JBay Winterfest: Surfing, Swimming, Music and Funduro

Craig Jarvis updates on JBay Winterfest

The JBay Winterfest 2018 has had a busy few days, with a number of different events going down in and around the contest hub.

The Corona Open JBay Women’s event kicked off last week, with excellent surf at Supertubes following on from the men’s event. South African wildcard Bianca Buitendag did well to win her opening round heat and advance directly to the third round. Surprise eliminations from this event were Sally Fitzgibbons from Australia and Courtney Conlogue (USA). With good surf on track for JBay, the event will restart later in the week. For more go to

Bianca Buitendag © Kody McGregor

The Corona Sunset Sessions continued to rock the crowds last week, with six bands lined up for free music sessions down at the Corona Open JBay contest site. This weekend the music carries on.

The line-up for the weekend:

Thursday 12 July
The Steezies

Friday 13 July

Saturday 14 July

More information on the Corona Sunset Sessions can be found here – -http://www.jbaywinterfest.com/desmond-and-the-tutus-shadowclub-aking-and-other-top-acts-for-corona-sunset-sessions-at-the-jbay-winterfest/


The Cold Water Classic open water swim was a huge success this year, with the most entrants thus far in the event’s six-year history. With an air temperature of 19 C, conditions on land were a stark contrast to the icy water that awaited swimmers from all over South Africa who descended upon Jeffreys Bay to take part in the swim.

Only three swimmers entered the costume division of the triple mile, an official Robben Island crossing qualifying swim. Veteran PJ Duffy won the men’s section, while Megan Albertyn won the women’s division.

“What an awesome experience! I can’t believe I haven’t done the Cold Water Classic before – will definitely be back next year,” said Albertyn after her swim.

Jeffreys Bay swimmer JC Van Wyk won the double mile while Paige Black won the women’s section of the event.

East London swimmer Mbali Vellum in his first cold water swim had to tough it out to complete the double mile.

“The water was very very cold but I really wanted to finish the double mile,” said Mbali after his courageous swim.

Hannah Counihan from Port Elizabeth won the women’s mile while Peter Michaelides from Knysna won the men’s division. The winners each won a pair of Oakley sunglasses.

The triple mile wetsuit division was won by legendary waterman Kevin Richards while Jenny Potts won the women’s division. Gary Albertyn won the double mile and keeping it in the family, his daughter Kaitlyn won the women’s race. Michael Fairall and Suzie du Plessis won the mile wetsuit event.

A bracing start to the Cold Water Classic © Kody McGregor

The JBay Winterfest Funduro was yet another massive success, with 239 riders entered, the most so far in the history of the event. It was dry and dusty, but it was a great day for all competitors and spectators alike. A popular attraction this year was also the ‘kiddie’s track’, that saw good attendance by the youngsters. The obstacle course and double ramp saw some fun go down during the Expression Session, and a surprise steep hill climb proved exciting but a bit tricky for some of the riders.

The Funduro will be back next year, and promises to be bigger and more exciting than ever.

Funduro action © Kody McGregor

The festival is anchored by the Corona Open JBay, and there is the JBay Windfarm MTB Classic event, the Cold Water Classic open water swim, the Endurade JBayX Trail Run, the Fishing Skins Tournament and the JBay Winterfest Funduro.

Press Release – Craig Jarvis –  info@craigjarvis.co.za

Help Is At Hand as SRA Levy Kicks In

St Francis Property Owners put forward a propesal to those needing assistance with then SRA levy

Few will not have noticed how a trip to your favourite supermarket has you either leaving with a lighter packet of groceries or a lighter wallet. A visit to the petrol station has you shuddering with fear that the balance on your bank card won’t cover the cost of filling your tank and even if it does, you are going to give up something to balance the budget. Everyone, well most of us, are feeling the pinch of rising costs fuelled even more with the highest fuel costs in history, and expected to rise more.

July also heralds the start of a new financial year for Kouga Municipality with a budget in better shape than that they inherited two years ago. Many will have read the basic budget expenditure outlined in The Kouga Budget – How the money will be spent  published three weeks back. Reading through that budget there is little doubt that the council will be committing significant funds to bettering lives in the informal settlements particularly in terms of sewerage (bucket system), electrification (illegal connections) and to improve water security as our drought worsens almost daily.

The new budget also means an increase in municipal rates and services and although these increases are in line with inflation they do require budget adjustments for most.  But there is a new charge that will be added to Property Owners in a demarcated area of St Francis Bay, the SRA levy.

There are those who were (are) vehemently opposed to this levy but the majority of residents have shown their support in the realisation that the only the help St Francis is going to get in improving the town is if it helps itself. Certainly it will mean a slight adjustment to most budgets more so for some,

But there are those who are simply too financially stressed to even make the smallest adjustments. Pensioners on a fixed or limited pension, some on Social Service grants simply cannot afford this added cost to their already overstretched funds.

There are municipalities, Johannesburg and Cape Town amongst others, that offer reduced rates to pensioners on prescribed formulas and whilst SFPO did approach Kouga council to see if such could be considered, it seems the municipality simply does not have systems in place to administer such a process. Understandably it would require software changes to their billing system and huge changes in administration as it would have to be applied to the entire municipality not just St Francis Bay.

But help is at hand

From the outset, SFPO cognisant of realities the proposed SRA levy would have on some of the property owners already surviving on fixed or declining incomes did propose how those who could not afford the levy could be assisted when the SRA received approval. Formulas were published in early documentation but until the levy was adopted by council, little could be done to address the situation. In the past weeks the SFPO committee has been in consultation with others to find a way forward for those who genuinely cannot afford the proposed levy.

Rather than St Francis Today going into detail of how this assistance will work we rather refer you to the documentation on the St Francis Property Owners website which sets out exactly how those in need of relief can go about applying for assistance. It is important to note that whatever assistance property owners may get, it does not absolve them from paying the levy. Non-payment could result in electricity or other services being suspended.

Hopefully those who are so vehement in their opposition and who may be considering litigation to halt the SRA will see sense in what SFPO is proposing and rather than filling the pockets of the legal fraternity that will be of no benefit to St Francis no matter who should win such a battle, would rather contribute to the proposed fund that SFPO is suggesting as a way forward. St Francis is an amazingly generous community as any local charity will attest to and will no doubt be only too supportive of those who genuinely cannot afford the levy..

We refer you to St Francis Property Owners website for details of the proposal

READ ALSO – The SRA concept is neither new nor unique to St Francis Read  Precinct management: the solution to urban decay

To FNB or not to FNB

To FNB or not to FNB that’s the question.

A reader sent this as a “Have Your Say” post

I recently received the obligatory annual increase from FNB where I hold a business account.

It got me to thinking, as they tried to justify the increase with additional services that I don’t need, that I should in fact be receiving a discount from FNB on a monthly basis given that the St Francis Branch is only open three days a week .

Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays relates to just over 50% of the service due to you by FNB for the fees that you pay. Second to that only one teller is provided regardless of the queues of frustrated customers shaking their heads and muttering under their breath.

And that’s not all as the teller doubles up as a trainer for all those people who have not had bank accounts before and leaves her station to accompany the customer outside to explain the entire process. This is clearly a necessary service but it’s at the expense of all the other customers standing patiently in line looking at a blank booth for 15 to 20 minutes.

One has to wonder what boardroom table this decision was made around as surely there is no logical business reason behind irritating your existing client base. One has to assume that their rent is the same regardless of whether they are in the branch or not. So no saving there.

Perhaps the plan is to utilize the two staff members elsewhere on the 2.5 days when they are not present in St Francis Bay thereby making marginal saving off the bottom line but losing your customer loyalty in the process. There is no logical business explanation to justify this situation.

On our travels we have driven through many small towns in the remotest places one of them being Koster which one would argue is smaller than most. Take a guess how many days a week the FNB branch in Koster is open for. No prizes for guessing standard banking trading hours. So what makes us so special to deserve less service than Koster or any other outlet for that matter?

It’s a bad decision and I am not happy and I am sure there are other account holders who feel the same. I am paying for a service and you (FNB) are giving me less than what I am paying for. Something not right about that! I am sure there is a consumer counsel case in this somewhere but couldn’t be bothered. Imagine Vodacom shutting your cell phone down for 2.5 days per week. Do you think the FNB management would have something to say about that?? You bet.

Get with the programme FNB

Cancer – The Dread Disease



Introduction to cancer
Overview of available treatment
Promising new research from Australia

in aid of Hospice

Talk by Dr DJ Comyn

Specialist Anaesthetist
Past president of Critical Care Society
Founder member of the Resuscitation Council

Tuesday 10 July   9:30 for 10:00

St Francis Bay Golf Club


Light refreshments will be served

This event was published using our “Have Your Say“. Join us in informing the local community by having your say on events, news, concerns or anything else you would like to say.

Hooking investors on coastal opportunities in Kouga

Hooking investors on coastal opportunities in Kouga

The Kouga team manning the stall at the Property Marketing and Investment Conference in East London are (from left) Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks, Planning Development and Tourism Director Fezeka Mabusela, Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu, St Francis Bay businessman Greg Miller, Kouga Local Economic Development Manager Vivian Blaauw and LED Officer Xolile Wagosa.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks has invited investors to explore development opportunities along Kouga’s coastline, which remains largely underused. He was speaking at the Eastern Cape Property Marketing and Investor Conference, organised by the Small Harbours and State Coastal Property Development Unit of the Department of Public Works (DPW), in East London last week.

The event, which took place at the Hemingways Conference Centre, brought together all coastal municipalities in the province, relevant government departments, invited guests from the business and investment fraternity and other stakeholder bodies. The municipalities took turns presenting their economic models and the investment opportunities that exist for both the state and the private sector to exploit.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks, presenting at the Eastern Cape Property Marketing and Investment Conference organised by the Department of Public Works in East London.

The question (on whether to invest or not) is not ‘why Kouga’, but rather ‘why not Kouga’? In the past we were identified by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department as one of the poorest performing municipalities. We have turned that situation around by adopting simple principles such as having accountability, the rule of law and having a capable state,” he said.

The focus of the session was on the oceans economy as reflected in Operation Phakisa, marine infrastructure development and maintenance, property management and letting out, stimulation of local economic development, job creation, SMME empowerment and revenue generation.

Hendricks highlighted the untapped beach property development opportunities in the region and quoted the Kouga Coastal Vision, which states: “The greatest growth potential of the Kouga Oceans Economy is based on our tourism industry, more specifically, family and youth based tourism. We have about 80 kilometres of coastline, 50 kilometres of which is beach property and only 9% of that is developed. That provides any visionary investor with a great opportunity to tap into this missed valuable space.“Through the strides we have been making, we are attracting a lot of interest from developers within the country and abroad who want to be part of growing Kouga into one of the best places to live. So, the time to invest is now,” said Hendricks.

The Mayor was joined on stage by local businessman Greg Miller, who presented the technical aspects of future developments in the Kouga.

These include, but are not limited to, the development of small harbours and beach precincts, the upgrade of tourism infrastructure, internet infrastructure and the upgrade of coastal town infrastructure to enable further developments and to stimulate investment.

The conference was graced by the attendance of Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and members of the provincial cabinet. DPW will be availing government land to municipalities once projects have been identified to stimulate economic growth in the Eastern Cape.

The Kouga leadership team at the Property Marketing and Investment Conference in East London, led by Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks (right), Planning, Development and Tourism Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu (left), the Director of the department Fezeka Mabusela (back standing) and local businessman Greg Miller