As Executive Mayor, it is my hope and vision to continue to build Kouga as a Municipality of Opportunity – where anyone from any background can realise their potential and enjoy a high-quality standard of living.
To ensure that we bring this vision to fruition, we must be in tune with our residents and understand their needs and lived experience.
I will not be a desk-bound mayor and will be on the ground to ensure that we service the needs of all our residents. I have, therefore, decided to embark on my 15 wards in 15 days campaign to visit every single ward in the municipality. This campaign will create an opportunity for residents to share their needs with me directly and for me to ascertain the prevalent issues in each ward.
I believe Kouga can become a blueprint of what a flourishing South Africa can look like. A place of hope, innovation, and excellence.
To achieve this vision, I would like to share some of the following priorities:
- Fast-track quality service delivery to every corner of our Municipality.
- Let me state this unequivocally, the state of roads in the Kouga Municipality is not good enough and we must place the repair and resealing of our roads as a priority.
- This includes purchasing new equipment to tar gravel roads and reseal our tar roads.
- The stark reality is that in 2016, when the DA took over government in Kouga, we inherited a Municipality that was on the brink of collapse. We must continue our efforts to maintain and upgrade all critical infrastructure.
- To help facilitate this I will be establishing an investment advisory structure which will seek to access additional funding opportunities to address the bulk infrastructure backlog.
- We must continue being an innovative Municipality.
- Kouga has shown its ability to maximize the use of technology to improve our communities, as you can see here at this state-of-the-art water purification plant.
- We need to think innovatively about how we can mitigate the devasting effects of constant loadshedding on our residents and on our business sector. I am, therefore, proud to announce that we are currently in the final stages of having a concrete plan on the table to move away from ESKOM and become energy self-sufficient. An ongoing feasibility study is underway to determine the viability of alternative means of renewable energy and power generation by independent power producers. The study will consist of the construction of a 20MW plant – supplying a third of the average electricity used in Kouga. The ultimate goal is to generate 60MW of electricity, which will ensure the municipality’s independence from ESKOM.
- We must be a more accessible municipality to all our residents and stakeholders.
- This vision will be captured in a Service Charter that speaks to being a more responsive and available municipality to all of our residents.
- I will be investing a lot of my time seeking to build closer relationships with the business sector – we cannot achieve our objectives if we don’t grow our economy.
Since we took over government in 2016, we have managed to stabilise our financial coffers and now find ourselves in a healthy situation. We aim to spend above 40% of our Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funding by December this year. Every cent of our budget will be spent on the critical needs of our residents as guided by our IDP. Remaining financially stable will open further investment opportunities of additional funding through grant or loan sources that will enable us to increase capital expenditure for improving critical infrastructure and for our electricity and water sustainability projects.
Kouga is already providing reliable services and providing good, clean and financially stable governance, and in the very near future we will become a municipality that provides in its own water and electricity needs – a lone beacon of hope in the Eastern Cape and quite possibly the best municipality in South Africa.