What are you doing to save Water

Dam Levels 4th June

In spite of the wonderful rains we experienced on Friday and  Sunday morning it seems it has done our dam system little good with the combined dam levels in the Nelson Mandela Dam system actually falling 0.5% from 21.73% last week to 21.24%. Whilst Cape Town has received good rains in some of the major catchment areas there dams are far from overflowing but surely their plight is not, and never has been, more critical than ours in the Eastern Cape in spite of all the press coverage and tons and tons of water aid sent from around South Africa in case they were to tun out of water. The Easter Cape truly is the poor cousin.

Dam Levels 28th May

The graphic below shows the dam levele on Thursday before the good rains that fell on Friday. Hopefully the rains also fell in the catchment area for dam leves were certainly looking dire last week with Kouga now below 9% and overall levels down a further 1.5%. The annual Hankey / Patensie Dry Period begins on 16th July and lasts until 1st July and during this period the Gamtoos Irrigation Board performs maintenance on the canal system which supplies water from the Kouga Dam to these towns. During this period there will be times when there will be no water for domestic use but water will be trucked in.

Dam Levels as at 14th May

Lest we have lost motivation to save water possibly these latest dam level readings will re-inspire us all to make every effort to save water. Collective dam levels have dropped 22.45% from 24% (1.5% in a month). With no heavy rainfall in forecasts the situation worsens by the day.

Dam Levels as at 16th April

Week by week our dam levels fall lower and lower and this week fall below 24% to just 23.99%.

Dam Levels as at 9th April

Hopefully, some winter rain will bless the Nelson Mandela Bay dam catchment area for dam levels continue to fall.

Dam Levels as at 3rd April

Dam levels have again fallen in the past week in spite of the rains we experienced which seemed to do little more than green up our gardens. Obviously there is no need to remind readers to do all they can to save water. Old habits are sometimes hard to break but that 10-minute hot shower is simply a no-no! Levels have dropped from a collective 72143 Ml to 68699 Ml since 19th February.

Dam Levels as at 26th March

As can be seen from the graphs below the water situation is not improving  with dam levels collectively below 25%, a slight decrease from last month. With the Easter holidays ahead of us we must make sure visitors are aware of the serious water shortages we are facing and they must assist us by saving water wherever possible.

Dam levels as at 19th March

In spite of the wonderful rains we have had in St Francis, it seems the catchment area is not benefitting as there has been a slight decrease in overall dam levels from last week. No need then to remind everyone to do all they can to SAVE WATER!

Nelson Mandela Dam Levels

Dam levels as at 12th March

Dam levels as at 12th March

Dam levels at 19th February

Dam Levels 19 Feb

Dam levels as at 19th February



Save Water

Share your ideas or what you are doing to save water as a business or individual

Capetonians are coming up with some innovative ideas to save every last drop. Let’s see what ideas we in St Francis can come up with. St Francis Today will leave this page up as a forum whare readers can add their ideas.

Comments can also include where people are seen to be abusing water suchas a neighbour washing a car with a hose or a leaking tap on the beach.

All deas welcome – we are in a dire situation and need to save every drop


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New Teachers at St Francis College

St Francis College Welcomes New Teachers For 2018

The new school year got off to an exciting start at St Francis College where four new teachers were welcomed into the fold.

“In a major coup for our school, we have secured the services of Mr Ralton Fortuin as the new physical education teacher and sports coach,” said headmaster Franzl Bause. Mr Fortuin, who left his post at Pharos School at the end of the last year, is the head coach of KCPC (Kouga Cricket Performance Centre) and is an accomplished soccer, tennis and volleyball coach.”

“Mrs Aletta Malherbe is the Grade 7 class teacher in 2018. She will be teaching Grade 6 and 7 Afrikaans, Mathematics and Grade 7 Natural Sciences. Mrs Malherbe has taught at Pearson High School, Adelaide Gymnasium, Otto du Plessis High School and Thornhill Primary School in Botswana for nineteen years.”

“In Grade 6 we welcome Mrs Nadine Knezovich. She and her husband, Warren, and their two young children have just relocated to St Francis Bay from Cape Town where she taught for thirteen years at Fish Hoek Middle School, Bergvliet Primary, Bay Primary, Pinelands North and Timour Hall Primary School.  She is a keen long distance runner having completed the Comrades in 2014 and is an accomplished hockey coach.”

“Mrs Catherine Falconer replaces Mrs Michelle Miller in Grades 00 and 2 for the first term. Her experience in working with children over the past fifteen years includes teaching on a ship, in Khayelitsha township in Cape Town, in Diguna Missions in the Lopit Mountains in South Sudan and in Nairobi, Kenya since 2014. She and her husband have also recently relocated to St Francis Bay. The exciting news for the nursery school is that Mrs Falconer has agreed to be the class teacher for the Butterfly class from the start of the second term.”

“Congratulations to Mrs Michelle Miller and her husband Greg on the arrival of their second daughter in January. Mrs Miller will return to her classes at the beginning of May and I am delighted to be able to utilize her to her full potential this year. She will assume responsibility for the ICT computer laboratory and teach Grade 4 and 5 Natural Sciences and Mathematics classes.”

“2018 is set to be a busy and productive academic year and we are looking forward to really excelling on the sports fields too!” concluded Bause.

New teachers at St Francis College

Left to right: Nadine Knezovich, Ralton Fortuin, Franzl Bause (Headmaster), Catherine Falconer and Aletta Malherbe.

Cross the line interiors St Francis Bay

Your Vote Counts so don’t waste it

Last years original SRA votes do not count – Please Re-VOTE

As the deadline for votes on the proposed 2018 SRA (Special Rates Area) approaches it really needs your vote to make it a fair process. Whether your vote is FOR or AGAINST the proposed SRA it is important that you cast your vote for this a democratic process.

PLEASE NOTE this is a whole new process. Your vote last year or the year before counts for nothing and you must re-cast your vote as it is a totally new proposal where the rate has dropped substantially by some 50%. If you are not aware of the new proposal you can read a synopsis below or the full proposal at

Full SRA-Proposal

Or should you want to delve deeper into the actual Business Plan then read

SRA Motivation & Business Plan

If you are not too sure whether your vote has been recorded or indeed if you have voted, you can check your vote on

Votes Received

St Francis Property Owners as appealed to all property owners in the demarcated area  (see map below) to vote as soon as possible as the voting closes on February 24th 2018.

SRA proposal: (Synopsis)

  1. SRA levy of 25% of property owners’ monthly/annual rates (reduced from the original 50%).
  2. The shortfall in revenue will be contributed from alternative sources ie Riparians, Kromme Joint River Committee, the Port, Kouga Municipality and donations
  3. The Demarcated area for the levy will include the Village and Canal areas. Santareme, St Francis on Sea, Port, Otters Landing, Industrial Sites and The Links could be included at a later stage if the property owners in these areas choose to participate
  4. The scope of projects and services include:
    • The restoration of the beach, spit and river (priority 1)
    • The repair and maintenance of sections of the arterial roads and parking areas to be limited to the Village centre and main intersections along with pedestrian and cycle tracks along main arterial roads (priority 2)
    • The installation of CCTV camera surveillance in the demarcated area (priority 3)
    • Rebuild of the arterial roads (priority 4)

Cross the Line interiors St Francis Bay

Hector – a feel good story

A lovely feel good story from regular contributor Yvonne Bosman about a close relationship formed between Wendy MacKenzie and a young heron.

The close relationship between Wendy MacKenzie and a Grey Heron began when “Hector”, as she named him, landed in a bed of ferns alongside her garden wall, with no sign of an adult in the area.

Last year when a large ficus tree which had served as a heronry was trimmed back, four herons made their way to Wendy’s palm tree on main canal in St Francis Bay and built their nests.

Sometime late last year, the remains of a blue egg fell from a tree in her garden, so she presumed that the herons had bred. Another egg had also fallen around the same time so she collected these and kept them as items of interest.

Then, on 30 December, last month, during one of the more serious gales the town has experienced lately, Wendy heard a strange noise outside her lounge, and went to investigate. She found a young bird had fallen into the ferns that line her garden wall. She was not sure whether the wind had blown him out, or if the African Harrier Hawk, which had been frequenting that part of the canals, had tried to extract him from the nest and dropped him.

Fortunately her nephew Bernard McKenzie was staying with her at the time, and being a keen fisherman was able to supply her with bait to feed the young bird. No adult heron seemed to be in the area and the heron, whom she has named Hector, has remained on the property ever since. He enjoyed the daily offerings of bait sardines so hung around. Since that first day, a bond has developed between Wendy and Hector and he follows her movements wherever she is. He sits patiently at feeding times on the grass outside the patio door, or clambers up onto flower pots outside, or even jumps onto the window ledge outside her lounge from where he can watch her. “It must be to do with the food I supply,” she says wryly.

Hector would also like to form a friendship with the dog Juno who ignores him most of the time, but he made it quite clear that Juno may not come near at feeding time. He has even managed to walk up the spiral staircase in the courtyard where Juno sleeps.  If a meal is late, a gentle reminder comes in the form of a peck on the window.

One morning Wendy was surprised when she saw Hector flying back to her garden from across the canal.  He had obviously made a sortie to the opposite bank of the canal so he is able to fly quite well by now. She is hoping that he will be able eventually be able to fly off and find his own food and fend for himself but in the meantime, he is providing her with great satisfaction and interest.

Feeding time

NSRI in dolphin rescue Cape St Francis

Locals and NSRI in dolphin rescue off Cape St Francis

NSRI St Francis Bay had a busy weekend starting with a call late Friday evening to assist Chokka boat Viagro with a crewman who was suffering dehydration. The 33-year old was taken off the fishing boat by NSRI St Francis onto sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and brought to shore where a private care ambulance transported him to hospital.

On Sunday a NSRI crewman was alerted to a stranded Bottlenose Dolphin beached on the rocks off at Cape St Francis Lighthouse. The NSRI crewman immediately contacted Dr Greg Hofmeyer  from Bayworld who in turn contacted Sarah Jane Smith station commander at NSRI ST Francis for assistance.  Sarah immediately mobilised and a crew proceeded to scene to find the dolphin high and dry on the rocks some 25 metres from the sea on an outgoing tide.

Along with SANNCOB staff they wrapped and bathed the dolphin in wet towels and buckets of water. With guidance from Dr Hofmeyer they were able get the dolphin onto a Stokes Basket Stretcher and move it to the harbour where it was loaded onto the waiting ski boat, Sea Wolf where skipper Brandon Kennedy and Marc White took over the rescue. Approximately a kilometre offshore in a large 4-metre swell the dolphin was placed back into the sea.  According to Sara Jane the dolphin swam away quite confidently.

Accolades to all involved, Sarah and her NSRI crew, Dr Hofmeyer, the gentleman (name unknown) who initially alerted the NSRA crew member, Penny a SANNCOB volunteer and both Brendon Kennedy and Marc White for a job well done.


Curry night at St Francis Links