Public has big role to play in new development plan for Kouga

KOUGA communities should not underestimate the importance of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and the role residents play in putting it together.

“The IDP is a plan that sets out the needs of each ward and what the priorities are,” explained Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen.

“Each year when we budget, we will be looking at the IDP to determine what the needs of our communities are and how best to spend the municipality’s income to address these needs.

“This is why community participation is essential because residents know best what their wards need.”

She said the IDP was also an important feedback tool.

“The IDP is a five-year plan, but it is taken back to communities every year so that they can see what has been done and set new priorities for their wards if necessary.”

Community consultation meetings to draft the new IDP started this week. Meetings will be held across Kouga.

In terms of legislation the draft IDP must be tabled to Council for adoption before the end of March next year.

The draft IDP, as well as the draft budget, will then be taken back to communities in April so that they can verify whether it is a true reflection of the input they had given.

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The final plan will be tabled to Council before the end of May 2017 for adoption and implementation.

“We would like to give residents the assurance that we will take their input seriously,” she said.

“In the past communities lost faith in public participation processes because their views were not taken into consideration by the previous Council.

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Residents also seldom, if ever, received feedback as to what was actually being done with their money.

“The good news is that there is a new leadership in charge and we can promise residents that they will always be central in everything we do.

“We look forward to seeing you at the IDP meetings and plotting the way forward for Kouga together.”

To check the dates the IDP meetings will be taking place, click here

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