World Aids Day commemoration at J’Bay

All Kouga communities are invited to the official commemoration of World Aids Day at Jeffreys Bay next week.

The programme will take place at the Tokyo Sexwale Sportfield from 10am on Tuesday, 3 December.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the theme for this year’s World Aids Day, marked across the globe on 1 December, would be: “It’s my right to know my status; prevention is my responsibility”.

“The theme speaks to the biggest challenge around HIV/Aids in our country,” Hendricks said.

“While great strides have been made in reaching and treating those living with HIV/Aids, preventing new infections of the virus remains a challenge.”         

He said recent research by the University of Cape Town suggested that approximately 7,4 million South Africans were HIV positive while 4,9 million people were on treatment.

“The goal is to roll out treatment to at least 2 million more people over the next year.”

He said of concern was the around 250 000 new infections recorded annually in South Africa.

“The target is to keep new infections to below 100 000 in 2020. Raising awareness of the disease and how it can be prevented is, therefore, critical.”

He said young people between the ages of 15 and 24 were particularly vulnerable to being infected.

“We would, therefore, like to encourage young people, parents and caregivers in particular to attend the programme.”

He further called on communities not to discriminate against those living with HIV/Aids.

“The stigma attached to the illness is one of the biggest challenges we must overcome if we are to win the war,” he said.

“Illnesses such as Aids and TB do not discriminate by age, race, gender, class or socio-economic status. They affect all people and communities, prompting the need for a truly united and compassionate approach.”      

He said this tied in with the slogan for World Aids Day 2019: “Let our actions count. Let’s make this year’s World Aids Day the biggest ever yet!”.

The Kouga event is being presented jointly by the municipality, Department of Social Development, Department of Health, the Sarah Baartman District Municipality and Khethimpilo.

 

 

Free roadworthies next week

Kouga Municipality will be helping locals arrive safely at their holiday destinations this festive season.

“Our Traffic Department will once again be offering motorists free roadworthy checks on their vehicles this December,” said Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson.

The free roadworthies will be conducted from 2 to 6 December at the municipality’s vehicle testing station in Humansdorp during business hours.

“We are offering the service to help motorists ensure that their vehicles are fit to travel long distances over the festive season. We would like to invite all vehicle owners to make use of this opportunity,” Benson said.

He said no prosecution would be done if defects were to be found.

“The vehicle owner will only receive a list of possible defects if applicable.”

Vehicle owners are asked to take note that the free checks are not valid for registration and licensing purposes.

The vehicle testing station is situation at the Kouga Fire Station along the entrance road to Humansdorp from the N2.

Soccer bonanza to drive road safety message

Sixteen teams are gearing up for a soccer tournament with a difference.

Groot groep mense by banner – At the draw were Madodana Kota, Victor Burton, Patrick Sacks, Sello Headbush, Zoleka Kota, Margot Burton and Leigh Sacks.

The second Lukhanyo Memorial Soccer Tournament is set to take place at the Thornhill Sportfield from 29 November to 1 December this year. Chief organiser Madodana Kota said the tournament was more than just a showcase for local talent.

“It also serves as a road safety awareness campaign,” he said.

“Many young people from Thornhill, including my son, Lukhanyo, have lost their lives in road accidents.

“The tournament is a way to remember them and to warn those travelling on the roads this festive season to drive responsibly.”

Lukhanyo was one of five teenagers who lost their lives in a horrific accident on the R102 near Thornhill in January 2016. He was just 15 years old.

“Lukhanyo loved soccer, so my wife and I decided to start this tournament in his memory and to combine it with a road safety message to help decrease the number of road accidents and deaths,” Kota said.

Kouga Municipality’s Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson commended the organisers for the initiative.

“Each one of us has a role to play when it comes to road safety. The tournament is a fun way to get across a very important message, especially ahead of the summer holidays when the number of vehicles on the roads increases dramatically, ” he said.

The draw for the tourney recently took place at the Katrina Felix Hall in Thornhill.

Master of Ceremonies Patrick Sacks saluted Kota for transforming a tragedy into a way of empowering others.

“Leaders come up with solutions and our community is blessed to have leaders with such vision,” he said.

He further thanked Headbush Funeral Service and Victor Burton, convener of the Engen U17 Knockout Challenge, for their support of the tourney.

“The tournament has doubled in size compared to last year when we started off with only eight teams,” he said.

Entrance to the tournament is R5 per person and R10 per vehicle.

Cutting-edge sewer plant for Kruisfontein

A Kouga town has become home to one of the most cutting-edge sewer treatment facilities in the world.

The Kruisfontein Waste Water Treatment Works was officially unveiled by Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks at Humansdorp on Tuesday (19 Nov) .

Kruisfontein Waste Water Treatment Works

Kruisfontein Waste Water Treatment Works

Built at a cost of R85,6 million, the plant was designed and installed by Tecroveer, a South African company that has become known for its pioneering approach to water and waste water management.

Hendricks said Kouga Municipality was honoured and privileged to be part of a project of such significance.

“This isn’t just a plant for today, it is a plant for the future and will unlock precious development opportunities in the greater Kruisfontein area,” he said.

“Kouga believes strongly that innovation is the key to creating better lives for our communities and we are grateful to Tecroveer for building a plant that once again puts us ahead of the curve.”

The plant was built over a period of three years and incorporated 34 000 hours of local labour.

“Four of the residents who helped to build the plant have since been employed to operate the plant. We are very pleased with the training and skills transfer that formed part of the project, ” Hendricks said.

Tecroveer representatives were united in their praise for the greater Kruisfontein community.

“The support we received from the community was simply incredible and played a major role in the successful completion of the plant,” said project manager Ian Mitton from Tecroveer.

Project director Michael van den Berg, also of Tecroveer, further praised the municipality for its willingness to embrace innovation.

“Thanks to the trust Kouga placed in us to come up with turnkey solutions, we were able to design and build a plant with double the capacity that was initially envisaged.

“The plant is also easier to operate and maintain. The technology further allows for significant cost and energy savings without compromising on the quality of the treated effluent.”

Tecroveer president Zack van den Berg commended the municipality for the manner in which the project funding had been managed.

“Many projects fail because of poor financial management, but Kouga handled the funding expertly and cash flow was never a problem.”

He also thanked civil subcontractor LRC Civils and consultants Uhambiso Consult for their contribution to the project.

The plant is expected to benefit at least 5000 households.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks (centre) cuts the ribbon at the new Kruisfontein Waste Water Treatment Works. Looking on were Tamara Makeleni from Tecroveer, ward councillor Wilma Coenraad, councillors Timothy Jantjes and Melanie Biko, Tecroveer president Zack van den Berg and project director Michael van den Berg.

Kouga Traffic to offer free roadworthies

Kouga Municipality will be helping locals arrive safely at their holiday destinations this festive season.

“Our Traffic Department will once again be offering motorists free roadworthy checks on their vehicles this December,” said Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson.

The free roadworthies will be conducted from 2 to 6 December at the municipality’s vehicle testing station in Humansdorp during business hours.

“We are offering the service to help motorists ensure that their vehicles are fit to travel long distances over the festive season. We would like to invite all vehicle owners to make use of this opportunity,” Benson said.

He said no prosecution would be done if defects were to be found.

“The vehicle owner will only receive a list of possible defects if applicable.”

Vehicle owners are asked to take note that the free checks are not valid for registration and licensing purposes.

The vehicle testing station is situation at the Kouga Fire Station along the entrance road to Humansdorp from the N2.

New TLBs move service delivery up a gear

Service delivery is set to move up a gear following the addition of seven new TLBs to Kouga Municipality’s fleet.

At the delivery of the new TLBs were (front from left) Gert Nelson, Tom Swartz, Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson, Ntsikelelo April, Sokhana Ngcaku, Kouga Speaker Hattingh Bornman, (back) Daniel van der Walt and Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering director Victor Felton.

The TLBs, short for “tractor-loader-backhoes”, were purchased at a cost of R8,2-million from the municipality’s capital budget.

“We are very proud of this latest addition to the municipal fleet,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

 “TLBs are critical in the rendering of everyday services. For many years the municipality had to rely on expensive rentals to get the job done.

“The new machines will strengthen our service departments and enable them to work more efficiently and cost effectively.”

The TLBs were delivered to Jeffreys Bay earlier this month by Ntsikelelo April whose company, Lutha General Trading, was awarded the tender. Also present was Gert Nelson, branch manager of the Bell store which supplied the machines.

Hendricks said the TLBs brought the number of new vehicles that had been added to Kouga’s fleet over the past three years to 27.

“The municipal fleet was in a terrible condition when we took control of the municipality in 2016. This had a serious impact on service delivery and the morale of staff who had to struggle to get things done without the right equipment,” he said.

“We have since then been implementing a fleet replacement plan. In addition to the new vehicles, we strengthened the capacity of the municipal workshop.

“The workshop team has been doing an incredible job and has refurbished 77 vehicles over the past three years, adding further muscle to the municipality’s service fleet.”

He said the new acquisitions were also testimony of the extent to which the municipality’s financial situation has improved.

“For the first time in many years the municipality has been able to use internal funding for capital purchases such as the TLBs.

“Kouga continues moving from strength to strength and we are grateful to everyone who has supported our drive to establish a culture of service excellence across the region.”