Under the DA’s leadership after winning the Municipality in 2016, Kouga is financially stronger than it has ever been.
Mayor Horatio Hendricks showcased Kouga at a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday and said that the collection of debt has increased from 72% in August 2016 to 94% in August 2019.
The municipality’s cash-on-hand has grown from R 38 million in June 2016 to R 214 million in June 2019.
The DA-led council also adopted an anti-corruption strategy and established a Financial Misconduct Disciplinary Board.
Kouga municipality implemented a borehole project to augment its water supply and secured R151.2 million in drought funding for ground water development and Water Conservation and Demand Management projects.
Thirty boreholes were drilled at Jeffreys Bay, Oyster Bay, Hankey and Patensie, with 12 delivering good yields and quality. Seven boreholes were drilled at Humansdorp. The test results are being awaited.
The municipality has also invested millions to upgrade its water and wastewater treatment works, benefitting thousands of households.
Under the previous ANC regimes, the building of new government-subsidised housing came to a standstill.
“This changed under the leadership of the DA when in 2017 work started on the top structures of 391 houses at Kruisfontein. Another two housing projects are currently underway and another seven are in the advanced planning stage.
When the DA took over in 2016, Kouga had almost 4000 household which still relied on a bucket toilet system.
The DA-led municipality is currently in the process of eradicating more than 2000 bucket toilets through current housing projects, and has also launched a multi-year programme in the 2018/19 financial year to eliminate the use of buckets in Kouga entirely,” said Hendricks.
The regional landfill site at Humansdorp and Hankey waste site were upgraded, an official recycler was appointed, and new drop-off zones were opened at Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay.
In addition, the municipality has started distributing wheelie bins to households to replace black bags. A total of 7 713 wheelie bins were delivered to Hankey, Patensie, Loerie, Thornhill and Humansdorp during 2018/2019, with the roll-out set to continue in the new financial year.
In 2016, the DA-led municipality inherited a vehicle fleet which was almost entirely broken. Only 4% of the fleet was fully operational. A fleet replacement plan has subsequently been implemented, by the DA, and at least 90% of the fleet is in operation daily.
“We also became the first municipality in the Sarah Baartman district to launch an app-supported call centre for residents to submit service requests.
A total of 35 201 service requests and faults were resolved through the Kouga Call Centre and Link service delivery app during 2018/2019. This is more than double the number of 17 298 that were resolved the previous year, added Hendricks.
From 2017 to 2018 the DA-led municipality distributed an historic 1 827 title deeds. A 98-year-old resident from Patensie recently became the official owner of a home for the first time.
Tuli Wilson Tanda had been living on the property for more than 15 years, and only under the DA was it registered in his name in July 2019 for the first time.
The DA-led Kouga will be pioneering the first road made from plastic waste in Africa, a stronger and more durable alternative to traditional asphalt mixes.
A total of 7 785 potholes were repaired during the 2018/2019 financial year and 32 roads and parking areas, totalling 140 977m², were resealed.
Kouga is poised to become the first municipality in the Eastern Cape to roll out free unlimited WiFi to the public. An agreement has been reached between the Council and Cell C.
To ensure the safety of both residents and visitors in Kouga, the DA-led municipality installed security cameras along the main beachfront of Jeffreys Bay, for the first time, and spotlights were recently erected at the informal settlement in Donkerhoek and at the entrance to upper Vaaldam in Humansdorp.
Photo: Joey Nel