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

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.

 

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

Sand River Bridge

Reader unhappy at progress with Sand River Bridge

Reader Garth Perry feels enough is enough on the bridge debacle.

“I, as a St Francis resident, have been looking forward to the completion of the construction of the bridge over the Sand River ever since the contract was awarded last year. Whilst I am grateful that the contract for the reconstruction of the bridge was eventually awarded, we waited an excessive time for the Province to remedy the loss of the bridge after it washed away a few years ago. Since the award of the contract, I have been prepared to put up with the inconvenience of detours and machine movements in the belief that the end will justify the hardships endured during the construction phase.

There is, however, a limit to my patience. Whilst it is the Contractors business as to how long he takes to construct the works, he should realise that he makes no friends by dragging the construction period to excessive periods as he is doing. After a tediously long construction period, traffic was diverted from the detour over a portion of the final bridge width. Everyone said ‘YAY’. Jubilation was, however, short lived.

The approaches to the bridge were prepared for the heavy traffic flow with a conventional base course which was then painted black with a thin coat of bitumen emulsion. It was patently obvious from the outset that this would be totally inadequate during a period of rain, let alone during dry weather. Limited rain has fallen since then, but the riding surface has deteriorated during the dry period and the recent rains to the extent that it is best classified as atrocious.

The final completion of this Contract appears to be some months away, based on the painfully slow progress made to date. Why do we have to have this situation imposed on us by the powers that be? I do not appreciate the middle finger being shown to me by a Contractor, Consulting Engineer and the Province who have no direct interest in the future well being of our home town. We deserve better!!!”

The rain has certainly helped churn up the ground onthe bridge approaches and it not for the traffic calming one would do serious damage to one’s tires were you not forced to drive so slowly. Good news is that construction will halt for the builders holiday’s in mid Deember so thinhs may improve marginally Garth

Ladies Open Weekend

Pam Golding Properties Ladies Open Weekend Rocked St Francis Bay

The overall prize winners for the weekend were Ros Botha and Carol Pitt seen here with Richard Arderne of Pam Golding Properties, St Francis Bay

Great golf, great organisation, great food and great entertainment. That is what 144 lady golfers experienced during the weekend of 11th and 12th November in the Pam Golding Properties Ladies Weekend Open on the courses of St. Francis Links and St. Francis Bay (SFBGC).

This event is the biggest ladies golfing event in the Eastern Cape and attracts ladies from all over South Africa. They represented 28 different clubs as well as two players from the United Kingdom. There were also 10 Ladies Captains in the field!

There were prizes and opportunities galore! Pam Golding Properties in St. Francis Bay was the main sponsor and the ladies also had the opportunity to win hole-in-one prizes.  Bay Union Insurance sponsored a hole-in-one on the Links with Dirk Ellis Volkswagen in Jeffreys Bay putting up a new car. Annemarie’s Boutique in St. Francis Bay sponsored a hole-in-one at SFBGC to the value of R5000!

Thanks also to all the Beauty Boutiques in St Francis who sponsored nearest to the pin prizes.

But they did much more than just playing golf!  They also dressed up for an “Aloha Hawaii” gala dinner with music by Peter Papapanayotou.

There were 18 prizes to be won over these two days. The outstanding golfers who won first prizes on both courses were:

Saturday:

  • Francis Links: Betty Engler and Jenny Elliot (PE golf Club)
  • SFBGC: Sunet Venter and Alix Verrips (Knysna)

Sunday:

  • Francis Links: Ros Botha and Carol Pitt (PE Golf Club)
  • SFBGC: Melissa Palmer and Gillian Whitehead (PE Golf Club)

The overall prize winners for the weekend were Ros Botha and Carol Pitt

This tournament is an example of putting skills, endurance, enthusiasm and cooperation from two golf clubs together to ensure not only the success of the tournament but also promoting ladies golf in the Eastern Cape. The publicity this event has engineered is going far past the Village borders.

Lady golfers having fun at dinner

 

 Press release  – Heilie Uys – Tel: 042 298 0014 / Cell: 082 465 0935 / huys@ibi.co.za

Christopher Scott

It’s not what you see, it’s what you don’t

Christopher ScottWatching the Nedbank Challenge on TV over the weekend the Nedbank advert “Seeing Money Differently”  constantly reminded one that this outstanding tournament. South Africa’s major, is sponsored by Nedbank As the game unfolded and Brandon Grace finally got a steal on his fellow leaders with a magnificent 40 foot putt on the 16th it was very much a case of “It’s not what you see, it’s what you don’t” for undoubtedly saw in his mind rather than with his eyes, the path that ball had to follow.

Chatting with local photographer  Christopher Scott earlier in the week when asked why his photographs , even of subject matter photographed by so many, take on a totally different look, or rather interpretation, his words were “it’s not what you see but what you don’t”. Sipping my coffee and no doubt looking suitably perplexed Chris went on to explain how he manages to capture such a special ambience with so many of his shots.

Chris explains that most of us see exactly what he sees and would take just as good a photo as he would should he not take a just a little time to study his subject from different aspects thus seeing what we don’t see. It may be the way the light falls on the subject, the angle from which the shot is taken, the F Stop or other technical setting on the camera, a cloud momentarily throwing a shadow over the subject. In a word he sees what most of us don’t see no matter how hard we look.

Seeing Chris’ work and some of the awards he has won, it would seem he is a seasoned and experienced professional but this is not the case at all for in fact Chris decided to take up photography as his permanent occupation only in the last month. Many cyclists would have met Chris when taking their damaged mountain or out of tune road bikes to the cycle shop in St Francis Bay for needed repairs or servicing.  Much of Chris’ work is done in the early morning before work when most of us were still doing a bit of deep sheet diving when the light gives him his best opportunities.

Interestingly Chris is quite new to photography and it really is only since arriving in Kouga two years ago where, when presented with this massive canvas that Kouga has to offer that his passion and talent was aroused. By his own admission he still has a lot to learn but his passion for that perfect shot drives him on.

As a bit of a bio on Chris, he was born in Glasgow around 47 years ago and moved with his family to South Africa at age of six. Initially the family settled in Johannesburg but moved to Cape Town in his early teens where he finished his education before doing his national service in the mechanised arm of the service. Married to Patricia some18 years ago they have two children, William 12 and Gemma six.

Over the holiday period Chris is offering a rather unusual service. For a very reasonable fee he will do  a family photo shoot with a difference. The difference being that you choose the venue whether it be on a boat, on the canals, at the lighthouse, sunset rock on the Wildside,  even a restaurant. Give Chris a call on  083 266 8120 to discuss how he can capture the magic of your family on holiday.

Chris presently has three photographs on display and sale at The Links and if you have time, pop in for a coffee, burger or beer and have a look. The two lighthouse shots have to be the most unusual lighthouse shots yet presented by any photographer amateur or pro.

This is not one of the photo’s on display at The Links but yet another example of Chris’ Talent