As we emerge from winter, it is a shock to the system to realise that the big parties in St Francis start in 6 weeks. It seems like just the other day, we were getting kids ready for school’s first day of the year. It seemed like yesterday when we were planning our year, telling ourselves how this would be the best year ever, that our post-COVID life would be like the Roaring Twenties after WW1. How did that turn out?
Accommodation is pretty much all booked out, and the restaurants are gearing up for what is bound to be a great season. The retail outlets are also stocking up and getting their systems finely tuned to deal with any sudden rush.
There will be some problems – there always are, and the lack of beaches in St Francis Bay results in quite a big crew heading over to Seals daily, so it gets pretty busy over there. There are also so many dogs around, and the amount of dog poop left on the beaches daily is quite astonishing.
The big difference is that Cape St Francis is a Blue Flag Beach this year, and there will be new regulations in place.
The BLUE FLAG BEACH CRITERIA AND EXPLANATORY NOTES of 2020, as explained by WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) is thus:
‘Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled.
Dogs or pets other than assistance dogs are not allowed on a Blue Flag beach or in the Blue Flag area if it is part of a larger beach.
If the presence of pets is permitted by local and national legislation, animals are only allowed in parking areas,
walkways and promenades in the inland beach area.’
At the time of publishing, the above extract could not be verified, and the rules might be stricter or more relaxed these days. Kouga Municipality will distribute a media release about the Blue Flag beach situation shortly.
Disclaimer: One of the Sunday Times’ golden rules of early morning publishing is not mentioning poop. Back in my youth, when I was a stringer for the Times, it was drummed into my head by my editor. In this case, it couldn’t be helped. Apologies in advance if I ruined your coffee, all bran flakes etc