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Clean Audit for Stellenbosch a Beacon of Hope, Says DA

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) announced on Monday, 28 June 2021, that “Stellenbosch Municipality, under the leadership of Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer, her DA caucus and a team of capable administrators, has obtained a clean audit from the Auditor-General of South Africa for the 2019/2020 financial year.”

The DA said in its press release that “This outcome confirms that taxpayer money is honestly and transparently managed by the DA-led Stellenbosch Municipality. It illustrates what is possible when voters elect a DA government that does not tolerate cadre deployment and corruption, and instead appoints officials on the basis of merit and their ability to get things done.”

Waste Material Recovery Facility Commissioned

Mayor Gesie van Deventer recently opened the municipality’s new waste material recovery facility which will dramatically cut the amount of waste going to landfill.

Mayor Gesie van Deventer launched a brand new waste material recovery facility (MRF) in Stellenbosch on 25 March 2021. The facility will service the entire municipal area.

This state of the art facility will serve as a place where recyclables are taken to, grouped, baled and provided to companies for use as raw material in the manufacturing of new products. The sorted recyclables have a much higher value than mixed recyclables and will be easily accepted into the booming recycling market. The facility also features a public drop-off area, which will allow residents to bring garage and recyclable waste to dispose of responsibly.

Council Role Reversal – Again!

FLTR: Deputy Mayor Nyaniso Jindela, Mayor Gesie van Deventer and Speaker Wilhelmina Petersen.

At an urgent council meeting held in the Stellenbosch Town Hall on Monday, 02 November 2020, a new speaker and deputy mayor were elected. This followed the resignation of Councillor Nyaniso Jindela as Speaker effective from 31 October 2020.

Municipality Serious About Safety

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Safety and Security is a priority for the Stellenbosch Municipality, according to Mayor Gesie van Deventer. During the tabling of the 2021/22 budget, the mayor allocated funding to two new policies geared towards providing more visible policing on the ground. A third externally funded policy was also approved by Council.

These policies are the Auxiliary Law Enforcement Officers Policy, the Rewards for Criminal Information Policy and the Law Enforcement and Traffic Officer Policy.

The Auxiliary Law Enforcement Officers Policy will allow the municipality to invest in public safety, train members of the community and open career paths for residents who want to serve their communities. R400 000 has been allocated for the 2021/2022 financial year to train and equip up to 20 auxiliary officers. These officers will serve in a voluntary capacity and will not receive any compensation. They will however be fully trained and equipped to serve.

Provision has also been made in the budget for the Rewards for Criminal Information Policy. This policy establishes guidelines for the management of confidential information and for the compensation of persons who provide information leading to an arrest, confiscation and the recovery of stolen goods.

Starting on 1 July 2021, the municipality will also be implementing it’s externally-funded Law Enforcement and Traffic Officer Policy. This will enable private businesses to contribute financially to the recruitment of additional Law Enforcement and Traffic Officers. Private business and other interested organisations will be able to secure a predetermined level of law enforcement services within defined areas at a determined fee, allowing for an increase in visible policing across the region.

Through this policy, private entities will essentially be able to rent a law enforcement and/or traffic official to work in a specific area. The partner will bear the costs of equipment, uniforms, training and salaries by paying a pre-determined, fixed annual amount. The Directorate of Community and Protection Services will provide trained, equipped and capable law enforcement and traffic officials to serve these institutions.

Although policing is not a municipal function, the mayor says the municipality is committed to doing everything within its legal framework to create safer communities for residents.

Text: Editorial Desk

COVID-19: Stellenbosch Implements Several Steps to Help Communities and Flatten the Curve

Cleaning and disinfecting public areas - Stellenbosch CBD. Other areas are to follow.

THE FOLLOWING IS A LETTER ISSUED TO STELLENBOSCH COMMUNITIES BY MAYOR GESIE VAN DEVENTER TODAY, 06 APRIL 2020

Dear Resident

It is sad but indisputable that we have been hit very hard by the outbreak of COVID-19.  I know however, that we are a resilient, courageous and caring community who tackles all challenges with innovation and determination. I have no doubt that our community will therefore make it through this crisis, more resilient and stronger than before.

Covid Claims Two Councilors

Cllrs Manie Pietersen (left) and Derrick Hendrickse.

Two members of the Stellenbosch Town Council passed away from Covid-19, only three days apart.

EFF Councilor Derrick Hendrickse (55) passed away at the Stellenbosch Mediclinic on Monday, 4 January 2021. On Thursday, 7 January 2021, DA Councilor Manie Pietersen (64) passed away at the same hospital.

#FlattenTheCurve: Stellenbosch Municipality COVID-19 update

The Stellenbosch Municipality is working hard to prevent and combat the spread of the Corona virus. With this in mind we already took the first essential steps on Monday, in accordance with the President’s decision to declare a national state of disaster. Every decision we make is in the interest of PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY.

The Stellenbosch Municipality has taken the following steps:

  • Community and Protection Services have cancelled all event and gathering applications where 100 people or more are expected.
  • All municipal halls, sport grounds, multipurpose centres, picnic sites, community halls, swimming pools, nature reserves and other municipal amenities will be closed until further notice.
  • Driver License Testing and Learner License Testing will go ahead as scheduled for now. All necessary safety precautions have been put in place.
  • Residents are being encouraged to phone, email or send a WhatsApp to engage with the Municipality or their local councillor instead of visiting a municipal office in person, to limit direct physical contact (all relevant contact information is on our website).
  • Library operating hours will be reduced incrementally and these facilities will provide only basic services, namely, taking out and returning reading material. The number of persons allowed into the library will be controlled. Needless to say, this might change at short notice.

All non-essential travel for all spheres of government to areas outside of the Republic is stopped and domestic travel is restricted.

The municipality will provide hand sanitizers or wipes at building entrances to be used to disinfect hands when entering facilities.
Public meetings that were scheduled to begin next month, have been cancelled. Electronic, written and telephonic submissions will be encouraged. We are also currently exploring alternative electronic platforms for public participation.
These emergency measures have also forced us to postpone several events, including a title deed handover ceremony as well as the annual Mayoral Golf day.

We will continue to work with our National and Provincial partners to ensure that measures are in place to curb the spread of the virus. Limiting physical and social contact is essential in curbing the spread of the virus. I therefore urge residents to help us curb the spread of the virus by doing the following:

  • Limit social gatherings and meetings wherever possible. If you meet with friends or family, please limit the number of people gathering.
  • ocial distancing is imperative – keep a distance of at least 1 meter between you and the next person, especially in public spaces; do not shake hands or hug when greeting one another, minimize physical contact.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sanitize your hands and surfaces with an effective sanitizing product.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it away after use
  • Take additional vitamins to boost your immune system·
  • Avoid crowded areas.

Please be aware of scammers posing as health practitioners to gain unlawful access to properties. There have been several reports of criminals approaching people, claiming to be health workers from various institutions pretending to conduct home testing for COVID-19.

We encourage residents to please pay attention to official announcements, and follow the instructions being given. Fake or inaccurate information remains a challenge. We urge all residents not to participate in the distribution of inaccurate, unverified or false information. Spreading fake news on The Corona is now a punishable offence and if found guilty you can spend up to 6 months in jail, as detailed in the Government Gazette, published yesterday. Please consult official sources if you have any doubts or concerns. For official COVID-19 advice, updates and queries:

National Hotline 0800 029 999
WhatsApp 0600 123 456
Provincial Hotline 021 9284102

We are aware that the outbreak of COVID-19 will present a challenging time for our region as it will have an adverse effect on our thriving tourism and hospitality industries. We urge every business owner to act in the best interest of our community and to adhere to the restrictions and guidelines outlined by national government.

“I call on all residents to stay calm during this time of crisis. Please act with kindness and consideration towards all citizens, and be mindful that social isolation will be challenging for many people. Please check in on your loved ones via electronic communication, and please do not panic buy as it contributes to a stressful environment during this difficult time.” – said Mayor van Deventer

We will continuously share information and updates on our municipal website and social media pages.

Another 48 Residents Become Homeowners

Ms Anna van Wyk was one of the residents who received her title deed from Mayor van Deventer.

On 18 March, just before the Human Rights Day longweekend, Stellenbosch Municipality handed over another 48 title deeds to beneficiaries in Mooiwater, Franschhoek today.  The Executive Mayor, Gesie van Deventer, was joined by members of the Mayoral Committee to hand over these title deeds.

Stellenbosch Determined To Shed Loadshedding

At its council meeting on 27 January 2021 Stellenbosch Municipality gave the first step to possibly becoming the first municipality in the country to turn the tables on loadshedding. The council authorised an investigation into both the use of alternative sources of electricity and the self-generation of electricity through alternative sources.

The door for this move was opened with the promulgation of the Electricity Regulation Act Regulations in October 2020.

“While there is still a long road ahead in the battle against loadshedding, today’s decision marks the official start of a journey for Stellenbosch Municipality that may culminate in energy independence and long-term energy sustainability. The adoption of this report by Council paves the way for an investigation into the need, viability and opportunities to be conducted,” said Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer.

The mayor added that “We will be able to make use of brilliant internal research entities, experts at the University of Stellenbosch, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Western Cape Government as part of our joint investigation.”

According to a press statement, this joint investigation will focus on various potential sources of energy production, including rooftop solar panels, methane mining, allowing the public to generate electricity and sell this to the municipality, purchasing electricity directly from registered IPPs, and the possible selling of electricity to willing buyers from outside the municipal area.

The announcement was welcomed by Western Cape MECs David Maynier (Finance and Economic Opportunities) and Anton Bredell (Local Government). They said in a joint statement that the Western Cape Government will support the municipality through its Municipal Energy Resilience Project.

Bredell added that “The national challenges with electricity won’t disappear soon and town councils know that without guaranteed electricity supply there are risks for job security and economic growth.”

Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Pixabay

Stellenbosch Municipality channels R1.2 million towards food relief programme

STATEMENT BY EXECUTIVE MAYOR GESIE VAN DEVENTER

During this challenging time of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent national lockdown, our poor communities have been particularly hard hit.

As a caring local government, we are making every effort to provide support to our residents in need within our legal government framework. Out of this, #StellenboschUnite was born. It  is a collaborative aid action purposed to provide social support to vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 pandemic and brings together Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch University, Visit Stellenbosch (civil society), Stellenbosch Civil Advocacy Network (representing the non-profit sector) and the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust (administrators). To date, this initiative was largely funded by private donors, which we are extremely grateful for.

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