Received the following report from St Francis Bay Residents Association on progress of, or lack thereof, on the beach and spit.

Dear interested & affected parties, stakeholders and organs of state;

RE: DBAR PROGRESS: The maintenance and management of the existing rock revetments & sandy beach areas along the St Francis Bay beach coastline, incorporating Erven 720, 623, 2257, 185, 53, 184 & 625, within the Kouga Local Municipality of the Eastern Cape Province. EC08/C/LN1&3/M/21-2015

St Francis Beach update progress to date 10 November 2015:

  1. The draft basic assessment was submitted to DEDEA on 01 September 2015. In terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998), (the Act) as amended and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 (the Regulations), all parties had a 30 day period to comment on the submission.
  2. On 10 October 2015 we received comments from DEDEA relating to various items of our submission which were answered per letter and further discussed at a meeting on 27 October 2015. Items discussed:

    a. Who will be the implementing authority representing various groups who support this application – i.e. DEDEA want deal with only one organisation responsible for the implementation and ongoing maintenance of the beach & spit area, which will later include the Kromme river.
    b. This implementing authority should be a formally constituted legal entity as they could be dealing with funds both from individuals, state and institutions such as the Development Bank.
    c. Who is financing – initial costings indicate that the amounts required for the works are large.
    d. DEDEA want a more details for comprehensive long term maintenance & management plan.
    e. Access to the existing rock revetments & spit – DEDEA asks if these areas will hold up to the estimated loads.

  3. Several comments from locals and other interested parties were received and the original DEBAR updated and copies sent to DEDEA for inclusion in the assessment.
  4. Oceans to Coast from Cape Town, a division of the national office of Environmental Affairs, who qualifies as a juristic organ of state contacted us and requested an on-site meeting regarding the St Francis beach on 27 October 2015.
  5. Despite the visit being out of the regulatory 30 day comment period, and being under no obligation to accept their comments, it was decided on the advice of DEDEA and other parties to give this body further time to comment on the assessment after the site meeting.
  6. This comment period expired last Friday and an additional communication was sent to Oceans to Coast reminding them of their obligations.
  7. The importance of Oceans to Coast is that they are a national body close to central government and have access to national funding.
  8. The 2014 NEMA assessment regulations stipulate that and updated DBAR, the final assessment (FBAR) should be submitted by 01 December 2015 for final assessment and authorisation.
  9. Having noted the above and that there are still matters outstanding with regards to outside inputs as mentioned above, and on the advice of DEDEA we have decided to request an extension for the submission of the FBAR to be on or before 20 January 2016.
  10. This decision it is felt is necessary in order to ensure a positive authorisation which will allow for the ongoing and proper management of our beach areas for now and into the future.

Yours faithfully

Frank Silberbauer