To accelerate the construction of the
“Long Term Coastal Protection Solution”
In St Francis Bay
(Restoration of our River, Spit and Beach)
The SFPO NPC appointed Advisian to design a Long Term Coastal Protection Solution for St Francis Bay in 2017, and completed the Preliminary Design in February 2018. This solution formed the basis of the application for the Environmental Application and its subsequent approval in April 2022. The SFPO NPC launched a fundraising drive in 2021 to accelerate the construction of the Long Term Coastal Protection Solution to restore our beach in St Francis Bay.
We announced the fundraising drive at our AGM on 20 December 2023.
In terms of our EIA approval, we are required to have the funds available before we commence the construction of any phase.
Target – Rm
Total – R160m
Phases 1 & 2 – R110m
Phases 3, 4 and 5 – R50m
Raised to date (5 February 2024)
Total – R86.5m
Existing cash – R34m
Riparians – R6m
River Comm/Estates – R2m
Donations – R5.5m
Loans – R39m
Still to be raised.
Total required – R160m
Raised to date – R86.5m
Still required by Phase – R73.5m
Phases 1 & 2 – R23.5m
Phases 3, 4 & 5 – R50m
The Fundraising team have spent the past month, since the SFPO AGM, talking to many property owners about their participation in funding the acceleration of the Long Term Coastal Protection Solution. This interaction with property owners is ongoing, and we welcome participation and engagement from any property owners willing to support this fundraising initiative.
The quicker we can restore our beach, the sooner we will experience and enjoy the recreational value of our beaches once again, continued growth in the value of our properties, and reduction in the cost of maintaining the rock revetments currently defending the canals and many properties overlooking the beach.
Click To Download The Updated Progress
By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I am exhausted and have little energy. So my mind wanders to the local restaurants and takeaways. Sometimes, it seems fitting to grab something to eat and then laze around on the couch and relax with Netflix. Time for little communication or engagement with people other than your family.
This vibe led me to the Full-Stop for some of Chef JP’s special Friday Burgers, a very convenient dinner option.
A Quick Full-Stop Review
Going to the Full Stop is always fun. Some regulars always sit at the same tables, and a general influx of locals are either popping in for a quick post-surf dop and a chow. There are are with young kids who want burgers. Also, some retirees can also usually be found quietly mowing down their wine in the corner. At the same time enjoying a special burger or something else off the menu.
Friday Burger Special
Every Friday, JP introduces a different burger, this week it was the Seals Safari burger. There have been some epic ones over the weeks, with the BlackOut burger served on a black bun, the popular double burger, and a few chicken burgers. For this week’s special, it was a biltong-infused Seals Safari Burger, and I was sold.
JP’s burgers are delicious. He presents them with fresh, large-format buns and a tasty sauce, always with plenty of variation in the game. This weekend didn’t disappoint, and it was another round of deliciousness. JP definitely has the art of patties, cooked perfectly and flavourful. The sauce was excellent, and the lingering biltong taste was just enough and not overbearing. We smashed those burgers pretty quickly while we watched Nascar on Netflix, tried to forget the week, and looked forward to the weekend.
We bought a side order of chips in case we needed a bit more in the tank, but the burgers proved satisfying enough, and the three of us just nibbled on the chips.
JP’s burgers are R100, and the small side order of chips costs R20.
It was a good deal at R320 for the three of us, and delicious too.
See also: A Quick Nevermind Review- Notes From The Editor
By Richard Arderne
Deeds Office transfers data shows a 26% decrease in the value of property sales turnover in St Francis Bay (including the Links and Cape St Francis) for the calendar year 2023 as compared with 2022.
This is a substantial drop after the very buoyant sales in the second half of 2020, 2021, and 2022 and the start of 2023.
Interestingly, the drop was virtually the same for St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis.
The South African coastal house price growth rate peaked in late 2022 and has slowed since then.
This does not necessarily mean that prices have dropped. Still, it does mean that the amazing COVID and post-COVID sales volume along the coast has slowed substantially, along with most other South African coastal towns. Property sales tend to move in cycles, often linked to interest rates, so this is no big surprise.
The slowdown accelerated in the second half of last year when we noticed the low number of transfers registered in the monthly Deeds Office reports.
St Francis Covid Property Boom
This has led to the typical post-boom disconnect between sellers’ expectations and buyers’ demand. Sellers might need to decide whether they need to sell in this softening demand or consider pricing in line with what buyers are currently prepared to pay.
As is well known, property prices have increased substantially in St Francis over the last few years due to increased demand and building costs.
For example, entry-level Links plots have doubled from around R350,000 to about R700,000. Village houses used to be all under R4m, and now many are over R4m. If you can find an entry-level canal plot, it has doubled from about R1.8m to about R3.5m. Prime Santareme houses have doubled from around R6m to about R12m. Cape St Francis has very little on the market.
It should be noted that new developments, such as Homestead Views Security Estate, have a longer lead time between sale and transfer due to the home still needing to be built, which can contribute to a lower volume of Deeds Office transfers in the short term.
Also, please note that we are not expecting a slump at all. St Francis remains very popular, and especially with the prospects of the beach restoration, we expect conditions, at a minimum, to be better than in the pre-COVID years.
Surprisingly, despite this downturn, there has been decent demand at the very top end of the market. So far, there have only been three sales ever over R20m: one in 2008, one in 2015, and one in 2023 … but we expect that there will be more in 2024!
The drop in demand has been more pronounced in the market below R10m.
PS Some rain to fill the Mpofu Dam would be most welcome and might even improve buyer sentiment!
See also: We Have Short Memories
Afford More in 2024
The Afford More in ’24 Specials keeps on rolling at the SUPERSTAR. This weekend, we’re looking at Coca-Cola, HTH, Baked Beans and All Gold Tomato Sauce, among many other specials. Don’t forget our ‘braai busters’ – buy any two for R79,99. All of the specials advertised are valid until 6 February.
Introducing Dukes Hard Seltzer at TOPS
because Dukes isn’t just a drink; it’s an experience. With flavours like Mixed Berry, Passion Fruit, Grapefruit, and Orange, this lightly caffeinated vodka and soda drink has it all. Perfect for sun-soaked afternoons with friends, the anticipation of a night out or dancing to the beat. Available at TOPS.
Darkfest 2024 Quick Facts
Paul Couderc (FR) © Eric Palmer
What Is Darkfest?
Darkfest 2024 Quick Facts: Darkfest brings together some of the world’s best freeride mountain bikers to push the limits of their sport on some of the biggest jumps ever seen. The gnarly and specialised topography at the Hellsend Dirt Compound in Stellenbosch delivers the ideal setting for the riders to showcase their extraordinary talents.
When is Darkfest?
DarkFest 2024 will take place from 3rd – 10 February, so cancel anything you might have planned because this will take precedence.
Where is Darkfest?
Darkfest takes place at the aptly named Hellsend Dirt Compound at Vuurberg Farm near Stellenbosch. (Tickets are available here.) The track is heavy, and nerves of steel are an essential requirement of all riders.
Why is there a Darkfest?
There will be big jumps and high-risk tricks, massive sends, huge crashes, screaming, shouting, yelling, excitement, stoke, disappointment, laughter, injuries, tears, winners, prizes, friendship, and good times.
Sam Reynolds (GB) © Eric Palmer
Who is in Darkfest?
Check out this list of notable riders:
Sam Reynolds (GB) Clemens Kaudela (AT) Ike Klassen (ZA) Theo Erlangsen (ZA) Bienve Aguado (ES) Adolf Silva (ES) Kade Edwards (GB) Kaos Seagrave (GB) Nicholi Rogatkin (USA) Szymon Godziek (PL) Dawid Godziek (PL) Paul Couderc (FR) Sam Hodgson (GB) Tom Isted (GB) Matt Jones (GB) Carson Storch (USA) Matt Macduff (CA) Johnny Salido (MX) Daniel Ruso (AT) Elias Ruso (AT) Brendan Fairclough (AT) Dylan Stark (USA) Kurtis Downs (USA) Talas Turk (USA) Vinny T (FR) Dan Paley (UK) Robin Goomes (NZ) Chelsea Kimball (USA) Casey Brown (CA) Vero Sandler (GB) Vinnie Armstrong (NZ) Vaea Verbeeck (CA) Harriet Burbidge Smith (AUS) and Gemma Cobera.
Those are the Darkfest 2024 Quick Facts
Stay updated on the build on Sam’s YouTube channel and the Darkfest Instagram.
See also: Freeride MTB: Riders Announced For DarkFest 2024
DarkFest is back—strap in for another action-packed session. DarkFest is a huge event, with local and international riders assembling for big jumps and high-risk tricks.
DarkFest 2024 will take place from 3rd – 10 February at The Hellsend Dirt Compound at Vuurberg farm near Stellenbosch. (Tickets here). If you’ve seen the course, you’ll know how dramatic it is. Sam Reynolds and the DarkFest team are currently putting the finishing touches on the hugest of courses for a wild week of fevered activity, where some of the best riders in the world will be pushing the limits of MTB performance.
The immense 110-foot jump at Darkfest already broke records when Tom Isted landed the longest mountain bike dirt-to-dirt backflip. Measuring an unbelievable 120 feet, Tom’s huge and quite terrifying send is the longest backflip on dirt. Check out the craziness here.
While skill, inventiveness, and confidence are essential traits for charging at Hellsend, it’s clear that a very large chunk of fearlessness is also needed.
Two South African riders, Ike Klaassen and Theo Erlangsen, are in the mix for Darkfest 2024.
Ike Klaassen © Eric Palmer
DarkFest 2024 Rider List
Stay updated on the build on Sam’s YouTube channel and the Darkfest Instagram.