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.

Blue Flag Awards

2017/18 SOUTH AFRICAN BLUE FLAG AWARDS

Godfrey Louw (Kouga Municipality), WESSA CEO Dr Thommie Burger, Mayor Elza van Lingen (Kouga Municipality), Cllr Danny Benson (Kouga Municipality) and Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Ms Tokozile Xasa

Dolphin Beach in Jeffreys Bay provided the ideal setting for the 2017/18 Blue Flag launch. The wide, sandy beach makes it popular with families, while its legendary surfing spot “Supertubes” has given the beach international fame. The Executive Mayor, Cllr Elza van Lingen, who delivered the opening address at the event spoke about the value which Blue Flag adds to tourism, adding that while Kouga Municipality only has one beach on the programme their approach is to raise the standard of all Kouga beaches to that of Dolphin Blue Flag Beach.

Sixty-two Blue Flags will be proudly flown at 44 beaches, seven marinas and by eleven sustainable tourism boats around South Africa over the forthcoming 2017/18 South African Blue Flag season, which opens officially on 1 November this year. This was announced at the prestigious national Blue Flag launch hosted by the Kouga Municipality at Dolphin Beach, Jeffreys Bay, in the Eastern Cape earlier today.

Earlier this year all applications for the Blue Flag eco-label were reviewed through a rigorous multi-stage approval process involving both national and international assessments, by a South African and International Jury Panel.

The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 28 of the beaches, all eleven boats and six of the seven Blue Flag marinas falling in the province. This shows an increase of three Blue Flag boats from the previous season, and one additional marina.

KZN again has nine Blue Flag beaches for the 2017/18 season. Seven beaches and one marina have been awarded the eco-label in the Eastern Cape, which is on par with the previous season.

An additional 22 beaches across the three provinces will participate on the Pilot Programme. This is an important developmental stage for potential Blue Flag sites, during which WESSA works with beach managers and Tourism Blue Flag Beach Stewards towards the longer-term goal of achieving full Blue Flag status.  Internationally, over 4,400 beaches, boats and marinas currently hold Blue Flag status in 46 countries.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Ms Tokozile Xasa thanked WESSA for the work the organisation is doing through the Blue Flag programme.  She said that the department is looking to attract five million tourists to South Africa over the next five years, and Blue Flag must be used as a selling tool to bring these visitors to our shores, and to ensure that visitors have a positive experience in our country.  She added that by entering into a partnership with WESSA in 2016 to implement the Tourism Blue Flag project the department is utilising the Expanded Public Works Programme to ensure that jobs are created for young people in the tourism industry.

The annual Blue Flag Awards also celebrate the sustained partnerships that WESSA has built with key municipalities around the country, who have recognised the value of Blue Flag not just to environmental management and education, but also to tourism, economic development and job creation. Their commitment to the programme is evident in the fact that 25 beaches have been on the programme for five or more consecutive years, while eleven beaches have achieved Blue Flag status for more than 10 consecutive years. Dolphin Beach, which provided the backdrop for the season launch, celebrates a remarkable 16 consecutive years on the programme this year. Humewood Beach in Port Elizabeth along with Grotto Beach in Hermanus has participated for all seventeen years that the Blue Flag programme has been running locally.

Says Vincent Shacks, WESSA Ecotourism Manager: “Blue Flag is an excellent example of what is achievable when government, both local and national, partner with civil society. Not only does the programme encourage adherence to very high, international standards for beaches, boats and marinas but it has also created an excellent platform from which to develop young and enthusiastic, sustainable tourism ambassadors. Through the Tourism Blue Flag project, the National Department of Tourism has partnered with WESSA to demonstrate its commitment to the development of South Africa’s youth. Over the past year these Blue Flag “Beach Stewards” have played a critical role in the maintenance of the Blue Flag standards at our beaches as well as conducting valuable environmental education activities and campaigns all along our beautiful coastline.”

Since its launch in 1987, the Blue Flag programme has continued to grow, not only regarding the number of member countries and sites involved, but also in its range of expertise within marine and freshwater environments.  WESSA is proud to have been the national implementing partner for Blue Flag in South Africa since 2001.

View the full list of 2017/18 Blue Flag Beaches, Boats and Marinas

BLUE FLAG MARINA
WESSA CEO Dr Thommie Burger, Godfrey Louw, Director of Social Services Dadamasi (Kouga Municipality), Cllr Danny Benson Dadamasi (Kouga Municipality), Greg Miller from Cape St Francis Canals (Blue Flag Marina), Gcobisa Dadamasi (Kouga Municipality) and Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Ms Tokozile Xasa

About Blue Flag:

The Blue Flag Programme, now in its 30th year, is focused on the conservation of marine and coastal habitats, and is designed to raise environmental education and awareness, and increase sound environmental practices among tourists, local populations and beach management.

To achieve Blue Flag status, as many as 33 different criteria spanning over four aspects of coastal management must be met and maintained:  water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and services.  Each Blue Flag site is compelled to conduct several environmental education activities during the year, and to practise effective and efficient conservation management.

In South Africa, the Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA and participating coastal municipalities. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Blue Flag season runs from 1 November to 31 October each year. Beaches are required to apply for Blue Flag status each year and the Blue Flag standards are only enforced at the beaches over the participating beach’s stated season, which varies from just two months of the year to the full 12 months. 

The Blue Flag programme is operated under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. The criteria are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe, the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education). Through close collaboration with their members on all issues, the Foundation for Environmental Education works to ensure the programme’s expansion, and that the unrivalled standards of the Blue Flag are maintained internationally. The detailed criteria and award process is available on Blue Flag’s international website www.blueflag.global

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 – and associated Tourism Blue Flag and Tourism Green Coast projects in partnership with the National Department of Tourism – support tourism growth and development by encouraging responsible tourism practices and the improved management of our coastline.  For more information visit www.wessa.org.za

For more information contact: Catherine Ritchie, WESSA Marketing & Communications Manager – Tel 021 701 1397   Cell 082 321 2794   Email communications@wessa.co.za

Electricity interruption tomorrow

We  have just been informed

The power outage has been posponed until 26th October

The power outage has been cancelled St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis electricity interruption on Thursday, 7 September

Eskom will be switching off the power supply to St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis on Thursday, 7 September, from 9am to 4.30pm.

The interruption is necessary for Eskom to perform maintenance work on the St Francis Bay/Cape St Francis 22kV line.

Residents are reminded that all electrical points should be treated as live during this time.The outage is subject to the weather.

The alternative date that has been set is 26 October.

Press release:
Laura-Leigh Randall,
Kouga Municipality
Media Liaison Officer

Breaching Seekoei mouth

Breaching the Seekoei mouth could lead to bigger problems

Kouga Municipality would like to appeal to residents of Paradise Beach not to breach the mouth of the Seekoei estuary unlawfully. The appeal comes in the wake of concerns that the causeway connecting Paradise Beach to Aston Bay could flood due to heavy rains.

Mayor Elza van Lingen said Council had great sympathy for the plight of Paradise Beach residents but cautioned that breaching the mouth could lead to bigger problems for residents in the long-term. “The estuary is no longer healthy and working as it should. That’s why fish were dying in great numbers only a few months ago,” she said.

“At this stage breaching the mouth simply disturbs the eco-system more and increases the risk of the embankments actually flooding and properties being damaged.”

She said the municipality had submitted an urgent request to the East Cape Department of Roads and Public Works that the alternative gravel road to Paradise Beach from the R102 be graded so as to improve the safety of motorists should the causeway have to be closed.

The gravel road, that exits onto the R102 between Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, falls under the jurisdiction of the Department.

She assured residents that the municipality was working on both short and long-term solutions to the causeway dilemma in partnership with the EC Department of Environmental Affairs.

“Wave deflectors are being considered for the short-term. While this won’t necessarily prevent flooding, it will reduce the amount of salty spray vehicles are exposed to,” she said.

“In order to identify a permanent solution we have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nelson Mandela University.

“Specialists from the university are putting together an Estuarine Management Plan specifically for the Seekoei estuary.

“The plan will enable Council to make an informed decision about the causeway, as well as the possible development of an alternative crossing in the long-term.”

Press Release – Laura-Leigh Randall,
Kouga Municipality
Media Liaison Officer
084 2055 388

Kouga, Eskom and Red Cross forge fire partnership

Eskom and Red Cross have partnered with Kouga Municipality to help strengthen communities at Longmore and Thornhill against natural disasters.

Eskom’s Jongi Dyabaza (left) and Zama Mpondwana (right) hand over the cheque to Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen and Red Cross East Cape provincial manager Caroline Galliant.

Representatives from Eskom visited the municipality on Tuesday (15 August) to hand over a cheque of R350 000 to the Red Cross for use in areas affected by the fire disaster of June 2017.

At the hand-over Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen said the focus would be on Longmore, where more than 200 residents had to be evacuated when the runaway fire threatened their homes, and the surrounding farm areas.

The fire destroyed about 27 000 ha of vegetation in the Longmore and Thornhill areas, as well as farm land, buildings and equipment.

“Kouga fire-fighters were able to save the Longmore Village from burning down, but the community was left without electricity or water because of fire damage to the infrastructure,” Mayor Van Lingen said.

“We had to act fast to prevent a humanitarian crisis. Water was trucked in, a generator and portable toilets were installed, and hot meals were delivered to the village with the assistance of community volunteers and NGOs.”

Red Cross branch manager in Port Elizabeth and the Sarah Baartman district, Coralie Peo-Swartz, said the Eskom donation would be used to equip and train affected communities on how to prevent and survive disaster situations.

“The programme marks the start of an official relationship between the Red Cross and municipality. We are grateful to Eskom for the financial assistance,” she said.

Jongi Dyabaza, stakeholder coordinator at Eskom, said the parastatal was grateful that it could help Kouga through its partnership with the Red Cross.

“Eskom takes its social responsibility towards communities seriously and we are glad that we could be there for Kouga’s people in a time of trouble,” he said.

Mayor Van Lingen emphasised the role partnerships play in building strong governance structures and communities.

“We are humbled by what’s happening here today. We have been strengthening our partnership with Eskom over the past year and are now reaping the benefit of their partnership with the Red Cross,” she said.

“We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from all corners of South Africa during the crisis and are grateful for the ongoing assistance in helping our people recover from the terrible ordeal they suffered.”

Nooitgedacht water relief?

ARTICLE TAKEN FROM POST ON ATHOLL TROLLIP’s FACEBOOK PAGE

The recently completed Phase 2 of the Nooitgedagt Low Level Scheme has undergone a week of testing, and is now approved for ongoing supply to our City.

After two years of construction, this additional supply could not have come at a better time. An extra 140 million litres of water will now be pumped daily into the Municipality’s network, compensating for the drought-induced shortages at the Western supply dams.

Having already lost all supply from Churchill Dam, with Kouga Dam now at 15%, Nooitgedagt Phase 2 may very well carry the Municipality through the remaining months of winter. The Department of Water and Sanitation has imposed a 22% restriction on sourcing water from the western supply dams, limiting daily supply to 274.9 ML.

The Infrastructure & Engineering Directorate, led by MMC Annette Lovemore, has done well to meet targets in this regard, taking some of the sting out of the ongoing drought.

However, the Municipality remains water scarce with demand and supply still neck and neck. Our water saving efforts absolutely have to continue unabated – let us continue working together to instil a water wise culture in our Metro.

Not only is this government working tirelessly to increase water supply, but there is also a concerted effort to repair the City’s ageing infrastructure. Standby teams of plumbers have been working weekends over the last three months to drastically reduce the number of leaks.

Ref: https://web.facebook.com/AtholTrollip