Kouga executive mayor, Elsa van Lingen, said the establishment of a desalination plant is the best way to achieve water security for the Kouga area.
Delivering her State of the Municipality Address on Wednesday, Van Lingen said that a delegation from Kouga recently visited Israel to learn more about desalination from the world’s leaders in this field.
She said the process to appoint a professional services provider to assist with the implementation has been initiated.
Van Lingen said that long-term water security will also be the focus of the Kouga Municipality’s climate change partnership with Ilsfeld Municipality in Germany.
“A year ago the dams in the Algoa Water Supply System – from which both Kouga and our neighbours, Nelson Mandela Bay, draw water – were just more than half full at 50,2%. That figure has since dropped to 25.6%,” she said.
Van Lingen said “of particular concern to us is the Kouga Dam, which is the only water supply to the towns of Hankey and Patensie. A year ago the dam level stood at 36%; now it stands at just over 10%.”
“The outlook for the Churchill and Impofu Dams – which supply water to Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis- is also bleak, with the level of the Churchill Dam dropping from 31% in February last year to 18% in February this year and the Impofu from 72.4% to 41.3%,” she said.
“In short, the water security of our communities is under serious threat,” Van Lingen said.
Meanwhile, Meanwhile, the Kouga mayor said that one of the big economic shocks for them this past year was the news that the proposed nuclear development at Thyspunt would not be happening soon, if ever.
Van Lingen said while the people of Kouga have been divided over the issue of years, she said there’s no doubt that news came as a blow to many job seekers, entrepreneurs, SMMEs, co-ops and businesses, who believed that Thyspunt would bring a much-needed economic boost to the region.
However, the Mayor said there’s far more to the Kouga area than just Thyspunt.
Van Lingen said there’s tremendous room for growth in many of sectors – including tourism, Agri-processing, and the Ocean Economy.
She said the Kouga Council will endeavour to unlock the full economic potential of the area.