There is a lack of information on many important issues involving Knysna. Many have opinions but don’t have sufficient facts to do so. Sadly, in encounters i’ve had with some of Knysna’s leaders and workers, they lack knowledge too.
I’m hoping that these questions will be a step towards not only informing the public better but also making them question. And i hope that it leads to questions and answers by our leaders and media too. Too this end, below will be emailed to local members of all political parties, municipal managers, schools, charities and local media.
I’ve started with 60 questions i had in my mind this morning. If you have big questions that should be included, please comment below:
- How many businesses closed in the last financial year? How many this year so far? How many new ones have begun?
- How much of Knysna’s budget relies on income from electricity?
- How will the huge increase by Eskom affect Knysna?
- What percentages of Knysna’s income is generated by rates and is it true that only 12% of the population pays it?
- Is there an intention to help accommodation businesses with a rates reduction during this Recession?
- How many people live in Knysna and how is that determined?
- How many of those are of working age and how many are part-time or unemployed?
- How many are on social grants?
- What is the average salary in Knysna and how is that worked out?
- What are the 3 main jobs?
- Some municipal salaries are as high as those earned in cities with populations as many as 30 times larger than Knysna? Where do you stand on this?
- Alcohol and drug abuse is enormous and on the increase. What are the statistics?
- What is being done to combat drug dealers and, especially, Tik dealers who’ve now spread from Hornlee to Khayalethu?
- Drug-related crime has increased. What are the statistics and how much is estimated to be unreported?
Where do we stand on sex abuse and solutions?
What is being done to educate people so as to minimize xenophobia?
- Knysna police have a notorious reputation which is unfair on good policemen doing their job. So why, when fellow policemen have been accused, is there not an information service (e.g. online) that updates the public on prosecutions etc.
- What is being done to root out corruption, make policemen fit and healthy (e.g. not fat), and gain a positive public face?
- How many prisoners are there in Knysna prison and is there overcrowding?
- What is the racial breakdown of these prisoners?
- What is the average jail term and the breakdown of the types of crimes?
- What rehabilitation programs are in place and how successful are they?
- What percentage of criminals released from prison are caught committing crime again?
SOCIAL & EDUCATION
- What is the percentage of overcrowding at schools, if any, and the parent to teacher ratio?
- What is the pass rate and marks achieved by those gaining it?
- What is the proficiency in reading, writing and maths? Have proficiency tests been run?
- What is being done to create sport teams who represent Knysna as a town by utilizing the best players from mixed races and schools?
- Loerie Park is underutilized. What plans are there to develop it?
- What is being done to develop sporting grounds in the poorer areas such as those found in Smutsville, Damsebos and White Location?
- A multitude of charities exist. Does your political party or the municipality keep a database and collect annual information from them so as to understand the community better?
- What checking system is in place to ensure that children’s homes, voluntourist organizations and charities are legitimate in their practices?
- What land distribution programs exist in Knysna?
- How much land, versus intentions, has been distributed?
- What land percentage is owned by the Eden and Knysna municipalities within the Knysna area?
- How much of government owned land is being utilized?
- Little is known about the DA mayor, Georlene Wolmarans. Is it true that she, in fact, lost her ward in the past municipal election?
- How has she been involved in the community and what are her credentials?
Although posted separately earlier today, these also falls under this larger mandate:
- Why has there been resistance (40 days now) by Knysna Tourism, the Tourism Board and its Mayor Georlene Wolmarans to release and discuss their budget?
- What are the 2010 & 2011 budgets and their allocation breakdown?
- What is the breakdown of the 2010 community projects and the project plan for 2011?
- What is Tourism’s plan to incorporate the whole of Knysna i.e. include Concordia, Hornlee, Smutsville and Khayalethu?
- What has been the practicality of the workshops that have been run so far?
- What is the Tourism’s position on the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe? If still for it, then what is currently being done to support that position?
- What is Tourism’s position on the intended bypass? For or against?
- What is Tourism’s marketing plan for 2011?
- What is being done to gain domestic tourism?
- What percentage of marketing costs is spent on overseas versus domestic tourists?
- What is being done via advertizing to target tourists (e.g. Germans) in their own language?
- How many holiday homes are there in Knysna?
- What were the Oyster Fest 2010 & 2011 budgets and their allocation breakdown?
- What is Pick ‘n Pay & Worldsport’s mandate for Oyster Festival regarding the poorer communities?
- What are the deals with people who gain income from Knysna Tourism and Worldsport, especially from both?
- What follow-up procedure is there to ensure that charities receive their donation from Oyster festival organizers and then spend it appropriately? What is the legacy?
- How does Tourism gain patronage figures for events such as Oyster Festival?
- How are service providers determined?
- What was the evidence for and against Shaun van Eck in the case presented by the previous Tourism Board?
- Do any of the current Tourism Board members, or their immediate families, gain sponsorship from Tourism for events?
- What is being done to shorten the lengthy delays it takes to get a meeting with Tourism CEO, Shaun van Eck?
- If consultants and contractors are being utilized, what are they paid in relationship to what a permanent staff member would earn?
- Who is second in charge at Tourism, with authority to make decisions, when Shaun van Eck isn’t available?