An almost full house heard Wayne Furphy and Chris Gray layout a 5-year plan for St Francis Bay in the conference centre at St Francis Links last evening. A more detailed report will follow in Monday’s newsletter once the report has been studied but from the gatherings reaction it seems their plan was generally well received as at least a step in the right direction.

That these two gentlemen have been extremely proactive in their efforts to draw up a potentially workable plan to ‘save St Francis Bay’ having already consulted with big business in our financial capital as well as researching basic costs of what the various remedies will cost. The money necessary to carry out the reparations will certainly have to come in part from the residents themselves for surely the Kouga Municipality just do not have the funds but how this could be done was dealt with in detail along with why it is so essential for homeowners to participate or suffer very real consequence.

A comment by Furphy that we should consider St Francis Bay as a private estate and declare it a Self-Improvement District (SID) was most interesting. Citing how similar action taken by the residents of Sea Point, Cape Town some years ago turned Sea Point from a decaying suburb into a thriving community illustrated that it is possible to turn the fortunes of St Francis Bay around. He continued that if the plan is implemented, it is possible to raise some R200 million over the next five years. Certainly taking the facts and concepts proffered, it seems feasible and achievable providing the homeowners buy into the plan.

In discussing the “private estate” concept Furphy mentioned the area from the “Kromme to the Lighthouse”. Apparently the Cape St Francis Residents Association have been briefed on the St Francis Bay plan and possibly they too need to look at ways to participate. The commercial wellbeing of St Francis Bay has a direct influence of the residents of Cape St Francis and whilst it is accepted that there exists two separate resident associations, an attitude of “we are all in this together” should possibly be adopted rather than the” big brother” assuming control.

On a lighter note, Chris Gray related a story of how, whilst measuring the road distances on his motorcycle he set off early one morning sans his helmet which had proven to be a problem for whenever he stopped to record data as he had to remove the helmet, make notes and then don it again to continue. As “Murphy’s Law” would have it, a solitary traffic officer doing duty in St Francis Bay stopped Chris and wanted to fine him R500 for not wearing his helmet. Managing to convince the officer not to fine him they reached a compromise that as punishment Chris was to walk all the way home. On arriving home he then had to face the wrath of his wife for “what! you were riding without a helmet”? No doubt the walk home was the lesser punishment.

A well put together presentation that certainly offers some positive ways of improving the infrastructure. Until Monday …..

Chris Gray and Wayne Murphy

Chris Gray (left) and Wayne Murphy