Monday, 19 December 2011

10 IDP issues for 2011

Paul Hjul and Trevor Watkins prepared the following list of 10 items on behalf of the Jeffreys Bay Residents Association (JBRA). This list was submitted at the IDP meetings in Ward 8 and Ward 11.  

I.      JOBS

Kouga desperately needs a structural adjustment of the region’s employment situation: 
  • Obstacles to job creation need to be eliminated, 
  • job creating initiatives need to find root and
  • the municipality needs to reduce its wage bill 
The Kouga municipality simply cannot afford to serve as an employment safety net for a select section of
the population.


The CBD of Jeffrey’s Bay urgently requires revitalization. The improvement of the image of the CBD is vital to preserving an edge in tourism and attracting business ventures which create jobs. If Jeffrey’s Bay is felt to be a slum the limited current prosperity of the town will evaporate.


The municipality and local businesses have spent large amounts of money on promoting tourism for which there are no visible returns. A comprehensive working strategy to preserve and grow our tourism sector
is needed.


As the towns greatest single asset, the beaches need to be maintained and be seen to be maintained at the highest standards. Blue Flag status at Dolphin Beach must be a non-negotiable.


Without efficient and transparent local government Jeffrey’s Bay cannot succeed as a town. There is a dire need for improvements in the way the municipality functions particularly with regard to issues of efficiency,
transparency and accountability.


The residents of Jeffrey’s Bay understand the need for municipal rates and charges, but these charges must be levelled in a fair and equitable manner, and swiftly corrected when this is not the case.


Despite the fact that potable water is a basic human right the residents of Jeffrey’s Bay frequently face brown mush flowing through their taps followed by a white stream of heavy chlorine. The municipality must rectify our water delivery infrastructure and repair or replace various pipes which deprive people of access to potable


The sewage works serving Jeffrey’s Bay is a disgrace and a new treatment facility can no longer be postponed.


Proper safe roads are vital to the town and the maintenance and repair of roads must be continuously done. It is wholly unsatisfactory for gaping potholes to plague our streets and threaten motorists and pedestrians safety.


Many of Jeffrey’s Bay’s infrastructure problems are a result of a failure by the municipal authorities to ensure that proper housing and similar development planning took place. The municipality now has a major infrastructure backlog, and our original infrastructure is required to take the strain for a built environment that is more than double the size of what the infrastructure was designed to support.

Fire Services Levy

RESIDENTS of the Kouga will have to pay a so-called fire levy as from July next year. That is if the Kouga local municipality Council vote in favour of a recommendation put forward by the Mayoral Committee. The purpose of the levy will be to subsidize fire services within the Kouga. The proposal was adopted by Mayor Booi Koerat and his mayoral committee in September and it will be tabled at the next council meeting.

The exact amount to be paid still needs to be determined, but if adopted in its current form, residents of Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St.Francis Bay and Hankey will pay double the amount that residents of Thornhill, Patensie, Loerie and Oyster Bay will pay. Indigent consumers will be exempted.

Stakeholders however, question the municipality’s capability to properly use the funds collected for special subsidies for the intended purpose.

St. Francis Bay DA Councilor Ben Rheeder allege that of the three levies for special services that residents of the Kouga currently pay, two are not handled as prescribed in the Municipal Systems Act and the Municipal Property Rates Act.

Rheeder, in a motion put forward in the council meeting on Friday, December 9, said that the St Francis Bay Sewerage Levy and the Environmental levy are not properly ring-fenced as required by legislation and the funds collected are not used for the purpose the levies were created for. He said “The prescribed legislation was ignored for the past four financial years.”

Rheeder insisted that the Municipal Manager and the Chief Financial Officer  provide the next Finance Committee and Council with a plan to pay the last four years collected sewerage levy funds into the correct account and that these funds be used for extending  the St Francis Bay waterborne sewer system.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Bloemfontein has spoken: A ratespayers strike is not a protected course in itself

South African municipal authorities are in a terrible state and residents, rates-payers (many of whom are residents) and businesses operating within particular municipalities have developed hostility towards paying monies which are perceived to be or are maladministered.

Ultimately the residents and ratespayers of the municipality within which Kroonstad finds itself formed an association which like many other residents and ratespayers associations embarked on a rates strike. One of the striking members, a Ms Rademan, found that the municipality had terminated her electricity supply even though she had paid her electricity bill (it seems this is a postpaid account). Subsequently Ms Rademan (presumably with the support of some form of the association) approached the magistrates court to compel the reconnection of her electricity. The case has moved through the High Court to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled last week Thursday (1st December) and effectively confirmed both the reasoning and the finding of the Bloemfontein High Court which set aside a decision by the magistrate for the Kroonstad district which gave Ms Rademan reprieve. An advantage of the manner in which this case has been handled is that we have two good judgments, one in English and one in Afrikaans. Unfortunately for Ms Rademan she is finding herself with costs from three courts and these costs do grow.

The judgment which bears the reference Rademan v Moqhaka Municipality & others (173/11) [2011] ZASCA 244 (01 December 2011) is a judgment which any person considering withholding monies from the municipality should consider. The reasoning of the Supreme Court of Appeal is crisp and its findings above any real criticism when regard is had to the relevant statutory provisions. Of course there is always the possibility of a Constitutional Court challenge on the basis that the legislation is unconstitutional.

I don’t believe that the Constitutional Court will find the relevant provisions of the Municipal Systems Act unconstitutional for two reasons: Firstly the Constitution does not contain any provisions requiring meaningful representation before taxation or that the government failing in critical duties may justify certain steps - in so far as this may be viewed as a flaw in the Constitution itself I align myself for fairly complex reasons with the view, in so far as certain political interests advocate the inclusion of such a provision in order to enhance “accountability” I do not. Secondly the Constitutional Court has already in Pretoria City Council v Walker 1998 (2) SA 363 (CC) placed its flag on the mask against a dissent into anarchy. A feature strongly endorsed by the Rademan decision is the fact that municipal rates are “part of the civic and contractual responsibilities” of ratespayers and that “for a municipality to be able to properly and efficiently

One area of the law which this case does not address and which is relevant to Kouga ratespayers is whether a ratespayer must pay the rates assessed by the municipality according to inflated property values of whether they may pay rates on a lower valuation of the property if the second valuation is in order – this is a major issue due to the assessment on the market value of property. I suspect that the statutory basis for rates determination will entail a pay first argue later policy and that the municipal authorities will not endorse a policy by which a ratespayer may pay on a lower assessment.

However the political considerations behind the law are still open to debate. Is it correct that residents and ratespayers have no recourse against the municipality who simply misuses their funds? The view of the courts appears to be that the law itself is the recourse and in exchange for the protection which the Rule of Law brings we surrender our right to self-help in the form of a rates strike; of course we can turn to our courts (we have a Constitutional right of access to legal recourse after all) but the record suggests that litigation by many follows debt collection, commerce and evading conviction for criminal behaviour and not the maintaining a democracy. Perhaps South African’s are not sufficiently prepared to litigate about important issues and principles, being too afraid of descending into the perceived (and possibly real) litigant society of the USA and the unfortunate cynicism that may emerge on finding that whilst poor unsatisfactory and shoddy legal services may be obtained easily, quality litigation is both costly and inconvenient - unless you happen to be a public official facing criminal charges. (Just ask the President, whose office repeatedly demonstrates the shoddiest of work while his personal criminal defence team extract massive fees paid by the fiscus.) Sadly certain government entities are more afraid of certain well connected entities than they are of the law itself – rather keep particular business or party interests happy than comply with the law, after all who is going to take you to court and even if they succeed it is public monies that are spent; and this may include Kouga. In addition to the courts we also have recourse through the municipal council’s legislative mandate, we can lobby for a municipal policy which allows the creation of a holding trust for ratespayers funds in dispute. The municipality would be well served by a policy which sees the proper declaration and resolution of individual and collective disputes instead of a general disquiet that currently exists.


Suffice it to state that unless a policy creating space for the entrustment of monies by ratespayers as a withholding rates unless specific issues are addressed is created a rates strike by ratespayers simply will not succeed and Kouga not only have a right but a legal duty to break the strike by cutting services. Of course the prospects that some ratespayers purporting to be in a rates strike are simply acting on a pretext which undermines service delivery could see an improvement for residents as the municipality will have more funds. Unfortunately the issue is one upon which measurement of the management and administrative structures are important, further as many municipalities have demonstrated the two dominant political organizations in Kouga both appear to set course on policies which are as prejudicial to the poor as they are idiotic. In the present instance  the Kouga Municipality has bizarrely embarked on terminating access to tenants without complying with the prescripts of the Constitutional Court decision in Joseph & others v City of Johannesburg & others 2010 (4) SA 55 (CC) which requires that 14 days notice be given before terminating access to electricity and that the municipality must make it possible for tenants to enter into a relationship with the municipality for services. Unfortunately this is a subject on which the concept and principles of sub iudice prevent me from commenting at this time.


[Small category note: I have included a tag “legal opinion” although this is not to suggest that this piece is or should be viewed as a legal opinion, but rather that it has a bearing on an issue relating to the seeking of or reliance on legal opinions. A legal opinion can be sought from one of the many legal practitioners within the Kouga municipality] 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Ward 11 office finally in use

Ward 11 in Jeffreys Bay has had a ward committee office standing idle for the last 18 months or so. This was the subject of a news report in the Our Times about 2 months ago. Despite many assurances from both the councillor and the municipality, the offices remained unfinished and unused.

The Jeffreys Bay Residents Association committee meets once a month, and has often battled to find a suitable venue with easy wheelchair access for one of our members.  Although we have often used a room at the Jeffreys Bay Golf Club, this was not available for our November meeting. The JBRA chairman decided to investigate the use of the Ward office. Tertius Snyders of the Kouga Municipality was very helpful when contacted. Within 3 days he had arranged to clean up the offices and arrange a duplicate key. The ward 11 councillor, Mercia Ungerer, agreed to allow the use of the office for the residents association.

So, after many months of standing idle, the brand new ward 11 office hosted its first meeting last Thursday, 17th November 2011. Let's hope that these offices become a hive of activity, serving the needs of the residents of Jeffreys Bay Central and C Place.

The office has no furniture at all. If anyone has a few spare tables and chairs available, they can be put to good use.

 Members of the committee outside the office in Kwagga Street, C Place.

The committee hard at work packing the newsletter in the main office.

PS. There is a similar office in ward 8 near Noorsekloof, which has also been idle for many months.


COMMUNITY BASED PLANNING for the IDP: WARD MEETINGS will be held on the following days:



Oyster Bay
Oyster  Bay crèche
Clr Z Mayoni
1  December 2011
10am to 4pm
Pellsrus Community Hall
Clr E Hill
23 November 2011
10am to 4pm
Lower Wavecrest area of Jeffreys Bay
Newton Hall
Clr H Thiart
24 November 2011
10am to 4pm
Kruisfontein civic centre
Clr F Campher
2 December 2011
10am to 4pm
Clr E Groep
5 December 2011
10am to 4pm
KwaNomzamo civic
Clr P Oliphant
6 December 2011
10am to 4pm
Upper Wavecrest area
Newton Hall
Clr D Aldendorff
28 November 2011
10am to 4pm
Jeffreys Bay CBD & C-Place
Newton hall
Clr M Ungerer
29 November 2011
10am to 4pm
St Francis Bay & Sea Vista
Sea Vista Community Hall
Clr B Rheeder
30 November 2011
10am to 4pm
Aston Bay,Marina, Paradise beach &     Tokoyo Sexwale
Tokoyo Sexwale Sportsfield
Clr T Meleni
21 November 2011
10am to 4pm
Ocean view
Tokoyo Sexwale Sportsfield
Clr E Mahlathini
22 November 2011
10am to 4pm


Thornhill clubhouse
Clr B Koliti
07 December 2011
10am to 4pm

Loerie community hall
Clr B Koliti
Vusumzi Landu hall
Clr L Ntshiza
 08 December 2011
10am to 4pm
Ramaphosa village at Patensie
Ramaphosa hall
Clr P Kota
09 December 2011
10am to 4pm
Patensie Town
Ramaphosa hall
Clr V Matodlana
12 December 2011
10am to 4pm

Integrated Development Planning for Local Government

Any queries regarding the IDP process can be directed to acting IDP manager Asanda Fadane at or His nrs are 073 143 0340 or 083 265 4291.


Local municipalities in South Africa have to use "integrated development planning" as a method to plan future development in their areas. Apartheid planning left us with cities and towns that:
  • ·         Have racially divided business and residential areas
  • ·         Are badly planned to cater for the poor - with long travelling distances to work and poor access to business and other services.
  • ·         Have great differences in level of services between rich and poor areas
  • ·         Have sprawling informal settlements and spread out residential areas that make cheap service delivery difficult.
Rural areas were left underdeveloped and largely unserviced. The new approach to local government has to be developmental and aims to overcome the poor planning of the past.

Integrated Development Planning is an approach to planning that involves the entire municipality and its citizens in finding the best solutions to achieve good long-term development.

An Integrated Development Plan is a super plan for an area that gives an overall framework for development. It aims to co-ordinate the work of local and other spheres of government in a coherent plan to improve the quality of life for all the people living in an area. It should take into account the existing conditions and problems and resources available for development. The plan should look at economic and social development for the area as a whole. It must set a framework for how land should be used, what infrastructure and services are needed and how the environment should be protected.

All municipalities have to produce an Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The municipality is responsible for the co-ordination of the IDP and must draw in other stakeholders in the area who can impact on and/or benefit from development in the area.

Once the IDP is drawn up all municipal planning and projects should happen in terms of the IDP. The annual council budget should be based on the IDP. Other government departments working in the area should take the IDP into account when making their own plans.

It should take 6 to 9 months to develop an IDP. During this period service delivery and development continues.
The IDP is reviewed every year and necessary changes can be made.

The IDP has a lifespan of 5 years that is linked directly to the term of office for local councillors. After every local government elections, the new council has to decide on the future of the IDP. The council can adopt the existing IDP or develop a new IDP that takes into consideration existing plans.

The executive committee or executive mayors of the municipality have to manage the IDP. They may assign this responsibility to the municipal manager.

In most municipalities, an IDP co-ordinator is appointed to oversee the process. The IDP co-ordinator reports directly to the municipal manager and the executive committee or the executive mayor.

The IDP has to be drawn up in consultation with forums and stakeholders. The final IDP document has to be approved by the council.


There are six main reasons why a municipality should have an IDP:

·         Effective use of scarce resources

The IDP will help the local municipality focus on the most important needs of local communities taking into account the resources available at local level.
The local municipality must find the most cost-effective ways of providing services and money will be spent on the causes of problems in local areas.
For example, a municipality may decide to allocate resources to building a canal that will prevent homes being damaged during the flood season. This will reduce the financial burden placed on the municipality’s emergency services.

·         It helps to speed up delivery

The IDP identifies the least serviced and most impoverished areas and points to where municipal funds should be spent. Implementation is made easier because the relevant stakeholders have been part of the process.
The IDP provides deadlock-breaking mechanisms to ensure that projects and programmes are efficiently implemented. The IDP helps to develop realistic project proposals based on the availability of resources.

·         It helps to attract additional funds

Government departments and private investors are willing to invest where municipalities have clear development plans.
·         Strengthens democracy
Through the active participation of all the important stakeholders, decisions are made in a democratic and transparent manner.

·         Helps to overcome the legacy of apartheid

Municipal resources are used to integrate rural and urban areas and to extend services to the poor.

·         Promotes co-ordination between local, provincial and national government

The different spheres of government are encouraged to work in a co-ordinated manner to tackle the development needs in a local area.
For example: The Department of Health plans to build a clinic in an area. It has to check that the municipality can provide services like water and sanitation for the effective functioning of the clinic.


·         Municipality

The IDP guides the development plans of the local municipality.

·         Councillors

The IDP gives councillors an opportunity to make decisions based on the needs and aspirations of their constituencies.

·         Communities and other stakeholders

The IDP is based on community needs and priorities. Communities have the chance to participate in identifying their most important needs.
The IDP process encourages all stakeholders who reside and conduct business within a municipal area to participate in the preparation and implementation of the development plan.

·         National and provincial sector departments

Many government services are delivered by provincial and national government departments at local level -for example: police stations, clinics and schools. Municipalities must take into account the programmes and policies of these departments. The departments should participate in the IDP process so that they can be guided how to use their resources to address local needs.


Before starting the planning process, an IDP Process Plan must be drawn up. This plan is meant to ensure the proper management of the planning process.

This plan should outline:
·         The structures that will manage the planning process
·         How the public can participate and structures that will be created to ensure this participation
·         Time schedule for the planning process
·         Who is responsible for what
·         How will the process be monitored
At District Council level, a framework will be developed in consultation with all local municipalities within the district. This framework will ensure co-ordination, consultation and alignment between the district council and local municipalities. The framework will guide the development of the IDP Process Plan for each local municipality.

The process undertaken to produce the IDP consists of 5 phases:

During this phase information is collected on the existing conditions within the municipality. It focuses on the types of problems faced by people in the area and the causes of these problems.

The identified problems are assessed and prioritised in terms of what is urgent and what needs to be done first.
Information on availability of resources is also collected during this phase.
At the end of this phase, the municipality will be able to provide:
·         An assessment of the existing level of development
·         Details on priority issues and problems and their causes
·         Information on available resources

During this phase, the municipality works on finding solutions to the problems assessed in phase one.
This entails:
·         Developing a vision -

The vision is a statement of the ideal situation the municipality would like to achieve in the long term once it has addressed the problems outlined in phase one. The following is an example of a vision statement:
An economically vibrant city with citizens living in a secure, healthy and comfortable environment

·         Defining development objectives

Development objectives are clear statements of what the municipality would like to achieve in the medium term to deal with the problems outlined in phase one.
For example: Provide access to clean water for all residents living in the informal settlement

·         Development strategies

Once the municipality has worked out where it wants to go and what it needs to do to get there, it needs to work out how to get there. A development strategy is about finding the best way for the municipality to meet a development objective.
For example: Co-operate with the Department of Water Affairs to provide one water stand pipe for every 20 households.

·         Project Identification

Once the municipality has identified the best methods to achieving its development objectives it leads to the identification of specific projects.


During this phase the municipality works on the design and content of projects identified during Phase 2.
Clear details for each project has to be worked out in terms of:
·         Who is going to benefit from the project?
·         How much is it going to cost?
·         How is this project going to be funded?
·         How long would it take to complete?
·         Who is going to manage the project?
Clear targets must be set and indicators worked out to measure performance as well as the impact of individual projects.


Once all projects have been identified, the municipality has to check again that they contribute to meeting the objectives outlined in Phase 2. These projects will provide an overall picture of the development plans.
All the development plans must now be integrated. The municipality should also have overall strategies for issues like dealing with AIDS, poverty alleviation and disaster management.
These strategies should be integrated with the overall IDP.


The IDP is presented to the council for consideration and adoption. The Council may adopt a draft for public comment before approving a finalised IDP.


The DPLG proposes that an IDP Representative Forum be established to encourage the participation of communities and other stakeholders.

The forum may include.
·         Members of the executive committee of the council
·         Councillors including district councillors
·         Traditional leaders
·         Ward committee representative
·         Heads of departments and senior officials from municipal and government department
·         representatives from organised stakeholder groups
·         People who fight for the rights of unorganised groups – e.g. A gender activist
·         Resource people or advisors
·         Community representatives (e.g. RDP Forum)
The purpose of the this forum is to:
·         Provide an opportunity for stakeholders to represent the interests of their constituencies.
·         Provide a structure for discussion, negotiations and joint decision making
·         Ensure proper communication between all stakeholders and the municipality
·         Monitor the planning and implementation process
A code of conduct should be drawn up for these forums that provides details on:
·         Meetings – frequency and attendance
·         Agenda, facilitation and recording of proceedings
·         Understanding the role of various stakeholders as representatives of their constituencies
·         How feedback to constituencies will take place
·         Required majority for decisions to be taken
·         How disputes will be resolved
The Council should also approve a strategy for public participation. The strategy must decide, amongst other things, on:
·         The roles of the different stakeholders during the participation process
·         Ways to encourage the participation of unorganised groups
·         Method to ensure participation during the different phases of planning
·         Timeframes for public and stakeholder response, inputs and comments
·         Ways to disseminate information
·         Means to collect information on community needs
During the different stages of planning participation can be encouraged in these ways:
Planning phase
Methods for Participation
  • Community Meetings organised by the ward councillor
  • Stakeholder Meetings
  • Surveys and opinion polls (getting views on how people feel about a particular issue)

IDP Representative Forum
Public Debates on what can work best in solving a problem
Meetings with affected communities and stakeholders
Representation of stakeholders on project subcommittees
IDP Representative Forum
Public Discussion and consultation with communities and stakeholders
Monitoring and Implementation
IDP Representative Forum