St Francis Property OwnersProjects being undertaken by the Non-Profit Company in terms of the SRA
Special Rated Area
The SRA came into affect on the 1st August 2018 when a majority vote of property owners within a demarcated area of St Francis Bay (see map of below) voted to have a 25% levy added to their municipal property rates to fund desparately needed projects and services to reverse the deterioration of the beach and roads and combat rising crime within the town.
To best administer the SRA, a separate Non-Profit Company (NPC) has been registered with a Board of Directors who shall oversee and manage the projects that fall within the intended scope of the SRA.
These projects are:-
- Security (CCTV)
- Beach & Spit
Other projects, services and events that require funding either in full or in part are adminitered by St Francis Property Owners Association with funds collected through membership fees and donations. These projects will be published from time to time when they occur.
A video overview of the benefits of the SRA by Wayne Furphy
Wayne Furphy is the chairman of the St Francis Property Owners Association, as well as the chairman of the Non Profit Company (SRA).
In this video Wayne discusses the benefits of the SRA including the cameras, the work done on the roads, and the river spit and beach project.
Wayne also discusses the recovering property values in St Francis Bay, and the fact that so many people came to stay during the initial COVID period and have been deciding to move into the area on a more permanent basis.
Finally Wayne chats about the funding towards the river, spit and beach restoration project, explaining that The Kromme River Estates, the Kromme Joint River Committee, the Riparians and the Kouga Local Municipality are all contributing towards the funding.
“Without a beach, this town has very limited tourism appeal.”
David Truter leads our portfolio of CCTV cameras and Chairs the St Francis Bay Police Sector Forum for security.
The SFPO NPC installed the cameras in early 2019. Crime had been escalating at that time. 18 months later crime has been radically reduced as a result.
For example, we have four LPR’s or license plate recognition cameras. In one month we had 250,000 license plates recognised and 11 activations, which means that those 11 licence plate numbers were on the SAPS database of wanted vehicles.
For more on security and cameras, watch the video with David here
The CCTV cameras continue to perform both a 24/7 monitoring service and an effective deterrent to criminals targeting the St Francis Bay area. The cameras include:
- licence plate recognition : 250,000 licence plates were registered on our roads in August of this year, with 14 being identified as wanted by SAPS
- Analytic cameras : most of our cameras have AI software that monitor their zones and alert any suspicious activity to the Control Centre operators
- PTZ : follow movement of people and are operated by Control Room staff to follow, and zoom in on anything suspicious. These are situated around our primary beaches
We are happy that the CCTV system is operating effectively. We are looking for ways of improving its use, including the access to video footage without compromising the POPI Act nor the rules governing the management and use of footage required for convictions. We investigated the use of drone technology to improve our ability to follow suspects, but given the privacy laws and the regulations governing commercial and private drone usage have decided to await the development of local capability among drone operators in St Francis Bay.
The arterial roads we specified in the SRA Business Plan include the Village Entrance, Lyme Road North and South, and St Francis Drive from Lyme Road north to Assissi Drive alongside the Tennis Courts.
We completed the Village Entrance project a year ago, and the final payment is due to the Contractor in October. Pam Golding are maintaining the gardens on the Village side, and The Links on their side. The Links contributed to this project. The effect of the landscaping is now being seen, especially with the good rains we have received recently.
St Francis Drive
The Municipality, as part of their contribution to the restoration of the roads infrastructure in the SRA demarcated area, re-surfaced some 40% of the arterial roads included in the SRA Business Plan, i.e. St Francis Drive from Lyme Road North to Assis Drive, and a section of Lyme Road South. This work was extended further to Harbour Road, a further 0,5km into Santareme, 0,5km up Tarragona Drive, two streets in Sea Vista, and also repaired the dip in the road between Lyme Road North and the Fire Station. The SFPO upgraded the storm water pipe in the dip near the United Church, and the dip itself was levelled.
The George Road Car Park was paved with the assistance of donations from two property owners some time ago. More recently a road was demarcated for access to the beach for repairing revetments. It is on the southern side of the car park. Bollards have been also recently been installed.
Anne Avenue Car Park was renovated some time ago. The stairs have been removed due to damage during the winter storms and will be repaired and placed back before the holiday season.
Beach & Spit
Advisian Spit Protection Preliminary Report
River, Spit and Beach
Long Term Solution (Phase 2)
The long term solution includes a groyne field and some 1 million cubes of sand placed on the 2,7km length of the beach from the river mouth to the southern end of Main beach, with the result of widening the beach by some 40 metres. Ongoing sand nourishment will be required to maintain the beach.
The current status of the Long Term Solution (Phase2) project is as follows:
- Advisian completed the preliminary design of the long term solution for restoring our river, spit and beach in February 2018, and this is available on our website.
- CES have completed the EIA application up to approval of the Scoping phase (August 2019). DEDEAT requested that additional modelling be done to assess the impact of the long term solution on the northern side of the river mouth and the beaches north of the river mouth.
- Advisian are performing the additional modelling necessary to address DEDEAT’s request, together with amendments made to the long term solution as a result of input from various other parties, including the surfing community.
- The additional modelling is based on new surveys of the bay, beach and estuary.
- CES are finalizing their documentation after assessing the impacts derived from the additional modelling and will conduct one further round of public participation. They will then submit the final report, the EIR, to DEDEAT early in 2021
Emergency Plan for the Spit
During the past 6 months the Spit has breached four times. The last breach was the most serious. The Municipality and their Consulting Engineers (PRDW) are considering various options to deal with this breach. The SFPO NPC has placed sandbags along the canal walls of several properties in the vicinity of the Pump House.
The Pump House is Municipal property. The other properties are private properties. A large portion of the Spit is now protected by a revetment. It is clear that the implementation of the long term solution needs to begin as soon as possible after DEDEAT approves the EIA application for the long term solution as proposed by Advisian. The emergency repairs to the Spit has been paid by the Municipality. The sandbags have been contributed by the SFPO NPC, and the Riparians have placed and filled the sandbags at our own respective costs.