Richard Cowling – An ‘Oscar In Science’

Marge Middleton submitted this truly important and interesting article on Professor Richard Cowling’s recent inauguration into the United States National Academy of Sciences, one of only three South Africans who have received this honour.

We can be very proud of our Professor Richard Cowling. 

Professor Richard Cowling is a globally renowned vegetation ecologist and conservation scientist. During his 35-year career as a professional botanist, he and his colleagues have conducted ground-breaking research in community ecology, plant diversity and evolution, conservation science and palaeoecology. Much of this has translated into applied outcomes in areas such as conservation planning, degradation ecology, ecological economics, ecosystem services, invasion biology, natural resource management, restoration ecology and social marketing. 

Reasons to be Proud –
Top Mandela University researcher, Professor Richard Cowling, has been inaugurated into the United States’ National Academy of Sciences – fondly known as the Oscars of Science. 

Cowling was elected in 2008 but only signed the register, officially inaugurating him, at the Academy’s annual meeting in Washington DC on 27 April.

Prof Richard Cowling

Professor Richard Cowling

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit organization of the USA’s leading researchers. The NAS recognizes and promotes outstanding science through election to membership; publication in its journal, PNAS; and its awards, programs, and special activities. Through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the NAS provides objective, science-based advice on critical issues affecting the nation.

Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honours that a scientist can receive. Current NAS membership totals approximately 2,380 members and nearly 485 foreign associates, of whom approximately 190 have received Nobel prizes. Only three of foreign associates are South African (including Prof Cowling).

In a nutshell, the Academy is like the Oscars of Science! 


Municipality starts trucking in water to St Francis

We do hope by the time you read this that the water supply has been restored. If not, hang in there and keep saving water for it won’t be too long before all is back to normal. and when it is restored keep saving water for Kouga Dam is still at a lowly 44% and Impofu has dropped to just 22% inspite of the good rains we have experienced in St Francis over the past weeks. See Dam level graphic below

Kouga Municipality had started trucking in water to the St Francis area yesterday following the collapse of a suspension bridge carrying a section of the main supply line over the weekend.

Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Freddy Campher said emergency repairs should be completed by yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) and that water would then start flowing back into the reservoirs but at the time of publishing there was no confirmation that water was indeed again flowing.

Campher did say “It will, however, take about two days for the reservoirs to fill up completely and the supply to normalise,” he said.

He said the municipality had been able to maintain the water supply to the towns for almost five days thanks to residents using water sparingly and the St Francis Links making available water from its borehole.

“The level in the reservoir has, however, dropped so low that taps have started running dry in high-lying areas. The municipality has, therefore, started trucking in water and will continue doing so until the supply normalises,” he said.

Media Release – Kouga Municipality

EDITOR – It really is a matter of being patient and keep sparing water usage until the taps are running again. In the meantime be thankful that this is a temporary situation and time to reflect on those for who face a daily challenge to get water.

Water pipe repairs for St Francis Bay feed

Dam Levels Nelson Mandela Bay

Boat restrictions on Kromme

Both the St Francis Bay Riparian Home Owners Association (SFBRHOA) and the Kromme Joint River Committee (KJRC) are acting as agents for the Municipality in terms of the MOA’s entered into with the Municipality. As such, both entities have the right to grant such permission as specified in the Municipal By-Law which states the following:
“No commercially registered vessels or vessels used for commercial purposes or vessels exceeding 6,6 metres (21,65ft) in overall length will be allowed on the River or Canals without the written permission of the Municipality or its agents”.

Canal and River permits are being issued at the Small Harbour Office by the Riparians. All applications for a Canal and/or River permit for boats with a length in excess of 6,6m must be submitted for consideration and approval to the Riparians for a Canal permit and also to the KJRC (Naas Marais) for consideration and approval on behalf of the KJRC for a River permit to be issued.

The staff at the Harbour Office will refer applicants to the relevant By-Law and point out that same is in fact also recorded on the back of the registration form as part of the abbreviated summary of Kouga Municipality By Law 284-2006 dealing with specific provisions relating to the Rivers (Kromme, Geelhout and Gamtoos) and the St Francis Bay Canals.

Kind Regards
St Francis Bay Riparian Home Owners Association & Kromme Joint River Committee

Two Agents Win All Expenses Trip to Turkey

Well it seems the property market in St Francis and Cape St Francis is certainly alive and well if the achievements of two Pam Golding agents is anything to go by. Both Lois Fox and Emily Obrey achieved sales in excess of R57 million over the past year and were awarded with free trips to Turkey for their outstanding achievements. Congratulations ladies!

Said Richard Arderne, St Francis Bay Franchisee ““I am very lucky to work with this exceptional team”

Seen below at the Annual Regional Gold Club Awards function, Kay and Monty Vineyards, The Crags, Plett, 22 May 2019.

Annual Regional Gold Club Awards function, Kay and Monty Vineyards, The Crags, Plett, 22 May 2019.
Back row (from left): Richard Arderne, Saria Blaauw, Jancke Beer, Emily Obray, Krystal Scott, Neil Fox
Front row (from left): Leandie Terblanche, Christelle van Wyk, Lois Fox.




Suspension bridge collapses

Kouga Municipality would like to call on residents of St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis to use water very sparingly. The water supply to the towns’ reservoirs has been interrupted following the collapse of a suspension bridge carrying a section of the main line earlier today.

A damage assessment has been done and a contractor will start repairs on Monday. 

The reservoirs are being monitored and levels are currently stable. It is, however, uncertain how long repairs will take and there is a risk that the reservoirs could dry up. 

Everyone is, therefore, urged to use as little water as possible to make the available supply last as long as is possible. 

Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. 

Media Release – Laura-Leigh –  Kouga Municipality – Media Liaison Officer




Speeding Anarchy in Cape St Francis

One of the Cape St Francis WhatsApp groups lit up the other day on the subject of speeding and an appeal has gone out for residents, and particularly contractors working in Cape St Francis, to respect the 40kph speed limit that applies in Cape St Francis.

Looking into our archives an article published in September 2016 discusses the subject laying some blame on visitors rather than locals but alas it appears too many locals now ignore the limit. There is no doubt the number of construction /  maintenance vehicles travelling to and from numerous building sites has increased significantly and added to this there are suddenly daily visits by courier vehicles, most of which pay scant regard to the speed limit, solid white lines speed humps or stop streets..

A section of road that desperately needs to be monitored and a solution found is the stretch directly in front of the resort. Since the opening of Full Stop Café many more people cross from the resort to Full Stop and many of these are kids and international tourists.

Consider the danger. As children we were taught to look right, look left and then look right again before crossing a road. When travelling abroad in Europe or the US, one has to quickly adjust to looking left, then right  them left again when crossing a street.

In the coming weeks as Europeans start their summer holidays more international tourists will start arriving in our village. What we don’t need is a tourists inadvertently looking left, right, left when crossing over the road and not seeing that speeding bakkie ignoring the zebra crossing. That sort of international press we don’t want.

Hopefully if enough is published on the subject of speeding in the local media and social media platforms those who show little or no respect for keeping the village safe for walkers, joggers, cyclists, children pets and wildlife may pay heed and make an effort to kerb their speed to the legal limit and even start obeying other traffic laws. Naming and shaming transgressors should be a last resort but there is no reason why the owners of businesses should not be alerted if their vehicles speed in CSF.

What fails to amaze is those who complain about minibus taxis are usually the worst offenders and believe it is their right to speed if they want. Being late for an appointment is not a reason and if they have a need for speed Aldo Scribante racetrack still holds race meets and would welcome more competitors.

On the same WhatsApp group the n\matter of potholes also trended. Unfortunately after the wonderful rains our roads have become deteriorated significantly. That the municipal workers do a poor job repairing them is sadly endemic in South Africa.  We can complain all we want but it is not going to change the psyche of present day labour forces.

Let’s not hold our collective breath that things are going to change anytime soon. If we want to improve the quality of our road surfaces we are going to have to pay for it rather than wait for the municipality to come to the party. They simply do not have the money so if we drive to the speed limit maybe we can easily negotiate the potholes and thus save tires and lives at the same time.

If you see someone you know speeding, call them. Lets make it a conversation and maybe the word will spread.  


The speed signs as one enters the Sea Visa precinct have again been stolen but this should not be an excuse o ignore the 60kph limit in that area. There are a lot of kids that play on the side of the road and their safety is as much a drivers responsibility as  it is their parents who probably both work to eke out a living and certainly cannot afford to put the kids in a creche.