‘The power of the Municipality to make grants in aid is regulated by Section 156 of the Constitution as read withSection 8 of the Municipal Systems Act (MSA), Act 32 of 2000. Grants in aid should improve the opportunity for the Municipality to elicit the support of external organisations to deliver those services to communities that fall within the Municipality’s area of responsibility in a way that allows the Municipality to create an enabling environment for community development and partnerships.’
After wading through that preamble, you may be curious as to whether your local municipality supports NSRI. The answer is probably ‘no’. Nevertheless, we still actively pursue all opportunities and try not to get too disheartened when we meet with councilor after councilor and then read the letters that inevitably begin, ‘Unfortunately this item was not discussed due to time constraints…’ All this despite our having spent time on all sorts of proposals and submissions, including expensive studies, such as environmental impact assessments.
My heart broke at the end of last year when I heard that we had received zero rand and zero cents from the City of Cape Town, even though we have eight rescue bases in the area. The fact that Western Province Surf Lifesaving got R3-million actually softened the blow since we work very closely with them and admire their work.
We have, however, been generously and faithfully supported by some municipalities and thank them for their aid:
• St 5 (Durban) and St 6 (PE) have both enjoyed regular support, and received a handsome R174 100 in November and R150 000 in January respectively.
• St 17 (Hermanus) received a whopping R100 000 from the Overstrand Municipality.
• St 15 (Mossel Bay) and St 34 (Yzerfontein) each received R30 000. The Yzerfontein council has been supportive in the establishment of a rescue base, and in addition they have
given free water, electricity and the use of a toilet facility. The electrical department provided a cherry picker to assist in erecting the radio mast.
• St 20 (Shelly Beach) was given a grant of R3 809 in June last year and St 32 (Port Edward) received R3 200.
• St 33 (Witsand) received support with the zoning and building of the rescue base.
• In previous years, St 7 (East London) received a grant of R4 000.
• St 31 (Still Bay) reports that the municipality has helped the rescue base with various small jobs around the station.
• St 14 (Plettenberg Bay) receives a number of free services from the Bitou Council, which translates into a noticeable cost saving to their expenses.
• In Knysna, the council is supportive and some years back sponsored Station 12’s 5.5m rescue boat Spirit of Madiba.
• St 10 (Simon’s Town) has a good relationship with its local ward councillor and municipal services. The station is given permission to host street collections every year, but no grants
have been received of late.
If you are any good at writing letters, we ask you to please get involved. If your local council has supported us, please send them a quick note of thanks. If not, perhaps you could give them some encouragement. If we don’t keep trying, we’ll never be heard.
IAN WIENBURG, CEO