A major cash flow crisis exists in the Kouga Municipality (which includes Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Humansdorp).
The proposed budget for the next three years includes the sale of municipal land up to R 80 million; much of which will be used to cover the operating budget.
However, in the current property market doldrums, it is not a sure thing that the municipality will be able to sell land at an estimated R 26 million in the upcoming financial year.
The sale of assets should only be used to invest in the infrastructure of the town according to Kouga Councillor Brenton Williams.
“When as asset such as land is sold, the money should be used to upgrade the electricity grid or the water infrastructure or to upgrade existing facilities like Main Beach” said Williams
The financial situation of Kouga municipality is further compromised by R 38 million that is owed to creditors of 30 days and more.
Add to this a R37 million sewage infrastructure upgrade that was supposed to start in May this year and it becomes plain to see that a very serious crisis exists in Jeffreys Bay.
There is sewage flowing in the streets of the town and pouring onto the Main Beach right now. This has to be urgently addressed not only to keep tourists coming into the town, but for the safety and well being of all our communities.
However, the proposed capital budget makes provision for a mere R 3,8 million infrastructural upgrade of the Jeffreys Bay sewage plant. Does this mean we just have to get used to the strength of raw sewage in our town?
The municipal staff’s pension and medical aid benefits were not paid over to the service providers at the end of May, is probably a clear indication of just how bad the financial crisis is within the Kouga Municipality.