to be introduced across parts of England in response to South Africa variant

The Virus’s Gambit: The vaccine response

'Government is the weakest link,' says Steenhuisen after Ramaphosa address

Mission unaccomplished: Dissolve the State Security Agency and create a new, accountable, expert organisation

Zuma threatens to defy the Constitution he twice swore to uphold

Saving lives vs the economy is a ‘false choice’, says Ramaphosa

Wild steeds of the great Namib desert

Proteas batsmen target more time, better execution in second Pakistan Test

CLICK HERE TO READ TODAY'S NEWS ONLINE

Beach Protest in Durban

JUST IN –  WHAT A GOOD IDEA

Media Release
Durban Surf Protest

Photo from Facebook post

 

Surf Protest with a Difference 06h00am-08h30am

Released by Ray de Vries
 
A professional surfer, Beyrick de Vries, a street child and a lawyer will be amongst the protesters who will be in the surf this morning from 06h00 at New Pier on Durban beachfront.
 
The surfers are protesting against the inane beach ban that prohibits them from practicing their sport – the law prohibits them from crossing the beach to get into the water to surf.
 
The group left Durban harbour earlier this morning to get to New Pier on Surf City’s Golden Mile.
 
They will surf close to the shore but will not put a toe on the beach so as not to break any of the senseless restrictions.
Durban attorney, Grantham Taylor, has been tasked to accompany the surfers to help in case of wrongful arrest.
The protestors will be back in the harbour at Wilsons Wharf at 09h00 for interviews and pic opportunities.
 
Ends
Released by Ray de Vries of Ray de Vries Media, Marketing and Sponsorship. For further info please contact Ray 0828844881

“Then and now” in the Greater St Francis Region – #5

Submitted by Matt Gennrich

Schoenies heath (Erica glumiflora),

Fynbos growing on the present-day corner of Grosvenor and Arago St, Cape St Francis, in 1991. The yellow-hued shrubs halfway up the dune slope are Schoenies heath (Erica glumiflora), an endangered species with scattered, small populations on coastal dunes between Cape Recife and Sedgefield. Photo: Richard Cowling

tIrma Booysen Nature Reserve

The same view, in February 2020, the fynbos being long-replaced by homes. Fortunately, two populations of Schoenies heath grow in the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve, so the species is not extinct in our area. Photo: Timm Hoffman and Richard Cowling

Rather funerals and church than healthy beaches

One can only wonder if Police Minister Cele is deploying as many police to monitoring funerals and church services as he is to the lone surfers on totally deserted beaches.  Why surfers who by their very presence in the water follow social distancing and are out there in a wide open sea absorbing fresh air and healthy doses of Vitamin E to fight off infection have become such a super-spreader threat and bane in Cele’s life is truly concerning and puts into question the intelligence of those who made the laws and are unable to apply common sense.

One can understand limiting the number of people on a beach on those busy public holidays when hordes invade but these days make up less than a handful in a year. If a dozen police are required to arrest one surfer on a normally deserted beach surely a police should be able to manage basic crowd control for they should be trained in just that and surely have enough experience in considering all the practice they have in controlling political demonstrations and unrest.

Similar to what happened in on the Langebaan beach yesterday happened on a relatively empty Cape St Francis beach on Sunday, probably the result of a Stoep Polisie report. And now according to press  Cele is about to move to empty Garden Rote beaches on the off chance that someone might not have yet washed the sea sand off their feet and so can be clapped into irons and carted off to jail.

Whilst those putting even a toe onto a beach are targeted and risk six months in prison, families wander around shopping centres en masse with no controls imposed on the number of members of a family allowed into a shop at a time. Visit any local shop in St Francis and you will find multiple family members needed to make  purchase be it Spar, the butchery or either bakery.

Groups still gather in townships and watch any SA television news channel and large groups will be ignoring social distancing, masks and all the other protocols as they protest one thing or another. Police seem conspicuous by their absence on these occasions for their deployment is to catch a solitary surfer is far more of a priority. Surely one poli constable on a lonely unoccupied beach is sufficient if surfers are even a threat in the first place.

Laws are made and should be followed certainly but no laws are intended to be totally unreasonable and not be policed with common sense. Many of our men and women in blue, not only in our precinct but around the country will apply the law with understanding, empathy, fairness and most of all, common sense. Sadly others consider themselves as storm troopers employed to punish not protect and sadly our Minister Cele is one of these.

Of course the police are required to act on any report of someone breaking a law and whistleblowers are a necessary part of policing. But whistleblowers or “STOEP POLISIE” who hide behind curtained windows petrified that someone transgressing a law will cause them personal harm do no more than call police from more important matters. Maybe when this pandemic is over some of these nasty souls can be identified and shunned by the community who largely respectful of the police and the laws, within reason.

Why our government has such a hateful attitude toward the beaches is mystifying for surely they are probably amongst the healthiest places to be in the summer months.

At the end of the day maybe there is a lot of truth in the conspiracy theory that this is all about control, global control.