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.