Mission Chokka Industry St Francis

Louanne Mostert so well known to many in St Francis returned on a mission to profile the Chokka fishing industry and the livelihoods that depend on it. 

“In early March, I had the pleasure of visiting St Francis again. Though it was heart-breaking to see the shell of what was once my home, the penguin sanctuary at Seal Point lighthouse, I also a enjoyed a trip down memory lane: from the early penguin days to staging live music with Michael Kimmings at Rock Lily. The locals and the Cape St Francis Resort welcomed me with open arms – thank you!

Now representing the Marine Stewardship Council in Africa, I came to St Francis with the mission to profile the Chokka fishing industry and the livelihoods that depend on it. Working with the renowned nature film production agency, ReWild Africa, we spent three days in St Francis to interview, film and ‘walk in the shoes’ of the local Chokka fishermen.

We interviewed a number of local folk to help us portray the story of the St Francis Chokka:

  • Jimmy Roberts, local fisherman
  • Arthur Paulse, skipper
  • Johan Barnard, St Francis Port Master
  • Greg Christy, representing SASMIA
  • Clive Canter of Chokka Block, who did a squid talk and demo at his portside restaurant
  • Hantie van der Westhuizen of St Francis Tourism
  • And Esti and Eric Stewart of the Chokka Trail, who were instrumental to planning the filming project on the ground

We have produced a shorthand (blog) story and 3-minute film to profile this fishery and why St Francis is dubbed the Squid Capital.

But why? The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation. Our vision is for the world’s oceans to be teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations. One of our projects, Fish for Good, engages with five South African fisheries (including squid) on their journey to optimised sustainability. Improving the management of South Africa’s fisheries can deliver sustained benefits throughout the seafood supply chain, benefiting coastal communities while rebuilding fish stocks. Read more in the attached press release.

The funder of the Fish for Good project is the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Thanking the Dutch for their support, a campaign is currently running in the Netherlands, drawing exposure to the fishery and the village.

Read the full story White gold: South Africa’s squid jiggers are fishing for the future” and watch the 3 minute film here: https://fish-for-good-squid-stories.msc.org/

Louanne Mostert
Communications Manager: Africa, Middle East and South Asia
Marine Stewardship Council

An Overview of St Francis Water Supply

Chris Cowling has submitted the following interesting and indeed important facts about the dams that supply our water

“I have noticed that a lot of emphasis is placed on the level of the Kouga Dam, in relation to our available water supply. I would like to explain the bulk water reticulation lay out for you.

  • Kouga Dam:

Catchment: Kouga and Baviaans mountains.
Supply: Gamtoos Valley (irrigation), Hankey. Patensie, Loerie, Thornhill and PE via a single pipeline.

  • Churchill Dam:

Catchment: North-facing Tstsikamma mountains.
Supply: Humansdorp (augments current supply from springs), Greater St Francis Bay, Paradise Beach, Jeffreys Bay ( augments current borehole supply), Gamtoos Mouth, Van Stadens River Mouth, Sea View. PE.

  • Impofu Dam:

Catchment: Same as Churchill, as well as the south slopes of the Eastern Kouga mountains.
Supply: The same areas as Churchill.

The Churchill pipeline (2 pipelines) crosses the Impofu Dam at the Elandsjagt Treatment Works. This is where the Impofu (Elandsjagt Water Treatment Works) confluences with the Churchill water. The water from Elandsjagt as well as Churchill gravity feeds to PE. Only when the Churchill dam level gets to a low level, do they pump water to PE.

What I hope to have shown you, is the importance of the Churchill and Impofu dam levels are for us. Kouga does not directly affect us.


Chris Cowling
Metsi Water Solutions

Thanks Chris much appreciated for I and I am sure many other readers were unaware of these facts.

Nationwide Delay In Re-Opening Of Traffic Departments

Nationwide Delay In Re-Opening Of Traffic Departments For Licensing & Registration

Traffic departments around the country have been unable to re-open because the online system required for licence bookings and registration has not yet been activated. 

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said traffic licensing and registration services was allowed to operate under level four of the nationwide lockdown. 

“However, the national Department of Transport still has to give the go-ahead and activate the online licensing system, called NaTIS, which is used by traffic authorities across the country.

“They have not yet done so, which means no bookings can be made for learner’s and driving licences. 

“Renewals of driving licences, professional driving permits and motor vehicle licences also cannot be done until such a time as NaTIS is activated.”

He said the offices of the Kouga Traffic Department were being prepared for re-opening in line with Covid-19 disaster management regulations. 

“We have also submitted an action plan to the Department of Transport, indicating our readiness, as required by them.

“The Department has indicated that inspections of all traffic authorities must first be done before they will be allowed to open. 

“They have not yet scheduled a time when they will be inspecting Kouga’s units.”

He said the municipality was unable to say when this process would be completed so that the Kouga Traffic Department could re-open for business. 

“Unfortunately, the deciding factors are beyond our control. 

“Our Traffic team is, however, in regular contact with the Transport Department. 

“We will update motorists as we receive feedback from them.”

Kouga Municipality - logo

Lockdown Ban On Controlled Burns Lifted

Kouga Municipality - logoThe ban on permitted, prescribed burns in the Kouga region has been lifted.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said land owners and farmers could once again apply for a permit to conduct controlled burns. 

“The ban was put in place at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown but has been lifted to assist the agricultural sector with their seasonal activities,” he said. 

“Various factors were considered. Most importantly, winter is upon us and some crops need to be planted now in the interest of food security.”

He said prescribed burns could only be a conducted if a permit had been issued by Kouga Fire and Disaster Management. 

“All rules and regulations, as stipulated on the permit, must be adhered to.”

Applications can be emailed to hvanrooyen@kouga.gov.za

Benson said all fire stations were still open and ready to respond to emergencies. 

T contact Kouga Fire and Disaster Management dial 042 291 0250 or 112 from any cellular network.

Stacy-Lee May – The Queen of Smoke 

Lockdown is many things for many people, but one person who has taken it in her stride is 23-year-old ‘spinner’ and daredevil Stacey-Lee May from Eldorado Park.
Her craz car tricks and spinning performances have seen her recognised as one of South Africa’s most well-known and popular car-spinners, and she has made appearances on shows like So You Think You Can Spin, Top Gear SA and The Grand Tour. She also received the Gauteng’s Woman of Honour award and starred alongside South African actress, Charlize Theron on Netflix’s Motorsport show, Hyperdrive.
For now, however, her engines are cooling. 
“We planned fairly well,” said Monster Energy athlete Stacey-Lee of the family’s lockdown approach. “Knowing that the shops were going to shut, we went out and bought some important parts for the vehicles we wanted to work on so that we would have enough to do during the Lockdown. We are building up and working on a V8 that we hope to have ready for when Lockdown finishes.”
Now that we are deep in Lockdown however, Stacey-Lee’s daily life has changed dramatically. 
“Well, nowadays I wake up whenever, and watch some tv or do some baking, which I have learned during Lockdown, which is great,” said Stacey-Lee. “On top of that, we have to look at different ways to hold events. Spinning and drifting events attract huge crowds, so we are going to have to adapt as soccer has adapted with no spectators and with online streaming.”
Stacey-Lee May
Stacey-Lee has another trick up her sleeve for when the Lockdown eases and when all get going again. “I’m playing Playstation all the time to work on my skills,” said Stacey-Lee. “I’ve been playing Need For Speed since the start.”
When it comes to inspiration to keep her going during this time of relative inactivity, Stacey-Lee doesn’t have to look far. “I look up to my mom for inspiration, because she has been looking after us and pushing forward during Lockdown,” said Stacey-Lee. “I also look up to the other athletes, because no matter what, they are all staying positive.
Find her on Instagram here – https://www.instagram.com/team_stacey/?hl=en
Distributed by Truth Collective  –  craig@truthcollective.co.za