Feast of firsts for Kouga’s Opening of the Season

Locals and holiday-makers are in for a feast of firsts this Saturday, 15 December, when Kouga’s official Opening of the Season takes place at the Jeffreys Bay main beachfront.

“Our aim is to make this year’s Opening bigger and better than ever before,” said Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks. 

“All the activities will be free of charge and geared towards the whole family.”

The official programme will kick off at 10am with the first Beach Sports Day, featuring sevens rugby, cricket, soccer, tennis and netball.

Everyone is invited to put together a team and enter for free. Cash prizes and fun give-aways are up for grabs.  

Participants can enter on the day or contact the organiser, Ben Ruiters from the Kouga Rugby Academy, on 073 682 5212.

A kiddies play area, with jumping castles and a colouring-in corner, will be open from 1pm for little ones to enjoy at no cost. The area will be set up around the Dolphin Beach Amphitheatre and will also include a “bungi bouncer” for older thrill-seekers.

“Beachgoers can also look out for Splash, our water mascot, who will be out and about to spread the ‘save water’ message,” Hendricks said.

The Amphitheatre will also be the venue for the first Kouga Mayoral Talent Search, taking place from 2pm to 5pm on the day. 

“Whether your talent is singing, dancing, comedy or acrobatics, this will be the platform to come and show off your skills,” the Mayor said.

Registration will take place from 1pm. There is no entry fee. The winner will walk away with R1000 in cash and an invitation to perform at the official evening programme. 

For further info send a whatsapp to organiser Rochey Walters at 064 258 1871.

Meanwhile, all bicycle lovers are invited to join the first Family Fun Bicycle Ride, open to cyclists of all ages, also on 15 December. The cycle will start at the Fountains Mall at 3:30pm and end at the main beachfront.

“The aim of the bike ride is to give everyone a taste of what is to come,” Hendricks said.

“Cycling is a fun way to keep healthy and an excellent means of transport. We’d like to promote it by turning Jeffreys Bay into a bicycle-friendly town.”      

The Moravian Brass Band will take to the Amphitheatre stage at 5pm to set the tone for the evening programme.

Little ones will then have the opportunity to meet Santa for a photo and sweets from 5:45 pm to 6:45pm.

Local songbird Madelain Baartman will entertain the audience with Christmas favourites from 6:45pm, followed by a magic show at 7:15pm and a performance by the Mayoral Talent Search winner at 8pm.

The Mayor will then move behind the microphone to deliver his festive message and switch on the festive lights, culminating in the first ever official fireworks display for Kouga at 8:30pm.

he programme will close with music by local band Simplicity and a host of DJs. 

Season to open with a bang on Saturday

Kouga Municipality will be opening this year’s Festive Season with a bang this Saturday, 15 December.

The municipality will be hosting its first official fireworks show at 8:30pm on the day, preceded by a host of fun activities and the switching on of the festive lights at Dolphin Beach. 

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the fireworks show would be about five minutes in duration and would be launched from a boat some 500m from the coast.

“A professional pyrotechnician, with the necessary permits from the police’s Explosives Unit, has been appointed. The police will also be doing an inspection on the day to ensure all safety requirements are met,” he said.

“We have been assured that the risk of sea pollution is basically non-existent as the type of fireworks that will be used, are totally consumed by the explosion and do not leave bits floating about.”

He said the Port Control Authority would also be informed of the show, although the fireworks are not expected to interfere with their operations.

“The fireworks will not go as high as emergency flares typically do.”

Hendricks said the discharging of fireworks by the public was strictly prohibited throughout the Kouga region.

“Despite it being illegal for the public to discharge fireworks, many people do, especially over the festive season. “That is why the municipality decided to arrange an official fireworks show this year, with all the necessary police authorisations and safety requirements in place. We wish to plea with the public to refrain from breaking the law by discharging fireworks at home or in public spaces,” he said.

“If you want to celebrate the holiday season with fireworks, rather come and join us at the main beachfront of Jeffreys Bay for the official show.”

He said one of the advantages of having an official show is that pet owners then know when to expect the noise and can make the necessary arrangements to protect their animals from potential trauma.

Should weather conditions prevent the show from taking place on 15 December, it will be postponed till the next evening.

A second official fireworks show is also being planned. It will take place on 31 December, from 23:59 to 00:09, at the main beachfront of Jeffreys Bay.

 

Unqualified Audit for Kouga

Latest audit opinion takes Kouga closer to the top

Kouga has become one of the first municipalities in South Africa to successfully switch over to the new municipal Standard Chart of Accounts (mSCOA) and achieve an unqualified audit while doing so.

The good news was shared by Kouga Finance Portfolio Councillor Brenton Williams this week.

“The switch-over to mSCOA was no easy task. Many municipalities were unable to comply fully with the new standards in the 2017/2018 year. The fact that Kouga was able to implement it successfully is a great achievement. For us to receive an unqualified audit despite the transition to mSCOA speaks to the calibre of staff we have. It is a feather in the cap of our officials and I wish to congratulate and thank them for the hard work and all-nighters they put in to pull it off,” he said.

An unqualified audit is the second highest audit opinion a municipality can achieve and is confirmation that Kouga’s financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the municipality as at 30 June 2018, and its financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended” in accordance with all relevant legislation.

The only opinion higher than an unqualified audit is a clean audit, which contains no emphasis of matter.

“Kouga’s emphasis of matter was minimal, which bodes well for our endeavours to achieve a clean audit,” Williams said.

“Despite our water and electricity losses being one of the matters emphasised by the AG, we were pleased to note that the we were able to cut back on these losses during the year under review. This saved the municipality about R11-million when compared to the previous financial year.”

He said the audit report further highlighted areas in need of improvement, most notably, the performance management system and related controls.

“Kouga’s performance management system was basically non-existent when the new Council came into power. While we have strengthened the system over the past two years, more needs to be done so as to ensure the processes for the collection, collation, verification and capturing of performance information to ensure valid, accurate and complete reporting against planned objectives are clearly defined,” he said.

“We remain determined to be the best-run municipality in South Africa. The 2017/2018 audit report is a big step in the right direction and will guide us when it comes to implementing further improvements to take Kouga to the top.”

Celebrating Kouga’s fifth successive unqualified audit opinion are CFO Selwyn Thus (centre), his PA Leonie Jeggels (right) and the Finance management team (clockwise from front) Stanley Baartman, Nomfundo Mate, Allister Makomo, Shukree Abrahams, Tobani Tsengiwe and Lundi Landu

Shebeens closed: liquor seized, drunk drivers nabbed

Shebeens closed: liquor seized, drunk drivers nabbed during Festive Season operations

EC: Jeffreys Bay – Sunday, 9 December 2018.  Festive Season operations yielded positive results after two shebeens were closed and liquor seized. Police also netted five people for possession of illicit drugs and three motorists were also nabbed for drunk driving in the Humansdorp Cluster last night.

On Saturday, 8 December 2018,  police closed two shebeens in Jeffreys Bay and owners were fined R 2 500 each for operating unlicensed liquor outlets. Police also seized 208 litres of liquor valued R 3 500. During the operation,  four suspects were arrested for possession of illicit drugs. Suspects aged between 20 and 25 are due to appear at the Humansdorp Magistrate’s Court tomorrow on charges ranging from possession of mandrax to tik.

A similar police operation in Joubertina yielded positive results after three motorists were nabbed for drunk driving and four other motorists fined for traffic offences ranging from driving without driving licence to driving unroadworthy vehicles.

Humansdorp Cluster Commander, Brigadier John Lebok ensured residents and tourist of a safer Festive Season, “Residents must expect high police visibility in malls, and strategic routes. Police horses from Mounted Unit are going to be a force multiplier in beaches and in all towns with shopping malls”.

Water restrictions are the “new normal”

Water restrictions remain in place in all towns

As the Festive Season approaches and temperatures climb, residents and holiday-makers are reminded that water restrictions remain in place throughout the region.

“Despite the good rain in September, the combined level of Kouga’s storage dams are dangerously low and water restrictions remain in place in all towns,” Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.

“We appeal to residents and holiday-makers to continue using water wisely.”

He said that saving water needed to become the “new normal” for everyone in Kouga.

“The drought has not yet broken and we have to continue our efforts to save water if we are to navigate safely through this difficult time.”

The current water restrictions prohibit, among other, the use of hose pipes and the filling up of swimming pools with municipal water.

Water leaks can be reported through the municipality’s Link Powered by Vodacom app. The app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play of App Store or go to https://www.download.linkapp.co.za/#dl.

Repairing a water leak at the old Golf Course settlement in Humansdorp. Leaks can be reported through Kouga’s Link app or contact the call centre on 042 200 2200.

Press Release – Kouga Municipality Media

Boreholes set to ease Kouga’s thirst

Kouga’s search for extra groundwater to increase the water supply to towns is bearing fruit.

Almost 30 exploratory boreholes have been sunk over the past year at Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Oyster Bay, Hankey and Patensie.

“Of the 26 target sites that have already been explored, 18 delivered water, although not always in quantities that make it viable as an alternative supply,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.   We are especially grateful that we have found potential boreholes for Hankey, as water rationing continues to be implemented both here and in Patensie due to the limitations that the Department of Water and Sanitation has placed on extraction from the Kouga Dam.”

Eight exploratory boreholes have been drilled in the vicinity of Hankey, with three delivering yields.

“The boreholes are situated several kilometres from the town. Our next priority is equipping and connecting the boreholes to the existing water supply. This will be funded through the drought-relief grant that the municipality recently secured,” Hendricks said.

He said four boreholes had also been drilled in the vicinity of the Kouga Dam as a potential alternative for Patensie, but that the yields were disappointingly low. 

Borehole drilling has also been ongoing at Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and Oyster Bay.

“There are two drill rigs currently exploring target sites at Humansdorp and Oyster Bay. Three boreholes were already drilled at Oyster Bay last year when we started the search, with two delivering usable yields. We do, however, need to augment this supply further so as to ensure that the municipality can continue meeting the water requirements for the town,” Hendricks said.

Two probe holes and two boreholes, delivering a combined total of 820kl per day, were drilled at Humansdorp during the previous financial year. A third borehole was completed last week, with drilling at another potential site currently in progress.

“Both Humansdorp and Jeffreys Bay already make ample use of borehole water. Between 30% and 40% of the water consumed by residents are from boreholes, with the remainder coming from the storage dams,” Hendricks said.

“We would like to decrease these towns’ dependency on the storage dams for water, as the dams are managed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, which also uses the bulk of the water.”

One borehole has been rehabilitated and five new boreholes drilled over the past year at Jeffreys Bay, all with promising yields.

“Despite this progress, it remains critical that we all continue to save water,” the Mayor cautioned.

“None of the boreholes, except those at Oyster Bay, has been connected to the existing water supply as yet and, with the holiday influx upon us, the demand on our water sources will be very high over the next few months.”

He said procurement processes were underway for the connections and certain upgrades needed at the water treatment works for the extra groundwater to be added to the current supply.

Other drought-relief projects to be funded through the grant is the extraction and treatment of water from the springs at Rebelsrus and Mostertshoek

One of the new boreholes that have been drilled at Humansdorp.

Press Release – Kouga Municipality