Kouga Municipality – Give Praise where Praise is due

The Kouga Municipality (KM) has come under a lot of criticism of late in both this, and other forums and rightly so. For their apparent lack of concern for our beaches, the river funding administration and the state of our roads, to name but a few, they certainly deserve criticism. Their apathy towards matters St Francis is at times rather like ‘killing the goose that lays the golden egg’. Without the rates and taxes and other sources of income, particularly tourism, derived from this area, it is doubtful the councillors would enjoy their hefty salaries or even a job for that matter.

BUT

Let’s also give praise where praise is due.
Firstly to the St Francis Fire Brigade who are after all, employees of the municipality! There outstanding work in dealing with the fire on Sunset Drive last night deserves an accolade. But for their prompt response and assessment of the situation, we could so easily have had a repeat disaster of November 2012.

Speaking with the firemen after they had finally extinguished the smoldering remnants, one young firefighter explained how shortly after their arrival, the westerly wind suddenly sprung up. Whilst their major concern was the burning house they realized that the neighbouring houses presented a bigger threat should the fire spread with the wind. The main challenge was extinguishing the source but they now also needed to ensure the fire did not spread and so the neighbouring properties. (See photos of fire below)

Their assessment and action plan certainly saved the day for the wind certainly did blow a gale, much like, apparently, that fateful day of 12 November 2012. Congratulations to all of you brave young men who participated. St Francis owes you a debt of gratitude.

The second bit of praise is for the Kouga Municipality’s support of tourism. Speaking with Esti Stewart, after the St Francis Tourism get-together at the St Francis Links of Monday night, she confirmed that KM had contributed significantly to bringing the MEC of Economic Affairs and Tourism for the Eastern Cape to Cape St Francis for the “Walk on the Wild Side”. She also mentioned how KM has contributed substantial funding to tourism efforts including Indaba, amongst other initiative. So yes, KM deserves praise for their support of tourism.

BUT

No matter the effort and funding of tourism initiatives to promote the St Francis, all these efforts will be in vain if the infrastructure falls apart. If nothing is done to ensure the beaches don’t erode further or that the spit isn’t breached by the ocean, the appeal of St Francis as a holiday destination, particularly St Francis Bay will suffer considerably. Fewer tourists and businesses will start to close and unemployment will increase  and looking after the poorer communities becomes a bigger task with less funds

So yes KM , you have your hands full feeding all the chickens in the chicken run but don’t forget to ensure the goose is well fed for if it were to die – “no more golden eggs”.

fire1

The area near the chimney is where the lightning is thought to have struck and started the fire

fire2

Photo taken in front of the house. Prompt action by the St Francis Fire Brigade contained the fire and most of the roof was saved.

fire3

The back (road side) of the house shows little fire damage, In the background can be seen a neighbouring thatched house …. so close to potential disaster