New Executive Mayor inaugurated

2015-06-11 06:01
New Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas and her husband David. 

New Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas and her husband David. Photo: SUPPLIED

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IN her inaugural address at Humansdorp on Friday, the new Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas called on councillors to put their communities first.

Citing the famous Freedom Charter declaration that “the people shall govern” and the Back to Basics directive to municipalities to put people first, the Mayor said that the municipality was committed to strengthening platforms meant for public engagement.

“You, the community, are our leaders as much as we are yours,” she said. “It is our duty to report back to you regularly about what is happening at your municipality and to allow your input in the decisions we make.”

She emphasised that she had an open-door policy and valued the opportunity to learn from people’s experience and aspirations.

She urged ward councillors to hold quarterly meetings with their constituents to keep them updated about Council decisions and programmes.

She said that good progress had been made to improve the ward committee system and invited the public to attend Council meetings as well.

“Our Council meetings are open to the public and we would like to encourage residents and stakeholder groups to make use of this opportunity to learn more about the issues of the day and the reasoning behind key decisions.”

The Executive Mayor further pledged that the Council would strengthen its efforts to protect and empower vulnerable groups, including children, women, the elderly, disabled and people living with life-changing diseases.

She said that Council had created a new portfolio, dedicated to Special Programmes and under the leadership of outgoing Mayor Booi Koerat, specifically for this purpose.

“We pledge to take hands with our sector departments, NGOs, NPOs, religious fraternity and community-based organisations to achieve a safe and secure Kouga for all.”

In closing she cautioned councillors that there were serious service challenges ahead and called for unity across the political divide.

“These next few months are our last chance, as a collective, to deal with them and to leave a lasting legacy... Let us bridge the political divide and unite in our common resolve to serve our people with the commitment they deserve.

“By putting people first, we will move Kouga forward,” she concluded

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