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.”