Several questions have been posed regarding the CCTV contract tender process in St Francis Bay. This process was dealt with very carefully, and the SRA would like to lay it out for all to see.
On 29 August 2017, a CCTV workshop with several individuals representing various stakeholders was held. These included:
Wayne Furphy (Chairman SFPO), Nigel Aitken (Chairman SFB Sector Police Forum), John Hammond (Chairman CPF), Nick Schoeman (Chairman CSF Sector Police Forum), Simon Cunneen (Retired British Metropolitan Police), Constable H Mentoor (SAPS St Francis Bay), Zelda Taylor (Smhart Security), Jacques van Biljon (G4S), David Visagie (St Francis Municipal Law Enforcement), Felicia Muller (Kouga Traffic Dept) and Adam Floors (Kouga Municipal Law Enforcement).
There were apologies from Lynn Edwards (Calibre) and Barry Wild (Neighbourhood Watch).
On 22 September 2017, a Request For Information (RFI) was sent out to 18 interested suppliers, including SMHART, G4S, ADT, Elf Rentals, Atlas/Intersec/Calibre, Neile Strauch, Sky Metro, Access Control Solutions, Modular Communications, IP Dynamics, Vetus Schola, Stafix, Fidelity Security, Allsound Security, Frikkie Grabie and Marx Dreyer.
By 3 October 2017, the SRA had received responses from a number of suppliers, and we shortlisted the following suppliers for the RFP : SMHART, ADT, G4S, Atlas/Intersec/Calibre, ELF Rentals.
Requests For Proposals (RFPs) were sent to our shortlisted suppliers on 16 November 2017 ie SMHART, ADT, G4S, Atlas/Intersec/Calibre, ELF Rentals.
On 7 December 2017, the tender closing date was extended to 11 December 2017 after requests from participating bidders.
On the tender closing date (11 December 2017), tender documents had been received from ELF, G4S, and Atlas/Intersec/Calibre. However, ADT declined to submit a tender. Likewise, SMHART did not submit a tender by the close of business.
Subsequently, an email was received from SMHART on 12 December 2017, which was after the deadline, stating that they would not be submitting a tender.
In March 2018, G4S, Elf Rentals and Atlas/Intersec/Calibre gave presentations of proposals to the CCTV Committee.
Between March and November 2018, the CCTV committee reviewed all proposals received. All proposals met the technical requirements. However, one tender was priced at 5 times the budget, while another was 2.5 times our initial budget.
Atlas/Intersec/Calibre was within the budget. Site visits were done to Atlas premises to verify capabilities.
On 9 November 2018, the CCTV Committee presented recommendations to the NPC and directors to formalise a contract with Atlas/Intersec/Calibre as per terms outlined in the Contract and Service-Level Agreement (SLA)
There is an excellent chance that, done correctly, the construction of groynes along the beach and the dredging of sand from the silted up Kromme River back onto the beaches will re-create the glorious beaches that were the biggest tourist attraction to St Francis Bay, and in the process provide beach facilities and facilitate beach and ocean-related pursuits, sports, hobbies and past times.
The 40 meters of sand and more that used to exist in St Francis Bay was a massive draw card to beach-goers, surfers and Hobie Cat owners. The proposed groyne construction project – one of the St Francis Property Owners (SFPO) Special Rates Area (SRA) projects – could bring all this back.
Saving The Spit
In addition the project will save the spit, that part of the beach that is currently unprotected. The constant erosion over the years has left that part of the beach depleted and just a few east swells combined with spring tide conditions will undoubtedly see its total destruction.
Kromme River Navigability
The Kromme River was initially identified as the best source for the sand needed to replenish the beaches. Since then the build-up of sand in the Kromme River has increasingly negatively affected the navigability of the river. Restoring the navigability of the river also specifically forms part of the project.
Please try and attend the public meeting. The more input the better, and the more constructive criticism the greater the chances of pulling off this massive task to the satisfaction of stakeholders.
Surfers have much at stake here as well, and the surfers in the area are generally knowledgeable and aware of the vagaries of the ocean, the currents, the swell directions, the long-shore drift and the implications of groynes as well as wave potential.
You are all urged to attend the meeting on the 29th at The Links.
“There are as many experts on beach erosion as there are residents in St Francis Bay”.
With a public meeting due to be held at St Francis Links clubhouse on the 29th January with the proposed ‘Coastal Protection’ scheme for St Francis Bay with consulting engineers CES in attendance it seems appropriate to raise the subject that goes back over 22 years.
These at opening of this post are the words of then Mayor, Councillor Jean Chaput when he introduced a proposal to arrest the beach erosion that was already evident 22 year. A report in Our Times on 2nd October reported on how then Mayor Chaput had suggested changes to an initial proposal was to build a R20 million groyne extending 450 metres off beach adjacent to the spit just south of the river estuary. Considered far too expensive the altered proposal was reduced to a smaller groyne costing in the region of R1 million and possibly a second groyne to supplement the first if feasible. Although supported by the designer of the port, Alan Wynberg the proposal was doomed for the many expert could not agree.
The proposal was discussed in depth at public meetings where several other solutions were proposed including dredging the river mouth, beach nourishment using sand from the Sand River, a series of parallel groynes, wave blocks, manta mats and rock revetments. Attempting to motivate the concept the Mayor uttered words similar to those used in several presentation but present St Francis Property Owners NPC Chairman, Wayne Furphy – stated “the alternative is to do nothing!”
Roll on 17 years and the “Saving St Francis” presentation at the associations AGM in December 2015.
MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, WATCH WHAT HAPPENS or WONDER WHAT HAPPENED?”
Roll on a further four years and although professionals have been employed to best find a solution to best replenish the beaches there are those with absolutely no expertise or knowledge who will object and stop the process. One antagonist in particular will surely find reasons to criticise whatever Furphy and his team and the employed engineers are trying to achieve and what the indisputable majority of members of the SRA members voted for, again, at their AGM in December.
The time has surely come to do what should have been done 22 year ago and get on with. Stop the talk and get it done! Every delay will make it all the more costly. And if it is not done what will it cost the town in terms of property values, tourism income and employment.
But maybe that is what those so objecting to the SRA’s efforts are all about. Maybe they want St Francis Bay to lose its attraction as a popular holiday destination. They object to all the SRA stands for CCTV cameras not being manned 24 / 7 (where in the world are they monitored 24/7 pray tell) or that CCTV footage is not available for all to see even though this is a requirement of SA Law. That it has significantly helped reduced crime according to the security companies and SA Police Services is ignored. That the new traffic circle not only looks great but has significantly improved safety of motorists and pedestrians too is a waste and we should rather live with potholes just so long as they are not on our street.
Will in 20 years, another scribe write of how as a youngster he used to spend wonderful holidays in St Francis Bay but because the old farts way back then refusing to do anything about it, St Francis Bay was now just a collection of old decaying thatched roofs for old retired people unable to give their home away let alone sell them at a profit.
Detractors want guarantees that it will work and that it won’t be a waste of money. Who knows? Maybe it won’t work but maybe it will. If something isn’t tried it definitely won’t work of that we can be 100% assured.
Imagine Sir Edmund Hillary saying “I don’t think I can make it to the summit of Everest so I better not try”. Imagine a chemist on the edge of discovering a cure for cancer stopping because the drug may not work. Imagine being offered that drug that could cure your cancer, arthritis or other ailment but refusing it because it may not work. Nothing is guaranteed in life but the only way we have made so much progress in past two centuries is because people have tried.
You cannot win the lotto if you don’t have a ticket.
So before you write your comment on how the SRA is wasting your money, consider what will happen if nothing is done. Write rather on how you can support the efforts and let the whole town work for a better place to live.
St Francis Bay – a loose and impromptu meeting took place between members of the SRA, a few members of the St Francis Community, some surfers as well as representatives of the Seal Point Boardriders Club last week.
This gathering was set up in order to discuss the proposed groyne placement, the outside reefs, the wave formations and the predominant ocean current direction and strength, with everyone throwing their information and their experience into the pool in a total and open sharing of information.
Seal Point Boardriders Club
With strong representation, The Boardriders Club exercises certain control over the surf spots from Seal Point to the Kromme River Mouth, mainly to ensure that anyone who wants to run a contest or contests does so through the correct channels and adhere to the local by-laws. The Seal Point Boardriders Club is also affiliated to Surfing South Africa, the national governing body of the sport, and recognized by The Government and South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
Surfing South Africa
“We support our affiliates, so we would support the decisions made by the Seal Point Boardriders Club Committee,” said Robin De Kock, General Manager for Surfing South Africa. “I think the development of groynes and the sand nourishment of Bruce’s Beauties would be wonderful for the sport of surfing and for surfers throughout the country.
In a spirited conversation at the Anne Avenue car park, the surfers, locals, fishermen and SRA representatives had maps and diagrams out, were pointing out reefs and waves and surf spots and currents, and where the best waves break, as a crew of local groms headed out to get a few of the tiny lefts breaking in front of the car-park. A local homeowner who was watching the gathering, came down to introduce himself and give his point of view as well, which was pertinent and well received.
The planning of the groynes and their location is crucial, and there will still be more open discussions on the matter going forward
The St Francis Property Owners Non Profit Company (NPC) have posted another in their series of answers to questions on their website. These questions are those put to the NPC by what has become known as the “Group of 30” mostly members of the Concerned Residents Association (CRA) headed by Angela Cadman who are opposed to the work being done by the SRA.
Interesting to see residents in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth are calling for a Special Rates Area (SRA). It won’t be Port Elizabeth’s first but it surely proves that other communities realise the only way they will fix their particular precincts is to pay for it themselves. Possibly the CRA should consider their legal action against Kouga municipality as “unnecessary, fruitless and wasteful expenditure”.
So to the answers to the questions posed by the ‘Group of 30’
Why was the change in the Business Plan priorities not submitted for approval to SRA Members at an Ordinary Members Meeting?
Our SRA Business Plan showed the major road intersections as the starting point for the arterial roads restoration. The presentation we gave at the December 2018 Members meeting shows the Village Entrance project as the first roads project.
Why was the change not also referred to Kouga Council as per the prescripts in the Kouga Property Rates Policy?
There were no change in business priorities. We do not need to go back to KLM if we do decide to change priorities, as this is a management decision. We would have to go back if we changed the fundamental scope of the SRA eg replaced arterial road restoration with fixing potholes.
We understand that there is great dissatisfaction with the St Francis Bay Entrance Project, which is generally deemed as unnecessary, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The Entrance road is our busiest road. We chose this as our start to our work on our arterial roads, and this intersection required a rebuild of the road as well as including embayments to improve pedestrian and traffic safety at our busiest intersection. The Links was also willing to contribute to this project, which is important because the levy raises some 50% of our total funding requirements.
The operation of the CCTV System falls far short of what was initially promised by SFPO. Have you conducted follow-up meetings with SRA Members to address these problems?
The CCTV project was presented in detail at our December 2018 AGM and was also endorsed. The CCTV cameras met both our budget and selection criteria overseen by a group representing the Security industry in St Francis Bay. The cameras are current technology with a strong emphasis on intelligent computer analytics that alert control room monitoring agents. This is the direction CCTV surveillance is moving in.