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
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
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.