Billy’s Beach

Billy’s Beach under threat?

At the Mayor’s  feedback meeting on Thursday evening, Nigel Aitken brought up the subject of Billy’s Beach and the fact that Dedeat had not given the go ahead to hold their event this year. If this indeed the case we have a serious problem on our collective tourism plate. Billy’s Beach is a major holiday attraction and should DEDEAT (Dept of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism) not allow them to operate it will have long term repercsuuins on our holiday tourism. In terms of economic development Billy’s offers many locals employment and undoubtedly helps these youngsters gain a little work experience.

As far as the environment is concerned it is difficult to see how holding this well organised and run event can cause any environmental damage to a stretch of sand that seems to have stood up to it pretty well over the past six years.  It cannot be the noise it will generate for The Ruins which will be run over the same period and has been given the go ahead will no doubt generate just as much noise. Billy’s is about giving something to the tourists who visit our town and caters for a totally different demographic to the Ruins so if some mischievous souls have a hidden agenda they really butt out.

Apart from meeting the entertainment needs of so many in St Francs over the holidays, Billy’s runs a good shop employing locals and every year giving back substantially in Rand terms to charity.

Please back off DEDEAT or others who may be trying to sink Billy’s

Bobbies on Bikes

Bobbies on Bikes for St Francis

Bobbies on Bikes

Kouga Exec Mayor Elza van Lingen with Wayne Furphy (SFPO), Nigel Aitken (CPF) and Lt General Liziwe Ntshinga

Friday 21st July saw an initiative “Bobbies on Bikes”, motivated by St Francis Community Policing Forum and supported by St Francis Property Owners Association and local business, launched in St Francis. Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen welcomed Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lt General Liziwe Ntshinga and Humansdorp Cluster Commander Brigadier Lebok at a well-attended public meeting held at the Sea Vista Community  Hall.

Receiving six bicycles from Community Policing Forum’s Nigel Aitken and SFPO Association Chairman Wayne Furphy, Lt General Ntshinga in her keynote address commented on how the Bobbies on Bicycles was a wonderful opportunity for the public to be able to interact with the local police. With more visible policing offered by the ‘Bobbies on Bikes’ as well as the improved access to areas not always accessible in police vehicles, would go a long way to reducing crime in the St Francis.

Following the event at the Community Hall, SAPS hosted a lunch for dignitaries and media at St Francis Links and to celebrate the event, six  ‘Bobbies on Bikes’, as some local residents may have witnessed, rode their new bikes with a ride from the Community Hall to the Links.

Bobbies on Bikes

St Francis’ Bobbies on Bikes with Lt General Liziwe Ntshinga and Nigel Aitmen (CPF)

Bobbies on Bikes

Lt General Ntshinga joined the SA Police Service in 1985 and her experience as a specialized detective spans over 22 years. She has vast experience in the investigation of sexual offences and organized crime, which resulted in her being appointed as the Provincial Head, DPCI in the Northern Cape in 2010. During the first DPCI prestige awards, the Northern Cape received an award of best project investigation which was recognized internationally. Ntshinga successfully led various operations and projects including Project CARNARD, a cross border operation between Namibia and South Africa, focusing on theft of motor vehicles from Japan thorough Durban harbour  en-route to Namibia, Project DE LITE, dealing with precious stones that were illegally exported from SA to Switzerland and India and Project DARLING, a sting operation carried out by a multi-disciplinary project team whereby 21 senior businessmen were arrested in different provinces on charges of contravening the Diamond Act. The court granted ten preservation orders in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, effectively freezing property in the sum of about R50 million. Diamonds worth R60 million were recovered during the raids.

Update on St Francis Bay beach and spit


An update on the St Francis Bay beach and spit from Councillor Ben Rheeder

St Francis Bay beach rock revetments on Ann's Avenue

On 30 April 2015 Councillor Ben Rheeder, the DA Ward Councillor for Ward 12, held a meeting in St Francis Bay with interested parties to address the repair and maintenance of the rock revetments along the St Francis Bay beach and spit/dune.  All the work on the rock revetments was stopped when DEAT issued compliance notices to two contractors and Kouga Municipality.

During the April 2015 meeting a Beach and Spit/Dune committee was established with Councillor Rheeder as chairperson, with the aim to address the repair and maintenance of the rock revetments along the St Francis Bay Beach.   Proper repair and construction of the rock revetments could save beachfront properties for 5 to 10 years and enable the authorities to implement long-term protection of the beach and spit/dune.  It was also determined that a basic assessment should be done to obtain a ROD to do repairs and maintenance of the rock revetments and the spit/dune.

In a follow-up meeting on 18 May 2015 it was decided that the beach and spit/dune problem should be addressed in both short- and longtime plans.  Short time should be doing a basic assessment and obtaining permission to repair the rock revetments.  Long-term should be appointing a consultant to finalize the proposed resolutions in the Worley Parsons Report.  The estimated cost for the basic assessment would be + R 400 000.00.  The committee decided to raise this money from the owners with beach front properties and from the community of St Francis Bay.   Nigel Aitken and the Residents’ Association volunteered to do this and collected more   than enough funds. The committee also decided to meet with the Provincial DEAT. This meeting was held on 27 May 2015 to determine the way forward. Frank Silberbauer was appointed to manage the basic assessment and a FBAR was completed and handed to DEAT on 8 February 2016.  During June 2016 a ROD (Environmental Approval) was issued by DEAT. After several meetings with the Kouga Municipality a MOA (memorandum of agreement) was signed. This allowed the St Francis Property Owners to manage the repair and maintenance on behalf of the Municipality.

Frank Silberbauer has now been appointed as the Municipal’s ECO (Environmental Control Officer) to monitor compliance with the issued ROD.  This allows property owners to start with the repair and maintenance of the rock revetments. Many thanks to all the people who helped to make this project a success.

A special word of thanks to Nigel Aitken, Jacky Green and Frank Silberbauer.

Ben Rheeder

Read more on St Francis Property Owners website