Sea Vista Educational Project

It Takes a village – let’s help

Dorothy Ker-Fox draws our attention to the desperate needs of the Sea Vista Primary School

Sea Vista Primary School in St Francis Bay, moved from their “farm school” site and situation (with minimal / no facilities) into their new building at the beginning of  2017, this led to an influx of children who had been attending schools in Humansdorp and were registered at Sea Vista in 2017.

While helping out at Sea Vista primary at the end of 2017 two critical issues were brought to my attention: the lack of teaching staff (the staff allocation did not increase with increased numbers) and the low literacy rate due to very big classes, over 70 in grades one and two in a single class each). A decision was taken by some members of the community, it started with St Francis United Church, to help out, if possible, the following year.

2018 started with a crisis for the school. Their grade 1 enrolment was over 100 with 1 teacher, teaching English, Afrikaans and Xhosa children, all in 1 classroom. Grade two had a similar situation with over 75 children in one class, the grade two class had all completed grade one in Afrikaans (many had been allowed to proceed to grade two even though they were unable to read or function using numeracy). A decision was taken to sponsor a grade one teacher so that the class could be split into two groups, the classes were then taught in Afrikaans and Xhosa (according to the majority of children’s home languages and pressure from the community).  The local community, church and Rotary helped with the funding of this teacher. (It must be noted that the grade R classes at both Sea Vista and Talhado are taught in separate classes, Xhosa and Afrikaans).

In conjunction with this effort about 20 members of the community gave of their time and started “support classes”, small groups of grade ones, twos, and  threes who were unable to read were given support with phonics, reading and basic comprehension skills three times a week in the mornings. Another group of about ten volunteers started a Mathematics / basic arithmetic support programme for seniors who were unable to pass and did not have the basic numeracy skills. This was taught in the afternoons to small groups of children  (grade 4 to 7).

The principal and teachers at the school were thrilled with the progress made by the children who had been attending our classes and we were asked to continue with this project in 2019. The support programme is running again as it did last year.

The staff situation looked as if it might improve, in July last year the Education Department employed a grade one Xhosa teacher, this meant the teacher we were sponsoring could move to the grade twos and that class could be split into Afrik and Xhosa classes . Then in January this year the Department employed another grade two teacher. Our joy was short lived, two teachers (grade two and four) retired at the end of the tem (March 2019) and the Department has, as yet, not advertised either of these posts. The  community will continue to raise money through donations to sponsor the grade two teacher and has agreed to sponsor a grade four teacher for the second term only – hopefully by then the Dept will have appointed teachers.

The school situation at present

Grade R (preschool)  2 classes of approx 40 children each (Xhosa & Afrik)

Grade 1       2 classes of over 50 each

Grade 2         2  classes of over 50 each

Grade 3         one class – over 60 children

Grades 4 to 7 only one class for each grade – over 50 children, in some cases over 60, in each class.

JUST IN – 07:15 28th February

Pancake Day extended! R5 with sugar/cinnamon.

Ladies’ Guild of St Francis United Church is fundraising to buy cricket practice nets for Sea Vista School. Orders welcome to be collected at Sandown 16 Stavenisse between 11h00 – 13h00 today. Please bring container.



Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works officially opened

Just three months after the opening of the cutting-edge Kruisfontein Waste Water Treatment Works, another state-of-the-art sewer plant has been completed in the Kouga region.

The Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) at St Francis Bay was officially opened today.

The multi-year upgrade was done at a cost of R31-million by contractor Prentec and consulting engineers SRK.

Tiaan Claassen, of SRK, said the main purpose of the upgrade had been to increase the capacity of the plant from 750kl/day to 2 Ml/day to cater for future developments in the St Francis area.

“SRK was responsible for designing and implementing the upgrade, including the implementation of additional infrastructure to meet the increased volumetric and organic loading of the works.”  

He said various technologies had been investigated for the upgrade.

“We eventually settled on active sludge technology, already in use at the plant, as the operators were well versed in these processes.”

He said two additional sequential batch reactors (SBR) had, therefore, been installed at the plant.

“These SBRs have a capacity of 0,625Ml/day and come complete with floating aerators, inlets, decants, de-sludge pipework and sludge drying beds. “The existing mechanical and electrical equipment at the plant was also upgraded while a new inlet works, concrete balancing tank and artificial wetland were also constructed.”

Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis, who had the honour of cutting the ribbon, congratulated Prentec and SRK on their expert handling of the contract.

“Their overall performance was of a very high standard and the quality of work excellent. The upgrade was also completed on time and well within the budget. “The safety standards on site were also exemplary, with a total of 78 043 no-loss-time-injury hours reached. This is almost unheard of in the industry,” he said.

He commended Prentec director Stewart Buchanan, project manager Duncan Klinkert and site agent Willie Lyons for this achievement.

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the increased sewer bulk capacity would allow for further development opportunities in the St Francis area.

“The upgraded plant also now puts in place the capacity needed for the planned RDP project in the area, set to benefit at least 2 000 households.”

He further commended the contractors for using local labour as far as was possible.

“A total of 44 639 worker hours was completed by local labour on the project, most from the surrounding communities. “Ten percent of the contract was also sub-contracted to local Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs).”

Media Release Kouga Municipality

Sea Vista Sewaag Works opening

Prentec Managing Director Stewart Buchanan, Kouga Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis and SRK senior technologist Tiaan Claassen at the upgraded Sea Vista Waste Water Treatment Works at St Francis.

Flash Float shares its success with other charities 

The organisers of the highly successful Flash Float are are sharing the funds raised in the highly successful event.

Little did they realise their idea would prove so successful even to the point of attracting national Television to report on what was surely the biggest event ever held on the St Francis Bay Canals if not in st Francis Bay. The brainwave of three local ladies, Cathryn Hemple,  Jane Arderne and Clairwen Praetorious, the event raised a staggering R132000.

Although the event was initially organised to raise much needed funding for both Talhado Children’s Haven (Montessori Preschool) and the Disney Creche, the organisers have decided to generously share some of the proceeds with other charities Sea Vista associated charities including St Francis Animal Rescue, Anneline Juries’ Soup Kitchen and Hygiene Packs for 65 Young Ladies.  

Helping the kids as you floated by

Flash Float St Francis Bay Canals


Sacred Khoi ritual at St Francis this weekend

Way before the 1820 settlers arrived on the shores of the Eastern Cape 200 years ago. Long before the Dutch settlers moved up the coast from the Cape and a farmer named Potgieter started farming in the area now known as St Francis. Even before the Nguni tribes moved down south to cross the Kei Rver, the Khoi San were here.

Their heritage is rich and their interaction with both the Nguni and white settlers is well documented as is evidence of their presence and existence.

Quite interestingly we quite unknowingly use many words in both English & Afrikaans that originated from their language and have surely absorbed a little of their heritage.

In her article “The Forgotten People” Avril Brand writes of some of the many words originating from the Khoi San that include ‘Aikona, Eina, Gogga, Kwagga, Koedoe, Karroo, Outeniqua, amongst others.

It is indeed an honour therefore that the Khoi San  committee has chosen St Francis Bay as the venue to observe three “Inau”, sacred ceremonies this weekend. It is indeed an historical occasion for certainly nothing similar has been held within our local community in recent times

The event is due to take place over three days starting on Friday 28th February and concluding on Sunday afternoon 1st March. With some 100 delegates attending. So let us all celebrate this event and exercise a little patience with any inconvenience the event my present and respect their culture wich has been aroound for hundreds, if not thousands of years.. 

Below is a Media release from the Mayor

A sacred Khoi ritual will bring the culture of South Africa’s first nation to life at St Francis Bay this weekend.

A public gathering of the Khoi-San !Nau will take place at Granny’s Pool from Friday, 28 February, to Sunday, 1 March.

According to the provincial chairperson of the Links Royal House in the Eastern Cape, Paramount Chief Crawford Fraser (Gaokx’oab Kai Anib), about 100 delegates are expected to attend the historic event.

“Three !nau, which are sacred Khoi rituals, will be observed – the !Habab for young girls transitioning into women, the Doro for young boys becoming men, and the Leadership !nau where men and women become headmen and headwomen, senior headmen and senior headwomen or goakx’oab (chiefs),” he explained.

The event is being organised by the Links Royal House in partnership with the provincial Nama House, under Chief Cora Hennings, and the Oeswana Bushman Royal House, under Chief Jan Bekkies.

“The delegates will assemble at the venue from 10am on Friday,” he said.

“At sunset the !nau delegates will go into seclusion in temporary huts, with the official traditional ceremony set to start at midnight.

“Three temporary huts will be constructed – one for males, one for females and the third where the sacred process will take place.

“Before sunrise on Saturday morning, the delegates will undergo a cleansing ceremony.

“Ritual sacrifices will also take place from just after midnight to sunrise.

“After sunrise, the traditional leadership and delegates will have breakfast, following which the official !nau progamme will start.”

He said the official programme was expected to conclude just after 1pm on the Saturday, after which the public was welcome to join in the celebration, which would last up until Sunday evening.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said it was an honour for Kouga to have been selected to host the sacred event.

“The municipality has had several meetings with the organising committee, under the leadership of the three houses, as it is important for all of us that the event and ritual sacrifices happen in strict accordance with the relevant legislation.

“A health inspector will be visiting the site each day to guide the organisers in this regard.   

“In terms of our agreement only six sheep will be sacrificed at the venue. All other sacrifices will take place off site,” he said.

Hendricks said the municipality was working closely with the organisers to ensure that all safety and fire regulations were met.

“Additional ablution facilities and waste collection services will also be place for the duration of the event.”

Paramount Chief Fraser said the safety of all participants was of great importance to the organisers.

“There will be an ambulance on site. A safety officer has also been appointed and there will be marshalls to help direct traffic and guide participants, as needed,” he said.



Caution if upgrading Windows 10

If you receive notification to do a Windows 10 upgrade, proceed with caution. This upgrade is not a simple security upgrade, it is a full makeover.

Before you click that ‘Restart to upgrade’ button do it knowing you PC / Laptop will be out of use for at least 4 hours if not longer. And when the frustration of watching the % indicator not changing from one digit to the next, when you thing all is done, things won’t work quite as quickly as you would want. 

Everything from your internet connection to your Google Chrome Browser, even opening a Word document is like watching paint dry.

Hopefully it will settle in and with a bit of keyboard mileage things will improve but it is a frustrating exercise particularly if you have work to do.