No Fireworks

Discharge of flares, fireworks and chinese lanterns prohibited in Kouga

Kouga Municipality would like to remind residents and holiday-makers that the shooting off of flares is only permitted from vessels at sea in the event of an emergency.

The reminder follows on a Christmas day fire in the vicinity of the Gamtoos River Mouth, believed to have been started by a flare.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the Thornhill SAPS was investigating the cause of the fire, which threatened houses at Gamtoos Extension 2 before fire-fighters were able to divert the blaze towards the dunes and bushes.

She appealed to all residents and visitors to refrain from discharging flares, fireworks or Chinese lanterns anywhere in the Kouga region.

“Our area is very dry because of the ongoing drought. This means that there is a high risk of fires starting.

“We appeal to everyone to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in this regard. By working together we can prevent people from getting hurt or properties from being damaged,” she said.

The fire at the Gamtoos was reported at 4:45pm on Christmas day.

Kouga fire-fighters, assisted by farmers and teams from the Crossways development, battled throughout the night to contain the blaze, which was eventually extinguished at 10am the next morning (26 December).

The Mayor said only one Wendy house was damaged but that several hectares of veld were also destroyed, the full extent of which is still to be determined.

Kouga Municipality’s Fire and Emergency Services control room can be contacted on 042 291 0250 or 042 200 8330.      

A Disgusting and Disgraceful night

A Disgusting and Disgraceful night at The Ruins

We published this morning’s news totally oblivious to what had transpired at The Ruins last night and it was only when going into town and hearing what had happened that we became aware of why reader Hedley Pougnet was so unhappy. Being based in Cape St Francis we were spared the trauma and certainly for some, that is exactly what it was, a traumatic experience. We certainly do not blame Hedley for considering us glib and flippant but in our defence our comments were based on years gone by where Billy’s Beach certainly has been largely respectful and an asset to the village over the Christmas period.

Some interesting points on the music which the organisers claim was below 80db but was in fact measured at over 110db which is what rock concert music normally produces. Here are definitions of sound

80db – Garbage disposal, dishwasher, average factory, freight train (at 15 meters). Car wash at 20 ft (89 dB); propeller plane flyover at 1000 ft (88 dB); diesel truck 40 mph at 50 ft (84 dB); diesel train at 45 mph at 100 ft (83 dB). Food blender (88 dB); milling machine (85 dB); garbage disposal (80 dB).  2 times as loud as 70 dB. Possible damage in 8 hour exposure

110db – Steel mill, auto horn at 1 meter. Turbo-fan aircraft at takeoff power at 200 ft (118 dB). Riveting machine (110 dB); live rock music (108 – 114 dB).Average human pain threshold. 16 times as loud as 70 dB.

So the organiser’s claims that they were inside the permitted noise level is a blatant lie for they certainly knew better. Before the event they were approached to turn their sound equipment around so as not to face directly onto the canals but the ignored this request. Certainly it would have dampened the sound somewhat but at the end of it all they would still have been operating outside the agreed upon limits.

But the noise aside! Was the continuous swearing necessary? One resident we spoke with commented that it sounded as there was a fight going on with the combatants every second word being the F-word . How pleasant it must have been for parents and grandparents with 5 to12 year old children to explain what the word meant for it could not be avoided as it seemingly filled almost very lounge, dining room kitchen and bedroom of almost every house on the canals. This type of language is uncalled for and quite honestly it questions the intelligence of those who organised the event to even consider employing such a low life band if it can indeed be called a band. Please don’t let them come back to St Francis!.

Billy’s Beach has been around for some time and we hope there are no more arguments with DEDEAT for they care and are committed to the St Francis community. Each year they donate significantly to charities that in the past have included Animal Rescue and Hospice.

It would seem the decision to allow The Ruins was made by a municipal delegation and not by St Francis Property Owners who also had no input on the staging layout. We had the following comment from SFPO “Historically the SFPO have been part of the Kouga Municipality’s Event Committee, but this year we were not invited to participate in the process. We did however point out that the positioning of the stage and loud speakers would cause major problems as they are facing directly toward the canal area instead of facing the R330”.

Their statement continued “We have discussed this with our Councillor and written to him and he is taking this matter up urgently with the Mayor and Municipal Manager. The regulations clearly state that they have the power to close an event down if they transgress in any way from the laid down procedures that need to be followed.

That the organisers of The Ruins were utterly disrespectful of the community and one would hope they have learnt a lesson which we hear they have for those who add value to St Francis will always be welcome. Those who don’t, find somewhere else to spread your filth.

Other side of coin

Annual visitor gives other side of the coin

“I have to vent.

Your editorial suggesting that we should “lump it if we don’t like it” and use ear plugs because The Ruins and Billy’s Beach are so important to the local economy is glib and unacceptably flippant.  I have just spoken to the police who also informed me that they are fielding numerous calls from irate residents (it is now well after midnight as I write this). No one can convince me that the volume of the music (actually I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt when I use the word music to describe the filthy language which is being used by the DJ and in the “songs” he has played) is necessary. The DJ obviously has a seriously limited vocabulary…

It is not possible to sleep, ear plugs or not, and I doubt that those attending the function need to be blasted into oblivion by the volume of what is being played to them. 

I am not an old grouch, just someone who comes down here year after year to enjoy some rest and recovery after another tough year. I don’t come here to be deprived of sleep for a week or more.  This kind of function will, if allowed to continue in this way, negatively affect the local economy because other people like me will stop coming here over the festive season. I am sure that anyone who has rented a house within 1 or 2km of The Ruins will be looking to move out in the morning and demand a refund of their rentals.  There have been functions at Billy’s and The Ruins/  Workshop most years, but never have they offended the residents to the degree as what is happening tonight. The Ruins used to be far away from the residential area and for good reason. Why was the licence granted without inviting comments from affected parties that allows the organisers to ruin the peace of our town?”

Yours sincerely
Hedley Pougnet

St Francis Today does agree that there should be a cut-off time when music should cease for there are no doubt by-laws that are possibly being ignored. As for the bad language – sadly it seems the more foul mouth some can be the more in vogue they thing=k they are.

Why not start earlier and finish earlier say midnight – as a compromise. Many concerts aound the world are successfully held in daylight so if you are coming to be intoxicated by the music and not the liquor, it should make no difference really.




Local Businessman thanks organisers

Local Businessman thanks Event Organisers

Local business owner Jethro Cadman thanks the organisers of the various events that are being held in St Francis ober the holidays in a Facebook posts.

“This might not be the right time or stage to say this but seeing that loads of people are bitching and complaining I thought that maybe the flip side of the coin should speak out.

I would personally like to thank all the event organizations and hosts in St Francis Bay over this Holiday Season. You guys have done a totally splendid job in providing enough entertainment so as to the have majority of all the rental houses, backpackers and guest houses filled with out of town guests.

You all have made sure that the places you are using to have your shows are well policed, have ample parking, are clean and well maintained. Hats off to you all for making this December/January totally awesome! You guys ROCK.

Believe it or not but a lot of business in this area cannot fully survive without the cash injection that our holiday seasons offer. Being in a small town with not a lot of open local trading happening, these periods give us the people we need to survive.

Without events being held by the Ruins, Billy’s Beach, Cobs Cove, Legends, The Brewery, Olive Tree etc we would not have the people coming in and buying from our shops, using our holiday accommodation, eating at our restaurants, using our canal cruises, drinking at our bars, playing at our fantastic golfing facilities or swimming on our coastline.

You might not like the taste in music that is being played or the volume that it is being played at but I can assure you that YOUR kids do and I bet if you look at yourself when you were their age your parents didn’t like your taste in music or volume either!

Smile. You are on holiday. Enjoy it. Live a little. Do something amazing that you will carry around in your heart as a memory forever – rather than the memory of a little noise. Don’t be a grumpy person just because 100s of others are having fun at your sleeps expense.

To all the locals: Right on! You guys have so far delivered a faultlessly awesome season. Hats off to you all. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

To all the holiday makers: I hope that you have a fantastic stay and that you will enjoy every second of it! Make the time here something amazing. Look up at the stars and breath the fresh air. In a few weeks you will be back in a city with traffic, smog and millions of irrate people.

Seriously…. If you can’t beat them…. Buy a house here and join them!!

Just my rusty 2c worth.”

St Francis Today and no doubt all business in St Francis concurs. For those who complain it is over before we know it so either live with it or join others who rent out their houses and spend your summer holidays elsewhere where is is quiet and peaceful. Surprisingly it is some of the out of towners who complain which makes no sense for all the events and fun are created to enhance their stay in our little village / s.

St Francis Bay SRA

St Francis Bay SRA back on track

Chris Gray and Wayne Furphy

Chris Gray (left) and Wayne Murphy

A new proposal for a St Francis Special Rate Area (SRA) was unveiled last evening at St Francis Links. St Francis Property Owners Association Chairman Wayne Furphy laid out the new criteria for a redefined  SRA to a disappointingly small group of property owners. Disappointing only in that at last year’s meeting to discuss the SRA the Links conference room was bursting at the seams, this year  – not so much!

To cover all discussed in the two hours last evening won’t fit in the allotted space of this post so we will stick to the most important points and deal with the nitty gritty in future posts.

In a nutshell the top priority is the Spit and Beach and so serious is the situation regarding St Francis’ biggest and possibly most important assets was the presence of Kouga Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis at the meeting. Du Plessis had a first-hand look at the state of the Spit with members of the committee and briefly addressed the meeting as to how serious the situation would become not only to t Francis Bay but to Kouga as a whole WHEN, NOT IF the spit gives way.

A petition will be circulated shortly both online (e-Mail) and at SPAR for concerned citizens to sign in support of Emergency Repairs to St Francis Bay and Beach. Both Furphy and du Plessis stressed the importance of signing this petition and submitting it to the municipality as soon a possible so that relevant authorities could be approached to stave off a disaster.

But back to the SRA!

Having considered the major concerns revolve around the Spit, Beach, roads, particularly the major intersections in the village, and security, the SRA has been proposed to attend to the more critical requirements within a demarcated area that covers from the canals to Harbour road.  In effect the means that Santareme, Otto’s and the harbour no longer form part of the SRA. Should the ‘suburbs’  wish to be incorporated in years to come, or wish to start their own SAR in the future, this can still be accommodated.

Many property owners will be happy to hear that the rate has also dropped from the 50% of your rates bill as proposed previously to just 25%. The priority is obviously the beach and spit and there is no doubt that funds raised through the SRA will be spent where need is most critical. That said the beach and spit are already critical and property owners are encouraged to make donations to the SFPO NPC Fund which raised R4.2 million over the past year and that has been used to do a lot of the groundwork in terms of assessing costs and processes that need to be followed in all aspects of the infrastructure upgrades / repairs.

More on the SRA in coming issues of St Francis Today but an overview of the content of the meeting is available on the St Francis Property Owners website. (Click on PUBLIC MEETING button)