No Fireworks

Discharge of flares, fireworks and chinese lanterns prohibited in Kouga

Kouga Municipality would like to remind residents and holiday-makers that the shooting off of flares is only permitted from vessels at sea in the event of an emergency.

The reminder follows on a Christmas day fire in the vicinity of the Gamtoos River Mouth, believed to have been started by a flare.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the Thornhill SAPS was investigating the cause of the fire, which threatened houses at Gamtoos Extension 2 before fire-fighters were able to divert the blaze towards the dunes and bushes.

She appealed to all residents and visitors to refrain from discharging flares, fireworks or Chinese lanterns anywhere in the Kouga region.

“Our area is very dry because of the ongoing drought. This means that there is a high risk of fires starting.

“We appeal to everyone to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in this regard. By working together we can prevent people from getting hurt or properties from being damaged,” she said.

The fire at the Gamtoos was reported at 4:45pm on Christmas day.

Kouga fire-fighters, assisted by farmers and teams from the Crossways development, battled throughout the night to contain the blaze, which was eventually extinguished at 10am the next morning (26 December).

The Mayor said only one Wendy house was damaged but that several hectares of veld were also destroyed, the full extent of which is still to be determined.

Kouga Municipality’s Fire and Emergency Services control room can be contacted on 042 291 0250 or 042 200 8330.      

A Disgusting and Disgraceful night

A Disgusting and Disgraceful night at The Ruins

We published this morning’s news totally oblivious to what had transpired at The Ruins last night and it was only when going into town and hearing what had happened that we became aware of why reader Hedley Pougnet was so unhappy. Being based in Cape St Francis we were spared the trauma and certainly for some, that is exactly what it was, a traumatic experience. We certainly do not blame Hedley for considering us glib and flippant but in our defence our comments were based on years gone by where Billy’s Beach certainly has been largely respectful and an asset to the village over the Christmas period.

Some interesting points on the music which the organisers claim was below 80db but was in fact measured at over 110db which is what rock concert music normally produces. Here are definitions of sound

80db – Garbage disposal, dishwasher, average factory, freight train (at 15 meters). Car wash at 20 ft (89 dB); propeller plane flyover at 1000 ft (88 dB); diesel truck 40 mph at 50 ft (84 dB); diesel train at 45 mph at 100 ft (83 dB). Food blender (88 dB); milling machine (85 dB); garbage disposal (80 dB).  2 times as loud as 70 dB. Possible damage in 8 hour exposure

110db – Steel mill, auto horn at 1 meter. Turbo-fan aircraft at takeoff power at 200 ft (118 dB). Riveting machine (110 dB); live rock music (108 – 114 dB).Average human pain threshold. 16 times as loud as 70 dB.

So the organiser’s claims that they were inside the permitted noise level is a blatant lie for they certainly knew better. Before the event they were approached to turn their sound equipment around so as not to face directly onto the canals but the ignored this request. Certainly it would have dampened the sound somewhat but at the end of it all they would still have been operating outside the agreed upon limits.

But the noise aside! Was the continuous swearing necessary? One resident we spoke with commented that it sounded as there was a fight going on with the combatants every second word being the F-word . How pleasant it must have been for parents and grandparents with 5 to12 year old children to explain what the word meant for it could not be avoided as it seemingly filled almost very lounge, dining room kitchen and bedroom of almost every house on the canals. This type of language is uncalled for and quite honestly it questions the intelligence of those who organised the event to even consider employing such a low life band if it can indeed be called a band. Please don’t let them come back to St Francis!.

Billy’s Beach has been around for some time and we hope there are no more arguments with DEDEAT for they care and are committed to the St Francis community. Each year they donate significantly to charities that in the past have included Animal Rescue and Hospice.

It would seem the decision to allow The Ruins was made by a municipal delegation and not by St Francis Property Owners who also had no input on the staging layout. We had the following comment from SFPO “Historically the SFPO have been part of the Kouga Municipality’s Event Committee, but this year we were not invited to participate in the process. We did however point out that the positioning of the stage and loud speakers would cause major problems as they are facing directly toward the canal area instead of facing the R330”.

Their statement continued “We have discussed this with our Councillor and written to him and he is taking this matter up urgently with the Mayor and Municipal Manager. The regulations clearly state that they have the power to close an event down if they transgress in any way from the laid down procedures that need to be followed.

That the organisers of The Ruins were utterly disrespectful of the community and one would hope they have learnt a lesson which we hear they have for those who add value to St Francis will always be welcome. Those who don’t, find somewhere else to spread your filth.