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.

Safety & Security Meeting

A safety and security meeting is to be held at the Sea Vista Community Hall on Friday 21st July and the residents of St Francis are invited to attend a forum where leading members of the South African Police Services, the Kouga Mayor and members of the St Francis Community will provide an update of activities and strategies in our fight against crime.

This is your opportunity to raise concerns and provide input into a community based strategy. The vision is to consolidate resources in the fight against crime; the long term strategy is to make greater St Francis a better and safer place to live.

Included in the high profile delegates who will address the meeting is the Eastern Cape Police Commissioner Major General Liziwe Ntshinga. Also attending are SAPS Cluster Commander – Brigadier J Lebok, SAPS St Francis Station Commander -Captain N Gomoshe, Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen, St Francis Property Owners – Chairperson Wayne Furphy  and Community Police Forum – Chairperson John Hammond.

It is important that residents make an effort to attend this meeting so as to illustrate in how concerned we as a community are at the state of crime in St Francis. Promises of a new police station were promised years ago but seem to have been forgotten as has the entire infrastructure of policing in St Francis. There is little point in complaining about our safety and security in terms of crime if we don’t make an effort to participate by voicing our concerns and possible solutions.

The meeting will be held at the Sea Vista Community Hall in Steenbras Street, Sea Vista from 10:00am to 12 noon on Friday 21st July.


If not SRA then what?

If not a Special Rates Area, then what?

Following numerous questions from readers regarding the SRA, St Francis Today submitted some of the more pertinent questions to St Francis Property Owners committee to which they have responded in detail. READ SRA Q&A

Most concerning is their comment in the final paragraph of that Q&A post. Looking back to a meeting of St Francis Bay Residents Association held way back in October 2015 at St Francis Bay Golf Club, Nigel Aitken, and then chairman of the Residents association appealed to the younger St Francis community to take the baton and breathe some fresh ideas into the association. At that time Chris Gray, now one of the founder members of what is now the Saving St Francis committee member, was the first to rise to the challenge and along with Wayne Furphy, started the ball rolling by analysing each aspect of the failing infrastructure of St Francis, not only of the Bay area but rather St Francis as a whole.

These two gentleman were joined by equally accomplished and successful business leaders who have spent not only many hours of their time but also funded much of the work done to date on developing a workable plan to ‘Save St Francis’. None who have followed the development of ideas since the new committee can deny that they have accurately assessed, with the help of consultants, the declining fortunes of St Francis and come up with a workable solution to the failing infrastructure.

The Kouga municipality has made it quite clear they are unable to finance what needs to be done, even when a new budget is put into place in July this year. It is an incontestable reality that the poor will get the biggest slice of the cake whether one feels it is fair or not. That is the way it is all over our country and the previously advantage must ‘lump it or leave’.

So if the money isn’t generated by the local community, where is it going to come from?

As said in previous posts on St Francis Today, there has not been a single suggestion yet on an alternative. There certainly have been many criticisms on what the Saving St Francis committee has suggested as a way of arresting the decay but not one on a working alternative.

And so back to that final statement in the Q&A post.

That the committee will resign if the SRA is a rejected! This leaves us with a huge question. Who will step into these committed gentlemen’s shoes? Are there other experienced and successful business leaders who could be approached to take over? Methinks not, for those remaining experienced business folk would no doubt have voted YES to the proposal and as such would realise that any future efforts would be futile and a waste of their time and money.