Please note: This represents my personal opinion
The Kouga 2012-2017 Integrated Development Plan is a curious mix of desktop research and pure fiction, something clearly not envisaged by the Municipal Systems Act. On the one hand it is unfortunate that the “development plan” not only has legal force but it is binding for the most part on the municipality for five years (by which point a new set of fantasy is likely to take over), on the other hand the we have no reason to believe that the municipality will comply with their own IDP any more than they do to any other set of rules or regulations. What is clear though is that the document is nothing other than a project to drive an ideological position that despite overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary the Kouga Municipality is a well run progressive entity that is hamstrung by mistakes of the past (code for apartheid and that component of the previous administration which the current administration have political disputes with).
Curiously despite the IDP and draft budget being presented in public meetings together the two documents contradict each other with the curious case of the budget assuming a collection rate of 95% and the IDP striving for 90% – perhaps the 5% shortfall can be recovered by recouping some of the monies wasted on municipal graft.
There are intriguing tales of public meetings being held regularly and that 15 of the 15 ward committee are functioning. I greatly look forward to meeting a Community Development Worker in Jeffrey’s Bay such that he/she may tell me about these regular public meetings. More importantly I look forward to my next visit to the previously vacant monstrosity that is the Ward 11 office which as of two weeks ago was an unused empty building because according the IDP “the Municipality has established offices for the Ward Councillors, they have Ward coordinators, secretaries and the offices are well resourced”.
If you are in the market for a tragic welding together of systemic failure and wasted opportunities the Kouga IDP document is well worth a read, otherwise it is simply 250 pages of evidence that Jeffrey’s Bay is a nice town in spite of the Kouga Municipality.