Beach & Spit getting the cold shoulder?

Kouga Council gives St Francis’ deteriorating beach the Cold Shoulder

Is politics rearing it’s ugly head at the risk of destroying a lucrative cash cow?

About two years ago the well respected coastal engineering consultant group Worley Parsons was commissioned by the Kouga Municipality to do a report on the deteriorating state of the beach in St Francis Bay and to come up with suggestions and recommendations as to how the beach could be restored.

Since this report was submitted to Kouga Municipality in 26 February 2014, it has not yet been tabled in any Council meeting even though it has often appeared on the Agenda. Invariably it gets struck off by certain councillors who are totally unacceptable to the St Francis Bay community.

It is difficult to understand what motivates these actions as the beach is a critical element in attracting holiday makers and the gross deteriorating spit/dune near the Kromme River mouth safe-guards the total canal system..

Because of the delay further deteriorations to our beach are constantly taking place.   In 2015 the St Francis Bay Residents’ Association had to collect R400 000.00 to have a basic assessment conducted by a professional coastal engineering company. This is a praiseworthy endeavour by the local community who did not require the Municipality to settle this bill.

This basic assessment was requested by DEDEAT (Department of Environmental Affairs) so that repair work could be conducted to our existing revetments which are there predominantly to protect beach front properties.

The question has to be asked if politics is rearing its ugly head. Without an adequate beach the attraction of St Francis Bay as a holiday destination will diminish as will the value of properties. This will have a significant effect on the rates collection for our Municipality as well as employment in the region.

Surely Kouga Council should understand this urgent issue better than anybody so that St Francis bay can move forward.

Source: Cllr. Ben Rheeder

Prime Timers at Concert in the Park

Concert in the Park in Port Elizabeth

Concert in the Park - Port ElizabethDespite the blustering Port Elizabeth wind, a wonderful afternoon was had by the Prime Timers who attended the Concert in the Park at Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon.  The PE Philharmonic Orchestra, under the able baton of conductor, Richard Cock, entertained us to some superb music.  The afternoon started with a group of youngsters from Booysens Primary School who are being tutored as part of a violin project – what amazing talent from these talented youngsters.

Tracy-Lee Oliver and Sampson Diamond were the guest performers – with Tracy’s golden voice and Sampson’s incredible talent on the violin, we certainly were treated to a concert of a high calibre that even the wind could not dampen.  Richards relaxed style and easy rapport with the audience both young and old ensured that everyone had a great time.

Next month, Prime Timers will again be treated to the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Richard Cock at the Last Night of the Proms at the Feathermarket Centre.  Prime Timers will be enjoying a delicious 4 course buffet at the Humewood Hotel before heading off to the Feathermarket.  All those who would like to join us or find out more, contact either Paulene on 084 789 7801 or Colleen on 083 628 2176.

Prime Timers enjoying Concert in the Park

Prime Timers enjoying Concert in the Park


Election plans

Whilst enjoying sundowners at a friend’s home on Friday evening the subject naturally turned to politics and the upcoming municipal election. Of course the discussion on whether our President would be handing in his resignation anytime soon was discussed with consensus that is was less likely than the Kouga municipality fixing the increasing number of potholes on St Francis Drive anytime soon.  During our soap box suggestions of what government needs to do my host made a comment that really made sense although admittedly his suggestion was initially rejected until he explained his reasoning

The comment was that the very first thing that the DA should do when, note when, not if, they win the upcoming municipal elections, is spend the first year or two of improving the infrastructure in Sea Vista and other townships within the Kouga district before paying too much attention to the problems that exist in the larger towns such as Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay. As said the first reaction was to disagree as these larger, wealthier towns pay the majority of the taxes that support the infrastructure and should at least enjoy the benefits. But his reasoning was sound. To keep the DA in the ruling seat and demonstrate they are the party to move the country forward  they must be seen to be doing more than the present controlling party for there are bound to be by-elections in the coming five years and if the DA was not seen to be supporting its electorate there is always a danger of losing much needed support of the poorer communities.

As the evening progressed matters of the next Springbok coach, the Proteas’ dismal showing at the World T20 Championship replaced politics and no more thought was given to the matter until receiving the following e-Mail from a reader on Saturday saying very much the same thing.

Good day, 

I’ve been wondering for some time whether any of the local municipality members or political parties had ever considered doing some real work to improving the Sea Vista township? Their appalling living conditions seem to be ignored plus the spill over effect of rubbish and wild animals onto the main road to Cape St Francis has caused several near accidents among friends. 

Could a suitable rubbish dump tin or two not be placed there on that road site to prevent a) the danger to the residence including fire risk, health risks etc associated to the rubbish, b) the pollution to the neighbouring reserve and c) the foraging wild animals that stray into the road because of it?

Every friend who’d visited has commented on it and no one can understand why some dump tins couldn’t be donated at least help contain the rubbish.

I would be curious if you have run any stories on this before and as to what local party representatives have to say about it with the upcoming elections? With the successful bouts of fund raising for the DA in the area I was curious at whether any of that was being allocated to these kinds of problems as a method of active campaigning?

I thought it would make for an interesting story if it hasn’t already been done. 

Any insight appreciated,
Lauren .”

Certainly many will disagree but it would be interesting to hear comment on what plans are in place or are being planned.