Greetings to all St Francis Bay property owners and residents
September is Calamari Festival time in St Francis and once again our sports clubs and Tourism committee did us proud with well organised events over the Heritage weekend attracting a host of visitors to the town. The weather could not have been kinder, however the very high tides which coincided with Equinox has raised concerns again over the state of our beach and spit. The spit did breach but the breach took place close to the river mouth and was therefore of no danger to our canal homes. George Road car park was inundated and repair work is being planned, hopefully to be completed before the December holidays.
The incidences of reported crimes in St Francis Bay have risen to unprecedented levels in recent months so this proactive solution to the problem has been given priority.
We have chosen our CCTV supplier, Intersec; finalised the camera placements with some 100 hundred cameras; and our CCTV application to the Municipality has been approved. These cameras will cover our main entrances/exits to St Francis Bay, the main arterial roads from the Canals, through the Village CBD, to Harbour Road and Tarragona Road. We have sited cameras covering certain bridges, high traffic pedestrian areas and the beach. We have also included 3 camera poles with multiple cameras at three major intersections between Santareme and the Port. We expect to have these cameras installed by December. The cameras will be monitored by a state of the art 24/7 Control Centre.
EASPE have recently completed the design of the upgrade to the entrance to the Village at the Circle opposite The Links and are currently preparing Tender documentation. The scope of work includes for the rehabilitation of the section of road from the circle up to the Lyme Road North / South intersection, the provision of taxi embayment’s on the R330, footpaths to accommodate pedestrians, street lighting and landscaping.
River, Beach and Spit
The Riparians continue to dredge sand onto the Spit to assist with maintaining some protection. The Kouga Municipality assured us that they will do emergency repair work should the spit breach before the installation of long term coastal protection infrastructure. We are in the process of procuring the services of an experienced EIA consultant to obtain environmental approval for the installation of the infrastructure identified by Advisian in their preliminary engineering design. The time scale for obtaining environmental approval is approximately 12 months.
Other Project News
- Sea Vista Pathway : The application for funds from the Kouga Wind Farm to pay for the upgrade of the primary pedestrian pathway linking our CBD with the Sea Vista township has been successful and work will begin shortly. This will include the clearing of the servitude, paving and drainage as well as strategically placed lighting with CCTV camera coverage. This pathway is notoriously dangerous for pedestrians who are often attacked and robbed by criminals.
- Santareme : Sub-committee chairman, David Harpur, has arranged a workshop on October 4th at which Municipal planning officials, SFPO and Santareme delegates will debate the existing by-laws governing the aesthetics, building colour codes in that neighbourhood of St Francis Bay with a view to reviewing and modernising the regulations. It is expected that this will lead to the review of all building codes which currently apply in St Francis Bay.
The levy came into effect on 1st July and the SFPO Non Profit Company (NPC) will now begin to receive funds paid over by the Municipality for the projects in our proposal.
The Municipality has encountered several system problems in including the SRA levy on our Municipal bills. Firstly, the levy was not shown separately on the July bill. This was rectified on the August bill. Secondly, we have been told that there is still a problem with a rounding error as their system does not have sufficient decimal points to avoid this rounding error. The software supplier is working on correcting this. Thirdly, the SRA levy was omitted from the Municipal amount collected via debit orders. This will hopefully be corrected on the September bill. Please let us know if you pick up any other problems with the SRA levy on your Municipal bills.
We understand that a group of people calling themselves the Concerned Residents Association are choosing to oppose the SRA Levy process, and are planning to take legal action against the Kouga Municipality over the matter. We have reviewed their accusations against the Municipality and ourselves, and we are disappointed and exasperated at the inaccuracy of their claims. We will deal with these in an open public forum, but only once they have committed to their legal challenge. We have over the past 3 years met some of the people behind this group and have spent hours discussing their concerns. Their only interest is to stop the SRA and force (somehow) the Municipality to restore our infrastructure with money they simply do not have. We are still holding the door open for discussions with this group, as we have always been ready to meet with anyone who wishes to discuss the SRA proposal and arrangements. Our town has a history of lack of unity and common purpose, which is why we have witnessed the gradual degradation of our infrastructure and the loss of our beach. It would be easy to throw in the towel and be bullied by a small but very vocal minority. However, we have invested a lot of time and money (thank you to all our donors) to simply walk away. None of those supporting the CRA have donated a cent to Saving St Francis, but instead focussed on criticising everything we have proposed and delivered.
Association Membership Renewal
It is that time of year again that we ask you to either renew or join the SFPO Association. Our membership runs from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019. This is a voluntary membership and we hope we can rely on your support for the next year.
A strong and proactive Rate Payers Association is essential if we are going to hold our Municipality accountable for the infrastructure and services we rely on as property owners, residents and business owners in St Francis Bay. The strength of our St Francis Property Owners Association (SFPO) is dependent on both the number of members we have, the commitment of our Association’s Committee members (who are volunteers) and the quality, efficiency and friendliness of our Office Administration.
The Association’s Committee represents the whole of St Francis Bay. Your membership contribution enables us to run a small administration office, monitor service delivery from the Municipality, and invest in important community projects.
The subscription fee for 2018-2019 is 500.00 per annum or R330.00 for pensioners.
In addition, we have introduced a special membership for corporates at R500.00.
Subscriptions can be paid either by EFT to our bank account or in cash at our office.
Banking details are:
St Francis Bay Residents Association
Standard Bank Humansdorp
Bank Code: 050015
Account No.: 08 249 9276
Please quote your name and Erf. No. as reference.
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