R150-million will be streaming into Kouga’s coffers over the next few months to help the municipality secure extra water for the drought-stricken region.
Two funding applications for drought-relief, submitted by Kouga Municipality, have both been fully approved by National Treasury and the decision promulgated in the Government Gazette.
Welcoming the total allocation of R151,228 million, Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said it was a proud moment for the municipality to have its funding application approved in full.
“Very seldom are applications fully funded by the relevant provincial and national government departments.
“I want to thank our municipal officials for the hard work that went into compiling the applications, and the Kouga Council for ensuring that the municipality could be trusted to spend the allocation well,” he said.
It is a great win for our communities and will have a massive impact on the municipality’s ability to supply water to all residents in a sustainable manner.”
Kouga Municipality submitted the applications following the 2018 national budget speech in which the Minister of Finance announced that R6-billion would be set aside in 2018/2019 for drought-relief.
Municipalities had two chances to apply, with Kouga making use of both opportunities.
The allocation process was managed by National Treasury, with inputs from sector departments and the National Disaster Management Centre.
The Mayor said the first allocation was for R58,728-million, which will be paid to Kouga through the Provincial Disaster Relief Grant.
“The work the municipality will be doing with this money is expected to benefit 23 868 households across the region,” he said.
He said the money would be used to develop, refurbish, equip and connect boreholes at Hankey, Patensie, Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and Oyster Bay.
It will further be used to improve the extraction and treatment of water from the Klein River at Hankey while the existing springs at Rebelsrus and Mostertshoek will also be developed with the grant.
The Mayor said the second allocation of R92,5-million would be released to Kouga through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant and is expected to benefit some 12 623 households.
“About R27-million of this will be used to expand our programme to identify and repair leaks. It will also be used to replace old pipes, particularly in high risk areas, as well as for water pressure management at our reservoirs,” Hendricks said.
“A total of R35-million will go towards to upgrade of the Jeffreys Bay water treatment works, which is necessary to bring more boreholes on line, while R20-million of the allocation will be used to refurbish the natural springs at Humansdorp.”
With the combined levels of the dams supplying Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay at just more than 54% this week, water restrictions remain in place across the regions.