The St Francis exodus has begun

Successful Summer Season for St Francis

The St Francis exodus has begun

Well the end of the Summer holidays is nigh and the exodus from St Francis has started and by this time next week the shops, restaurants and coffee shops will no doubt be celebrating what has been an extraordinarily busy season.

There is little doubt the Eastern Cape and St Francis in particular, is the place to enjoy the summer break. Looking northward, they don’t have our beautiful beaches, our magnificent weather ( KZN experienced a rather cloudy and at times wet December) and few, if any, have the wonderful water related assets of St Francis, undoubtedly the water sports capital on the South African coastline.

Although we will miss our valued visitors who do so much to help our local economy, it will also be nice to again enjoy the quieter roads, shorter queues at our Superspar and quieter, less congested waterways of the canals and Kromme.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen commenting in a regional newspaper said our tiny town surpassed Jeffreys Bay this summer with most accommodation being full and for longer periods than in the past.

“Preliminary reports from businesses suggest that holiday makers at St Francis Bay were more willing to spend money on shopping, dining out and leisure activities like canal cruises than those at Jeffreys Bay, where holiday-makers tended to opt for free activities,” said van Lingen.

Certainly the weather seems to always play its part over the holidays and this year was no exception. Although we did experience one or two days of nigh on gale force winds, most days were almost windless or offered just a gentle breeze to keep us a little more comfortable in temperatures that registered in the upper 20’s throughout. And unlike some previous years power failures were limited to just the single instance that effected only Cape St Francis. Unfortunately Eskom decided to misbehave on Christmas Eve which must have created more than a little angst to those preparing Christmas Eve feasts.

Looking forward we do unfortunately have to address the shortage of water and the new punitive measures that will be in place. Everyone has to make the effort to conserve water and whilst some may have the financial resources to pay the extra costs for exceeding usage parameters that are in place, please consider the seriousness of the situation and work together in saving water. It is said the next World War will be fought over water, or rather lack of it.

To those leaving us

Come back again soon, we love having you!

Please drive carefully on your journey home.

Readers have their say on SRA

Readers make comment on SRA

The purpose of some articles published on St Francis Today is sometimes to encourage dialogue and hopefully illicit comment from readers and nothing gives us greater joy than when readers comment, whether agreeing or disagreeing!

Of course the proposed SRA is not going to get the approval of every property owner and thus the need for the voting process. We live in a democracy and at the end of the day the number of YES votes against the number of NO votes will decide on whether the SRA goes ahead or not. Every property owner has the right, and must exercise this right for a fair result. So if yesterday’s article has prompted you to get your voting form in, whether for or against, St Francis Today has achieved what we intended.

Not everybody will be able to afford the levy and it will stretch their budgets to breaking point (including Collo’s, Kevin). It is for this reason that St Francis Property Owners chairman Wayne Furphy, during the Q&A session at the AGM, made it quite clear that exemptions or adjustments to rate for those that applied for relief would most definitely be considered for it is not the intention of the proposed SRA to force those on  limited or fixed incomes to be forced into ‘poor street’.

More in question is whether we can afford to let St Francis to decay any further. The  Kouga municipality has made it quite clear that they do not have the resources and will be able to offer a a little more in terms of essential  services than the previous council  but even this will not amount to enough to address the failing infrastructure  and certainly have no funds for further capital expenditure.

So if the proposed SRA is not the answer what is? To date the SRA is the only suggestion on the table but maybe someone has a better idea.

Comments

“Dankie vir die artikel en skakels om die publiek so stadig maar seker meer in te lig oor “Special Rates Areas (SRA)”. Hoe langer dit neem om SRAs te aktiveer, hoe langer gaan ons ‘n vervalle infrastruktuur en verwaarloosde omgewing hê. Vir die komitee van ‘n gemeenskap wat die stigtingswerk onderneem, is dit ‘n reuse taak”.

Antoine


“The proposed SRA levy – 50% of present property rates is not only an insult, but a joke to the ordinary home owner.

It sounds great, new roads, stormwater, sewers etc. – a complete new infrastructure! How many billion ?

Unlike the writer “Collo”, some homeowners pay their monthly rates and services timeously by forfeiting luxuries like new cars and medical aid schemes.

Just wondering how many of the retired home owners in the town will be exempt from this proposed scheme but allowed to vote.

How ironic we are being coerced to pay more monies to a municipality which has for years squandered our rates and led to the present disintegrated infrastructure.

Voting – No – limited finances for ever increasing living expenses”.

Kevin


“Well done to Wayne Furphy and his committee. St Francis has gone thru many years of indecisiveness and squabbling as to what action should be taken regarding upgrading the infrastructure, replenishing the beach, safeguarding the spit etc, and we have long been in need of someone/persons to take the initiative and come up with a constructive and workable solution to preserve this special village we live in.Thank you for your time, effort and commitment”.

Charles


“What will be the priority areas that will be taken care of first? Does the spit swallow the bulk of the funds to the detriment of the rest of St Francis Bay, Santereme, St Francis on Sea”?

Liz


“Geen misverstand dit sal bil rande kos om dit tydelik reg te maak al gooi jy sement dolle soos in PE langs die Hi Way kan dit net tydelik wees
Maar weereens wil die in wooners op die cannels nie daarvan weet nie want dit lyk nie mooi nie
Ek dink ek praat namens almal wat hier in Santareme st francis on sea die port en otters landing ons sien geen nut waarvoor ons moet betaal nie
Die mense wat op die channels bly “deel with it”
Keep us out of your problem try the Goverment the sea belongs to them”. –

Nick