Kouga gets amphibious wheelchair

amphibious wheelchairs to improve accessibility at selected Blue Flag beaches

Rob Slater, Blue Flag Programme Coordinator, with Duduzile Nxele (Ford Motor Company) and Lynda du Plessis (Ford Wildlife Foundation) with one of the Amphibious Wheelchairs donated to WESSA.

New amphibious wheelchairs to improve accessibility at selected Blue Flag beaches presented to Kouga Municipality

In an effort to create awareness and to make our beaches universally accessible to persons with disabilities, WESSA has donated amphibious wheelchairs to four coastal municipalities in South Africa, with the support of generous funding made available by The Ford Motor Company Fund.

The amphibious wheelchairs were supplied by Blue Flag partner AccessRec and have a unique design that allows them to move easily on the sand, as well as to enter and float in the sea.

This initiative has been launched by WESSA – the implementer of the international Blue Flag programme in South Africa – in partnership with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities. The aim is to create awareness and to achieve universal access to Blue Flag beaches, through improved infrastructure and amenities.

The City of Cape Town, Overstrand, Bitou and Kouga municipalities were identified as recipients for the chairs, based on their existing disabled access to beaches and on their commitment to making their Blue Flag beaches usable for all people. The sponsored chairs were presented to the selected municipalities at an event held on Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town on Monday, and will be freely available for disabled beachgoers to use at Blue Flag beaches to be determined by the recipient municipalities.

amphibious wheelchairs to improve accessibility at selected Blue Flag beaches

Jakkie Pieters from The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA) accepts their Amphibious Wheelchair on behalf of the Kouga Municipality from Rob Slater (Blue Flag Programme Coordinator), Duduzile Nxele (Ford Motor Company) and Lynda du Plessis (Ford Wildlife Foundation).

“This is yet another example of how mobility can improve the quality of life for people in many different ways,” said Mike Schmidt, director, Education and Global Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We’re happy to support this unique project that will allow more people to fully experience the joys of the beach – from traveling along the sandy shores to going into the water.”

Speaking at the event, WESSA National Coastal Coordinator Robert Slater said: “We are grateful to have the ongoing support of the Ford Wildlife Foundation for WESSA’s national coastal conservation and education programmes. Everyone has a right to enjoy South Africa’s beautiful coastline and through this new initiative with the Foundation, financially supported by The Ford Motor Company Fund, we are improving the accessibility to beaches for persons with disabilities.”

WESSA is working to improve access to all Blue Flag beaches and it is hoped that future partnerships will allow them to procure additional amphibious wheelchairs for more beaches in South Africa flying the prestigious Blue Flag.

Differently abled Capetonian Andrew Merryweather volunteered to demonstrate one of the new Blue Flag Beach Amphibious Wheelchairs at Muizenberg beach.

 

A little negative about SRA – take heart!

There are no doubt some are not totally enamoured with the SRA 2018 proposal seemingly having achieved the 50+1 votes required. We live in a democracy and so the outcome must be seen as the will of the majority within the demarcated area of St Francis Bay.

There are those who voted NO as their limited fixed income will be sorely stretched and their rejection of the proposal is understandable. But there are also those who voted NO simply because they do not believe the SFPO efforts will work and that the beach is a lost cause. Possibly that is true but should we all just sit and watch as the ocean slowly consumes more and more of St Francis Bay.

There comes a time when man has to intervene in what man has caused. We experienced it during the Zuma reign. The majority at the time voted Zuma into power and the country sat and watched whilst he eroded the economy and the country. Finally in late 2016 and throughout 2017 into 2018 man started to intervene and the efforts of the many concerned organisations finally paid off and stopped that erosion. Had all those organisations so intent on saving South Africa done nothing, would we be rid of Zuma?

Man has caused the eroding beach, silting river and so man, with the guidance of DEDEAT and those with experience in similar conditions, maybe, just maybe, man can turn back the tide.

Certainly SFPO have a huge responsibility to all in St Francis Bay to get on with what they have set out as achievable under the proposed SRA 2018. It is essential that they now take SFB into their confidence and keep all concerned with progress once the SRA is finally rolled out should it be approved by the Kouga Municipality.  And just as important is that all of SFB get behind them and support their efforts.

For those who feel SFPO’s efforts to save the beach will be in vain, maybe the linked story and video below will give you just a little hope and accept that doing nothing will achieve nothing but planting that “first tree” may be what is needed to reclaim the beach and save a flagging St Francis Bay. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take 39 years but even if it does we will have left our grandchildren and their children a little piece of paradise.

The following is a true story and a tale of consistency – READ MORE

Blog: Thatch rooves create their own challenges

Living under thatch has its own challenges with fear of fire the biggest threat followed by the cost of regular maintenance and then a complete re-roof sometime in the future. Certainly these are major challenges but there is also a far smaller but equally concerning threat, that of thatch dust.

Many will not even notice the dust but for those with sensitive sinus will suffer noticeably particularly after very windy days or nights which St Francis has its fair share of. Swollen eyes and a stuffy nose are simply part of life under thatch as is having to sweep floors daily, twice or thrice a day during gale force winds.

But there is another threat and one we tend not to anticipate and that is the damage to electronic equipment particularly desktop computers and a lesser extent, laptops. Phones and tablets are spared in that they are sealed units but the PC is certainly not spared.

The processor within the PC’s generates heat, intense heat in some of the high end machines that some even require water cooling systems, so much heat they generate. To cool the processor the PC case is fitted with two or three cooling fans that draw in air to cool the machine.  And herein lies the threat for a period of months this thatch dust will build up on the inner components and one day, as happened with us on Friday when we were unable to publish St Francis Today, your computer will simply not work.

Fortunately in our case no damage was done and a good clean was all it needed but we should have anticipated it and taken it in for a service a lot sooner. Thankfully Jethro Cadman of Compuink set to the task almost immediately and we had a nice clean operating machine, almost a good as news, in less than a day.

Laptops are not as likely to suffer as badly from the dust but a good habit is to close the lid when not using the machine to stop dust settling in the keyboard. Another suggestion for your PC, also a necessity in St Francis is some form of moisture absorber. We use the interior dehumidifier moisture absorber available from SPAR, one placed inside the case and the other at the rear near the intake fans. Other absorbers such as those found in medicine containers can also be used but whatever type you use, change them regularly as they absorb an amazing amount of water in a relatively short period of time. Also a good idea to have one on your desk if you use a laptop, we had to throw out a perfectly good laptop with a corroded motherboard recently.

Jethro can be called on 081 569 6445  to make an appointmet to service your PC (desktop).

Wattle and Duab roofing St Francis

Computer Problems!

Jethro Cadman offers all manner of computer upgrades, servicing, virus removal and repairs as well as offering an ink cartridge sales facility. Call Jethro on 081 569 6445 or mail him on info@compuink.co.za.

St Francis Bay Waterproofing

Bus back on the road

Kids transport finally sorted out

The efforts by Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen to solve the Sea Vista / Humansdorp Secondary School bus saga has finally paid off. The service transporting the children from Sea Vista to school in Humansdorp was withdrawn owing the contractor not being properly registered. It appears the situation arose owing to the bureaucracy and bottlenecks in processing necessary paperwork by the Provincial Government Departments of Education and Transport.

It was a harrowing period for parents and children as children battled to get to and from school and all the more stressful for those children writing exams. Responsibility to take action should have been with the Sea Vista ANC councillor but it was eventually the Mayor who took the reins and has finally been able to have the transport reinstated.

One can only wonder what would have transpired had the Mayor not become personally involved in motivating the responsible Provincial Government departments to fast track the necessary paperwork to renew the contracted bus contract so that they could resume service.

Now that all is back in order it would seem the ANC are intent on disrupting that which has finally resolved. They are apparently planning a meeting with the Sea Vista community this evening to appoint an alternative transport contractor. It seems ill advised for without relevant Provincial Department authorisation such a contract would be not only be illegal but would put passengers at risk in terms of liability in event of an accident.

All a little too late by the ANC who would no doubt love to have stolen the accolades.

News from Cape St Francis Civics

Cape St Francis Civics chairman with all that is happening in Cape St Francis

First and foremost, we are in a water crisis, and surrounding areas like Hankey and Patensie are facing an imminent Day Zero situation. We are on 50 litres per day rations and we need to be constantly aware of not wasting water in everything we do.

For those of you that are considering bore holes or well points, please make sure that you speak to experts, and do all your homework. There are many existing laws in place with regards borehole water, and there are also certain locations that are not ideal for water extraction due to the possibility of contamination as a result of proximity to the ocean. Please be aware.

The season was a busy one, and we hope that everyone had a good and fruitful summer. We had plenty of enthusiastic visitors, and with less beach at St Francis Bay we felt more of an influx at Cape St Francis.

  • We employed Beauty and Bennie to help with beach cleaning and safety during season, and they were in the thick of it throughout. They both did a sterling job, and we will be employing them going forward on a contractual basis.
  • We are pleased to announce that the Woodridge lifeguards are back in attendance and will be on duty at Cape St Francis beach on Sundays until the end of April.

Woodridge lifesavers man Cape St Francis Beach

  • We had a very successful meeting with FOSTER to discuss projects that we can do together going forward, and we have been working on clean verges with pesticides and removal to keep verges clean and tidy. More of this will be discussed in further communications.
  • We had a successful meeting with the Boardriders Club to discuss similar synergistic opportunities including the surfers’ car park toilet issue, and there is a plan going forward to resolve all issues. Thanks again to Stuart Minehan for the constant upkeep of the shower base and walkway down to the beach.

Airpark

This year, through a mutual agreement, we have included the Airpark Property Owners into our Cape St Francis Civics/Ratepayers Association. Our membership has grown from 156 members to 273 members. There are still a number of property owners who have not paid up, as well as many property owners who have not joined up for the association as of yet. We are still on a membership drive, and would like all help in getting as many people as possible to join up.

The subs link here – http://www.capestfranciscivicassociation.org.za/membership–lidmaatskap.html

CCTV installation.

We have so far received R63800 in donations for the CCTV security camera setup. So far it seems to be working great and we haven’t had too much in the way of crime since we had phase 1 installed. We are busy proceeding with phase 2 and phase 3. Thanks very much to all who have made donations. Those who haven’t yet made a donation are encouraged to make a donation of any size, as every bit counts.

Phase 1 cost us R40179, and phase 2 and 3 are both going to cost R25604 each, totaling R91387. Donations can be made here:

Banking details: STANDARD BANK, Albert Saunders Attorneys Trust Fund, Account no: 281 401 551, Branch Code: 050015 (Humansdorp), Use Reference:  Your name/C123

Nick Schoeman from the Police Forum reported back to us at end of January.

“At our meeting with w/o Van Heerden last Thursday it was reported that we had a quiet period over December as far as crime is concerned. Everyone reports favourably on the cameras you installed and that, as well as recent arrests of suspects by the police, resulted in a decline in criminal activity since the wave of break-ins we had late last year. Everybody must stay alert at all times and the small security whatsapp groups are strongly recommended.”

If you have any comments that you would to be directed to the Ward Committee Meeting, please send them before the 20th of February – the meeting is on the 21st of February.

A big thank you to the Cape St Francis Resort for housing the municipal lifeguards over the season until the end of February.

The LINK App

The LINK app has proven to be a great success over the holiday season, with any and all complaints being lodged with the app.

This free LINK app is available for Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded at download.linkapp.co.za/#dl, from the Google Play or App Store. Upon registration the app will request permission to access your location – this is important, be sure to accept.
To Link to your Ward, (Ward 12) click on “+ and Add Channels”. Select the blue Municipal Ward icon, allow the app to geo-locate you and Link to your Ward as displayed. It’s totally intuitive and many people are utilizing it to great affect.

Beach Parking.

We will be looking at increasing current beach parking to its maximum to accommodate season visitors. More to follow.

We will be publishing a questionnaire with FOSTER in the next newsletter. Any and all input is welcome, if you would like to reach out to the community for feedback.

Plot clearing.

Municipality has sent out letters to owners for plot clearing. Please report over grown plots on the LINK app for follow up.

Municipal Erven adjacent to the tennis courts. There is a FOSTER / Civics collaboration to get public works project, Working for Water, to eradicate aliens free of charge.

Please feel free to reach out to any of the committee members at any time if you have input, ideas or queries.

Best Regards

Dane Shaw
Chairperson: Cape St Francis Civics/Ratepayers Association

Article & photographs submitted by Craig Jarvis