Clive’s Chokka Block Restaurant

Clive’s Chokka Block – Top Floor, Squid Square, Triton Ave, Port St Francis

Review by Kirsten Doyle

Having recently changed ownership, the Chokka Block remains one of St Francis’ oldest and most well-established restaurants. New owner Clive Canter is attentive, accommodating and friendly, and his  exciting new additions to the menu make a trip here a must. He is clearly passionate about food and his business, discusses his dishes with enthusiasm and is able to recommend a dish to suit every palate.

Chokka Block has a selection of delicious starters, from the old favourite prawn cocktail, to calamari heads and crumbed mushrooms – a selection for meat lovers and a couple of vegetarian options too. For mains, there’s line fish, calamari and suchlike, as well as several mixed grill combos to choose from, ranging from hake and calamari, to prawns and steak, all of which come with salad, rice, chips, veggies or a baked potato.

For the health conscious, the menu features several salads and a vegetarian platter too. All our food was beautifully prepared and perfectly cooked. For dessert, the Chokka Block offers a variety of old favourites, including malva pudding and ice cream with chocolate sauce.

In total, we enjoyed our experience there, and will definitely pop in again.

RATING: 4.5 / 5

ATMOSPHERE: Warm and relaxing with a fireplace for those chilly winter days and nights.

SETTING: Upstairs with beautiful views of the harbour.

SOUND LEVEL: Conversation level –  soft, background music.

CUISINE: Seafood restaurant – bar and grill.

SERVICE: Prompt and friendly without being intrusive.

RECOMMENDED DISHES: The seafood chowder, delicious but very rich – served with home made Portuguese rolls which were to die for. The Mauritian curry, fragrant and delicious. Pretty much anything off the grill, all seafood is fresh, and perfectly cooked – also try the calamari heads or rings.

DRINKS: A full range of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, as well as hot beverages.

PRICE RANGE: Mid to upper range, around R60 for starters, with mains from R100 to around R150 off the menu.

HOURS: Tuesday to Sunday 11.30 am to  9 pm. Closed on Mondays.

RESERVATIONS: Rather safe than sorry, particularly on weekends and over season.

CREDIT CARDS: All major

WHAT THE RATING MEANS: Ratings range from zero to five out of five and reflect the reviewer’s opinion on the food, ambience and service, with pricing taken into consideration.

View over Port St Francis from Chokka Block Restaurant

 

Integrated Development Plan

Kouga Municipality - logo
Public meetings to review Integrated Development Plan

The review process of Kouga Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2018/2019 financial year starts this week.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the meetings would be held in all wards. She said this was an important annual exercise as prescribed by Section 28 of the Municipal Systems Act. “The IDP is the principal strategic planning document of the municipality and forms the basis of the municipal budget. “It is, therefore, crucial for our communities to take part actively in ensuring that their needs are prioritised and addressed in an integrated manner,” Van Lingen said.

The meetings will start at Ward 1 at the Oyster Bay Community Hall on Monday, 6 November, and the Sea Vista Community Hall on Tuesday, 7 November. Both meetings will start at 6pm.

On Wednesday, 8 November, it will be the turn of Ward 2 residents, whose meeting will be held at the Pellsrus Community Hall, also starting at 6pm.

The remainder of the programme is as follows:

  • 13 November: Ward 3 at the Newton Hall (6pm)
  • 14 November: Ward 4 at the Baptist Church Hall, Kruisfontein (6pm)
  • 15 November: Ward 5 at the Kruisfontein Civic Centre (6pm)
  • 16 November: Ward 6 at the KwaNomzamo Community Hall (6pm)
  • 20 November: Ward 7 at the Loerie Community Hall (6pm)
  • 21 November: Ward 7 at the Katrien Felix Community Hall (6pm)
  • 22 November: Ward 8 at the Newton Hall (6pm)
  • 23 November: Ward 9 at the Vusumzi Landu Hall (6pm)
  • 27 November: Ward 10 at the Dan Sandi Community Hall (6pm)
  • 28 November: Ward 10 at the Andrieskraal Hall (6pm)
  • 29 November: Ward 11 at the Newton Hall (6pm)
  • 30 November: Ward 12 at the St Francis Bay Village Hall (6pm)
  • 30 November: Ward 12 at the Paradise Beach NG Church Hall (3pm)
  • 4 December: Ward 12 at the Humansdorp Country Club (6pm)
  • 5 December: Ward 13 at the Weston Community Hall (6pm)
  • 6 December: Ward 14 at the Pellsrus Community Hall (6pm)
  • 7 December: Ward 15 at the Humansdorp Country Club (6pm)
  • 11 December: Ward 15 at Ons Tuiste, Humansdorp (3pm)

For enquiries, please contact the municipality’s IDP Manager Colleen Dreyer on 042 200 200 2143 or send an email to cdreyer@kouga.gov.za.

CCTV for Cape St Francis?

Cape St Francis Civics approve CCTV concept

CCTV CameraCape St Francis Civics and Ratepayers Association recently requested permission from council to install CCTV cameras in certain hot spots in Cape St Francis. The council meets on Thursday 9th and the association hopes to receive positive feedback on the issue with a go ahead to start installing a camera network..

A well-attended public meeting regarding security of Cape St Francis was held in October and various options were discussed. Generally it was agreed the most effective and tried option is that of CCTV cameras along with Licence Plate Recognition technology .

The plan is to phase the camera installation into 3 phases, namely, Phase 1 – the entrance/exit of Cape St Francis, Phase 2 – Da Gama Rd and Osprey Rd intersection and Phase 3 – Shearwater Drive and the Nature Reserve. We have already received pledges that fund phase 1 and 2 and will begin installation as soon as municipality approval has been given. Anyone wanting to get involved or add their pledge can please contact the Cape St Francis Civics and Ratepayers Association at

http://www.capestfranciscivicassociation.org.za or email at CSFCivic@gmail.com or Dane Shaw personally on dane@capestfrancisresort.co.za

 

Port turns 20

Port St Francis celebrates 20 years!

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the completion and opening of Port St Francis, one of the few privately owned and managed harbours in South Africa, as home to the more than 50 “Chokka” (calamari squid) fishing boats of the St Francis Bay fleet, and also as a substantial small craft harbour and marina.

The Port is unique in that not only is it a viable, working, commercial harbour, but is also a residential marina, boasting a wide selection of residential units, with its own retail outlets, excellent restaurants and bars, and marine supplies right on the premises.

The waters off St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis are prime fishing grounds for Calamari, a favourite delicacy both at home and abroad. Following the construction of the Canals and the small-boat  harbour at the canals, fishing boats based in Port Elizabeth found it useful  to use the facilities there. However, this soon became impractical and the need for a suitable harbour, right here in St Francis Bay, was becoming increasingly evident. That is when the idea of combining a working harbour with residential and holiday accommodation was conceived and soon became a reality, and Port St Francis was conceptualised and born.

There being no natural inlet for the harbour, a suitable site was selected, and excavations of the inner harbour and construction of the breakwaters commenced. This was after all the necessary EIA’s were carried out and approved. Much of the rock dug out of the new harbour basin was effectively used for the construction of both the main and secondary breakwaters, as well the reclamation for the housing development adjoining the secondary breakwater.

The Port St Francis small craft harbour and marina provides a protected water area of about 2,5 ha, with around 200 moorings for recreational and fishing craft. An innovative breakwater design saw the first deployment of Core-Locs, an economical single layer armour unit developed in the USA.

Construction was completed in November 1997 and today more than 50 “Chokka” boats from various commercial companies utilise the Port as their home base. This industry has a massive economical effect on the financial success of St Francis Bay and surrounding area.

With its 236 accommodation units already developed around the harbour basin, and plans for more to come, the financial impact of the Port on the local economy is immense, when one considers that retailers, wholesalers, building contractors of every description, the marine boating industry, building material suppliers, food and beverage outlets, estate agents and many others get a major share of their annual income from the harbour and the residential sectors at the Port, not to mention the many employment opportunities created for the local community.

During the tourist high seasons, Port St Francis fills to capacity as holiday makers flock to our shores, either as residents at the Port or in St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis villages.

The visitor gets an up-close experience of the “Chokka” fishing industry, with the added advantage of being able to take a leisure sea cruise, a deep-sea fishing charter or even a whale and dolphin watching charter directly from the Port! Twenty years on, and Port St Francis has become a “must visit” tourist attraction, a solid residential investment opportunity as well as an integral part of the local St Francis Bay community.

To celebrate this anniversary, all restaurants, retail outlets and charter operators are offering “Birthday Specials” during the month of November, so join us in our celebration in wishing Port St Francis a Happy Birthday!

For more information conyacy General Manager: (Mike Nunan), Port St Francis Property Owners Association.  042-2940954 or visit www.portstfrancis.org

More Mayoral feedback

During her feedback session at St Francis Bay Golf Club Executive Mayor brought up the rather divisive matter of the SRA (Special Rates Area).  She confirmed that the matter is on councils agenda and they are taking advice as to how best to be written into the bylaws so as to ensure it caters for the whole of Kouga for other areas such a Paradise Beach have also expressed interest in going the SRA route. It had been suggested that empty plots not form part of the SRA but the Mayor confirmed that unfortunately they could not be excluded.

Looking back on past St Francis Today posts the subject of security camera installations in and around St Francis Bay stretch back a couple of years. With over 200 burglaries in the area over the past year the time has come for action to be taken. St Francis Property Owners association has called for an RFI to go out to find out what equipment and systems best suit St Francis Bay. Obviously this form of security does cost money and is one of the aspects of the “Save St Francis” campaign had costed in as part of the SRA. Whether it can go ahead without the SRA waits to be seen.

The Mayor touched on the recent unrest in Humansdorp and said it really is a matter of them wanting to make Kouga ungovernable rather than a lack of service delivery.  A meeting was held with the community the following week and certain matters were explained and resolved.

A councillor recently made mention that the municipality will no longer be giving away black plastic bags. The Mayor neither confirmed nor denied this but went on to explain how the introduction of Wheelie Bins is on the agenda. It would though require households to purchase these but it really is the only way to go in respect of garbage disposal.

Ward 12 councillor Ben Rheeder followed the Mayor to explain the reason for the late night garbage pickups that disturb residents as some of these are occurring after nine at night. Rheeder explained this was due to the council not having had sufficient vehicles to carry out the work having being left with a depleted largely non serviceable fleet by the previous council. He stated things were improving but asked residents to be patient until the matter could be fully resolved with new vehicles.

Next on the agenda was the matter of a drop off zone. So much has been written on this subject but sadly the money allocated to it under the previous council was not used and so we will have to wait a while longer and hopefully see a drop off zone can finally be established. In the interim Rheeder asked that residents please not to dump garden refuse in the street but to please take your garden cuttings to the municipal yard where there are two skips available for bagged garden refuse.

Over grown plots were next up with Rheeder explaining that people ignore written request to clear plots particularly as they do present a fire hazard. A legal process will be followed in future. Let’s hope this does indeed happen.

More tomorrow including Q&A

Mayor’s feedback

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen keeping us in the loop

The feedback address by our Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen last Thursday had a fair sized attendance but one really would like to see a larger audience of younger bodies at these meetings. Ward 12 is made up of St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis and Paradise Beach and surely must represent several thousand residents so an audience of around 100 bodies is just a little disappointing. No doubt there will be many who bemoan the progress being made by the Mayor and her council but make not the slightest effort to find out what is really happening preferring to criticise rather what isn’t happening.

Kicking off the meeting the Mayor did a little soft sell on the new service app that the Kouga municipality has introduced. Kouga is only the second municipality, after Cape Town,  under DA control to have this app and it certainly sounds an efficient way of not only reporting problems in the boundaries of the municipality but more importantly following up and seeing whether there is progress on one’s report. If you have not already downloaded the app you can do so for either Android and IOS at download.linkapp.co.za/#dl,

Next on the agenda and almost to be expected in spite of the recent good news was Thyspunt.  It seems Eskom haven’t totally given up hope on Thyspunt but in van Lingen’s opinion it will not be happening in the near future although the Minister of Environment Affairs could still overturn Duynesfontein for Thyspunt, especially if you know who decides it will be so. Should that happen there can be no doubt Thyspunt Alliance will be in the forefront of the battle once more. Rumours that Kouga wwould receive a cash injection of some R4 billion were also apparently without substance but rather  a wish list.

On the matter of finance, whist the situation is still dire after inheriting an all but bankrupt municipality from the ANC. Van Lingen stressed how they are now able to operate finance with a month in reserve, not although not ideal, dertainly an improvement on a year ago.

But to more serious matters which sadly some are still not taking seriously. Kouga along with much of the Eastern Cape is still facing severe water shortage and as we are supplied with water by the Nelson Mandela Bay we are totally in their hands. Apart from the fact that NMB water is unlikely to assist us with funding as the water shortage becomes more critical, the Mayor and her committee are redirecting funds from other services, wherever possible, so as to develop boreholes should the water crisis become that critical. These monies are most likely going to come from less essential services such as roads so if we have a few more potholes over the holiday period we can explain our visitors it was either potholes or water. Maybe a poster campaign will help our influx of visitors appreciate just how serious our situation is. Oyster Bay apparently is already past critical and they are in the process of drilling for water. The situation in the Gamtoos Valley appears equally catastrophic and the season hasn’t yet started.

From recent press reports Kouga has declared war on waste and the Mayor expanded on this with the intention of council to introduce Wheelie Bins to Ward 12. Certainly they are used throughout the world and certainly keep garge safe from marauding dogs and far easier and efficient with the right vehicles doing the garbage pickups. The problem will come when the public hears they will have to buy their own wheelie rather than being supplied one free of charge by council.

Some positive feedback on the APP

 

WE ALL HAVE TO DO OUR BIT – SAVE WATER!

More on the Mayor’s feedback tomorrow,  the SRA, camera security, the riots  and more.