The Kouga Municipality, as well as the Sarah Baartman District Municipality are defending a court case resulting from the fires that devastated parts of St Francis Bay in 2012.
One of the homeowners whose house was razed in the fire is suing the Municipalities for millions of Rands.
Kouga Mayor Elza Van Lingen says the Municipality is defending the matter in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
“The claim arises from the 2012 fire that saw scores of houses being razed to the ground in the St Francis Bay canal area.
This tragedy has lead to a homeowner suing the Municipality for not fulfilling our obligations under section 152 of the Constitution of South Africa,” said Van Lingen.
According to the Constitution of South Africa the objectives of local government are:
(a) to provide democratic and accountable government for local communities;
(b) to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner;
(c) to promote social and economic development;
(d) to promote a safe and healthy environment; and
(e) to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations
in the matters of local government.
(2) A municipality must strive, within its financial and administrative capacity, to achieve the objects set out in subsection (1).
“As this case is sub judice, I cannot go into further details at the present time.
However, I am taking the matter very seriously and have deployed both our Finance Portfolio Councillor Brenton Williams and our Municipal Manager Sidney Fadi to represent the Municipality at the court case and to instruct our legal team accordingly,” added Van Lingen.