Richard Cowling – An ‘Oscar In Science’

Marge Middleton submitted this truly important and interesting article on Professor Richard Cowling’s recent inauguration into the United States National Academy of Sciences, one of only three South Africans who have received this honour.

We can be very proud of our Professor Richard Cowling. 

Professor Richard Cowling is a globally renowned vegetation ecologist and conservation scientist. During his 35-year career as a professional botanist, he and his colleagues have conducted ground-breaking research in community ecology, plant diversity and evolution, conservation science and palaeoecology. Much of this has translated into applied outcomes in areas such as conservation planning, degradation ecology, ecological economics, ecosystem services, invasion biology, natural resource management, restoration ecology and social marketing. 

Reasons to be Proud –
Top Mandela University researcher, Professor Richard Cowling, has been inaugurated into the United States’ National Academy of Sciences – fondly known as the Oscars of Science. 

Cowling was elected in 2008 but only signed the register, officially inaugurating him, at the Academy’s annual meeting in Washington DC on 27 April.

Prof Richard Cowling

Professor Richard Cowling

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit organization of the USA’s leading researchers. The NAS recognizes and promotes outstanding science through election to membership; publication in its journal, PNAS; and its awards, programs, and special activities. Through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the NAS provides objective, science-based advice on critical issues affecting the nation.

Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honours that a scientist can receive. Current NAS membership totals approximately 2,380 members and nearly 485 foreign associates, of whom approximately 190 have received Nobel prizes. Only three of foreign associates are South African (including Prof Cowling).

In a nutshell, the Academy is like the Oscars of Science! 


Boost for KwaNomzamo soup kitchen

Kouga Municipality has boosted the efforts of a KwaNomzamo soup kitchen to help alleviate the plight of the poor.

The Siyabonelela Soup Kitchen this week received catering equipment through the municipality’s Ward Development Fund.

Kouga Speaker Hattingh Bornman said the donation included a bar fridge, gas bottle, gas burner, a large pot to prepare the food and crockery.

Mvuleni Velebayi, from whose house the soup kitchen has been operating, said they were very grateful for the support.

“We’ve been running the soup kitchen for the past 18 months and give food to up to 90 people every Wednesday. Our focus is on the communities of Pola Park and Shukushukuma,” he said.

The Speaker joined Ward Councillor Lefty Vumazonke and members of his ward committee on Monday to hand the donation over to representatives from the soup kitchen.   

At the hand-over on Monday were (back) Sebenzile Thomas, Phumla Williams, Ntombizandile Mbuqe, Kwakhanya Mayinje, ward councillor Lefty Vumazonke, Speaker Hattingh Bornman, Thabo Hermanus, Mfundiso Oliphant and (front) soup kitchen chairman, Mvuleni Velebayi.

Municipality starts trucking in water to St Francis

We do hope by the time you read this that the water supply has been restored. If not, hang in there and keep saving water for it won’t be too long before all is back to normal. and when it is restored keep saving water for Kouga Dam is still at a lowly 44% and Impofu has dropped to just 22% inspite of the good rains we have experienced in St Francis over the past weeks. See Dam level graphic below

Kouga Municipality had started trucking in water to the St Francis area yesterday following the collapse of a suspension bridge carrying a section of the main supply line over the weekend.

Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Freddy Campher said emergency repairs should be completed by yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) and that water would then start flowing back into the reservoirs but at the time of publishing there was no confirmation that water was indeed again flowing.

Campher did say “It will, however, take about two days for the reservoirs to fill up completely and the supply to normalise,” he said.

He said the municipality had been able to maintain the water supply to the towns for almost five days thanks to residents using water sparingly and the St Francis Links making available water from its borehole.

“The level in the reservoir has, however, dropped so low that taps have started running dry in high-lying areas. The municipality has, therefore, started trucking in water and will continue doing so until the supply normalises,” he said.

Media Release – Kouga Municipality

EDITOR – It really is a matter of being patient and keep sparing water usage until the taps are running again. In the meantime be thankful that this is a temporary situation and time to reflect on those for who face a daily challenge to get water.

Water pipe repairs for St Francis Bay feed

Dam Levels Nelson Mandela Bay

Woltemade Street closes for “plastic” upgrade

Woltemade Street in Jeffreys Bay will be closed from Friday (19 July)

Plastic Road for Jeffreys Bay

Recycled plastic pellets such as these will be incorporated into the bitumen mix traditionally used for the top layers of roads.

A section of Woltemade Street in Jeffreys Bay will be closed from Friday (19 July) as work starts on Africa’s first eco-friendly road, incorporating plastic waste.

Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Freddy Campher said work would start on the section of Woltemade Street between Jeffreys and St Francis Streets. 

“We expect the contractor to break ground next week, with all health and safety regulations having been put in place, ” he said.

“The expected completion date for this section is 30 August.”

He said the road would be closed for the duration of this period, from 19 July to 30 August. “We apologise sincerely to those businesses and motorists who will be affected by the closure.  Alternative parking will be available at Neptune’s Terrace and the Ethios supermarket.”

He said once the upgrade of Woltemade Street had been completed, the contractor would move on to Koraal Street. 

“We will be upgrading a total stretch of 1,7 kilometers, more than initially planned,” he said. 

The upgrade is a joint project by the municipality, MacRebur SA, SP Excel and Scribante Construction. 

Favourites Tumble At Corona Open JBay

Endless lines of perfect Supertubes greeted contestants as the sun peeped over the eastern skyline yesterday morning, and there was no hesitation in calling the contest on.

In the first heat of the day Jordy Smith made a simple error of being out of position for the best wave of the heat. Owen Wright picked it up further on the shoulder and out of priority and proceeded to whip a series of backhand hits for an 8.30 and the heat win.

Day 5 at Corona JBay Open

Owen Wright © Kody McGregor

Japanese surfer Kanoa Igarashi is looking like he is the man to beat. It is very clear that he has the wave dialed and that he has some of the best equipment underfoot. He put on an incredible performance today, executing as many critical turns as is possible on a wave like Supers, with great style and always tight in the pocket. He banked a score of 8.17 and Brazilian surfer Peterson Crisanto was chasing. Kanoa proceeded to go all the way to town on his final wave and surfed it absolutely to pieces, and deserved the 9.07 score awarded and the win.

Day 5 at Corona JBay Open

Kanoa Igarashi © Kody McGregor

In the Kelly Slater (USA) vs Italo Ferriera (BRA) heat, it was the Brazilian goofy-footer who got off to a flying start, with two quick and well-surfed waves under the belt for a combination score of 14.06, before Kelly had anything on the score board. Two failed waves saw the King with 1.40 and the ocean went flat. When Kelly finally got going on a mid-sized wave, all he could put down was a 5.10 for it, followed by a 7.10. At the final siren Ferreira held onto the lead and Kelly was eliminated, from what is possibly his last event in JBay.

Young star Caroline Marks (USA) continued to show the world why she has been recognized as the New Order, by eliminating defending champion and current world champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in their quarter-final encounter with a series of searing backhand hooks and a very critical backhand close-out reentry for a score of 8.17, the best score of the heat and victory.

Day 5 at Corona JBay Open

Caroline Marks © Kody Mcgregor

The ever-gracious Steph was disappointed. “I had a great opportunity and I had a great wave and I fell off on that floater,” said Steph about her loss. “My biggest problem was that I couldn’t get a finish, the judges really like it when you finish your waves strongly.”

Carissa Moore had an incredible heat against Johanne Defay, by putting down the highest score of the women’s round with a heat total of 17.67, including a fantastic score of a 9.50 for a set wave in which she cracked the lip a few times and finished with a deep barrel through the inside.

There are more waves on the way. The next three days has all sorts of weather and swell, and Commissioner Logie is going to have the luxury of cherry-picking what he needs to finish the event.

Vibe In The Park This Weekend.

The Vibe In The Park music sessions will continue this weekend, with a great lineup of bands and musicians performing at the Supertubes Park.

Friday will see The Sunshine Factory and High Violet perform in the afternoon and evening, while the headline act will be Easy Freak. Saturday will see Black River Gypsy, Panic Station and World Of Birds entertain us, and the headline act will be the popular Matthew Mole.

Full details of shows and times here

We have four Corona hampers up for grabs, and to be in the running all you need to do is download the JBay Winterfest app. Each hamper consists of a Corona bag, a Corona fleece blanket, a Corona hoodie and a tee, a Corona beanie, a bamboo straw and a block of wax.

Download for Android

Download for iOS

The Corona Open JBay is a wheelchair friendly event and parking is available in Pepper Street, which is right at the event site. All vehicles with the proper disabled accreditation will be allowed access to Pepper Street that will ensure the event is wheelchair friendly. JOC coordinator Brenton Williams said that event security has been alerted to allow access to vehicles with the Wheelchair Parking Disc.

Williams can be contacted on 083 5496795 should there be any problems trying to access the Corona Open JBay event site.

Media enquiries:  –  Craig Jarvis  –   –  082 376 4443