For the municipality and the wider community, including businesses, the housing-related protest action in the Hermanus area between March – June 2018 was challenging and disrupted our attempts to provide services to all,” states Mayor Dudley Coetzee in his foreword to the municipality’s annual report.

“The emotional, economic as well as physical damage to our community and assets will remain. Damages to municipal infrastructure such as, but not limited to, the Hermanus sewage works, swimming pool buildings, various other buildings and roads, amount to approximately R40 million.

“The economy of our area has suffered, compounding the strain that the downturn in the national economy placed on businesses in Hermanus. However, we are thankful that municipal service delivery to the affected areas has resumed,” he says.

The audited annual report for the 2017/18 financial year of the Overstrand Municipality is now open for public comment before it is set to serve before council at a public meeting on 27 March.

According to the municipality, this document reflects their performance over the past financial year in attaining the strategic objectives set out in the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Consequently, it is extremely valuable, as it helps stakeholders and leaders navigate through the obstacles and pitfalls of service delivery, in order to benchmark new standards of performance and set new goals for improvement.

According to Coetzee the municipality, in partnership with other spheres of government and the affected communities, is attempting to find lasting solutions to the dire and ever-increasing housing need in the municipal area.

“We will not compromise on the basic service delivery mandate to our communities. The municipality is committed to deliver on our vision to be a centre of excellence. The performance and achievements stated in this annual report are testament of our commitment to sustained service delivery. We will continue to apply sound financial management to ensure that we maintain a clean audit outcome,” he said.

Municipal Manager, Coenie Groenewald, said in reflecting on the 2017/18 financial year, that he is pleased to report that the Overstrand Municipality has performed well in relation to service delivery, governance and financial management.

“Overall, the Municipality met 379 (85%) of a total number of 447 key performance indicators (KPIs) for the period 01 July 2017 – 30 June 2018. A total of 60 (13.42%) KPIs were almost met and 8 (1.8%) of the indicators were not met.
“The housing and land-related protest actions in the 4th quarter of the 2017/18 year resulted in capital project delays and a temporary disruption of services to the affected areas. Normal service delivery to applicable areas has since resumed. The capital projects that could not be finalised due to the protest action were rolled over to the 2018/19 financial year through an approved adjustments budget in August 2018,” said Groenewald.

He said the municipality is committed to continuing to render quality services to the benefit of the community. “It is of utmost importance that sustainable solutions are found to the housing and land-related needs.”

Financially, the municipality performed well during 2017/18. “Though the financial health of the municipality can be assessed as good, sound financial management will remain a priority. This is of utmost importance due to escalating service delivery needs from our community, concomitant with the impact the weak economic growth of the country has on our community’s ability to pay for services. We remain committed to accountable and ethical governance with no tolerance towards corruption and/or fraud. Any indications of alleged misconduct against officials and councillors must be reported for investigation,” he said.

Some highlights:

• A clean audit for the 6th consecutive year. This places the municipality among the top 5% of local municipalities in South Africa to have received three or more consecutive clean audits.
• National Treasury ranked Overstrand Municipality 1st amongst the smaller municipalities in the Western Cape for its financial viability in May 2018.
• Outstanding debtor recovery in 2017/2018 stands at 99.64%, compared to 99.44% in 2016/2017.
• Water losses were reduced to 18.82% in 2017/18, compared to 21.32% in 2016/17. Electricity losses were reduced to 5.12% this year, as opposed to the 7.37% in the preceding financial year. In terms of the average electricity losses of 14.5% in South Africa, this is considered an excellent achievement.
• The municipality received the Govan Mbeki Housing Award 2017 for runner-up in the category ‘Best Integrated Residential Development’ for the Mount Pleasant Housing Project.
• Overstrand Municipality has won the Waste Management Section of the Greenest Town competition for the 7th time in 9 years.
• The municipality won the Water Management and Conservation section of the Greenest Town competition for the 4th time in 5 years.
• Certificates of outstanding achievement for Innovation were received for the Rethink the Bag Project, and the outsourcing of bulk water and waste water works.
• A total of 112 932 m² of roads were patched and resealed during the 2017/18 financial year. This actual performance exceeds the target of 100 000 m².

All stakeholders, especially the ratepayers’ associations and community organisations, are urged to give their feedback on or before 22 February 2019 to the Municipal Manager, for attention: R Louw (rlouw@overstrand.gov.za) or write a letter and send it to PO Box 20,
Hermanus 7200. The report can be accessed on the municipal website, www.overstrand.gov.za (go to the documents tab, click on strategic documents, then annual report). Alternatively, printed copies are available during offce hours at the administrative offices and public libraries.

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