History was made in the Kouga Local Municipality when a new Mayor, Councillor Daphne Kettledas, who is its first female Mayor, was elevated to the position following the resignation of Mayor Booi Koerat.
Koerat had been battling with his health after undergoing a heart bypass last year and had previously indicated that he did no longer felt he was up to the demanding task of running a municipality such as the Kouga Municipality, which includes the towns of Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay, Oyster Bay, Hankey, Patensie, Loerie, Thornhill, Humansdorp and Kruisfontein.
She said that her appointment also demonstrates that government is sincere when it says there shall be equal gender representation in leadership positions.
Acknowledging that she had a tough task ahead to address the service delivery challenges faced by residents, she said this could be done by collective efforts by all leaders.
She also decided to keep Kouga Local Municipality Mayoral Committee unchanged and added Cllr Koerat as Councillor in charge of Special Programmes in the Office of the Mayor.
The rest of the Mayoral Committee are Councillors Vernon Stuurman (Portfolio Head of Finance, Admin, Monitoring and Evaluation); Thandeka Maseti (Portfolio Head of Social Services); Phumzile Oliphant (Portfolio Head of Local Economic Development); Virginia Camealio-Benjamin (Portfolio Head of Tourism and Creative Industries) and Patrick Kota (Portfolio Head of Infrastructure, Planning and Development).
Who is Mayor Kettledas?
Mayor Kettledas comes from Humansdorp and was appointed to the Kouga Local Municipality Council in 2012 to replace former Councillor, Zenzile Blouw.
She is a retired teached who continues to teach at Graslaagte Primary School, in Kruisfontein, Humansdorp, on a voluntary basis because of her deep faith in the power of education.
Main image: Councillor Booi Koerat as Mayor of Kouga Local Municipality.
Second image: Mayor Kettledas was sworn in as a councillor in the Kouga Local Municipality in February 2012 by Municipal Manager, Sidney Fadi.
-additional reporting News24.