A thought for the most vulnerable members of our society

The impact that the Covid-19 lockdown is having on the most vulnerable members of our society, township pets cannot be underestimated or ignored. So many people have been retrenched or been put on unpaid leave or in the case of casual workers, totally without an income. Some already living below the breadline simply will be incapable of caring for the nourishment of the pets and as  the lockdown conditions continue, pets will be abandoned or be left to either fend for themselves, become severely undernourished or worse still, die from starvation.

SFAR Volunteers, namely Sue Rae Fox and Shena R Ruth, are receiving criticism for venturing into Sea Vista to pick up sick dogs and take them to the vet, and provide food for dogs, puppies and cats. They are being told that they are behaving irresponsibly and putting other lives at risk.

Sue Rae Fox & Sheens R Ruth feeding the dogs of Sea Vista during Covid-19 lockdown

Dog food for township pets

A happy pet lover with food for his dogs

Says Sue, “We are taking every precaution and abiding strictly with social distancing and hygiene.
Dogs and cats in Sea Vista have been receiving food from SFAR for years. It would be unconscionable to stop feeding these animals at a time when many of their owners have been retrenched and are without money. We can see, during the first week of this lock-down, there is an urgent need for food in Sea Vista, for families who live there and their animals. We will help for as long as we possibly can.”

She continued. “We adhere to all protocols – wearing masks and gloves, using hand sanitizer and respecting social distancing regulations”.

The reality is any one of us could spread the virus. Each time we walk into a shop to do our shopping, fill up with petrol and interact with the attendant, even speak over the fence with our neighbour. The chances may be limited but so little is known of this virus, nobody really knows. But we cannot simply stop caring for others whether human or animal. Our responsibility is to continue living as best we can and assist those around us living as best they can.

Part of the feeding program is to stock several of the spaza shops who assist in the distribution of food by purchasing dog and cat food at a discounted rate and then upsell at a set and affordable cost for those who can afford to buy food for their animals. 

Other than the pets the kids of the township too deserve a little thought and care and SFAR volunteer Jenny Pike, baked up a storm of Chocolate Chip Cookies for the kids in Sea vista – 165 big cookies – and packaged them in bags of three. The kids (and a few dogs), apparently loved the cookies!

This is considered an ESSENTIAL SERVICE and those actively visiting the township have all the relevant authorizations.

Donations to buy food for the pets can be to

St Francis Animal Rescue
Standard Bank Br no: 050015
Business Savings Account
Account no: 186532814
Reference: your name and the word ‘food’

For international donors use Swift Code: ZBZAZAJJ

Sue can be contacted on 083 289 1452 or email: susanrf@mweb.co.za

SFAR Facebook:  https://web.facebook.com/StFrancisAnimalRescue/

pet feeding program st Francis Animal Rescue

Door-To-Door COVID-19 screening to kick off in Kouga this  week

Community screening will kick off across Kouga this week as part of collective government efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.

door to door screening in Kouga

The screening will be conducted door-to-door in communities by local clinic staff.

The following areas will be targeted this week (6 – 10 April):

  • JEFFREYS BAY: Pellsrus
  • HUMANSDORP: Arcadia & Vergenoeg
  • ST FRANCIS: Zwelitsha
  • PATENSIE: Tier & Kloofnek Street, 7de Laan, Rooikloof & Creche Street
  • HANKEY: Philipsville
  • LOERIE: Judy & Marlene Street, informal area & Greenfields
  • THORNHILL: Phase 1

The screening forms part of the national mass community screening programme that is currently being implemented across South Africa.

So far, 5 400 fieldworkers have been trained and deployed to various areas.


A Call for Food Parcels


Food parcels for Sea Vista

In an online stakeholder meeting today, the DVG, together with Rotary, the St Francis United Church, and Samaritans and key individuals confirmed its plans to commence with an intense food donation drive. The plan, in cooperation with our VillageSquare SuperSpar, is that all food parcels are funnelled through one responsibly managed operation thus avoiding duplication.

One delivery of 250 food parcels costs R50 000. Each parcel contains sustenance ingredients such as maize meal, sugar, eggs, rice, soup packs, flour, milk, oil. They will be assembled by authorised volunteers and, in an effort including SAPS and security companies, be distributed to the Sea Vista elderly, single women and children with no income and the most desperate. These people are being identified by community leaders on the ground. As you can imagine, this is a large-scale operation and we believe we will need at least 1 000 food parcels over the next couple weeks, depending on how long the lockdown continues for.

Can your company assist with a R50 000 donation (we are a registered NPO for accounting purposes) which will provide 250 food parcels? Or can you spare R1000 for 5 parcels or even just R200 which will provide 1 parcel? If so, we ask that please donate to:

Account Name: FOSSFAR t/a DVG
Standard Bank
Acc No 186512139
Humansdorp Branch (051001)
Please use reference: Food relief/Surname

We thank you in advance and will report back each step of the way.

St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group Logo

Draft budget and IDP adopted

Kouga Municipality - logoKouga Municipality’s draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and budget for the new financial year, starting 1 July 2020, was approved at a special Council meeting last week ahead of the 21-day Covid-19 lockdown.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the draft was a discussion document and that changes may need to be made in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.“We have, unfortunately, had to postpone the public consultation meetings that were set to start early in April.

“Every effort will, however, be made to ensure that the documents can be accessed by all communities for input before the final version is tabled to Council at the end of May.”

According to the draft budget document, the operating revenue for 2020/21 will increase to R919,2-million. That is an increase of 8,61% when compared to the 2019/20 adjustments budget.

Total operating expenditure, including non-cash items, amounts to R 968,9 million.

The major operating expenditure items for 2020/21 are employee related costs (34,13%), bulk electricity purchases (25,92%) and depreciation (9,21%).

Funding for the 2020/21 Operating Budget is obtained from various sources, the major sources being service charges such as electricity, water, sanitation, environmental management fees and refuse collection (52,96%), property rates (22,86%), and grants and subsidies received from national and provincial Government (15,73%).

The following increases in property rates and service charges have been proposed, with effect from 1 July 2020:

  • Property rates: 6,5%
  • Water: 8,1%
  • Sanitation: 7%
  • Refuse: 7%
  • Electricity (average increase in income): 8,1%
  • Environmental Management Fee – 0%

The draft capital budget for 2020/21 is R70,3 million. This is 63,9% less than the 2019/20 adjustments budget due to the drought relief funding that was received for the current financial year,” Hendricks said.

The draft budget is available on Kouga Municipality’s website at www.kouga.gov.za/documentlibrary/finance

View delails below

View Kouga Budget 2020 – 2021


7 000 Soaps Distributed – More Needed!

Almost 7 000 households across Kouga were armed with soap and educational pamphlets ahead of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown on Friday. 

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the joint awareness drive took place last week to help vulnerable communities prepare for the lockdown. 

Roleplayers included Kouga Municipality, the Department of Health and community organisations such as the St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group and Oyster Bay Ratepayers Association. 

St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group distributing soap in Sea Vista

St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group distributing soap in Sea Vista

A soap drive was held in support of the campaign and thousands of bars were donated by businesses and individuals. 

“Schools and their governing bodies, including Hankey Primary, also got involved and made it possible to reach even more families,” he said. 

He encouraged residents to continue practicing good hygiene during lockdown. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) , soap and water is the best protective measure against the coronavirus. Hand sanitiser is a good backup but only if the alcohol content is 60% or higher.

“It is very important not to touch your face unless you have just washed your hands,”  Hendricks said. 

“The virus is spread through liquid droplets expelled when someone coughs or sneezes. These droplets then cling to surfaces, including people’s hands. 

“If you touch your face with contaminated hands, it allows the virus to enter your body through your nose, mouth or eyes.”

The WHO suggest that people should apply a palmful of soap or handwashing liquid to a cupped hand, and rub hands palm to palm, while interlacing their  fingers to cover every surface of their hands. 

This should be done for at least 20 seconds. Rinse and dry your hands properly.

* Soap donations are still welcome for distribution to families-in-need. Should you wish to donate, please send a whatsapp to   073 414 3124 (whatsapp or sms only). 

* Cash donations are also welcome and can be paid into the following account:

Bank: First National Bank
Branch code: 210515
Account name: Mayors Intervention
Account number: 62 082 103 591
Account Type: Cheque Account
Reference: C19 & YOUR SURNAME

NSRI Durban assist Queen Mary 2

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay NSRI Durban duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie, accompanied by a ShipMed doctor, to rendezvous at the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner at the outer anchorage off-shore of Umhlanga, Durban when alerted at19h00, Friday, 27th March.

The ShipMed doctor, under the authority of the Department of Health Port Health Unit and the Department of Transport, was tasked to carry out routine Covid19 tests onboard.

On arrival at Queen Mary 2 the doctor, wearing full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), was transferred onto the ship and following the sample tests that were collected the doctor was transferred back onto the sea rescue craft and brought back into the Port of Durban without incident.

All precautions, PPE and protocols as outlined by the Department of Health were followed during the operation.

queen Mary 2