Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato – Trouble Brewing In St Francis

Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato – Trouble Brewing In St Francis

I once rented a house in St Francis for a few months. Not on the canals, obviously. I didn’t want to be mistaken for one of those people. You know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you are one yourself, and you’ve never really thought about it. Well, think about it now, buddy.

I was opposite the police station, which didn’t make me feel any safer, but if I was attacked by someone from the St Francis Paddling Club ripped on cocaine and anabolic steroids so that he or she can keep jogging, canoeing, golfing, surfing and selling property without ever having to sleep, I’d at least be able to drag myself across the road and bribe a cop to help me.

The weird thing was, a rooster woke me one morning. Not, unfortunately, by bringing in a Bloody Mary and gently pecking my nethers until I opened my beer-encrusted eyes. It woke me by doing its cockadoodle routine somewhere nearby. The only chickens I’d seen so far were in the Spar, and they didn’t say much.

The woman next to me sat bolt upright in bed. “Did you hear that?” she whispered. “Yes,” I whispered back. “You know what this means, don’t you?” she whispered. Her eyes were big and full of fear.

I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it right away. If there was a chicken in the area, you could bet there’d be a darkie not far behind it. This village was jammed with God-fearing white folk, almost none of whom were gun-toting fundamentalists on a mission to keep the neighbourhood from falling into the clutches of Islam. Stopping the darkies from moving in, however, was another matter altogether.

Around here, nobody kept a chicken for a pet. Maybe in the ghetto, but that was a three-minute drive and a million light years away. Here, in Caucasian Central, chickens were for braaing, not for the reading of entrails or the making of friends. My parents bought one for me and my sister when we were kids. It would wait for us to come home from school, then rocket out of the azaleas and try to gouge our eyes out with its razor-sharp spurs. I think it was a Filipino fighting cock. Some pet. I can’t remember what happened to it, but I like to think it ended up in the oven where it belonged.

I subsequently discovered that the St Francis rooster was causing consternation throughout the village. I overheard two botoxed biddies in matching cashmere sweaters talking in an arts and crafts shop. I was in there looking for glue. To sniff, okay? I don’t do arts and crafts. Not yet. But when I do, you can be sure that I will use the plasticine, pipe cleaners and magnetic beads to make the most powerful bomb the world has ever seen. Then we’ll see who’s laughing.

Anyway. These women were speaking in voices that only the very old or very rich think are hushed.

“I saw it for the first time this morning!”

“What was it like?”

“Not as big as you’d think.”

“Cocks are funny like that.”

Maybe they weren’t even talking about the rooster. It doesn’t matter. I left before the conversation could take a nasty turn.


See you all soon.



Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.



Inaugural Alaïa Open Winter Cup Surf Event Is Happening In Switzerland!

Inaugural Alaïa Open Winter Cup Surf Event Is Happening In Switzerland!


Inaugural Alaïa Open Winter Cup Surf Event Is Happening In Switzerland!

Alaïa Bay lefts. Pretty sick.


Sion, Switzerland – Despite some minor global challenges, the Alaïa Open Winter Cup is happening this weekend, and the warm-up sessions start tomorrow, 3 December 2021. Surfers from all over Switzerland and various hubs worldwide have begun arriving at Alaïa Bay. The wave pool is steaming with all the red-hot talent warming up for the event.

The Alaïa Open Winter Cup is the first major event at Alaïa Bay, and there is US$75,000 up for grabs in prizes and cash for those surfers who excel in this event. 

During the surfing event, Alaïa Bay is hosting the Saturday Evening Party. This party will be hosted by Lunarts, the makers of WooMoon and StoryTellers – with an eight-hour showcase direct from Ibiza. 

Despite the party on Saturday night, the Alaïa Open Winter Cup is a hardcore surf event. The temperatures in Switzerland are fresh, and there is even a chance of snow on the final day. Current weather in Sion HERE.

The Alaïa Bay competition qualifications on Saturday 4 December will have a unique format, ideally suited to the workings of the wavepool. First, surfers get to choose their best option, be it a left or a right-breaking wave. Then, each surfer gets a one-hour session with others in which to showcase their skills. After that hour, top scores will be tallied.


Zeke Lau at Alaïa Bay

Zeke Lau at Alaïa Bay


 At the end of the first day, the top riders will advance to the final day. The format for the finals day will be the standard competition format as per ISA rules. Contest Director is a Swiss-born surfer, Swiss Surfing Association’s Dario Müller.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming Alaïa Open,” said Alaïa Bay founder Adam Bonvin. The 25-year-old Swiss surfer has been the driving force behind Alaïa Bay. It will be great to have the best Swiss surfers here, and we look forward to watching them surf. We are also very excited to see the international competitors competing at our wavepool. This event is all about the surfers.

All the event information can be found here: 


To see some of the action, check out the webcam:







Kouga Residents Can Submit Their Meter Readings Via Email

Kouga Residents Can Submit Their Meter Readings Via Email

KOUGA residents can now submit their water and electricity meter readings on a monthly basis via email to Kouga MunicipalitKouga Finance Portfolio Councillor, Willem Gertenbach, said, that residents who choose this option will be billed on their actual readings.

“When residents submit their self-read meter readings to Kouga Municipality, they have peace of mind that their account is accurate, and they will immediately see when their electricity or water expenditure goes up,” said Gertenbach.

“This way they can better manage their account, keep their account low and control how much they use – paying only for what they have used.”

To submit meter readings, is as easy as one . . .  two . . . three.

Readings, taken on the same day as indicated on their previous municipal account, must be sent to mterreadings@kouga.gov.za, with the subject clearly indicated as “Meter Readings”.

The following information must be included:

  • Account number
  • Date of meter reading
  • Meter reading
  • Photo of meter reading
  • Contact number

“Meter readings submitted without a clear photo displaying the readings and meter number will not be recorded and readings will subsequently be estimated,” said Gertenbach.

For more information, send an email to Wilma le Roux at wleroux@kouga.gov.za.

Water Crisis: Municipality To Throttle Water Supply with immediate effect

Water Crisis: Municipality To Throttle Water Supply with immediate effect

KOUGA Municipality is set to reduce water pressure to households across the region with immediate effect – to force the reduction of water consumption.

It is likely to result in supply interruptions being experienced in higher-lying areas for short periods during the day.

This after the Department of Water and Sanitation imposed a 70% restriction on the municipality’s approved water quotas amid rapidly declining dam levels of the Algoa Water Supply System – including the Churchill Dam, Impofu Dam and Loerie Dam.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said that due to the severity of the ongoing drought, rapidly dwindling water resources and continued high water usage in Kouga, difficult decisions had to be taken.

“The reduction of water pressure, which forms part of the stricter measures that have been introduced in Kouga, is aimed at reducing residential water consumption,” he said.

“We urge residents to cut back their combined water usage by at least 50% as a matter of extreme urgency.

“As a region, we must reduce Kouga’s average water consumption from 11Ml per day to a maximum of 6Ml per day as per strict instruction from the Department of Water and Sanitation.”

Hendricks said that the Churchill Dam and Impofu Dam, that supplies water to Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and St Francis Bay, are expected to be without water by December, while the Loerie Dam has only three to four weeks of water storage left should no significant rain fall in the catchment area very soon.

“Under these conditions, no water will be available for supply off the respective pipelines when the dams run dry,” said Hendricks.

According to him, water demand will be supplemented with existing borehole water where possible. Although slightly discoloured, he assured residents that the water is purified and safe to drink.

More Water Saving Measures

Should water consumption not significantly decrease in the next week or two, water restrictors will be fitted at high consuming households.

“Although this is not an ideal thing to do, the situation we find ourselves in calls for drastic measures,” he said. “The restrictors cut water automatically to those households that use more than the prescribed amount.”

According to him, the municipality will, furthermore, be forced to consider water rationing.

“Every one of us has a role to play in preventing Kouga’s taps from running dry – we must do all we can to save water,” said Hendricks. “We can only save water while there is still water to be saved.