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Kouga Municipality opens themselves up for attack.

Kouga Municipality opens themselves up for attack.

When an organization/business/institution sets up a Face Book page for itself it has to be managed full time by a very competent person. A negative comment or complaint CANNOT be ignored. It will not go away and the complainant will just get more irritated and other people experiencing the same irritation will climb onto the bandwagon. The issue needs to be addressed immediately and dealt with in a positive manner rather than in a defensive one. And not only on the computer screen but behind the scenes also!

The Kouga Municipality has started their own Face Book page. Have a look at http://www.facebook.com/kouga.municipality. The site started off with municipal employees patting themselves on the back for the good work that they were doing. By doing this they opened themselves up for a barrage of negative comments and complaints none of which were being addressed by anyone representing the municipality. Worst mistake! Rude language is being used openly. Someone is even using this as a platform to advertise his computer business.

A young St Francis Bay resident has started a Face Book Page called Save Our St Francis where the younger generation have a platform on which to share their feelings about the service delivery, or lack of, from the Kouga Municipality. Read more about their aims and objectives. http://stfrancisconnect.co.za/saveourstfrancis/

One of St Francis Bay editor’s made it known that he/she was not going to support this initiative. This was his/her comment, “We at (name withheld) have a great working relationship with the Kouga Municipality, not only the traffic department, also other departments. They appreciate us trying to do things despite the state of the economy, and have always supported us no matter the request. Not once have we been without assistance, sometimes on short notice, but from the mayor to the people on ground level have always been there for us.”

I too have had brilliant service from some of our hard working municipal employees, many of them having been with the municipality as long as I have lived here. However, their hands are tied when it comes to service delivery because they do not have the funds, equipment, means or competent staff to carry these out. Right now it’s a case of “a boer maak ‘n plan” with what they have got. One of our counsellors made the comment, “We do not have a serviceable tipper truck to assist with the repairs to the roads.” And that goes for all the equipment that we once had and is now no longer or has not been maintained and its only use is now on the dump. Residents and business owners are coming forward to assist with staff and equipment at their own expense.

One of our ever faithful heads of department needs to do desperate up-grades to his division and has been waiting for funding since last year. He is extremely concerned, because come December his very important division is going to fall very short, which will have far reaching consequences. (He does not want to be named because of possible repercussions.) And there are others in the same boat.

An outreach program was scheduled for St Francis Bay and Sea Vista by our mayor but it has been postponed. Sea Vista was in dire straits after the heavy rains and nobody helped after repeated requests to the municipality. Where was our mayor? Judging from some of the outcries on their Face Book page I can only imagine that he would be reluctant to come here and open himself up for attack in real time.

Our rates and taxes have gone into some very cushy salaries, expensive vehicles and other allowances. The people at the receiving end of these perks should be looking out for their constituents. One would think?

Save Our St Francis is not directed at our heads of departments but rather at the body responsible for lack of and abuse of our rates and taxes which does not allow for service delivery. The municipality are overstaffed by about 500 people, most of these untrained or even willing. Our municipality is broke and owes millions. I am open to correction but believe that Kouga owes Eskom in excess of R20 mil.

Where to from here…………..?

Written by: Anja Strohm

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