Possible removal of Cape St Francis dune investigated

Kouga Municipality is investigating the possible removal of a portion of the dune at Cape St Francis that sparked a community protest earlier this month.

Kouga Finance Portfolio Councillor, Brenton Williams, said the municipality would be submitting an emergency application to the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) in terms of Section 30(A)2 of the National Environmental Management Act (Nema), requesting permission to try and redress the situation that gave rise to the protest.

Williams, who’s been acting as Executive Mayor this past week, said the dune had been built-up and extended by a few local property owners.

“The dune now stretches right up to the high-water mark. This results in a massive backwash, especially at high tide when the swell is big,” he said.

He said the municipality was exploring ways to minimise the immediate threat to lives while also protecting public land and private properties along the coast.

“One of the short-term solutions we are considering, is removing a portion of the dune,” he said.

“Once the immediate risk has been addressed, the next step is to compile a dune management plan for our region’s coastal areas.”

He said global warming, rising sea levels and coastal developments dating back to before current Environmental legislation were all contributing to a range of safety challenges along the coast.

“In some areas the beach has eroded to such an extent that municipal infrastructure and properties are at risk of being washed away by the ocean.

“In other areas infrastructure and properties are at risk of being overrun by sand.”

He said a dune management plan was essential going forward so as to keep coastal communities safe from these climate-related challenges.


Bring back our beachesAnd we are not alone when it comes to beach erosion
but this video shows it is possible to get the sand back.


Six bathers saved by Lifeguards in JBay

Off duty lifeguards who had just arrived at the lifeguard facility at Main Beach, Jeffreys Bay on Saturday morning (31 October)  to attend to routine maintenance of the lifeguard facility, were alerted by bystanders of people in trouble in the water.

Two lifeguards Zwelie Mafutha and Siphelele Gasa stripped down to their costumes and in a race against time, and not having time to open the lifeguard facility, they simply grabbed the NSRI pink rescue buoys stationed on their poles at Main Beach and they launched into the water where 6 people, three adults and three children, were in difficulty and were being swept away by rip currents.

NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were alerted.

It appears that the children may have had body boards and at least three of the casualties were having difficulty staying afloat using one of the body boards for floatation.

NSRI Pink BuoyUsing the pink rescue buoys for floatation the two lifeguards reached the casualties assisting them to float when bystanders Andrew Moon and Jerry van Wyk, who are both local surf instructors, launched on surfboards and paddled out to assist. Another unidentified bystander, a man, had also paddled out to assist.

Between the two lifeguards, the two surf instructors and the unidentified bystander they were able to get all six persons out of the water safely.

NSRI commend the quick action of these men who saved the lives of three young boys, believed to be aged between 6 and 10, and three adults, a female believed to be aged in her 50’s or 60’s, and two males, believed to be aged in their 40’s and 50’s.

NSRI has strategically placed NSRI pink rescue buoys around the coastline and at some inland dams.

This incident has again highlighted the valuable lifesaving assistance these pink rescue buoys provide to bathers when they get into difficulty in water.

This brings the number of lives saved to 66 since the inception of the pink rescue buoy project in November 2017 and we are aware that sometimes incidents are not reported when the pink rescue buoys are used to provide assistance to bathers in difficulty.

NSRI are appealing to the public to keep the pink rescue buoys on their poles on the beach and only remove them from their poles to be used for life saving purposes.

NSRI commend these men for going to the assistance of the six swimmers in difficulty who were brought safely out of harms way thanks to the quick thinking of the lifeguards, the surf instructors and the bystander

JBay Surfer Matt McGillivray Heading To Hawaii

The World Surf League To Kick Off Again

Backdoor Pipeline

Backdoor Pipeline © Red Bull Content Pool

After a year of COVID-related stops and starts, specialty events and controlled environment scenarios, the World Surf League is set to restart again in Hawaii in less than a month. 

The first event is a Women’s Championship Tour event in Maui, November 25, before proceeding directly to Oahu for the Pipe Masters for the men. There might also be a Qualifying Series event at Sunset Beach, although no details are available. 

After this start, the professional contingent will need to remain in Hawaii before heading over to the next event in Portugal. New protocols also mean each surfer’s entourage will be restricted to one member only. 

JBay surfer Matt McGillivray qualified for the 2020 Championship Tour after an excellent run of competitive surfing during the 2019 season, including a scintillating finish in Hawaii. Matt showed great skill and Big Match Temperament when it counted most, at events at Haleiwa and Sunset Beach. The waves were huge, and Matt’s hard-earned experience from surfing all those solid, cold days at Boneyards in JBay paid off.  

The only difference is that he will be surfing the Pipe Masters this year, at the most dangerous wave in the world – the Banzai Pipeline.

Surfers who are highly skilled at Pipe have a massive advantage over lesser experienced surfers out there, as the wave itself is so scary. Matt is no slouch at Pipe. He might have grown up on the perfect right-hand point-break waves of Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay, but he knows what he wants in life and is a determined surfer and competitor. 

Matt McGillivray at Pipe

Matt McGillivray, Pipe. © Red Bull Content Pool

At the beginning of this year, before the pandemic hit, Matt competed in the Volcom Pipe Pro, a QS event, and surfed all the way to the semi-finals. The waves were heavy water, and Matt showed utter conviction and courage to beat many local and visiting surfers en route to his semi-final berth. The event was eventually won by Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) from Joao Chianca (BRA). 

So Matt goes into the Pipe Masters as a surfer who knows his way around the Pipe lineup, who is not scared, and who knows how to get through big heats. Our local JBay surfer might be that one guy turning heads as the Championship Tour starts again.

Mirage: The Ever-Changing Story Of Skeleton Bay

Since it was revealed in 2008, Skeleton Bay quickly became one of the most important and most spoken about waves in the surfing world. The thing is, unlike so many perfect reefs and point-breaks across the globe, this sand-bottom wave is fed from the shifting sands of the Namib desert. It is changing and shifting along with the weather. It will be in this state of fluctuation for as long as the wind blows. 

This new documentary on the wave was written and directed by South African surf media stalwarts, Alan Van Gysen and Will Bendix, and provides some fascinating insights as to the history of the wave. It looks at the locals who pioneered it, and the best surfers in the world who have surfed it. They have all ventured out there in a bid to score the best waves of their lives.

Donkey Bay

Donkey Bay © Van Gysen

Matt Bromley is one of those surfers. The Monster Energy surfer has been travelling to the wave for a long time and getting his share of ridiculous tube time, and serious wipeouts, along the way.

“My best wave at Donkey Bay was in the mist, and nobody saw it,” said Bromley of his history of surfing Donkey Bay. “It was a day after a big swell. The bank always gets shallower and more groomed after a big swell. I turned around and went for this late airdrop next to Davey Brand, made the drop and just remember being so deep. I let go of the rail, and I was just pumping through section after section. I came out at the bottom, and it was one of the best barrels of my whole life.”

Donkey Bay

You’re always deep in the barrel at Donkey Bay © Van Gysen

The documentary engages with so many more surfers who have come to Donkey Bay to have a go. These include the likes of Taj Burrow, Koa Smith, William Aliotti, Craig Anderson, Benji Brand and Dale Staples, amongst others. Many of them reveal some of the magic of Donkey Bay and how it has blown minds.  

“You need to commit so much to the take-off and making the drop,” said Bromley of how to surf and survive the Donkey. “t’s not just about the drop though. You need to engage your rail as soon as you can and get pumping. It’s that quick. I like to paddle really hard, get some momentum going, and just fully commit to it all. If you airdrop, it’s pretty hard to make the wave. Your first driving bottom turn is crucial becau

The documentary is 15 minutes of full-bore action and adventure, with some incredible GoPro footage from deep within the tube, and a section of fairly horrific wipe-outs. Donkey Bay is clearly not a place to be messed with.

William Aliotti

William Aliotti © Van Gysen © Van Gysen

Mirage was produced by @nownowmedia

Written and Directed by @alanvangysen and @will.bendix

Filmed and edited by @calvinthompson_films

se the wave overtakes, you and then you have to catch up to it.”