The DA is delighted to have retained a full majority in Kouga, which News24 recently ranked as the best-run municipality in the Eastern Cape and one of the top performers in the country.
“In 2016, the residents of Kouga rejected the ANC and decided instead to give the DA an opportunity to prove ourselves to them. Today’s outright win for the DA – 16 of the 29 seats in council – tells us that Kouga residents believe we pulled through for them and will do so again over the coming five years,” said DA leader John Steenhuizen.
“Our message to the residents of Kouga is that we will keep striving to live up to their expectations. We will keep doing our best to serve them with dedication, integrity and humility. We will keep getting things done for them.
The DA is excited and grateful to have this incredible opportunity to build on the foundation of good governance that we have laid over the past five years,” added Steenhuizen.
“We recognize that there is still so much to be done in Kouga. Our commitment now is to build on this progress so that we can take Kouga from good to great.
Kouga is a South African success story at a time when the people of this province need reason to hope, and proof that with good government, progress can be made.
Our sincere hope is that the story of Kouga will inspire residents in other Eastern Cape municipalities to give the DA an opportunity to bring our brand of good governance to them too. We would like to replicate our Kouga successes in more and more Eastern Cape municipalities.
When the DA took over Kouga in 2016, the municipality was in a state of decline. We stabilized Kouga’s finances and set about improving the capacity of the council to deliver to people. Our approach has been to build trust and partnerships with the community, placing people at the centre of everything we do. The results show it is a winning formula,” said Steenhuizen.
Kouga successes 2016-2021:
The ANC-run council had neither built nor facilitated the building of a single house in Kouga since 2007.
Since 2016, the DA-run council has completed 611 houses and another 3025 are in the pipeline while a further 2790 are being held up by land and infrastructure issues. This is against a backlog of about 15 000 houses needed, meaning that real progress is being made.
Since 2016, over 3 000 title deeds have been delivered to rightful beneficiaries.
Over 1 800 households received access to electricity. Over 1 000 streetlights retrofitted with LED lights, to save money and the environment.
The council built a new state-of-the-art waste water treatment works and is upgrading its three other waste water treatments works, one of the many ways this municipality is working to ensure a reliable supply of clean water for residents.
In 2016, only 4% of Kouga’s vehicle fleet was operational. Today, 96% of the municipality’s vehicles are on the road every day to service communities, and 57 new vehicles have been added to the fleet.
From 2011 to 2016, the ANC-run municipality spent an average of R3.5 million per year on road maintenance. The DA-run municipality has tripled that delivery rate, spending on average over R10 million per year on repairing and upgrading roads in the past five years.
In 2016, public amenities were in a state of disrepair with little to no maintenance happening. Since 2016, the DA council has undertaken a massive maintenance drive and upgraded community halls, ablution facilities, sports facilities, parks, and campsites.
By 2016, investment in Kouga had all but dried up and local businesses did not want to take on contracts for the municipality because of its reputation for non-payment.
Kouga is now an investment hub. A brand-new hospital is being built in Jeffreys Bay, while R4 billion has been invested in two housing developments, and several large companies have set up in Kouga.
The municipality won gold at the Eco-Logic awards last year for the first plastic road in Africa, built in Jeffreys Bay using recycled plastic (equivalent to 1.8 million plastic bags per kilometre of road).
This revolutionary new approach to tarring could increase the lifespan of roads while reducing maintenance costs and plastic pollution. If ever there was hard proof that the DA goes the extra mile, this is it.
Kouga has its sights on becoming the country’s leading Bioeconomy Zone and already boasts a waste-to-energy plant, a solar plant, and a biochar plant that turns invasive alien vegetation biomass into “green charcoal” which has several environmentally friendly applications.
Kouga’s finances are in a healthy state. In 2016, Kouga was heavily indebted. Today, this debt has been paid off yet cash on hand is almost double what it was back then.