Cell Phone Mast furore

A furore has finally erupted with regard a number of applications to have 4G (cell phone) masts erected at several places both in St Francis Bay and further south at Cape St Francis. As we watched them dig up our road verges burying metre after metre of fibre-optic cable, those amongst us who are more technically inclined would have known this was not being done to improve our Telkom telephone service for in fact the installation had nothing to do with Telkom to start  with.

Without getting into the pro’s or cons of having a 30metre + high mast planted next door it would be suffice to say it was never going to happen without a huge outcry. Rather than having every ‘expert’ voice their pounds worth some of our village leaders met on Wednesday to discuss the matter. Chaired by Councillor Ben Rheeder to the group have formed a body that includes the municipal representatives to look at a way forward and ensure whatever finally transpires will be the best solution appeasing the needs of those who require good voice and data services and those with health /  aesthetic concerns.

St Francis Property Owners chairman Wayne Furphy had this to say on the matter.

Wayne Furphy Chairman St Francis Property Woners Ass

Wayne Furphy Chairman St Francis Property Owners Ass

“We met with the Municipality yesterday at our request to understand what is happening with these tower applications. We recognise that the town requires good cell phone coverage but we need oversight on the location of these towers. We are putting a plan and a small team together to address these issues and are looking for anyone who has experience with telecom tower infrastructure to assist us.

These are 4G towers, but we need to get into a proactive position (as opposed to reactive) and prepare for the rollout of 5G towers which are inevitable. We have asked the Municipality to put a hold on the 4G tower installation for a few months to allow us to work with them to identify the best sites for towers, ie. least invasive, provide the necessary coverage, sharing of masts, type of mast, etc. The  Municipal officials attending our meeting do gave a good understanding of the issues, and will take our request back to the Municipality for consideration.”

There is little doubt that communication services in the region need to be improved. One network will work well in one area but will be unable to establish a stable connection around the corner. We are being held to ransom by the established networks and forced to sign 24 month contracts at outrages rates for data. Data rates are falling as already there are several new networks (RAIN is one) offering uncapped 4G from R250 a month on a month to month basis but coverage limited to a few areas in St Francis Bay and no coverage in Cape St Francis.

Government is threatening to pass legislation that will allow them to plant masts, and no doubt other equipment, wherever they want so best we are ahead of the system and as Furphy so succinctly puts is be ‘proactive not reactive’.

Rip Curl E-Pro 2020 Online Surf Contest Finalists Announced

E-Pro Surfing

In an absolute flurry of ridiculously good waves and incredible surfing, the finalists of the inaugural Rip Curl E-Pro were decided.

In the first women’s semifinal, the two goofy-footers Zoe Steyn from East London and Faye Zoetmulder from Cape St Francis battled it out on their backhands, entering two excellent east coast rights. Zoetmulder was looking smooth and powerful but Steyn’s explosive turns saw her get the nod and advance to the final.

The second semifinal saw Salt Rock surfer Sophie Bell face off against Scarborough’s Ceara Knight, and it was a victory for the Durban girl against her Capetonian counterpart.

The Rip Curl E-Pro Women event has support from VUM Insurance – emerging business insurance.  

Men’s semifinal 1 was close, with Shane Sykes from Salt Rock coming up against Durban’s surfer Josh Redman. Syke’s wave comprised a massive power gouge, a long and deep tube, and two hard cracks off the top, while Redman’s offer was a deep and draining double-barrel. The judges unanimously awarded the win to Sykes, making him the first finalist.

In the second semi, Dale Staples from St Francis Bay came up against Chad Du Toit from Durban. It was another close one, with Staples throwing in a long and smooth wave with turns and barrels, against an epic late drop into a throaty barrel from Du Toit. Once again the judges awarded the win to multiple turns, and Staples advanced into the men’s final.

Both Du Toit and Redman’s barrels are in a good position to be in contention for the Red Bull Best Tube award of R10,000.

Men’s Final: Shane Sykes V Dale Staples

Women’s Final: Sophie Bell V Zoe Steyn

First prize in both men and women’s finals is R10,000, and runner-up position is R5,000. There is a pair of Oakley Sunglasses going to each winner, as well as to the two winning videographers.


One of the presenting sponsors, Shaka Surf Store, makers of awesome fins from recycled bottle tops, has a 10% discount going across the whole store right now, so go in and check it out.

Details of the full tour can be found on https://www.surfwebseries.com/

The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa. Surfing South Africa is the recognised 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). 

Results can also be found on the event Facebook page.
Event website – https://www.surfwebseries.com/

Rip Curl, the Ultimate Surfing Company

The Rip Curl E-Pro is presented by Shaka Surf

Shaka Surf is an eco surf store specialising in 100% sustainable surf products, including surf fins made from recycled plastics. Their mission is to reduce plastic waste and create awesome eco surf fins.

Oakley is an event partner
Wavescape is the Rip Curl E-Pro media partner
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa.
The Rip Curl E-Pro is powered by TCS-WiFi
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by the Kouga Municipality
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by The Travel Collective