St Francis Vision 2030 Executive Summary
The St Francis Property Owners Association (SFPO) has created, with the participation of a cross-section of St Francis residents, property owners and business owners, a vision of what we want St Francis to be by 2030. We have also explained why we have chosen this Vision, and how we are going to achieve it. The Vision also includes the intended outcomes of achieving this vision and what role we would like the Kouga Municipality to play in this process. We have included a list of all those people who have contributed to creating this St Francis Vision 2030.
We want St Francis to develop into a World Class Lifestyle Destination in the next 10-15 years, characterised by a Unique Lifestyle with Distinctive Themes.
The prerequisites for achieving this vision is that St Francis requires a world class infrastructure, the Sea Vista Township integrated into St Francis, close cooperation with the Kouga Municipality, a vibrant set of community and business organisations providing leadership to the delivery of Vision 2030, the creation of sufficient jobs to uplift the unemployed, and the provision of outstanding business opportunities to attract “world class investment”.
What we do NOT want is an industrialised town, and a commercialised main street. We do NOT want a growing informal settlement characterised by rampant unemployment, leading in turn to escalating poverty, crime and drug abuse. We do NOT want unrestricted development, and abuse of our natural assets and environment. We do NOT want poor service delivery from our Municipality.
St Francis has a unique combination of assets including some R4.5b worth of residential property assets, a bespoke retail industry, a variety of water sports using the rivers, canals (7.6kms), beaches and ocean, other sports including two golf courses (one of which is world class), the only privately managed and owned Port in SA, an air park, sand dunes, a lighthouse, themed housing, and is the second most southerly point on the African continent.
We have evaluated the primary industries that will need to be developed to realize our Vision by 2030. These include Tourism (including Sport), Property Development, Education, Construction, Health Care, Transport, Green Technologies, Security, Connectivity and Social Upliftment. Property Development includes Retirement Villages (the best 20 years of your life), Residential/Holiday Home development with some 900 undeveloped plots available representing 25% of total properties in St Francis, Commercial and Industrial property development, and the re-development of the Sea Vista township into one or more housing estates. Education includes both formal and vocational (for skills upliftment to support job creation). Construction supports the property development opportunities. Health Care is focussed on frail care, recovery, wellness, and medical tourism. Green Technologies would include both electricity (renewables) and water (conserving and recycling). Security would be extended to upgrading the surveillance capability with advanced camera technology. Connectivity focuses on providing world class internet, WiFi and Wireless services to residents and tourists. Social Upliftment addresses the job creation and skills development required to alleviate the unemployment challenges we face in St Francis and elsewhere in the Kouga region.
This Vision identifies significant business investment and growth opportunities of over R5b, and creating some 5,000 – 12,000 jobs in St Francis.
Tourism provides by far the greatest growth and employment opportunity. If we assume 1 tourist (1 tourist year) creates 3 jobs, then an additional 1,000 tourists could create 3,000 jobs. If we stepped up the number of tourists to 4,000 (tourist years) then we could create 12,000 jobs. We have 2,000 houses that stand vacant for 300 nights a year. If we filled this accommodation with an AirB&B/Rental Pool offering we could attract approximately 8,000 tourists (assuming 4 per house), we could create an employment opportunity of some 24,000 jobs. The accommodation alone could earn R1.2b pa assuming the accommodation (2,000 vacant houses) were rented on average for R2,000 per night for 300 nights of the year. These same tourists, over and above those already accommodated in the existing Resorts and B&Bs, will probably spend another R1,000 per day per person on play, eat and shopping activities. This in turn will lead to an additional R2.4b per annum growth in the local tourist industry.
The development of the 900 remaining plots in Greater St Francis offers some R2b of income to the Construction industry resulting from a R2b investment by property owners in building homes on these vacant plots. A further 1,000 jobs could be created from this investment. The development of a Retirement, Health Care, Transport, Education, Green Technologies, Security and High Tech industries could realise a further R770m of investment and a further 1,000 jobs.
We have the assets to launch this Vision. It requires the will of an entrepreneurial community, and the support of the Kouga Municipality to make it happen.