Millions for Coastal Upgrades

Millions for dune rehabilitation and coastal upgrades at St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay.

The rehabilitation of the coastline at St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay has received a boost following the approval of another funding application by Kouga Municipality.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks announced at a meeting of the Kouga Council on Tuesday that the municipality had secured R20-million through the national Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme (EPIP) for dune rehabilitation and coastal upgrades at St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay.

“In addition to this, a further R12,3-million has been made available to Kouga and Kou-kamma, also by DEA, for Working for the Coast Mass Employment projects,” he said.

He said the latter amount was for a two-year period and would be used to help keep the coastline clean and free of invasive alien vegetation, as well as for environmental education and awareness programmes.

“It is, in essence, a continuation of the projects that were implemented during the previous funding cycle. The focus is on job creation and maintaining the coastline from Van Stadens to the Grootbos River,” he explained.

Hendricks said the details of the work to be done with the R20-million EPIP allocation at St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay would be finalised by the Project Advisory Committee.

According to a letter from Environmental Affairs Director-General Nosipho Ngcaba, her department will be procuring the services of “professional companies and CIBD-graded contractors for the planning and implementation of the projects”, to be phased in from the 2018/2019 financial year to 2022/23.

“R10-million of this allocation is specifically for Oyster Bay,” the Mayor said.

“In terms of the municipality’s application and preliminary discussions with DEA and other stakeholders, we expect the work to include the creation of vegetated berms and a protection wall to mitigate the risk of shifting dunes burying nearby houses and infrastructure.

“It will also be used for new ablution facilities and a mobile lifeguard tower at the beach, as well as to construct a playground nearby.”

He said the remaining R10-million would be used specifically for St Francis Bay.

Work to be done, includes dune stabilisation and rehabilitation. The funding will also be used for the construction and upgrade of beach facilities, including a coastal boardwalk and ablution facilities.

Great news for those who have worked so tirelessly including the St Francis Property Owners committee, to save our coastline. No doubt this be a huge kick-start saving to the St Francis Bay beach. Seeing that the funds emanate  from the Department of Environmental Affairs, hopefully they will now fast-track the approval of the EIA’s that SFPO has been waiting so long for to start work. 

Local Christian Women on SABC

Radio Program Raises Breast Cancer Wareness

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks (second left) welcomes Umhlobo Wenene FM presenter Noxolo “Noxie” Speelman (centre), Eastern Cape Community Chest CEO Jimmy Gotyana (left), Kouga MRM Chairperson Rev Siyabonga Tambo and Kouga MRM Secretary Elvina Felix to a live broadcast of the radio station in Humansdorp last week.

Women from different KwaNomzamo Christian denominations participated in a national radio programme when Umhlobo Wenene FM did a live broadcast of their show from the Methodist Church on Thursday.

In a first for Humansdorp, the station hosted the women’s religious programme LelikaYehova Ihlabathi Nenzaliseko Yalo, with veteran presenter Nomthunzi Vuza and co-presenter Noxolo “Noxie” Speelman having the crowds eating out of their palms.
The Kouga Moral Regeneration Movement, in conjunction with the KwaNomzamo Women’s Manyano (Association), were the organisers of the event.

The MRM falls under the office of the Speaker of Council within Kouga Municipality.
In his welcoming address to the guests and congregants, Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said it was great to see community structures taking hands to bring about programmes to rebuild the moral fibre of the society.
“Our society is engulfed by many social ills and it takes a community, working together with government and other stakeholders, to wage an effective battle against these.

“We would like to thank you for helping to put our name on the map, as Umhlobo Wenene is a big player in broadcasting with millions across the country listening to the programme,” said Hendricks.

The Port Elizabeth-based SABC station has more than five million listeners countrywide with the show attracting more than two million.
MRM Chairperson Siyabonga Tambo said the Thursday radio programme also focused on raising awareness around breast cancer.
October is recognised internationally as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“This (live broadcast) doesn’t happen often, but we are hoping that we would be able to have the radio station again in future during our campaigns,” he said.

Debt Collection Drive

Municipality to get tough on debtors

Kouga Municipality is stepping up its efforts to collect outstanding services and rates monies following a resolution taken at a Kouga council meeting on 30 October will see the municipality geting tpugh on otstanding debtors.

From tomorrow (1 November) the amount deducted from prepaid electricity sales for those with outstanding municipal debt will be increased from 30% to 50%.

 

Businesses invited to adopt an entrance

Woodlands is the first business to join the “Adopt an Entrance” campaign,

The clean-up crew is welcomed by Tinus Potgieter and Lex Gutsche of Woodlands joined Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks, Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis, Environmental Management and Waste Manager Leon Herbst and Paul Ferreira of Paul Ferreira Lawnmowing.

 

Woodlands Dairy and its First Choice brand have partnered with Kouga Municipality to clean up their “hood” and improve visitors’ first impression of Humansdorp.

Woodlands is the first business to join the “Adopt an Entrance” campaign, a project being driven by Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

“Woodlands Dairy has basically ‘adopted’ the N2 entrance to Humansdorp and will be keeping the road reserve leading into the town neat and clean, ” Hendricks said.

The initiative includes a billboard that encourages communities to “Clean Up Your Hood For Good”, a branded skip and eye-catching bins that will be used by the clean-up crew.

The billboard was officially unveiled by the Mayor and Woodlands CEO Lex Gutsche earlier in October.

Hendricks said that while the road does not fall under the municipality’s jurisdiction, the Council viewed it as one of the most strategic entrances to the Kouga region.

“This stretch of road is of great importance when it comes to unlocking Kouga’s full development potential. Not only is it used by people going specifically to Humansdorp, it is also the main access route to the St Francis area while buses and motorists travelling along the N2 often turn off here for a rest stop at Humansdorp. This entrance is, therefore, many people’s first impression of Kouga and has the potential to draw or scare off tourists and investors. We are very grateful to Woodlands for recognising this potential and being willing to go the extra mile for the greater Kouga community.”

Tinus Pretorius, First Choice General Manager: Sales and Marketing, said First Choice was a “brand with a purpose. We are working to minimise our impact on the environment, from farm and factory to home. We want our good movement to take off and be adopted by communities across the country in the coming years,” he said.

Mayor Hendricks said the project was a continuation of the “Keep Kouga Clean” initiative, launched by late Mayor Elza van Lingen last year. “She lay a solid foundation for us and I am proud that we can build on what she started.”

Businesses who would like to become involved, can contact 0815860403.

Press Release – Kouga Municipality

A Cruise Liner in our Port?

Cruise Liners in our Port and taking over the Lighthouse – way to go!

There was some positive interest shown by the Kouga municipality tt the St Francis Tourism AGM held at St Francis Links last week. Not sure if it had ever happened before but it was a positive that the meeting was attended by not one, but two sitting mayoral committee councillors, Ward Councillor Alderman Ben Rheeder and  Councillor for Planning, Development & Tourism,  Bryan Dhludhlu.

St Francis Tourism Chair, Hantie van der Westhuizen, with the aid of a slide presentation, ran through several successes tourism notched up this past year including the success of the entire Calamari Festival, Golf, Bowls, Half-Marathon and Calamari Challenge amongst others including th growth of the Monthly Market. Certainly the Calamari need to be expanded and must incorporate all of St Francis and Cape St Francis in future years. The suggestion that it be tied in with the successful Wild Flower Festival makes sense but the flowers do blossom a little later, but even so the two festivals could complement each other in establishing festival season in St Francis. Where there is a will, there is a way – or so they say!

Attending the monthly market in recent months shows that it has certainly grown in size and there is a far more vibrant feel. Of course the Sea Vista Marimba Band does much add to the vibrancy and they, the band, seem to get better every time they play. Their rendition of the Beatles Ob La Di this past market day had these talented kids adding a few creative little riffs to their performance.

But back to the Tourism AGM.

Following Hantie’s presentation the microphone was handed to Councillor Dhludhlu who really showed enthusiasm and a sense of humour with some of his suggestions to grow tourism in the region. His suggestion that the Port be expanded to enable cruise liners to dock in Port St Francis was hopefully not taken too seriously for if some in our village had heard this suggestion, we would have had committees formed in opposition almost overnight to fight such a proposal. Imagine a thousand passengers disembarking a cruise liner for a day’s sightseeing in and around St Francis. Wow, the economy would boom. But not a bad idea to work on getting passengers off visiting liners docking in PE to travel to St Francis for the day.

One wonders if the Councillor has been doing some reading on the history of St Francis Bay for indeed SFB has had international passengers disembark off a ship to visit St Francis in the past. This was way back on 2nd May 1785 when The Pigot dropped anchor off the mouth of the Kromme River, some 238 years ago,35 years before the 1820 Settlers set foot in the Eastern Cape.

The Pigot, an East Indian trader no doubt named after the famous Indian diamond ‘The Pigot Diamond’ had a hundred passengers and crew aboard who had suffered ‘rough passage’ and were in need of fresh water and victuals.  History has it that they so enjoyed St Francis, who wouldn’t, that they stayed a month before they re-embarking and setting sail although a few passengers had had enough of sailing the oceans and made their way to Cape Town on land. But that is a story for another time.

One disappointment of the Tourism AGM was how poorly it was supported by those who rely on tourism for a living, which in fact is almost all business in St Francis. The usual supporters were there including both The Links and Cape St Francis Resort, both major players in bringing tourists to our shores. In Fact Jeff Clause of the Links and Anita Lennox of the Resort had just returned from International Golf Travel Market in Ljubljana, Slovenia promoting St Francis to an international audience a few dats before the meeting.

Social Media had several posts complaining that St Francis Tourism is not supporting them. Maybe they do feel a little ignored but the best way to get support is to be part of the support system. Possibly some industry / businesses are overlooked simply because of the lack of personnel to grow tourism. Sitting on the side-lines never won a match, you have to join the scrum to win the ball.