Thanks to our readers

Thanks to our readers and advertisers

Message from the editor, St Francis Today coffee maker, bottle washer and whatever alse need doing!

Thanks to all those loyal readers for all the support and good wishes by way of e-mail messages, comments ad Facebook whilst whilst I was indesposed having triple by-pass (no I was not having a new fuel injection system fitted to my car). I had the op five weeks ago  and unfortunately, believing I am in fact bullet proof, tried to do a little too much a little too soon. This unfortunately resulted in my suffering a collapsed left lung which apparently was quite serious if  not life threatening.

Anyway I went to PE for a final check-up yesterday and have been given a clean bill of health but with instruction to still take things easy for a month or so. This may result In the  coming weeksthat SFT may be a lillte late (or heaven forbid – not at all) for I have decided to start work at sunrise rather than my previous 3:30am.

Thanks for your support.

Three Cheers

Three Cheers to all those who worked so hard to stop Thyspunt happening

Being somewhat indisposed for the past six weeks through illness has been frustrating particularly as there has been so much meaty news during the period that I lay flat on my back reading the news from my smart phone each morning. Of course the Springbok’s huge loss was hardest to take made all the more frustrating as I was unable to watch the broadcast.

Although SFT had published a few broadcasts over the past weeks, in my haste to get back to work I overdid things a bit and ended up back in beds with a nasty lung condition further delaying SFT return.

Yesterday (Monday 16) would have been the perfect day to resume paublishing in light of Friday;s massive news but unfortunately I had to be in PE bright and early for the cardio to give me the once over. So whilst everyone in St Francis Bay is no doubt aware of Eskom’s decision not to build the next nuclear power station at Thyspunt maybe there are some reasers further afield who have not heard, unlikely but just maybe!

So massive was Friday’s news that there it is of little wonder that it took the power out throughout St Francis / Oyster Bay for some 12 hours or was that just Eskom’s way of giving us the finger for going into battle against them. No doubt there are some pro-nuclear supporters with more than a little egg on their face, non-more so than ever popular Dr Kelven Kemm particularly in light of his claims (28 August) pronouncing Thyspunt was going ahead in spite of the court ruling that the entire process had been cancelled.

Local Thyspunt Alliance and other anti-nuclear activists have certainly been rewarded and our thanks must go out to the Thyspunt Alliance especially to our own Trudi Malan and Hilton Thorpe and others including Gary Koekemoer of NoPENuke for their efforts.   While this decision does not totally scuttle plans to one day build a nuclear power station at Thyspunt, it certainly is unlikely to rear its head during the lives of the majority of our readers. And certainly in years to come a solution will have been found to store generated power renedering nuclear options unnecessary and obsolete.

No doubt the anti-nuke fight will continue with Eskom’s decision to build its proposed new nuclear reactor at Duynefontein, near Koeberg in Cape Town and here’s to all those supporting the Thyspunt effort lend a helping hand to their Cape Town colleagues.

And just to give confirmation that the decision is final (in terms of being preferred to Thyspunt) attached are two documents, one from Environmental Affairs and one from Gibb, the consulting engineers.

J36210_Nuclear-1 EA Decision_v3_2017.10.14

Nuclear_1-Environmental Authorisation

Sand River Bridge Open

Sand River Bridge Opened for traffic yesterday afternoon

Photo Stephanie Ernsten

St Francis Today thought we would try and make a bit of a comeback today but alas it seems the ed is not quite up to it after suffering a collapsed lung following recent heart surgery. Possibly things will be better next week but the effort this morning has been more than a little draining and painful.

Anyway the good news is that the Sand River bridge is open to traffic which will certainly ease the traffic flow in and out of St Francis especially as the holiday season approaches. We were promised some photos as we could not travel to site but alas received none so we have borrowed this one from Stephanie Ernsten (hope you don’t mind Steph).who used the bridge late yeaterday.

The conractors have asked us to appeal to the public whether driving, cycling or walking over the bridge to take care. The entire area is still a construction site and traffic calming methods will remain in place until the bridge is finally completed some time in the first half of 2018.

No doubt there will be complaints and comments on how narrow the bridge is and a stream of criticism but please bear in mind the bridge construction still has a long way to go and will offer a wider drive through once complete.


PinkDrive’s services

PinkDrive’s services to benefit communities in the Eastern Cape

PinkDrive will be offering their services to communities in the Eastern Cape during October. Communities from Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Sea Vista, Clarkson and Kareedouw will receive  PinkDrive’s services: mammograms, pap smears, clinical breast examinations, PSA testing as well as education regarding breast, cervical, prostate and testicular cancer.

This outreach and service offering is made possible by Cennergi, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm and Kouga Wind Farm. These Wind Farms are committed to their communities and the wellbeing of the communities is  their priority. By inviting PinkDrive to their communities, a platform is created for members of the various communities to be empowered with vital health messaging.

Noelene Kotschan, CEO and Founder of PinkDrive says that their organisation is privileged to be providing their services to these communities. “As October marks world breast cancer awareness month, I cannot think of a better way to serve, as through this outreach and our cancer screening. We know that there is a need for our services in this province and we are looking forward to bringing our message of “Early Detection” to these communities” says Noelene. She sincerely thanks the three wind farms for affording PinkDrive the opportunity to work in their communities.

Community members will also have access to other health screening services such as HIV/AIDS screening, Tuberculosis screening and NCD screening supported by SANAC (South African National Aids Council and National Department of Health). A basket of health services within one engagement, an opportunity that every woman and man requires in order to sustain good lifestyles and a health nation.

PinkDrive will be at the following communities, from 09:00- 16:00 daily and invite members of the communities, media and stakeholders to the following activations:

16 October – Kareedouw Clinic
17 October – Clarkson Clinic
18 October – Humansdorp
19 October – Sea Vista Clinic
20 October – Jeffreys Bay Clinic

Community members are requested to please bring their ID documents along for recording and registration purposes.

Rivers for Life

Rivers for Life athletes to take on the Kromme


WESSA is proud to be associated once again with an open water event which aims to heighten awareness around the state of our country’s rivers and the urgent need to restore them.  The “Rivers for Life” swim, now known as “Swim for Rivers” also strives to creates awareness amongst youth, of their own power to restore river health and to be water wise.

The challenge involves a small group of athletes that is attempting to swim major rivers in each of South Africa’s nine provinces.  The 2017 swim – set to take place in the Eastern Cape from 14 – 21 October – will be the fourth event of the extreme swimming challenge that was launched by Cape Town-based swimmer Andrew Chin in 2015. During the Eastern Cape Swim, Chin will be joined by East London open-water swimmers Mandy Uys, Joy Roach and Sean Murray. Over a period of a week, these athletes will swim 10km a day, in seven of the estuaries in the Eastern Cape namely Kromme, Gamtoos, Sundays, Bushmans/Kowie, Keiskamma and Gonubie/Kei.

The swimmers will set off from the mouth of the Kromme Rivier in St Francis Bay on Saturday 14 October at 08h30, and will complete their final 2017 swim at the mouth of the Nahoon River in East London on Saturday 21 October.  The swimmers would like to encourage anyone who would like to show their support for this initiative to join them at the start or finish venue to wish them well.

Along the way, they will be meeting with communities and local schools – some of which are participating in the WESSA’s Eco-Schools programme – to engage with them about the importance of rivers, how they function, and the role that everyone needs to play in looking after these precious natural resources. They will demonstrate the use of miniSASS as a citizen science river health monitoring tool, and demonstrate the key elements of the NSRI’s Waterwise water safety programme. They will be presenting each school with WESSA’s river-themed educational resources and Aqua4Life water purification devices.  This year’s swim is also supported by Hippo Rollers whose rolling water barrel products will be demonstrated along the way.

The athletes expect to be faced by several challenges along the way, such as sewerage overflows and general pollution of river water by, among other, fertilizers and general run off which is also a big contributor to the deteriorating state of these rivers.

The first swim under the Rivers for Life/Swim for Rivers initiative took place in the Wilge River in the Free State in January 2015, during which Andrew Chin and Toks Viviers swam 200km over a period of 10 days. In October 2015, high water pollution levels and exceptionally low flows forced Chin and fellow swimmer Henko Roukema to abandon their quest to swim the length of the Berg River. Their goal had been to swim the Berg from source to sea, but the polluted water caused such illness in the team that they were forced to call off the swim after completing 135km of the river’s 294km length. In 2016 Chin, partnered by Mandy Uys, swam a 70km section of the Orange River in Northern Cape during which time the team interacted with over 1000 school pupils.

In addition to raising awareness and encouraging individual corrective action, the athletes participating in the 2017 Swim for Rivers hope to spark debate about what the authorities and public can and should be doing to save our rivers for life.

WESSA strongly supports this initiative, which is in line with the organisation’s aim to promote public awareness and participation in caring for the earth. One of WESSA’s key objectives is to promote the health of strategic water catchments and rivers through the monitoring and reporting of the state of our country’s water resources.

The 2017 swim is being supported by a number of sponsors including Speedo, Chatz Connect (cellular), Hippo Rollers, Aqua4Life water-purifying LifeStraws, and the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Follow the swimmers on Facebook:

About WESSA:

WESSA implements effective environmental, ecotourism, education and youth development programmes throughout South Africa.  The organisation improves the school curriculum through education for sustainable development and provide critical work skills training, which creates job opportunities and sustainable livelihoods in local communities. WESSA’s environmental initiatives contribute towards the restoration of ecosystems, while their Blue Flag, Green Key and Green Coast ecolabels support tourism growth and development by encouraging responsible tourism practices and the improved management of our coastline.  For more information visit