Council support to fix roads, drainage and flooding

Five priority issues in regards to disaster management need to be addressed to plan the way forward for St Francis Bay.

This was agreed to at a disaster management meeting involving key stakeholders in the area last week.

This news may be welcomed by residents, ratepayers and holiday visitors, who are seething with anger and voicing their disgust at the decay, the neglect and poor services in St Francis right now. Many of the roads are like mine fields and the experience to navigate the roads has been linked to bundu-bashing instead of riding on upmarket town roads.

The 5-point remedy plan was announced at a disaster management meeting involving key stakeholders in the area last week. The meeting at Kouga Municpality offices in St Francis was called to discuss the deterioration of roads and infrastructure in St Francis Bay caused by recent heavy rains. The municipality and St Francis Chronicle were inundated with calls and complaints on flooding and drainage – particularly from Sea Vista residents.

Top Council officials attended, including Danie Rautenbach, acting director of town planning, Willie Botha, local area engineer and Owen Putzier, service centre manager of St Francis Bay together with Ward Councillor, Ben Rheeder, and Nigel Aitken, vice chairman of the St Francis Bay Residents Association.

Attendees also went on a walk about and on-site inspection to see for themselves what the problems are.

All attendees agreed on the following:

* The re-opening of the trench originally created by village founder Leighton Hulett. “This trench runs from the top of Harbour Road under Tarragona Road, channelling rain water through theRomaziniValleyto the sea,” says Aitken. “This should create a significant reduction of the amount of rain water currently flowing through Santareme and will also assist with the repairing of the roads.

* SeaVista is a sorry sight and refurbishment of the limited existing drainage system will take place.  “However, new houses continue to be built below street and flood level exacerbating the problem,” Aitken points out. “This must be investigated and addressed.”

“ The water discharging from the Links needs to be channelled in such a way that it does not flow into greater St Francis Bay.

* A meeting is to be set up between our disaster management team, provincial authorities and representatives of the Links to look at how this can be done.”

* The permanent repair of the notoriously bad bend inTarragona Road and the restructuring of part ofLyme Road Southwith a five tonne load restriction to be imposed on this road.

“We have been advised that Council intends to begin work on re-opening the trench this week and additional manpower from neighbouring towns has been promised for this task. I continue to push for more manpower to assist our hopelessly under-resourced pothole team so that we can begin to get on top of the pothole problems,” concludes Aitken.