Live-streaming of Council meetings in the pipeline

The Kouga Council is set to take transparency to the next level by live-streaming its meetings over the internet.

Kouga Speaker Hattingh Bornman said the municipality’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) department was currently exploring how best to give residents virtual access to Council meetings.

“Council meetings are open to the public, but only a limited number of people can be accommodated due to space restrictions,” he said.

“We are, therefore, looking at using technology to make Council meetings accessible to everyone.”

He said transparency and active citizenry were important to the Council.

“The matters that are discussed at Council meetings affect the day-to-day lives of our communities. We want residents to have direct access to these discussions, so that they know exactly what was decided and why,” he said.

“In addition to strengthening transparency, it will give communities deeper insight into the processes and legislation that govern municipalities.”

He said potential platforms that would be used, included Youtube, Facebook and the municipal website.

“The meetings will not only be live-streamed as they are happening. The recordings will also be available online so that residents can watch it at their convenience.”

He said Council meetings were advertised in the local media and on the municipal website and Facebook page.

“Please keep an eye on these platforms should you wish to book a seat at the next Council meeting. Bookings can be made through my office.”   

SMS service to improve day-to-day communication with ratepayers and residents.

Kouga Residents asked to update their contact info

RESIDENTS who would like to receive their account balances via SMS are asked to update their contact details with the municipality.

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the municipality was set to activate an SMS service to improve day-to-day communication with ratepayers and residents.

“The service will allow ratepayers to receive their account balances on their cell phones,” he said.

“The municipality will then also be able to notify residents of service interruptions and public participation processes through this channel.”

Ratepayers can update their contact details by visiting the municipality’s Income section in Jeffreys Bay, by phoning 042 200 2200 or sending an email to jcoetzee@kouga.gov.za or wleroux@kouga.gov.za.

In the meantime, residents are reminded that they can also obtain their account balances from the municipality’s Call Centre.

“We would further like to encourage residents to register for the municipality’s on-line service. Once you are registered, your account will be emailed directly to you,” he said.

Registration can be done on the municipality’s website, but ratepayers need to obtain an access key either from the municipality’s Call Centre or Income section on 042 200 2200 to complete the process.  

NSRI report a fatal drowning at Kenton-On-Sea

NSRI Port Alfred Lotto Challenger

NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated on Sunday afternoon following reports of a drowning in progress at Kenton-On-Sea main beach.

NSRI rescue swimmers, the SA Police Services, EC Government Health EMS, Gardmed ambulance services and Hi-Tech Security responded.

On arrival on the scene bystander CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts were being conducted on a 19 year old local female on the beach.

Paramedics continued with advanced life support resuscitation efforts but sadly after all efforts were exhausted the female was declared deceased.

It appears from reports gathered at the scene that while swimming in the surf the female was swept out to sea caught in rip currents. The currents brought the casualty back towards the beach where a Good Samaritan waded into the surf and rescued the female to the beach where bystanders initiated CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts.

Condolences are conveyed to the family and friends of the female.

The body of the female has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.

Police have opened an inquest docket. 

The Good Samaritan and the bystanders who assisted on the scene are commended in their efforts to try to save the teenagers life.

And on Saturday afternoon,

NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a female injured while dune riding at Aston Bay.

The sea rescue vehicle with NSRI medics responded to the scene and Private Care ambulance services were activated.

On arrival on the scene the patient, a German tourist, age 22, was found to be suffering a blunt trauma head injury sustained when she fell off a body board while riding down a sand dune and bumping her head.

Paramedics evaluated the patient medically and found her to be fit and not requiring hospital treatment.

Advice was given to her to seek medical attention if she felt dizzy or developed headaches and no further assistance was required after we gave them details to call if required.

Press Release NSRI

Kromme Descent – almost a Déjà Vu moment

This time last year we published an article on St Francis Today titled ‘Kromme River Descent – A Great Event’.

The article started such

“Wow! What wonderful weather we enjoyed over the weekend. And what a great advert for St Francis with the swimming of the annual Kromme Descent”.

Well this weekend we saw almost an exact replica of last year’s event except this year was even better in every respect.

The weather again miraculously transformed from the cold, overcast and windy weather of the preceding few weeks and cleared into a beautiful 25c degree sunny day with sky as blue as Kouga in the provincial elections and absolutely windless.

It is a team event with two swimmers per team and rather than being an individual event where the winner is the fastest swimmer, the swimmers compete in pairs with the times of both swimmers deciding their eventual success in the placings.

The race is swum over two days ending halfway on day one with lunch at the lodge on the river banks where competitors share their experiences of their swim with family and friends gathered at the halfway mark to support them. Swim times over the first leg ranged from just over an hour for the fastest and around two hours for those coming in at the back of the field.

Day Two kicked off on another glorious sunny warm day, again thankfully windless. Maybe that should read ‘splashed off’ but unlike the first day where all swimmers start almost together, the second day uses a staggered start where the fastest swimmers left last allowing most swimmers to arrive at The Cove around about the same time.

The gathered flotilla then ferried the swimmers to Quaysyde to celebrate and for prize giving.

What a truly great event and wonderful to see how St Francis is attracting  athletes from around the country to compete in some rather unique events with both the King of the Kromme paddling event and the Kromme Descent attracting compitors from Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng.

Accolades must go out to the organisers, Haydn Holmes of Liquid Lines and his team. Haydn, of the winning team from last year, swapped his wetsuit for a stopwatch and iPad this year. It really makes a huge difference for the media to have results available almost immediately after an event rather than days later when interest in the event has already waned.

Well done Haydn, your team of organisers and of course, all the swimmers who braved the freezing waters of the Kromme to make the 2019 event such a great success.

Winners Men Division – Brad Reen and Gary Albertyn

Winners Ladies Division – Antonelle Suporta and Lindi Mae Humphreys

Mixed Division Winners – Mick Lindsay and Megan Albertyn

All the results

 

 

What’s on in St Francis this weekend

The big event of the weekend is undoubtedly the Kromme Descent swimming event that sets off just below the gorge on the Kromme River tomorrow morning. Whilst not exactly a spectator sport you can be sure there will be a flotilla of boats travelling upriver tomorrow and Sunday morning ferrying the 100 competing swimmers to the start. The swim is in two parts and finished at The Cove on Sunday morning.

Part of flotilla that will be ferrying swimmers to the start of the Kromme Descent

Friday Fish lovers have a choice of Hake or Calamari & chips at either Joe Fish at The Resort or at The Links at R69 and R79 respectively but a note to evening diners, Joe Fish will be closed to the public on Friday evening so get there for lunch.

Elsewhere.

Saturday morning see the inaugural Car Boot Sale opposite the Caltex petrol station starting at 9:00. The cost, we surmise, is R50 per car if you have something to sell rather than if you are there to buy.

On Sunday

The St Francis Brewing Company is having one of their popular Sunday Roast, this Sunday – Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding being the dish of the day but you need to book before 11:00am on Saturday to reserve your delicious beef slices.

An alternative of course is the ever popular Joe Fish Calamari & Ribs combo down in Cape St Francis, As always live music is on offer around the pool at Joe Fish on Sunday’s making for a laid back dining experience. Plenty to choose from off the menu is you are not into calamari or ribs.