KNYSNA INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT – 2021 GENERAL ELECTION
What is KIM?
KIM is a local civic movement in Knysna. The movement was formed in response to the frustration experienced by local citizens and ratepayers as a result of decisions made by the Knysna Council that only reflect the narrow interests of political parties and interest groups, rather than those of the people of Knysna. The decline of the town under ANC leadership had become apparent by 2010, and accelerated under DA leadership from 2011 until the DA handed the town to the ANC in 2019. Thereafter, the financial situation of the town weakened dramatically, and by January 2020 Knysna was in deep financial distress.
How did KIM arise?
The movement was registered as a political party in 2019 when it became clear that the citizens of Knysna had to stop the rot and unite to save the town from the politicians. It has become inevitable that the party contest the by-elections on 1 November 2021, if there is any hope of cleaning up governance in Council and rooting out corruption in the administration.
What does KIM want to achieve?
KIM wants to clean up the municipality so that the lives of everyone in Knysna can be improved. This means rooting out corruption, directing resources to service delivery, looking after our town’s assets and stimulating the economy.
How will KIM achieve this?
Back to Basics
KIM will focus on getting the basics of service delivery and governance right to ensure that Knysna is a clean and functional town where everything works.
KIM will fight corruption by establishing secure tip-off hotlines for staff and outside persons who want to provide information on corruption. We will ensure that the information provided is followed up and investigated by an impartial person and that whistle blowers receive the protection afforded them by the law. Where corruption is proven, KIM will ensure that there is accountability and swift consequence management for the officials involved, as well as for the businesses that participate in corruption. This includes laying criminal charges and reporting businesses to National Treasury and to their professional bodies. KIM will ensure that there is more detailed reporting on tender processes, so that any irregularities can be detected early and addressed immediately.
Ensure Strict Financial Control
KIM will implement strict financial controls and cultivate a culture of trusteeship over public money. Strict contract management will be implemented to ensure that suppliers and contractors provide quality products and services. We will put a stop to spending on luxury items, luxury furniture and unnecessary office revamps. KIM will put a stop to writing off of unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure by recovering the expenditure from those officials or politicians responsible for incurring such expenditure. Proceedings to recover the expenditure will be instituted within six months of the approval of the Annual Financial Statements.
Fair and Lawful Rates and Service Charges
KIM will ensure that ratepayers are treated fairly and that only lawful rates are levied and that disparate rates are adjusted. Property valuations will be equitable and property categorisations consistent for the duration of the valuation roll, unless the use changes. Owners of agricultural use properties will be rated according to the regulated tariff for the duration of the valuation roll and the categorisation will not change unless the use of the property changes. Residents will receive value for money service charges.
Deliver Quality Services
KIM will deliver quality services by lobbying for infrastructure budget increases so that aging water and sewerage systems can be replaced, roads can be resurfaced, informal areas can be electrified and maintenance is done on time. KIM will support a policy of water tanks for each household, including informal settlements. In addition, KIM will support special rating area initiatives to accelerate service upgrades. KIM will assess the staff capacity in service delivery departments to oversee the work done by contractors and will lobby for the appointment of competent officials. Finally, KIM will be supporting a service delivery model that has dedicated teams in each area, to deal promptly with routine maintenance and fix breakages.
Curtail Escalating Debt
KIM will oppose the proposed R60 Million purchase of a municipal office building and explore the use of municipal properties and work-from-home options for certain municipal officials to curb the escalating debt burden on present and future ratepayers.
Protect the Environment
KIM will protect the environment by lobbying for budgeted funding to ensure that people and nature can live in harmony. This includes provision for the eradication of alien vegetation on municipal properties and developing policies to incentivise land owners to clear their own properties. It also includes finding ways to address animal issues such as the problems of baboons and stray livestock. KIM will ensure that the Municipality enters into long term agency agreements and provide support to non-profit organisations such as Knysna Animal Welfare and Pledge and Steenbok Park Nature Reserves. Finally, KIM will work hard to achieve environmental justice, combat sources of air pollution, and ensure that the green waste site at Old Place, which is a significant health hazard, is closed down and replaced with a viable site.
KIM will govern accountably by putting the needs of Knysna’s people first and ensuring that decisions are made in a transparent manner. KIM commits itself to reading Council agendas and engaging with constituents on issues before taking decisions. KIM will focus on the verification of housing beneficiary lists with the provincial department, so that we can ensure that housing projects submitted cater for those who have been waiting the longest. KIM will ensure that competent, qualified members are appointed to all administrative oversight and decision-making structures. Finally, KIM will ensure that qualified members are appointed to the Planning Tribunal and lobby to amend the Planning Bylaw to appoint an independent appeal authority for town planning appeals.
Stimulate the Economy
KIM will stimulate the economy and investor confidence through its efforts aimed at quality service delivery, the protection of our environmental assets and the exercise of accountable governance. Expansion of infrastructure and maintenance projects will increase contract opportunities for small businesses which, in turn, will create jobs. Infrastructure upgrades will also enable CBD revitalisation, through incentivised affordable housing developments, so that people are able to live closer to where they work or do business. Policies to mandate alien vegetation clearing will stimulate contractor jobs as well as provide entrepreneurial opportunities with alien invaders.
Prioritise Community Safety
KIM will work with civil society to improve the safety of all our neighbourhoods through the provision of good lighting and security cameras. Visible law enforcement officers will take immediate action against reckless and negligent drivers. The true cause of the 2017 fire will be acknowledged and measures will be taken to prevent and control future wildfires.
Sport, Recreation and Social Amenities
KIM will focus on well-maintained sport and recreational areas and safe parks for our children to play. Accessible libraries must be equipped to provide assistance with school projects and provide access to the internet for disadvantaged communities.
Kim will accept the findings of the CSIR report into the cause of the 2017 wildfires and implement measures to prevent the uncontrolled spread of fires.
Benefit from the Knowledge and Expertise of Residents
KIM will create platforms for skilled and experienced citizens to share their knowledge with the administration to help restore Knysna to a clean, caring and desirable town that works.