St Francis Bay residents asked to pay to fix their beach

An appeal has been made by the St Francis Bay Beach Committee to all residents, property owners and businesses to contribute an amount of at least R1000 to Save the Beach.

beach erosion at Anne Ave 002

The beachfront at Anne Avenue

This follows the news that a Basic Assessment on the entire St Francis Bay’s beach, including the dune Spit leading to the Kromme River mouth, needs be done. This assessment is likely to cost in the region of R400 000. And this is only for the assessment More funds will be needed for an EIA and the repair work for whatever final solution is chosen.

And in the first week of this appeal going out more than R200 000 had been raised through donations from St Francis residents  and from about eight businesses, including St Francis Chronicle. This newspaper challenges all other St Francis Bay businesses to equal or better its donation of R1000 to the Save the Beach fund.

beach erosion at Anne Ave 005

The beachfront at Anne Avenue

Rheeder asked the St Francis Bay Residents Association to publicise matters relating to the beach to the St Francis Bay community. The May letter to the community said the Department of Environmental Affairs advised the assessment must be carried out by a professional organisation for the entire beach.  This has to be completed before any repair work will be allowed by the Department.

Currently no repair work is being allowed on the fast and continuously and badly eroding beach, because the Department stopped contractors fixing the beach as some of them unwittingly broke South African’s strict environmental laws.
St Francis Chronicle has reliably learned that some people deliberately told the Department about the actions of some of the contractors.

The newsletter also advises that much of the R400 000 will be funded by those people who are most affected.  

But there will be a shortfall, hence the appeal. The SFBRA has pledged R50 000 to this project and some residents have also pledged various amounts.

beach erosion at Anne Ave 007

The beachfront at Ralph Road

The donations have to be paid into a Trust Fund currently managed by the Kromme Trust. All payments must also clearly indicate that it is for the ‘Beach Fund’.  The details of this account are as follows:

Name of Account: St Francis Kromme Trust; Bank: FNB; Humansdorp; Branch Code: 210115; Account Number: 5254 330 3540

Reference: Beach Fund (and Erf Number, if applicable)

The newsletter also said ‘any’ donation will be greatly appreciated.  The money in this Trust will be properly administrated and transparent to all.  Businesses in St Francis Bay area also asked to consider making donations. St Francis Chronicle has pledged R1000 and challenges other businesses to equal or better this donation..

beach erosion at Anne Ave 010

The beachfront at Ralph Road

The newsletter said that when the Basic Assessment has been completed, permission will be forthcoming for a continued repairing and protecting vulnerable areas.  While these repair works are being conducted Phase Two of the restoration of the beach and Spit will commence. 

“This will be a mammoth project.  A number of reports and surveys have been conducted on the beach over the last few years and will be used as the basis of developing a strategic plan.”

The situation of the deterioration of our beach has reached a point where, if dramatic action is not taken, it could have a significant effect on the value of properties in our town as well as a drop in Tourism which will in turn affect many businesses in St Francis Bay.

If you have any queries or would like more info contact 042-200-1404; email  contact@sfbresidents.org.   Or 082465 3619

Photos: Bev Mortimer, St Francis Chronicle

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