Tomorrow’s march by residents ratepayers in the Kouga Municipality will strengthen the hand of the Democratic Alliances’ on-going campaign at all three levels of government to rescue this area and the community from a failed ANC administration. We therefore welcome it, as we have been warning the ANC for some time that the people are angry with failed service delivery. Increased public pressure, in tandem with the DA’s efforts at council level, will force the ANC to put the people first. Wake up ANC, the community is fed up.
The Federation of Kouga Ratepayers and Residents Association (FEKRRA) will be marching to the municipal headquarters in Jeffreys Bay tomorrow – Wednesday, 12 September – to demand better service delivery. Every ratepayers’ or residents’ branch from each village will hand over a report of the problems in that specific village.
The Democratic Alliance is in full support of the FEKRRA action because Kouga Municipality is collapsing due to the lack of proper administration and a complete financial implosion.
The reasons why we support the march are as follows:
- The mayoral committee claims delegated powers which it does not have, for instance unlawfully appointing the Section 56 and 57 managers (municipal manager and directors) without following due process;
- The unrealistic and inflated budget claiming to collect 96% of own income when the recovery rate is 70-75%;
- The poor financial state of Kouga Municipality owing in excess of R85,806 million: R19, 446 million to Nelson Mandela Bay Metro for water. R6, 058 million owed to SARS for PAYE where these amounts are deducted on a monthly basis from salaries. R10, 723 million owed to the four pension schemes the municipality subscribes to, when the monthly subscriptions are also deducted on a monthly basis. Non-payment of these leave the employees and workers without disability and funeral benefits. R15, 949 million owed to Eskom for electricity. R1, 38 million owed in interest on loans that was due by 30 June 2012. R16, 648 million owed to the provincial department for the vehicle licences issued. R20 million owed in loans to the Infrastructure Finance Corporation Limited (INKA) and Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) that was due by 30 June 2012. Creditors increased from 30 June 2011 of R65 million to R85, 806, 682 million on 30 June 2012. Debtors increased from R89, 643, 078 million on 30 June 2011 to R105, 469, 684 million at 30 June 2012.
- General maintenance: Kouga is a pothole mecca in every village and township. The water in Wavecrest remains brown. Kruisfontein is left without water and electricity for extended periods. Any efforts of the DA to increase and protect the maintenance budget are viciously countered by the ANC slashing it to nothing. The municipality does not pay its service providers and therefore the service providers refuse to deliver.
- Organogram and staff structures: The five directors appointed on 1 August 2012 at a remuneration package of R780 000 demanded an increase to R830 700 before agreeing to sign acceptance of their positions. Kouga does not have an approved organogram, which is illegal. The municipality has too many employees and in particular the middle management division is overpopulated. The Expanded Public Works Programme is over employed because the portion of the budget provided for protective clothing and equipment is used for wages, which breaches all safety regulations.
- The DA laid several charges against alleged fraud in the municipality for investigation: The re-appointment of two senior workers who were found guilty in a disciplinary hearing for fraud at the traffic department.The alleged squandering of R931, 000 of the Jeffreys Bay Community Trust fund by the former mayor and a current councillor. The non-payment of the pension subscriptions to the four pension and provident schemes.
- The DA has entered into litigation with the municipality because of the unlawful appointment of the directors.
This week the Portfolio Committees of the Provincial Legislature will be visiting Kouga and various projects in the municipality to be able to debate the state of Kouga during the annual “Taking Legislature to the People”, from 8-12 October in Humansdorp.
The DA will make every effort to expose the critical position of Kouga, which is clearly ignored by the ANC in the municipality and the province.
Elza van Lingen
DA Leader – National Council of Provinces
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