Serious concerns about the proposed Kouga municipal budget led the Democratic Party (DA) to request a meeting with the executive Mayor, Booi Koerat.
Other critical concerns of the community like the sewage disaster in Jeffreys Bay that has seen raw effluent overflowing in Ocean View, Aston Bay as well as onto Main Beach were also raised by the DA councillors.
Mayor Koerat gave an undertaking to investigate the controversy surrounding the proposed development of 1 500 houses in Ocean View and over 200 more in Pellsrus that has no approved infrastructural plans in place.
Nico Botha from the DA said that it was impossible for the budget to be supported in the Council meeting due to be held tomorrow.
“We cannot support a budget that will not solve the financial problems facing us. The budget makes provision for a 95 % collection of money but this figure in reality is actually much lower”, said Botha.
The budget will be at least R 40 million underfunded if it is passed, just from the shortfall in revenue collection alone.
Brenton Williams raised the health and environmental concerns of the Jeffreys Bay community caused by the prolonged sewage spills that are occurring.
“There has been sewage running out into the ocean at Main Beach for the past two weeks. We will never get the Blue Flag back it this continues and we are exposing our community to serious health risk, not only at Main Beach but in the suburbs of Aston Bay and Ocean View as well”, said Williams.
The much vaunted R 37 million upgrade of the Jeffreys Bay sewage infrastructure was supposed to start in May but work is yet to begin.
Another fatal flaw in the proposed budget is that the critical upgrade to the sewage system is not budgeted for in the new financial year which begins in July.
Mayor Koerat has taken the DA proposals seriously and has called for a public meeting to discuss the new municipal budget, as well as ways to improve the working relationship between the municipality and stakeholder organisations.
He will be hosting a meeting at the Kouga Cultural Centre, Humansdorp, tomorrow (22 June) at 4:30pm.
All organisations and individuals are invited to attend.