It has been accepted by most that the Kouga Municipality is not going to come to the aid of St Francis in respect of our decaying roads, storm water drainage, the beach and the spit but there are two matters that must be considered ‘essential’ services that simply cannot ignored, no matter how cash strapped the municipality may be. The first is sewerage. Not having vehicles in condition to do the job cannot be accepted. This should have been part of their forward planning and if they don’t have vehicles, then they must hire or buy new vehicles or employ a third party company to get the job done.
With tens of thousands of visitors about to arrive on our shoreline how are they going to cope when they have been unable to perform this service efficiently during the off season? Certainly this is one of the critical services mentioned in the 5-year plan but it cannot be left until there is money enough in whatever fund is set up for St Francis Residents Association to manage this hugely important service.
Visitors may be understanding of the poor condition of the roads for most will only really use the major thoroughfares, some of which have recently been sprayed, or rather painted with an overcoat. Even if the St Francis Bay beaches are not quite up to scratch and it means a slightly longer trip to the beach each day, they will at least be able to enjoy their seaside holidays by using one of the finest beaches on the South African coastline at Cape St Francis.
But if raw uncollected sewerage starts spewing out of manhole covers, well that would be the final straw for all but the most ardent supporters of the St Francis. Last season there were a couple of incidences when one had to quickly wind up one’s car windows to avoid the stench emanating from sewerage overflows and it appears the municipality is less prepared than it was last year, barely able to cope with the needs before the influx. And the stench would be the least of the problem for it is the health risks it poses. Though the medical fraternity and the pharmacy would be beneficiaries if there were to be an outbreak of diarrhoea, it is pretty certain they would rather see prevention rather than cure.
Let us hope the municipality has a Plan B and have taken steps to ensure that their Plan A is robust enough to cope for if not, we could have a disastrous season. Possibly the Ward Councillor can enlighten us if there is indeed a plan in hand or if not, maybe the SFBRA could enquire of council if there are going to be sufficient running ‘honey suckers’ to cope.
The second and almost as important as sewerage is the disposal of garbage, both perishable and recyclable. The dump is officially closed and may not be used so residents and visitors will be totally in the hands of the garbage collection services provided by the municipality. Maybe they will be able to cope but once again all the perishable garbage will be mixed with the recyclables. Consider for a moment the mountains recyclable matter that will be generated over the holidays. Thousands of beer and cool drink glass bottles, as many plastic drink and food containers, tins by the thousand and newspapers too. And then comes Christmas and with it, pile upon pile of Christmas wrapping and cardboard – all recyclable but all thrown into the garbage along with everything else.
Some months ago a meeting was called at the Community Hall in Sea Vista to discuss a facility to replace the dump. Unfortunately the meeting didn’t last long as the proposal had not been put out for public participation and thus nothing could be decided on a site the Municipality had selected for the purpose. Recalling that meeting there would have been facility for recyclable waste along with perishable but alas it has progressed no further it would seem. Now that the Christmas is upon us it is possibly too late unless someone could persuade council to allocate a temporary area, on the outskirts of the town maybe, just for the season, where locals and visitors could drop off their recyclable waste. Many visitors live in cities where separating perishables from recyclables has become a way of life and it would be great for them to see that St Francis too cares about Mother Earth.
And talking of recycling, The Rotary Recycling Swap Shop at God’s Acre will be operating on Thursday 3rd December and residents are encouraged to take their recyclable material to God’s acre between 9:00am and 12 noon. Sadly the project is closing down but that is subject for another day.