Yvonne Bosman

Yvonne BosmanYvonne Bosman Honoured by Eastern Cape Birding

At a meeting of Bird Life Eastern Cape, held in Port Elizabeth on 11 April, 2017, Yvonne Bosman (formerly Craig) was awarded the “Tony Dechandt” Award for her outstanding contribution to birding in the Eastern Cape over the past twenty-four years.

When she moved to St Francis Bay with her late husband, Vic, in 1991, she said that she could not tell the difference between an ostrich & a mossie. It was not long before she was inspired by a talk at the Garden Club to join the PE Bird Club, and from then on she was hooked. She is now one of the acknowledged experts in the area, and is frequently consulted on birding matters.

Within two years she had started the St Francis Bay Bird Club, with six members. Apart from a short interlude, she has chaired it ever since. There are currently 85 paid-up members, drawn from all over the region, from Tsitsikamma to Patensie, Hankey, Jeffreys Bay, Paradise Beach, Cape St Francis & St Francis Bay; this, despite the need to rise well before dawn. It is a direct consequence of Yvonne’s enthusiasm, knowledge, commitment and organizing skills. Outings are held every first & third Friday of the month, come rain or shine, and Yvonne has identified some 20 good birding spots, many in places to which access would otherwise be denied. She also organizes longer four-day visits to more remote areas. Her low-key, friendly manner is largely responsible for the relaxed & friendly atmosphere within the club.

A most significant part of Yvonne’s voluntary activities is the contribution she makes to the Animal Demography Unit at UCT. This includes Oyster Catcher, CWAC & Car counts, with four teams operating between Palmietvlei and the Gamtoos; six-weekly monitoring of functioning and proposed wind farms in the area; and “atlassing” all over the country. Yvonne has personally completed more than 800 pentab cards, each requiring a minimum of 2 hours on the ground, and much time on the computer. For this she was awarded a “Milestone Award” by the Animal Demography Unit, based at UCT.

She has organized Birding Big Day activities, bird identification courses, talks to the general public, slide shows to raise funds for penguins, talks to schools, and has written articles on birds for the PE Bird Club magazine and for the local press.

On top of all this, she was for many years the St Francis Bay correspondent for “Our Times”, and  the indefatigable Secretary of the St Francis Kromme Trust. She now participates, with husband Peter, in Neighbourhood Watch patrols in St Francis Bay.

Yvonne is the most unassuming, caring and hospitable person one could ever hope to meet. She probably has little idea how much she has enriched the lives of those around her, and continues to do so. She is a most deserving recipient of this award by Bird Life Eastern Cape, and a wonderful member of the St Francis Bay community.

Note from St Francis Today

Yvonne has long been a major contributor to st Francis Today and regularly submits news on all manner of news. Congratulations on the award Yvonne, it is well desrved.



Thyspunt work groups

Thyspunt work groups to be established

Seven work groups will be established to help prepare the Kouga municipal area for the construction of a nuclear plant at Thyspunt should the national power project receive the green light.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the work groups would serve as sub-committees of the Thyspunt Nuclear Project Joint Steering Committee.

The Joint Steering Committee was established in December last year and is co-chaired by Eskom and Kouga Municipality. Members include Kouga Municipality, Eskom, the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT), the East Cape Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta EC), the South African Police Service (SAPS), Sarah Baartman District Municipality (SBDM) and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa).

The Mayor said the proposed scope, mandate, activities, budget requirements, risks, milestones and membership of each of the seven groups were discussed at a meeting of the Joint Steering Committee at Jeffreys Bay on Friday (7 April 2017).

“The work groups will be responsible for identifying and addressing opportunities and potential pitfalls for the Kouga area, including infrastructure shortages and socio-economic impacts, should the Thyspunt development proceed,” she said.

“As stated before, the Kouga Council is not opposed to nuclear development per se, but we are not willing for Kouga and its people to be disadvantaged by the project.

“If a nuclear plant is to be built in our area, Kouga’s people must be ready to reap the benefits and proper measures must be in place to mitigate any potential threats.”

The proposed work groups were introduced by Eskom’s acting General Manager: Nuclear New Build, Loyiso Tyabashe, who co-chairs the Joint Steering Committee with the Mayor.

The work groups are: Infrastructure, Human Capital, Regulatory and Environment, Supplier Development, Safety and Security, Finance and Stability, and Stakeholder Management and Communication.

Tyabashe said the groups would be facilitated by either Eskom or Kouga Municipality, as the main roleplayers, and consist of senior representatives from key government departments and state-owned enterprises.

They will report back to the Joint Steering Committee on a quarterly basis.

The Mayor stressed that a final decision had not yet been made about the proposed nuclear plant at Thyspunt.

“These structures are being put in place so as to ensure that roleplayers and stakeholders are ready should the project receive the nod. If approved, Thyspunt will be the biggest development our municipal area has ever seen. We want to ensure that the best interests of our communities are taken into account at all times,” she said.

Tyabashe said Eskom was currently awaiting the outcome of the final Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regarding its nuclear plans from the Department of Environmental Affairs. Applications for two Nuclear Installation Site Licences, at Thyspunt and Duynefontein, have also been submitted to the National Nuclear Regulator.

“There have been some delays in the release of the Environmental Authorisation (EA) due to the scope and complexity of the project, but the Department has indicated that the EA should be issued by mid-2017,” he said.

Issued jointly by Kouga Local Municipality and Eskom

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