ANC Councillor Booi Koerat was sworn in as the new Executive Mayor of the Kouga Municipality at Humansdorp today.
An old school principal and mayor of the former Humansdorp Transitional Local Council (TLC), Koerat pledged his commitment to serving his community to loud applause at the packed inaugural meeting of the new Kouga Council.
Former Speaker, Magdalene Dlomo, retained her position as Speaker of the Kouga Council, which has grown from 20 to 29 councillors following the May 18 elections.
In his inaugural address the new Executive Mayor vowed that he would bring back the “moral consciousness” of great ANC struggle leaders such as Walter Sisulu and stamp out corruption.
“It is significant that the election was held on the birth date of one of the giants of our struggle movement,” he said.
“We should constantly remind ourselves for what these great political leaders stood and died for. Their moral consciousness did not allow them to participate in corruption.”
He further promised to build on the working relationship between the Council and civil society.
“A solid partnership with civil society will enable us to find workable solutions for the diverse range of developmental challenges facing Kouga.”
He said the betterment of the lives of the poor through infrastructure and economic development would be priorities of the new Council.
“Kouga is more than tarmac and concrete, and more than wire and pipes. It is also about socio-economic development and transformation.
“We, as the ANC, acknowledge that we could have done more. We could have worked smarter and harder. We promise to do so in this term.”
He said that Kouga was ready for an “exciting new chapter in its history” and gave the audience his assurance that the new Council would not “let up in our efforts to help create a better Kouga through the building of better communities”.
The new Mayoral Committee was also announced at the meeting. They are :
Vernon Stuurman (portfolio councillor: Finance, Administration, Monitoring and Evaluation)
Patrick Kota (portfolio councillor: Infrastructure Development)
Phumzile Oliphant (portfolio councillor: Local Economic Development)
Thandeka Maseti (portfolio councillor: Social Development)
Virginia Camealio-Benjamin (portfolio councillor: Tourism and Creative Industries).
They are joined on the Council by newcomers Dave Alderndorff, Earl Hill and Brenton Williams from Jeffreys Bay.
The leader of the DA in the Kouga Council, Chimpie Cawood congratulated Mayor Koerat but added that the DA had shown strong growth in the election and whilst the DA pledged to work together with the ANC, there is still a strong feeling that the DA will win the next election outright.