Thursday, 30 September 2010

General meeting: chairman's report

The association held a general meeting on
29 September 2010 at the Jeffreys Bay tennisclub.
Below follows the report of the chairman, dr Barry Vosloo.

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to give an overview of the association's activities since the AGM on 25 February 2010.  Die het ook die doel om 'n aanduiding van toekomstige ontwikkelinge te gee.

Vorige voorsitter

Die vorige voorsitter, Henda Thiart, het onvermoeid voortgegaan om om te sien na die belange van ons lede. Ons blog het breedvoerig hieroor berig. She attended council meetings. She vigorously monitored the activities of the Kouga municipality. She admonished, cajoled and generally made life difficult for them if she considered it necessary. In addition she wrote letter upon letter to the municipal powers that be and regularly conducted personal interviews with the municipal manager and his officials about members’ complaints. Een ding het soos ‘n paal bo water gestaan: in al haar onderhandelinge met die munisiplaiteit was sy konsekwent beleef. Gevolglik het sy hulle agting en samewerking geniet.

Skepping van 'n blog

In Januarie was Henda instrumenteel in die skepping van 'n hoogs suksesvolle blog. Die hoofdoel van die blog is om berigte te plaas oor munisipale sake en die aktiwiteite van die vereniging, sowel as om van interaksie tussen die belastingbetalers van Jeffreysbaai te bevorder.

New chairman and secretary

During the year, however, Henda and the secretary, the late Gerrie Botes, decided to enter politics. As required by the assocoation's constitution, they terminated their formal involvement with the association. This suddenly left a void in the management committee. In June Japie Bosch and I agreed to assume the responsibilities of Acting Secretary and Acting Chairman for the remainder of the year.

Evaluering van grondwet

Een van die eerste take wat die nuwe bestuurskomitee onderneem het, was 'n deeglike evaluering van die vereniging se grondwet. Lidmaatskap het onder die soeklig gekom het en 'n subkomitee is gestig om dié saak onder die loep te neem.

Co-option of committee members

A few other issues are presently receiving attention in an attempt to flesh out the constitution. These include a procedure to co-opt to the management committee experts in the field of e.g. town planning, engineering, finance, tourism and the environment, as well as a strategy to take care of members’ complaints.

No rates boycott

The management committee also resolved not to support calls for a rates boycott at this juncture because
(a) die vereniging is in kennis gestel dat dit onwettig is,
(b) die vereniging sal nie die administratiewe las as gevolg daarvan kan hanteer nie,
(c) Jeffreysbaai-inwoners het reeds getoon dat hulle waarskynlik nie geneë sal wees om ‘n belastingboikot te ondersteun nie en
(d) service delivery is fairly satisfactory.

However, the association will support more aggressive measures in the event of matters taking a turn for the worst.

Good relations

Finally, the committee feels that it has to sustain the good relations with the municipality that Henda established during her term of office. Her conciliatory approach has been underpinned by a number of reassuring events in the municipality.

Munisipale bestuurder

Ek van oordeel dat die munisipale bestuurder 'n toeganklike man is wat homself moet handhaaf in ‘n werksomgewing wat die meeste van ons ons nie kan voorstel nie. Tog het hy twee keer uit sy pad gegaan om aan ons antwoorde te verskaf op 'n aantal moeilike vrae. Een van sy belangrikste krukke is wetgewing, wat hy nougeset toepas.

Positive developments

A suitably qualified person has been appointed recently to ensure that municipal financial procedures measure up to legal requirements.

'n Organisasie- en metode-studie sal deur die Ontwikkelingsbank van Suid-Afrika onderneem word ten einde die administrasie van die munisipaliteit te verbeter.

Afgesien van 'n paar uitsonderings, is dienslewering (water, elektrisiteit, vullisverwydering en riool) in Jeffreysbaai eintlik nie té onaardig nie.

Print

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Dealing with members' complaints

When and how should the Jeffreys Bay Ratepayers’ Association (JBRPA) be approached to assist with problems relating to municipal service delivery?

Tha association recently established a firm policy in this regard.

It entails:

1. Complaints with regard to service delivery should preferably be taken on only after a member’s own attempts at solving his/her problem has failed, following which their complaint should be submitted to the JBRPA in writing.

2. The JBRPA will in turn submit the complaint to the Municipal Manager in writing and provide the relevant councilor with a copy, asking for his/her intervention.

3. Due to their specialised nature budget and infra-structure concerns should be lodged with the councilors representing members of the JBRPA.

4. Finally, the councilors should be invited to attend JBRPA management committee meetings as well as general meetings (including the AGM) in order to report on progress made with regard to complaints that were brought to their attention.

In a report to the management committee at its monthly meeting in September 2010 dr Barry Vosloo, chairman, stated in his closing remarks:

It should be noted that I am reluctant to accommodate complaints by non-members.

The committee agreed.

He argued as follows:



“Public administration in general is an extension of governance. Administrators have been necessary as long as kings and emperors required pages, treasurers, and architects to carry out the business of government.

“In the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson is considered the father of public administration. He first formally recognized public administration in 1887. One of the concepts he advocated was the separation of politics and administration

“The separation of politics and administration advocated by Wilson continues to play a significant role in public administration today, although the dominance of this dichotomy was challenged by scholars in later years.

“Closer to home, politics and administration cannot be separated – before and especially after the ANC assumed power in 1994. ANC have so far deployed some of its members to key public service positions with a view of promoting loyalty and service delivery. There is good reason to believe that this happens at local government level as well.

“Where does the foregoing leave a civic organistion such as the Jeffreys Bay Ratepayer’s Association (JBRPA) in the scheme of things?

“The constitution of the JBRPA proclaims the fact that it is a non-political organisation. This implies that the JBRPA is not aligned with any particular political party. Nor does it concern itself with the political affiliation of its members. But does this mean that the JBRPA should disregard local politicians when acting on behalf of its members?

“I am not in favour of the latter approach. I believe that the JBRPA should pursue a two-pronged approach, i.e. it should call both administrative officials and councilors to account when the need arises. In this regard, we have a powerful ally in the form of the Municipal Systems Act.

“The Municipal Systems Act obliges municipalities to receive and respond promptly to petitions and complaints lodged by members of the community. Councillors are elected to represent local communities on municipal councils. In fulfilling this role councillors must be accountable to local communities. This means that they must assist their constituents in making formal complaints or petitions for submission to the municipality, and can help follow up on the concerns brought to them.

“With the foregoing in mind we should articulate a broad methodology to address JBRPA members’ complaints. It should be noted that I am reluctant to accommodate complaints by non-members.


Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_administration
http://www.salga.net, http://www.joburg.org.za/content/view/1548/131/
http://www.pmg.org.za/bills/municipalsystemsact.htm

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Beleid oor die koöptering van lede

Die vereniging het onlangs ‘n beleid neergelê waarvolgens lede op die bestuurskomitee gekoöpteer behoort te word.

Dit behels:
  1. Die bestuurskomitee moet ‘n kandidaat vir koöptering benoem.
  2. Die benoemde moet ‘n lid van die vereniging wees/word voordat sy/haar koöptering deur die bestuurskomitee bekragtig kan word.
  3. Die benoemde moet oor ‘n spesifieke vaardigheid/kwalifikasie beskik. Besluite hieroor berus by die bestuurskomitee.
  4. Die benoemde word deur ‘n afvaardiging van die bestuurskomitee besoek en van sy/haar benoeming verwittig.
  5. Die bestuurskomitee sal so gou doenlik oor die benoemde se besluit met betrekking tot aanvaarding of verwerping van die benoeming ingelig word.
  6. Indien die benoemde die bestuurskomitee se benoeming aanvaar, sal hy/sy tydens die eersvolgende bestuurskomiteevergadering verwelkom word.
  7. ‘n Gekoöpteerde lid moet so gou doenlik ‘n werkwyse waarop hy/sy self besluit, vir kennisname aan die bestuurskomitee voorlê.
In ‘n voorlegging aan die bestuurskomitee tydens die maandvergadering in Augustus 2010 wys voorsitter, dr Barry Vosloo, daarop dat die vereniging se grondwet die volgende bepaal:

Paragraaf 7(h): “Indien ‘n vakature in die komitee ontstaan, kan sodanige vakature deur die komitee gevul word, en sodanige lid beklee sy/haar amp tot die volgende Algemene Jaarvergadering …” en
Paragraaf 7(i): “Die Komitee mag enige addisionele lid of lede vir ‘n spesifieke doel koöpteer ...”

Tot nou was daar nie ‘n vasgestelde werkswyse ter aanvulling van die bovermelde bepalings nie. Vanweë dié gebrek het dr Vosloo voorgaande voorstelle gemaak wat nou ‘n beginselbesluit van die vereniging is.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Residents in neighbour town see red over water bills

A man says he was so angry about his R265 000 water account that he didn't even want to speak English when he stormed into the Koukamma municipal offices.

Miekie Strydom, owner of the Kareedouw butchery, says he is usually a very reasonable man.

"The audacity to think they can cheat me like this. But I had barely started kicking up a fuss in the offices when an official called me over to fix everything."

Ami van den Heever, minister of the Uniting Reformed church in Misgund, however, has had no such luck.

Letter of demand

"Pay R42 924.45 or we prosecute," threatens the red "letter of demand", as most of the angry residents of the Koukamma district now refer to them.

On Thursday afternoon he phoned the municipality. There was no answer. "Then I phoned my council member and he said everyone's gone home. I wish I worked there."


But, Van den Heever added, this is a serious business, "because in order to use that amount of water, I would have to do 10 baptisms by immersion every day. And we don't do immersions, we only do sprinkling."

As a religious man, he would like to see the good in people first, but the municipality is making this very difficult, since he believes they're taking chances.

"We don't even get our water from the municipality, we get it from the farmer on the farm Black Ginger."

Mistakes slip through

Noel O'Connel, mayor of Koukamma, responded by saying one or two mistakes may slip through on accounts, but that would be the exception "because the accounts are only sent out after a verification process".

Nic Coetzee finds it hard to accept this explanation. He has even received water accounts for his empty plots of land.

All the red "letters of demand" are delivered by registered mail to the residents of Joubertina, Tsitsikamma, Kareedouw, Krakeel, Louterwater and Misgund.

"We probably have over 600 red letters here, three crates full," said David Rudman, the post master.

O'Connel explained that these red letters show how serious the municipality is about putting a stop to the culture of non-payment of municipal accounts, "but discussions will follow; the residents will be given the opportunity to present their side of the matter", he added. -- Mariska Spoormaker, Die Burger

Monday, 20 September 2010

Zuma warns municipal officials

Senior municipal officials who have full-time political positions create tensions which affect service delivery, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday (20 September 2010).

"We reiterate the view that senior municipal officials should not hold full-time leadership positions in political parties as this causes tensions that hinder service delivery," Zuma told the ANC's national general council in Durban. (Full report here.)
  • Maybe some Kouga officials should take note.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Excerpts from the budget document, 2010

By Johan Thiart

Please be patient while the report is dowloading.  Click on "Full Screen" below to enlarge.
Excerpts From the Budget Document 27 May 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Advice from big brother

Executive directors in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality have been ordered to implement “stringent measures to curb wasteful expenditure” as well as submit proposals on how to further slash their already-slim budgets to chief financial officer Kevin Jacoby by Friday.

The “implementation of operational efficiency work plan”, addressed to all executive directors, places an immediate moratorium on a host of expenditures and also sees municipal manager Elias Ntoba and Jacoby become the only officials with the ability to sign off on costs such as catering, car hire and gifts. The memorandum states, among other things:

All entertainment expenses must be stopped with immediate effect, while Ntoba will decide whether to approve catering and refreshments for meetings with “other spheres of government”;
  • Conferences, seminars and workshops to be attended only in exceptional circumstances;
  • Only local municipal venues to be used for workshops/retreats and the number of project/programme launches must be minimised;
  • The hiring of vehicles must be limited to exceptional instances, such as refuse collection and pail services;
  • Use of consultants to be reviewed;
  • Executive directors’ out-of-office phone costs and internet usage must be capped and “enforced fully”, and if exceeded, paid back; and
  • Incentive bonus criteria must be reviewed and “restricted to only those who qualify”.
Full report at The Herald Online

    Tuesday, 7 September 2010

    Agenda: general meeting, 29 September 2010

    _______________________________________

    KENNIS GESKIED HIERMEE DAT ‘N ALGEMENE VERGADERING VAN 
    DIE JEFFREYSBAAI-BELASTINGBETALERSVERENIGING
    OP WOENSDAG, 29 SEPTEMBER 2010,
    BY DIE JEFFREYSBAAI-TENNISKLUB GEHOU SAL WORD
    BEGINNENDE OM 18:30
    _______________________________________

    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT A GENERAL MEETING OF THE
    JEFFREYS BAY RATEPAYERS’ ASSOCIATION
    WILL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2010,
    AT THE JEFFREYS BAY TENNISCLUB
    COMMENCING AT 18:30
    _______________________________________

    AGENDA

    1. Kennis van vergadering -- Notice of meeting
    2. Gebed -- Prayer
    3. Verwelkoming -- Welcome
    4. Identifisering van bykomende items -- Identification of additional items
    5. Voorsitter se verslag -- Chairman's report
    6. Kennisgewing van wysigings aan die grondwet -- Notice of amendments to the constitution
    7. Lidmaatskap -- Membership
    8. Koöptering van deskundiges -- Co-option of experts
    9. Bykomende items -- Additional items
    10. Afsluiting -- Closure

    JRJ Bosch, sekretaris -- secretary,  7 September 2010

    NUWE LEDE IS WELKOM -- NEW MEMBERS ARE WELCOME

    Wavecrest lights to keep shining on Christmas

    Jeffreys Bay couple Elsie and Johan Grobler, whose Wavecrest home annually becomes a tourist draw card because of their stunning Christmas lights and decorations, have won their day in court after neighbours failed to shut their festive spirit down.

    Pensioner Mona Wingaardt, who lives diagonally opposite the Groblers, as well as some other neighbours, took the couple to court because they said the annual light show created a nuisance and affected their right to “free and undisturbed use” of their properties.

    They sought to interdict the Groblers from switching on any Christmas lights at their home during the festive season but the court rejected the application.

    The hostilities between the feuding neighbours did not end there. Wingaardt took the matter on appeal to a full bench of the high court.

    But Judge Ziets Alkema, with Judge Jos Jones agreeing, found that, as far as the Christmas lights were concerned, the good outweighed the bad and the lights should be allowed to stay on.

    Read the full report at Daily Dispatch Online.

    Sunday, 5 September 2010

    Wat is die doel van die nuwe riooltarief?

    Linda Wiese van Jeffreysbaai skryf: Soos ek dit verstaan, is die nuwe riooltarief, in die woorde van ene Trevor by die munisipaliteit, ingestel "omdat daar 'n waterskaarste is en 75% van 'n huis se waterverbruik vir riool is".

    Die minimumheffing is vir 10kl per maand, ongeag of die totale verbruik minder as dit is. Derhalwe betaal ons gesin meer vir die heffing, as vir die totale 7 - 9kl wat ons per maand verbruik, ná baie moeite met besparing en herverbruik. En ons is nie die enigste wat so min gebruik nie.

    My vrae is dus:

    Wat is die doel van die nuwe tarief?
    - Dit kan nie die watervoorraad vermeerder nie.
    - Dit kan my nie oorreed om water te bespaar nie, want ek doen dit reeds en die tarief is nie gebasseer op verbruik nie.

    Waarvoor gaan die geld gebruik word?
    - Vir 'n ontsoutingsaanleg?
    - Opgradering van die rioolsuiweringstelsel?
    - Of enigiets anders wat die situasie in die toekoms kan verbeter?

    Is die tarief grondwetlik?

    Wat het die munisipaliteit al van sy kant gedoen om water vermorsing te keer?
    Is al die openbare nstansies, veral skole al besoek, mense opgevoed en die toilette, krane en pype nagegaan vir lekke - en herstel?

    Ek kan wel dankie se dat die respons op aanmelding van lekkasies baie verbeter het.

    Beter kommunikasie van die munisipaliteit aangaande hierdie saak sal waardeer word. As die geld noodsaaklik is en reg bestuur en gebruik word tot voordeel van die gemeenskap, betaal ons dit graag. Totdat ons meer duidelikheid het, sal dit weerhou word.
    • Die vereniging sal die stadsraad se reaksie hierop versoek.