Our Beautiful Flowers raise their heads once again

Article by Yvonne BosmanYvonne Bosman

Brunsvigia gregariaAll around St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis one can see the beautiful pink flowers coming out of the grass from the canals alongside the pavements of both villages. This is the Brunsvigia, which belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. They are fast disappearing from the Kouga area due to ignorance, and is worth saving for its great beauty. Plant lovers and botanists are concerned that it will die out if people, new to the area, are not informed about it and they would like to encourage people to protect this very special plant.

The Brunsvigia plant has a large bulb with a particularly beautiful inflorescence. The latter consists of about 20 to 30 pink, to deep pink, or crimson flowers on a stalk rising straight out of the ground, without any leaves being visible. Occasionally one will appear in white, but this is most unusual. The flowers usually appear above ground in autumn. After flowering, the dried inflorescence breaks loose in one piece and blows around the veld like tumbleweed.

If you rescue these flower heads to make into unusual indoor decorations, please ensure that any seeds that are left in them are planted in a safe spot. The plants can be propagated by planting the seeds.

There are two species of Brunsvigia locally. The larger one, Brunsvigia litoralis, with erect leaves, is restricted to a very small area and is not commonly seen whereas the smaller one, Brunsvigia gregaria, is more widespread. However, both should be preserved.

The flower should be left to dry naturally so that the seed can set and then be dispersed by wind. Gardeners are advised to mow around the flower to let it dry naturally.

In winter, when the plant is building up growth for the next flowering period, the leaves come out (in the case of Brunsvigia gregaria) as two flat leaves (close to the ground) looking just like weeds to the uninformed. Gardeners often dig them up, not knowing what they are, so a wonderful treasure is lost.

Questions regarding these plants may be directed to Margie Middleton 083 658 3472  or Caryl Logie on 042 294 0588.

Photo: A Brunsvigia gregaria photographed on the parking area near Spar and bowling green.

Brunsvigia gregaria


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KOUGA Municipality commenced with the virtual review of the 2017/ 2022 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and the Budget for the 2021/ 2022 period – a first for the municipality.
Comments can be posted in the comment section on YouTube or send to cdreyer@kouga.gov.za. Please include your name, surname and which ward you reside in.
The draft IDP priorities for Ward 12 in Humansdorp are:
Virtual Review

Kouga Municipality Engages With Striking Employees

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KOUGA Municipality has yet again consulted with striking municipal employees in a bid to find a speedy resolution to the ongoing and illegal strike by SAMWU members to no avail.

According to Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, the employees, who first embarked on an illegal strike from 9 to 16 March and again from 31 March, after a Court Interdict preventing them from striking, are demanding that the 14 SAMWU shop stewards that were suspended after the strike, be reinstated with immediate effect. These shop stewards were found guilty of misconduct after an internal collective disciplinary process and have been given 10 days to submit reasons why they should not be dismissed.

“They, furthermore, insist that all no-work-no-pay remuneration be returned, striking employees not be subjected to disciplinary action and that they are paid a COVID-19 Allowance,” said Hendricks.

“Their insistence on having COVID-19 benefits that have not yet been decided on at a national level and subsequent actions, is unreasonable, irrational and unlawful.”

According to Hendricks, the municipality engaged with SAMWU shop stewards at the beginning of March and agreed that a formal process to resolve the matter, be followed.

“SAMWU leaders then entered into a Settle Agreement with the municipality – that they will not strike on the matter of COVID-19 Allowance until the matter was resolved at the CCMA.

“The CCMA, after considering the matter, transferred it to the National Bargaining Council (SALGBC).

“The Secretary of SAMWU was clearly advised by the municipality that the matter will be dealt with by the National Bargaining Council and that the settlement agreement, which prevented SAMWU from striking on the matter, remains intact.”

Hendricks said that, therefore, any decision to strike on the matter, will constitute an illegal and unlawful strike and will be in defiance of the said settlement agreement.

“On March 17, SALGBC issued a circular in which they confirmed that the issue of COVID-19 Allowance is a matter of National Bargaining and that LLF’s (Local Labour Forums) cannot consult or negotiate on it,” he said.

“Despite shop stewards being aware of the circular and the interim interdict, they have still misled SAMWU members to strike.”

Hendricks said, “The municipality will continue with the legal processes against the 14 suspended SAMWU shop stewards who have been charged with gross misconduct, as well as the few SAMWU members who are participating in the ongoing strike,” said Hendricks.

“It is, however, important to note that most municipal employees are working. It is only a small unruly faction of politically aligned SAMWU-members who are behind the intent to make the municipality ungovernable.”

According to Hendricks, alternative arrangements are in place to ensure that residents are not adversely affected by the ongoing strike, and that service delivery continues.

An inspiration to young and old

Stephen's Scribble

It’s wonderful to feel inspired. It gives us that extra zest for life. Albeit trying something new or re-inventing the way we already do something, inspiration adds flavour, colour and motivation to our existence. Inspiration comes in many forms and we are all inspired in different ways. Albeit a new idea, the wonders of nature, watching X Factor, an oil painting, a beautiful piece of music, an architecturally designed home or following a person on social media …. inspiration is at our fingertips all the time.

Recently, Dr Otto Thaning from Cape Town completed yet another Robben Island swim. A serious accomplishment for any endurance swimmer. What sets Otto apart is he’s 80 years old! Otto also holds the record for the oldest person (at 73) to have swum across the English Channel. I met him in 2018 in Dover where he was attempting to break his own record. Sadly the weather conditions weren’t favourable and Otto lost his window of opportunity, but that didn’t seem to phase him too much. As a retired heart surgeon Otto also worked with Dr Chris Barnard back in the day. His life story is absolutely fascinating yet when you meet him, he comes across as a vibrant, energetic every day sort of person. No air and graces yet when you look at the sparkle in his eyes you know that he has wonderful insight on life and how to lead it to the full.

Otto & LewisLewis Pugh another hugely inspirational character was on board the pilot boat while Otto did the swim. It took Otto 2Hrs52min. The water was 16 degrees centigrade. He was wearing a speedo, swimming cap and goggles. Think about that for second. The water locally has been cold lately, a pretty similar temperature actually. How on earth can an eighty year old man endure such cold while swimming a marathon!? It boggles the mind. I caught up with Lewis (The human Polar bear) about that experience and what it was like to witness one of his hero’s complete this epic swim.

“You know Stephen, your bodies thermostat doesn’t actually work so well once you get passed 75”, he started. “When you have a Father figure and friend that is in agony, on the verge of hypothermia and on the edge, it can get emotional. I had to remain completely calm. My job was to give feedback on water temperature, distance to go, motivate on how well he was doing and never ever lose sight of the end goal. I knew he had trained well and what what he is capable of mentally. He was very very cold …. but there was never any doubt”

On completion of the swim, (over a lovely warm drink no doubt) Lewis asked Otto what his secrets were to longevity and living such an incredibly active life. The good Doctor shared 4 of his secrets.

1. Genetics. Otto acknowledges being blessed to have be born with good genes. It’s a bit like drawing a strong card at birth.

2. Nutrition. Otto has followed a healthy well balanced diet his entire life and never been entrapped by any of the vices that are ever present in modern day society.

3. Exercise. Get the blood pumping four times a week says Otto. Learn how to push the boundaries without injury. Love being in your body.

4. Mental Health. Stress is not good but it exists. It can be reinvented through a positive healthy mindset. There are a multitude of different ways to nurture our minds. Make that part of your daily routine.

Stephen PraetoriousHaving put down the phone to Lewis, I took a moment to reflect on some of the people in my life that have inspired me. The list is enormous. In fact I was so inspired by how many inspiring people exist in my life that I feel inspired to share more inspiring stories. What better place to start than right here in St Francis where so many incredible people live. If you have an inspiring story or know of that special somebody who has inspired you, leave a comment …. these sorts of stories are so worth sharing.

Article by Stephen Praetorious

Council Approves Draft Budget Unanimously

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Just in case you haven’t yet seen it

KOUGA Municipality’s cash-backed draft budget and tariffs for the 2021/2022 financial year, starting July 1, were approved unanimously by Council on Wednesday, March 31.

This despite challenges such as maintaining an acceptable employee related cost ratio, curtailing electricity and water losses at acceptable levels and increases cost associated with bulk electricity purchases.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said that every effort had been made to ensure that the budget was pro poor and fully funded.

The total draft budget amounts to just over R1 billion, of which just over R1 074 million is for the operating budget and R61 million is for the capital budget of the municipality.

“The operating budget will be funded from various sources, the major contributors being property rates (22.65%), bulk electricity (34.61%), sanitation (6.07%) and refuse (5.77%),” said Hendricks.

The total operating expenditure for the 2021/2022 financial year amounts to just over R1 074 million, with the major operating expenditure items being employee-related costs at over R378 million (35,24%) and bulk electricity purchase at over R290 million (26.99%).

In order to fund the operating budget, the following increases in property rates and service charges were approved, with effect from 1 July 2021:

Property rates: 5.25%
Water: 7.1%
Sanitation: 6.5%
Refuse: 6.5%
Electricity: 14.59%
Environmental Management Fee: 0%

Hendricks said that the municipality had kept tariff increases as low as is possible.

“In some instances, especially when it comes to electricity, this proved to be a challenge, with Eskom increasing its bulk tariff to municipalities, he said.

“R10 million was set aside to cater for the ongoing road resealing project throughout Kouga – including Tokyo Sexwale and Pellsrus. The upgrading of gravel roads received a budget of R14.2 million.

“The Sea Vista Sports Field in St Francis Bay will, furthermore, be upgraded at a cost of R4.1 million this year, while the sanitation system in Hankey will be upgraded to the tune of R9.2 million.

“Other projects include the electrification of RDP houses at a cost of R6.7 million.”

Kouga Speaker, Hattingh Bornman, said, “Members of the ANC refused to comply with the Rules of Order and decided to leave the meeting at own will.

“We will continue to provide excellent services for all communities and build on previous successes in the next financial year.”