Good News Bad News

A reader commented yesterday there is not enough good news and how much bad news we publish on St Francis Today. We must agree for it seems the past weeks have been filled with nothing butterror, death and destruction. The London Bridge terror attack; the Cape storms and the horrific scenes of the destruction of the Knysna fires followed by our very own fires around Kouga and NMB that saw further destruction including severe damage to the iconic Woodridge College.  And just when we thought it was at an end we had the absolutely awful Grenfell Towers disaster where the death toll climbs by the day with more bodies stillexpected to be pulled from the ruins of what was once home to hundreds.

Surely there could be no more bad news but then news of the 60 souls lost in the fires in Portugal and the van running into a crowd leaving a Mosque in London followed the same day with the Champs Elysees attack on the police. Then the hostage drama in Mali where four tourists were killed to say nothing of the ongoing human tragedy being inflicted by ISIS on the citizens of Mosul, Raqqa and others not forgetting the seven sailors lost in the USS Fitzgerald collision with a container ship and the passing of US student Otto Warmbier held so long by the North Koreans only released when he was at death’s door.

My goodness the bad / sad news seems endless but hopefully some good news on its way!

With the weather predicted to be somewhat inclement for the next few days it may be bad news for some but for others who love nothing better than diving under the duvet with a good book, possibly it is good news for some. If you are looking for something to warm you up you really should rush to Get-A-Fix for a dish of their really delicious tomato soup with feta and garlic roasted croutons. I had a plate yesterday and all I can comment is ‘absolutely delicious’, just enough to warm the cockles. While there pick up a take-away of one of their lasagne’s. I had their spinach and feta for supper last night, scrumptious!

Of course today is Tuesday and that is good news for us oldies with pensioner offers at Spar, the Butcher Shop and for the ladies, a pedicure and mini manicure for only R120 at Pop-In Beauty & Nail Bar.

Good news for furry friend lovers, St Francis Animal Rescue has being doing some wonderful work at finding homes for unwanted pets, some misplaced by the recent fires, so if you are looking for a furry friend be sure to visit the SFAR Facebook page rather than going out and buying a pet.

St Francis Today will make an effort to find some good news going forward so if any readers have anything to share that is good news please mail us on or Whatsapp or call us on 082 554 0796.

Shar Pei

In photo Kirsten Doyle with the Shar Pei rescued after having been tied to a stake with fire approaching in Thornhill. It has been re-homed by St Francis Animal Rescue with Johannesburg resident Alexandra Williamson who has two Shar peis (plus a Husky and Pitbull), and lost her heart to this boy’s tragic story.

Shar pei

Shar pei soon after being recued from his frightening ordeal


Fire Update

22nd June

Firefighters have been preparing for the strong winds predicted for tomorrow. 

Please find below the fire update from Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen:

Fire-fighters prepare for strong winds tomorrow

Strong winds have been predicted for tomorrow, renewing fears that there could be flare-ups in the Longmore, Thornhill and Van Stadens Gorge areas.

While there have been no further flare-ups overnight or today, there are still areas that are smouldering at Longmore and the Van Stadens Gorge, as well as behind Woodridge in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Kouga fire-fighters and farmers have been doing preventative mop-ups in preparation of the strong winds. A team has also been sent to Woodridge to help Nelson Mandela Bay with mop-up operations there.

The fire that flared up behind Woodridge yesterday was extinguished with the help of two SANDF helicopters, which also helped to douse smaller flare-ups at the Van Stadens Gorge.

Damage & Warnings

It will cost an estimated R1-million to replace fire-damaged road signs, guard rails and fences along the N2 in the vicinity of Van Stadens. Sanral has been removing the damaged signs and has ordered new ones.

Drivers are asked to continue driving with caution and to be on the look-out for burnt trees which could fall over into the roads.

Eskom has completed repairs to major power lines that were damaged by the fire and estimates that it will take another two weeks to complete repairs to minor lines.

Police continue to patrol the Thornhill area so as to prevent looting. No incidents of looting have been reported.

Donations are still being received and can be dropped off at the Thornhill police station.

21st June

Please find below a fire update from Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen – 20 June 2017


About 17 000 ha of veld, plantation and farm land in the Kouga area has been destroyed by the fire that started burning in the Longmore area on 7 June. This is only within Kouga’s area of jurisdiction and does not include damage on Nelson Mandela Bay’s side. 

Sanral has been replacing fire-damaged barriers along the N2.  They have also been removing damaged road signs along the N2 and new ones have been ordered.


There were some flare-ups in the Van Stadens Gorge overnight but these were extinguished. The two SANDF helicopters were also used to dump water on hot spots in the gorge.  

Smaller flare-ups were extinguished in the Loerie/Thornhill areas today.

Fire-fighters and farmers are now busy with 360˚ mop-ups along the perimeters of fire-damaged areas.

Kouga fire-fighters are still assisting Nelson Mandela Bay with the fire at the Yellowwoods area behind Woodridge. About 120 000 litres of water was thrown on this fire by the SANDF helicopters yesterday, which helped to contain the fire.  

20th June

There have been some flare-ups in Kouga today and over  weekend. Herewith a fire update from Mayor Elza van Lingen:


There were flare-ups at Longmore over the weekend but fire-fighters were able to contain and extinguish the fires before any further damage was caused.

There have also been flare-ups at Crossways and Thornhill today, but they have been contained.

There are still 80 fire-fighters on the ground in these areas.

Two SANDF helicopters again water-bombed hot spots over the weekend. Each helicopter dumped about 60 000 litres of water on smouldering areas.

Farmers are also busy assisting with mop-up operations, especially in the Thornhill area.

The major concern at this stage is the fire that has flared up to the eastern side of the Van Stadens gorge behind Woodridge. Kouga has sent fire-fighters to assist Nelson Mandela Bay.


Nelson Mandela has not yet been able to restore the electricity supply to the Longmore village.

Kouga Municipality has, however, brought in a generator which is being used to supply power to houses on a rotational basis.

Kouga Municipality is also carting in water and has put in place 25 portable toilets for use by the village, as the water supply has also been affected by the power outage.


Sightseers have been obstructing fire-fighting operations along the N2 and R102. We ask that people avoid these areas as far as is possible. Drivers are reminded to please reduce speed when driving in these areas.

Police are patrolling affected areas to prevent looting, also of scrap metal.

The Thornhill Police Station is currently being used as the drop-off point for donations.

Press Release
Laura-Leigh Randall
Kouga Municipality
Media Liaison Officer
084 2055 388