Mayor’s feedback

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen keeping us in the loop

The feedback address by our Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen last Thursday had a fair sized attendance but one really would like to see a larger audience of younger bodies at these meetings. Ward 12 is made up of St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis and Paradise Beach and surely must represent several thousand residents so an audience of around 100 bodies is just a little disappointing. No doubt there will be many who bemoan the progress being made by the Mayor and her council but make not the slightest effort to find out what is really happening preferring to criticise rather what isn’t happening.

Kicking off the meeting the Mayor did a little soft sell on the new service app that the Kouga municipality has introduced. Kouga is only the second municipality, after Cape Town,  under DA control to have this app and it certainly sounds an efficient way of not only reporting problems in the boundaries of the municipality but more importantly following up and seeing whether there is progress on one’s report. If you have not already downloaded the app you can do so for either Android and IOS at download.linkapp.co.za/#dl,

Next on the agenda and almost to be expected in spite of the recent good news was Thyspunt.  It seems Eskom haven’t totally given up hope on Thyspunt but in van Lingen’s opinion it will not be happening in the near future although the Minister of Environment Affairs could still overturn Duynesfontein for Thyspunt, especially if you know who decides it will be so. Should that happen there can be no doubt Thyspunt Alliance will be in the forefront of the battle once more. Rumours that Kouga wwould receive a cash injection of some R4 billion were also apparently without substance but rather  a wish list.

On the matter of finance, whist the situation is still dire after inheriting an all but bankrupt municipality from the ANC. Van Lingen stressed how they are now able to operate finance with a month in reserve, not although not ideal, dertainly an improvement on a year ago.

But to more serious matters which sadly some are still not taking seriously. Kouga along with much of the Eastern Cape is still facing severe water shortage and as we are supplied with water by the Nelson Mandela Bay we are totally in their hands. Apart from the fact that NMB water is unlikely to assist us with funding as the water shortage becomes more critical, the Mayor and her committee are redirecting funds from other services, wherever possible, so as to develop boreholes should the water crisis become that critical. These monies are most likely going to come from less essential services such as roads so if we have a few more potholes over the holiday period we can explain our visitors it was either potholes or water. Maybe a poster campaign will help our influx of visitors appreciate just how serious our situation is. Oyster Bay apparently is already past critical and they are in the process of drilling for water. The situation in the Gamtoos Valley appears equally catastrophic and the season hasn’t yet started.

From recent press reports Kouga has declared war on waste and the Mayor expanded on this with the intention of council to introduce Wheelie Bins to Ward 12. Certainly they are used throughout the world and certainly keep garge safe from marauding dogs and far easier and efficient with the right vehicles doing the garbage pickups. The problem will come when the public hears they will have to buy their own wheelie rather than being supplied one free of charge by council.

Some positive feedback on the APP

 

WE ALL HAVE TO DO OUR BIT – SAVE WATER!

More on the Mayor’s feedback tomorrow,  the SRA, camera security, the riots  and more.

Save water

Are you making an effort to save water and if so, HOW?

The Kouga save water campaign should be taken seriously! Cape Town’s water crisis has seen it recently declared a disaster and although the Nelson Mandela Bay water system from which Kouga draws its water is not quite as serious as in the Western Cape, the chart at the bottom of this post does not bode well if the falling levels continue at the same rate as in the past year.

According to the Department of Water & Sanitation the Algoa Water Supply System is at 39.6% compared to 78.2% at this time of the year in 2016. These dams include: Impofu – 65.7%, Kouga – 23%, Loerie – 44.8% and Groendal – 56.2%

Our largest dam, Kouga has seen the most significant decrease falling from around 70% a year ago to just 21% this month. Kouga dam is our main water source and it really is not that far off Western Cape levels so YES the situation is serious.

Impofu Dam - Nelson Mandela Bay water system

It really is up to us, every man, woman and child to take the threat of water shortages seriously and to do everything possible to conserve water. Consider life with an allocation of 100 litres a day, ask anyone in Cape Town how life changing this has become.

Several readers have called and e-mailed St Francis Today and drawn attention to unoccupied houses using sprinkler systems to water their gardens.  Domestic help has been spotted washing down windows and even washing cars with hose pipes. This truly is both irresponsible and inconsiderate and it is up to each of us to educate our staff as to just how serious the situation is.

Some homes could be using borehole or well water to keep their lawns green and their flowers blooming but there are those who are using precious drinking water and these have to be stopped. Home owners who do not reside in St Francis and only visit the area at weekends or over the holidays should be encouraged to maybe torn off their water mains when not is residence for even a leaking tap left for several months can use a significant amount of water. Lawns wil survive without regular watering and the odd shower that we are sure to experience in the coming months is certainly enough to sustain and keep them green.

How are you saving water?

Please share your water saving ideas in the COMMENTS below. Every drop does count!

Algoa River System State of Dams on 2017-05-29

# Means latest available data
FSC is full storage capacity in million cubic meters
Dam River Photo Indicators FSC This Week Last Week Last Year
Groendal Dam Swartkops River Photo Indicators 11.7 55.1 55.9 84.1
Impofu Dam Krom River Photo Indicators 105.8 64.4 64.9 86.9
Kouga Dam Kouga River Photo Indicators 126.0 21.1 22.1 69.6
Kromrivier Dam Krom River Photo Indicators 35.3 12.9 13.5 72.6
Loerie Dam Loeriespruit River Photo Indicators 3.1 54.8 47.1 41.8
Total 281.6 38.1 38.8 76.8

FOOTNOTE:

Need your car washed?

Rather than having your car washed at home with a hose, the car wash behind the second hand store on Assisi Drive, next to the petrol station is good alternative. They do a great cleaning job, inside and out and save you both water and electricity. They charge just R110 which considering how thorough they are, it is a good deal.

 

Mayor’s appeal to save water

The Kouga Council would like to appeal to residents and visitors to save water in whichever way they can.

We ask this because our region desperately needs to cut back its water usage by 15 % over the next three months. If we don’t, residents may end up having to pay more than double what they are paying for water now.

We know that this is a terrible time of the year to ask this. Water is the last thing anyone wants to worry about when on holiday.

But the situation is serious.

Kouga receives most of its water from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. We were recently mandated by the Metro to cut back this usage by 15% or they would start charging us more.

Over the past month, however, our water purchases from the Metro have increased by almost nine percent.

Preliminary readings put our usage at 545 640kl for the period 18 November to 19 December 2016, compared to 485 470kl for the period 20 November to 18 December 2015.

This means that instead of using 15% less water, we’ve been using 9% more.

If this trend continues, there is a real risk that we might have to start implementing very steep water tariffs by April next year. These tariffs could see the price of water more than double for Kouga households.

The Council will do all we can to avoid steeper tariffs, but to succeed, we need everyone on board, saving water in whichever way we can.

The Council would further like to thank everyone who is already making an effort to reduce water usage. We are also grateful to those who are helping to spread the message because they care about their communities. With your assistance, we can achieve what we’ve set out to do.

DOWNLOAD Water restrictions 2016 INFORMATION

Press release from Laura-Leigh Randall, Kouga Municipality – 22nd December