Canadian delegation empowers Kouga Roleplayers

Canadians also visit Port, Lighthouse & Links

The BIGM mission visited the St Francis Bay Harbour as part of identifying economic development assets within Kouga.

A three-day stakeholder engagement workshop on Local Economic Development (LED), hosted by the Kouga Municipality and their Canadian counterparts Prince Edward County (PEC) received positive reviews from those in attendance.

The workshop took place at the Mentors Country Estate from Wednesday to Friday last week and brought together representatives from government departments and agencies, business, non-governmental organisations and the local municipality.

The session is part of the Building Green Inclusive Municipalities (BIGM) partnership between Kouga and PEC, a project facilitated by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Kouga Planning, Development and Tourism Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu said the aim of the workshop was to highlight the ways in which project management was approached, with some insights on knowledge management, LED strategies, tourism assets inventory management and community consultation strategies.

“The municipality is on a path towards crafting an LED strategy and we realised that we could not walk this path alone. As we seek to make the most of the partnership and learning from PEC, it is crucial that our social partners are part of the learning programme and are able to give input on the strategy that will help improve the economic status of Kouga and benefit the communities at large,” he said.

Dries du Preez from the Kouga Business Forum and the Fountains Mall said it was great to see diverse views being brought together under one roof to work towards a common understanding.

“We must, however, understand that we are only at the infancy stage and things will not happen overnight. This is a planning process which needs buy-in from everyone,” he said.

Aphiwe Masoka from the Jeffreys Bay Shell Museum said he found the presentations easily understandable and relevant to him as both a stakeholder and a young person. “It is important for us as the youth to be involved in the decision-making processes from the stage they are conceived, for learning purposes and for our voice to be heard,” she said.

Siphesihle Dela of Bayahluma Sewing Project said she was pleased to see the gender focus of the workshop and to see many women participating. “I am looking forward to seeing more women take on serious roles in the programme to challenge the male domination within the business sector,” she said.

Others who echoed the positive sentiments of the programme were Harold Loggerenberg and Caryn Hammond from On Eagle’s Wings, a voluntary organisation from Jeffreys Bay that works with vulnerable and abused people.

The workshop was conducted by the Prince Edward County delegation.

The BIGM three-year programme is funded by the Canadian Government.

The BIGM team also visited the Cape St Francis lighthouse, an icon in the area which has stood for 140 years

St Francis Links Golfcourse was another pit stop for the BIGM mission


Press Release – Kouga Municipality Media Liaison 

South African Team Moves into Medal Contention

South African Team Moves into Medal Contention on Day Three of ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

The Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African surfing team moved into fourth place and potentially a copper medal in the Team category at the 2018 Urban Research ISA World Surfing Games after the third day of competition in Tahara, Japan.

Hosts Japan head the team standings and are the only nation still to have all six of their surfers in contention. Spain and the USA each have one athlete eliminated while South Africa heads a group of seven nations who have had two team members sidelined from the event.

Team captain Bianca Buitendag of Victoria Bay again led the way for the Saffas, cruising into the last six in the women’s Main event. Last year’s bronze medalist finished runner-up to French standout Justine Dupont in Round 3, relegating compatriot Nicole Pallet of La Lucia to fourth place in their heat and dropping her teammate into the grueling Repecharge rounds

Buitendag then posted the highest women’s heat total of today’s action, 15.50 out of 20, to score a psychological advantage by finishing ahead of last year’s gold medalist Pauline Ado (France). The lanky South Africa faces Dupont and Paige Hareb (New Zealand) when competition resumes, with the top two in the heat advancing to the last four in the Main event stream and the third placed woman dropping to the Repo rounds.

Zoe Steyn of East London was the first Saffa to be eliminated from the event when she placed third behind competitors from Portugal and Indonesia in Repecharge Round 3. The hugely talented 14-year-old rookie of the team will have learned plenty from her participation in Japan where she progressed through two rounds of cutthroat, 15 minute Repo heats before ending her campaign in equal 37th place overall and contributing 300 points to the team’s tally.

In the men’s draw, Beyrick de Vries of uMhlanga started the day strongly with two Repecharge heat wins, but was narrowly outpointed in Round 5 and the experienced international campaigner will be disappointed at finishing equal 25th and only adding 360 team points. David van Zyl of Glenashley was well off the top two in his Main event Round 3 heat but then produced two fighting finishes in Repo heats and will restart his challenge for honours in Round 6 on Wednesday.

Adin Masencamp of the Strand will also kick-start his bid for glory and a big haul of team points in Repecharge Round 6 after becoming the only South African male to reach the last 16 in the Main event stream before being relegated to the Repos.

The men are set for a big day on Wednesday when their Grand Final will be run before the Women’s Final is run later in the week after waiting out a brief flat spell of waves.

Japanese born and California raised Kanoa Igarashi has rapidly assumed national hero status by becoming the first Japanese surfer to qualify for the Grand Final of the men’s division of the ISA World Surfing Games. Igarashi is joined by 2011 event champion Santiago Muniz (Argentina) in the Grand Final and they will come up against the top two to emerge from Wednesday’s Repercharge rounds with gold, silver, bronze and copper medals at stake for the four finalists.

The Urban Research ISA World Surfing Games is streamed live starting at 12 midnight South African time on from Saturday 15 to Saturday 22 September. Team rosters, photos, videos, results and news will be available on the ISA website throughout the event.

The event can also be viewed on the ISA Facebook page (International Surfing Association), on Instagram (@ISAsurfing) and on Twitter (@ISAsurfing)

Mercedes-Benz and Buffalo City are supporting the South African Surfing Team’s participation in the ISA World Surfing Games for the second successive year.

Surfing South Africa is the governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). Surfing South Africa is recognised and supported by the National Department of Sport and Recreation.

All South African surfing teams that participate in international events are chosen by the National Selectors and, in terms of the SSA Constitution, are ratified by the Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa.

Press Release – Robin de Kock – General Manager – Surfing South Africa

Local Skipper Plays Key Role In Lewis Pugh’s Epic Achievement

Lewis Pugh’s gargantuan achievement assisted by local skipper

Some regular readers of St Francis Today, hopefully a lot of readers, would have followed the blog published on of South African long distance swimmer Lewis Pugh’s gargantuan achievement of swimming, not across the English Channel but the 530km (330 miles) length of it.  Starting his epic swim at Land’s End and finishing, on schedule 49 days later in Dover, Pugh caught the attention of over two million readers with his daily blog.

Essential to the success of this ambitious, seemingly impossible swim was the support boat that would accompany the swimmer and as important as the boat itself, the skipper who would be responsible for considering every aspect of tides, wind and weather to bend the odds in favour of Lewis and not ocean.

And so a local Cape St Francis skipper joins the saga, Stephen Praetorius who is presently building a house in Cape St Francis. Brought up in Port Elizabeth and educated at Woodridge College, Steve became a professional skipper working his way up to eventually skippering super yachts.

Lewis thanking Steve African style

Meeting Steve on site at his partially complete wood frame house, Steve related the story of Lewis’ incredible accomplishment in which he, Steve, played a major role.

Steve met Lewis whilst working at St Francis Marine way back in 2011 when Lewis had visited the boat yard looking for suitable vessels for expeditions. This chance meeting led to a lasting friendship and over the years Steve assisted Lewis in planning several of his adventures.

In January this year Lewis called Steve and laid out his plans for this channel swim and asked Steve to skipper the support boat. Months of planning went into the event including sourcing the 42-foot catamaran to be used and assembling a suitable crew.

Finally with a crew of eight including Steve as the skipper, a biokineticist who looked after Lewis’ fitness and prepared him for each day’s swim as well as seconding as Lewis’ pace swimmer, a videographer, a storyteller to write the daily blog, a chief-of-staff for all the logistics aboard the boat and ashore, a chef and a deckhand.

As any ocean swimmer will attest, even those crazy St Francis open water swimmers who plough around the St Francis Bay canals every Friday evening, swimming against a tide poses a nigh impossible task and it was here that Steve played a such a key role in ensuring Lewis would achieve his goal of swimming at least 10 kilometres a day. As the boat often docked when Lewis was not swimming Steve to locate the exact GPS position where the previous day’s swim ended having already calculated the perfect time where the tide would best support the swim for around the 3 hours the 10 kilometres would take to ensure Lewis did not have to swim against the tide. By Steve’s own admission he got it wrong only once when the sea turned against Lewis but this was fortunately early on and fortunately did not affect the rest of the swim.

To best make use of weather and sea tide conditions, the swim would often only start late at night or early morning in the dark. Almost In support of Lewis’ quest the weather at large favoured the swim, for this past summer was one of Britain’s hottest on record. Even so diving into the icy channel in the dark, encountering jellyfish and other forms of sea life takes a very special mind which Steve explained is possibly Lewis’ strongest attribute.

Discussing his interaction during the days and nights together Steve explains “Lewis is more than passionate about what he is doing to make for a better world with cleaner oceans, it is hos calling. Many of us are passionate about what we do, very few though are totally committed.”

Thank you Lewis Pugh and to Steve for his part for his part in making this quest a success and drawing attention to the need to save and protect our oceans.

The purpose ofLewis’ swim was to raise awareness for better marine protection with a to have 30% of the world’s oceans protected by 2030. The current figure stands at around 4%. For those who didn’t follow the swim, a synopsis is available on (

We can all play our part and with a little effort you too can make a difference by being careful how you dispose of your plastic waste.






NSRI Save Man from Surf in JBay

National Sea Rescue

NSRI Save Man from Surf in JBay

NSRI Jeffreys Bay lifeguards, having completed a routine training exercise at Pellsrus Beach on Monday(17th Sept) evening noticed a commotion on the beach front and went to investigate.

A crowd had gathered and were raising concerns and attempting to encourage a man to safety who while sitting on rocks close to the water’s edge, the man had entered the surf and appeared to be out of his depth and in difficulties.

NSRI lifeguard Luzuko Mkubeni and Ettiene van Gent, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station 37 Lifesaving Unit Captain went into the surf while the NSRI trainee lifeguard Craig Sampson ran to the NSRI sea rescue station to fetch fins and a rescue torpedo buoy and to raise the alarm.

Ettiene and Luzuko were able to reach the man in the surfline and bring him safely to the shore where the SA Police Services patrol officers had arrived on the scene.

The local adult male, aged in his mid-20’s, was taken into the care of the Police officers and he has been reunited with his family who also arrived on the scene and no further assistance was required.

“It was by coincidence that we  were there in that moment having earlier changed plans from training at the Marina to rather training at the beach and we commend the members of the public who raised the alarm on the beach alerting us to this incident’ said Ettiene after the rescue..

This photograph was taken during training over the weekend