Prosperity for All
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New Leadership to Bring Stability within the Municipality

Oudtshoorn, 13 August 2020 – The newly elected leadership aims to bring absolute stability in the Greater Oudtshoorn to ensure service delivery to the communities of the Greater Oudtshoorn, the Executive Mayor, Cllr. Chris Macpherson.

Following the election of new leadership last week, the Council appointed Mr. Gerald de Jager the municipal chief financial officer to act as municipal manager. Council has also stabilized the layer directly accountable to the municipal manager.

“All directorship vacant positions were temporarily filled in last week pending the permanent appointments. Mr. Louis Fourie, a retired expert in local government finance has been appointed as acting chief financial officer, while Mr. Chris Swart, a senior manager for water and sewer was appointed to act in the position of director for technical services,” Mayor Macpherson said.

“We are aware of the plethora of challenges facing the Municipality at this stage and potentially causing a great concern by the general public of the Greater Oudtshoorn, although we cannot guarantee that all of the problems will be resolved immediately, we can assure the community of the Greater Oudtshoorn that all challenges are being attended to,” Cllr. Macpherson added.

It was important to us to stabilize top management first, which we did last week. This week the municipal manager among others revisits the back-to-work plans for all departments to ensure effective service delivery, regardless the COVID19 pandemic that is facing us.”

Council will prioritise to finalise issues such as the Webber Wentzel report and an assessment of all wards in the Greater Oudtshoorn will be conducted to pay attention to the functionality of wards. Council has this week set aside a workshop to deliberate on a number of key issues with particular focus on finances, to take to town forward.

Council remain highly concern about the rapidly escalating number of COVID19 confirmed cases in the Greater Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is one of the two towns in the Garden Route (alongside Mossel Bay) that experiences drastic increases on the infections.

“As of Monday, 10 August 2020 the COVID19 confirmed positive cases in the Greater Oudtshoorn totalled 737 with 405 recoveries. We urge the citizens and businesses of the Greater Oudtshoorn to adhere to the COVID19 regulations.”

We will visit some areas of concern within the Greater Oudtshoorn that are affected by Covid19 including businesses. Being acutely aware of the economic pressure the town and the entire country is enduring under COVID19, we continue to allow relief within realistic means to ease the financial burden for our citizens and businesses.

In a special council meeting last week, Council extended the COVID19 relief on municipal accounts for the citizens and businesses.

  • No interest will be charged on all overdue consumers’ accounts (residents & businesses) for a period of six (6) months from July 2020 – December 2020.
  • Council offers a 50% once-off settlement to consumers whose municipal accounts are in arrears ending 30 June 2020.
  • All consumers will remain unblocked from 01 May 2020 – 31 January 2021, to enable the purchase of electricity over the COVID19 pandemic period, except for municipal officials and councillors, since they receive full remuneration during the COVID19 pandemic period.
  • Also excluded, are consumers whose electricity meter boxes/supply have been tempered and therefore were disconnected/blocked with penalties.
  • The Municipality will implement a compulsory auxiliary percentage charge of 40% collection on purchase of pre-paid electricity to all consumers that remain in arrears on their Municipal accounts. This means, consumers who remain in arrears on their Municipal accounts despite the above relief offer, the Municipality will allocate 40% of their pre-paid electricity purchase to the remaining arrear amount.
  • All residential consumers currently making use of a conventional electricity meter box will be converted to a pre-paid electricity meter box at the cost of the Municipality. We will start with the consumers that remain in arrears with their municipal service accounts despite the accounts relief offer.

“We count on the cooperation, support and patience of our citizens, stakeholders and businesses during this difficult time,” Macpherson concluded.