9% rates increase proposed for Kouga

Whilst the Democratic Alliance has objected to the proposed rates increase saying it need not be more than 6%, the ANC dominated Kouga Municipal Council has proposed a 9% increase.

Council has proposed a 9% increase on property rates, sanitation and refuse whilst water,  also at 9%, is unavoidable as water is supplied by Nelson Mandela Bay metro. An interesting tax is the environmental tax to be set at 6% for one must wonder if in fact any of these funds are actually used for environmental purposes. Electricity at 7.5%.

By far the biggest expenditure item is the annual wage bill set at R233 million which is significantly more than the R148 million collected from property rates. Considering Kouga has some 19 councillors surely this could be trimmed. Interestingly Sydney with a population of over 4-million has 10 councillors including the Lord Mayor whilst Los Angeles with a population of 3.9 -million having just 15. (Note: Los Angeles County has a population of over 10-million but the city has only 3.9- million souls). New York with a population of over 8-million spread through five  boroughs, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island,  has 51 councillors, roughly 10 per borough. Makes one wonder!

Capital expenditure for the year is proposed at around R68 million which the DA feels is far too low for all the infrastructural problems facing the area. Considering St Francis Bay’s capital expenditure needs alone one would have to agree that the DA certainly seem more in touch than those who control the budget.

Total income revenue is being budgeted at R638 million with expenditure at approximately R686 million, a shortfall of roughly R48 million. Considering the budget cuts announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordham in his budget speech in February it seems unlikely that there will be much assistance from the national purse to make up any deficits.

Hopefully  the community will have opportunity for comment and input in the coming days.

Kouga Alliance Golf & Fundraising Day

The Kouga Alliance Golf Day held at St Francis Bay Golf Club on March 26th proved a huge success with not only a full field of 200 players competing but also in terms of sponsorship and donations to boost the campaign purse of the Democratic Alliance (DA) for the upcoming Municipal elections. Thanking all those players, sponsors and those who had made the day such a huge success, John Wilson, a member of the organising committee announced just how successful the day had been. Looking back at the first golf day in 2013 when the event raised R250K and the second event in 2014 increasing that amount by a further R100KWilson announced to huge applause that this year’s event had raised over R700000.  No event golf day held by the DA, anywhere in the country had ever achieved this success.

Athol Trollip - DA Eastern Cape - Photo by Heilie Uys

Athol Trollip – Eastern Cape DA Leader – Photo by Heilie Uys

At prize giving after the event Athol Trollip, the Eastern Cape leader of the DA and the Mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay was the guest speaker. After a brief, but as always humorous introduction by Jeff Clause of St Francis Links, Trollip thanked all those councillors who had fought the good fight in the Kouga Municipality and how frustrating their tenure has been where their efforts are always outvoted by just the one vote majority within the council. Most exasperating has been that every decision of council has been decided by a single vote, not in the interests of the community or what’s good or what’s bad but on the numbers, ten against nine.

Trollip went on to explain how because of the dedication and hard work of the councillors and the community the DA actually won Kouga in the 2014 national election, something that had never been done before. “With the money raised at today’s event the DA was going to make sure that they win the Municipal election this time around”.

Continuing Trollip said how he meets so many South Africans say they are not interested in politics “but politics is interested in you! Politics will determine legislative framework that you live in, it will determine how much tax you pay, the kind of government you will have, the kind of service delivery you receive and it will determine who the people are who will use your tax Rands to deliver what you expect them to deliver. So if you are not interested in politics, politics is interested in you!” Stressing how every vote is important Trollip cited the situation in Port Elizabeth in the last election when the DA lost by just 12000 votes but there 40000 available voters who were “not interested in politics”

Although initially planned for May, it seems inevitable that these elections will now only be held in August. Trollip stressed how important it was for everyone to make sure everyone is registered to vote for the voting boundaries have changed since the last national elections.  It is vital that one makes sure they are properly registered and the next registration days are on the 9th and 10th April so be sure to take the time and register.

Back to the golf prize giving!

Winners on the day were Keith Forgan, Tony Moore, Gunther Wecke and Chris Wiggett on 94 points where each received a prize presented by Elza van Lingen that included two nights’ accommodation at Simola  Resort Hotel, a round of golf at Pezula and a round of golf at Simola.

Winners on the day = from left: Keith Forgan, Tony Moore, Gunther Wecke and Chris Wiggett

Winners on the day = from left: Keith Forgan, Tony Moore, Athol Trollip, Elza van Lingen, Gunther Wecke and Chris Wiggett – Photo by Heilie Uys

During prize giving several items were auctioned and to this end Jeff Clause approached Ernie Els who willingly gave a wonderful display case from “Ernie Els for Autism” with a signed cap and flag (see photo). Jeff went on to say that St Francis Links will be holding an event in June in support of Autism. The Ernie Els item was eventually sold to the highest bidder, Greg Darke on a telephone bid for R5000.

A highly successful day of both golf and fund raising for the Democratic Alliance.

More photos

Cape St Francis Resort Team at DA Golf Dat St Francis Bay Golf Club

Anita Lennox, Fasie Malherbe, Athol Trollip and Dane Shaw
Photo by Heilie Uys

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Jeff Clause – MC and Auctioneer Extraordinaire

Debbi Nevay Hudson & Ellza van Lingen - Photo by Heilie Uys

Debbi Nevay Hudson & Ellza van Lingen – Photo by Heilie Uys

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When last did you clean your mattress?

Jou kombers en My matras en Daar lê die ding

No we are not marching to Pretoria to impeach the President but this interesting new service has recently started up in St Francis which considering the fact that so many properties are rented out to holidaymakers over the holiday seaons one would think this would be an essential service.

A mattress is considered old if it has been in use for two years. In six months there may be two million dust mites and their faeces.  A six month-old pillow can harbour up to a third of its weight in mites, their faeces, dead skin and other bugs.

A really scary thought so maybe it is something every household in St Francis should think about, especially those are regularly rented out as well the many bed & breakfasts and other accommodation facilities. Maybe it is something the hospitality grading council needs to consider when awarding star gradings to accommodation establishmnents and would certainly be a marketing benefit to those who regularly have their beds and beddings treated.

The following is adverotrial but certainly makes a lot of sense.

House dust mites

House dust mites are scavengers that have lived on earth for 23 million years. They live in colonies in nest sites of warm blooded animals such as rats, birds, and humans. Adult house dust mites are so tiny they can sit on top of a pin and they lay eggs at an alarming rate. To help the colony survive the mite has evolved a clever way to recycle hard-to-digest food. Powerful enzymes, placed in mite droppings, act to break down leftover scraps, dead skin cells, animal hair, mould, bacteria and fungi turning them into nourishment. The mite considers its dropping as food. These digestive enzymes play a role in causing allergies and disease in many of us, in that they have the ability to kill delicate defence cells, enter the body and continue the journey using the bloodstream. House dust mites do not bite, what they do is far more sinister.

Children are recognised as the most vulnerable group to suffer from mite related allergic diseases. Not only because they spend more time in bed asleep (a favourite mite home) but because they are unable to identify allergy symptoms nor can they understand the need for solutions.

An important part of managing allergies from house dust mite like allergic asthma, rhinitis and eczema is education. Sufferers can use simple remedies such as eliminating bed dust mites from their sleeping area to vastly improve their condition.  Commonly 95% of  mites are found within 1.5 cm of the top of the mattress.

UV-C Light

It has been known by scientists for years, that one of the most effective air purifiers is natural sunlight’s ultra violet (UV) rays. Not the light we see when we look out the window, but the invisible “C” band, ultraviolet rays that make up part of the sun’s light spectrum. The sun’s UV-C rays act as a natural outdoor air purification system, inhibiting the growth and reproduction of dust mites, bacteria, viruses, fungi & moulds. However, this natural process does not occur indoors. The fresh UV concentrated cleaner uses UV-C rays to bring the power of the sun indoors, specifically to the mattress, a natural home to the mite. The UV-C light’s germicidal power replicates the natural outdoor purification system of the sun by destroying the allergy- and disease-causing microbes living and multiplying on and below the surface of your mattress. Used in combination with a powerful, HEPA filtered extraction device, it is the most effective way to eliminate the health risks the dust mite and bacteria represent.

UV disinfection has been determined to be adequate for inactivating bacteria and viruses. The germicidal effects of UV light cause photochemical damage to DNA and RNA within microorganisms. UVC disinfection is used worldwide and there are thousands of references to its efficacy and actual application in the literature.

The fresh UV concentrated cleaner system is 100% dry and 100% free of harmful chemicals. Our sanitising process on mattresses and pillows takes around 5 minutes to eliminate all germs, bacteria, dust mites and bed bugs. The deep cleaning process takes around 20 minutes per mattress and base. You will have peace of mind with a sanitised, hygienic and allergen-free sleep space.

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King of the Kromme

Matt Boumann – King of the Kromme 2016

The podium - King of the Kromme

From left – Bevan Manson. Matt Boumann, Richard Arderne & Josie Williams – Photo by Jane Arderne

The wind certainly did it’s very best to spoil this annual paddling event and no doubt it dissuaded several paddlers from competing in either the 22 kilometre or the shorter 12 kilometre event but those who did brave the wind deserve great applause. The stiff breeze, no it wasn’t a breeze one spectator commented, “it’s a howling bloody gale’!

After the start and moving to the Cove to see how the paddlers were fairing it was indeed an event that required not only commitment but a whole heap of tenacity and courage for nothing can be more disheartening when paddling with all one’s ability that one finds themselves actually going backwards rather than forward. Certainly some paddlers pulled out after being unable to beat the elements but even to them, well done for even trying.

Richard arderne

Richard Arderne – winner of the 12Km event

The 12K event saw the sponsor’s (Pam Golding Properties) Richard Arderne come in in first place with 13 year old (nearly 14 he told us – don’t rush it son, age catches you up quickly enough) Graydon Mitchley. Fantastic race young man!

Graydon Mitchley

13 year old Graydon Mitchley

The main race saw Matt Boumann crowned King of the Kromme ahead of Bevan Manson with Josie Williams in third. Great racing to all three of you and indeed the rest of the field who completed this gruelling challenge.

The event started and finished at St Francis Bay Paddling Club’s new headquarters based adjacent the new Quaysyde Restaurant in Sea Glades drive and what a great facility for not only the paddlers, but indeed for spectators too.

 

King of the Kromme 2016 - Matt Boumann

King of the Kromme 2016 – Matt Boumann

More photo’s from the event and a video of the start at the bottom of this post

Jpsie Williams at King of the Kromme

Josie Williams – third in the 22 Kilometre King of the Kromme

Having visited Quaysyde on a previous occasion we, St Francis Today, gave a rather critical review of the restaurant, not from a dining point of view but rather from a first impression. Well changes seem to have been made and it was a vast improvement this time around. Gone is the scruffy, barefoot manager who showed no interest in serving customers in spite of the restaurant being almost empty. Attitude can have a huge bearing on how something is perceived and this time the attitude was friendly, inviting and even our criticism of the menu seemed unfounded for it seems to suit the ‘vibe’. Service was crisp, attentive without being intrusive and unlike so many St Francis restaurants; we didn’t need to stand on the table to attract the waitress to bring the bill.

We shall be back and certainly support their efforts in securing a liquor license for it certainly is an upmarket facility and we doubt management is about to allow it to become a rowdy hangout. Oh and the menu well maybe because the waitresses seemed enthusiastic the menu seemed more inviting. There is something for everyone including for the kids but it seems fish dishes need to be added for those who enjoy their food harvested from the sea.

Three men in a boat - King of the Kromme

Three men in a boat

King of the Kromme

First Double home in the 12K – Well done Stephanie Ernsten and Candy Pelterburg

All hail the King

Matt Boumann and Stephanie Ernsten -

King of the Kromme Matt Boumann all 2.08 m or 6’8″ with Stephanie Ernsten. – Photo thanks to Nevil Hulett

A great day in spite of the wind!

Thanks to SAPS, St Francis is in safe hands

Captain du Toit thanks for a great job!

The South African Police all too often get bad publicity owing to a few bad eggs and usually because of the fact that bad news sells far better than good. Television, newspapers and online news post seldom feature the incredibly good work that the police do, preferring to rather dig up dirt.

In large cities and towns the local police are relatively invisible as individuals for the simple reason that there is little or no interaction with the public. In smaller communities such as St Francis it is far different. The residents of these smaller communities get to know their police and many have reason to interact with them on a regular basis. In other words the police are well known by the community, both by the law abiding and by those with a more criminal leaning.

Many if not most successes achieved by police in fighting crime are through their understanding and knowledge of the community they protect. Trust is possibly the most important component for once they have the trust of the community their fight against crime and general policing becomes all the more effective. But trust takes time to build and as their successes become more and more evident  so the trust factor grows. A trusting community is far more likely to offer up information on crime they witness than a community where there is no trust or respect.

In St Francis we are indeed fortunate in that heading up the local constabulary we have a truly dedicated, effective and capable leader in Captain Johan du Toit. Not only does Capt. du Toit head up the station as station commander but also heads up a very active and successful detective team. This in itself is a little unusual for normally the station commander would be a uniformed officer so the fact that du Toit has so ably managed both positions says much for is people management skills.

Having been stationed in the area for the past two years, du Toit certainly has cemented bonds within the  community and earned their trust. Peet Leen, chairman of the Sea Vista Community Policing Forum (CPF) has this to say.  “Capt. du Toit has taken the time to both understand and address the problems of Sea Vista. He has been extremely effective in identifying the ring leaders within community and has made a huge difference in restricting the activities of the criminals.”

Chatting with Lyn Edwards of Calibre Security, a company that obviously works closely with the police had this to say, “Capt. du Toit has been hugely effective and proactive since he took up his position in St Francis and has truly made an enormous difference. I really don’t know what we would do were we to ever lose him for he has really taken the time to understand the community and has certainly curbed crime in the St Francis precinct by identifying and actively seeking out the ring leaders.”

And further praise from John Hammond who heads up the local Policing Community Forum

“Capt. du Toit has certainly become a very integral member of the community and through his successes, has won the trust of the community of not only Sea Vista but also that of both St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis. He has done a superb job interfacing with the CPF and I have found him extremely open and helpful in trying new initiatives including being extremely helpful in our efforts to introduce CCTV monitoring in known problem areas. Crime has fallen by more that 30 percent since he took up his position and not only has he brought many of the perpetrators of crime to book, but has often recovered precious keepsakes and property of victims. ”

Having met Capt. du Toit whilst attending a Community Policing Forum meeting and having chatted to him in the past, he is the sort of officer that St Francis desperately needs. Stories of successes from victims of crime where Capt. du Toit has brought the culprits to book are numerous and far too many to add to this article but one he related was where a valuable ring had been stolen. The captain explaining how the community is so important in helping the police, told how they were able over a period of five days of intensive investigation to not only arrest the perpetrator but also recover the ring.

Capt. du Toit is not only well respected by the community, he is very much part of it.

St Francis Today, and we are sure all of the law abiding residents of St Francis extend our thanks, not only to Capt. du Toit, but to all his colleagues in SAPS St Francis. Keep up the great work of keeping us protected.