FAKE News been around in one form or another for yonks and many a conspiratorial theory has been written around some of the world’s most epic events. Armstrong’s moon landing and walk was said to have been filmed in a television studio with the authors spelling out evidence in detail to support their theories. 911 too had many theories from the being a controlled demolition of the Twin Towers rather than the impact of the two jets and resultant fire and that the Pentagon was hit by a missile launched within the US Government to justify the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before the advent of the internet these theories were published in magazines and books and ‘conspirator authors’ had to go to great lengths to give credence to their theories analysing photographs and press reports to build their stories. As the internet evolved a new media allowed these theorists a new stream that didn’t need a book or magazine publisher but could be added to the ever growing number of websites hungry for content.
And then came Social Media
Suddenly a way for anyone to write their own FAKE news with a potential audience of hungry, gullible readers ready believe anything they read and then even expound on the. Facebook, Twitter and more lately WhatsApp amongst others are waiting to devour all the news that can be uploaded as their tech bosses rake in the billions..
With little or no control of what is posted, true or absolute lies, it will be read by those too lazy to check the real facts and who actually believe all the crap they read as being the truth. Algorithms are slowly being introduced to limit some of the more hateful and dangerous racial postings but there is no way of stopping the fake news pandemic that social media brings us.
Fake news is very often composed by taking a somewhat controversial subject matter then omitting some of the important facts and highlighting facts that are certain to create a totally wrong impression. Politicians are particularly adept at twisting the facts but to see it being done in our little village as a way of sewing discontent is indeed sad.
Certainly the SRA is not supported by everyone in the same way as no doubt everyone doesn’t support the DA running the Municipality. But stating that the’ main reason why special rates area levy was introduced is to “save the spit because of the few houses that are at risk” is simply untrue and can only be construed as an attempt to create animosity between the villagers and canal owners.
This statement in a document distributed to members of the association opposing the Special Rates Area (SRA) was recently shown to St Francis Today. Sadly a sentence in the document blatantly misrepresents the facts and is a prime example how by ignoring most of the facts and concentrating on only a small aspect a totally incorrect understanding can be created and thus it becomes fake news to be discussed and expounded upon around dinner tables increasing the disharmony that already exists…
It is not our intention to get into the pros and cons of the SRA other than to state the aims of the SRA are well documented on the SRA’s website. There is no doubt money collected for the SRA is and will be spent as set out in those documents namely the CCTV network that has already had a positive influence on reducing crime, the roads, the beach and yes the spit. And this is the crux of it, it is not to save the spit alone but the beach as a whole and thus ‘SAVE ST FRANCIS’. Tourism is life blood that will keep St Francis Bay on the tourism map. No beach less tourism..
It possibly is important to clear up what some will see as the SRA spending millions shoring up recent damage to the spit. The work presently being undertaken on the spit after several breaches owing to unusually huge surf is being undertaken by the municipality and no SRA funds are being used.. The municipality not only has a responsibility, a responsibility they have taken extremely seriously with the immediate action they have taken with each breach even working in the dark to close up the damaged areas. The canals are an extremely important part of the municipals rates base and no doubt makes up a sizeable portion of rates contributed by St Francis Bay to the Kouga fiscus.
So let’s keep to the facts and not try and sew disharmony by creating false impressions with fake news.
NOTE: The spit makes up less than a third of the overall beach replenishment and canal property owners contribute significantly through the St Francis Bay Riperian HOA in addition to the SRA rates levy.