A PLEA FROM THE MAYOR’S OFFICE

Covid-19 infections are on the increase in St Francis!

Residents and visitors are reminded that everyone MUST wear face masks when in public. This is required by law and is a safety precaution undertaken world-wide to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Disaster management volunteers have been deployed in the St Francis area to help ensure that everyone plays their part. Please heed their warnings. Mask up, sanitise, social distance and be part of the solution to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group (SFDVG) adds to this message with our own urgent request for everyone to take this seriously. Through donations, we managed to supply our local Sea Vista volunteers with disposable masks today, especially necessary during this second wave. They will distribute this over the next few days. Please help each other by co-operating and respecting the Mayor’s call above.

St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group Logo

Can this virus be stopped?

Collo's Comment

Eventually yes for man is able to achieve even the almost impossible given time. But it the meantime as this virus gains momentum in its second wave what is to say there are not more waves, possibly tsunamis, on the way in the near future as the virus mutates and resists man’s efforts to stop it.

Maybe, just maybe Mother Earth is fed up with us humans destroying her beautiful planet. She has given ample warning of her unhappiness but not only have we ignored her but we continue to cause her harm. The global warming denialists refuse to make any attempt to go green. We continue to pollute our oceans with plastic slowly choking marine life to a slow and eventual annihilation.  We have decimated many of the wildlife and insect species that we share this earth with some becoming extinct. And probably most serious of all, we continue to overbreed putting more and more strain on Mother Earth to provide us with the resources we need to survive.

Over the centuries Mother Earth has sent not so subtle hints that she is in charge. Earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, floods, viruses and a lot more have wiped outh millions. But man has an innate ability to learn from these efforts and given time has been able to find solutions for most and so are able to manage if not fully solve the most of her challenges. Tsunami warnings, evacuating areas likely to be flooded in a hurricane / cyclone and of course the many, many drugs and cures created by scientists to stop the spread of viruses and heal infections that would have kept population on this planet in check,

And so with Covid-19. No sooner had the world’s best scientist found a vaccine than Ma throws a curve ball and allows the virus to mutate into a new strain. How many new strains does she have up her sleeve and yes scientists will eventually bring the virus to it’s knees as we have with every other pandemic when Ma feels it is time. But at what cost before this can happen for the virus is not the only threat, unemployment, starvation, riots and more as government findsit impossible to provide for the masses.

The first wave proved deadly to the elderly, particularly to those with comorbidities in much the way as Mother Nature deals with wildlife tht  is injured, ill or too old to look after themselves – survival of the fittest. Now it seems the new mutation is now also attacking the young, if not killing them certainly making them extremely ill and who knows what future health problems will beset them in the future years as a result.

So scientists have finally created a few vaccines but will these work with this new strain and then the next strain and the next as the virus continues to mutate. And even if the answer is yes will we at the southern tip of Africa benefit for sure as the sun rises and sets we can be sure our government will find a way to generate billions through corruption.

Lockdowns are not going to stop the spread. Sure it may give a little respite to the brave medical staff for a week or two but what when the third or tsunami waves eventually hit? This virus is now part of our lives in the foreseeable future and so we should not be forced to stop living in case we die.

We must face it that Mother Earth has been forced into cleaning up what man has single handedly destroyed and no amount of praying to God, Allah, Buddha or whatever God is your preference, nothing can stop Mother Nature when she is in a bad mood.

Collo – A personal comment

Frustrated with the crowds and queues

Tuesday is pensioners day at our local Spar and I would imagine most pensioners use this day to do their major shop  to benefit Village Square SuperSpar’s generous discount offer. So on Tuesday I set out to do my shopping. Being unable to walk more than fifty or so metres without a trolley as support I always try and park within the lower parking area. Well Tuesday there was not a paring spot anywhere in the vicinity so I gave shopping a miss.

Come Wednesday I had an appointment to see what the optometrist could do for my failing eyesight  and so after looking through a variety of funny lenses and told no need for new glasses I popped into the Humansdorp Spar, What a pleasure it was. Plenty of parking available with wide uncrowded aisles to ensure you could maintain required social distancing. And wow is their fruit & veg, bakery and hot food section enough reason to take the drive. The Humansdorp Spar doesn’t stock some of the higher end items and as I am diabetic I try and only eat the Spar All Seed bread but this was not available which was a pity but they had everything else  I needed, and didn’t really need. And so to checkout – no queue  and a truly helpful and friendly staff. It was like shopping at home away from home. Thanks for two great shops Rickardt and team (s).

No Jo of Trolley Dolley has long been offering her services at what I feel is almost embarrassing inexpensive for all the work she puts into this truly great service she provides for us oldies, particularly those of us who are less physically mobile. I will certainly use Trolley Dolly in the furure for my biggest shopping problem is I never make a list and using Jo will force me into a list instead of getting home and finding I have forgotten something.

And yes shopping in Humansdorp I bought everything I needed and a few things I didn’t but I forgot to buy eggs. So at 7:00am this morning I sht off to Spar. Not a single parking spot to be had so I turned around and decided I coukd go without breakfast today for I simply could not bear the thought of standing in a queue that would have delayed this our Christmas edition od St Francis Today.

Oh and whilst in Humansdorp pop into HoekHuis Coffee Shop for a snack to rebuild your energy aftter shopping. They can be found at 14 Piet Uys Street or cal them on 082 3751558 for directions if you don’t have a SatNav.

A plea from FRIENDS OF ST FRANCIS NATURE RESERVES (FOSTER) 

Matt Gennrick reveals damage being done to barriers intended to protect our reserves.

There are 4 separate nature reserves in Cape St Francis managed by FOSTER (Friends of St Francis Nature Areas) in accordance with an MOU with the Kouga Municipality, all offering nature trails and different experiences. Through membership fees and monies raised, FOSTER looks after and maintains the walking paths and trails and removes alien vegetation. 

The website http://foster.org.za/gallery/wppaspec/oc1/cv0/ab2 offers those interested in the vegetation, birds and wildlife an extensive list with photographs of the fauna and flora to be found in the reserves. It also provides maps of the walks, cycle tracks and membership details.

Who are these people?

FOSTERThe people who steal the speed bump signs on the Cape St Francis beachfront, the signs at the entrance to the reserves, the people who saw through the bolts holding barriers in place in our reserves and steal the logs, the people who are too lazy to do even that and just saw through the middle of the log to make access easier. The people who just cycle or walk where there are signs restricting this in the reserves, the people who litter where they feel like it?

Simple, these people are residents and holiday makers in our greater St Francis area, people you and I may well know. They believe that they are entitled to do what they want and where they want, yet I suspect that they are the first ones that complain about other wrong doings and ills in our land.

What possess them to believe that they are entitled to destroy what a few dedicated people are trying to preserve and build? Not so much for themselves but for future generations and all who call this area home?

Maybe they know, is it just entitlement, selfishness, or something they need to prove to themselves or others? Who knows but this blatant vandalism is not acceptable and does not belong here or anywhere. For FOSTER this means that we must use our limited resources to repair the vandalism, instead of using the money to preserve the reserves.

Maybe they want to change the nature of what Cape St Francis offers, resulting in things like foot patrols in the village and permits to enter the reserves.

I am sure that most people here do not want this, neither do we want to become a society where we spy on each other and report on each other. We all know where that ends.

But, if you see someone blatantly disobeying the simple rules in the reserves or vandalizing communal property consider what actions you will take to secure the beauty of our reserves and area.

Municipality shocked and disappointed by decision to close beaches

Kouga Municipality - logoStatement by Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks:

Kouga Municipality is not in agreement with the national directive that all beaches and parks in the Eastern Cape and Garden Route District will be closed from 16 December to 3 January.

We are of the view that the closure of beaches and parks on specified dates only, as is the case for the remainder of South Africa, would have enabled a better balance between saving lives and saving livelihoods.

Unfortunately, the final decision was not ours to take and we now have to deal with the hand we’ve been dealt.

While Kouga still has much to offer visitors, the beach is the main attraction over the summer season. The impact of the 19-day beach closure will be devastating on our local businesses, job retention and creation.

In addition, there is concern that the closure of beaches and parks will simply lead to people congregating at other venues, including private residences, where the risk of infection is even higher.

We have raised our concerns with the Premier. Early indications are that the chances of the national decision being reversed are slim and that there is little likelihood of local municipalities and law enforcement agencies, as well as affected businesses, receiving support from a provincial or national level.

We are further awaiting clarity as to whether the closures affect all beach-related activities, as the Gazette only alludes to fishing for which an exemption will be made for those in possession of a permit.

We are also awaiting clarity as to whether the closure affects all bodies of water such as rivers and lagoons or only the sea.

In the meantime, the municipality will be meeting with other law enforcement agencies today to discuss the enforcement of the stricter regulations, as announced by the President last night.

Regardless of whether we are in agreement with the closure of beaches or not, the COVID-19 pandemic is a reality and safeguarding our communities remains the priority.

We will continue to do all in our power to curb the spread of the coronavirus and to keep our residents and visitors safe.