Sea Vista Food Relief Project paused to reassess needs 

After almost 14 weeks and 6500 food parcel deliveries, the DVG, St Francis United Church and Rotary Club St Francis food relief project has now been paused so that we may reassess the community needs. This comes after the majority of industries opened up for work under Level 3 which started on 1 June 2020.

From the start, our efforts were focused to assist those households which were affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Whether you were a South African national or not, whether you received Sassa grants or not, we helped if you (and your household) were a victim of an employer who could no longer pay you.

After the president’s announcement this week of an advanced level 3 which will now also see hairdressers, health & beauty therapists, sit-down restaurants and accommodation sections start up, it becomes quite difficult to establish who in our local area is still unemployed or have been retrenched as a result of the pandemic. Some employees are also currently benefiting from UIF TERS funding.

And so the time has come to pause, and encourage our community to enable themselves again. We will take a few weeks to assess those who are still seriously affected. With our volunteers on the ground in the community, we believe that those still in crises due to the pandemic will surface and this will enable us to draw up a new, much reduced database.

The hardest part about such a fantastic community project, is stopping. We experienced this on Wednesday this week when we distributed our last parcels (for now). There were many in line who were receiving UIF, who’s employers had confirmed to us that they were receiving pay and some chokka fishermen who were on the normal, annual off-season. We also witnessed domestic workers who normally work one or two days per week and were back to working those days. Suffice to say that our first (mild) conflict occurred this week, caused by some unhappy community members who felt entitled to a parcel, despite being either back to work or in receipt of UIF. Everyone was reminded that the Sea Vista Food Relief Project was not a government organised initiative, and that they should be grateful that they could work again, and had received food relief during the weeks of the lockdown.

Much as we wish that such a project could continue forever, we are reminded that it came about as a temporary relief measure during a pandemic under the national disaster act. We are keeping a close eye on our community to identify those households who are really still in dire need and will assist them on a one on one basis. If you are aware of such a situation, please send the name, surname and address, as well as a description of the circumstances to disastervolunteergroup@gmail.com.

TO OUR DONORS

WoW!!!!!! On behalf of the local community, we thank you for without your unselfish and giving nature, none of this would have been possible. We will issue a financial report to show the total donations received and expenses to date, highlighting the balance remaining which we would like to apply to food parcel and / or disaster relief as only time will tell. It’s important to remember that we are now seeing positive cases multiply and we may find ourselves back in Level 4 or even 5, so keeping funds in the kitty for future responsible use is paramount. It is with confidence that we confirm that between the DVG, Church and Rotary, all funds are collectively and responsibly managed. More reports will follow.

And finally to our volunteers, your giving nature is astounding! Thank you for your unselfish time! We know we can call on you again not if, but when the time comes.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us.

 

Fabulous Foods for Father’s Day

Grace Stevems Everydy Baking & DecoratingAccording to Grace Stevens, in her experienced opinion as a baking genius and as a mom, nothing is more important than showing your family how much you appreciate them. Fabulous food is one of the best ways to share the love, and this Father’s Day presents us with another opportunity to show dads how much they mean to us by making them some delicious treats.It is well established that breakfast in bed is a favourite with dads the world over, right after letting him take a well-deserved nap in peace and indulging his dad jokes.

Wake him up from his nap with a cup of coffee and a gorgeous gooey chocolate brownie and you will be well on your way to being his favourite child.

How about putting a slideshow together of all your favourite dad memories and take the time to listen and laugh at all the embarrassing stories about you as a kid.

Grace says that in her household, homemade pizza with dad’s favourite toppings reigns supreme as the perfect father’s day meal. Throw in a giant mug of hot chocolate to sip in front of a roaring fire and you have yourself the perfect day spent with dad.

Grace says that unfortunately some dads feel underappreciated, and her husband says sometimes he feels like an ATM because the kids only talk to him when they need money. Father’s Day is a great way to remind your dad that that you notice all the love and care he gives you and are thankful to him for sacrificing that sports car so you could have all that our hearts desire.

For more recipes by Grace Stevens and easy to follow online baking and cake decorating courses visit www.gracestevens.co.za or follow @gracestevenschef.

Father’s Day Recipes links:

http://www.gracestevens.co.za/recipe/easy-homemade-pizza/
http://www.gracestevens.co.za/recipe/easy-chocolate-brownies/

On the matter of clearing bush

There has been concern on social media that an area of bush cleared between the township and the Air Park has been cleared so more shacks can be built.  This is not the case and as Trevor Wright who is offering a consulting service on bush clearing explains

“The area south of the shacks was cleared as a firebreak. By definition a firebreak should be cleared of all vegetation and have a reasonable chance of stopping a fire. The clearing was funded by Santam, as was most of the recent clearing. Santam insisted that the risk of fire to the shacks should be reduced.
Clearing this fire break will actually discourage the erection of unauthorised shacks, as they will be immediately spotted and stopped by Law Enforcement as it constitutes trespassing.”

In case you missed these two articles on bush clearing

June 12th 2020
Bush Clearing – this is serious, folks!

Feb 7th 2020
St Francis Property Owners and the Fire Risk Reduction Initiative

Dedember 12th 2019
Bush-clearing to help reduce fire risk

Dec 5th  2019
Professor Richard Cowling on Plot Clearing

Dec 3rd 2019
Damned if you don’t so better you do!

August 26th 2019
Who is ultimately responsible for clearing fire-ready bush?

August 30th 2019
“Tin roofs in St Francis Bay? – Heavens forbid!”

 

St Francis Property Owners committee instructed to amend  NPC MOI

Kouga local municipality has issued an instruction to the SFPO NPC directors to amend the MOI to make it compliant with Kouga municipal property rates policy

In the SFPO NPC Minutes of 6 March 2020, Item 7, it is recorded that Kouga Municipality has instructed the Directors to amend the MOI to make it compliant. This instruction was issued by the Municipality’s Attorney.

In September 2018, the Directors amended the SFPO NPC Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) making it non-compliant with Kouga’s Municipal Property Rates Policy.

This is one of the major issues raised for the 2019 AGM by the “Group of 31”. The instruction by the Municipality’s legal advisor affirms that the Group of 31 was correct in raising the matter.

The Directors are legally obliged to convene an AGM or Special General Meeting to give members the opportunity to debate proposed MOI amendments and vote whether to adopt the amendments or not. This is stipulated in the Companies Act Section 16 (1) (ii) – MOI amendments must be considered at an AGM or Special General Meeting. Only if 75% of the quorum present at the meeting vote in favour of the amendments, can it be processed.

Bush Clearing – this is serious, folks!

Considering the gale force winds of yesterday it does not take much imagination to visualise what would have happened had there been just a spark of fire somewhere in the bush in and around St Francis or indeed close to any of the thatched residences and businesses..

Residents of St Francis will have noticed large scale bush-clearing activity over the past few months. This was made possible by a generous R1-million donation from Santam to the Kouga Municipality.

The goal of bush clearing is to reduce the risk of bush fires damaging or destroying homes in St Francis.

So far, the focus has been on cutting firebreaks. The most recent activity has been in the vicinity of Sea Vista. 

Firebreaks are cut according to local and national regulations. By definition, firebreaks remove ALL vegetation within their boundaries (otherwise they wouldn’t work!). This includes indigenous vegetation. They are carefully planned.

Focus will now shift to clearing the hundreds of overgrown residential plots which are not compliant with regulations. The Fire Department will be issuing notices to property owners whose properties need attention.

As a property owner, you are legally required to comply with these notices. Ignoring a notice is an offence and will lead to legal action, resulting in a fine or, potentially, imprisonment.

If you do not comply, the municipality is also entitled to clear the property on your behalf and recover the costs of clearing from you.

By far the easiest and most cost-effective solution is to contact one of the many local clearing contractors. If you know that your property needs attention, take action before receiving a notice. If you’re not sure, contact the St Francis Bay Property Owners Association (SFPO) which now has a dedicated Bush Clearing portfolio.

Contact Lyn Aitken on 042 294 0594 or Nick Munday at nick@munday.global .

Alternatively, contact Trevor Wright, a member of the municipal Fire Risk Reduction Committee. Trevor offers a local bush clearing project management service that includes plot inspections, sourcing of quotations, overseeing and signing-off the work and liaison with the Kouga Municipality Fire Department. – Contact Trevor on 076 589 0014.

Please take it seriously! Lives and properties are at stake…