Oudts­hoorn ad­mi­nis­tra­tor now Mu­ni­ci­pal Ma­na­ger in Knysna

Oudtshoorn Courant - - VOORBLAD - S­TE­FAN GOO­SEN

Kam C­het­ty, the man who was ap­poin­ted to run Oudts­hoorn as ad­mi­nis­tra­tor du­ring 2015 and 2016 has been ap­poin­ted as the new mu­ni­ci­pal ma­na­ger in Knysna. “I am he­re for t­his town to con­tri­bu­te to­wards im­pro­ving pe­op­le’s li­ves. A­bout par­ty po­li­ti­cs – we can’t po­li­ti­ci­se a di­sas­ter. I want to keep the po­li­ti­cs out and sup­port the re­buil­ding of the town,” he ans­we­red w­hen as­ked w­het­her he would al­low par­ty po­li­ti­cs to in­ter­fe­re with his de­ci­si­on ma­king du­ring his term in of­fi­ce, which star­ted t­his month.

Du­ring an in­ter­view with the me­dia it was cle­ar that C­het­ty had do­ne his re­se­arch in­to Gre­a­ter Knysna’s is­su­es.

C­het­ty’s ap­point­ment ca­me as a sur­pri­se to not on­ly re­si­dents of Knysna, but al­so to the Knysna-P­lett He­rald, w­hen feed­back on a que­ry was re­cei­ved with his na­me at the bottom wit­hout pri­or no­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of his ap­point­ment.

Ap­p­lied for post be­fo­re the fi­re

He ex­plai­ned that he had al­re­a­dy ap­p­lied for the po­si­ti­on be­fo­re the fi­re di­sas­ter that ra­va­ged the Gar­den Rou­te.

“W­hen my ti­me as ad­mi­nis­tra­tor of the Oudts­hoorn mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty ca­me to an end I re­su­med my work on cli­ma­te c­han­ge and g­reen in­fra­struc­tu­re with Re­ne­wa­ble E­ner­gy In­te­gra­ti­on A­fri­ca, but w­hen the po­si­ti­on in Knysna o­pe­ned I ap­p­lied as I ha­ve al­ways lo­ved Knysna for its beau­ty and its e­co­no­mic po­ten­ti­al.

“It was al­so sug­ge­sted to me that my kno­w­led­ge and un­der­stan­ding of go­ver­nan­ce, and skills with re­gards to e­co­no­mic de­ve­lop­ment, would be of g­re­at help in Knysna,” said C­het­ty.

The de­ci­ding fac­tor to accept the po­si­ti­on, though, was his per­so­nal in­te­racti­on with re­si­dents who shared their dif­fi­cult but mos­t­ly sad sto­ries with him re­gar­ding the fi­re di­sas­ter.

“Tho­se in­te­racti­ons are w­hat im­plo­red me to ta­ke the po­si­ti­on, or­di­na­ry pe­op­le in te­ars im­pacted by the fi­res. I now ha­ve an in­ner pas­si­on to ma­ke an im­pact on Knysna and tho­se af­fected,” he said.

Ma­jor is­su­es to ad­dress

C­het­ty out­li­ned the ma­jor is­su­es that he will fo­cus on in the wa­ke of the fi­res.

To ad­dress the hu­ma­ni­ta­ri­an re­lief is­sue and im­pro­ve the coor­di­na­ti­on of that pro­cess.

Mi­ti­ga­ting the ris­ks that a­ro­se from the fi­res. “T­his will in­clu­de the pos­si­bi­li­ty of ha­ving to ma­na­ge a­not­her such fi­re, soil e­ro­si­on and lands­li­des that may occur – of which as­ses­sments are being do­ne, and to mi­ti­ga­te the­se is­su­es,” said C­het­ty.

Re­buil­ding Knysna, which in­clu­des “ca­pi­tal re­ten­ti­on and rein­ves­t­ment in Knysna”.

Fo­cus a­re­as

The three ma­jor fo­cus a­re­as ac­cor­ding to C­het­ty will be:

The cur­rent fi­nan­ci­al im­pact cau­sed by loss of bu­si­ness re­ve­nue, the re­ducti­on in wa­ter con­sump­ti­on and loss of ra­tes re­ve­nue.

Put­ting a strong te­am in pla­ce with in­no­va­ti­ve ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­ve le­a­ders­hip within the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty.

Buil­ding and streng­the­ning the re­la­ti­ons­hip be­t­ween the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, bu­si­ness and the com­mu­ni­ty.

“The out­co­me of t­his pro­cess must build trust and pro­mo­te gro­wth and de­ve­lop­ment within Knysna. I trust that I can bring a strong un­der­stan­ding of go­ver­nan­ce, e­co­no­mic de­ve­lop­ment, po­li­cy im­ple­men­ta­ti­on and fos­te­ring so­ci­al in­clu­si­on to the ta­ble, which I t­hink will help a lot,” ad­ded C­het­ty.

Re­gar­ding the town’s wa­ter cri­sis, C­het­ty said he is in the pro­cess of meet­ing with en­gi­neers who will pro­vi­de him with an a­na­ly­sis of all sce­na­ri­os and al­ter­na­ti­ves, in­clu­ding the thre­at of le­vel 4 wa­ter re­stricti­ons.

P­ho­to: S­te­fan Goo­sen

The new mu­ni­ci­pal ma­na­ger of Gre­a­ter Knysna, Kam C­het­ty.

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