Good planning, preparedness and regular meetings ensured a smooth festive season for Jeffreys Bay and the wider Kouga region.
In addition to a festive preparedness plan, the Kouga Municipality held daily Venue Operations Centre (VOC) meetings in conjunction with the South African Police and the NSRI, to continuously assess and resolve emerging challenges.
“We are glad that we took this approach, as there was better coordination of services. This enabled us to make the festive season pleasurable and as safe as possible for our residents and visitors,” says Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen.
“The feedback we received from residents and visitors was very positive. We are truly grateful to the stakeholders for their participation and guidance and we intend to keep this type of relationship going.”
The four new refuse vehicles played a major role in ensuring that waste was collected on time, especially in the Jeffreys Bay CBD areas where high volumes of waste were generated during the peak season.
The teams worked seven days a week and additional staff were taken from the bush clearing and grass cutting teams to assist with litter picking and other cleansing duties. Public facilities were cleaned on a regular basis, while grass had been cut at entrances at the start of the season.
Water and sanitation services were rendered with minimal hiccups, while the municipality intensified its water-saving message as the drought persisted.
Low pressure challenges affected water supply to some high-lying areas, while water shedding had to be imposed on Hankey and Patensie due to scarcity of water.
There were no extended power interruptions during the season and the electrical department attended to complaints promptly.
Lifeguards and beaches
The lifeguards were on high alert, with more than 150 rescues conducted across all the beaches and the Aston Bay lagoon.
There was a near-drowning rescue at Dolphin Beach where a 19-year-old male was resuscitated and admitted to hospital.
Sadly, on January 4, a 28-year-old local man drowned in St Francis Bay while swimming with friends at a beach where no lifeguards are deployed. The body of the man was recovered three days later, about 300 metres from where he drowned.
All lost children were reunited with parents on the same day of separation.
Lifeguards also conducted treatments for a number of minor injuries from abrasions, heatstroke, dislocations and lacerations.
The fire services responded to a number of calls and managed to deal with these without any extensive damage being caused.
There was, however, an unfortunate incident of a death of a person when a shack burnt down in Ocean View.