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

Latest developments: St Francis Property Owners

St Francis Bay Property Owners LogoGreetings to all St Francis Property Owners and Residents from our lovely seaside village. We are very pleased that the DEDEAT issued their authorisation for the repairs to the Beach revetments and the Spit on the 1st of June. There was a period of 20 days allowed for appeals. We have requested some amendments that allow us a little more flexibility in doing emergency repairs to the Spit. We are working with the Kouga Municipality to finalise an agreement in which the Municipality will authorise the NPC (Not For Profit  Company) to manage the Beach and Spit repairs. The SFPO set up this company to do all the restoration work we plan to do on St Francis’ infrastructure i.e. the River, Beach, Spit, Roads, Stormwater Drains and Sewerage. This is the same company that we are asking all property owners to make their donations to.

We are pleased to announce that the NPC has hired Greg Miller as a full-time Manager to manage all infrastructure projects we undertake. Greg will start work with the NPC mid-July. Many of you will know Greg from the 3 years he spent as the Canal Manager with the Riparians Association, and following that as a member of the Riparians Committee.

We have organised meetings in:-

  • Johannesburg (Thursday 21 July at the Inanda Country Club in Sandton – 18:00),
  • St Francis Bay (Monday 25 July at The Links – 17:30 for 18:00),
  • Port Elizabeth (Tuesday 26 July at the Old Grey Club – 17:30 for 18:00).

The purpose of these meetings are to update you on:-

  • the Beach and Spit authorisation (Phase 1)
  • what is required to complete the EIA for Phase 2 in which we restore the River, Beach and Spit
  • present the Master Plans and Estimated Costs for the work we propose doing on restoring our Roads, Stormwater Drains and Sewerage.

This will give us a good understanding of how much money we need to raise to repair and restore our infrastructure.

For those of you in other areas but will be either in Johannesburg; St Francis Bay or Port Elizabeth over the dates mentioned above please feel free to attend the meetings.

Best wishes
SFPO Committee