FOSTER to clear invasive Bitou in the Seal Point Nature Reserve around the lighthouse to reestablish the natural habitat.

FOSTER to clear invasive Bitou in the Seal Point Nature Reserve around the lighthouse to reestablish the natural habitat.

FOSTER plans to embark on a project in the Seal Point Nature Reserve around the lighthouse to remove the invasive plant – bitou, that has taken over large areas that were previously covered by fynbos and indigenous plants including grasses. The attached photographs clearly illustrate how this area looked in 1976 and 1978 prior to the take over of bitou and then in 2003 and finally in 2020, which is what it still looks like today.

Bitou is an indigenous plant, however it is very much a weed and tends to proliferate in areas disturbed usually by man. It is very fast growing and quickly develops a thick canopy which then destroys the naturally occurring vegetation as this is starved of sunlight and nutrients. Fortunately, many of the seeds and bulbs lie dormant in the soil and as has been seen in other areas where FOSTER has cleared bitou return to life and begin to flourish in the newly restored environment.

Ensuring that the bitou is removed properly in larger areas requires mechanical intervention such as tractors with brush cullers and the use of a front loader. Due to the high visibility and usage by the community of the area around the lighthouse the uprooted bitou will be removed and disposed of correctly at the Humansdorp dump site.

Once the project is complete it will take some months for the original plant life to return, though FOSTER will assist this by planting the correct indigenous bulbs etc. where practical.

Earlier this year FOSTER cleared a large area of bitou off the Hope Crescent and the positive spin off can already be seen with the spring having started to flow again and o whole host of new plants emerging.

We look forward to restoring this area and recreating the natural environment that existed here before the invasive bitou took over.

(For those interested in the scientific description of what is happening, here it is. The invasion of shrub (Osteospermum monoliferum mid- and foreground) into a species-rich community dominated by fynbos shrubs (Helichrysum teretifolium, Achyranthemum sordescens) and forbs (Indigofera tomentosa, Cotula discolor). The indigofera and everlasting (A. sordescens) are classified as endangered. Original photograph taken by R.M. Cowling in Sep 2003; repeat by Hoffman and Cowling in Feb 2020. Seal Point Nature Reserve, Cape St Francis).

It is planned to commence with this project within the next two weeks.

see also: The FOSTER Jol Incoming – The best party of the year is happening on Saturday

Kouga Integrated Development Plan receives nod of approval

Kouga Integrated Development Plan receives nod of approval

KOUGAKouga Municipality’s reviewed Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2024/2025 financial year was approved by Council during an Ordinary Council meeting on Friday, 31 May 2024.

Developed through consultations with communities and various levels of government, the IDP is a five-year plan (2002-2027) that addresses the needs of all 15 municipal wards.

“Our IDP is externally focused, driven by community needs, and geared towards meeting the aspirations of our residents as gleaned from extensive stakeholder consultations,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Hattingh Bornman.

Key objectives

The municipality has set four key objectives to achieve within the next 15 months. These include fixing roads, upgrading wastewater treatment works, improving customer care, and reducing reliance on Eskom.

A tender for a long-term loan of R200 million to rehabilitate 150kmof roads in the region closed on 3 May 2024. The evaluation stage is now underway, with officials assessing proposals to select the best service provider for this critical project.

“This endeavour holds immense importance for the Kouga region, as it promises to address longstanding road infrastructure challenges, enhance connectivity, and bolster economic growth.”

Furthermore, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for constructing a 20MW solar plant outside Humansdorp has been completed and approved. A comprehensive financial feasibility study is currently being conducted to determine the cost and financing modules.

Green Energy Project

“This green energy project will reduce our reliance on Eskom, cut energy supply costs, create jobs, energise local businesses, and significantly boost economic development, particularly in the Humansdorp area,” said Bornman.

The municipality will invest over R42 million to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant in KwaNomzamo, Humansdorp. The 18-month project aims to enhance the plant’s treatment capacity and remove obstacles hindering a 400-unit housing project in the area.

“This upgrade is crucial for improving our wastewater infrastructure and supporting housing development,” said Bornman.

The municipality is also excited to launch its first-ever Customer Service Charter, potentially the first of its kind in the province.

“This document is a commitment to our residents, detailing the services we offer, the standards we aim to uphold, and our promised turnaround times,” said Bornman.

Providing Dignity

To provide dignity to the poorest in the community, informal settlements across the Kouga region will be upgraded at a combined cost of more than R68 million. This project will provide over 3 000 households in nine informal communities with essential services such as water, electricity, sanitation, and waste management, helping to eliminate reliance on the bucket system.

“I trust that this IDP will strengthen the municipality’s partnership with communities in the private sector, and other government levels, enabling us to achieve our goals,” said Bornman.

“Together we can unlock our potential to become the best municipality in South Africa.”

See also: Amnesty Period For building Plan Fines

Amnesty Period For building Plan Fines

Amnesty Period For building Plan Fines

KOUGA – The Kouga Council has declared a six-month amnesty period for the payment of fines and penalties related to incomplete or incorrected building plans under the National Building Regulations Act, Act 103 of 1977.

This amnesty also applies to situations where inspection for occupation certificates was not requested.

Amnesty Period

The amnesty period will run from 1 July 2024 to 31 December 2024, and will apply only to building work that existed or started before this period.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Hattingh Bornman, said the move was prompted by numerous requests from property owners and industry roleplayers to be exempted from fines and penalties for non-compliance with national building regulations. imposed on them for failing to comply with the national building regulations.

“During this period, individuals will have the opportunity to come forward, address any non-compliance issues, and regularise their building status without fear of heavy fines or punitive measures,” said Bornman.

“The non-compliance is not always the fault of the current property owner, hence Council’s resolution to declare an amnesty period. In some instances, previous owners built, extended or altered their properties without building plans having been submitted or approved.”

Various Factors

He noted that various factors contribute to non-compliance, including architects or draftsmen not always returning building plans to the municipality for final approval.

“There are also properties in use without occupation certificates as the final building inspections were never concluded,” he added.

“These fines and penalties will be waived during the amnesty period. However, the normal application approval fees will still apply and be payable.”

Building plans for unauthorised structures submitted through this process will be subject to inspections by the municipality’s building control section. Any structures that do not meet the required standards will not be approved until the necessary corrections are made.

Each Case Dealt With On Merit

“Each case will be dealt with on merit and the municipality remains the final decision-maker,” said Bornman.

“We believe that this amnesty period will not only benefit individuals seeking to rectify past errors, but also contribute to a safer and more compliant built environment.”

All submissions for exemptions must be put in writing and emailed to the Department: Planning and Development at adminbuildingcontrol@kouga.gov.za, plansexaminers@kogua.gov.za, and inspections@kouga.go.za.

Alternatively, it can be hand-delivered to the department at the municipality’s office in Woltemade Street, Jeffreys Bay.

See also: Ocean View Housing project set to recommence – Kouga Municipality

Ultimate Cheese Toasties, Wine Of The Week, Supersaver Week – What’s On At The Spar

Ultimate Cheese Toasties, Wine Of The Week, Supersaver Week – What’s On At The Spar

Wine Of The Week: Baleia Pinot Noir 2022

 

A Pinot Noir with a bouquet of ripe strawberry, cedar leaf and cyprus with a palate of sour cherry and floral Turkish delight.

Matured for 10 months in French oak.

Elegant white meat dishes and warm salads pair well with this wine. Serve slightly chilled.

 

 

 

SUPERSAVER WEEK AT SPAR

5-9 June 2024

 

SUPERSAVER WEEK AT TOPS

5-9 June 2024

 

How To Make The Ultimate Cheese Toastie

From Spar Savour Magazine 

Makes 1

Ingredients

2 slices of bread of choice (ideally sourdough)
2 Tbsp SPAR butter, soft enough to spread over bread
¼ cup freshly grated SPAR cheddar cheese
¼ cup freshly grated SPAR mozzarella cheese
A sprinkle of sea salt flakes
Optional extras: mayonnaise, ham, pesto, chilli sauce, sweet chilli sauce, cream cheese, sun-dried tomato.

Ultimate Cheese Toasties

 

Method

Spread both slices of bread generously with butter.
Put the bread on top of one another, butter sides facing inwards.
Top the sandwich with the cheese.
Heat a pan (preferably cast iron) over a medium heat.
Carefully lift the first (cheese-topped) slice of bread off the other buttered slice and place it butter side down in the pan, then cover with the remaining slice of buttered bread (butter facing outwards).
Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until a golden crust has formed.
Flip and cook on the other side.
Apply pressure by pressing down on the sandwich so it toasts equally.
Serve with a sprinkling of salt.