The 101-minute Section 80 Governance and Planning Committee found Councillor Dyanti (ANC) absent without leave. Deputy Mayor Esme Edge (DA) was absent with permission. Councillor Michelle Wasserman (DA) is currently on a leave of abscence for non-disclosed reasons.
CORNUTI’S RESTAURANT COURT CASE
Discovery affidavits have been filed in the case of Knysna Municipality versus Cornuti’s Ristorante which fell into severe arrears in its rental of the public property found on the East Head. Logan Martin Attorneys, on behalf of Knysna Municipality, has applied for a trial date.
ASSISTANT TO DEPUTY MAYOR RESIGNS
Luna Swart, the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Mayor and Executive Councillors has resigned. It’s a political appointment so her replacement will prove to be an interesting addition. The post’s availability was advertised in the Action Ads recently.
KNYSNA VEHICLE TESTING STATION CASE
The disciplinary hearings for the officers charged with non-compliance with the vehicle testing stations regulations traffic act remains pending. The huge legal cost to the taxpayer has yet to be revealed.
The Impoundment of Animals by-law has gained input from provincial government and is expected to be ratified latest June 2015.
The proposed Keeping of Dogs dog by-law wording was approved at the last Ordinary Council Meeting but will again be submitted for public opinion before being ratified. Public participation is key so that’s good news.
New areas for informal traders, reflective of the whole Municipality, will be submitted to Council. Construction on stalls in the Nelson taxi rank will commence in April.
EXPANDED PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM
A presentation was given by a representative from the Department of Public Works on Knynsa’s progress regarding the Expanded Public Works Program (EPWP) the past 3 years.
EPWP aims at “drawing significant numbers of the unemployed into productive work and that these workers gain skills” in the workplace so that they are no longer marginalised. The jobs are of short to medium duration, “part of an ongoing unemployment and social protection policy providing opportunities for vulnerable groups.”
Unemployment remains very high.
The EPWP has, in the past, provided approximately R1-million annually to the Knysna Municipality to assist its implementation.
As part of the planning process for phase 3 (there are 4 phases), municipalities are being reviewed. The latest report has not being released but it was stated that Knysna Municipality has performed well in previous reviews. This affects the amount granted by Provincial Government which is expected to be R1.2-million for the 2015/2016 financial year. With further improvement, more can be gained.
Phase 3 includes the principles of:
1. Adherence to the EPWP minimum wage and employment conditions under the Ministerial Determination.
2. Selection of workers based on a clearly defined process and criteria. The selection must be transparent and fair.
3. Work provides or enhances public goods and community services.
4. Minimum labour intensity appropriate to sector. Sectors are too different so each must set its own benchmark.