New council chamber, call centre on cards for municipality

2015-04-30 17:13

BIGGER and better.

That seems to be the motto of the Kouga Municipality for the remainder of the 2014/ 2015 financial year, ending June.

With the Jeffreys Bay Library relocated to the old Ski Boat Club earlier this year, the building will now be transformed into a Council chamber to the tune of R1.5 million. Apart from the council chamber, the facility will be home to additional offices, two boardrooms or caucus rooms, printing room, kitchen and reception area.

Construction will commence in the fourth quarter of the current financial year, April to June, once the procurement processes have been finalised.

According to municipal spokesperson, Laura-Leigh Randall, the current Council chamber does not have enough space for all 29 councillors.

“Additional seats have bo be brought in, especially if there are members of the public as well. The new chamber will be big enough to accommodate all councillors, as well as the officials who have to attend the meetings and members of the public,” says Randall.

“It will, furthermore, be disabled-friendly.”

According to Randall, the municipality would like to popularise Council meetings by advertising these meetings more broadly, as this is the platform where elected leaders debate and make decisions around service deli-very.

“By encouraging residents and stakeholder groups to attend these meetings, we hope to improve public understanding of the mandate and day-to-day operations of the municipality,” says Randall.

“The final plan and costing is subject to Council approval.”

A call centre is also in the pipeline for this year in order to improve the management of complaints.

“Complaints-handling is not centralised at the municipality. Each directorate handles its own complaints through its own staff at different units, which makes it difficult to monitor,” says Randall.

“The new call centre will centralise complaints-handling and standardise the manner in which complaints are received and resolved.

“Call centre staff will receive complaints telephonically or via email. The relevant directorate will be informed of the complaint in order to address it. A reference number will be issued per complaint in order to improve the tracking of complaints and feedback to complaints.”

It is expected that the necessary equipment will be in place by the second quarter of the new financial year, between October and December.

“Our aim is for the call centre to be operational by early 2016,” says Randall

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