Welcome to the March 2021 Newsletter of the St Francis Property Owners and NPC.
We are in Lockdown Level 1, and we can all breathe a little easier now. Should we remain on Level 1, this bodes well for the Easter holiday season. Local business owners will undoubtedly want to catch up on the lost summer season that saw beaches closed and a curfew messing with business times. We expect an influx of visitors over Easter, which should translate to a busy holiday season. We are holding thumbs.
WHEELIE BINS ROLL-OUT
Once again, we would like to remind all that wheelie bins are available from the Municipality free of charge. THe SFPO Association can assist if you are not in town but need to claim yours. Reach out to Lyn Aitken on:
- 042 294 0594
Dave Truter is the incoming chairman of the Community Policing Forum. He gave us a CCTV update.
It has been agreed by the NPC board to upgrade the analytic capabilities of the CCTV system. Video analytics is a technology that determines if an unwanted or suspicious behaviour is occurring in the field of view of a video camera and the algorithm notifies the console operator of the finding. Every notification has to be reacted to by the dedicated SFB Atlas operator and closed out only after either activating a response by Calibre or SAPS or deemed to be harmless.
The rollout of this upgrade will be happening shortly to the majority of camera poles.
Certain street groups are looking to fund additional poles to increase their coverage. Costs are as follows:
2 Camera Pole R 56 240.35
3 Camera Pole R 60 462.35
4 Camera Pole R 64 684.35
Above excludes VAT.
The equipment will remain the property of the SFPO NPC and all maintenance, insurance, and monitoring costs will be covered by the SFPO NPC. For further inquiries please contact Lyn Aitken.
There has most definitely been a property sales boom in the great St Francis Bay area. There have been many new builds going up and families moving into recently bought houses.
The most noticeable results have been some new school entrants at St Francis College. Several new businesses have popped up. Many of these new businesses have taken off, have found their market space, and are thriving, which is very encouraging.
We would appeal to any new residents to feel free to reach out to the SFPO to learn what services we offer and if any help or advice is needed.
TWO HARBOURS WALKWAY AND MAIN BEACH FACILITIES UPGRADE
We spoke to David Harpur, the Member of the St Francis Property Owners Committee for Santareme.
“The SFPO committee has decided to motivate an improvement to the Main Beach ablution facilities with a possible enhanced building to house the Life Savers, public showers, change rooms and toilets. Also, work has started on clearing the area behind the present structure of overgrown trees and bushes. Trees are being trimmed and brush removed so that the site can be grassed and used by locals and visitors. Once the beach revetments are complete, we will incorporate this area to enhance the area for public use.
The growing popularity of the Two Harbours Walkway became apparent over the last holidays as people could not use the beach but could walk the present pathway. This pathway has some very uneven and steep sections.
The Two Harbours Walkway should become a real tourist and locals feature of St Francis with its magnificent sea, rock and wildlife views along the way. This had made it inaccessible for elderly or handicapped persons. We will implement a program to improve these conditions and create are walkway we can be proud to share with all. If possible, we will create a section that will be wheelchair friendly as well.”
DAM LEVELS DROP BELOW 16%
We reached out to the Kouga Municipality to get the updated statistics and situation regarding the dam levels. The news is worrying, but if we all work together on this, we can make it to the first winter rains.
“Kouga residents, businesses, and visitors are urged to use water extremely sparingly, as the combined levels of the supply dams in the region have dropped to below 16%.
The communities of Hankey and Patensie are further reminded that water rationing has recommenced in both towns earlier this year.
According to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s latest information, the dams’ combined levels that supply water to the regions and Nelson Mandela Bay totalled 15,23% on March 8.
The two biggest dams, Kouga and Impofu, stood at 6.33% and 15.93%, respectively. The Churchill Dam was at 41.35%, and the small Loerie balancing at 57.20%.
Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said that to secure and develop alternative sources to augment water supply to towns, some R151,2 million were secured. This was secured from National Treasury in October 2018. This included R58,7 million for groundwater exploration and R92,5 million for water conservation and demand management.
“To date, more than 40 exploratory boreholes were drilled at five Kouga towns with the drought disaster funding the municipality secured in October 2018,” said Hendricks. “Viable boreholes were connected at Oyster Bay, Jeffreys Bay, and Patensie – with more boreholes to be connected in Hankey, Humansdorp, and Cape St Francis.
“The Water Treatment Works at Jeffreys Bay was upgraded at the cost of R35 million to improve treatment of borehole water, while the water storage capacity at Humansdorp was increased to cater for extra groundwater.
“Old reticulation systems were replaced in Hankey, Patensie, Oyster Bay, Jeffreys Bay, and Humansdorp, while 1 878 leaks were repaired at housed in disadvantaged areas. Extra bulk water meters were installed for improved monitoring, and 15 219 domestic water meters were audited and replaced where necessary.”
He said that more than 200 rainwater tanks were installed in rural areas and informal settlements in partnership with the Department of Human Settlements during the COVID-19 Alert Level 5 lockdown.
Hendricks confirmed that water rationing recommenced in on January 14 this year, after being suspended temporarily for the festive season. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the water will be shut down for only six hours per day, from 09:00 to 15:00. Residents are encouraged to use water from the tanks installed in the area to relieve the pressure on the dam.
“Should Gamtoos Valley run out of water, water will be trucked in from Humansdorp.”
He urged all residents and businesses to use water only when absolutely necessary and to use as little as possible when they do. “Please limit your usage to 50 L per person per day,” he said.
Residents are reminded that the current water restrictions prohibit the connection of a hose pipe or an irrigation system to taps supplying water from the municipal system.
Pools may not be filled or topped up, and the washing of paved areas, roofs, and walls with municipal water is also not allowed.
“Every one of us has a role to play in preventing Kouga’s taps from running dry – we must do all we can to save water,” Hendricks said.