Dendrolgical Society visit Bushbuck Garden

Dendrolgical Society to visit Bushbuck Garden

The Port Elizabeth section of the Dendrological Society is having their monthly outing to Bushbuck Garden on Sunday 26th November at 09h00. This is an open invitation to anyone who has an interest in trees and nature in general to join us to learn a bit more about our Eastern Cape trees.

At Bushbuck Garden, we have paths that are reasonably well maintained that go from the river into the forests, out of the forests and into the fynbos etc. The vegetation is varied from forest to fynbos. The paths penetrate the depths of the forests very nicely. A prominent species in the one valley is Nuxia floribunda and in the other Cassine peragua. These are obviously complimented by a wide variety of other species.

Trees will be identified and cross referenced in order that tree tags can be attached to the stems to provide a permanent guide to the species.

Toilet facilities are available at the house on the farm and a picnic, after the walk, can be enjoyed on the banks of the river on the lawns under a magnificent yellowwood tree. Please bring your own picnic basket and drinks. For those so inclined, a bass could be caught in the river from the comfort of a wooden deck over the water. You could try to add a new bird species to the 167 that have been identified on the farm to date.

For directions to Bushbuck Garden enter ‘Bushbuck Garden’ on Google maps.

Please join us for a magnificent day in the country and learn more about our exquisite tree heritage.

Bushbuck Garden

Dune Ridge Wine Festival

Don’t miss the first Dune Ridge Wine Festival this Saturday

This Saturday, the 25th November, will see the first Dune Ridge Wine Festival being held – a wonderful day out for friends and family that promises to be the event of the season.

Tickets for the event, being held in aid of St Francis Animal Rescue, and hosted by Dune Ridge Country House, will cost R180 entrance for adults, which includes a wine tasting, and R40 for under 18s and children, which includes popcorn and juice.

To avoid disappointment, buying tickets in advance is advisable, and this can be done at Toffee and Kouga Print in the village, as well as at Dune Ridge and directly from Kym Argo. There will also be tickets on sale at the door.

Organisers Kym Argo and Sarah Swanepoel have brought some exciting wine estates on board, including Antonij Rupert, Gabrielskloof, Blaauwklippen and Rhebokskloof. For gin lovers, Tripple Three and Fitch & Leeds Gin Bar, will offer tastings during the afternoon.

Dune Ridge will also have a selection of delicious picnic platters available, a cheese option and a gourmet option, for R80 and R100 respectively. Popcorn and juice will also be available for sale on the day.

Kym and Sarah say this event is the ideal way to kick off the festive season, and get in the holiday mood. “A glass of wine, a craft G&T, a runny brie, some live music, and relaxing with family and friends on the lawn – what’s not to love?”

Saturday’s event will be the first in series of festivals and events, Kym and Sarah have exciting plans in place for a magnificent winter event.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to a cause close to many residents’ hearts – St Francis Animal Rescue. “This will ensure that our four-legged friends have a happy Christmas and New Year too,” they add.

Susan Rae Fox, who head’s up St Francis Animal Rescue, says: “St Francis Animal Rescue has been very active in terms of fund-raising this year and we are so thankful for the generous support we’ve received from all  animal lovers who help us improve the quality of lives of dogs and cats living in the community of Sea Vista.”

She says that all funds raised from the festival, as with all donations the organisation receives, will be used to drive its ‘Open Your Eyes & Sterilise’ campaign, which aims to spay and neuter Sea Vista pets to reduce puppy and kitten populations, and prevent the cruelty and neglect that often stems from overbreeding.

“This year, thanks to the kindness of friends and followers, we’ve been able to sterilise 179 Sea Vista cats and dogs, working together with dedicated local vets – Dr Nerine Botha from Aloe Vet and Dr Annelise Barker from Humansdorp Vets.  As awareness of our programme grows, so do the numbers of animal we are able to sterilise.”

“We couldn’t do any of this without the help of St Francis residents – and we are grateful to everyone for believing in us and what we do,” concludes Susan.

Article by Kirsten Doyle

Clarifying SRA Public Meeting

Clarification on SRA Public Meeting

On Friday SFT published a notice issued by Kouga Municipality of a meeting to be held at Newton Hall. Jeffreys Bay at 7:00pm on Tuesday 28th November 2017. Some readers have interpreted this as referring to the SRA proposed by SFPO but it is not, rather the meeting is being organised by the Municipal Manager to discuss the SRA ins and outs with regard to the municipality as a whole. It is for this reason it is being held in Jeffreys Bay and not St Francis although the outcome of the meeting will no doubt have influence on how SFPO proceed with the “Saving St Francis” efforts.

St Francis Property Owners have stated they will be organising a series of public meetings to explain the way forward over the holiday season when many of the property owners will be in St Francis. These meetings will likely be based on the decisions made by the municipality.

The SRA was always going to divide the community for there are those truly concerned at how certain infrastructure is decaying whilst others, some would say, are quite happy to “fiddle whilst ‘St Francis’ burns”.

In a recent article on social media a rather gloating statement proclaims “SRA efforts by SFPO over past 2 years, including the “voting” process, were a waste of time”.  Whether successful or not surely the SRA proposal at least motivated people to start thinking about the future of St Francis. The final decision obviously will, and always has been at the door of the municipality. Again some will agree with whatever the final decision, others will not, such is the way of a democracy.

And before criticizing and ridiculing SFPO failure to get the SRA approved, the detractors should thank property owners (and non-property owners) who responded to a call to donate to the “Saving St Francis” NPC fund. Donations amounted to some R4.5million and much of what you see by way of improvement to Ann Ave and Aldabara parking / beach access has been made possible only because of these generous and concerned citizens. In addition to the mentioned improvement these donations have been well used in identifying requirements for; the river, beach & spit; our arterial roads and CCTV.

And on the subject of CCTV, the crime situation is fast becoming pandemic and something has to be done to arrest the situation. We are not going to be getting more police, local security companies are doing what they can so surely the only way forward is a CCTV network both in St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis. One thing we can be absolutely sure of, the municipality is not going to pay for it so who is? To fund a CCTV network it will require ongoing community funding to install, maintain and monitor such a network whether it be funded through an SRA or public donations.

 

Rotarians Support Young Cricketers

St Francis Rotarians Support Young Cricketers

When St Francis Bay Golf Club groundsman Petrus Vena approached his friend Peter Butland for advice on how to raise funds to buy much needed cricket equipment for his newly active cricket team, Peter turned to the St Francis Rotarians for assistance.

Some nineteen young men from Sea Vista and the informal settlement have started playing cricket formally this season. Whilst all are Sea Vista men and boys, they have obtained a slot in the Nelson Mandela Bay Club Cricket League under the Humansdorp C C banner as its second team (in the 6th League).

They have a fixture list of nineteen games with the season ending on 8th April 2018. They are presently using the nets on the newly opened St Francis Common as their practice venue with old borrowed equipment.
St Francis Rotarians were happy to donate R6000.00 to finance the new equipment which included bats, balls, batting pads, gloves, wicketkeeper gloves etc.

Said Peter Butland, “This is an excellent opportunity to encourage and develop healthy sporting activity in our community and to keep young men off the streets on weekends. These young men do not have the means to acquire this gear at their own expense, so the St Francis Rotarians’ kind assistance is greatly appreciated.”

SRA By-Law Proposal

Special Rates Area Participation meeting

At a Special Council meeting held on 13 November 2017, the proposed new draft Property By-law and proposed new Property Rates Policy were considered by Council.

The purpose of the proposed new Property Rates Policy is primarily to facilitate and to provide mechanisms for the introduction of Special Rating Areas and the proposed By-Law to give effect thereto.

It was resolved that public would be invited to comment / object to the Proposed By-law and Policy and that for this purpose the Municipality will engage in a Public Participation Process.

A Public Participation Meeting will be held on 28 November at 19h00 at the Newton Hall.

The proposed By-law and Property Rates Policy can be accessed on the municipal website on www.kouga.gov.za. Hard copies can also be obtained at the following Libraries:

Jeffreys Bay – Dias Street
Humansdorp, 22 Du Plessis Street
St Francis Bay – 21 Assissi Drive

Comments on the proposed Special Ratings By-law and Property Rates Policy must be submitted by 18 December 2017 to the Municipal Manager the Kouga Municipal Offices, 33 Da Gama Street, Jeffreys Bay or via email to jreed@kouga.gov.za

More information on the proposed By-Law and Policy can be obtained from the CFO, Selwyn Thys on 042 – 2002105.

C. DU PLESSIS
Muncipal Manager