This year seems to have shot by and the holiday season is nearly upon us. Due to the excessive amount of rain that we have experienced over the winter months the state of our roads have obviously deteriorated further, this inclement weather has also delayed repair work taking place. Your Residents Association is doing its utmost to ensure that the damage caused is repaired prior to the holiday season. We have requested the municipality to employ additional people to speed up this process. Due to our pressures the municipality has appointed an outside contractor to conduct the repair work and the slurrying in the Kouga municipal region. As we are not the only town that has problems with their roads, hopefully, they will spend a reasonable amount of time in St Francis Bay.
The Basic Assessment for the Beach and Spit is still in the hands of the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Joint Beach Committee will be meeting with DEDEAT for site visits on the 22nd and 23rd October, commencing with a meeting in our office. Prior to the holiday season some repair work must take place especially at Ann Avenue and in front of those beach front properties where the revetments were damaged during the winter storms. Unfortunately, even though the department promised to fast track their approval there are no guarantees that this will take place.
The straying of livestock, especially pigs, from Sea Vista into St Francis Bay has become totally unacceptable and many property owners have complained about damages to their gardens. Tony Moore, the Vice Chairman of the Residents Association, has set up a committee of all affected parties to address this issue and a letter of warning has been issued by the Chief Safety and Security Officer for the Kouga Local Municipality advising the owners of these animals that if they do not comply with municipal regulations action will be taken. One of the issues being considered is the darting (tranquilizing) of these pigs before removing them to the pound in Loerie. These pigs are also a danger to traffic on the main R330 road past Sea Vista going to Cape St Francis and recently a vehicle was badly damaged when it hit a pig. The problem has been further compounded by the erection of a high security fence on the other side of the road adjacent to Sea Vista which restricts the movement of the pigs from foraging in the bushes on the other side of the road. This fence has been erected by Eskom who owns the land.
Both Tony Moore and I, as well as some other members of the committee, will be standing down at the end of this year and a number of people have indicated their willingness to take over the running of the St Francis Bay Residents Association. From my side I will make sure that there is a handover period to ensure that the new committee is fully briefed.
It seems more and more apparent that the future of this town is very much in our hands. We cannot rely on our municipality to properly repair our roads even though it is their duty to do so. Because of this we are going to have to look to residents participating in funding the repairing of our roads. A retired Road Engineer has compiled a report, at our request, which highlights the lack of storm water drainage as well as those really bad areas where the surface of the road has deteriorated to the extent that pothole filling is no longer an option. Once he has received road plans from the municipality he will then be able to advise exactly what needs to be done and how much it is going to cost. The success last year of the residents in Aldabara Run purchasing tarring and having their roads repaired is a clear indication of what can be done. Obviously this is a project which will have to be addressed in 2016 and will be presented at our AGM.
The Thyspunt feedback meeting on Tuesday 20th October at The Links by Eskom and Gibbs was fairly well attended and the content of their reports and presentation was a lot better. It was felt that many of the questions raised did not receive satisfactory answers. One of the biggest problems raised was, if the nuclear power station does go ahead, how would our municipality manage the social impact on this community of job seekers deciding to move into this area. It was pointed out that the planned building of 2000 houses in Sea Vista can no longer go ahead as there is only land available to build 500 as the Department of Public Works has indicated the rest of the land is not suitable as it is wetland. The question quite simply is where these people would live if this were to happen. The issue of pumping sand into the sea from the Thyspunt site which could seriously affect the Chokka industry was raised and your Chairman suggested that Eskom should consider taking this sand and depositing it on our beach, this suggested was well accepted by the delegates and they promised it would be considered.
The AGM will take place at 17h00 on Thursday 17th December at the St Francis Bay Bowls Club and we would earnestly request all property owners to attend. As discussed at the last AGM we have changed our Financial Year End to the end of September so that our Treasurer can report back on a full set of annual figures.
As previously mentioned the annual St Francis Bay Residents Association subscriptions for 2016 will increase to R450 and R300 for pensioners. We have not increased these subscriptions for many years and need to do so to cover rising expenses.
Chairman St Francis Residents Association