Kromme River committee wants feedback from public

The Kromme River Joint River Committee has launched a public  opinion poll to assess the views of all affected parties regarding the Kromme River.

In a statement this afternoon, 19 August, the committee says  the Kromme River is  faced with multiple inter-related problems. The main one is that the Kromme is silting up and one of the consequences is that from the west end of River Tides to the sea the river is becoming shallower and the channels narrower.

“At the same time, the number, size and power of craft using the river increases every year,” the committee says.  “This is unlikely to change. Aggravating factors are irresponsible and inconsiderate behaviour by certain skippers, and inadequate policing of the river.

“The point has now been reached where pressure on the river during peak holiday seasons, combined with the reduction in navigable water and a high proportion of inexperienced skippers, has led to a dangerous situation, and public nuisance to riparian homeowners.  Common sense dictates that an improved form of control is now required.”

The committee has developed a questionnaire for completion by affected parties. This comprises 25 questions, each requiring a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer.

The committee is wanting feedback from the following affected people:  property owners on or adjacent to the tidal portion of the Kromme, with or without a licensed boat; businesses deriving revenue from the sale or rental of boats on the Kromme; licensed boat owners on the canals; property owners on the Geelhout, with or without a licensed boat; residents in the area, with licensed boat, but not resident on canals or Kromme; other river users, including fishermen, canoeists, wind-surfers, kite-surfers, etc.; and constituted home-owners’ organisations.

 In its statement the committee also said: “The Kromme River, quite apart from being an area of outstanding natural beauty, is one of the most important tourism amenities in the Kouga Region. It is a major reason for the success of St Francis Bay as a tourism and holiday destination. As such, it is an important contributor to the local economy. 

The Kromme Joint River Committee is an advisory group to the Kouga Municipality, comprising the Ward Councillor, Municipal officials, and organised affected parties along the Kromme River.

The committee says it has for some time been concerned at the implications of the above scenario. At peak holiday periods this is regarded as a serious safety hazard.  The committee added that finding a workable solution, which will not unnecessarily reduce the attraction of the area as a holiday destination, is a challenge.

The questionnaire is available on the websites: www.sfbresidents.org and www.stfranciskrommetrust.co.za.

Any affected party, qualifying under the above categories is welcome  to participate, but it should be  noted that only one response per property/organisation  will be permitted;

Responses should be sent to secretary@krommejrc.co.za or P.O.Box 18, St Francis Bay, 6312;  and the closing date is 30 September, 2014.

(edited)

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