St Francis tip closure postponed

St Francis Refuse Site

The closure of the St Francis Bay refuse site has been postponed to the end of July 2016 following discussions between the municipality, ward councillor and community representatives this week.

Kouga Municipal Manager Sidney Fadi said the meeting had been held to address concerns regarding the closure, initially advertised for the end of May.

“One of the main concerns that was raised, was that the new drop-off facility would be too close to the residential area of Sea Vista.

“While the site had specifically been chosen because it is within easy walking distance from Sea Vista, we have taken residents’ concerns to heart and will be identifying a new site. Some suggestions were made and we are looking at the various possibilities,” he said.

He said community representatives had further requested that the municipality reconsiders the ban on garden refuse being disposed of at the site.

“It was agreed that allowance will be made for garden refuse in refuse bags while building rubble will have to be disposed of at Humansdorp,” he said. “A comprehensive list of what can and cannot be dumped at the site will be compiled and distributed with the assistance of the residents’ associations.”

He said the additional time would also give businesses such as garden services and builders the opportunity to prepare for the impact the closure of the St Francis refuse site might have on their businesses.

“It was a very constructive meeting and we are confident that, by working together, we will be able to minimise the inconvenience to residents and businesses affected by the closure.”

Press release – Laura-Leigh, Kouga Municipality, Media Liaison Officer

Thyspunt Site viability

Thyspunt nuclear site viability

This is the final extract from the Nuclear 1 Final Environmental Report. The full report can be read on http://stfrancistoday.com/community/thyspunt/

As far back as 1997, Eskom paid for  the “Kouga Coast Sub-Regional Structure Plan”, one of whose imperatives was to “protect the viability of the Thyspunt nuclear site.”  Eskom’s concern was that the rapid development of St Francis Bay was a threat to the site in terms of internationally recognized Emergency Planning Zones (EPZs). These limited the population within 16 kilometres of the site for evacuation purposes in the event of accidental release of radio-nuclides from the plant. This remains the international norm.

It was at this point that the community began to take a serious interest in Eskom’s plans for Thyspunt. The “Kouga Nuclear Concern Group” (KNCG) was formed, with input from the St Francis & Jeffreys Bay communities. They argued that, quite apart from population issues, the site was not viable in any case in view of the proximity of St Francis Bay & Sea Vista to the site, directly downwind from the prevailing westerly to south westerly winds, (evidenced by the Headland By-pass Dune Fields), and the single escape route from the St Francis area along the R330, which would be cut before anyone had time to evacuate. The KNCG challenged Eskom to an open debate in the local media. Eskom took this seriously enough to send a high-level team to discuss this, but they left without any resolution, either on the viability issue or to the debate.

It was only about nine years later that Eskom began the EIA process, and announced that they would be using “Generation 111” technology.  Because of its “passive” safety. Eskom would apply to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) to change the rules, with reduced emergency planning  zones to 3 kilometres around the site.  This is a pure strategic manoeuvre to get round the viability issue, and should be regarded as propaganda, rather than a serious proposal.

Generation 111 is a product of the “EURs” ( European Utility Requirements) – an initiative by five nuclear vendors in Europe shortly after the Chernobyl disaster. Obviously improved safetywould be welcome. Whether this would justify radical reduction in EPZs remains unproven.

Twenty-five years after publication of the EURs, apart from a claimed small plant in Japan, there is not a single commercial  Gen111 plant operating in the world, and Areva, the world’s leading nuclear vendor, has gone bankrupt trying to develop Gen 111 plants in France and Finland, which are now years behind schedule, and up to three times over budget. Nor have we been able to identify any western country whose  nuclear regulator has approved reducing emergency planning zones to 3 kilometres. Since Fukushima, some are considering increasing them.  This being the case, Gen 111 has no commercial or safety record. Eskom has based its entire nuclear programme on the assumption that Gen 111, with its reduced emergency planning, would be accepted by the NNR, and has gone ahead at risk, not only with the EIA, but with buying up vast tracts of land at  inflated prices. This, of course, puts huge  pressure on the decision-maker to approve the site, so as to avoid the embarrassment of further waste of public funds.

Emergency planning is the concern of the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR). In another strategic  manoeuvre, the Departments of Energy & Environment drew up a ”Co-operative Agreement”, in terms of which DEA would handle environmental issues, and the NNR radiological ones.  Decisions on EURs, Generation 111, reduced EPZs and viability of the site would come within the competence of the NNR. This sounds plausible enough until it is discovered that the NNR can do nothing until an application is received from Eskom for site & operation licences for a nuclear plant – something  which did not happen during the EIA process. As a result, the NNR has played no part in the EIA process, and the viability issue has been left unresolved.

In the view of the Thyspunt Alliance, this should have been the very first issue to be resolved, before the EIA began.  This is contrary to the requirements of NEMA, which demands that all material information must be available to the DEA in considering whether or not to issue a favourable ROD.  Why DEA should have permitted the EIA to go ahead under such  circumstances is not clear.

The Kromme Trust regards failure to resolve the viability issue prior to the EIA, in non-compliance with NEMA requirements, and based on unproven technology, as another fatal flaw.

CONCLUSION

In view of the numerous flaws contained in the Final Environmental Impact Report, as outlined above, DEA is requested to reject the Report in terms of section 35 2 d) of the NEMA Regulations 3114 dated 13 June, 2008.

Hilton Thorpe, on behalf of the St Francis Kromme Trust, the St Francis Bay  Residents’ Association and the Thyspunt Alliance

Article by Hilton Thorpe, on behalf of the St Francis Kromme Trust, the St Francis Bay  Residents’ Association and the Thyspunt Alliance

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of St Francis Today

Interesting Articles on Nuclear

Nautical Festival planning 2017

Nautical Festival planning to commence for 2017

Nautical FestinalPlanning for the Nautical Festival 2017 is due to commence and a new organising committee needs to be selected. With that in mind, the present organising committee invite the St Francis community and stakeholders to attend a feedback and appraisal meeting.  This will be held at the Balobi Seafood Market on the 15th of June, 5pm -6:30pm. It is hoped that the community will come forward with suggestions on how the success of the last Festival can be improved upon with fresh ideas for an even more exciting event.

“This is after all an event which strives to attract visitors to discover and enjoy what our special corner of the Eastern Cape can offer –  to the benefit of all in the greater St Francis community,” said Festival spokesperson Janet Harrison.

“Building a reputation for any annual event takes time. However the Nautical Festival is definitely growing bigger and better each year, with increasing numbers of visitors and more enthusiastic community support.

“With each event we have learned from our experiences and this year we went to extra lengths to make sure the infrastructure for the festival would be more secure and weather proof for both the service providers and the public.

“For the 2017 event  we are securing the date on the Kouga Events calendar a year in advance. We hope to form the new committee by the end July this year with at least one representative from each sector of our community i.e. Canals, Village, Port and Cape St Francis, the Business community and Residents Association.

“Most importantly we will be working hard on securing a blanket sponsorship to cover the main costs which would enable us to put a crowd pleasing programme together,” Harrison concluded.

For more information or to confirm your attendance please call Marissa on 042-294-0162 or e-mail info@balobi.co.za

Article – Lynette Aitken

Patensie Citrus Festival

Seventh Annual Patensie Citrus Festival

Patensie Cirtus FestivalDon’t miss the seventh annual Citrus Festival, to be held this year on Saturday 11 June in Patensie.  The festival is hosted and organised by Gamtoos Tourism.

The day will be filled with entertainment, food and lots to do.

Be sure not to miss well known Patensie farmer, Danie Malan’s, entertaining and famous Citrus Orchard Tours!

Fresh Gamtoos orange juice and Strawberry smoothies, good entertainment and home made treats will available.   Art & Craft Stalls will sell mostly original handmade products.  The beer area is under cover, and on the menu for the always hungry is Breakfast sandwiches, Calamari, spiral potatoes, hamburgers, spiral potato, swarma’s, cupcakes and pancakes, to name but a few, as well as beef and kudu curries to take home.

Don’t forget to come and buy your fresh fruit and vegetables at the market hosted by Loerie Dutch Reform Church.

The Agri-expo includes tractors, cars & bakkies, and the kids can spend the day in the play area, enjoy paintball target shooting, face painting, balloon twisting, color in activities, treasure hunt and of course….”trapkarre”

But don’t forget about the Tjiff and Tjaff Show while moms can enjoy a cup of tea in the NG Kerk Gamtoosvallei tea garden.

Die Broers, Cobus & Christo and Nic Stevens are some of the artists of the day, but keep your eyes open for some more surprises like…Odette Myburgh, Rudolph Campher, Elsabet vd Bijl, Angel and Rian Strydom

The Citrus Festival is a day filled with entertainment for the whole family.  Entry fee is R40 for adults and R10 per child.

For more information, contact Nichola Uys via sitrusfees@patensie.co.za or visit www.citrusfestival.co.za / www.baviaans.net

Article – Esti Stewart

Dining with a touch of France

Young St Francis Brewing Company chef, Daniel Hoffman, pulled out all the stops for his best offering yet at what has become a monthly “must do” occasion at St Francis Brewing Company’s food & beer pairing held last night. One nice change to the evening’s format was offering non-beer drinkers a choice of either pairing beer or wine with their food which no doubt pleased many of the ladies attending a farewell party to friend Diane Harcus.

This has really become a popular event and last night saw, but for a couple of late cancellations, a full house of almost 40 diners enjoy a wonderful menu with a French influence created by Daniel. This man’s inventiveness with food seems to have no bounds and from the very unusual potato bake starter that had just that perfect saltiness to arouse the taste buds to the last finger licking of the combination of tastes in his dessert offering, one’s taste buds bounced with delight with every dish. Having attended all of these pairings since Daniel arrival it was undoubtedly his best.

Those readers who enjoy a great dining experience should keep a watch out for the next pairing for it truly is worth the R180 they charge for a 5-course meal that includes the beer and wine tastings. Certainly the servings are, in true fine dining style, small, but after the 5-courses few leave not feeling content. To choose a best dish would be impossible as they were all so different and all complimented the previous dish. The Oxtail consommé with beef strips was probably my favourite but then came a superbly marinated yellowtail. The final dish  before the finger licking dessert, and I say finger licking for I was literally using my index finger to wipe off the last morsel of the dessert, and I wasn’t alone, was a tasty saddle of lamb perfectly marinated for something like 20 hours and then slowly, very slowly cooked to perfection.

Great evening and kudos to St Francis Brewing Company for a super evening.

A last word. It was great seeing a delegation from the Kouga Wind Farm saying farewell to local community Liaison and Administration Officer Babalwa Kani. St Francis Today wishes you well in your future and will miss your lovely smile.

Food & Beer pairing at St Francis Brewing Co

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