Questions asked and needing answers from Bitou

Dear Members,

A Ward 2 report back meeting was held by Ward Councillor Swart on Wednesday, 23 August.

Although the year end financials have not yet been audited, preliminary results indicate a positive recovery in the second half of the year resulting from higher revenue collections and lower expenditure. Still a lot more work to be done to return to financial health but a good start nonetheless.
Below are the actions arising from the meeting for the Councillor’s feedback.

We will let you know his answers as soon as we receive the requested information.


24 August 2023
Ward Councillor Dave Swart
Bitou Municipality

Dear Dave,

23 August Ward 2 Report Back Meeting has reference.

Good meeting last night, Dave.

Several questions were asked at the Ward 2 report back meeting, and I’m not sure if you had a note taker there or not, so I have taken the liberty of jotting them down for your follow up.

1 – With such a large proportion of the capital spend coming in the last month, how are you assuring that the work gets done and doesn’t get prematurely signed off for payment so as not to lose the money? You say you are trying to change the pattern of reacting too late to putting out tenders, how exactly are you doing that?

2 – Is anyone looking at ensuring Plett’s long term water supply and increasing its storage capacity? When will the contracts for usage out of Roodenfontein Dam be completed? When will the gauges to measure water in and out be installed?

3 – You mentioned increasing water infrastructure security with more cameras. Are you reviewing performance reports on Isolomzi Security? The reports are supposed to be tabled to council on a regular basis per MFMA policy, but we do not recall ever seeing any of them.

4 – A comment was made that a flat rate on electricity and the water tariffs are not encouraging lower consumption but rather just the opposite. Can you please explain your rationale?

5 – How are you ensuring future tenders for critical service delivery get completed on time to avoid lapses in service, such as happened with recycling?

6 – You mentioned using more wheelie bins for Plett’s waste removal. That requires very specialized equipment and vehicle operators, and most importantly it requires citizens who understand the system and put the bins out at the precise time and in the precise position. Do we have the capability to do that? Where in South Africa is this wheelie bin system working so we can go and take a look? How much, if any, will it lower our tariffs?

7 – We asked last night and previously about the 8% of the waste removal tariff that is allegedly for future landfill rehabilitation. Please advise if the money will be put in a reserve account, ring-fenced, and who will hold it? We have also asked previously for the breakdown of how the waste removal budget will be spent.

8 – What are Plett’s plans in the event of a mass protest action?

9 – What are the final outcomes of the last Ward 2 meeting dealing with the selling off of public open space? What is happening with erf 256? Mr. Memani told the audience that 1725B would be rezoned to ensure the erf could never be considered for anything but a park. Is that in process? 1725A was approved in council last January to proceed with development on the strength of a perpetual agreement signed in 2008, yet after PAIAing it almost two months ago, we have not received a copy of the agreement. If it is invalid, the municipality needs to recognize the fact and take the necessary steps to remove the uncertainty which is destroying people’s property values. If it is valid, they need to start discussions with the adjacent property owners for the damages they are going to suffer. You need to deal with all this to finality, and it is the ward councillor who must drive that.

10 – It was brought to your attention that Rage cannot be held at the Ganse Vallei water treatment plant because it will contravene the plants licensing conditions. The plant’s maturation ponds also urgently need to be emptied of sludge which will be spread on the proposed Rage venue. It will not be a healthy site for a public event, and could compromise its Green Drop status. We sent you a report two weeks ago and will send it again with our objection to the Public Notice.

We look forward to your replies.

Steve Pattinson