Christmas in the Park
KOUGA – Deck! The halls – and trees, walls, doors, and roofs – with boughs of holly . . . Fa la la la it’s Christmas time.
Retrieve those boxes packed with vibrant decorations and begin adorning your space as Kouga is gearing up to shine this year. Be it with vibrant lights, shimmering baubles, playful elves, or dazzling tinsel.
In a bid to spread some holiday cheer, Kouga Municipality in conjunction with Jeffreys Bay Tourism, is rallying everyone – residents and local businesses – to join in spreading the holiday spirit by illuminating their homes or premises this festive season.
“The ambience created by Christmas trees, lights and decorations is unparalleled in fostering a festive atmosphere,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Hattingh Bornman. “This will significantly contribute to ensuring that the holiday spirit radiates throughout our region, even amidst the numerous challenges we are encountering.”
With the consent of home and business owners, establishments will be incorporated into an exciting light route, with the park situated at the corner of Noorsekloof Road and Dogwood Street as the central focal point.
Christmas in the Park
The park will undergo a metamorphosis into a stunning display of lights and merriment – and authentic Christmas in the Park.
However, residents’ assistance is needed to illuminate the park.
If you have spare Christmas lights, decorations, or any red items in good condition, kindly consider dropping them off at BayMEd Pharmacy or reaching out to Sam at 074 795 3073.
Home and business owners who would like their premises to be included in the tour, can contact Leilani Coetsee at 084 681 3702. Alternatively, send an email to email@example.com.
See also: Paradise Beach water tower to be repaired
PARADISE BEACH – In a concerted effort to safeguard water resources and fortify conservation endeavours, Kouga Municipality is currently undertaking the restoration of the Paradise Beach Water Tower at a cost of close to R9.7 million.
This project encompasses not only repairing the tower, but also involves replacing outdated pipelines and installing a new perimeter fence.
It is estimated that work, that commenced in October 2023, will be completed in May 2024.
Integrity Of The Tower
“The repair work aims not only to reinforce the structural integrity of the tower, but also to enhance its efficiency,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Hattingh Bornman. “By repairing the tower, we can ensure better water management and decrease the risk of wastage due to leaks or inefficiencies.
“This undertaking stands as a testament to the municipality’s commitment to sustainable practices and responsible resource management – ensuring that the tap never runs dry for our residents.
Water, the lifeblood of Kouga
“Water, the lifeblood of Kouga, requires diligent care and attention, especially in the face of environmental challenges and growing water scarcity concerns.”
According to Bornman, the municipality urges residents to continue to use water sparingly and implement practices that contribute to the preservation of this invaluable resource.
See also: Kouga Holiday Season Events
(Kromme Views Photo © Clive Wright)
It’s unbelievable, actually. Season Is Almost Here. I did spend quite a chunk of the year overseas, but it seems like just the other day, we were seeing the beginning of a cold winter, we were in the middle of the worst drought, and load-shedding was being spoken about in terms of stage 12.
And in the blink of an eye, it’s time for Billy’s Beach.
Here are some other happenings over the next ten weeks or so.
Read also: Notes From The Editor – That Was A Big Weekend
Council declares amnesty period
Kouga – In a display of empathy and commitment to the community, the Kouga Council has declared a three-month amnesty period for the payment of exorbitant water accounts – addressing the current water billing challenges, while offering residents a lifeline by providing a clean start.
The amnesty period, offering resident the opportunity to minimise or clear their water debts, will run from 1 November 2023 to 31 January 2024 and will only apply to high water accounts prior to this time.
Elevated Water Accounts
Kouga Executive Mayor, Hattingh Bornman, said the driving force behind this decision includes prolonged meter readings, water leaks, estimated billing, and billing with a 60-day delay. These factors collectively led to “increased” water usage and subsequently elevated water accounts.
“These factors have been identified through various data cleansing processes that have been implemented, as well as further internal controls being introduced to ensure that consumption of water is accurate and billed correctly,” said Bornman.
“The implementation of the data cleansing processes has significantly impacted residents’ accounts, leading to concerns about the accuracy of these accounts. This, in turn, has had significant repercussions on revenue generation, collection rates, and the balance of outstanding debts.
“To address this issue and provide much-needed relief, the municipality has initiated an amnesty programme, offering resident the opportunity to minimise or clear their water debts.”
For all amnesty applications, residents must submit a completed amnesty application form, their meter readings together with supporting evidence thereof. For water leaks, a plumbing report stating that the leak has been fixed, must also be submitted.
The actual readings will be considered, correct calculations will be performed, and the resident will be billed at the reduced tariff of the average monthly consumption for a maximum period of three months.
In the case of a water leak, a full write-off of charges will be contemplated, and residents will only be billed for their average monthly consumption.
The resident’s account will then be current, accurate and deemed correct.
It is important to note that each case will be dealt with on merit and the municipality remains the final decision-maker.
“As a caring municipality, we understand the challenges faced by our residents, and have therefore made the decision to write-off qualifying residents’ water debt to ease their burdens and ensure access to this essential resource,” said Bornman.
“The welfare of our residents is of paramount importance and the approved amnesty period is driven by a genuine desire to ease their financial burdens.”
See also: Fire prohibition period announced in Kouga.
In a concerted effort to ensure positive results in ensuring community safety, Kouga Municipality has successfully partnered with Kouga Law Enforcement, Kouga Health & Safety Department, and the South African Police Service (SAPS). This was to address a recent case of possible food poisoning in Jeffreys Bay.
There was a report that a child fell ill after consuming goods purchased from a local spaza shop. The collaborative operation occurred on October 27. It demonstrated the municipality’s dedication to enforcing municipal bylaws and maintaining a secure environment for its residents.
Positive results in ensuring community safety.
The three-phase operation began with Spaza Shop Compliance inspections in Tokyo Sexwale, Ocean View and Pellsrus, wherein there were multiple compliance violations. As a result, a total compliance summons amounting to R14 400 was issued to address issues. There was insufficient shop ventilation, expired foods, and sleeping in the shop. Also, animals on the premises selling food, and the absence of a Certificate of Acceptability (COA).
The municipality has witnessed remarkable turnarounds and dedicated efforts by several spaza shop owners to become compliant. So, this turnaround results in a safer shopping experience for the community. It also instils a sense of pride and accomplishment for the shop owner.
Phase two of the operation focused on visiting illegal taverns. This led to one arrest for selling liquor without a licence and confiscating a substantial amount. Therefore, this action conveys that the municipality’s goals include protecting the community.
The final phase of the operation involved a joint combat stop and search in the evening, which proved to be highly successful. During this phase, there was the confiscation of dagga and dangerous weapons that were handed over to the SAPS. Thus further ensuring the community’s safety.
Our partnership with SAPS and the collaborative efforts of our dedicated teams are pivotal in enforcing the law and maintaining a secure environment for our residents. We remain resolute in our mission to protect and serve our community.
“The municipality continues to work diligently to create a safer and healthier environment for its residents.”
The annual fire prohibition period announced in Kouga by executive mayor Hattingh Bornman for the region started on Wednesday, November 1, and would continue until Wednesday, February 28, 2024.
“Summer, with its high temperatures and strong winds, is when there is the highest risk in our region of runaway fires destroying properties and lives,” he said. “Add to this the prevailing drought conditions.
As part of Kouga Municipality’s efforts to keep Kouga safe, no controlled burns will be allowed during this period, while residents are urged to be extra careful when it comes to setting anything alight – be it candles or braais.
He said bonfires and any activity that required walking around with open flames were strongly discouraged.
“This includes walking around with candles and lanterns, as well as burning tyres or discharging fireworks or other flammable paraphernalia,” said Bornman.
“Open fires are also not allowed in public areas unless they are at designated braai stands.”
Burning will be allowed under the following strict conditions:
- The Chief Fire Officers or the Fire Prevention Officer of the Local Municipality must approve all burning operations according to their respective burning permit systems.
- Landowners must apply a minimum of seven (7) days before burning for pre-approval.
- Final approval for burning must be obtained on the day of the burn.
- All bordering landowners must be informed of burning operations in terms of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (Act 101 of 1998) (NVFFA).
- The National Veld Forest Fire Act (NVFFA) places a duty on all landowners to have all precautions in place to prevent a fire from spreading or causing damage.
According to Bornman, any person contravening this notice may be liable and face prosecution under the Fire Brigade Services Act 99 of 1987, National Veld and Forest Fire Act 101 of 1998, or any other applicable legislation.
Transgressions, including the illegal trade or discharge of fireworks, should be reported to the Kouga Call Centre at 042 200 2200 (option 5) or 042 291 0250 (after hours).
For any fire emergency, contact the all-hours number 042 291 0250.
ISSUED BY KOUGA MUNICIPALITY
Past News: Remembering The Fire by Richard Arderne