MOSSEL BAY NEWS - The mayors of Mossel Bay Municipality and the Garden Route District Municipality on Tuesday, 23 February, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to rectify the registration details of several properties erroneously still registered in the name of the old divisional councils.
Hailed as a historical event, the MoU is said to be proof that cooperative government is possible. It is indicative of the way forward for local government and represents the key to unlocking economic advancement for the district.
The agreement entered into between the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Mossel Bay Municipality (MBM) is a joint effort to rectify the registration details of properties in the Deeds Registry.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) follows intense negotiations and stems from close cooperation and a joint effort by both municipalities to correct the information reflected in their asset registers. It will formalise the actual ownership, use of, and responsibilities concerning the affected properties.
Mossel Bay’s acting executive mayor, Alderman Dirk Kotzé, said the MoU creates hope for cooperative governance.
“It is important for municipalities to work closely together in the spirit of good intergovernmental relations."
Both the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality, Alderman Memory Booysen, and the Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu, ascribed the success of the negotiations that led to the MoU to political stability and a tremendous leadership that characterizes Mossel Bay Municipality.
"We now have to turn the corner, we have to unlock the potential of the district for the benefit of our people, we have to see and use the opportunity in the crises," Mayor Booysen said.
Mossel Bay Municipal Manager thanked the legal teams of the two municipalities for their dedicated, hard work that resulted in the MoU. He also thanked the political leaders for their role in bringing the years of negotiations to a successful conclusion.
Moving the fire base
One of the positive developments to result from this MoU is the relocation of the Garden Route District Municipality Fire Base to Mossel Bay. This project is in the initiation phase. The project will positively impact firefighting services in the district. It will bring the Garden Route District Municipality firefighters closer to many towns on the Garden Route. The MoU, which will be signed today, 23 February 2021, outlines the subdivision of an erf of 17 312 m² in Mossel Bay. The Mossel Bay Municipality Fire, Rescue, and Disaster Management Services are already situated on this property, while the Southern portion will be used by the Garden Route District Municipality Fire and Rescue Services.Once finalised, the new Garden Route District Municipality Fire Base will be strategically better positioned to combat wildfires in the region. The district's farthest point to the west from Mossel Bay is Witsand, which is approximately 150km from the proposed new base, while Plettenberg Bay is approximately 140km from the Mossel Bay Fire Base to the east.
Other properties to be transferred, leased, sold, or developed, include:
- Erf 488 in Tergniet will be transferred from Garden Route District Municipality to Mossel Bay Municipality. This property is currently utilised and under the control of Mossel Bay Municipality and includes a parking area, ablution facilities, and a waste transfer station.
- Erf 76 and 77 in Little Brak River will be transferred to Mossel Bay Municipality. Mossel Bay Municipality already uses these properties as a cemetery.
- Erf 78 in Little Brak River will be transferred to Mossel Bay Municipality because a community hall is built on it and already in use by Mossel Bay Municipality.
- Erf 238 in Little Brak River is a public street, utilised and maintained by Mossel Bay Municipality. The property will be transferred to Mossel Bay.
- Erf 1040 in Little Brak River contains a reservoir that is used by Mossel Bay Municipality and will subsequently be transferred.
- Mossel Bay Municipality will submit an offer to purchase Erf 99 in Glentana, which is to the extent of 47 057m². This property is used, and under the control of Mossel Bay Municipality as a parking area, ablution facilities, and picnic and braai areas.
- Garden Route District Municipality will transfer a portion south of Morrison Road, Portion 2 of the Farm Hoogekraal No. 23, now referred to as erf 832, Glentana, to Mossel Bay Municipality.
- Garden Route District Municipality will transfer a portion of erf 271, north-north-west of Impala Avenue in Reebok to Mossel Bay Municipality.
- Mossel Bay Municipality will subsequently transfer erf 12406 in Mossel Bay to Garden Route District Municipality. The erf is currently used by the Garden Route District Municipality Municipal Health Services sub-office.
Garden Route District Municipality and Mossel Bay Municipality will undertake a collective approach to develop erf 271 in Reebok, which is 413 333m², and erf 264 Reebok, to the extent of 17 131m², into one unit.
This development will conform to the development standards of the surrounding area. The green lung, with linkages to other green areas, will be maintained.
Mossel Bay Municipality will be responsible for obtaining the applicable environmental and planning approvals, but both municipalities will bear the costs and an equal interest in developing the property. Speaker of the Garden Route Municipality Alderman Barnie Groenewald said the signing ceremony was indicative that the two municipalities were true "brothers and sisters of the same family."
"With today's ceremony, the two entities joined forces for the greater good of all the people of the district," Alderman Groenewald concluded.
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