Paddle training during the week for the grade 7’s.
Over the next few days, the Grade 7 learners at St Francis College will celebrate their final year with the annual Otter Challenge.
The Otter Challenge is a fun two-day event where the pupils embark on a few mini-adventures in St Francis Bay, including hiking, river paddling, cycling, and camping.
It just so happens that today’s first day of their challenge looks pretty grim on paper weather-wise, with a gale-force easterly forecast for most of today. As we all know, the easterly is an onshore wind, so it blows off the ocean and is thick with salt and moisture. Not the best conditions to hike, or cycle, or camp in tents or braai, for that matter.
Knowing the St Francis College kids and teachers, who are all pretty resolute after the challenges they have endured during lockdown (not to mention their parents), they will finish this without a hitch. They’re a tough bunch of people.
Still, if you see a few young cyclists wobbling along on their bikes or hiking doubled-over in determination into the screaming wind, please give them a cheer of support and give them loads of space on the road, please. There are just a few of them, so it won’t be too much trouble at all.
We were all young once, finishing off junior school and getting ready for high school and that massive old world out there. It can be pretty daunting, but it is also a fantastic stage of life and a crucial step in character development. Entering high school sees the initial realisation of inherent potential as high school academics and sports start taking hold. High school is where champions are made.
So we at St Francis Today would like to wish the St Francis College grade 7’s, their school teachers, and those teachers on the Otter Challenge all the best of luck over the next two days. You’ve got this one!
Miss Lucy, as captured by Robin Moulang. Find more of his work on Instagram @gumboot.camera
Notes From The Editor
Monday 22 October 2021
How To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse
How To Get Through The Festive Season In St Francis Bay With Ease, a local’s guide.
It’s coming, and while many residents are happy that we will have a decent season’s trading, many get somewhat frustrated over the festive season. Actually, that’s probably the understatement of the year. So many locals get highly irate.
The thing is, and I know this message is repetitive, but many businesses are desperate for the coming trade. So here’s a few insider tips that will make the summer bearable.
If you’re a local, you’ll know all the sneaky parking spots at all the beaches and restaurants. If not, you definitely know a couple of friends or acquaintances who won’t mind you parking in their driveway or on the grass. So don’t even go and fight for a spot at the beach. Instead, just slide into your ‘reserved spot’ with your local knowledge.
Early mornings for everything
The sun is up so early, and most visitors are here to have a good time that they jol till late and don’t wake up early. If you’re a surfer, runner, cyclist, paddler or golfer, hit the dawnie. The real dawnie, though. Be on the road or in the water or even teeing off by 5 am if the conditions look good. The zombies hit it around 8 am, and by then, you’re already done, the pressure’s off, and you can feel good about yourself.
The Cape Town ous are like this in the morning in St Francis, and never make the dawnie.
Sometimes it will get too much, despite your best intentions of keeping it cool. When it gets too much, and someone is racing down the main drag or blocking the road to have a chat, or pushing and shoving in the shops, then you might just have to take a few deep breaths, count to 8, and remind yourself that it’s only really two weeks of zombies, and you have it for the next 50
If you just can’t face shopping, then give Trolley Dolly a call. Their team will do all your groceries and alcohol shopping and deliver them to your door for a very reasonable fee while you go surfing or play golf. It’s a total win, and I can confirm that their service is efficient and very affordable. Mail email@example.com for more details.
Don’t be a Karen
It does get difficult at times, and noisy, and busy, and hot. Some people come here with little feel for the laid-back vibe and people who want peace and quiet, but an aggressive rant on Facebook or a ‘naming and shaming’ spree isn’t constructive. Instead, try and go to the source first. Chat to the shop owner, the neighbour, the person doing doughnuts in his bakkie at the beach car park at 3 in the morning. Be nice. So many times, it is just a minor misunderstanding that gets blown out of proportion on social media, so try not to be that person.
A wonderful photo of an orchid Satyrium princeps flowering in the Airpark .
Image by Gregg Darling – a local wildlife/nature photographer.
Notes From The Editor
One thing that has been part of the pleasures of living in St Francis is that the restaurants are generally very full over the season. Thus locals often stay away until things have quietened down. It’s not a bad thing. It means that we locals get a bit more room to move in the restaurants, and the local restauranteers get year-round support.
This year from all accounts will be busy, but we do have a few more restaurants to go to. Of course, the older, more established restaurants will always do well over the season, but there are a few more eateries to choose from this year.
The following are the new restaurants/eateries/cocktail bars that we know of. If we have missed any, we apologise in advance. There is so much going on at the moment that it is sometimes hard to keep track. Click through to their websites or Facebook pages to see more.
St Francis Bay
Off The Menu
Bistro Vin De Boeuf
Twenty-Two Eatery & Wine Bar
Cape St Francis
We popped in to the opening of Colony last night, and it was a wonderful evening. Delicious food, great vibe and a bill that didn’t break the bank. Fresh, simple and tasty food all around, and family-friendly. There will be a full review coming up in the new issue of The West Wind.
So good luck to all the new restaurants; I hope you guys kill it. BUT, and it is a big but, especially very good luck to all the established St Francis Bay, Port, and Cape St Francis restaurants. You guys have struggled so badly through the dark days of the hard lockdown, the curfews and the booze bans. You’re the guys we’re rooting for the most, and let’s hope that the influx of visitors this December is all it’s hyped to be and that you and your staff might enjoy a Christmas bonus this year for a change.
KOUGA Municipality was rated the best performing municipality in the Eastern Cape – one of only two municipalities in the province that is not in the danger zone of collapse.
This is according to the latest News24 Out of Order Index, calculated from a set of data collated over the last two months by a News24 team.
The data used draws on National Treasury’s budget data, the Auditor General’s reports, and Statistics South Africa. It includes not only financial metrics, but also measures of unemployment, poverty and basic service delivery to households.
On a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 is a failure and 100 is perfectly performing, the municipality obtained a score of 61.
“Over the last five years we have turned the fortunes of a municipality that was on the brink of collapse into a place of hope and possibility where the pursuit of happiness and prosperity is real for everyone,” said a proud Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks.
“Paying of historical debts, bolstering the fleet from 4% operational to a proud 95%, cleaning up areas to restore a sense of dignity, unlocking human settlement developments that froze-up since 2007, implementing an asset management strategy and making the municipality investment ready.
“We did this through grit and determination, by building trust and partnerships, and placing value on the social contract we formed with our people.”
Taking Kouga Forward
According to Hendricks, service delivery highlights include the connection of more than 20 boreholes across the region, and the construction of a cutting-edge water treatment works in Kruisfontein, as well as the resealing of roads and the tarring of gravel roads.
“Close to 1 800 households received access to electricity, while more than 600 keys were handed over to new homeowners in disadvantaged communities and a total of 3 056 title deeds were delivered to the rightful beneficiaries,” said Hendricks.
Kouga has, furthermore, become one of the first municipalities in the Eastern Cape to launch a virtual portal for the submission of building plans.
The Link service delivery app was introduced just more than three years ago – an effective link between the municipality and communities.
“Big investors have already started approaching Kouga, excited by the improvements they have seen in the region and are eager to play a role in growing our economy and opening up thousands of temporary and permanent job opportunities,” said Hendricks.
According to Hendricks, the municipality has paid of most of the debt inherited in 2016 and has simultaneously invested in 60 new vehicles to further improve service delivery.
“Despite the uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, prudent budgeting and the collection of revenue saw a collection rate of 94% in the previous financial year – which is most likely the best collection rate in the Eastern Cape,” said Hendricks.
“Local business owners are prepared to do business with the municipality as we have ensured that creditors get paid within 30 days, something that has never happened under previous governments in Kouga.”
He said this had ensured that Kouga plays a meaningful role in the economy by supporting local business.
“While there are many mountains we still need to climb, and a virus that we need to combat together, we are on track and determined to deliver a system of good governance through service excellence,” said Hendricks.
“I would like to thank the Speaker, my Mayoral Committee, the Municipal Manager, and all municipal staff for their hard work and unwavering dedication this past five years to make Kouga the best municipality in the Eastern Cape.
“The support from our business sector, community-based groups and individuals has also been nothing short of amazing and we are confident that, with you by our side, no obstacles will ever be too big for us to overcome and build a strong and united Kouga.”