Alderman Rheeder

Ben Rheeder honoured as an Alderman

Mayor Elza van Lingen with Ben Rheeder

The Kouga council bestowed the honour of Alderman on Ben Rheeder who has been the councillor for Ward 12 (St Francis Bay & Cape St Francis) it would seem since the lighthouse was built, for certainly he has become as much an institution it would seem as the lighthouse.

Bestowing the honour on “Alderman Rheeder”, Speaker Councillor Hendricks pointed out that it is not an honour voted for, or awarded for a good deed but rather an honour earned through a minimum of 20 years’ service to the municipality and the community

In a brief ceremony on stage during before Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen presented the ‘State of the Municipality’ address, the Mayor conferred the title along with various medals to Alderman Rheeder.

Congratulations Ben from SFT and we are sure all residents of Ward 12 if not the entire Kouga district.

Looking for a definition of ‘Alderman’ on the internet came up with the following off Wikipedia

An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council member elected by voters.[1]

The title is derived from the Old English title of ealdorman, literally meaning “elder man”, and was used by the chief nobles presiding over shires

Have you bought your ticket?

All in a good cause

St Francis Animal RescueSome would have noticed posters around the village appealing to employers to encourage their staff to take their puppies, and other pets, to the St Francis Animal Rescue outreach that is held in Sea Vista on a Thursday afternoon. The reason for this appeal is that it appears there has been an outbreak of Distemper and Parvo in the township and it is imperative that as many puppies are inoculated to try and kerb the spread. Dr Nerine Botha of Aloe veterinary clinic will be present to administer the inoculations.

The vast majority of those dogs that are brought to the weekly outreaches are in excellent condition with many pet owners becoming regular visitors. Education is very much part of the programme and it is not unusual to attend anything up to sixty dogs of an afternoon. The importance of proper feeding and care of dogs is uppermost and several local shops have become outlets for the sale of discounted dog and cat food where some 100 bags of dog food and 30 bags of cat food are now being sold weekly.

But sadly this is only a drop in the ocean of what needs to be done and after the recent shack fires in the informal settlement areas (China Town). Two St Francis Animal Rescue volunteers accompanied by a local community member recently ventured deep into shack land after reports of several extremely undernourished and injured dogs. This has given rise to a new initiative where volunteers, accompanied by a local Sea Vista community member, are making regular visits to these previously neglected areas of the township educating owners and feeding dogs. Part of the programme is also to encourage owners in these destitute areas to allow their dogs to be sterilised and to allow the many puppies that are being born weekly to be given up for adoption. To this end no animals or puppies are removed or taken to be sterilized or even treated without the owner’s written consent and only in cases of extreme neglect are the SPCA asked to assist or intervene.

Presently the St Francis Animal Rescue volunteers work from the boot of their cars and a long term desire is to eventually develop a permanent animal shelter from where the rescue team could better assist in the care of Sea Vista pets. A start to making this dream come true has recently been kick started through the generosity of Fasie and Fiona Malherbe of Cape St Francis Resort who have put together a Rock ‘n Roll evening to be held at the resort on Saturday 19th November. A truly fun evening of music from the 60’s and 70’s is promised with two bands playing some of those golden oldies from possibly the greatest music era ever. In keeping with the rock ‘n roll theme a 60’s dinner of hamburgers and ice cream, reminiscent of the “Fonz – Happy Days” era, will be served with a choice of beef, chicken and salad burgers being served.

The resort is fully sponsoring the evening and all proceeds are going towards the shelter. Fasie has already approached local Ward 12 DA Councillor Ben Rheeder to find a suitable area within Sea Vista where the shelter could be built and has approached Humansdorp architect Chris Milne who has drawn up concept drawings of the facility.

All local St Francis residents are invited no matter you age and Baby Boomers are especially welcome, to join in what promises to be a truly fun and memorable evening. Tickets to the evening are available both from the resort and from Kouga Print in the village. Come and join in the fun and re-live those “HAPPY DAYS”!

Tables of ten can be booked and as St Francis Animal Rescue is a registered Non-Profit Organisation you contribution can be claimed back from your tax so come and join the party! Table bookings can be made with Riekie Minnie at the Resort on 042 298 0054

Watch some fun from those good old days!

Rock 'n Roll at Cape St Francis Resort

Update on St Francis Bay beach and spit


An update on the St Francis Bay beach and spit from Councillor Ben Rheeder

St Francis Bay beach rock revetments on Ann's Avenue

On 30 April 2015 Councillor Ben Rheeder, the DA Ward Councillor for Ward 12, held a meeting in St Francis Bay with interested parties to address the repair and maintenance of the rock revetments along the St Francis Bay beach and spit/dune.  All the work on the rock revetments was stopped when DEAT issued compliance notices to two contractors and Kouga Municipality.

During the April 2015 meeting a Beach and Spit/Dune committee was established with Councillor Rheeder as chairperson, with the aim to address the repair and maintenance of the rock revetments along the St Francis Bay Beach.   Proper repair and construction of the rock revetments could save beachfront properties for 5 to 10 years and enable the authorities to implement long-term protection of the beach and spit/dune.  It was also determined that a basic assessment should be done to obtain a ROD to do repairs and maintenance of the rock revetments and the spit/dune.

In a follow-up meeting on 18 May 2015 it was decided that the beach and spit/dune problem should be addressed in both short- and longtime plans.  Short time should be doing a basic assessment and obtaining permission to repair the rock revetments.  Long-term should be appointing a consultant to finalize the proposed resolutions in the Worley Parsons Report.  The estimated cost for the basic assessment would be + R 400 000.00.  The committee decided to raise this money from the owners with beach front properties and from the community of St Francis Bay.   Nigel Aitken and the Residents’ Association volunteered to do this and collected more   than enough funds. The committee also decided to meet with the Provincial DEAT. This meeting was held on 27 May 2015 to determine the way forward. Frank Silberbauer was appointed to manage the basic assessment and a FBAR was completed and handed to DEAT on 8 February 2016.  During June 2016 a ROD (Environmental Approval) was issued by DEAT. After several meetings with the Kouga Municipality a MOA (memorandum of agreement) was signed. This allowed the St Francis Property Owners to manage the repair and maintenance on behalf of the Municipality.

Frank Silberbauer has now been appointed as the Municipal’s ECO (Environmental Control Officer) to monitor compliance with the issued ROD.  This allows property owners to start with the repair and maintenance of the rock revetments. Many thanks to all the people who helped to make this project a success.

A special word of thanks to Nigel Aitken, Jacky Green and Frank Silberbauer.

Ben Rheeder

Read more on St Francis Property Owners website